Days after the "na-ano" incident went viral, netizens have not relented on the unfortunate controversy that had all moms, single or not, up in arms on social media to rally behind single moms.
On May 3, at the Commissions of Appointments (CA) confirmation hearing of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III tried to 'make light' of her situation as a single mom to two daughters by commenting, "In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag lang ay na-ano lang," before professing his support for her confirmation.
It didn't take long for the Internet to blow up as celebrities, single moms, and those who have been brought up by solo mothers put their voices together to condemn the incident and/or to defend all single moms and the sacrifice they do for their kids.
It didn't escape the attention of netizens that Sotto's daughter Ciara is a single mom herself and pointed this out in their comments, with some even going as far as tagging her. The actress-singer and pole dance instructor had been separated from her husband Jojo Oconer since 2016, after five years of marriage. They have a son together named Crixus.
Ciara and Crixus were (and still are, as of this writing) on vacation in Japan when the senator made his uncalled-for remarks about single moms. When negative comments showed up on her Instagram posts about their trip, celebrity mom of two Danica Sotto-Pingrisdefended her cousin against the bashers.
"Please wag kayo dito mag-comment. Respect her account. May mga nasaktan man pero unfair na idamay niyo siya pati ang pamangkin ko," Danica wrote in the comments. She pleaded for them to let Ciara and Crixus enjoy their vacation. "Respect ang gusto niyo diba po? Please also show her some respect. Walang sino man ang perfect sa atin. Please don't make this issue bigger by giving unnecessary comments," Danica added.
Based on the comments made after Danica's message, many netizens relented and agreed that it's not fair to throw hate or negative feedback to the mother and son who had nothing to do with the incident. Some suggested writing comments at the senator's social media account instead of Ciara's, or that she or Danica should talk to the senator about his remarks.
It didn't help that Senator Sotto added fuel to the fire when he apologized for the remark by saying, "I'm sorry. They didn't get the joke." He added that he "will be the last person in this country to disrespect a woman" and that he has two daughters who are separated, single, and have children."
Secretary Taguiwalo, however, refused to further comment on the issue. During the incident at the CA hearing, however, she didn't take the controversial comment in stride. Taguiwalo calmly but firmly replied, "Senator Sotto, I teach women's studies. We respect all kinds of families, and that includes solo parents. Thank you."
"He apologized and I accepted his apology. That does not mean that I tolerate misogyny or anti-women comments or attacks versus solo parents," Taguiwalo said at a DSWD event, where she welcomed 41 repatriated overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Riyadh at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.