In 2003 the recommendations in the documentation report of the Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!), Unmasked: Faces of Discrimination Against Lesbian in the Philippines, engagement with key stakeholders, in mainstreaming SOGI issues, was one of the top priorities.
Fast forward to 2013, exactly ten years since that report was published, where I was one of the researcher-writer, and together with Raymond Alikpala we have facilitated five workshops in key cities in Metro Manila and a lecture with the Philippines National Police (PNP) Human Rights Affairs Officers stationed in police precincts all over the Philippines. After the first well received workshop in Caloocan City, General Ernesto Fajura, PNP Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) Director was swarmed with requests from other precincts to repeat the workshop for their police officers. With the directive from the Chief of Police, the plan to conduct 6 workshops became sixteen, ensuring that all precincts in all the cities in Metro Manila will have the opportunity to participate in the workshop before we go to the provinces in the Philippines. And as what Angie Umbac, then project manager of LeAP!’s documentation report and present president of Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights), Philippines, messaged me, “Remember how hard it was to engage with PNP? Finally here it is!”
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