Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has clarified on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte will not certify Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill as urgent.
In a text message to reporters, Panelo mentioned that what the President had in mind was an anti-discrimination bill when he said that he would certify the said bill as urgent.
“He was referring to an anti-discrimination bill, not SOGIE bill,” Panelo said.
The anti-discrimination bill is already existing in Davao and was passed back when he was still the mayor.
Meanwhile, in an interview with CNN Philippines, Panelo mentioned that the SOGIE bill is problematic as it “discriminates”, only applies to the LGBTQ+ community, while an anti-discrimination act will benefit everyone.
“Hindi ka pupuwedeng mag-legislate for a particular class lang, eh nagdi-discriminate ka,” the spokesman said.
“He [President Duterte] is a lawyer so he will not certify a bill that will appear to be or is a class legislation.”
In addition, Panelo said that this will not disappoint LGTBQ+ individuals since the comprehensive anti-discrimination bill, which was filed by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, would also protect their rights just like how SOGIE bill would.
“Hindi naman. Bakit naman madi-disappoint sila. In an anti-discrimination bill, which is in an enlarged version of whatever bill you have in mind, eh di sasama din sila doon,” he explained.
The President’s remarks on Tuesday caused public confusion as he agreed when asked if he would certify the SOGIE Bill as urgent.
“Yes, whatever would make the mechanisms of – what would make them happy,” Duterte said.
He even added: “Gusto ko, kagaya ni Senator [Juan Ponce] Enrile, gusto ko happy siya [sila].”