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Panel junks ethics complaint vs Sotto over 'na-ano' remark

Sen. Vicente Sotto III said people maye have been too sensitive about the remark, which he meant as a joke. The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges on Monday dismissed an ethics complaint against Sen. Vicente Tito Sotto III over his “demeaning” remark about former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo being a solo parent.

The Senate panel said it junked the complaint against Sotto for lack of jurisdiction. It added that the complaint should have been filed before the Commission on Appointments, where the remark was uttered.

The complaint against Sotto, who also chairs the Senate ethics committee, was filed by representatives of various women’s groups last May 10.

The groups said that Sotto normalized partriarchal views and trivialized the abandonment of responsibility over children after he commented that single mothers are referred to in street slang as “na-ano lang.”

READ: Sotto draws flak for belittling Taguiwalo’s single parenthood as 'na-ano lang'

Sotto made the comment during the ad interim appointment confirmation hearing of Taguiwalo. He persisted asking about the former Social Welfare secretary’s personal life and noted that she has two daughters but is unmarried.

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The senator said that he is sorry if people were offended by his comment about Taguiwalo being a single parent. He said the remark was meant to be taken as a "joke."

RELATED: Sotto 'apologizes' for comment at Taguiwalo confirmation hearing

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