SENATOR Vicente “Tito” Sotto III started a joke on Wednesday that made the whole social media world rant for good. And now the joke was on him.
Netizens were outraged by his belittling remark to Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo during the Commission on Appointments’ hearing on her ad interim appointment. Though, Sotto explained that the statement was not meant as an insult and apologized for what he said, it still did not skip the scrutiny of the public and it was even further dragged on to the top trending topics in social media. He cannot just simply get away with it. No one wants him to simply get away.
During the confirmation hearing of Taguiwalo, Sotto said that he and Senator Franklin Drilon went on the personal information of Taguiwalo and found out that she has two children but in a single status.
"In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag do'n ay na-ano lang (we call that you just got knocked up)," Sotto told Taguiwalo to which the latter calmly answered, "Senator Sotto, I teach women's studies. We respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents. Thank you."
It was insensitive for Sotto to utter such “joke” especially that he claimed to be the last person in the country to disrespect a woman, citing that his mother was one of the founders of women’s rights movement and president emerita of the Kababaihang Rizalista and that he himself had two daughters who are single parents. The joke was on him, indeed.
The fact that he is a son of a women’s rights advocate wouldn’t set him apart from what he has uttered.
Sotto also pointed out during a chance interview with the media that it was a CA and not a Senate hearing, hence, he could ask anything under the sun. But there are really inconsistencies on his logic when he also cited that those who get offended are probably “not his fans”. Sotto is a host of a noontime show.
“Perhaps, some people are overly sensitive or perhaps they didn’t realize it was the CA, therefore anything under the sun, even your socks, I can question. So then perhaps these are just people who are really not my fans, so to speak,” Sotto was quoted in a media interview.
It is high time that Sotto should also be reminded that the CA, and even the Senate, is not a noontime show where he can just simply throw crass jokes and get away with it as if it is nothing.
While Sotto’s remark was only addressed to Judy, a lot of Judy Taguiwalos in the country and those who knew them personally know that it is just a thing that should not be easily dismissed.
Sotto uttered a “joke” and yet he got criticisms instead. He got a dose of his own medicine.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 05, 2017.
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