Celebrities and netizens are voicing out their anger towards the Makati police after its chief shared his thoughts as to why Awra Briguela had gotten into a brawl at a bar in Poblacion, leading to her arrest.
Edward Cutiyog, Chief of Police of the Makati City Police Station, spoke with Sen. Raffy Tulfo on his public affairs show Wanted sa Radyo, wherein he was asked why the Filipino comedian became aggressive towards the man she had gotten into a fight with.
The incident came about when Awra reportedly asked him to take off his shirt, and tried to force him to when he wouldn't obey.
"Eh alam mo naman, si Awra is gay, gusto niya makita ‘yung magandang katawan," Cutiyog said.
Tulfo immediately came to the comedian's defense, stressing, "Ay hindi sir, mali ka diyan sir. Huwag ganun, palibhasa ay gay, e, gusto na agad makita ang katawan ng isang lalaki."
Awra's friend, Zayla Nakajima—in a now-deleted post on Facebook and Instagram Story—had a different story on the incident, saying that Awra was only protecting her and their other friend, who were allegedly sexually harassed by a group of men inside the bar.
When asked how the Makati police established that the man was telling the truth, Cutiyog simply answered, "'Yun po ang statement ng ating complainant."
Tulfo then tried to interrogate the police chief on why Awra was the only one arrested when the man was also involved in the brawl, to which Cutiyog said, "Wala naman nag-complain dito sa grupo ni Awra. Kung meron, e 'di why not?"
He also stressed that if Awra were to complain against the man, there would be no problem.
Meanwhile, the police chief's statement and how these public servants handled the incident did not sit well with various celebrities and netizens.
Actor Alex Diaz, who came out as bisexual in 2019, reposted Zayla's Instagram Story with the caption, “Pride is a Protest [pray sign emoji].
“We don’t know the official details but it seems that Awra Briguela was only person arrested despite multiple counts of aggression from the gang of men that harrassed Awra and her friends.
“What do you think of this? What do you have to say to the PNP and the city of Makati.”
Meanwhile, TV host Bianca Gonzels commended Tulfo for calling out the police officer for his "hramful" reasoning. She tweeted, "Salamat Sen. Tulfo for correcting the backward and harmful thinking and reasoning. Malaking bagay lalo't maraming kalalakihan ang nakikinig sa iyo, Sir."
"Ay hindi Sir, mali ka diyan Sir. Wag ganun. Palibhasa'y gay, gustong makita agad ang katawan ng isang lalaki? Siguro po, merong pinagmulan yung kaguluhan."— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) June 30, 2023
Salamat Sen. Tulfo for correcting the backward and harmful thinking and reasoning. Malaking bagay lalo't maraming…
One netizen likewise pointed out how Cutiyog's statement reflects the "homophobic justice system" the country still has and the LGBTQ's dire need for equality.
#IStandWithAwra and also,— Janina Vela (@janinavela) June 30, 2023
I hope those who use religion as a justification for discrimination will see that the call for equality is not just a frivolous advocacy, but a demand for justice for all.
A society with a homophobic justice system will never be a righteous one. https://t.co/ayA5Kc4LIX
Another one posted, "Imagine defending your friend and yourself from a sexual harasser but the police arrested you instead, the harrassers boasted that you like him and the chief of police accused you of lusting over a sexual harrasser. The audacity of these men."
Others also once again tried to push for calls to enact the proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, which seeks to protect everyone from any form of discrimination, including heterosexuals as they also have a sexual orientation and a gender they identify with.
"Grabeng mindset yan! So they just confirmed na biased sila against Awra because she’s queer. They assumed her intentions BECAUSE she’s queer. The SOGIE Bill is urgent," one user stressed.
Some have also expressed their gratitude towards Tulfo for attempting to rebuke what Cutiyog said.
Awra is currently facing charges of physical injuries, alarm and scandal, direct assault, and disobedience to a person in authority.