Tito Sotto the senator keeps outdoing himself.
During the Commission on Appointments’ confirmation hearing Wednesday for Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Sotto said something so objectionable it made us retch.
He was reading through Taguiwalo’s information sheet and noted that she had two children despite the fact that she did not have a spouse.
The secretary said her life had never been normal. She was detained and then joined the underground movement.
Horrors, Sotto, who as commission member decides the fitness and the fate of appointed Executive officials, said: “in the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag lang ay na-ano lang
Non-Tagalog speakers might be confounded, but everybody else knows “ano
” is a euphemism for the sex act, with the modifier “lang
” diminishing the stature of the woman supposedly on the receiving end of it.
The secretary, maintaining her composure despite Sotto’s boorish comment, said that she teaches women’s studies at the University of the Philippines and that they respect all kinds of families, including single-parent ones.
A confirmation hearing is supposed to showcase the qualifications and experience of the Executive official being considered.
In this case, we were reminded instead of how a comedian made his way into local government, and then to the Upper House of Congress. Alas, Sotto is not there due to his moral fitness or stellar intellect—even as he tries to apply such standards to the people he deems fit or unfit for public office —but to sheer popularity and mass appeal.
Sotto has made numerous incendiary statements in the past, all borne out of his moral posturing. He was, for instance, staunchly against the reproductive health bill and did everything within his means to stop its passage, then sought to subvert it after the law was passed.
He did everything to show us the measure was the handiwork of evil, going to the extent of unabashedly copying the words of others and passing them off as his own arguments.
Sotto’s latest caper, while infuriating, is hardly surprising. Did we even think he could ever rise above his hypocrisy, his habit of disrespecting women and making light of the not-so-conventional predicament of many?
Some groups are demanding an apology from the senator for his remarks. We say this is futile. He will never apologize. He will never even acknowledge there was anything wrong in what he said. This is the way he is wired—something that gets reinforced every time he wins an election.
This can be gleaned from his patronizing words to Taguiwalo: “Thank you, you have my 100 percent support, Madam Secretary,” he said.
And toward you, Mr. Senator, you have our 100 percent revulsion