27 February 1998
THE Progressive Organization
of Gays in the Philippines (Progay-Philippines) is asking the concerned
authorities to expedite the court case for murder victim Larry Arciaga
whose death risks of being forgotten without bringing the perpetrator to
Larry Arciaga, 34, who was found dead from stab wounds in his own salon
on 18 February. Progay leader Oscar Atadero visited his wake and comforted
his surviving relatives and members of the Diwata Gay Association which
Arciaga headed for several years.
Progay's visit served to ease the climate of fear which now haunts gays
in Barangay Poblacion, Muntinlupa because of inaccurate media reports that
say the person found together with Arciaga's body, Juan Roxas Leagno, 19,
may go free anytime and not have to face trial, despite the overwhelming
evidence pointing to his culpability.
Leagno allegedly tried to escape the scene of the crime after neighbors
heard cries asking for help coming from Arciaga's salon at about 8:45 p.m.
that night, but fearing the mob's wrath, feigned injury, supposedly inflicted
by Arciaga. The townsfolk disputed his story of the gay salon
worker stabbing him, asking why Leagno has only a shallow wound, while
Arciaga's hands were almost cut off, making it improbable for Arciaga to
hold the fan knife found in his grasp.
Arciaga was buried yesterday, 26 February, and friends and family are just
starting to pursue the legal case to determine how and why Arciaga was
Mr. Atadero and Progay-Philippines said that gays must now more than ever
unite, organize themselves and strengthen their ranks to defend the community
from injustice and hatred. He hopes that gays in Muntinlupa and everywhere
else in the country always remember Arciaga's contribution to his community
and that his death serve to inspire people to fight discrimination and
violence against gays.###