PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte supports the idea of separate restrooms in establishments for members of the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) community, his spokesperson said yesterday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte agreed with the concept after transgender woman Gretchen Diez was prevented from using the ladies’ restroom at a Quezon City mall last week.
“Ang sinasabi niya (Duterte) dapat meron nang third restroom for them. Pinag-usapan namin iyon kahapon,” Panelo said .
“That will solve everything kasi papasok ka sa female, siyempre ‘di rin komportable ‘yung mga babae, alam nila lalaki pala ‘yon. Ganoon din sa kabila, ‘di ba? The best is you have a third restroom for them. Eh ‘di wala nang problema,” he added.
1-PACMAN party-list Representative Eric Pineda also made the same proposal, saying it will prevent members of the LGBT community from feeling uncomfortable as they do whenever they go to a male or female restroom.
On August 13, Diez was barred by a janitress at a Quezon City mall from using the women’s comfort room and was told to use the restroom for males instead.
She left but returned to talk to the janitress and proceeded to do a video recording of the exchange. A lady guard then handcuffed Diez and brought her to the Quezon Police District 7 where a complaint for unjust vexation was supposed to be filed against her.
The staff members were reportedly distressed that Diez took a video without their permission.
The complaint against Diez was eventually dropped a few minutes after midnight.
Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman and members of the Makabayan bloc have filed a resolution for the House of Representatives to investigate the incident.
Diez’s experience has sparked fresh calls to pass the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality (SOGIE) bill which the Commission on Human Rights said was necessary to protect the LGBT community against all forms of discrimination.