Sen. Risa Hontiveros yesterday slammed Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III for his sexist remarks against solo mothers.
“There’s nothing shameful in being a solo mother. (I) am a proud solo mom myself. And it’s certainly no joke,” Hontiveros said.
Sotto earned flak when he questioned Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo over her personal life during the Commission on Appointments hearing on her nomination.
The senator asked Taguiwalo why she had two daughters and noted she was single. According to Sotto, a host of the popular noontime show “Eat Bulaga!,” women like her are termed as “na-ano lang” which drew awkward laughter from the audience and a heavy backlash from netizens.
Taguiwalo didn’t appear offended during the hearing but said, “I teach women’s studies in UP so we respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents. Thank you.”
Hontiveros, a known women’s rights advocate, said she was offended by the remarks made by her colleague.
“I am offended. The remarks should be taken seriously because we solo mothers take our parenting and our work outside the home very seriously,” she said.
Sotto has since apologized for his remarks, saying it was “a banter in jest” he made to lighten up the interpellations. “It’s reflected in the journal. Then I said, if anyone is offended then I apologize,” Sotto had said. (Hannah L. Torregoza)