By BicolToday.com Staff
04May2017 (BicolToday.com) – Gabriela Women’s Party commends DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo for standing her ground amid insults during her confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments (CA) yesterday, May 3.
“Gabriela Women’s Party takes much offense, in behalf of solo parents, women raising their children amid difficult circumstances at Sen. Vicente Sotto III’s tirades as he raised questions at the CA’s hearing on the appointment of DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo,” Gabriela said.
“But you’re single?…Single mothers are “na-ano lang (just got knocked up),” Senate Majority Leader Sotto made this remark as he switched to a “lighter side” to ask about personal life of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, a solo parent.
Sotto made this remark quoting a standard joke he and other hosts of his noontime show “Eat Bulaga” tell contestants who are single mothers. “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),” he said, that made the audience laugh during the hearing.
“The senator clearly went out of bounds, insinuating malice at Taguiwalo who raised her two children as a solo parent, dubbing such as ‘na-ano’,” Gabriela added. “Solo parents, including the DSWD secretary should in no way be at the receiving end of such insults.”
According to Gabriela, she is an inspiration to marginalized women and is more than deserving of a confirmation from the CA.
The hearing was supposed to be about Taguiwalo’s qualifications as Department of Social Welfare and Development secretary and questions on the rehabilitation plans of the DSWD for drug suspects.
“Just on the lighter side, Senator Drilon and I were looking at the personal information about you. You have two children – daughters or sons?” asked Sotto clarifying it was he and Sen. Franklin Drilon both noticed Taguiwalo’s civil status.
Taguiwalo said she has two daughters and explained that her life has never been a normal one.
“I never had a whole mother-father-children kind of thing, except when I was growing up in Bacolod. Remember I graduated from UP in 1970, I did organizing work,” said Taguiwalo.
“From 1972 up to 1986, it has been a life underground or in prison. So, well, my story would be different from the stories of those who have gone through corporations, et cetera,” Taguiwalo who was a student activist during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos added.
But Taguiwalo replied calmly “Senator Sotto, I teach women’s studies. We respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents. Thank you.”
Sotto III apologized if people were offended by his comment Taguiwalo’s being a single parent.
In his defense, Sotto said the public should understand that the Commission on Appointments hearing can discuss or question anything under the sun. While true, the CA’s mandate requires it to exercise its power to approve and reject appointments “with only one impelling motive, which is the harmonious and efficient functioning of the government.”
After the interrogation about Taguiwalo’s links to the communist party, CA has deferred her confirmation and will resume another hearing next week. [BicolToday.com]