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The Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines
Pro-Gay Philippines 
 
 

 NEWS RELEASE
4 August 1999



Change your ways before drafting gays, Pro-Gay tells AFP

JUST because defense secretary Orlando Mercado said it's ok to be gay in the armed forces does not mean the military structure will make it an official policy to accept and promote personnel who are openly gay and lesbian.

Thus said the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (Pro-Gay) in reacting to comments made by Mercado to the press.

And eve if the military is publicly trying to be politically correct in being open to recruiting and promoting gays, the ProGay movement said it is doubtful if the establishment will be kind to gays at large.

"The issue should never be the sexual orientation of the individual applicants. Rather, it is the political orientation of the whole military structure that must be changed if it really sees itself as an institution that is responsive to the people's needs," said Oscar Atadero, secretary general of ProGay.

In March 1997, the military backed down from announced proposals by former Gen. Arnulfo Acedera to test soldiers for homosexual orientation after ProGay vehemently protested the discriminatory policy and an impending purge of innocent gay from the only careers they knew. Before campaigning for a congressional seat, Acedera apologized to gays and the Catholic clergy, saying it was not personal and just part of his official job to gay-bait suspected homosexuals and red-bait leftist priests.

Atadero admonished the defense establishment to discard first its USA-oriented philosophy of being an elite force managing and pacifying rebellious farmers in the countrysides and meddling in civilian politics in the cities, before it can have the moral authority to say it is gay-friendly and gender-sensitive.

"The armed forces are largely recruited from the poor peasants yet the foot soldiers are trained to commit human rights violations against civilian peasants. In the same manner, the military can take in elite gays who have a militarist mindset to begin with, and is likely to train them to feel self-important, contemptuous and arrogant to the broadest of poor gay men."

ProGay said the armed forces should go back to the basics and help peasants in farming chores, arrest abusive warlords and stop commercial logging and mining activities that destroy the environment.

"A genuine armed forces, to be respected and actively supported by the gays and the people, should be patriotic and ready to defend the country even without the dirty money from foreign aid and the ruling landlords and big business," Atadero added.#


 

NEWS RELEASE
4 Agosto 1999


Magpakatotoo kayo, mga sistah sa AFP -- ProGay

HINDI porke't sinabi ng kalihim ng tanggulang pambansa Orlando Mercado na chika na ang bading sa sandatahang lakas ay matiwasay nang tatanggapin ng line of command ang magkaroon ng mga minoryang sekswal sa hanay ng militar.

Ito ang pahayag ng Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines o ProGay bilang sagot sa sinabi ni Mercado na walang anuman sa kanya kung may mga bakla sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Sinabi pa ni Oscar Atadero, secretary-general ng kilusang ProGay, bahagi lamang ito ng pagsisikap na maging politically correct sa publiko upang pagtakpan ang papatiniding nauulat na paglabag sa karapatang pantao at karahasang nauugnay sa militar sa ilalim ng rehimeng Estrada.

"Kailanman ay hindi dapat naging isyu ang oryentasyong sekswal ng isang sundalo. Dapat inuna ni Mercado na pansinin ang oryentasyong pulitikal ng buong istruktura ng militar, dahil ito ang mas nangangailangan ng pagbabago, kung gusto talaga ng militar na makilala itong tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng sambayanan," sinabi ni Atadero.

Magugunita noong Marso 1997 ay umatras si Heneral Arnulfo Acedera sa planong suriin ang oryentasyong sekswal ng mga sundalo at patalsikin ang mapatunayang mga bakla mula sa AFP, matapos magprotesta ang ProGay laban sa pinangangambahang pagkakait ng natatanging trabahong alam ng libo-libong bading na pumasok sa hukbong sandatahan. Marso 1998 naman ay humingi ng tawad si Acedera sa mga bakla bago siya tumakbo sa halalang pambatasan, at kanyang sinabing hindi siya namemersonal, kundi bahagi lamang ng kanyang opisyal na gawain ang pagtugis sa bakla.

Sinabi ni Atadero na bago umastang magiliw sa mga bakla ang kagawaran ng tanggulang pambansa (DND), dapat munang iwaksi ng AFP ang nakagawian nitong paniniwala na ito ay "hukbong pamayapa," angat ang karapata nito sa karaniwan upang pumuksa ng mga maiingay na magsasaka at makialam sa pulitika ng mga sibilyan.

"Karamihan sa hukbo ay galing sa magsasaka, pero bakit abusado ang asta nito sa magsasaka? Kung marekluta naman ito ng bakla, malamang na maging elitista sila at alimurain nila ang karaniwang baklang parlor at baklang palengkera na walang disiplinang militar."

Sinabi ng ProGay na dapat na lang sikapin ng militar na maging hukbo ng masa, tumutulong sa magsasaka sa gawaing bukid, lumalaban sa mga abusadong panginoong maylupa, at pipigil sa pagkasira sa kalikasan sa pamamagitan ng pagdakip sa mga nagtrotroso at mga dayuhang korporasyong nagmimina.

"Ang tunay na hukbo ng bayan, upang igalang at aktibong suportahan ng mga bakla at malawak na masa, ay dapat maging makabayan at handang magtanggol ng sambayanan kahit walang suhol ng perang galing sa imperyalista, mga panginoong maylupa at big business," dagdag pa ni Atadero.#

 

 
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