Attack against Ang Ladlad is political, not moral

Attacks against Ang Ladlad is political, not moral
March 2nd, 2010 by Patricio Mangubat

A few days ago, ZTE-NBN whistleblower Joey de Venecia III spoke before a huge throng of gays and lesbians. Based on what my friend told me, Joey spoke of the attempts by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to discredit or disallow Ang Ladlad, a partylist organization espousing the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) members. A renewed attempt is underway, purposedly to strike out the name from the list of accredited partylist organizations. And this, says Joey, is nothing more than a direct affront to Philippine democracy.

In his speech which was sent to me by email, Joey said that it is the height of irony that we call our society “democratic” when government discriminates against members of the LGBT. Since when, asks Joey de Venecia III, did sexual orientation become a “precondition” for citizenship? Let me quote one part of his press statement

How could we, in conscience, celebrate our democracy (and we did that just the other day) and yet attempt to deny LGBT Filipinos their right to meaningfully engage the political process? Are they any less Filipino?

What Joey is saying is that the poll body wants Ang Ladlad out mainly on the point of morality instead of law. Numerous decisions penned by the Comelec point to this reason alone. The poll body is not questioning the “sectoral” nature of Ang Ladlad–it is questioning its conduct, which, again quoting from some decisions, “offends religious sensitivities”.

The issue therefore, is not about Ang Ladlad as a sectoral organization–the issue is its principles, which, as what Joey de Venecia III correctly pointed out, is a realm not within the ambit of the poll body. Regardless of belief, the Commission on Elections’ task is simply determine the suitability of the applicant organization based on legal grounds, such as the determination of its “sectoral-ness” and the validity of its assertions as reflected on the face of its petition.

The Commission on Elections found nothing false in Ang Ladlad’s petition. It has been in existence, enjoys widespread mass base support and has the capability to engage in a national campaign, elements which determine the suitability of a sectoral applicant. If the poll body thinks that the LGBT community is a legit sector, then, why question its conduct? Joey de Venecia III is right when he says that the Comelec showed its gender and pseudo-religious bias when it tries to strike Ang Ladlad out of the game.

What Joey de Venecia III forgot was, maybe, the real reason why the Comelec wants Ang Ladlad out was more of a political instead of a legal or moral reason. Since Comelec is an Arroyo administration stooge, the main task is to discredit legitimate sectoral organizations. That morality issue is being made as a subterfuge to hide the real reason which is political. We all know that Ang Ladlad is anti-GMA, and therefore, subject to Nazi-like persecution. And Ang Ladlad is not the only one being persecuted here.

Migrante, for one, is a national OFW group but was not accredited. Same goes to Samahang Magdalo which, for all intents and purposes, is a national civilian organization. The name of the game is simply which among these applicants are ready to lick the asses of the Powers-That-Be.

If the Comelec can stomach a Mikey Arroyo or an Angelo Reyes as sectoral nominees, it cannot, by political reasons, accept a Danton Remoto. The poll body simply wants those close to “Madame” to win elections instead of those who will bite her hand when she becomes Speaker of the House.
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About Author: Patricio Mangubat has written 200 articles. Patricio Mangubat is a pseudonym. It means "country fight". Yet, the one behind this name is real. He can be briefly described as a long-time activist as well as a communication strategist. He once taught at the University of the Philippines and at Dela Salle University. He blogs at The New Philippine Revolution. Aside from writing, he recently opened a roast chicken business, Manok King.

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