Ang Ladlad LGBT Partylist (LADLAD) commends the Philippines’ Permanent Mission to the United Nations representative, Ambassador Libran Nuevas Cabactulan for making a statement at the Special Panel on Ending Violence and Criminal Sanctions against LGBTs last December 10, 2010. In citing the Philippine Supreme Court’s April 2010 decision on Ang Ladlad’s case vs. the COMELEC, Ambassador Cabactulan shared what the Highest Court in the land upheld as mandated in our Constitution, that we are all entitled to equal protection of the laws, including LGBTs.
But while the Supreme Court ruled that using moralistic and homophobic arguments to disqualify a truly marginalized sector like the LGBT Community from participating in the Party List system for sectoral representation in Congress was a grave injustice, ANGLADLAD believes the Philippine Government has yet to adopt a clear human rights framework that is inclusive of sexual minorities and explicitly addresses human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
We remember that at the vote for amending the UN Resolution on Summary Executions and Arbitrary Killings a few weeks ago, the Philippines was one of the countries which “abstained”. The resulting 79-70 vote managed to remove a “10-year old provision” stating that no one should be summarily executed or arbitrarily killed because of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Such representation by the Philippines then was a big disappointment for the whole Filipino LGBT Community who know all too well the discrimination and violence one can be subjected to, including the risk of being killed in a hate crime.
LADLAD appreciates the clear move of the Philippine diplomatic missions to participate in UN panels on special human rights concerns. But we strongly enjoin the Philippine Government to finally have a national policy for protecting the rights of Filipino LGBTs and to pass appropriate legislations that will address our unique concerns. In fact, with the Philippines’ reputation of abiding by international human rights standards and complying with our obligations under human rights conventions, adopting such a national policy tackling sexual orientation and gender identity would not be contrary to any international human rights principle or our Constitution.
LADLAD only asks that the Philippine Government finally acknowledges the existence of the Filipino LGBT Community and that as sexual minorities, they have human rights entitled to State protection. During his campaign for the Presidency, PNoy was one of the candidates to openly declare that LGBTs have human rights too and should not be discriminated against. With President Aquino’s ascension to the country’s highest leadership, LADLAD now calls on this promise to be fulfilled through all branches of government.