It’s not the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Bill but something else.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III clarified on Wednesday morning that the measure President Rodrigo Duterte wanted to certify as urgent is the Anti-Discrimination Act.
Sotto made this clear after asking clarification from the President, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and his former aide, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go about his recent statement on the two different measures.
“I am told the President is not certifying the SOGIE bill. He is willing to certify an Anti-discrimination bill sans LGBT issues. A general Anti-discrimination bill like the Davao ordinance,” Sotto said.
“He might have said SOGIE, but I know he means Anti-discrimination (bill),” he reiterated.
Despite being certified as urgent, however, the Senate chief invoked the separation of power among the three branches of the government.
“Anyway, a bill (certified) as urgent is only needed to rid of (the) three-day rule. It does not mean the bill will pass. Did we pass the death penalty bill certified (as) urgent last Congress? Did we pass TRAIN 2 certified urgent? You all know the answers,” Sotto said.
On Tuesday night, Duterte, in his speech at the Palace, said that he would do whatever would make the LGBT community happy.
“Yes, whatever would make the mechanisms, what would make them happy… like Senator Enrile said, I want them to be happy,” Duterte said.
At present, the Senate is deliberating on the SOGIE Bill filed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
The proposed measure aims to prevent and penalize discriminatory acts against a person’s sexual orientation.
Despite the on-going deliberations at the Senate committee level, several senators have already expressed reservations on the measure.
Earlier, Sotto announced that the SOGIE bill might be endorsed in the plenary but it has ‘no chance’ of hurdling past the Senate.