The Philippines: Ex-TV reporter wants LGBT desks in police stations

MANILA, Philippines – Former TV reporter turned congresswoman Sol Aragones wants an LGBT desk installed in every police station that would handle hate crimes.

Aragones, who represents the 3rd District of Laguna, filed House Bill 2571 that seeks to amend Republic Act 8551, known as the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, which also created desks for women’s and children’s desks.

The women’s and children’s desk are manned by policewomen.

“These reports highlight the very real and pressing problem confronting the LGBT community in the Philippines,” Aragones said.

The congresswoman said there is a need to create police desks for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) due to the significant number of human rights violations on LGBTs.

“There can be no true and meaningful democracy if we continue to systematically oppress the LGBT sector,” Aragones said.

Aragones said various human rights violations against LGBT complaints in the Philippines were submitted to the United Nations.

She cited the report on the Status of LGBT Rights in the Philippines, Submission to the Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review 13th Session, which the groups Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights) and the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch (PLHCW) co-authored a documentation of different abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the country since 2007.

The second report entitled “A Report on Violations of Human Rights Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Philippines,” authored by the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay), according to Aragones.

Under the measure, the Philippine National Police, aside from the existing women’s desk shall establish LGBT desks in all police stations throughout the country to administer and attend to cases involving crimes against chastity, sexual harassment, hate crimes, abuses committed against women, children, and members of the LGBT community and other similar offenses.