Taguiwalo faces CA anew on Wednesday
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo will face the Commission on Appointments again on Wednesday, May 17, when the 24 senators and congressmen who sit in the body are expected to decide whether to confirm or reject her appointment.
If Taguiwalo is bypassed again, she runs the risk of no longer being accepted by the CA under its new three-strike rule.
Taguiwalo’s confirmation hearing last May 3 turned controversial after Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III asked her about having children out of wedlock.
The senator-comedian remarked afterwards: “In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag do’n ay na-ano lang. Thank you. You have my one hundred per cent support.”
Taguiwalo, a professor and activist since Martial Law, responded: “Senator Sotto, I teach women’s studies. We respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents. Thank you.”
The senator’s derogatory remark was roundly condemned in social media and even by his fellow entertainers.
The next day Taguiwalo said while the senator has apologized and while she has accepted his apology, “that does not mean that I tolerate misogyny or anti-women comments or attacks against solo parents.”
Taguiwalo has pushed for the expansion of benefits for solo parents.
A group representing 80,000 solo parents nationwide said the controversy was a “blessing in disguise” since it has opened doors to get support from legislators like Sotto to amend the law for solo parents.
The Federation of Solo Parents in Luzvimin wants discounts on medicine, laboratory and hospitalization fees, tuition, milk and vitamins for solo parents and their children, as well as an office in every local government unit that would specially attend to their needs.
Meanwhile Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano is scheduled to be grilled by the CA next Wednesday, May 24.
Taguiwalo and Mariano were nominated by the communist National Democratic Front of the Philippines after President Duterte said he will give certain Cabinet posts to the Left.
Mariano was a long-time leader of the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and former Anakpawis party-list representative.
Taguiwalo was an activist-professor of the University of the Philippines and founding president of the All-UP Academic Employees Union.
Earlier Bayan Muna secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the two officials’ appointment was part of the supposed collaboration between the Duterte administration and the Left, and expressed concern how the peace negotiations may be affected if Taguiwalo and Mariano are not confirmed.
“Ka Paeng (Mariano) and Secretary Judy (Taguiwalo) are special as part of the peace talks,” Reyes said.
The CA has so far rejected two Cabinet appointments, those of foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay and environment secretary Gina Lopez.
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