LGBT groups on Manny Pacquiao's apology: If he's sincere, support pro-LGBT measures

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2021 08:52 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2021 11:25 PM

Photos from Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.
Photos from Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA — If Sen. Manny Pacquiao is sincere with his apology, he should heed the call of the community to pass measures to uphold the rights of the sector, LGBT groups said Wednesday.

This after Pacquiao, a devoted Born-Again Christian, said that he has already apologized regarding his remarks to the LGBT sector.

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“Nagbigay na po ako ng explanation diyan, nanghingi na po ako ng sorry sa kanila kung nasaktan ko sila pero hindi po ‘yon ang intensyon ko. Pinaliwanag ko na po na mahal ko po silang lahat,” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo.

(I have already given my explanation, I have apologized to them if I hurt them but that is not my intention. I explained that I love them all.)

“Ang akin lang po lamang ay gusto kong maintindihan ninyo ‘yung kasamaan. ‘Yun ang ibig kong sabihin pero as (a) person, wala po tayong karapatan para manghusga ng isang tao. Tayo po ay may kasalanan din,” he added.

(I just want you to understand the evil. That’s what I mean but as (a) person, we don’t have the right to judge someone. We also have our own sins.)

Bahaghari chairperson Rey Valmores-Salinas said that more than apologies from Pacquiao, they need concrete solutions that would help eliminate discrimination and recognize the rights of the LGBT community.

“Clear pronouncements on LGBTQ+ issues are important because otherwise, it’s all motherhood statements. Apologies are appreciated, but it’s not just apologies we need,” Valmores-Salinas told ABS-CBN News.

“We need concrete solutions to issues of discrimination, violence, poverty, and denial of state recognition faced by the LGBTQ+ community,” she added.

She challenged the presidential aspirant to publicly support the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill and other measures in support of the community.

“If Sen. Manny Pacquiao is sincere about making amends to the LGBTQ+ community, then beyond apologies, we challenge him to publicly declare support for the SOGIE Equality Bill, for amending the Family Code and instituting marriage equality, and for fully subsidizing healthcare for all, including LGBTQ-related mental health and transition care.”

PANTAY national convenor Vince Liban echoed Valmores-Salinas saying that words are not enough to make amends. 

"It’s 2021, and apologies are not measured by words but by actions. Mahaba ang listahan ng pambabastos at panghuhusga ni Senator Pacquiao sa LGBTQ+ Community. Sana hindi lang siya humihingi ng tawad dahil panahon ng eleksyon," Liban said.

(The list of Sen. Pacquiao's insults and judgments on the LGBTQ+ Community is long. Hopefully, he doesn’t just apologize because it’s election season.)

"If he’s sincere, he should actively support pro-human rights policies like the SOGIE Equality Bill."
 
Pacquiao earlier stood by his stand, opposing same-sex marriage but said he loves the LGBT community for being "smart, hardworking, and resourceful."

In 2016, the boxing champ who was then running for senator was met with heavy criticism by the LGBT community both locally and abroad, after he said that couples in same-sex relationships were worse than animals. 

He later apologized for the remark but did not change his stand that same-sex marriage should remain prohibited in the country. 

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