Philippines: House seeks probe on discrimination vs. trans woman in Cubao mall

A group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives has called for an investigation on the alleged discrimination against a transgender woman in a Quezon City mall. The six-member Makabayan bloc and Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman on Wednesday filed House Resolution 232, urging the committee on women and gender equality to look into the incident, which they said is a "clear violation" of laws on gender discrimination.

Mall security handcuffed Gretchen Diez, 28, and brought to Quezon City Police District Station 7 Tuesday night for an unjust vexation complaint filed against her by the janitress of Farmer’s Plaza, a mall in Cubao. This stemmed from Diez’ video recording of her confrontation with a janitress who barred her from using a female restroom. The janitress, identified as Chayra Ganal, later apologized to Diez through a written letter at the police station, and said she’s willing to study the rights of the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning sector.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte lambasted Farmers Plaza's management saying it violated the city's Gender Fair Ordinance, which aims to protect all members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination. Belmonte said the mall violated the part of the ordinance where they're supposed to designate an "all-gender toilet."

Senator Risa Hontiveros, author of the bill in the Senate, urged lawmakers to pass the proposal, saying Diez' case "underscores" the "grave and urgent need" for the measure.

"Panahon na para sabihin na hindi tayo papayag na may LGBTQI na poposasan, sasampalin, aalipustahin dahil sa kanilang kasarian. (It is time that we no longer let anyone from the LGBTQI community to be handcuffed, slapped, and humiliated because of their gender.) It is time that we say we will stand by those who speak their truths," Hontiveros said in her privilege speech. Read more via CNN