I rarely write things about politicians, but this guy really takes the cake. I voted for Sotto because I thought that despite being in the business of making a fool out of himself (Philippine comedy), he was rather coherent, intelligent and fairly humble compared to, well, a lot of other politicians and actors. But now I will never vote for him, never again; it would be a further insult to my own intelligence if I voted for him again after this fiasco. By the way, I’d rather not talk about the RH Bill itself on this post, so you’ll see none of my opinion on the bill itself.
The blog post which was plagiarized by Senator Tito Sotto, and promptly twisted up to attain his own goal of bringing down the proposed RH Bill: How the Pill can Harm your Future Child’s Health by Sarah Pope
Sunstar Article: Senator called a ‘thief’ for copying blog
Quote, “ An American blogger criticized Senator Vicente Sotto III for allegedly copying her works for a speech the senator delivered early this week.
Sarah Pope, owner of the blog The Healthy Home Economist, said Sotto lifted entire sections of one of her blog entries “basically word for word” that were allegedly used in his speech on the Reproductive Health Bill early this week.
In a television interview, Sotto denied such accusations, saying he was quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride and not Pope.
Campbell-McBride is a medical doctor with two postgraduate degrees in neurology and human nutrition.
“Why would I quote the blogger?” Sotto said in a television interview.
Pope said Sotto’s denial is worse than the act of plagiarism itself. “
My comment: Sotto, if you have the time to appear on your brother’s TV show Eat Bulaga, why did you not have the time to write your own speech? Especially since you said that the RH Bill issue is so personal for you? If you had a staff to do research for you, then that’s fine, go ahead. But is it so difficult to read over everything that you, yourself, are going to say regarding such an important issue? And that sarcastic question, “Why would I quote the blogger?” – well what do you have to say for yourself now that it had been proven that your speech did contain, not just copied but, copied and pasted parts from Sarah’s blog? And are you looking down on bloggers as if the whole lot of us have unreliable information? If so, why was your staff using Sarah’s blog?
Quote, “ The chief of staff of Sen. Tito Sotto has come out in the open to take the blame for the alleged plagiarism the senator committed in his speech last Monday against the pending Reproductive Health bill.
While Atty. Hector A. Villacorta admitted to copying from a US-based blog, he told GMA News Online on Friday that what he and his staff did was not plagiarism.
“You have a blog, it is meant to be shared, it’s in the public domain, so it’s not plagiarism,” he said. “
My comment: I don’t even… “You have a blog, it is meant to be shared, it’s in the public domain, so it’s not plagiarism,” Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Not only do you, Villacorta, not know ANYTHING about blogs, apparently you do not know about intellectual property rights which, of course, something that a LAWYER should know. Let me give WordPress as an example. WordPress has Terms of Service, like ALL OTHER BLOG SITES. Now, read this very simple article that eHow has so kindly written up regarding Intellectual Property Rights on a WordPress blog. Websites on the internet are not “public domain” unless otherwise stated, or if copyrights are expired or not applicable (such as still-existing websites made by long dead people or defunct groups). Each website, which includes blogs, are owned by their respective, well, website owners be it a company or a person. If, by public domain, you meant “hey everyone can see it so it is public domain!” then that means your house, Villacorta, is “public domain” therefore I can do whatever I want with it, yea?
The rest of what I want to say: In both articles, Villacorta was quoted to have said that Sarah Pope took the contents of her blog post from Campbell’s book and therefore the speech was just, technically, taking things from the book. He said that this is the reason why they did not need to state that the blog was the source. But if you look at this comparison that a certain Sam so kindly made for all to see, you’ll find exact similarities between Sotto’s speech and Pope’s blog post:
Do note that Sarah Pope paraphrased from parts of Campbell’s book, using it as a basis for the structure of her blog post in addition to her own observations and experiences. Was it that hard to paraphrase a book by yourself, Sotto?
Both Sotto and Villacorta, instead of saying ” I’m not sure, we’ll look into it “, they immediately defended themselves and rather disgracefully at that. When it was proven that parts of the speech were indeed from the blog, they then turned their ire on Sarah who was merely correcting their grave error. Sotto already showed me how unintelligent he is when he could not even make his own “personal” speech. Villacorta showed me that Sotto has a monkey in a suit as chief of his staff. One of them, or maybe both, said that they were merely SHARING Sarah’s blog. If that is so, why did they not state that in the speech? And now Sarah is the one in the wrong when she called them out? Sotto, this isn’t just your staff’s mistake, it was yours too. You should have reviewed that speech before you read it out to the public. You are responsible for your staff’s actions, because you chose them yourself, nobody imposed them upon you. Villacorta, GTFO. Within just a day or so you showed not just the country but the whole world that you are a useless monkey of a lawyer who does not know his own field, which of course regards LAWS. Don’t think that just because you talk pretty, we’re equally unintelligent monkeys who will believe what you said just because you said it. “ There is no jurisprudence, there is no privacy law, even if she wants to press charges. I already talked to a lawyer from New York. Even in the US, there is no legislation.” Really? What’s the lawyer’s name? If he’s from your circle of friends, people ought to stay away from him. If birds of the same feather flock together, monkeys of the same brainfart stick together too.
Regarding my decision to never vote for Sotto again, if he did not react the way that he did, I would have seen this as “a simple error”. If he had been humble and tactful about it, I would have pitied him a bit. But no, Sotto, you were extremely arrogant. A lying thief, a haughty bastard, looking down on “a blogger”, even. So you think you’re better than Sarah because she’s a blogger and you’re a Senator? You think we’ll take your word over hers because you’re a well-known local politician and she’s from the other side of the world? THINK AGAIN. You have a whole staff led by a monkey to do that for you after all.