Ka Leody promises half of Cabinet will be women, LGBTQIA+

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2022 04:28 PM

MANILA — If labor leader and presidential candidate Leody de Guzman is elected President, half of his Cabinet members would be women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

De Guzman issued the statement during a Pandesal Forum on women’s rights in Quezon City on Thursday, two days after the International Women’s Day on March 8.

“Para marinig yung kanilang boses at magkaroon ng pantay na, maipakita yung pantay na karapatan na yung ating mga kababaihan, may kapasidad, may kakayanan na maging bahagi ng ating pamahalaan para sa isang matino, malaya at mapagmahal na lipunan, mapagkalinga na lipunan, kalahati ng gabinete ay pupunuin ng mga kababaihan at ng LGBTQI community,” he said.

“Hindi pwedeng iwanan o i-discriminate yung mga kababaihan o yung ating LGBTQI community at para bang ang mga lalaki lamang ang siyang may kakayanan na gumampan ng mga trabahong ito,” he explained.

“Talikuran na natin yung lumang paniniwala na ipinapalaganap sa atin na mahina ang babae kaya pwedeng i-discriminate. Maging partner natin talaga, katuwang ang mga kababaihan at ang LGBTQI community sa pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya.”

While there are now more women serving in government posts, the ratio of male to female is still disproportionately high in favor of men, when the Philippine population is almost evenly split between the two genders.

In the Senate, for example, Senator Risa Hontiveros pointed out there are only 7 women senators out of the 24, with one of them, Sen. Leila de Lima, detained.

De Lima has been under police custody since her arrest in February 2017 on drug charges — accusations she vehemently denies. One of the three cases was dismissed by a Muntinlupa court last year.

While under detention, De Lima has not been allowed to participate in committee hearings or plenary sessions.

At the House of Representatives, Gabriela Party-List Rep. Arlene Brosas said there are only about 80 women out of 300 lawmakers, with some committees with just 1 female member or none at all. 

In a forum with presidential candidate Ka Leody de Guzman, Rep. Brosas said Gabriela wants a female president.

Former senator Nikki Coseteng however pointed out that it’s not enough to have more women in office. 

“Hindi lamang ang pagkababae ang magiging dahilan na sila ay makakuha ng pwesto…ang importante, kung paano sila mag-isip,” she said.

“Hindi mo maiaalis na sa loob ng ilang dekada, ilang daang taon, na ang nangingibabaw, ang kaisipan ng kalalakihan. Kaya may mga babae, marami dun, ay nakapaloob sa ganoong pag-iisip. So hindi sapat na magkaroon ng enough women in office…Kailangan sila rin ay maging handa,” she said. 

She added, there are also men with progressive thinking.

The lack of women leaders have partly been raised as one of the reasons why women continue to be deprived of access to certain services and why some policies are not attuned to the needs of women.

One such case is the implementation of the Reproductive Health law. 

Hontiveros, one of the law’s authors, said its implementation is “not yet smooth, not yet satisfactory,” stressing the need for sexuality education in schools.

Fellow-advocate Brosas echoed the call for education and awareness-raising especially with the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country.

For senatorial candidate David D’Angelo, beyond pushing for gender equality, Filipinos should push for gender equity.

“Kapag sinabi nating equity, tatanggalin natin yung balakid na pumipigil para ang ating mga kababailhan ay makuha yung kalayaan at karapatan na matagal na dapat sa kanila,” he said. 

He cited as examples, prioritizing primary healthcare, allowing divorce and abortion but with safeguards to protect the family.

Divorce and abortion are two key reforms De Guzman is seeking to implement should win in the May 2022 polls.

“Maiksi lang naman buhay ng tao eh…Hahayaan ba natin na magsama pa sa iisang bahay yung wala ng pag-ibig o marami ng differences na natutuklasan sa isa’t-isa?,” he said, explaining his platform in support of divorce.

One of De Guzman’s senatorial candidates, environmental advocate Roy Cabonegro, agreed that women should be given the option to choose abortion and divorce.

“Itong decriminalization ng abortion ay dapat naman. Karapatan po ng kababaihan ang kanyang katawan. Kung kaya’t ito’y dapat tinutulak na talaga natin,” he said.

“Ang divorce ay dapat option. Dahil hindi naman lahat ng pag-aasawa ay nagiging successful,” he added.

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