Seems like the lachrymose senator Sotto plagiarized material for his anti-RH Bill speech from five bloggers and not just one as earlier reported. (Read Raissa Robles, “Did Sen. Sotto copy from 5 bloggers?” HERE)
Recall that Sen. Sotto denied he plagiarized.
- In an interview on Headstart on ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, Sotto said he did not plagiarize in his “turno en contra” speech against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. Sotto guested on the show on Thursday, August 16.
“Itong blogger na sinasabi nila, eh pareho kami ng pinagkunan eh. Ang pinagkunan namin si Natasha Campbell-McBride. And in my speeches, even in my first speech and my second speech, I’ve always said, every now and then sinisingit ko, hindi po ako nagdudunong-dunungan ha. Hindi po galing sa akin ito.” (This blogger they’re mentioning, we got it from the same source. Our source is Natasha Campbell-McBride. And I’ve always said, I’m not pretending to be wise. This does not come from me.)
“Bakit ko naman iko-quote ang blogger? Blogger lang iyon. Ang kino-quote ko si Natasha Campbell-McBride.” (Why should I quote a blogger? She’s just a blogger. I’m quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride.)
But Sen. Sotto’s chief of staff admitted that portions of Sotto’s speech was plagiarized.
There’s an interesting exchange summarized in Rappler between Sen Sotto’s chief of staff, Atty Hector A. Villacorta, and one of the bloggers whose work was plagiarized.
Below is the actual exchange referred to in the Rappler articler.
The blogger, Sarah Pope, wrote:
- It seems one of your esteemed Senators, Tito Sotto, plagiarized a blog post I wrote on February 23, 2011 entitled How The Pill Can Harm Your Future Child’s Health, lifting entire sections of the article basically word for word that were delivered in a speech to the Senate Floor regarding the possible passage of the highly controversial Reproductive Health Bill.
What’s worse, Senator Sotto is denying the charge of plagiarism, saying in an interview with ABS-CBN:
“Why would I quote the blogger? I was quoting Natasha McBride.”
Nice touch Senator. You almost had me convinced you were a nice guy with the tears and all. Many of your citizenry have emailed me assuring me that was a put on, and I’m starting to think they are right.
A thief is a thief, Mr. Senator. Denying it doesn’t get you off the hook; it just makes you a lying thief.
On the bright side, I am thrilled that your lapse of moral judgment has brought much needed attention to the fact that the birth control pill can have devastating consequences to a woman’s long term health and possibly those of her children and even grandchildren. Gut dysbiosis is a serious condition that has multi-generational consequences that women need to be educated about and completely aware of before making the very personal decision to use them.
It was indeed brave of you to take this controversial position. Kudos to you for that.
By the way, I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. As the mother of two sons myself, I can only imagine the pain and devastation you have felt from such an experience.
While this has been a highly charged and hopefully enlightening experience for all involved, it’s time now to set the drama aside and get back to fighting the good fight by continuing to educate people about how their food and pharma choices affect not only themselves, but also those they dearly love.
And although my attorney will likely try to persuade me otherwise, for now I’m moving on as I’ve got work to do.
Women of the Philippines: I am terribly sorry my blog was used and twisted against you. You deserve the choice to use The Pill if you want or need to based on your particular circumstances. While I want you to know that this choice has health consequences, I in no way would ever condone taking this choice away from you! Mabuhay!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sen. Sotto’s chief of staff posted the following comment, using the account name Lezel:
August 16, 2012 at 8:18 am
i am atty hector a. villacorta. i am the chief of staff of senator tito sotto. i understand you felt slighted that your blog was not attributed to you which became part of the speech of the senator. let me say that after asking my staff, indeed, your blog was used but only in quoting also from the same book of dr. campbell- mcbride. we are both indebted to the book’s author but if you wish that you also be credited with the contents of the book, let this be your affirmation. i can do it and by this message, i am doing it. hope it satisfies you. but if it does not, what would you want us to do? what have we done to deserve your incriminating words. the senator did not lift it himself, we did. did you want us to tell him to admit what he did not do? who would you like to crucify for this oversight? all the unborn wants very much the right to be born and they need everybody’s help, including yours. remember, rizal was the seventh child of 11 children of teodora alonso and francisco mercado. be on our side. please, and don’t deflect the debate to this matter of plagiarism. it is so out of sync in this great debate. join us in the side of life and truth. forgive us our single trespass. we had no malice, we thought you would be happy about it. there was no injury. hope this makes you feel better. warm regards.
Atty. Hector A. Villacorta
Chief of Staff Office of Senator Sotto
Sarah replied 29 minutes later:
- Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist
August 16, 2012 at 8:38 am
I don’t like the fact that my blog was used without my permission against the education of the women of the Philippines and their reproductive rights. That is the issue and it was indeed plagiarism. If his staff did it, he condoned it. He is responsible for your actions. My BLOG was quoted, not Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I put her work in my own words and you copied my words.
A woman needs to know that the Pill can indeed harm her but this is NO REASON to take away this choice from her in the first place.
I do not agree with Senator Sotto’s position on this issue and he twisted the message of my blog to suit his own purposes against the women of the Philippines.
No, your lame comment does not make me “feel” any better.
And Lezel replied, an hour later, this time without Atty. Villacorta’s name at the bottom:
August 16, 2012 at 9:47 am
a blog is meant to be shared and we shared it.
By the way Sen. Sotto finally explained what he meant when he said The RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty. (READ HERE)
- Last Monday, I mentioned that I will show how the RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty. My point in stating that is we should not be pushed over by any state or international organizations in determining what is best for our country. Hindi po porque ginagawa na nila sa kanilang bansa, ay dapat gawin din natin. Tandaan natin na may iba’t iba tayong kultura, kasaysayan at tradisyon, at higit sa lahat, pangangailangan. Sino sila para magdikta sa atin? Hindi tayo gaya nila na iba ang pagpapahalaga sa pagkakabuklod-buklod ng pamilyang Pilipino at pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng tao.
Okay. There are “outside” forces who advocate artificial contraception. And there are “outside” forces who advocate against it. However, the point, Mr Senator, is neither of those forces can compel us to do what they want. Whatever we decide to do will be our choice. So there is no violation of sovereignty at all. Maybe you don’t understand what the word sovereignty means. Or maybe that was your voice but you were not doing the talking.