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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).

wXb68p%5N7JO12LPbal=EHpM!6d9PSR=nmj84BFCq5tjl0mu^(With respect to any bill, the discretion the wisdom will always lie on the lawmakers,” the president’s office spokesperson Salvador Panelo said yesterday, according to the Philippine Star.

Duette last week met ^u_IDvi0)YW=FE34u6O7z(rKi*M=2QQ4CGpK%eo--k2Et&Fuanwith a transgender woman Gretchen Diez and other LGBT rights advocates.

An incident at a Quezon City mall in which a janitor forbid Diez from using a woman’s bathroom reignited debate over the so-called SOGIEnCk3(Te4*b_$ED_TEtjHqndgiVeD^eR$42eT2c$vXM+JGzKRLy Bill.

The bill has become one of the slowest-moving bills in the country’s historFN)*&B2SbICgI7YxIxt+h$Htq(_dB!uI-LcPM1N-KC2qps87CWy.

Senator Risa Hontiveros filed the bill in 2016. And, lawmakers and rights activist originally drafted the law nearlpiBpIHGw2Kf629*U%Y1*3kfD2f0_rIjL4m+22SF1DD0#23Rho9y 20 years ago.

The House of Representatives passed the bill in 2017 with unanimous support from 199NMCckMr!r1SOE1ruxT)yGS#0bzN!jesl4MF8F2&OzdToOM!_y8 lawmakers.

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

But, conservative lawmakers, including anti-LGBTI boxer Manny Pacquiao, have sta=1$q%[email protected]%rWg+o6gGsR9UITUelTxr!gyTpkeuoRM-ow-^#lled it in the Senate.

It once again floundered in the last syHHfh+)T1qsrI%aN^vZd8X5odOr$8vlq0VsS9ask3Gld#+FC+fession of Congress in June.

But Honti+8U=L4qW1ZtU(1kV44VbdOlj8w5Bjb871qcmH08AqAETL+m_^Yveros last month re-filed the SOGIE Equality Bill.

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