Senate President Tito Sotto on Monday decried the "deception" behind the viral video of trans woman Gretchen Custodio Diez after she was reportedly detained for trying to use the women's restroom inside a Quezon City mall.
"Dun pa lang may deception na eh sa balita sa viral video...Hindi pinakita kung ano ang nangyari before that," Sotto said in a radio DZMM interview.
Diez, 28, gained media attention last week after a Facebook video showed her being barred by a janitress from using the women's comfort room at a mall on Tuesday. She was detained after the mall's management filed an unjust vexation complaint against her for going live on Facebook while the incident was unfolding.
She was later released and in turn, filed a complaint against the shopping mall for violating the city ordinance.
Sotto said he was able to get CCTV footage of the mall showing that there was a queue of women trying to get into the restroom. He said the CCTV footage will be used for a Senate inquiry.
"May pila sa ladies' room. Paglabas nung isang babae, nagreklamo sa dalawang janitress na may lalaki sa loob. Parang ganun ang sinasabi. Hindi naman nila pinansin kasi wala naman silang nakitang hitsurang lalaki," the senator said.
"May isa pang sumunod, tinuro nagturo na sa linya daw hindi raw babae, nakabihis na babae. Nilapitan nung janitress, sinabi sa kanya na huwag na lang dito dahil may nagrereklamo. Itinuro siya dun sa PWD, or doon sa other nila, third toilet nila."
He said the janitress brought Diez to the PWD toilet but it was occupied. She then decided to leave Diez.
When the janitress returned, she found Diez taking the Facebook live video which was seen on social media.
Sotto said it is rare for him to hear of women who are comfortable to see cross-dressing men using the women's CR.
"Sa mga kababaihan, bihira ako makarinig na babae na natutuwa na mayroon, let's say lalaking nakabihis babae sa loob. Iba ang sitwasyon ni Congresswoman Geraldine Roman. Siya'y babae na eh. So walang problema sa kababaihan. Pero paano 'yung mukhang lalake, na lalake pala...They feel awkward. Marami ang nagsasabi sa amin," he said.
In the interview, Sotto said he is against several provisions in the SOGIE bill, filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros, that aims to protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community from all forms of discrimination.
He said passage of the bill could lead to the end of religious and academic freedoms.
Dress codes can no longer be enforced, he said, since establishments could face legal action for discrimination against a certain sex.
"Pagbabawalan ang mga institution na pagbawalan ang cross-dressing sa eskuwelahan. Pagbabawalan na magturo ang kahit anong institusyon na ang man and woman lang. Maraming probisyon na ganun na nababagabag ang mga kasama natin," he said.
He also noted that while the SOGIE Bill makes no mention of same-sex marriage, it also penalizes institutions for refusing to issue marriage licenses.
"Hindi puwede mag-discriminate sa pagbibigay nang lisensiya tulad nang marriage license sa kahit anong gender. Anong ibig sabihin nun? Saan papunta 'yun?" he asked.
Sotto said news that the SOGIE Bill was "passed unanimously" by the House of Representatives is also a form of deception, saying lawmakers such as Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza are very much against the measure.
RADIO DZMM, August 19, 2019