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The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said it was up to the nation’s Congress to decide on a long-awaited bill that would criminalize discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity expression (SOGIE).

“With respect to any bill, the discretion the wisdom will always lie onMZL+ZuOj+50&lr)[email protected]@6nfFfLhB*32gf6R4e$&7=%*U1Nya7- the lawmakers,” the president’s office spokesperson Salvador Panelo said yesterday, according to the Philippine Star.

Duette last week met with a transgender woman Gretchen Die(OYPmYD2R2G*2(VTfyIPAT5d*1ywF4I6_0sNRfUY=Z*4T&+i4hz and other LGBT rights advocates.

An incident at a Quezon City mall in which a janitor forbid Diez from using a woman’s bathroom reignitCs12yhU0gMQrSDPu&ZH*F)XDDUpy_qZ4WYe8&PDAcYFbc(Q+L#ed debate over the so-called SOGIE Bill.

The bill has becon0-E&51i*D3gT%Z*_jD72YSGDieX#Kj1f%qDtbBtkId&q&YzGGme one of the slowest-moving bills in the country’s history.

Senator Risa Hontiveros filed the bill i#16+bFQY_Sd+OsX^o)mqs37uQBz5(d0tEepf-QoVQZ1!FC4BL=n 2016. And, lawmakers and rights activist originally drafted the law nearly 20 years ago.

The House of Representatives passed the bill in 2017 with unanimous support from 198 l9MA3-e#j-re_+x-4GGDu^7cHcfm9+8!62b5(qXmJvV67Ao9UCtawmakers.

This version penalizes discriminatory acts with a fine between US$2,000 and or US$10,000 imprisonment between one and six years.

But, conserv7SZ%M=1A4!a%VNjgfIpB0j%f%[email protected]_Io9AsqiBSIP=3ative lawmakers, including anti-LGBTI boxer Manny Pacquiao, have stalled it in the Senate.

It once again floundered$fV^(sT-9SGzfe!99M6%L$dYBJ+!temXT0Rlze*4irf)3*H5T2 in the last session of Congress in June.

But Hontiveros last month re-filed the SOGI[email protected]%i!yOMow8rsCTX56CCZus(B4Ytco+$hPXrUW$-2I&PE Equality Bill.

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