SENATE Majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd apologized to people who were offended by his verbal slip about the status of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, who faced the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday.
Sotto was bashed in social media over his remarks.
“Just on the lighter side, Senator Drilon and I were looking at your personal info. You have two children – daughters or sons?” Sotto asked Taguiwalo. The DSWD secretary replied that she has two daughters.
She explained that she did not have a normal life because from 1972 to 1986, she was either underground or in prison.
Sotto then replied: “In the street language, when you have children and you are single, that is what you call ‘na-ano lang’. Thank you, you have my 100 percent support, Madam Secretary.”
“Senator Sotto, I teach women’s studies in UP so we respect all kinds of families, and that include solo parents. Thank you,” Taguiwalo answered.
The Gabriela party-list said Sotto should apologize for his “offensive” remarks.
“The senator clearly went out of bounds, insinuating malice at Taguiwalo who raised her two children as a solo parent, dubbing such as na-ano (knocked up),” Gabriela said.
Sotto in an interview maintained that he did not mean to disrespect the DSWD secretary.
“If anyone is offended then I apologize. I am the last person to disrespect a woman because my mother was one of the founders of women’s rights movement and kababaihang Rizalista,” he said.
Sotto added that he has two daughters who are single parents.
Taguiwalo, after the hearing, expressed hope that her involvement with the left will not hinder her confirmation.
The book titled “Subversive Action: Extralegal Practices for Social Justice” authored by Nilan Yu and Deena Mandell discussed Taguiwalo’s life as an activist during the martial law years. Taguiwalo gave birth to her second daughter in prison.
Jefferson Antiporda with a report from Llanesca T. Panti