The Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines
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27 February 1998

Justice for Murdered Beautician

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 justice.

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 killed.

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.###

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