Binay defends Pacquiao: 'He's very God-fearing'
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday, February 16, shielded boxing champ and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao from attacks over his "worse than animals" barb against same-sex unions.
Binay came to Pacquiao's defense in a media interview after the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) formalized its coalition with One Cebu for the May elections.
The UNA standard-bearer initially deferred the question to Pacquiao, saying he was in the best position to respond to the criticism, but added in Filipino that Pacquiao is "known to be very God-fearing."
Pacquiao is an UNA senatorial candidate.
Asked about his position on same-sex marriage, Binay said, "I take the position of the Catholic Church," which means he doesn't approve of it.
Pacquiao, a Christian pastor, drew flak from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, among others, when he described couples in same-sex unions as “mas masahol pa sa hayop (worse than animals)" in a viral video interview on Bilang Pilipino.
Members of the entertainment industry also took offense at the boxer-lawmaker's pronouncement. (READ: Stars react to Manny Pacquiao's comments on same-sex unions)
Faced with strong criticism, Pacquiao later clarified his statement, saying he did not mean to hurt anyone as he was only "telling the truth" as stated in the Bible. (READ: Pacquiao cites scripture to clarify same-sex remark).
He finally apologized to the LGBT community early Tuesday night. (WATCH: Pacquiao apologizes for calling gay couples more disgusting than animals) – Ryan Macasero/Rappler.com
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