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Maguindanao community shaves women’s heads to ‘punish’ them for being lesbians

A community in Ampatuan, Maguindanao has publicly shaved the heads of six women between the ages of 16 and 20 for being lesbians.

Photos included in Victoria Tulad's report on “24 Oras” shows the young women being shaved bald, surrounded by onlookers. Some photos also show the hair hacked off at different lengths.

According to the report, the residents said that the women were being punished, claiming that Islam prohibits being part of the LGBTQIA community.

One of the women's relatives said that the public punishment stemmed from a parent's complaint. 

A provincial official, however, said the residents should not have done this.

“Meron tayong batas na bawal magkaroon tayo ng dikriminasyon, lalong-lalo na sa Pilipinas,” Maguindanao 2nd District Board Member King Mangudadatu said.

[We have a law that prohibits discrimination, especially in the Philippines.]

This was echoed by LGBT rights group Ladlad Party List.

“We respect the Islam religion. But we’d like to remind the parents and the ustads of Muslim Mindanao na wala po tayong state religion. Therefore, ‘yung mga bata po natin, mga kabataan, mga Pilipino, may karapatan po tayong civil and political rights,” said Ladlad president Danton Remoto.

[We respect the Islam religion, but we’d like to remind the parents and the ustads of Muslim Mindanao that we have no state religion. Therefore , our children, our youth, Filipinos, have civil and political rights.]

“So, sa amin hong pananaw, legally, mali po ‘yung ginawa na panghihiya,” he added.

[In our view, the shaming they did was legally wrong.]

Remoto also pleaded for equal treatment for all Filipinos.

Meanwhile, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos declined to comment.

Mangudadatu also plans to hold a meeting with the women and their parents over the issue, expressing concern over the trauma the women may be experiencing due to the community's actions. — Joahna Lei Casilao/BM, GMA News