By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is amenable to the proposed establishment of a separate public restroom for the LGBT community after a transgender woman was barred from using a women’s toilet in Quezon City.
“Ang sinasabi niya, dapat meron ng third restroom for them…pinag-usapan namin iyon kahapon [He said there should be a third restroom for them.. We talked about it last Sunday],” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a television interview.
“He agrees with the concept,” Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said.
Panelo said he also shared the President’s view on having a restroom assignment for the members of the LGBT community to curb discrimination.
“That will solve everything. Kasi papasok ka sa female, siyempre hindi rin komportable iyong mga babae, alam nilang lalaki pala iyon. Ganun din sa kabila, di ba [Because if you enter a female toilet, of course, other women might be uncomfortable because they know he’s a man. It’s same with the other side],” he said.
“So the best is you have a third restroom for them, di wala nang problema [so there will be no problem],” he said.
Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman, was briefly taken into police custody after trying to use a female toilet at a shopping mall in Cubao, Quezon City last week.
Diez cried foul over the harassment, and filed a complaint against the mall owner for alleged violation of the Quezon City Gender Fair ordinance that mandates establishments to have all-gender toilets. The incident has sparked calls to end discrimination of the LGBT community.
Panelo, meantime, said the President backs the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) bill.
“Given the way he says that dapat merong third, di logically suportado niya iyon. Lalo pa sinabi niya, dapat talaga all should be equal, lahat kailangan may rights [Given the way he says there should be a third restroom, logically he supports the bill. He has said all should be equal, all have rights],” he said.