In case you missed it, Tito Sotto once again earned the ire of people online— this time, because of remarks he made at the senate during the confirmation hearing for DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo. As his last question in the hearing, Sotto asked the Secretary about the fact that she has two children but no husband. Sec. Judy graciously responded and explained that she has never had a “normal” family aside from the one she grew up in. She recounted that right after graduating from UP, she did organizing work and spent years of her life either underground or in prison during the Marcos regime.
Sotto, who has never been faced with such trying times in his life, and certainly has not shown the same amount of dedication and passion for this country as Taguiwalo has as an activist during the martial law years, thought that such a topic was “on the lighter side” and can be seen snickering as the Secretary answered his question.
Sotto then said to Taguiwalo: “In street language… when you have children and you are single, ang tawag ‘dun ay na-ano lang.” He then thanked the secretary and said that she had his full support.
But the DSWD secretary did not let his remark go unanswered. “Senator Sotto, I teach Women’s Studies in UP. We respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents,” she said.
Netizens as well as some well-known personalities were enraged by Sotto’s uncouth remarks. Here are some of their reactions from Twitter:
For much of my growing-up years, my mother was a single mother. I curse anyone and everyone that sees women like her as "less than."
— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) May 3, 2017
Hindi po ako na-ano lang! naging single mom ako kasi wala pong BAYAG!! ang lalaking minahal ko! pero binuhay ko ng marangal mga anak ko!
— marietta subong (@pokwang27) May 3, 2017
My mom was a solo parent from 1991 onwards. She raised 3 kids. No shame in that. It takes special courage and strength. #ConfirmJudy
— Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) May 3, 2017
Pacquiao: I'm the most inept, most misogynistic, most "un self-aware" senator of the republic!
Sotto: Hold my beer …
— JSNMGBNSZN (@jasonmagbanua) May 3, 2017
Obviously unapologetic. https://t.co/UTA4k0G3cr
— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) May 4, 2017
: The single mother you just shamed is one of the most formidable PhDs in UP and is one of the fiercest activists in the country.
— REGRETCHEN FULLIDO (@Watdahel_Marcel) May 3, 2017
Tito Sotto can never use comedy as a defense because he isn't funny.
— Phil Dy (@philbertdy) May 3, 2017
Sen. Tito Sotto forgot that his daughter, Ciara Sotto is now, "na-ano lang", a single mom. WHAT👏A👏FCKING👏STUPID👏FATHER👏
— Che Adlawan (@cheadlawan) May 3, 2017
Tito Sotto: plagiarizer, victim-blamer, professional dunce, senator of the Philippines for two decades. pic.twitter.com/BS3wKXwqPu
— Jesie Castro (@jesiecastro) May 3, 2017
Society thinks in a disgusting mindset that the "na-ano" is shameful while the "nang-ano" gets away with pride.
Shame on you, Tito Sotto.
— Juan Carlos Ojano (@carlosojano) May 3, 2017
-shames single moms
tito sotto's advocacy seems to be Make Women Miserable https://t.co/w2QtsZN66h
— a literal failure (@AtomSiraullo) May 3, 2017
Respect and love to all the single mothers and mga "na-ano" out there who raised kids million times more decent than that Tito Sotto.
— Miss France Sajorda (@PrincessFrance) May 3, 2017
How do you think it feels hearing from a senator that single mothers are "na-ano lang", when you come from a broken family? Masakit, sobra.
— millennial of manila (@MillennialOfMNL) May 3, 2017
— inday espina varona (@indayevarona) May 3, 2017
I have high respects for my fellow solo parents by choice or by force. Mahirap dahil mag-isa, pero lahat kinakaya dahil sa love sa anak.❤️
— jennylyn mercado (@MercadoJen) May 3, 2017
If you feel bad about yourself today, just remember that Tito Sotto is not your father.
— j (@turquatta) May 3, 2017
Matapos madinig ang hirit ni Tito Sotto. pic.twitter.com/2NRQnIoOw4
— Lourd de Veyra (@lourddv) May 3, 2017
Mabuhay ang mga solo parents, iba ang lakas at katatagan ninyo. 👏👏👏
— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) May 3, 2017
The Gabriela Women’s Partylist has released a statement regarding the issue, demanding an apology from Sotto and commending Sec. Taguiwalo for standing her ground. Here’s the statement:
Statement of Gabriela on Sen. Sotto's line of questioning to DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo pic.twitter.com/11dnuBNtt4
— Gabriela WomensParty (@GabrielaWomenPL) May 3, 2017
Sec. Taguiwalo’s quick response to such an insult is indeed commendable. But it begs the question: Why do qualified women still have to answer to such insensitive and unintelligent remarks from people who got into office for being a popular goof during the ‘90s? More importantly, why do we let people like him run our country?
Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of InqPOP! and INQUIRER.net.