(AUGUST 14, 2019) – The management of Farmers Plaza on Wednesday apologized to transwoman Gretchen Diez for barring her from using the women’s comfort room in their Cubao, Quezon City mall.
In a statement, mall officials assured the public that appropriate action will be taken against their personnel regarding the incident.
“Management makes no distinctions between customers here, and the LGBTQ+ community has always been welcome,” said Morriel Abogado, the mall’s Property General Manager.
A video of Diez that went viral on Tuesday showed her altercation with one of the Cubao mall’s janitresses.
Diez was handcuffed and taken to the Quezon City Police District Station 7 after management supposedly planned to charge her with unjust vexation after the heated argument with the janitress.
Farmers Plaza belied the account, adding that it was janitress Chayra Ganal’s personal decision to file a complaint. The mall also said it had nothing to do with the handcuffing of Diez as it was done outside its premises.
“None of these actions had been relayed beforehand to the management… for us to do something about the matter,” Abogado said.
As course of action, the management invited Diez to a dialogue regarding issues that continue to hound the LGBTQ+ community.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, during her privilege speech in the Senate earlier, reiterated the need for the passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill. Hontiveros had earlier expressed confidence the bill will finally hurdle the upper chamber in the 18th Congress.
“Panahon na para sabihin na hindi tayo papayag na may LGBTQI na poposasan, sasampalin, aalipustahin dahil sa kanilang kasarian,” Hontiveros said.
Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte condemned the discrimination incident, saying the city is the first to have a Gender Fair Ordinance. Farmers Plaza was not compliant with the measure.
All government offices, private and commercial establishments should have “All-Gender Toilets” for all customers, the mayor said. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)