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Attacks on homosexuals worry human rights groups in the Philippines

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 3, 2012) - Filipino gay activists in the Philippines are raising the alarm over the sudden hike in robberies, attempted killings and murders against transgender and gay group members in the Philippines.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

8th February 2012 11:15

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

In Angeles City, the 22-year old Jo Lamis was killed in a hotel where he checked in with two men Friday. Police have so far produced a suspect who is a minor. The information was reported by the United Gay Power Movement president Michelle Jhoie Ferraris, who heads the volunteer organization defending gay rights in Pampanga.

The Progressive Organization of Gays in Metro Baguio (ProGay MB) said that on January 17, an an active supporter of the organization called ProGay, Berta, 68, was found dead – strangled and stabbed in the chest – in Baguio City.

Based on police reports, Berta was last seen at the Burnham Park at around 8 p.m. on January 16 and a witness told authorities that the victim was with an unidentified man. Berta’s valuables were also missing and believed to have been stolen by the killer.

Prior to Berta’s killing, the 24-year old Mercy was also attacked in Baguio City. Mercy had drinks with two men, one of them introduced himself as Jonel, supposedly a University of Baguio student in Baguio City.

The two men strangled and stabbed Mercy at least 20 times. Jonel was himself wounded after his companion accidentally stabbed him. He escaped from his hospital bed even before police could investigate him. His companion also escaped.

ProGay Metro Baguio urged the police to solve the attacks. The group advised its members to avoid dating strangers alone and take precautions even from old friends. "Knowing your boyfried for a long time does not protect you, because many violent crimes are committed by people we know intimately, even neighbors and family members," said Yamyam Villacampa, secretary of ProGay-MB.

ProGay Philippines spokesperson Goya Candelario pinned the blame on the administration of President Benigno Aquino. The group said that the brutal killings of gays are now part of the culture of impunity spreading from political killings of leftist activists and journalists towards hate crimes inflicted on the LGBT community.

"ProGay Philippines castigates President Noynoy for letting poverty worsen with his pro-landlord, pro-capitalist and anti-poor economic policies that now breed more criminals who kill and maim LGBTs," Candelario said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

Early this year in Nueva Viscaya province, Erano Padilla poured boiling water on his son Edmund because of his homosexuality.