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The Sassiest Comebacks Against Sen. Tito Sotto And All Other Victim-Blamers Out There

PHOTO: Facebook/Dabarkads Titosen

In the segment of Eat Bulaga’s “Juan for All, All for Juan” on July 9, Senator Tito Sotto, along with hosts Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola, mocked a woman for being assaulted when she was drunk.

Sotto said that as a woman she shouldn’t be taking shots, that her drinking was to blame for someone else violating her. What made matters worse, according to these men, is that she was wearing shorts. And yes, they asked how short they were. And Jose and Wally had no shame or sensitivity at all when they acted out their interpretation of the victim’s scenario right in front of her. The audience laughed.

We at Cosmo have had many things to say about victims—innocent people—being blamed for the assault that came upon them, as if they were responsible for the abuser’s actions, not the abuser himself.

The main thing is that it’s not the victim’s fault at all. Neither her state nor her manner of dress leads to the assault. The burden of rape rests on the rapist, the same way the burden of having killed someone rests on the murderer.


This is common sense, basic logic—which doesn’t seem very common, sadly. While we’d love to do the preaching once again about how victim-blaming is pure nonsense, we’ll put the spotlight on netizens who’ve captured just how wrong it is with matching *z snap!*

The Eraserheads’ “Spolarium” has the lyrics:

Umiyak ang umaga
Anong sinulat ni Enteng at Joey diyan
Sa gintong salamin
’Di ko na mabasa
’Pagkat merong nagbura.

For all those who might not know what probably inspired those lines, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, in 1980, Senator Sotto’s brother Vic Sotto was accused to have raped the late dancer and actress Pepsi Paloma, who was only 14 years old at the time.

Joey de Leon and Richie D’Horsie were also accused with Vic. They allegedly drugged her in a bar then raped her in a hotel room. Pepsi sought the help of then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, who referred her to Atty. Rene Cayetano, to prosecute her assaulters. If the three comedians were convicted of rape, they would have been punished with the death penalty, which was legal at the time.

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To prevent that from happening to his brother, Tito Sotto supposedly went to see Pepsi when she was still getting the services of Atty. Cayetano. According to Pepsi, Tito Sotto “coerced” her to sign an affidavit of desistance to drop the rape complaint—he reportedly placed a pistol on the table in front of her.

With the charges against them dropped, Vic, Joey, and Richie then issued a public apology in 1982 for their “error”—read: they didn’t use the word “crime.” As for Tito Sotto, the Inquirer quoted him saying it was a “gimmick” of Rey dela Cruz, Pepsi’s manager, when the issue was brought up during the recent electoral campaign.

These netizens are right to insinuate that victim-blaming says more about the speaker (and of course the abuser) than it does about the victim.

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