There are 51 (out of 62 candidates) men who are running for senator this year. It’s a big gap compared to the 11 women vying for a seat in the Senate. But, this also means that all eyes are on the men to see if they can uphold women and LGBTQ+ rights in the country, especially with misogynistic Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as president.
The senatorial elections is in eight days. It’s time we talk about where some of the popular male candidates stand on certain issues. Keep reading until the end.
Roxas, popularly known as “Mr. Palengke” is known for his platforms on labor, education, and trade. He became a congressman, senator, a member of the Cabinet, and also ran for president against Duterte in 2016.
On protecting women: As DILG secretary in 2014, Roxas promoted Violence Against Women desks in several barangays in the country. He also stood up to Duterte after he made offensive remarks against foreign countries, questioning how he plans to protect OFWs, especially women, who are working there.
On women’s health: Roxas hasn’t been outspoken about the RH Law, but he wanted to “ensure proper implementation.” When the bill passed the final reading in 2016, Roxas celebrated “freedom of choice” on Twitter.
On divorce: Roxas recently changed his stance on divorce. During his 2016 presidential run, he was against its legalization. But last February, he said he now supports it. “Look, there’s the law of the church and then there’s the law for man. And for me, I believe if a couple cannot really make it work anymore, for the sake of the kids, for the sake of the two individuals, give them a chance to start over,” he said in an ANC interview.
On LGBTQ+ rights: Roxas is a supporter of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (aka, SOGIE Equality Bill), but he’s not for same-sex marriage. However, he wants to push for civil unions for gay couples so they can get the same rights as heterosexual couples.
On the misogyny of the Duterte administration: Roxas has been critical of Duterte’s rape jokes, among other statements and actions he’s done before becoming president. He said in a 2016 statement, “Rape is personal to the victim. In fact, each crime is personal to its victim. They are the victims, and it is obviously a serious matter to them. The effects are not limited to the physical. Rape violates one’s dignity. Rape is not just a crime of sex. Rape is a crime of control. Rape is a crime of subjugation. What differentiates torture from rape? In torture, you handcuff a person and subject him to things that he dislikes. Rape is the same. So this is a serious matter.”
Sen. Bam Aquino
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Many thanks go to my family who joined me at my filing of candidacy earlier today at Comelec. @timiaquino gave a rousing and heartfelt speech, while my two girls proudly watched on. Many thanks to the supporters and friends who traveled far to witness the beginning of the next chapter in my life as a public servant. So much positive energy and love earlier, that it's easy to forget that this election is an uphill climb and that we're the underdog here. But good fights need to be fought, no matter the risk and high cost. May the Lord always be with us, each step of this process, and may our people's true concerns be the focus of next year's elections #laban
Aquino, grandson of former president Cory Aquino, has pushed for laws and programs for education, labor, and the youth.
On protecting women: Aquino has shown support for eliminating violence against women in the country. He also authored Senate Bill No. 683, which includes a provision prohibiting the discrimination of women.
Today, November 25, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) November 25, 2018
On women’s health: Aquino supports the RH Law and adding sex education in school curricula.
On divorce: He believes it’s unnecessary to pass the divorce law. Instead, he wants annulment to be more accessible to Filipinos.
On LGBTQ+ rights: As mentioned, Aquino co-authored the Anti-Discrimination Act. When the SOGIE Bill wasn’t filed yet, he expressed his support for any measure that would ensure protection for the LGBTQ+ community from any form of violence and discrimination.
Q: On support to women and LGBTQ
BAM: Matagal na po akong kasama ng women sector. I used to work with lots of women’s groups. I’m a firm believer na dapat sinusuportahan sila.
On LGBTQ, co-author po ako ng Anti-Discrimination Act in the 16th congress. #SupportBAM
— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) December 2, 2018
On the misogyny of the Duterte administration: Aquino was part of a counter-SONA forum where they condemned Duterte’s rape jokes. He is also a supporter of Samira Gutoc, who is a feminist candidate and resigned from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission after the president made a rape joke.
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Kahapon, kasama ng mga volunteer lawyers ng FLAG, nagbigay tayo ng tulong sa mga kababayan natin sa Marawi. Sanay tayo sa ganitong trabaho, pero iba po talaga ang bigat ng mga hinaharap ng mga kababayan natin diyan. Dinulog nila sa amin kanina yung mga problema nila sa lupa, yung kakulangan ng financial assistance, yung kawalan nila ng hanapbuhay hanggang ngayon. Daing pa ng isa sa akin, hanggang ngayon, ni hindi pa sila makabalik sa tahanan nila. Sa ganitong mga sitwasyon, iniisip ko na baka hindi nga sapat ang tulong na maibibigay ko bilang isang abogado. Kung tayo ay palarin sa Senado, mas matutulungan nating makaahon sa buhay ang mga kababayan natin. #25ChelDiokno
Diokno is part of Otso Diretso and is a popular choice among young voters. He is a human rights lawyer and the son of former senator Jose Diokno, a Martial Law prisoner. His platforms include judicial reforms, social protection, upholding democratic institutions, and environmental laws.
On protecting women: Diokno wants to push for the continuous funding and implementation of the Magna Carta of Women and the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law.
On women’s health: He is a supporter of the RH Law and the Expanded Maternity Law.
On divorce: Diokno is in favor of divorce.
Q: What about divorce?
Diokno: I am in favor of divorce as well. Talaga namang mahirap yung batas natin ngayon na kailangan pang ma-establish ang psychological incapacity. Alam naman nating maraming naghihirap na mga mag-asawa.#Harapan2019 #DioknoSaSenado
— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) February 17, 2019
On LGBTQ+ rights: He is also in favor of same-sex marriage and wants to push for the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill.
On the misogyny of the Duterte administration: As mentioned, Diokno is a member of Otso Diretso, a party that’s against Duterte’s misogynist behavior. He hasn’t directly addressed the president’s controversial remarks in the past, but he’s condemned Gen. Bato Dela Rosa’s irresponsible joke about kissing a woman on the lips. “This is irresponsible. Gen. Dela Rosa is making the problem worse. Repeating this kind of language only helps normalize abusive language against women. This is not fair as this makes women the butt of jokes.”
Another human rights lawyer that’s popular among young voters is Colmenares. He has fought against issues like the Marcos burial, TRAIN law, power rate hike, and the irrigation loan deals with China.
On protecting women: Colmenares is a staunch supporter of the elimination of violence against women. He’s also a regular attendee of the One Billion Rising event.
ATM: With Monique Wilson, G. Toengi, Rep. Arlene Brosas and women of Gabriela at the launch of the #OneBillionRising2019 campaign to end violence against women in Tondo, Manila. #ValentinesDay pic.twitter.com/fZOzXDtHuo
— Neri Colmenares (@ColmenaresPH) February 14, 2019
On women’s health: In 2012, Colmenares voted for the termination of debates on the RH Bill so that the House of Representatives could proceed with applying amendments and vote to approve or disapprove it. He’s also expressed his support for its passage as majority of Catholic women would benefit in provisions regarding reproductive health.
On divorce: Colmenares is for divorce, stating that it will make it easier for women to dissolve a marriage on the grounds of violence and psychological incapacity.
On LGBTQ+ rights: Colmenares supports the Anti-Discrimination Bill, which penalizes those who discriminate LGBTQ+ people on the grounds of their sexual orientation. He’s also for same-sex marriage.
On the misogyny of the Duterte administration: He is also part of Otso Diretso and has joined women’s groups in rallying against misogyny in the Duterte administration.
The former actor is the top male candidate to win according to the most recent Pulse Asia survey. Lapid is a reelectionist—he was senator in 2011, where he ranked 11th in the overall ranking.
On protecting women: Lapid filed the Additional Leaves for Victims of Domestic Violence Act of 2013, an amendment of the existing Anti-Violence Against Women and Children act.
On women’s health: Lapid is against RH Law. In a 2011 debate regarding the passage of the RH Law, Lapid questioned the possible side effects of birth control and contraceptives. He claimed that these caused the death of his nine-year-old child, who suffered from heart disease.
On LGBTQ+ rights: He hasn’t openly spoken about anything relating to LGBTQ+ rights (as far as we know). However, his son, Mark Lapid of the Liberal Party, is a supporter of same-sex marriage.
On the misogyny of the Duterte administration: Lapid has been consistently mum when it comes to Pres. Duterte’s misogynistic statements.The two are known friends, although, the president has notably undermined him in terms of his capabilities as a senator.
Gen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa
Dela Rosa was the PNP chief from 2016 to 2018, and later became the director general of the Bureau of Corrections. He is heavily backed by Pres. Duterte and has been criticized for the number of extrajudicial killings in the country.
On divorce: Dela Rosa is against divorce, even if the marriage has become abusive.
On LGBTQ+ rights: He approves of same-sex marriage and civil union, stating that they have the right to do whatever makes them happy.
On the misogyny of the Duterte administration: Dela Rosa (obviously) never spoken against Duterte regarding his rape jokes and misogynistic behavior. He also made an irresponsible statement about kissing a woman without consent, in which he defended himself as just making a joke.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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