MANILA - Film icon Nora Aunor has condemned eight-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for describing people in a same-sex marriage as "worse than animals."
Speaking to reporters during a press conference for the Ani ng Dangal awards on Thursday, the 62-year-old Aunor took a swipe at the boxer-politician and claimed that being a gambler and a womanizer is far worse than being gay.
"Ang masama doon ay sugarol ka, babaero ka -- mas masama iyon. At saka huwag niyang sasabihing hayop kasi mga tao iyon eh," the screen veteran said.
Pacquiao has had a history with gambling and womanizing, but has since proclaimed himself a reformed man after embracing religion.
Asked for his advice for Pacquiao, a member of the House of Representatives and a senatorial aspirant, Aunor said: "Nasa gobyerno siya, hindi ba? Kung ano ang personal na opinyon niya dapat itago na lang niya."
"Tumigil na muna siya nang kadadaldal at humingi siya ng tawad doon sa mga pinaringan niya," she added.
Pacquiao has already apologized for his controversial comments made during an interview with local network TV5, but maintained that he is against same-sex marriage and the "detestable" act of homosexuals having sex.
"Tao pa rin iyan," Aunor then explained, referring to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. "Suportahan natin sila kasi wala naman silang ginagawang masama eh."
Aunor also said she will support the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is still not allowed in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. "Para sa akin, bakit naman hindi? Kaysa naman nagtatago kayo eh alam naman ng mga tao."
Since comparing people in a same-sex relationship to animals, Pacquiao has earned the ire of prominent local gay figures, as well as international personalities such as basketball legend Magic Johnson.
Sportswear giant Nike, who has been associated with Pacquiao for nearly a decade, decided to terminate its relationship with the boxer, calling his comments "abhorrent."
"Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao," the company said in a statement.
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