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Broadcaster slammed for transgender remarks

NATIONAL Youth Commission (NYC) Commissioner Perci Cendaña has criticized ABS CBN broadcaster and former vice president Noli de Castro for allegedly making fun of Jake Zyrus, the artist formerly known as Charice Pempengco, during an episode on “TV Patrol” recently.

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During the episode, broadcaster Ted Failon said that he noticed the change in Zyrus voice. De Castro commented: “Ang tawag dyan ay climate change. Marami talagang nagbabago ngayon.”

Cendaña said that jokes about transgender are vulnerable to stigma and discrimination.

“When a popular broadcaster and former vice president mocks a transgender man, he is not only offending LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people, he is also setting a bad example to his audience, especially to the youth,” said Cendaña, in a statement.

“Such remarks reinforce discrimination against LGBT people. This is very alarming as young LGBTs are extremely vulnerable to stigma and discrimination. Bullying, ridicule, and abuse not only psychologically affect the youth, but also deter their development and growth.”

Cendaña has called on De Castro to apologize for his alleged offensive remarks against Zyrus.

“By rectifying the offensive and discriminatory remarks, the former vice president will set a good example to his audience, especially the youth. We urge him to be an ally for acceptance and equality,” he added.

Dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as the “most talented girl in the world,” Pempengco made history when she became the first Filipino singer and Asian artist to enter the Top 10 of the Billboard Chart Hot 200 albums in 2010. Her international studio album “Charice” peaked at No. 8.

Her song “Pyramid,” a duet with Iyaz and lifted from the same album, also made the Hot 100 chart.

Pempengco’s second international album was “Infinity” released in 2011. On the same year, she also appeared in Season 2 of the hit American musical-drama-comedy television series “Glee.”
From being a lesbian, Pempengco decided to become a transgender. He also said that he is considering sexual reassignment surgery to complete his journey to become a man.