Our Mission. Our Vision

OUR MISSION is to protect and promote human rights and access to justice of LGBTs. To raise awareness and sensitize Philippine society about LGBT issues and concerns. To address health issues and concerns of LGBTs. To initiate economic and social support projects for LGBTs, especially those marginalized. OUR SOCIETAL VISION is a society free from gender and sexuality-based oppression, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. OUR ORGANIZATIONAL VISION, Ladlad Partylist is an inclusive, sustainable, and responsive national LGBT organization that endeavors to consolidate, empower, strengthen and represent the LGBT community.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


No photo
DIRECTLINE By Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) 

Coco Martin is acknowledged by many as one of the most brilliant actors of his generation — others even go as far as calling him the Nora Aunor of this era based on his phenomenal rise to TV superstardom. Stardom has not dragged him out of the place. We heard it from reliable sources that he is building a new home for his family from his hard-earned money in Fairview, some 10 minutes away from his Novaliches place where his childhood friends and neighbors are safely nestled. He is proud of his Novaliches neighborhood, the place where he grew up.

Coco doesn’t want to stay away from the place where he is Rodel, the boy who had big dreams to be an actor. He knows that he will always be embraced by this place, he called home all his life, especially in times when show business becomes terribly messy or when the spotlight would have dimmed on him.

Coco knows that nobody stays on top forever but he knows that it is possible for anybody who’s been there to be happy and content by being true to his core. He impishly enjoys stardom but is not obsessed by its trappings. He’s painfully shy and seldom grants interviews, which partly add to his sexiness. He has a countenance that is so kind you can mistake him for St. Lorenzo Ruiz. He has a boyish grin that can disarm a suicide bomber. He has a pair of eyes that are intense and eloquent. He consistently keeps a comfortable distance from the contraptions of stardom to have a better view of his craft as an actor.

A month before he starts on a project, he studies the material and his role. He lives it. He reports to the set in character. Coco admits that it’s difficult to snap out of a role because of his intense involvement with the characters he plays. “Matanong po ako sa director. Sinasabi ko ang opinion ko.”

It was not easy to get to where he is now. He’s been on the wings for a long time, waiting for his turn on centerstage. He did indies and did more indies, learning everything he could. He worked in Canada for a year thinking that there was no future in doing indies. He snatched a couple of awards for the indies as he continued doing more, sharpening his skills in the process. And then there was nowhere else to go — but the big time.

“Phenomenon” is how Cherie Pie Picache describes Coco.

“He is one of the best, if not the best of this generation,” enthused Gerald Anderson.

Director Trina Dayrit commented that his sincerity as a person crosses over to his roles while director Jerry Sineneng observed that, “Coco blurs diverse social status, age gaps among people who adore him. Coco is here to reign.” Inarguably, Coco is one of the biggest stars in Philippine entertainment today.

But up to now he still stays with his lola. He has over 20 dogs whose names are taken from the teleseryes he has had made.

How is he at home? “Tatay na tatay. Ordinaryo. Nakapambahay. Inaalagaan ang mga pamangkin at buong pamilya.

It is here where the brilliant, phenomenal Coco is happiest. This to him is the true meaning of “walang hanggan.”

                                               Ladlad holds  fun run

Ladlad partylist, the world’s first and only political party for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos, will stage the country’s first LGBT fun run. With Pep Squad Events and Marketing Services as co-organizer, the fun run billed Rainbow Run, A Colorful Run to the Finish, it is a celebration of equality and diversity. It will be held at Venice Piazza in McKinley Hills, Taguig City on Jan. 29.

“The fun run can include family and friends, not just LGBT. Our goal is to promote healthy living and fitness in the LGBT community and bridge runners and walkers across all sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI),” said Bemz. There will be 3K, 5K and 10K races and Ladlad will be giving away the special awards Most Original Runner, Most Fasyon and Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa.

For details, visit www.rainbowrun.pepsquadevents.com or call 519-7010 or 519-8980.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Opening statement for the Prosecution 
by Rep. Niel C. Tupas, Jr.
Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona
Session Hall of the Senate of the Philippines
Pasay City, January 16, 2012

As public servants, we took an oath to uphold the people’s will at all times. All who hold positions in the government of our Republic are accountable for their actions. For the power of the sovereign Filipino people is a power that is higher than the Executive, the Legislative or even the Judiciary. And therefore, no matter how high and mighty one's position may be, one can never, ever be beyond public accountability.

Today, we lay down before this impeachment tribunal the product of the collective voice of the people. Impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona for betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and for graft and corruption is the verdict in the House of Representatives. By issuing such verdict, we took the first step to accomplish our oath as the keepers of the people’s trust.

Let me be clear: We are not here to indict the Supreme Court as an institution, or to do battle with the judicial branch of government. We are here to search for the truth so as to restore the strength and independence of the judiciary. We are here because one man – Chief Justice Renato Corona — has bartered away for a pot of porridge the effectiveness, the independence, and the honor of the Supreme Court.

Mr. Senate President, your honors, one very important question before this honorable impeachment tribunal is, by what standards should Renato Corona be judged?

You only have to look at the Supreme Court itself to know the answer. As you climb its steps, you will see two statues. One of these statues is of Cayetano Arellano, the first Chief Justice, a man of absolute integrity, and of the deepest legal wisdom. The other is of Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, who viewed his oath so sacred, and loved his country so deeply, he preferred to die at the hands of the Japanese rather than betray his country.

The Supreme Court itself, then, views the position of Chief Justice as beyond politics, beyond personal considerations, and always about putting honor and justice ahead of every other consideration. Pagkatao po ang ating pinag-uusapan dito. The Code of Judicial Conduct demands that a judge must be like Caesar’s wife – someone who must not only be pure but must be beyond suspicion at all times. Therefore, a Justice must be judged according to the highest standards. Against such standards, we then ask: Who is Chief Justice Corona? What kind of a man is he? Ano po ba ang pagkatao ni Renato Corona?

Chief Justice Renato Corona was a loyal servant to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the time she became Vice-President in 1998 until she became President in 2001. Such loyalty had numerous rewards for the Chief Justice. Imagine, GMA paid for his back surgery. His wife was given plum positions in the John Hay Management Corporation. He was appointed Associate Justice, and the best reward of all, against all odds, he took a midnight oath as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Corona’s appointment as Chief Justice also served an immoral purpose: that of shielding GMA from prosecution for her misdeeds during her presidency. The prosecution will show how Chief Justice Corona became the crowning glory of the cast of accomplices of former President Arroyo, and how he protected GMA’s interest in exchange for his position of prestige and power. This is at the heart of Article 1 of the Impeachment Complaint.

This unholy alliance between Chief Justice Corona and GMA, and Corona’s deep indebtedness to the former President culminated in the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to enable GMA and her husband to leave the country, and escape accountability. This is Article 7, Corona’s biggest favor yet to his benefactor. And in Article 4, we will show how the Chief Justice intervened in the impeachment case against former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez also to protect GMA.

In Articles 3 and 5, we will show the lack of moral fitness of Chief Justice Renato Corona when he committed acts of impropriety involving parties with pending cases in the Supreme Court. His mockery of the disciplinary institutions of the Supreme Court in the plagiarism charge against a Supreme Court Associate Justice will be proven in Article 6. And in Article 8, we will show how he failed to account for the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and the Special Allowance for the Judiciary (SAJ), funds which are managed by the Chief Justice. Malinaw po: Kung gusto natin ng hustisya, hindi na dapat ipagkatiwala kay Chief Justice Corona ang pinakamataas na pwesto sa hudikatura.

And finally, we come to Article 2 where the prosecution will prove that Chief Justice Renato Corona amassed ill-gotten wealth after he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2002. To give you an idea of this article, let me present to you some of the prized pieces of the Corona crown jewels:

Spanish Bay Tower, Bonifacio Ridge, acquired October 14, 2005, purchase price Php9,159,940;
McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, acquired October 21, 2008, purchase price Php6,196,575;
Bellagio I Tower, Taguig, acquired December 2009, purchase price of Php14,510,225;
The Columns, Ayala Avenue, Makati City, acquired in 2004;
One Burgundy Plaza – the building where Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had a penthouse unit while she was Vice-President - acquired in 2003, purchase price Php2,758,000; and
Number 57 Maranao Street, La Vista, acquired in 2003, zonal valuation Php20.4 million, sold to his daughter for Php18 million.

The governing principle of our laws is clear: unexplained discrepancy between an official’s income and his assets, declared or undeclared, is prima facie evidence of ill-gotten wealth, and therefore, is an impeachable crime of graft and corruption.

The process of accountability is always a painful one. But the legislature is tasked by no less than the Constitution, the very expression of the people’s will, to undertake this sacred duty. And if at this instance, this is how we are called upon to be of service to our country, impeach we must. Mr. Senate President, your honors, we submit that Renato Corona, by his misdeeds, is unfit to remain Chief Justice.

In closing, the message of the House, as the representatives of the people, is the same as that given by Oliver Cromwell when he dismissed England's Long Parliament on April 20 of 1653. Before God and country, we say: “It is high time for us to put an end to your sitting in that place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice, you are an enemy to good government, as you have sold your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas Escariot betrayed your God for a few pieces of gold. Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Thank you and good afternoon.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


THE only political organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Filipinos, Ladlad Partylist batted the ignorance of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on the issue concerning the anti-discrimination bill or the Senate Bill 2814, otherwise known as Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act of 2011. The bill will be discussed soon by a bicameral conference committee tasked to harmonize the Senate bill with similar bills passed by the House of Representatives.

In a weekly forum, CBCP was repugnant saying that the enactment of the bill into law would open the door for the legalization of same sex marriages.

Ladlad was flabbergasted on where their paranoia is coming from as nothing in the bill refers to same-sex marriage, it merely asks for equal opportunities and protection before the law like in schools, workplace and establishment regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
On the other hand, the chairperson of Ladlad, Ms. Bemz Benedito was flooded with text messages and calls from their agitated members upon hearing a statement from CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong saying that the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender) should not be considered the same as the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor. Imbong further said, “These people are disadvantaged not by their own choice. But the third sex, they choose this. How can you give protection to a choice like that?”
“Atty. Jo Imbong’s thesis or proposition was lamentable, defective and thoughtless because there are LGBT Filipinos who are elderly, handicapped and poor. Their experiences of discrimination become layered and unbearable,” Benedito said. “The deed that the CBCP is showing now against Filipino LGBTs is morally wrong because God as we all know doesn’t welcome prejudice and does love unfavorably,” she added.
The LGBT group is asking the Catholic priests to come out of their extravagant churches to see the reality -- that some LGBTs are not hired to work, some are being harassed and violated and some 144 killed because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. “It is not something that we chose to be,” Benedito stressed.
Ladlad recalled few months ago when CBCP said, LGBTs are children of God too provided they do not engage in homosexual acts. Now we challenge the CBCP to practice what they preach and act to what is right for everybody without conditions.
Ladlad further said, we need to advance as a democratic country and with an egalitarian congress, the needs of all marginalized sectors in society must be responded by adequate laws. Ladlad was deeply saddened that the CBCP continues to propagate fear, hate, prejudice and intolerance to the LGBT sector.
“Where is the compassion in the hearts of the CBCP and human understanding in all this? Benedito asked.  “I am confident that our lawmakers will not be misled or affected by bigotry,” Benedito added.
Ladlad, who has more than 50,000 members nationwide and will run as partylist in 2013 elections reminded the CBCP that Philippines is a secular state and there is a separation between the church and the state, thus CBCP has no business meddling with the legislative process.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


“LOVE is universal regardless of your sexual orientation and gender identity,” says Ladlad Partylist Chairperson Ms. Bemz D. Benedito. 

Benedito’s statement is a response to Pope Benedict XVI speech last Monday where he said that gay marriage undermines the family, which he considers as “the fundamental cell of society.” The Catholic leader also pronounced it as a threat to “human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

“I do not see the point of the Holy See stating that gay marriage is a threat to humanity when marriage is about love and God is love,” Benedito said.
Furthermore, the Pope told an audience of diplomats that the education of children needed proper "settings" and that "pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman."

Ladlad believes that the Pope’s obsession with the “traditional” family ideal, apart from demonizing same-sex marriage, also undervalues other domestic arrangements like extended families and single parents.  The group calls on the Catholic leader to emphasize instead family values like love, respect, mutual support, patience and understanding.

"How can gays be a threat to "traditional families", LGBTs never stopped heterosexual couples from marrying and having children?” said Ladlad vice chair, Atty. Germaine Leonin. “If they separate or divorce, neglect and abuse their kids, we also don't have anything to do with that, so why should LGBTs be blamed for everything?” asked Leonin.

The partylist of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) points out that the real threats to humanity are people who continuously encourage hatred and intolerance.

“The Pope achieves nothing with his words of divisiveness. What we need are religious leaders who exemplify having an open mind and open heart,” said Benedito.

Ladlad will run as Partylist in 2013 midterm elections.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


A Filipino teen has become the victim of a horrifying, allegedly homophobia-fueled attack by his own father. 

The Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch (PLHCW) is now demanding justice for 19-year-old Edmund Padilla, who allegedly suffered severe burns after his father Erano scalded him with boiling water. Erano, who has since been detained and was reportedly drunk at the time of the attack, told authorities he committed the crime after Edmund turned out to be the third of his children who identified as gay. Reighben Labilles, PLHCW spokesperson, has slammed the attack, according to Queerty:
"We plead to the government to initiate proactive programs that provides parents and LGBT children the opportunities to promote freedom of expression of sexuality and gender. In a free society, the parents should respect the rights of their LGBT and stop altogether corporal punishment. We are born this way and you cannot punish us to change our sexuality. Since Edmund Padilla is already 19 years old, he may no longer be covered by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and our national child protection laws, yet we fear that so many violent acts perpetrated by parents and legal guardians against their LGBT children go unreported. It is so urgent for Congress to find ways to protect sons and daughters of whatever age from family-based violence and the Convention is a good place to start."
Watch a Filipino news report on the attack (without subtitles) below (WARNING: contains graphic images)


Friday, January 6, 2012


DEPARTMENT of Health Sec. Enrique Ona is on the hot seat as the only political party for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos, Ladlad Partylist, calls on the DOH head to resign for his irresponsible statements.

In the recently concluded Philippine National AIDS Council plenary meeting, the DOH head unwittingly suggested that in order to address the rapid rise of HIV cases in the country, “parents should rein in their homosexual children and get them tested.”

The Ladlad group was left aghast by the DOH head’s discriminatory statements. “Sec. Ona should be prudent with his remarks. I am personally asking him to act befitting his stature as a medical doctor and head of the DOH.” said Ms. Bemz Benedito, Ladlad chairperson. “He should resign from his post, because bigotry and insensitivity has no place in public service specifically for high-ranking officials,” Benedito added.

The DOH Secretary elaborated further on how to solve the HIV crisis: “I was just given the information that, for example, the Partylist Ladlad has 67,000 members. Let’s just assume that there are 100,000 of them and get the ages, from say, 20-35 and ask all of them to have HIV/AIDS test. Wouldn’t that be a practical solution too?”

“Now, I presume that Sec. Ona is becoming senile and can no longer confront what is right and what is wrong,” Benedito said. “I would like to remind the good secretary that his proposal is a violation of our human rights as to our right to privacy and of choice,” the Ladlad chairperson added. “We should all be very compassionate in dealing HIV cases, no matter how alarming it is,” Benedito stressed.

Ladlad said, the Health Secretary’s comment was not at all helpful in a time of crisis. In a recent survey, the Philippines is one of the seven countries worldwide that is experiencing an acceleration in the spread of the HIV epidemic. The latest HIV and AIDS Registry (September 2011) recorded 8 new HIV infections a day -- a steep increase from the one case a day that was reported four years ago.

Moreover, there is another major setback as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria cancelled Phases 1 and 2 of its Round 11 funding for 2013-2017—a $2-billion dollar worth of funding which would have saved a lot of lives here in the Philippines.

Ladlad is also calling on the government to find a way to resolve the problem quickly because People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are dependent on free medicines given through the Global Fund.

Part of the Platforms of government of Ladlad is to set up testing centers for HIV/AIDS in major cities in the country. The group has now more than 50,000 members all over the Philippines and will run as partylist in 2013 elections.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


THE political organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) Filipinos, Ladlad Partylist, has condemned the rampant pellet gun shooting of gay and transgender people in the Queen City of the South, Cebu.

In a press conference headed by party leaders, Senior Political Adviser Boy Abunda, Prof. Danton Remoto, and Ladlad Chairperson Ms. Bemz Benedito expressed concern about the rising incidents of obvious homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, and violence against the LGBT community in Cebu.

In a report that reached Ladlad headquarters in Manila, the pellet gun shooting started weeks ago, when a group of transgender Cebuanas were attacked by a group of men on board a white car using an airgun. Later on, several police stations in the city received same reports victimizing gays and other transgenders in the metropolis.

“This is very alarming,” Benedito said. “If we don’t act now, maybe next time the culprits will use  real gun,” she added. “We demand an investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Benedito.

Ladlad further said, these savage and atrocious acts towards LGBT Filipinos must be thwarted and eliminated at the soonest possible time. The group is calling the attention of the city government and the City police authorities to take steps and address the human rights of the LGBT community.

“We personally came to Cebu to ask our Cebuano brothers to put an end to this kind of hate crime. Please stop hurting people,” Abunda said. “To the police authorities, please consider the use of pellet guns as a crime like those attacks that are inflicted by other weapons,” the party adviser said.

Ladlad stressed that government and civil society must work together to uncover all injustices being experienced by the LGBT Filipinos and develop means to remedy them. Ladlad added, the struggle of every LGBT for dignity, equality and human rights is a long one, but not impossible.

“Let’s stand united and harmonious; there is no challenge too great to overcome. Let’s fight discrimination and injustice,” Benedito said.

Ladlad who has now more than 50,000 members nationwide will run as Partylist in the May 2013 midterm elections. (30)


HUNDREDS of people flock to visit penal facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) every day. All visitors must undergo body searches as a requirement for entry into the premises. BJMP’s current security practice limits the conduct of body searches on female visitors to female guards, and male visitors to male guards. An official said that this aims to protect the visitors from sexual abuse.

But Ladlad partylist, the political group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos, was alarmed by the memorandum of the BJMP that bars guards who are perceived to be homosexual from performing body searches on visitors of the same sex.

“This is pure and simple discrimination,” stressed Ms. Bemz Benedito, Chairperson of Ladlad. “In the first place, what is the basis for saying that one is gay or lesbian? Is it because one is effeminate or he or she simply acts and talks in a distinct manner?” Benedito asked.

When asked how they can tell if the guard is a gay, lesbian or not, BJMP answered that they use body language as basis for determining one’s sexual orientation. If a male guard is effeminate, he is automatically assumed to be gay. Such is also the assumption in cases where the guard appears to be “nervous” while conducting body searches.

“They are only assuming that someone is gay or lesbian based on stereotypical mannerisms. This is against our human rights,” said Benedito. Ladlad further said that the memorandum, by restricting the officers from performing their professional duties solely on account of their perceived sexual orientation is clearly discriminatory. She adds that the memorandum is offensive because it promotes the stereotype of lesbians and gays as sexually malicious.

“The policy of the BJMP is completely offensive, unfair, biased and discriminatory towards LGBT Filipinos,” Benedito said.

Ladlad is calling the attention of its officials to review their policies. Just because one is a homosexual, can they already automatically assume that there is sexual malice?” Benedito said. “LGBTs are not sexual predators,” she added.


KING of Talk and Ladlad Partylist Senior Political Adviser, Mr. Boy Abunda announced today that their group has decided to drop the word “ANG” from their name and retain the word “Ladlad.” “Simula ngayon Ladlad Partylist na ang tawag ninyo sa aming grupo,” said Abunda.
In 2010 elections, Ladlad, the only partylist for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) in the world was recognized by the Supreme Court as a legitimate marginalized and underrepresented sector.

The King of Talk said the group will do all measures to bring Ladlad in Congress to craft laws for the advancement of the LGBT sector.

“We made exciting revisions to the image of Ladlad like our new, livelier and compelling butterfly logo. Our new slogan, ‘Bukas isip. Bukas Puso’ also offers more inclusivity that touches everyone’s minds and hearts,” Abunda said.

Abunda further said, the removal of the word “ANG” was initiated during the post-election assessment of Ladlad officers and volunteers. He said, the group received many reports that many votes were not cast merely because people were confused of the group’s name. On the other hand, some members was not able to vote Ladlad because they were not able locate easily Ladlad on the ballots.

Ladlad is very optimistic to win the 2013 elections because of the ample time to implement a more strategic communication and campaign plan that will deliver the message of equal rights across the archipelago.

“I am encouraging various organizations in different sectors to join and support Ladlad. Also, with all humility, I am asking every mother, father, sister and brother and those who have LGBTs in the family to come out and support our group,” Abunda said. “Ladlad Partylist is open to everyone,” he added.


Freedom of expression, and freedom of religion are not a manifestation of mental illness and criminality. These are basic human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that not even the Roman Catholic church can deny.

The celebration of same-sex weddings speaks of the love of two persons, and this is not an issue for the Roman Catholic church to interfere in. It is also not a Roman Catholic church issue to criticize or question the authority of religious leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church, which do not belong to its denomination.

While Ladlad is nonsectarian, we are calling for respect; respect that Christ advocated and which is the basis of Christianity, respect for different forms of expression and diverse views. Let us not resort to name-calling, when the issue is simple: Do LGBTs in the Philippines have human rights? If the answer is yes, then there should be no attacks on them based on their expressions of love and exercise of freedom of religion, especially since they are not violating any law, or impinging on the rights of others.

We condemn in the strongest sense the unfair, discriminatory, arrogant and condescending statements of Bishop Teodoro Bacani and others in the Roman Catholic church. The bishops have propagated once again --hatred, bias, prejudice and fear toward LGBT Filipinos. We urge them to step back, as we draw the line between their hypocrisy and our rights. We also plead to the Roman Catholic church to clean their ranks from various scandals before trading their guns to us.

We only ask for equal rights and nothing more. But we will accept nothing less.

Ladlad LGBT Partylist is seeking a seat in Congress to fight for the human rights of LGBTs, and to end discrimination in Philippine society...



Ladlad Party List has been with the campaign for the Anti-Discrimination Bill since the beginning. In 1998, Ladlad Chairman Emeritus Danton Remoto was one of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders who sat down every Wednesday night for two months running to write the bill and what would become the first Anti-Discrimination Bill in the whole of Asia.

Ladlad Party List believed that the bill should be packaged as a human rights bill, for nobody in his or her right mind would wage a fight against a human rights bill in the late 20th century. Ladlad Party List deemed that the focus is the favor of a whole, all-embracing bill that would center on equal rights in the access of public establishments, workplace and in the schools.

Ladlad Party List was clear in the beginning that the right to study and the right to work and to practice one’s profession and business was and is paramount in the panoply of rights we want for all Filipino LGBTs. Education is the way to liberation of the self from bondage of the mind and of the socio-political circumstances of one’s birth. Work affirms one’s self and is a way for self- formation and forging of one’s independent identity.

Thus, our party’s platform has worked in parallel with the rights being prayed for by the ADB. We want equal rights for students not to be bullied by their homophobic classmates, teachers, and schools. We want equal rights for skilled workers and graduates who want to work in a place where they are qualified to do so.

Many stories of discrimination are happening still in our country—of students being bullied, of transsexuals being barred from malls, restaurants and bars, of gays in banks not being trusted enough with high positions, because of the silly fear that they will just give the bank’s money to their boyfriends, of lesbians not being hired because they are

not “feminine enough”, of bisexuals still hiding in the deepest, darkest part of the closet for fear of being found that they have a different love, a different life.

The journey for the passage of the ADB has been on the road for almost 13 years. It is a human rights bill that should find no difficulty being passed in a generally democratic and egalitarian Congress that have passed the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, Magna Carta for Women, the Violence against Women and Children Law, and other such bills that gave equal footing to the marginalized among us.

It is time to give Filipino LGBTs their place under the sun, for we are also citizens of this country, we strive for productive lives and we are faithful taxpayers of the land, and we are all God’s children living under the roof of His magnanimous love.