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Philippine NGOs Memo to the UN Human Rights Committee on Laws That Have the Effect of Criminalizing LGBT Identities

Philippine NGOs Memo to the UN Human Rights Committee on Laws That Have the Effect of Criminalizing LGBT Identities

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Published by Jonas Bagas

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Published by: Jonas Bagas on Oct 25, 2012
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10/25/2012

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MEMO
TO:
MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINES COUNTRY TASK FORCE,HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
 FROM:
SIGNATORIES TO LGBT RIGHTS SHADOW REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINES
 SUBJECT:
FOLLOW-U INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF THEPHILIPPINES: ‘GRAVE SCANDAL’ AND LGBT RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
 DATE:
16 OCTOBER 2012
 
A.
‘Grave Scandal’I. Response of the State
In his response to the queries of the UN Human Rights Committee Member Mr. Gerald Neuman on theissue of the ‘grave scandal’ provision of the
 Revised Penal Code
of the Philippines, Supreme CourtAdministrator Midas Marquez said, "In regard to the allegation that homosexuals are accused of ‘gravescandal’ under our revised penal code, well, it applies to all people, not just homosexuals, and it applies toeveryone who offends decency…it is not the sexual preference that is punishable but highly scandalousconduct … not if someone is a homosexual but if a person has committed highly scandalous conduct, that person can be accused.” 
II. NGO Observations
Because the term ‘grave scandal’ does not clearly define punishable conduct, police officers are given broad discretion for its implementation. Filipino police apply this law to arbitrarily and disproportionatelysubject LGBT people to arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and extortion from the raids conducted onestablishments that cater to gay men and transgender people.
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(1) Six persons were arrested in the early morning of Friday, Aug 28, 2009 when police raided the Alta Theatre, anestablishment catering to gays, bisexual and transgender women. Police informed the individuals that they would be chargedunder the
 Anti-Trafficking Law
. After five days of police detention, the idividuals were released when the Chief Prosecutor dismissed the case for lack of evidence; no charges were filed. Raids in Gay/Bi/Trans Venues. Jonas Bagas, Aug. 29, 2009.http://fullman.com.ph/2009/08/29/raids-in-gaybitrans-venues/ (2) In the morning of September 24, 2010, plainclothes police arrested 114 people (105 patrons and 9 staff) at the QueeriosityBar. Police hit on the bar manager on the head, punched him in the stomach, and told him not to ask questions when he askedthe police for a search warrant. The police arrested the 114 people for allegedly violating the
 Anti-Trafficking Law
. Whilewaiting for the charges to be filed, a policeman lectured the accused about the so-called immorality of their acts. He asked whoamong the arrested are married, and two clients responded. Police told them that they were the only “real men” present andreleased them. At the police station, police demanded P300, 000.00-bribe money from the establishment and P5, 000 from eachclient. No charges were brought, there was no conviction and requirement by the courts that the men pay a fine, so this wasunderstood to be a bribe. (This the summary of the documentation of Jonas Bagas, who went to the precinct representing TLFShare, an NGO of men who have sex with men, and Akbayan Party-list. More information available at:https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=115681871825735&id=146448862053242.)

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