11 10 2011



Who is to define morality? Who is to define what is ethical? These are the questions positioned by Prof. Lorenzo Laroco, the director of the Office of Student Affairs of Mindanao State University (MSU) – General Santos City.

At first glance, these questions echo the more progressive minds of today in rejection to the autonomy and monopoly of so-called truths propagated by certain traditional institutions.  In human history, there is a danger towards the assertion of a powerful entity on the monopoly of truths which have led to events such as the Tiananmen Massacre and the Spanish Inquisition.

Such human experience has led progressives and revolutionaries to question institutions that assert autonomy over the truth.  This struggle has precipitated to the struggles of various sectors such as women, labor, peasant and the youth.  One sector that remains a victim of this regressive culture is the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered, inter-gendered and queer or the LGBTIQ sector.

Being deemed “abnormal”, “sick” or even an “abomination” to what is considered normal (whatever normal is) and an aberration from the “true course of nature” are some of the cultural labels that members of the LGBTIQ community endure.  In schools and in the workplace, researches sponsored by The Library Foundation have shown that lesbians and gays, especially crossdressers, are being discriminated upon.  These very same derogatory cultural labels are being re-echoed by Laroco’s statement with the lengthy title “On Redefining Morality, Crossdressing, On Students Wearing Slippers and Shorts, On ASAP and those who Call Themselves ‘Mga Iskolar ng Bayan’”.

Laroco’s statement was a reply to the article released by the Alliance of Students for Alternative Politics (ASAP), a member political party of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP).  ASAP’s article communicated their platform of gender equality, more especially in safeguarding the rights of the LGBTIQ community within the MSU.  ASAP as a genuine pro-student political party sees the security of LGBTIQ rights under the umbrella of academic and personal freedom that Laroco was quick to respond against.

Laroco’s statement teems of anti-LGBT pronouncements such as “We accept you/gays in the University as our students who are not yet hopeless cases who still can be trained in [sic] the right path” and “Would you want us to call your parents about your crossdressing and your misconduct and let your parents suffer the humiliation instead of just you being ridiculed and jeered at?”

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, the largest and broadest formation of student councils, political parties, organizations and young leaders in the country with member-schools in more than 60 provinces and 100 cities nationwide, VEHEMENTLY CONDEMNS any form of discrimination against any person of whatever gender, nationality or creed and STRONGLY SUPPORTS the Anti-Discrimination Bill filed by Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao.

With this call, we give our points:

  1.  In the spirit of authentic humanization, any person of whatever gender should be accorded with full respect as to her or his dignity as a human person.  This respect entails the acknowledgment of her/his right to exercise all civil and political liberties, including the freedom to dress in the best way to express her or himself without violating the civil and political liberties of her/his fellow women/men and the freedom to be in a mutual sexual or emotional relationship with a person of the same sex.
  2. Universities as education institutions serve as breeding ground for critical thinkers that could serve as a cogent and potent force towards nation-building.  The fascist-like disciplinary tenets teeming in some reported cases within our academic institutions have no place in a democracy where value for pluralism and dissenting opinion should be respected and upheld.
  3. Ethics and morality are not synonymous.  Morality as a social construct is an amalgamation of mores (thus the term) including the present cultural and social values.  Morality changes as time and place change.  Thus, there is no entity which has the autonomy to prescribe what is moral, proper or decent.  Ethics, on the other hand, is the manner of judging an action in relation to the intention and the mode undertaken by the actor.

In light of these points discussed above, discrimination of whatever form has no place in our present society.

Stop the HATE! Legislate the Anti Discrimination Bill NOW.




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