Roman calls for review on police, media protocols

BALANGA CITY – Bataan Representative Geraldine B. Roman has filed a House Resolution calling for a committee investigation in aid of legislation on a recent drug raid and media reports that many believe violated a person’s basic rights.

Roman’s Resolution (H.Res. 1492) is in the light of the recent arrest and detention of eleven individuals in Taguig City who were allegedly engaging in sex under the influence of drugs and also, in connection to the celebration of World AIDS day last December 1.

The said move is based on the objective of addressing whatever inadequacy the existing law may have and reprimand the agencies and companies for whatever irregularities that may be discovered.

“A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or health status is a private matter and should be treated with respect and confidentiality. If a crime has been committed, then report or denounce the crime but, one’s sexual orientation or gender identity or health status has nothing to do with the alleged crime,” Roman said.

She added that government agencies and the media have to be more sensitive in treating the human beings they deal with in the exercise of their duties.

Roman further said that the media should also be careful in handling the confidential information they obtain by reason of official capacity, in particular, information that an existing law seeks to protect such as one’s health status.

“But what I saw on TV and social media was nothing of this sort. It was a circus that paraded and shamed the suspects, not only because of the crime they supposedly committed, but also because of their sexual orientation and health status. It was a witch-hunt that ignored the suspects’ right to presumption of innocence by condemning them in public,” she lamented via her Facebook page.

The first trans woman lawmaker also added that “it is sensationalism that fed the baser instincts of the public and only serve to reinforce the discrimination the LGBT community seeks to eradicate.”