Filipino trans teacher brutally murdered in broad daylight

A selfie of Estee Saway, the trans woman murdered in the Philippenes

A trans high school teacher in the Philippines has been brutally murdered by a gunman in broad daylight.

Estee Saway was reportedly shot by a gunman outside a carwash in Barangay Lipcan at around 7.50 am on Wednesday (28 September) after the assailant followed her as she made her way to work.

The Suyo National High School teacher was taken to a nearby hospital where she was declared dead, having sustained multiple bullet wounds.

After reviewing CCTV footage, police reportedly found and arrested two suspects believed to be involved in the shooting. They were fleeing on a motorcycle toward Barangay Santa Rosa in Bangued.

“We are saddened to know about the incident,” Bangued Municipal Police Station chief Mafelino Bazar said in a statement.

“Such acts of violence have no place in our society, we condemn in the strongest terms the killing of the victim.

“We also sound our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, rest assured we are doing all our means to give justice to the victim and [her] family.”

He also appealed to anyone who knows anything about the crime “to come forward and cooperate with the investigators”.

Trans panic defence

An LGBTQ+ group in the Philippines said in a statement: “We demand swift investigation and justice to this killing of one of our members. Once again, it puts to light, the prejudice, hatred and impunity that LGBTIQA+ face in their daily existence and struggles.

“We call on authorities to show its might against law-breaking citizens who commit cold-blood murder in a civilised society that promotes respect and dignity to human lives.

“We must end the killings. We want justice now.”

LGBTQ+ rights in the Philippines are still woefully behind the times, with anti-LGBTQ+ practices permitted, same-sex marriage unrecognised, and protections against LGBTQ+ residents rarely enforced.

Additionally, the disturbing “trans panic” defence is still used regularly, such as a case from 2021 in which a suspect in the brutal murder of a Filipino trans woman used the defence in court.

Trans woman Cindy Jones Torres was found dead with multiple stab wounds in her salon in Bulacan. The man believed to have killed her after he borrowed money used the “trans panic” defence in court to justify the murder.