An elected official in the Philippines has been charged with the murder of 38-year-old trans school teacher, Estee Saway.
In Abra, Barangay chairman Captain Armando Wilson was charged, along with four others, with the murder of Saway.
The four other suspects were captured on security video and quickly arrested.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses transphobic violence, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Wilson Was The Mastermind
According to Abra TV News, Wilson was identified as the mastermind behind the murder by one of the suspects arrested.
Saway, a high school teacher from Suyo National High School, was shot multiple times on September 28, outside a local carwash. She was rushed to Abra Provincial Hospital, where she was declared dead.
According to the Manila Bulletin, the motive for the murder was a land dispute.
Land owned by Saway’s family was being mined by Wilson. When Wilson abruptly stopped mining the land, the family got upset.
Wilson then orchestrated the murder. It was also discovered that the four other suspects were paid ₱100,000 ($2609) for the murder.
Renewed Calls To Pass SOGIE Anti-Discrimination Bill
In a post on Facebook, the Far Eastern University Sexuality and Gender Alliance (FEU SAGA) renewed calls to pass the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression) Anti-Discrimination Bill and Anti-Hate Crime Law.
The FEU SAGA wrote, “Along with our grieving with the family and friends of Estee, we are also one in seeking for an urgent investigation and demanding justice for the killing of our trans sister. With this, the organization is reiterating the call for the passage of SOGIE Anti-Discrimination Bill and Anti-Hate Crime Law.
“The longer these bills were not passed, the more lives of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially our trans brothers and sisters, are at risk from gender-related discrimination, violence, and hate crime.”
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