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Deplorable birthday gift

/ 12:14 AM October 08, 2015

As mothers, women lawyers and advocates for children and women, we are enraged at and disgusted with the recent “sexy dance gift” reportedly given by Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino to Laguna representative and Liberal Party member Benjamin Agarao, Jr. during the celebration of the latter’s birthday and 40th anniversary in service.

The mere thought of a public official giving such a “gift” to a fellow official is reprehensible. To do such a thing in a public gathering is obscene and plainly sickening beyond words. If they can do that shamelessly in the light of day, who knows what they are up to in the shadows?

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We cannot express enough disgust and indignation over these government officials’ lack of refinement and judgment.  It shows their exploitative, ungentlemanly and crass way of thinking—one that is clearly unworthy of respect.

To the LP officials whose idea of amusement is a floor show by a government official simulating sex in front of young and old people, we pity your mothers, wives, sisters and daughters!

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It is a sad reflection of your indecency, profanity and lack of respect for women.  It perpetuates the archaic but obviously still present thinking that women are sex objects, and that it is perfectly acceptable to use them as sources of amusement for men. Treating women as such can never be in the realm of normal and must not be tolerated. It perpetuates gender discrimination and patriarchy. It is the same mentality that leads to trafficking of and violence against women and children.

To the women of this motherland, let us unleash our wrath and not sit idly by when human decency and respect are trivialized. We owe it to our children and our children’s children to speak up and call out what is wrong. By our silence we blur the line between good and evil.

To the members of the Liberal Party who even defended it as “normal” by provincial sortie standards, shame on you!  To the leadership of the Liberal Party, the nation is waiting for how you will discipline your own ranks. If you do not purge yourself of those colleagues responsible for that lewd and offensive show, shame on you! That is pathetic and anything but “matuwid.”

—CARMELA ANDAL-CASTRO (UP Law 2000) and NINA PATRICIA SISON-ARROYO (Ateneo Law 1997)

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TAGS: Francis Tolentino, Liberal Party, sexy gift
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