General Santos City’s LGQTQ+ rights advocates are up in arms against a member of the city council over his use of what they called a derogatory gender slur against a fellow local legislator.
Crisanto Lopera, executive director of Shine-Soccsksargen, said the group was disturbed that councilor Vivencio Dinopol called another councilor, Dominador Lagare Jr., as “a desperate woman trapped in a man’s body” during the question hour of the city council’s October 11 session.
The General Santos City-based Shine-Soccsksargen is an organization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers.
Lopera said that as Lagare, a lawyer, was asking that Dinopol give an update about a committee hearing in connection with the proposed P1.9-billion budget of city hall next year, Dinopol asked Lagare, “Can you repeat that question, girl?”
The two councilors have been at odds with each other over the proposed annual budget of General Santos City, and Lagare has been calling for Dinopol’s resignation as chairman of the city council’s finance committee.
Lopera said what Shine-Soccsksargen was protesting was the gender slur employed in the public debate.
“It’s as if being effeminate or being a woman, per se, is something to be ashamed of and discouraged,” Lopera said.
The organization has called on the city council’s ethics, and human rights committees to investigate Dinopol based on the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance and other laws.
Dinopol, for his part, said he realized that he committed a mistake and offered an apology, but Lagare, the chairperson of the city council’s blue ribbon committee, supposedly rejected it.
Belinda Sales-Canlas, a journalist and a known women’s rights advocate, said, “At this time and age, hindi na po katanggap-tanggap ang mga pananalitang ganito. Dapat itaas natin ang antas ng ating pananaw, pag-uunawa, at talakayan.”
(This kind of talk in unacceptable at this time and age. We should raise the level of perspectives, understanding, and discourse.)
Canlas took to social media and reminded councilors of General Santos’s 2010 Gender and Development Code.
“Dili nato limitahan ang atong pagsabot sa mga kabag-uhan sa atong katilingban. Kita dapat ang mauna nga mosabot (Let us not limit our understanding of reforms in our society.) We, who supposedly know better, should understand that),” she said. – Rappler.com
Rommel Rebollido is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship