By Rommel F. Lopez
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III believes closed circuit television (CCTV) footage will show what really happened when transwoman Gretchen Diez was asked to leave the women’s toilet and allegedly harassed by the mall’s janitress, Chayra Ganal.
In an interview over DZMM radio, Sotto admitted to having the CCTV footage of Farmer’s Market checked to see if the viral video of Diez matched with what the mall’s CCTV system, since a committee hearing about the incident was scheduled at the Senate.
Sotto said that based on the CCTV footage and the affidavits of those involved, two women who were inside the women’s comfort room left because they were uncomfortable with Diez, who was lining up inside. They called the attention of the Ganal, who approached Diez.
Ganal told Diez to move to the persons-with-disabilities (PWD) toilet instead since the two women were complaining. However, Sotto continued, someone was inside the PWD toilet so Diez waited, but soon after left. Diez came back very agitated.
“Sya unang nagalit. E yun ang nakikita doon sa CCTV at saka dito sa mga affidavit ng mga taong nandudoon,” Sotto said.
This corroborates what Ganal said in an interview with PressONE.PH
“Quarter to 1 po may dalawang babae lumapit sa akin na nag-complain na may nakapilang LGBT sa CR (comfort room) ng mga babae…Nakita ko po si Ma’am Gretchen, in-approach ko po siya ng maayos, sabi ko po sa kanya, ‘Ma’am dito na po tayo sa CR ng lalaki.’ `Yung PWD (restroom for persons with disabilities) hindi ko na po sa kanya na-offer `yun dahil dami din pong nakapila. `Yung sa CR kasi po ng lalaki nakita ko du’n walang pila, walang tao,” Ganal told PressONE.PH.
Ganal said Diez took out a mobile phone and started taking live videos. Ganal admitted to losing her temper because of this.
“Imbis na po siya mag-CR du’n, kinuha niya po `yung cellphone niya, tinapat niya po sa mukha ko, sabi ko, ‘Ma’am bakit n’yo po ako kinukunan ng picture, baka mamaya po ipapatay mo na lang ako niyan,’ kasi nauuso naman talaga `yung ganon,” Ganal said.
“Sabi niya, ‘Hindi ito picture, ate, live ito, kaway ka, kaway ka, naka-live video ito, promise sisikat ka,’” she quoted Diez as saying.
When Diez refused to delete the video, Ganal said she brought the transwoman to the mall security office on the ground floor.
At that point, Diez resisted and allegedly elbowed a pregnant janitress in the belly, Ganal said.
The Senate president said the viral video jeopardized the job and personal security of Ganal who was only doing her job.
“Even itong nag viral na video tungkol sa kawawang babae (Ganal), sya ngayon ang napapag-initan. Pero ang totoo nun hindi ganun ang totoong istorya. Baka mawalan ng trabaho ‘yung kawawang janitress e. Papano ngayon ‘yung pag-aaral ng mga anak? Ang pinalabas kasi yung kalahati nu’ng video. Hindi pinakita ano nangyari before,” Sotto said.