CONTENT WARNING: Rape, hate crime, violence, brutality

On May 21st, Ebeng Mayor, a member of the trans masculine community from Batasan Hills Quezon City, was found dead with evidence of brutality, mutilation and rape after being reported missing for 3 days. According to reports from Ebeng’s family and friends, three individuals are being held in connection with their brutal death, one of whom is a close friend.

In a separate incident, the body of a trans woman, Junjie Bangkiao, was found in the middle of a cemetery in Alangalang, Leyte.

For years, Filipinos have become familiar with reports of trans persons subject to horrendous indignities. The data does not lie: the Trans Murder Monitoring report of Transgender Europe has recorded at least 58 transgender persons have been killed in the Philippines from 2008 to September 2020.

As the Philippine government continues to deny granting legislation that protects trans Filipinos—as well as others harmed because of their SOGIESC—the bodies pile up. As it enables anti-trans behavior and violent rhetoric against trans and gender-noncomforming Filipinos, especially in the highest seat of office, trans Filipinos continue to be threatened by abuse and violence.

We see this glaring failure of the government all too clearly. Murderer Joseph Scott Pemberton was granted presidential pardon, cutting short his detention and denying Jennifer Laude true justice in September 2020. In the same month, another trans woman, Donna Nierra, fell victim to murder and was found dead in Caloocan.

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there is evidence locally and internationally that LGBTQIA+ persons are at a heightened risk for SOGIESC-based violence. On top of this, the difficulties of surviving through the pandemic are worsened by the neglect LGBTQIA+ persons have experienced when it comes to life-saving aid. For people like Ebeng, whose area of residence has reported the highest number of cases in Quezon City, these dangers are even more heightened. It is clear that immediate action is necessary.


We are banging at the doors of legislators, policy-makers, and community leaders to make haste in passing Anti-Discrimination Ordinances locally and nationally.

We are calling on the public to listen intently and amplify the voices of the trans community. Say their names, pass the mic, give them platforms and take part in making the community’s urgent needs and human rights heard––loud and clear to ignite true and positive change.

As we carry the message of IDAHOBIT fresh from last 17th of May, and as we enter yet another season of PRIDE this June, we implore everyone to come together in collective action: to seek justice for the victims of gender-based violence and bigotry, and to demand the rightful protections we deserve as LGBTQIA+ Filipinos NOW.


Metro Manila Pride
21 May 2021


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