InterAksyon.com reports that on Wednesday, July 18, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago "apologized for calling her political enemies ’Mongoloids’ in a speech at a Senate forum last week." For the record, an ABS-CBNNews.com report pointed out that Santiago had quoted a line from John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, which goes: "Stop molesting me, you mongoloids."
The InterAksyon.com report went on to cite Santiago’s letter to Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines Inc. (DSAPI) chairman Tony Pasia, where she said, "If there was any public ridicule and vilification, I certainly did not aim it at any PWD (person with disability), but at corrupt politicians. It is unfair and misguided to charge me with intent to violate the law, when my intent was to emphasize my anti-graft stance."
The InterAksyon.com report further explained: "Santiago was reacting to reported plans of Pasia to charge her with the violation of Republic Act 9442, the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability (PWD) which ’penalizes public ridicule and vilification of PWDs.’" Santiago pointed out though that the said law "was not created to censor speech, as well as the use of words like ’Mongoloid’ and ’autistic’ in public." However, she promised to be more careful about the words she used. In fact, as the report revealed, in a phone interview with InterAksyon.com, Pasia said DSAPI was "very pleased" by Santiago’s gesture.