CHR to probe killing of transgender woman in Bulacan

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The brutal killing of a transgender woman will undergo investigation by the Commission on Human Rights, the agency said, as the suspect is now in the custody of authorities (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — The brutal killing of a transgender woman will undergo investigation by the Commission on Human Rights, the agency said, as the suspect is now in the custody of authorities.

Cindy Jones Torres was reportedly stabbed multiple times by the suspect, who has claimed self-defense.

"The case of Cindy Jones, as well as other similar instances of reprehensible and senseless acts of violence, stresses the harsh realities faced by the LGTBQI community, who are more vulnerable to hate-motivated violence even in present day society," the CHR said in a statement on Friday.

Metro Manila Pride, an organization that advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights, described Cindy as a 39-year-old salon owner and a "joyful person" active in LGBTQIA+ activism in Bulacan. She was attacked late Wednesday in Guiguinto town by a man whom the CHR said was borrowing money.

Metro Manila Pride related that the perpetrator allegedly claimed "trans panic" defense which blames the transgender person for their murder.

"The trans panic defense has been used to excuse violence against transgender people," said the organization. "Any legal defense rooted in prejudice has no place in a just world."

The group said Jones' death was the 21st reported transgender murder case under the Duterte administration, as well as the 61st since 2008, with the actual numbers possibly higher. 

The group again urged the approval of the SOGIE Equality Bill which was last endorsed to the Senate plenary in December.