‘Sanction Mocha, Drew for mocking sign language’
Two party-list lawmakers on Sunday asked President Duterte to sign into law an approved measure recognizing the official sign language for the Filipino deaf community as the world marked the International Day of Sign Languages.
At the same time, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro urged Malacañang to impose sanctions on sex guru-turned-Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson and her blogger-friend, Drew Olivar, for mocking the sign language in a recent online video.
Uson and Olivar were previously whacked by brickbats for making a video supposedly intended to help the government’s push for federalism, which showed Olivar doing a sexually suggestive dance as he touched his crotch and chest while singing, “I-pepe, i-pepe. I-dede, i-dede. I-pede, pede, pede, pederalismo.”
“Pepe” is a vernacular term for “vagina,” while “dede” is a street slang for “breasts.”
Ridiculing the deaf
“We also urge the Duterte administration to hold… Uson and… Olivar accountable for vilifying and ridiculing the deaf community. They cannot get off the hook with what they posted on social media even with their so-called ‘apology,’” Castro said.
As principal authors of House Bill No. 7503, or the Filipino Sign Language Act, Tinio and Castro reiterated that the measure would help ease the lives of the Filipino deaf community by institutionalizing a mode of communication and a language of instruction for them.
He said lawmakers had been coordinating with the Filipino deaf groups and advocates since 2012 in pushing for a law designating an official sign language for the hearing impaired.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have already passed their own version of the bill.
Official sign language
“The declaration of Filipino sign language as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf… is the victory of the Filipino deaf community. Their steadfast advocacy has finally culminated into the passage of this measure,” Tinio said.
“[W]e celebrate not only the Filipino sign language, but the whole deaf community for their commitment and courage to stand and fight for their rights and hold accountable those who try to ridicule and vilify them,” he said.
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