Yesterday was a big day for President Rodrigo Duterte's appointees as they face defend their position on the Commission on Appointments hearings. A position they have held for about 10 months. However, the spotlight was turned to Senator Tito Sotto for that one question which created a stir online and made his name trend on Twitter.
Department of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo answered all the questions thrown at her about her competency as the agency's secretary. When it was Sen. Sotto's turn to ask, CNN Philippines reported that the senator attempted to shift the focus on a "lighter topic" and decided to ask about the secretary's family.
The senator asked Sec. Taguiwalo's marital status and inquired about her family set-up. Taguiwalo explained their current set-up and confirmed that she is indeed single. Sotto went on and said, "In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag dun e, 'na-ano' lang. His statement earned him a few laughs in the hearing.
Meanwhile, the DSWD secretary calmly responded, "Senator Sotto, I teach women studies. So, we respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents." This exchange caught the ire of netizens and Twitterverse felt the rage people had about the senator.
Rappler noted that celebrities did not exclude themselves from giving their two cents about Sen. Sotto's statement. The outlet noted that Claudine Barretto called out Sotto, who is reportedly Barretto and estranged husband Raymart Santiago's godfather in their wedding, saying that she is proud of herself for being a single mother. Moreover, the actress said she has so much respect for single mothers who act as a mother and a father to their kids.
Broadway singer Lea Salonga reacted through Twitter and said that she curse anyone and everyone that sees a woman like her mom, who was a single parent, as "less than." Meanwhile, comedienne Pokwang noted that she became a single mom because her then partner did not have the balls to provide for them but she is proud to say that she was able to raise her child well.
Towards the latter part of yesterday's hearing, Sen. Sotto apologized for his comment saying that it was meant to be a joke. He did not intend to disrespect the DSWD secretary. "As I’ve said, it was meant as a joke, and everybody in the hall, almost everybody laughed. I don’t think it was done disrespectfully. But as I said, just to drive home the point, if they are offended, then I apologize," said Sotto.
What can you say about the remarks made by Sen. Tito Sotto and what would you want to tell him about single parents? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.