Baguio gay pride parade scores Aquino gov’t for inaction on HR violations

BAGUIO CITY — The Baguio Pride Network (BPN) led a hundred human rights activists from Cordillera and Manila with calls to end hate and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos,

The paraders carried aloft a giant rainbow flag and an enlarged version of a dreamcatcher festooned in rainbow feathers, symbolizing the diversity and dreams of the Cordillera LGBT communities.

BPN spokesperson Caro Galvez, also coordinator of the Bayan Muna Cordillera Region, scored the Aquino administration for gross neglect of the rights and welfare of the sector and branded the president of the Philippines as an Unfriend of the LGBT Filipinos.

“The Baguio Pride Network decries the growing trend of violence, and even murders of LGBTs in Baguio, and Aquino is paying no heed to our reports of human rights violations and demand for human rights protections,” Galvez said.

Galvez also said that the Lesbians for National Democracy (Lesbond) and ProGay, both BPN convenors, sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last month a four-page report in time for the called the Universal Period Review by the agency of compliance to human rights standards of the Aquino government.

However, the state delegation led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ignored their concerns, including a last-minute plea from the representative from Argentina for the Philippines to pass the antidiscrimination bill filed in Congress by Rep. Teddy Casino.

Clyde Pumihic, secretary general of ProGay Metro Baguio, said that the bill’s passage and police action against anti-gay hate crimes are urgently needed to address the spate of bias-motivated violations in the region, the latest victim of which was Baguio resident Berta. The parade climaxed with a ceremony where mourners lighted candles painted with the colors of the gay rainbow flag in memory of Berta.

ProGay Metro Baguio also condemned this morning’s harassment raid on the gay sauna Fahrenheit by the members of the Quezon City Police Department, saying that the government chose to attack another gay establishment on Pride Week.

The Pride day ended with a dance party at the Kwago Bar where Baguio’s talented gay and lesbian singers and comedians outdid one another in colorful production numbers.

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