Santiago’s vow to watch her mouth laudedBy Katherine Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines – The Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. on Wednesday said that they are happy with Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s promise to exercise self-restraint when issuing statements.
In a telephone interview, DASPI President Tony Pasia said that they received a letter from Santiago and said they accepted her explanation on the mongoloid remark that she made last week during a press conference.
“The official statement of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc., accepts the friendship extended by the good senator and we are happy with the self-imposed censorship avoiding in the future any word that refers to a person with disability,” Pasia said.
He added that they had no plans of filing charges against Santiago.
“We never thought of filing any case. We just wanted to point out that we were hurt and we ask that if it can be avoided in the future. That’s more than what we can ask for,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pasia said that they are planning to have courtesy call to the office of Santiago and bring kids with disabilities with them.
The statement came after Santiago wrote a letter to the DASPI explaining her statement in last week’s Kapihan sa Senado where she called her political enemies “mongoloids.”
In her letter, Santiago explained that she did not intend to demean persons with disability with her statement and said that it was lifted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning book , A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
Likewise, she said she will file counter-charges against the group if they file a case against her regarding her statement saying that this will violate her freedom of speech.