Opposition senatorial candidate Florin Hilbay addressed on Wednesday that being gay or lesbian is nothing to be ashamed of after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte made fun of his sexuality in a campaign speech.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the former Solicitor General cleared Duterte’s accusations that he was gay despite being in a relationship with actress Agot Isidro.
“For the record, I am straight. But, unlike the President, Agot and I are secure in our relationship and we don’t believe that anybody has to prove their gender and sexuality to anyone. Unlike the President, Agot and I don’t see being a member of the LGBT community as a mistake or a source of shame,” Hilbay said.
Hilbay noted that if Duterte is a real ally of the LGBTQIA community, he would realize that coming out is “the most personal and momentous decision an LGBTQIA person could make.”
“His display of bigotry is the reason why people choose to hide in the shadows, living in fear, instead of accepting their personal truth,” he said.
During his speech at the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Cagayan on Tuesday, Duterte also said that Hilbay, when he was still the Solicitor General, filled his office with gays, and that he had not accomplished anything while he was in position. However, Hilbay said that he does not know if there were gays in his office while he was Solicitor General, for the capacity to serve, not sexuality, was the main criteria he used in hiring employees in the office.
“Pinuno natin ang OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) ng mga matatapang na abogadong ipinaglaban ang soberanya ng Pilipinas laban sa Tsina,” he said.
“In the past three years, this administration has not measured up to our team’s bravery and loyalty to our sovereignty,” he added.
Hilbay also slammed Duterte and said that he is actually the one who has a habit of lying to silence his critics and to escape his inability to provide solutions to the problems affecting the public.
“Kung gusto ni Pangulo na ipakita ang kaniyang katapangan, palayasin niya ang China sa mga teritoryo natin, huwag niyang hayaan ang pagkamkam nila sa ating mga likas na yaman, at ipatigil niya ang pagpasok ng mga iligal na Chinese Workers sa bansa,” Hilbay said.
“Huwag niya kaming gawing panakip-butas ni Agot sa lahat ng kakulangan, kasinungalingan, at karumihan ng kaniyang anak, alalay, at administrasyon,” he added.