Robredo on Pacquiao remark: 'Healthy respect lang'
MANILA, Philippines – In the wake of Manny Pacquiao's controversial statement on same-sex couples, Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo said it is "unfortunate" such discrimination exists when government should be listening to all voices.
"Sa atin naman, 'yung pinaka-essence is binibigyan ng boses 'yung lahat – kahit gaano sila ka-minority – pinapakinggan lahat, nirerespeto 'yung preferences, nirerespeto 'yung opinyon ng bawat isa," Robredo told reporters on the sidelines of the 8th GoNegosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit held Thursday, February 18.
(For us, the very essence here is giving a voice to all – even if that voice is a minority – listening to all and respecting their preferences, respecting the opinion of everyone.)
"Iba-iba naman 'yung relihiyon natin, iba-iba 'yung paniniwala, pero healthy respect lang sa mga paniniwala ng iba. Masama rin na magbigay ng judgments dahil iba 'yung paniniwala, kaya medyo nakakalungkot na ganun 'yung naging usapin."
(We have different religions, different beliefs, but we need a healthy respect for the beliefs of others. It's also bad to give judgments just because your beliefs are different, so it's unfortunate that happened.)
In a video that went viral this week, Pacquiao said couples in a same-sex marriage are "worse than animals (mas masahol pa sa hayop)."
The backlash came almost immediately after, and many who reacted to the issue publicly stated they are not voting for the world-renowned boxer, who is seeking a Senate seat in the 2016 elections.
Pacquiao, a Christian, has since apologized for his remark. (READ: Nike terminates deal with Manny Pacquiao over gay comments)
Be open to debates
But when asked about her own stand on same-sex marriage, Robredo said she is pushing for a government that is open to debates on the matter.
"Whatever will come out of the debates, we'll respect. 'Yung 'di ko lang gusto na hindi papakinggan. Your preferences don't make you any less of a Filipino. Kailangan maging klaro 'yung polisiya na pinapahalagahan ang karapatan ng bawat isa whatever the preferences are," she explained.
(Whatever will come out of the debates, we'll respect. What I don't want is to not have all sides heard. Your preferences don't make you any less of a Filipino. The policy should be clear that we value the rights of everyone, whatever the preferences are.)
In earlier interviews, Robredo had said government should consider legalizing same-sex unions, but not necessarily same-sex marriage. (READ: On same-sex unions, LP bets Roxas, Robredo differ)
The Camarines Sur Representative is a co-author of House Bill 3432 or the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2013. The pending bill seeks to eliminate all discriminatory practices, particularly those based on sex or sexual orientation.
On Thursday, she explained she is a devout Catholic who "lives by the dictates of my religion."
"Pero naniniwala ako na 'yung gobyerno, dapat bukas siya para sa lahat ng usapin, kahit gaano kaliit 'yung boses na sumisigaw. Kailangan pakinggan 'yun ng gobyerno, obligasyon ng gobyerno na pakinggan lahat," she added.
(But I believe that government should be open to these debates, no matter how small the voices may be. Government has to listen, government has the obligation to listen to all.)
She said everyone should also be given the right to freely express themselves, since "who we are going to love and who we are going to live with" is a basic human right that should be respected. – Rappler.com
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