PNP opposes SOGIE bill

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4)— The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it opposes the proposed anti-discrimination measure for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community.

While the agency supports the protection of the LGBTQ community’s rights, PNP Police Community Relations director Maj. Gen. Bong Durana said that the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill will “in effect discriminate” other sectors of the society.

“We are 101 percent in support of protecting the rights of Filipinos in the LGBTQIA+ community. We will not allow them to be hated, discriminated, bullied, or inflicted with harm,” Durana said during a Senate hearing into the SOGIE bill.

“You would see that while it prevents discrimination against our LGBTQIA+ community, it in effect discriminates the rest of the people who are straight like me. And so I think while we respect our LGBTQIA+ community, we don't promote that in the Philippine National Police,” he added.

Durana, in opposing the measure, noted that the practice and protection of human rights “should never be above another’s.”

Apart from penalizing discrimination, the SOGIE Equality Bill, which has been filed in both chambers of Congress, seeks to give equal access to employment, education, and social services to LGBT community members.

It also wants to ban the promotion and encouragement of stigma on the basis of SOGIE in the media, educational textbooks, and other mediums.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III meanwhile said the bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, adding that it is unconstitutional. Sotto said the proposed measure violates religious freedom, academic freedom, and women’s rights.

Some religious leaders have expressed support for the controversial bill, saying there is a need to provide equal access to members of the LGBT community in terms of education and other basic social services. 

CNN Philippines' Alyssa Rola and Robert Vergara contributed to this report.