Eddie Villanueva wants janitress to give her side in restroom row

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2019 11:32 AM

MANILA - Evangelist-turned-lawmaker Eddie Villanueva said Wednesday that he filed a House resolution summoning to a legislative inquiry a janitress who figured in a recent controversial confrontation with a transgender woman who attempted to use the ladies' restroom in a Quezon City mall.

Gretchen Custodio Diez, 28, filed a complaint against the shopping mall after she was briefly detained over the scuffle, which renewed calls for the passage of a bill prohibiting gender-based discrimination.

The janitress who confronted Diez "was just doing her job for the sake of other women present in that place exclusively for women," said Villanueva, representative of CIBAC party-list and leader of the Jesus Is Lord Movement.

"On hearings and interviews regarding this incident, the woman involved has been markedly absent, her side of the story given little, if any attention," he said in a privilege speech.

Villanueva said he filed House Resolution 270 on Tuesday requiring the janitress, her co-worker, a security guard who responded to the incident, and a mall representative to attend a legislative inquiry into the SOGIE or Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression bills.

"To guarantee impartiality and objectiveness in this issue, hearing all sides of the story is a must," he said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto earlier said CCTV footage showed 2 women had complained to the janitress about Diez. This, he said, prompted the janitress to bring Diez to the PWD toilet, but she returned to the ladies' room and took a Facebook live video.

"Dun pa lang may deception na eh sa balita sa viral video...Hindi pinakita kung ano ang nangyari before that," Sotto said in a radio DZMM interview.

(There was deception from that early on in the news about the viral video. The prior incident was not shown.)

Diez, for her part, said the video she posted " is an exact representation of how we are being viewed in society."

"Two decades of waiting, 2 decades of staying in the shadow of despair, of depression and right now we're finally seeing the light... We will never be silenced. Not right now," she said.