‘Go to Mars,’ En­rile tells those in same-sex re­la­tion­ship

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By MARIO B. CASAYURAN

Those of the same sex who want to have a re­la­tion­ship should go to Mars to do it, as there is noth­ing in the world, the en­tire cre­ation that says two of the same sex could pro­cre­ate.

The com­ment comes from for­mer Se­nate Pres­i­dent Juan Ponce En­rile, who has fanned the con­tro­ver­sial re­mark of sen­a­to­rial bet, Rep. Manuel “Manny’’ Pac­quiao who de-

scribed those who en­gage in same sex re­la­tion­ship as “worse than an­i­mals.’’

In a patched tele­phone in­ter­view, the 92-year- old law­maker stressed: “That (same-sex re­la­tion­ship) is un­nat­u­ral.”

“Pac­quiao is a leader. He is show­ing bet­ter lead­er­ship than most peo­ple,” was En­rile’s re­ply when asked if Pac­quiao’s opin­ion is cor­rect.

Pac­quiao crit­i­cized

Pac­quiao’s com­ment, made in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view Mon­day, went vi­ral on Face­book and soon, many came up to crit­i­cize him. By Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Pac­quiao’s two mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers had dwin­dled to 10,351.

Pac­quiao apolized for the com­ment through his Face­book ac­count Tues­day night.

‘Lack of ex­pe­ri­ence’

Yes­ter­day, Se­nate Pres­i­dent Franklin M. Drilon, a re- elec­tion­ist, said Pac­quiao’s state­ment “shows the lack of ex­pe­ri­ence in gov­er­nance.”

“I will not com­mit the same mis­take that my good friend Manny Pac­quiao did. He com­mit­ted a mis­take there, an as­pect that we should be on the look­out among those in au­thor­ity. He used wrong lan­guage but he has al­ready apol­o­gized,” he added.

En­rile ex­plains

Stress­ing his po­si­tion against same sex re­la­tion­ship, En­rile said that he is a “lib­er­al­ist but not that lib­eral be­cause what God has put to­gether, let them not be put asun­der.”

“Even birds are pair­ing all the time. I never saw any pair­ing be­tween the same sex, even an­i­mals. Why should we be bet­ter than the an­i­mals? Com­mon sense lang yan,” he pointed out.

In re­ply to a ques­tion about the back­lash from the Les­bian, Gay, Bi­sex­ual and Trans­gen­der (LGBT) group against Pac­quiao, En­rile said that Pac­quiao does not need any sec­tor to win.

‘He will win’

“He will win this elec­tion hands down. Kahit anong batikos mo (No mat­ter how you hit him),’’ En­rile said.

En­rile said the strength of Pac­quiao lies with the masses that com­pose the ma­jor­ity of the elec­torate.

Queried about his re­ac­tion if he were crit­i­cized for sid­ing with Pac­quiao. En­rile replied: “Anong pakialam ko sa kanila kung ba­natan ako. Sabi­hin ko sa kanila ‘sira ulo niyo eh… anong gi­na­gawa ninyo?(laughs) Di na­man kayo Diyos (I don’t care if they crit­i­cize me. I will tell them they are out of their minds; what are you do­ing, You are not God).”

‘Won’t hurt UNA slate’

In Pan­gasi­nan, the United Na­tion­al­ist Al­liance (UNA) party said yes­ter­day that Pac­quiao’s harsh state­ments against gays and les­bians won’t hurt the chances of their Se­nate slate in the May polls.

UNA Spokesman and Pro­vin­cial Co­or­di­na­tor Mon Ila­gan told Manila-based re­porters here Pac­quiao’s re­marks won’t be a bur­den to the op­po­si­tion party even as he clar­i­fied its views on the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der (LGBT) com­mu­nity.

I think it was clear in his apol­ogy that he re­spects the stand of the Catholic Church. But he also re­spects equal­ity in our so­ci­ety,” he said in Ta­ga­log.

An evan­gel­i­cal Protes­tant and a hardcore fol­lower of the Bi­ble, Pac­quiao is one of six “orig­i­nal mem­bers” of the op­po­si­tion fac­tion’s Se­nate slate.

But de­spite his state­ment, Ila­gan some­what dis­tanced the party from the boxer’s con­tro­ver­sial opin­ions.

“Yan ay per­sonal na pananalita ni Manny Pac­quiao (That is a per­sonal state­ment of Manny Pac­quiao),” the UNA of­fi­cial said.

“Pero in­ulit niya, na­pak­ing­gan ko rin na siya’y hu­mi­hingi ng pub­lic apol­ogy kung may­roon man siyang nasak­tan (But he’s made a pub­lic apol­ogy ask­ing for­give­ness if he hurt any­one),” he added.

Hum­ble apol­ogy

Mean­while, bashed on so­cial me­dia a day ago, the box­ing hero has won over crit­ics and earned the re­spect of 2016 na­tional can­di­dates for his “sin­cere and hum­ble” apol­ogy for the LGBT re­mark he made dur­ing an in­ter­view.

Wast­ing no time in clar­i­fy­ing his con­tro­ver­sial state­ment, Pac­quiao in­vited to din­ner a huge crowd of LGBT mem­bers and sup­port­ers in Sarangani prov­ince to per­son­ally air his apol­ogy.

“I’m sorry for hurt­ing peo­ple by com­par­ing ho­mo­sex­u­als to an­i­mals. Please for­give me. I still stand on my be­lief that I’m against same sex mar­riage be­cause of what the Bi­ble says, but I’m not con­demn­ing LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God bless you all and I’m pray­ing for you,” said Pac­quiao, who is run­ning for sen­a­tor.

Also laud­ing Pac­quiao’s show of hu­mil­ity were Reps. Win Gatchalian, also a sen­a­to­rial bet, to­gether with party-list nom­i­nees Reps. Emmie De Je­sus ( Gabriela Party- list); Sher­win Tugna (CIBAC Party-list); and for­mer Rep. Ber­nadette Her­rera-Dy (Bagong Hen­erasyon Party-list).

With Pac­quiao

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, a fierce critic of same-sex mar­riage pro­pos­als, said he agreed with Pac­quiaos “strong stand” against same sex pro­pos­als.

“He stated his prin­ci­ples based on his faith and we should re­spect it,” said Atienza.

Ka­bataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ri­don said Pac­quiao made the right deci- sion in air­ing a pub­lic apol­ogy.

How­ever, Que­zon City Rep. Win­ston Castelo of Lib­eral Party said Pac­quiao should be for­given but he should “rec­tify his stand and re­spect LGBT equal rights.”

‘Who am I to judge?’

Who am I to judge, was the com­ment of in­de­pen­dent vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Sen. Fer­di­nand R. Mar­cos Jr. when asked about same sex re­la­tion­ships.

In re­ply to the query, Mar­cos re­it­er­ated the po­si­tion of Pope Fran­cis on con­tro­ver­sial is­sues sur­round­ing the Les­bian, Gay, Bi­sex­ual, and Trans­gen­der (LGBT) com­mu­nity.

I fol­low what the Pope said. He said: “Who am I to judge? If the Pope says don’t judge, who are we to judge, he told re­porters in a press briefing held at the Barangay Hall of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City af­ter a mo­tor­cade in the north­ern part of city.

“What­ever is the sta­tion in life a per­son is as long as he has not hurt any­body and has not com­mit­ted any wrong­do­ing, why should we make a judg­ment? (With re­ports from Ben R. Rosario, Ell­son Quismorio, and Ar­gyll Geducos)

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