By Elena Aben
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday apologized for his remark about Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo being a single parent.
This even as he insisted that what he said was meant as a joke, adding that “anything under the sun about a nominee can be asked” during a confirmation hearing
“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,” Sotto claimed. “But as I said, just to drive home the point, if they are offended then I apologize,” he added.
Sotto made the statement after he drew flak over what he said about Taguiwalo’s status as a single motherduring her confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments (CA) yesterday.
“Just on the lighter side, Senator Drilon and I were looking at the personal info about you. You have two children – daughters or sons?” Sotto asked the DSWD secretary.
Taguiwalo confirmed that she has two daughters and that she is single.
Sotto then said: “In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag lang ay ‘na-ano lang’.”
The DSWD secretary responded to the senator’s remark by saying: “Mr. Sotto, I teach Women’s Studies so we respect all kinds of families, and that includes solo parents.”
“Thank you, you have my 100-percent support, Madam Secretary,” then told Taguiwalo.
Responding to criticisms he received over his controversial remark, Sotto said that “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,” he added.