Duterte will certify SOGIE Bill as urgent

Duterte will certify SOGIE Bill as urgent

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte announced Tuesday that he would certify the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill as urgent.

“They’re also Filipino. You might not like them but they are Filipino,” the President said, speaking partly in Filipino.

Asked if he would certify SOGIE Bill as urgent, he said: “Yes, whatever would make the mechanism, what would make them happy. I want to be like Senator [Juan Ponce] Enrile: Gusto ko happy siya [I want her to be happy].”

The President was paraphrasing the election campaign slogan of Enrile.: “Gusto ko happy ka [I want you to be happy].”

Last month, the President met with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) advocates in Malacañang, including transgender woman Gretchen Custodio Diez, who made headlines after she was barred using a ladies’ room in Quezon City and arrested.

The incident stirred talks on the passage of the measure to protect the LGBT community from discrimination.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros had refiled the SOGIE Bill in the 18th Congress. The House of Representatives approved the bill in 2017, but the Senate version experienced delays during the period of interpellation.