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Showing posts from 2011

PH gets barely passing score in media assessment

PH gets barely passing score in media assessment
13-Dec-11, 3:54 PM | Nonoy Espina,

The Philippine assessment, presented to journalists and journalism schools on Tuesday, is the fourth undertaken under the Asian Media Barometer, a project by Friedrich Eibert Stiftung and partners in participating countries that involves a series of “self-assessment exercise(s) based on criteria derived from international standards of media freedom.”

The first three countries to undertake the assessment are India and Pakistan -- both in 2009 -- and Thailand last year.

The 104-page Philippine report is the result of a two-day panel discussion in early October in Tagaytay to which 10 experts -- five each from media and civil society -- were invited to assess the media situation in the country based on 45 predetermined indicators, in turn clustered into four sectors, that they were asked to grade anonymously on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being the best possible score.

Overall, the Philippine…

Fr. Bernas: Contraceptive devices are not 'anti-life'

Fr. Bernas: Contraceptive devices are not 'anti-life'
09/26/2011 | 01:50 PM

Influential Jesuit priest and constitutional lawyer Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ said that family planning as proposed in the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill is not necessarily "anti-life", putting him at odds with conservative Catholics who oppose the bill.

In a column published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday, Bernas sought to clarify what being "anti-life" precisely means, for the term has been used "in the most pejorative way" in current RH bill debates.

"It is used in the sense of being against existing life. Murder, in other words," he said.

However, he said that in the currently toxic debate on contraceptives, "anti-life" could be construed to include people who do not want to add more human life to an already crowded population. He cited for example a married couple who decide to abstain from acts that …

'I'm not using Ladlad'

DIRECT LINE By Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) Updated September 02, 2011 12:00 AM

A certain Mr. Pedroche wrote a letter to another broadsheet some months ago rebuking me on two major points. That I should not be talking on behalf, but to the LGBT Community that if one works hard he can be successful. And that my active participation in Ladlad is just in preparation for abundant politics suggesting that I am preparing for a political career using the fledgling partylist. Here is my answer to Mr. Pedroche en toto.
Dear Mr. Pedroche,
To say that where I am working (ABS-CBN) and where I went to school (Ateneo) are the very proofs that I was not discriminated is an uninformed statement. And to conclude that since I was accepted by the two institutions disqualifies me from talking on behalf of the LGBT Community is a lousy assessment.
Please indulge me on the following.
• I can do both — talk to and on behalf of Ladlad and the LGBT community because I have a voice and a life story that most o…

The 9/11 attacks as a literary watershed

The 9/11 attacks as a literary watershed
04-Sep-11, 10:00 AM | Myriam Chaplain-Riou, Agence France-Presse

PARIS - Ten years on, the dust from the twin towers hasn't finished settling on the literary world and continues to feed a growing body of fiction exploring the moral and physical loss the attacks left behind.

Initially, few writers dared get too close to the horror that the entire world was able to imagine after watching the World Trade Center go down live on television.

The first one to choose hyperrealism and attempt a description of the fateful moment itself -- the planes crashing, the fire, the panic, people jumping off the towers -- was Frederic Beigbeder.

In "Windows on the World" (2003), the French author said he wanted to "tell what could not be told".

"The only way to know what happened in that restaurant on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center's North tower on 11 September 2001 between 8:30 and 10:29 am... was to invent it," he…

Questions for the heterosexual

Danton Remoto: Questions for the heterosexual
20-Jul-11, 5:42 PM
Online news portal of TV5

Years ago I attended a seminar on gender issues organized by an international NGO. Some young journalists comprised the core of the participants. Well and good, I told myself, because the cliché holds true that, perhaps, hope lies among them.

I still remember my legendary debates with the macho editors who used to splash photos of near-naked “prostitutes” (call them sex workers) and of raped housemaids on the front pages of the newspaper I used to work for. During one of the editorial meetings held every day, the fiercest among them, who looked like a bulldog, barked at me: “What are you complaining about? Their faces are shown on the evening news. Why can’t we show those pages on our front pages?”

Since Bulldog must have forgotten his class on Ethics in Journalism, I reminded him that a newspaper is a public record. Surely, nobody tapes the evening news and runs them again for his…

US military ready to repeal ban on gays

US military ready to repeal ban on gays
07/22/2011 | 08:58 AM

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will announce on Friday that the U.S. military is ready to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, the last major hurdle to formally ending the policy, U.S. officials said on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

President Barack Obama last year signed a landmark law to allow for the repeal of the nearly 18-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that forced gays to keep their sexual orientation secret in order to serve in the military.

But Pentagon leaders first needed to certify that military readiness would not suffer as a result -- something that will now be done by new U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen, the top U.S. military officer, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Once the Pentagon has signed off, Obama can certify the repeal -- fulfilling a 2008 campaign promise to end a policy that saw m…

Reflections of a gay seminarian

COMMENTARY: Reflections of a gay seminarian
09-Jul-11, 2:15 PM | Danton Remoto
Online news portal of TV 5
Photo from

The vilification of same-sex couples who had gone through commitment ceremonies a week ago led some bishops to make callous statements like “kadiri” and such. This is what we get for falling in love with whom we choose to love? This led me to dig into my email files. I found a letter sent to me by a seminarian a few years ago. He is gay and has found peace with his sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Let me quote excerpts from his email.

"Let me commend you for being a sober voice in the discourse on gay rights in the country," he starts. [Thank you, ahem]. "However, let me chastise you also for your statement on national TV that some priests know nothing about love. Well, let me tell you that priests also know and have experienced loving and being loved. There are honest and sensible priests around, unlike …

LGBT hate crimes on the rise

By Yvonne Chua, VERA Files

Television director Ricky Rivero thought he was having a nightmare. He woke up morning of June 13 and Ivan Ruiz was on top of him, stabbing him continuously.

They struggled with each other, and when Rivero got the chance to grab Ruiz's wrist, he pinned him down the bed. The rage coming from Ruiz slowly subsided.

Rivero got the chance to overpower Ruiz and drove himself to the hospital. He survived despite the 17 stab wounds he sustained.

In an interview with TV host Boy Abunda two weeks after the incident, Rivero recalled that Ruiz, an acquaintance with whom he had casual sex relations, was full of rage and his eyes were full of anger when he was stabbing him.

Asked if he considers it a "hate crime", Rivero said he can't be sure but considering what transpired, it seems it's "leaning towards... yes, it's a hate crime."

Hate crimes generally refer to criminal acts that are seen to have been motivated by bias against persons belo…

Ladlad condemns the bigotry of the Catholic Church

Ladlad Party List Statement:

Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are not manifestations of mental illness nor criminality. These are basic human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that not even the Roman Catholic Church can deny.

The celebration of same-sex weddings speaks of the love of two persons, and this is not an issue for the Roman Catholic Church to interfere in. It is also not a Roman Catholic Church issue to criticize or question the authority of religious leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church, which do not belong to its denomination.

While Ladlad is nonsectarian, we are calling for respect; respect that Christ advocated and which is the basis of Christianity, respect for different forms of expression and diverse views. Let us not resort to name-calling, when the issue is simple: Do LGBTs in the Philippines have human rights? If the answer is yes, then there should be no attacks on them based on their expressions of love and exercise …

May Isang Matalinong Obispo

May Isang Matalinong Obispo


OO, mayroon, taga-Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines o CBCP, at ang ngalan niya ay si Msgr. Pedro Quitorio. Sa pangalan pa lang niya, nanginginig na ako sa takot. After all, huwag nating kalimutan, si San Pedro ang may hawak ng susi papasok sa tarangkahan ng langit. Kung wala ang pangalan mo sa kaniyang libro, good luck sa ‘yo, doon ka na sa impiyerno. Kung susundan kasi natin ang argumento ni Quitorio, kung bading ka (at gusto mo pang magpakasal, que horror!), wala ka sa listahan ng kaniyang tokayo.
Ganito kasi iyon. Sa News To Go ng GMANEWS TV kaninang umaga (27 Hunyo 2011), masayang ibinalita nina Howie Severino at Kara David na ligal na ang pagpapakasal ng parehong babae at parehong lalaki sa New York. Inaprubahan ang batas na ito ng kanilang Senado noong isang araw at nagdiwang ang maraming mga bading at lesbyana sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo lalo na siyempre sa di natutulog na lungsod ng New York. Pang-anim na estado na …

Simbahang nagkakasal sa mga bakla at lesbyana

Simbahang nagkakasal sa mga bakla at lesbiyana06/29/2011 | 12:06 PM

Sa New York, maituturing na tagumpay ng mga lesbian, gay, bisexual at transgender, o LGBT, ang pagkakaroon ng same-sex marriage doon. Pero sa Pilipinas, wala mang batas na kumikilala sa pag-iisang dibdib ng same sex couples, may simbahan na nagkakasal sa kanila - ang Metropolitan Community Church. Si Rev. Ceejay Agbayani ang administrative pastor nito. Nakapanayam siya nina Kara David at Howie Severino sa News To Go.

HOWIE SEVERINO: Anong relihiyon ninyo?

REV. AGBAYANI: We're an ecumenical Protestant Christian denomination that caters to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

KARA DAVID: Ang Protestant church ba ay kumikilala sa same-sex marriage?

REV. AGBAYANI: Hindi ho lahat ng Protestante. Actually ang isa pong katangian ng Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), we minister to the LGBT community. Sa Pilipinas, kami lang.

KARA: Pero 'yung church ninyo hindi naman para lang sa …

Gayer than laughter, am I

Gayer than laughter, am I
June 22, 2011,Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines -- I usually decline invitations to events that coincide with my birthday. But I decided to move my celebration to a later time to attend a reception hosted by the US Embassy in Manila at the Ambassador’s Residence to celebrate the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.

When US President Barack Obama proclaimed the month of June as the LGBT Pride Month, the US Embassy in the Philippines, which incidentally has a very strong gay group (under the leadership of my good friend Michael Pignatello), initiated this empowering activity which paid tribute to members of the LGBT community. Present at the party were LADLAD Party List founder Danton Remoto, Boy Abunda (the senior party adviser for LADLAD), and other LGBT supporters from the business community, NGOs, and politics.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. presented a very strong message that night and I would like to share wit…

Ricky, handang tulungan ng Ladlad

Ricky, handang tulungan ng Ladlad
Ni Gorgy Rula

PORMAL na in-announce ng Ladlad partylist na tinanggap na ni Boy Abunda ang matagal nilang alok na maging Senior Party Adviser.

Kasama ni Kuya Boy na humarap sa press kahapon ang Ladlad chairperson na si Bemz Bene­dito para ipahayag ang pagiging aktibo ni Kuya Boy sa naturang samahan.

Matagal nang sumusuporta si Kuya Boy sa natu­rang grupo pero ngayon lamang siya nagsalita at ipina­hayag ang kanyang partisipasyon sa ipinaglalaban ng Ladlad para sa 2013 Elections ay magkaroon na ito ng puwang sa Kongreso, na ang target nila ay makakuha ng tatlong seats.

Ayon kay Kuya Boy, “Alam n’yo naman lahat kung ano ang laban nitong Ladlad na nangyari sa Comelec hanggang sa nakarating sa Korte Suprema, at ang prosesong ‘yun.
“Pagkatapos matalo ng Ladlad nu’ng nakaraang eleksyon, hindi na kami papayag. Kaya ngayon, hinihikayat na namin ang lahat ng aming mga miyembro.

“We are assessing, we are revisiting our list, we are encouraging LGBT (lesbian, gays…

Boy Abunda named Ladlad senior adviser; vows to help party list win 3 congressional seats in 2013

Boy Abunda named Ladlad senior adviser; vows to help party list win 3 congressional seats in 2013 By JOJO P. PANALIGAN
June 16, 2011, 7:57pm

Boy Abunda got "hurt" for Ladlad when it failed to secure Comelec accreditation in 2010.

MANILA, Philippines — TV host and manager Boy Abunda has accepted the offer to be the senior adviser of the Ladlad Partylist.

Abunda considers getting the position “one of the most important chapters” in his life. He aims to not just be an active member of the group, but an aggressive one.

“I’ve always been supportive of Ladlad in my own way but now is the time--this is the time--to step up my participation,” he told Bulletin Entertainment and other members of media on June 16.

He admitted getting “hurt” for Ladlad when it failed to secure Comelec accreditation in 2010. He vows to not let that happen again in 2013.

“Di na kami papayag,” was his stern declaration.

He nipped in the bud talks that he accepted Ladlad’s offer because he wants to generate suppor…

Abunda joins Ladlad as adviser

Abunda joins Ladlad as adviser
By Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) Updated June 17, 2011 12:00 AM

TV host Boy Abunda, senior political adviser of Ladlad for the 2013 midterm elections, and Bemz Benedito, Ladlad party-list chair, unveil the new logo of Ladlad during a press conference in Makati City yesterday. JOEY MENDOZA
| Zoom MANILA, Philippines - Television host Boy Abunda yesterday accepted the invitation of Ladlad, an organization of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, to become its senior political adviser for the 2013 midterm elections.

In a press conference yesterday in Makati City, Abunda said he would use his position to ensure that Ladlad gets three seats in the House of Representatives as a recognized party-list group.

Abunda said that in accepting the offer to be Ladlad’s senior political adviser, he is not seeking nomination for the 2013 elections. He added that although he has been supporting Ladlad since its inception in 2004, it is only now that he has acce…

U.S. Presidential Proclamation--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 31, 2011 Presidential Proclamation--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

The story of America's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans. Last December, I was proud to sign the rep…

'Human Soul' exhibit goes to Cebu City

Ms. Bemz Benedito, the chairperson of LADLAD Party List, gives a voice to the transgender experience in the Philippines

June 5, 2011, Cebu City – “Human Soul”, a multi-media exhibit on gays and transgender Filipinos, will be launched today in Cebu City. It aims to raise the awareness and consciousness of the community on the discrimination of gay and transgender Filipinos.

An initiative of Health Action Information Network (HAIN) and The Library Foundation (TLF) Share Collective Inc., the exhibit is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The multi-media exhibit showcases the works of journalist Sebastien Farcis and photographer Romain Rivierre, both French citizens. The launch will be held at the Cebu City Hall Lobby and will be open for public viewing until June 10. It will then move to the Alliance Francaise de Cebu at QC Pavilion along Gorordo Avenue from June 13-18.

The exhibit features seven transgender individuals, one gay man, and four people living with HI…

The political will to fight HIV-AIDS

The HIV/AIDS picture in the country is dismal -- five Filipinos get infected with HIV every day, and three Filipinos die from full-blown AIDS every week. Along with Bangladesh, we are the only Asian country where HIV/AIDS infections are growing. It has been on the downtrend in the rest of the world -- except n seven countries, the rest being in Africa.

Because of these, several lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations and allied groups have banded together to write an open letter to President Noynoy Aquino to serve as a wake-up call to this issue. I am giving space to their open letter, entitled "Dear Pnoy: Where is the political will to fight HIV and AIDS?"

"This week, the United Nations will gather more than forty heads of state and ministers in a High Level Meeting that would plot the next phase of the struggle to eliminate HIV and AIDS. The High Level Meeting marks the 30th year since the discovery of AIDS, and while there is cause for optimism due to a g…

Rich woman, poor woman

Rich Woman, Poor Woman
By Danton Remoto
Posted at 02/26/2011 1:14 AM | Updated as of 02/26/2011 7:22 PM

I was in high school when the great Armida Siguion Reyna portrayed the role of a lifetime – the wealthy woman who was the tormentor of the atsay (housemaid) played by, who else, but by the iconic Nora Aunor. Tita Midz was in her element, kicking the housemaid down the stairs and then using the atsay’s face to wipe the floor clean.

It was only a fortnight ago when I was surfing from channel to channel when I saw Gretchen Barretto playing a rich woman who attends a party. Loud and calling attention to herself (the role, not the actress), she brandished a piece of jewelry for all her similarly wealthy friends to ohhh and ahhh after.

Between these two poles – a time-frame of 30 years – lies our stereotypes of the rich, and the way movies and television portray them. All to a person, the rich are seen as ruthless, corrupt and number-one violators of human rights, whether i…