MANILA, Philippines – Senator Juan Ponce Enrile drew flak on Wednesday, February 17, after his comments on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community went viral on social media.
In a tweet, radio network DZRH cited Enrile’s reaction to the controversy hounding Sarangani Representative and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who came under fire for saying that gay couples are worse than animals. Pacquiao has since apologized, but the furor has yet to die down.
DZRH quoted Enrile as telling the LGBT community, “Pumunta kayo sa ibang planeta.” (Go to another planet.)
Other reports said Enrile told Pacquiao’s critics to specifically “go to Mars.”
Social media users immediately reacted.
The High Level of Homophobia of Enrile and Manny Pacquio disgusts me.— The Carlords ™ (@TheCarlosaurus) February 17, 2016
Hindi kame hayop. Hindi namin kailangan pumunta sa ibang planeta!
Juan Ponce-Enrile, hindi kami pupunta sa ibang planeta. Hindi kami aalis. Ikaw, kelan ka pa ba sasakabilang-buhay? @sjpenrile— MASSIMO DOUGIE (@keiakamatsu) February 17, 2016
Kung ang LGBT ay sa ibang planeta, dapat si Enrile, sa impyerno pumunta.— Camillo (@yogon) February 17, 2016
No wonder why Enrile has such medieval view of LGBTs. He was born and raised during the Middle Ages!— Galo Glino III (@thirdyglino) February 17, 2016
Enrile also said that Pacquiao, who is seeking a Senate seat, would win in the May elections even without the votes of LGBTs.
Since the controversy broke out, LGBTs and rights advocates have been calling on Filipinos not to vote for Pacquiao.
Sen Juan Ponce Enrile to LGBT community> 1. Di sila kawalan ng boto. Mananalo si Paquiao kahit wala ang boto nila @dzrhnews— milky rigonan (@milkyrigonan) February 17, 2016
In a press statement on Wednesday, presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte expressed support for LGBTs.
“I have nothing against gays,” Duterte was quoted as saying, as he faced supporters in Bacolod City.
The mayor previously said that “God does not discriminate against people, regardless of color, religion, social class, or gender, and sexual preferences.”
Senator Grace Poe, another presidential candidate, also said she supports the push for equality.
“Naniniwala ako na dapat ang bawat nagmamahal ay bigyan ng union and benefits. Respetuhin natin ang relihiyon pero respetuhin din natin ang karapatan ng mga nagmamahalan na magkaron ng benepisyo para sa kanilang minamahal,” Poe said.
(I believe that all couples should be allowed to get married and have benefits. We should respect religion but we should also respect the rights of all couples to have benefits for their loved ones.)
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s fellow United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate Alma Moreno said she respects his stand on same-sex marriage, but disapproves of comparing gays to animals. – Rappler.com