Sotto on single mothers ‘joke’: No offense meant
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that he meant no offense to single mothers and women in general when he made a joke about them during the confirmation hearing of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo before the Commission on Appointments (CA) the other day.

Sotto said there should not have been a big fuss about it, since he clearly meant it as a joke and nothing more.

“Some people are overly sensitive, perhaps. I don’t think Taguiwalo was offended. She was ready to answer anything under the sun also. I don’t think there should be any big fuss about it,” he said.

During the hearing last Wednesday, Sotto said that he and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon observed in the secretary’s file that she has two children but is not married.

Taguiwalo, a political activist and former member of the Communist Party of the Philippines, noted that her background deprived her of an ordinary life, since she was either in detention or underground.

Sotto remarked that in street language, when one has children but no husband, “ang tawag doon ay na-ano lang.”

This joke of Sotto drew widespread criticism and condemnation from netizens, who described it as tasteless.

Sotto has apologized for the joke but explained that he meant no offense to single mothers because what he said could mean a lot of things to different people.

“They should check the journal of what went on before dipping into the issue. In the CA, we test honesty and credibility in some of our questions. All questions are fair in the hearings and it also validates our own CA reports,” Sotto said.

“In the world of show business, I am one who has openly saluted single mothers. In fact, two of my daughters are single moms. So, relax, there was no offense meant,” he added.

While many attacked Sotto for his joke, there were also those who defended him based on how they knew him as an individual.

 

VICENTE SOTTO III
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