BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 9 (PIA) -- Personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the different police provincial offices of Caraga region learned about the Sexual Orientation And Gender Equality And Expression (SOGIE) during an orientation-seminar conducted by the Ladlad Caraga Incorporated - a non-government organization composed of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community.
The participating PNP personnel were briefed on how to become more gender-sensitive as law enforcers, especially in handling cases with the concerned LGBTQI.
"We fully understand that aside from men and women, we, as law enforcers should also protect the rights of the LGBTQI community, and making sure that we do not violate their rights," said Police Master Sergeant Estaniel Galve, police community relation - PNCO, Rosario Municipal Police Station, Agusan del Sur.
"As law enforcers, we practice gender sensitivity and promote equality and we do not discriminate the LGBTQI. We should also be careful in our decisions such as when handling cases involving the LGBTQI," said Police Staff Sergeant Helen Jane Cabalo, assistant women and children protection desk/ asst. human rights desk - PNCO, Sta. Monica Municipal Police Station, Siargao Islands.
According to Ysang Bacasmas, chairperson of Ladlad Caraga, it is important for the LGBTQI community that the public including the law enforcers understand better their situation.
Thru the help of the experts on gender and development from various government agencies, the laws that protect and uphold the rights of the said sector were also discussed.
With the recent issue on the SOGIE bill, Bacasmas clarified that they do not insist passage of same-sex marriage while they campaign only for gender sensitivity and equality.
Bacasmas added that their organization has also scheduled next month another orientation-seminar on SOGIE with the media practitioners in the region. This is to provide them with an in-depth understanding about SOGIE, which they could also disseminate in their respective programs and publications.
"We want to enhance network with the media and we believe they could help prevent the spread of fake news about the LGBTQI community," said Bacasmas.
Meanwhile, the Ladlad Caraga also continues to advocate for the anti-discrimination ordinance particularly in the schools of Caraga. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)