(AUGUST 16, 2019) – Gretchen Diez, the transwoman who figured in an alleged discriminatory incident for using the ladies room in a Quezon City mall, called on President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday to support the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) bill in Congress.
Diez said Duterte already showed concern for harassed individuals when he signed into law the Bawal Bastos Act, and her experience may just be the incident to spark interest in the SOGIE bill.
“I think it’s time for us to wake up. Ilan pa bang katulad ko ang maha-harass? Ilan pang katulad ko ang babastusin? Ilan pa bang katulad ko ang made-deprive ng karapatang gumamit ng simpleng palikuran?” Diez said.
Diez filed a discrimination complaint against the Araneta Center before the Quezon City Pride Council for violating Quezon City’s Gender Fair Ordinance.
Diez also wants to hold accountable Starline Security Agency and the sanitation services agency of the janitress involved in the incident.
If proven guilty, the accused can be jailed by up to one year with a fine of a maximum P5,000.
Diez said she had talked to several departments in Quezon City about reinforcing the city ordinance to make their constituents more aware about the issue.
“We’d like to make sure that [it] is not just a facade that we show to people,” Diez said.
The transwoman was handcuffed and brought to Camp Karingal after her altercation with a janitress, who prevented her from using the ladies’ comfort room. Diez, who was recording the incident, alleged that the cleaning staff verbally harassed her.
The mall’s management has since issued an apology to Diez. (By Randell Ritumalta / JMF)