Militant group Bahaghari lambasted on Monday the recent profiling and arrests being made by the Makati City Philippine National Police (PNP) against transgender women.
“The name of the operation plan itself, Oplan X-Men, disgustingly reeks of discrimination and transphobia, and the invalidation of the gender identity of trans women,” said Bahaghari in a statement issued.
The arrests are also based on the stereotyping of the gender expression of trans women, whom the PNP derisively refer to as “ladyboys,” and are then tagged immediately as prostitutes to be profiled in the police’s supposed “anti-trafficking” scheme, the group said.
“Apparently for the PNP, every trans woman is guilty until proven otherwise, much like all the other victims of the national police’s campaign of extrajudicial killings that victimizes the poor and the marginalized,” Bahaghari said.
While police officers involved in illegal activities are accorded early retirement, ordinary Filipinos are victimized by unwarranted profiling, arrests, criminalization, they said
This recent incident raises further the urgency of passing the Anti-Discrimination or SOGIE Equality Bill, Bahaghari said.
The bill seeks, amongst several things, the mainstreaming of persons with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions, more critical representation of the LGBT+ in media, and the protection of the LGBT+ from discriminatory practices, such as the blatant gender-based attacks being perpetrated by the state.
“Ultimately, incidents such as this further highlight the need to reject and stand up against the culture of violence, misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, as well as the fascist presidency of Rodrigo Duterte that is the foremost champion of these antediluvian concepts,” Bahaghari said.
Today, the Gabriela Women’s Partylist filed House Bill No. 6294—otherwise known as the SOGIE Equality Bill or the Anti-Discrimination Bill—with the support of various LGBT+ formations including Bahaghari and the Metro Manila Pride Council.
“We call on our legislators to immediately pass this bill and affirm their support for the LGBT+. We further call on our fellow LGBT+, and our fellow rights advocates, to step up our campaigns, to reignite impassioned discourse for our rights, and to finally Achib Dis Bill!,” Bahaghari also said./Stacy Ang