Press Release
July 17, 2019

Akbayan Risa Hontiveros on Pres. Duterte signing into law of the Bawal Bastos Act

I find it odd that after the Bawal Bastos Act lapsed into law last April 19, as confirmed last May by then officer-in-charge Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Malacañang suddenly came up with a copy of the law yesterday signed by President Rodrigo Duterte dated April 17.

Either this is another case of incompetence on the part of the Duterte government or this is an attempt to rob women and the LGBT community of our historic victory, whitewash the President's unparalleled sexism and misogny and claim the law as their own achievement leading to the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA).

We will not allow ourselves and our hard-fought victory to be used to deodorize state-sanctioned misogyny and gender-based harassment. The passage of the Bawal Bastos Law is the victory of women, LGBTs, advocates and legislator-champions. It is ours alone.

Let this be a warning to all sexists, misogynists, gender bigots and sexual harassers, we will no longer tolerate the bastos culture in our country. Whether gender-based harrasment is done to women public servants or to ordinary citizens, I expect the full implementation of the law. Bawal na si Boy Bastos!

Let this also serve as a reminder to President Duterte that no one is above the law, not least a law which he himself has signed. I challenge the President to follow to the letter the very law he signed and set an example not only as a law-abiding citizen but as a leader who respects everyone.

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