Manila: Two woman lawmakers have expressed concern over increasing hate crimes against homosexuals, as they pointed out that the proliferation of such offenses signal a breakdown in the rule of law.
Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus, of the Gabriela women's party, said the number of apparent "hate crimes" victimising LGBTs or lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgendered has reached alarming proportions.
"From an average of 10 murders between 1996 and 2008, the killings rose to 12 in 2009, 26 in 2010 and 27 in the first six months of the current year," Ilagan said.
Ilagan and De Jesus filed House Resolution 1460 urging the House Committee on Justice to investigate the killings in order to provide legislation penalizing specific crimes against the LGBTs.
Citing the report of the LGBT Hate Crime Watch, Ilagan said there are on average five cases per month reported since January this year. The LGBT Hate Crime Watch cited 103 cases since 1996 with 61 of the victims reported were gay men, 26 were transgendered, 12 were lesbians and four were bisexuals.
"The accounts of the incidents indicate that there is prejudice or hate on the part of the assailants. Thirty-eight of the victims were stabbed multiple times. Six were tortured before they were killed. Others were raped, dismembered, killed with a blunt object, suffocated or burned alive," Ilagan said.
Ilagan also cited the case of prize winning short story writer Winton Lou Ynion who was stabbed several times in various parts of the body.
Another similar case was that involving Albert Clarence Bondoc, who was stabbed 13 times as well as the case of a 51-year old Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge in Laoag City who was brutally murdered.
In all cases, the murders were committed not just as a simple hate crime, but also to convey a strong message against LGBTs.
Despite the increasingly overt tolerance of homosexuality in film and television and other fields, majority of Filipinos remain conservative on their views on this particular matter.
Just as homosexuals seek refuge on laws, groups targetting them work under the shadows and find allies in society intolerant of sexual deviants.
There had been earlier reports of vigilantes targetting homosexuals.
LGBT hate crimes could be more alarming if the families of the victims were free to report on such crimes without fear of stigma, Ilagan said.
She said other than targetting a certain sector of the society, accepted or otherwise, LGBT hate crimes also affect social order in general.
"We cannot tolerate hate crimes because it send threatening message to the rest of the community. Such crimes not only impact on the victims and their families, they also send signals of a breakdown of the rule of law," Ilagan said.