May 3, 2017. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary, Judy Taguiwalo, was in a confirmation hearing held before the Commission on Appointments to consider her qualifications to lead.

During th event, Senate majority leader, Vicente Sotto III, or more known as “Tito” by the public, started questioning the secretary. Initially, he went about the rehabilitation plans of DSWD for the drug suspects then later on tried to take the hearing to a “lighter note” by asking about Taguiwalo’s personal life. He noted that she has 2 daughters but is unmarried and cracked the “na-ano lang” joke in relation to the situation of the secretary.

The secretary admitted her untypical life and backfired to him making a statement about how all kinds of families should be respected including solo parents.

The senator has become a top trending topic on Twitter due to this exchange.

He finds himself in hotwater as he continued to earn criticisms online for the uncalled-for joke which turned out to belittle not only the secretary but all the single mothers and parents out there. Worse, his daughter, Ciara Sotto (also a single mother to son Crixus), has been dragged to the mess as netizens not only create memes of her photo with the “na-ano lang” joke, but has also posted on her Instagram account relating her to it.

A lot of people has voiced out their dismay on Sotto’s insulting joke including popular personalities such as Lea Salonga, Pokwang, Jennelyn Mercado, Lauren Young, even the Vice President Leni Robredo herself.

With the posts flying here and there, Sotto sorted out to apologize for the joke saying that it was not intended to insult anyone.

Taguiwalo has also accepted his apology, though, as per the secretary, it was not enough to fully cover the “extent of the gravity of what his joke implied.” She also thanked the people who opposed the “joke.”

Words are sharp as knives. It’s always best if we think them over before we say them, do you agree? There’s a thin line between a joke, sarcasm and insult, if you cross them, boom! Damage done.

So there you go, hope everyone learns a lesson from this incident.