SENATORIAL aspirant and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao showed his lack of experience in governance when he branded couples in same-sex union as "worse than animals," Senate President Franklin Drilon said Wednesday.
Pacquiao has drawn opposition on Tuesday from the public, especially from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), following his awful statement against same sex marriage.
"That (Pacquaio's comment on same-sex relationship) shows lack of experience in governance. He somehow made a mistake. The language he used was improper," Drilon said at the sideline of administration Liberal Party's campaign rally in Quezon, City.
In an interview with Bilang Pilipino, Pacquaio was quoted as saying, "It's common sense. Have you seen any animals that are engaged in male to male, or female to female? Animals then are better (as) they know how to distinguish male or female. Now, if it is male on male, female or female, the human is worse than animal."
Pacquiao's "shallow" understanding of the issues that are important to the LGBT community earned him the ire of various gay and lesbian groups.
Drilon, a re-electionist senator, said such mistake Pacquiao had committed should be prevented and urged the voters to be more careful in choosing candidates they would elect in the May 9 elections.
"We will not make mistakes like my good friend Manny Pacquiao did. He committed a mistake there. But perhaps, that's one aspect that we have to look into our public servants," the Senate leader said.
However, Drilon acknowledged Pacquiao's apology to the LGBT community who were hurt on his statement.
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. shared his comment on the controversial remark of Pacquiao and cited Pope Francis' advice not to judge the LGBT community.
"I am following the Pope's statement. The Pope said, 'Who am I to judge?' If the Pope does not judge, why would we then judge?" Marcos said in a press conference in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.
Marcos said all people, regardless of their status, must earn respect.
"Whatever the lifestyle of a person is, as long as he does not hurt anyone or does not do anything wrong, why would we judge them?” the senator said.
"That would be up to the person, to the place. For instance, we will have law in accordance to the people, what will it say? Vox populi, vox dei – the voice of the people is the voice of God. That's how we follow it."
A close friend of Pacquiao, Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza, said the boxing champion did not mean to hurt the feelings of the LGBTs.
Atienza, a devout Roman Catholic, said he and Pacquiao share the same opinion that marriage should always be between a man and a woman.
"Pareho kami ng paniniwala na ang kasal ay para sa babae at at lalaki… dahil ang purpose ng kasal ay pagbuo ng pamilya. Paano kayo makakabuo ng bata yung lalaki sa lalaki or babae sa babae?" said Atienza.
Atienza reminded Pacquiao's bashers on social media that the Sarangani lawmaker is also entitled to his own opinion being a citizen of the country.
"Malinaw ang kanyang prinsipyo, ang sakin lang ay respetuhin natin kung ano ang tingin niya ay tama," said Atienza.
Senatorial candidate Leila de Lima said that although Pacquiao has already issued an apology, his statement has already affected the LGBT sector.
"'Yan ang problema natin ngayon, may mga prejudices pa rin. Meron pa rin tayong mga unequal mga unequal treatment sa LGBT (community) at hindi po dapat ganyan," said de Lima.
De Lima said that while she is not in favor of same-sex marriage, she is open for the recognition of civil unions and the passage of an Anti-Discriminatory Law to recognize the Concomitant Rights of the LGBT sector.
"Isulong po natin parati anf karapatan ng sektor na 'yan, hindi yung ganyang mga (mapanglait) na salita," said de Lima. (Sunnex)