Following a thorough investigation by an ethics committee into charges of plagiarism against famed writer Alfred “Krip” Yuson, his contract as editor at large for GMA News Online, which reportedly expired mid-April, has not been renewed. In a statement, GMA Network management explained that, “The decision not to renew the services of Mr. Yuson is consistent with the policy of GMA that personnel do not plagiarize or copy other people’s work.”
The issue of plagiarism was first raised by blogger Jaemark Tordecilla of Fire Quinito, who noted strong similarities between an article by Yuson published in Rogue magazine, and an earlier piece written by GMA News Online sportswriter Rey Joble. Yuson, in a response to Tordecilla, admitted that he had lifted portions from Joble’s article, but said that he had been under deadline pressure. He also said that he thought he had co-authorial rights, given that he had edited Joble’s work before it was published by GMA News.
The controversy drew a flurry of outraged reactions from the blogosphere, including Ina Stuart Santiago, James Cordova of Asian Correspondent, and Interlineal, a content partner of ProPinoy.net. After Yuson, in his weekly column for The Philippine Star, said that “it is hardly of any consequence that the usual lynch mob that marauds through social media is having such a fun time indulging in vituperation”, Tordecilla had strong words for the multi-awarded wordsmith. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) slammed Yuson as well, saying, “An apology would have sufficed; making excuses is just too much.”
Yuson is a significant figure in Philippine letters. The author or editor of several books, he is a member of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Fame, probably the most prestigious literary distinction in the country. He has also won many other prizes locally and internationally.
As of this writing, Rogue has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Ateneo de Manila University, where Yuson is listed as a member of the Department of English, has similarly made no comment.
The university has been involved in previous plagiarism disputes that erupted around business tycoon Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan, a former member of the Ateneo board of trustees, and Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, a graduate of Ateneo Law School.
Editor’s note (May 2, 2011; 7:45 PM): This article was first published in slightly different form. It has since been revised to better comply with the editorial standards of The Pro Pinoy Project. Our apologies.