Women's groups call for #JusticeForEbengMayor

Published May 25, 2021, 4:20 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Two women’s groups are seeking justice for the death of a trans man whose decomposing body was found at a vacant lot in Quezon City.

Ebeng Mayor (Photo from Transman Equality and Awareness Movement – Philippines)

On May 21, transmasculine Ebeng Mayor was found dead with evidence of mutilation and rape after being reported missing for three days.

In a separate incident, the body of trans woman Jhie Bangkiao was found naked in the middle of the cemetery in Alangalang, Leyte.

Both members of the transgender community were found brutally murdered a few days after the commemoration of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia.

In a statement, Gabriela Youth Pampanga said the murder of Mayor and Bangkiao points to a hate crime.

“Ito’y isang malinaw na manipestasyon na hindi ligtas at kailangan ng matibay na proteksyon at seguridad ng mga kasapi ng nasabing komunidad (This is a clear manifestation that it’s unsafe for the members of the community and we need strong protection and secutity),” the group said

“Kailangang alarmahin ang estado na bigyang pansin ang mga kasong ito na nagpapakita ng pagkayurak ng karapatan ng mga biktima base sa kanilang SOGIE [Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression] (The state needs to be alarmed to pay attention to these cases that show violation of the rights of the victims based on their SOGIE),” it added.

Gabriela Youth Pampanga emphasized the need to pass the SOGIE bill.

The bill, according to the Commission on Human Rights, will crack down on discrimination and abuse of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community.

Meanwhile, intersectional feminist advocate University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hiraya condemned the murder of Mayor.

“We do not condone murder, especially those of people who are ostracized and exploited by society due to stereotypes, prejudice, and hate. As human beings, we are supposed to be upholding love and inclusion for those like Ebeng Mayor who are the receiving ends of long-standing systems of hatred and inequality and sometimes, whose victimization is even justified by those who hate them,” UST Hiraya said.

“We all should all campaign for their rights until such time that atrocities against them are no longer justified and are, instead, condemned. It is high time that Filipinos will be protected from such violence rooted from one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, and religion through judiciary and legislative measures.”

On Sunday, May 23, three suspects behind the brutal killing of Mayor have been arrested and formally charged by the prosecutor’s office.

The Quezon City Police District identified the suspects as Zander Dela Cruz, 22, Joel Loyola alias “Nonoy Sablay,” 30, and Richard Elvin Araza alias “Tiago,” 34.