Identities of the abductors are still unknown
CAVITE, Philippines - Senatorial candidate and former senator Jamby Madrigal said she empathizes with Sen Ping Lacson, after Sen Miriam Santiago insinuated he (Lacson) is gay.
Madrigal told Rappler on Friday, February 15, that she can relate to Lacson because she too has been victim of the same nasty rumors questioning her sexuality.
"I can feel what Sen Lacson is feeling because if it's not true, then why should it be pushed?" she asked. "We should stand for the truth, we should stand for what is accurate."
She called the incident a "personal attack" on Lacson, and said that having experienced it herself, fueling sexuality rumors is "the lowest blow you can go."
"Kung wala silang mabato sayo, kung ano ano nalang ang binabato (If they have nothing to criticize you on, they will throw whatever lies they can)," she said.
Madrigal cheered on Lacson's reaction to the insults. She said Lacson's response that Santiago can't invoke "immunity by insanity" was the perfect answer to her statements. She also gave Lacson some advice.
"Nabatikos ako ng ganyan but if you know the truth, talo ang pikon, (I've been in the same position but if you know the truth, sore losers finish last)," she said.
On Wednesday, February 13, Santiago revived talks of Lacson's sexuality, calling him "Pinky" Lacson. The two got into a disagreement sparked by Lacson's defense of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, with whom Santiago is feuding.
Lacson has denied he is gay.
Ready for gay senator?
In defending Lacson, Madrigal said sexuality should be a "non-issue," especially when it comes to voting or serving the country.
"I don't think anyone should vote on gender alone. They should vote on the personage and the platform so that's a non-issue for me," she said.
Former Sen Ramon Magsaysay Jr agreed with Madrigal, even expressing optimism that the Philippines is ready for a gay senator.
"I can assure you we are ready for anything. There were some not exactly masculine senators way, way in the past. It's the same. They served well, that's all that matters. It's a non-issue," he said.
Magsaysay did not name which past senators he was referring to.
The Team PNoy senatorial bet also offered advice to senators and candidates who may be in the same situation.
"Just be yourself… and try not to scandalize anybody," he said. - Rappler.com