De Lima: House minority leader needs lessons on gender sensitivity

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2016 08:27 PM

MANILA – Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday criticized House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez for his supposed ignorance on women’s rights and gender sensitivity.

Speaking at the “Buhay at Babae” forum sponsored by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), De Lima slammed Suarez for displaying insensitivity when he quipped that her supposed partner in her alleged sex video “was good”.

“It has been reported that one lawmaker – a lawmaker!!! – after once again satisfying his obsession with the sex video, this time by actually watching it and commenting 'the partner was good', was asked by a young female reporter whether showing the sex video would be ‘a form of slut shaming’ and ‘phallic domination’. The reaction in the room, reportedly, was silence, followed by this lawmaker – a lawmaker!!! – asking ‘Meron bang ganun?’” De Lima said.

To Suarez’s reported comment, De Lima said, “Yes, Representative Danilo Suarez, to answer your question, there is such a thing.”

Several lawmakers have sided with De Lima in opposing the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies to play in a House hearing an alleged video of her having sex with her former driver and alleged lover Ronnie Dayan.

The alleged sex video, Duterte’s allies say, would establish De Lima’s ties with Dayan, who has been accused of receiving Bilibid drug money meant for De Lima's 2016 senatorial campaign. 

De Lima has become the favorite target of the president after she raised concerns over the latter’s bloody war on drugs and for her probe into the Davao Death Squad when she was human rights chief and justice secretary. 

But De Lima is unfazed by the allegations, saying her political enemies have only resorted to offending her womanhood and using the “sex, drugs, and violence” approach to “shield their hypocrisy and incompetence” because of their lack of credible evidence against her.

In light of the the House minority leader’s reported comments, De Lima said Suarez and his colleagues must undergo a refresher on women’s rights and gender sensitivity.

“And to help you and your esteemed colleagues even further towards the path of enlightenment, Section 9(c) of the Magna Carta of Women, which I am sure you have heard of, you being a lawmaker – a lawmaker!!! – and all, states that ‘All government personnel involved in the protection and defense of women against gender-based violence shall undergo a mandatory training on human rights and gender sensitivity pursuant to this Act,’” she said.

“And since you, as a lawmaker – a lawmaker!!! – presumably swore to protect the rights of women, may I kindly suggest that you and your wise colleagues all undergo such training. Just a thought. Maybe, in your wisdom, you’ll actually think about it so that, next time, when a young reporter asks you about slut-shaming, you wouldn’t be caught with your pants down again, so-to-speak.”