MANILA, Mar 11 (Mabuhay) — An LGBTQIA+ organization on Friday slammed vice presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for saying she is also a member of the LGBT community.

In a statement, Bahaghari said being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is not a “costume” one could wear only during the election period.

“It is a lifelong struggle in a world steeped with deep hatred and exclusion of our community,” said Rey Valmores-Salinas, Bahaghari chairperson.

“Huwag po tayong magpapabudol [Let us not be fooled]. This is nothing more than a ‘trapo’ behavior by a politician seeking votes and sympathy from our community.”

Salinas said the more important question that needs to be asked is: “Is Inday Sara’s extension of the so-called ‘Duterte legacy’ in the interest of LGBTQIA+ Filipinos? Because given the last six years of a Duterte presidency, the answer is a complete and resounding no.”

Salinas noted that they could not forget how Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte, promised to support the SOGIE bill and civil unions, but instead prioritized “anti-people” policies such as the TRAIN Law, the Rice Liberalization Act, the Anti-Terrorism Law, and the SIM Card Registration Act, among others.

“How he denied justice for our transgender sister Jennifer Laude, using her and the release of her killer, US soldier Pemberton, as a bargaining chip for US vaccines,” Salinas said.

American soldier Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted of homicide for killing Laude, was released from prison by virtue of the absolute pardon granted to him by President Duterte.

Salinas said the Duterte administration would leave as “legacy” the abuses against the LGBT members, the economic crisis, and the criminal acts perpetrated in the present administration.

The Bahaghari leader also said a victory of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Mayor Duterte in the coming elections “would no doubt only plunge LGBTQIA+ Filipinos into deeper and deeper corruption and suffering.” (MNS)

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