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  1. #1

    Sotto immune from plagiarism raps, top aide says

    Sotto immune from plagiarism raps, top aide says

    by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
    Posted at 08/17/2012 5:44 PM | Updated as of 08/18/2012 12:15 PM


    Sotto not covered by copyright rules, lawyer claims

    MANILA, Philippines - The chief of staff of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto on Friday said they committed no crime in lifting portions of his anti-reproductive health (RH) bill speech at the Senate from the web.

    Atty. Hector Villacorta also feels that blogger Sarah Pope of thehealthyeconomist.com is just reacting after her sensitivities were offended.

    Villacorta claimed that the Internet is public domain, that governments are exempted from copyright rules, while Sotto himself enjoys parliamentary immunity as a legislator.

    Villacorta told ABS-CBN News Sotto used research for his speech since he is not a doctor.

    "Nagtatampo pala sila pag naqu-quote sila. Blog site is public domain, you should be open to be quoted from all over the world. What law did we violate only her sensitivity was.* Because there is no crime, we used information from public domain they're making issue of the way it was quoted."

    "The rule of copyright gives government a chance to use some of materials. There's principle in law if there's a crime there should be a law punishing it. Was she commercially injured? Wala naman eh. No crime, no law violated."

    Villacorta was also asked to comment on claims by journalist and blogger Raissa Robles that Sotto may have also copied from 5 bloggers and one United Nations briefer.

    'Anyone can use blogs'

    "Blogs are public domain. Anybody can use it [sic]. Government is exempted from the copyright rule. As a general principle,* you cannot withhold information from government," he said.

    Villacorta said Sotto's speech and Pope's work quoted a book by Dr. Natasha McBride on the side effects of* birth control pills.

    He said Pope can sue Sotto in the US if the Philippines has a treaty with the US on intellectual property.

    Asked how Sotto is taking the controversy over the alleged plagiarism, Villacorta said, "he is smiling and napapailing because content of speech being sidetracked."

    "Bloggers, beware what you put out on the web. You should not cry if used by the web," he claimed.

    Caught via Google search

    However, Alfredo Melgar, a blogger who pointed out the likeness of Pope's 2011 blog port to Sotto;s privilege speech, argued that it's how Pope's blog was used, and not the fact that it was used, that spells the diffrence.

    “Totoong pwedeng gumamit ng impormasyon, pero yung paraan ng paggamit ng info katulad ng ginawa nila na pangungusap ni Sarah Pope ginamit, at 'di sinabi na kay Sarah Pope," he explained.

    Melgar pointed out that Sotto's office still hasn't owned up to plagiarizing the piece, but merely stressed that they quoted from the same book Pope referred to in her blog.

    Melgar said Pope herself said the lifted parts in Sotto's speech was hers and not from her reference book.

    He said Google search was key to how he caught the copied content.

    He said that after Sotto made his emotional speech against birth control, he was drawn to the technical terms Sotto used.

    Those technical words are what he keyed in to Google search and which led to Pope’s blog.

    Melgar said 8 sentences from Pope's blog were in Sotto's speech.
    www.Gameface.ph: Changing The Face of The Game!

  2. #2
    Sotto plagiarized second RH speech, too?

    ABS-CBNnews.com
    Posted at 08/17/2012 2:52 PM | Updated as of 08/17/2012 4:27 PM


    MANILA, Philippines – It seems that the issue of plagiarism involving Senator Tito Sotto has yet to die down, following claims made by a number of Filipinos that parts of his second speech were lifted from online sources.

    Among them are Filipino novelist Miguel Syjuco, who said on his Facebook page that Sotto’s office “lifted, verbatim, from three sources easily found online.”

    Syjuco, who is based in Canada, won the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize. He also posted some passages in Sotto’s speech which he claims were copied from others.

    Here are the said passages, as mentioned by Syjuco:

    1.

    Sotto’s speech:

    Sanger was so intent on reducing family size that she seemed to not stop even at abortion. Many believe that under the right circumstances, Sanger would have condoned infanticide. Indeed she wrote in her book Woman and the New Race: “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” This comes from the woman who formed the philosophical base for IPPF.”

    But there was even a darker side to Margaret Sanger: a side that IPPF people try to cover up or explain away. That was her belief in “eugenics.” Eugenics is defined as “the application of the laws of hereditary to physical and mental improvement, especially of the human race.” To Sanger this meant the systematic elimination (through birth control, including abortion) of all those people she and her cohorts considered to be of “dysgenic stock” in order to create a race of superior intellectuals.”

    From a 2008 article titled “Re-Imagining Life and Family” by Marlon C. Ramirez:

    Sanger was so intent on reducing family size that she seemed to not stop even at abortion. Many believe that, under the right circumstances, Sanger would have condoned infanticide. Indeed, she wrote in her book “Woman And the New Race: “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” This comes from the woman who formed the philosophical base for Planned Parenthood. You can also see that her interest in birth control was not just due to some humane concern for health of women (which birth control doesn’t help anyway), but was driven in part by her desire to encourage women to engage in sex without having children.

    But there was another side of Margaret Sanger; a side that Planned Parenthood people try to cover up or explain away. That was her belief in eugenics. Eugenics is defined as “the application of the laws of heredity to physical and mental improvement, especially of the human race.” To Sanger this meant the systematic elimination (through birth control, including abortion) of all those people she and her cohorts considered to be of “dysgenic stock” in order to create a race of superior intellectuals.

    2.

    Sotto’s speech:

    The two activists met in December of 1936 when Sanger traveled to India to speak with Gandhi about birth control, population and the plight of women in India. At that time, Sanger staunchly advocated the global use of artificial contraceptives and, in order to make the acceptance of such contraceptives easier to the Indian populace, sought to make Gandhi an ally.

    Despite the fact that the movement was gaining popularity in a society with a serious poverty crisis, Gandhi was an outspoken critic of artificial birth control. His general attitude was that “Persons who use contraceptives will never learn the value of self-restraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.”

    From a 2010 blog post titled “Gandhi’s birth control of choice” by Janice:*

    The two activists met in 1936 when Sanger traveled to India to speak with Gandhi about birth control. By that time Sanger was advocating internationally for artificial contraceptives and sought to make Gandhi an ally.

    Despite the fact that the movement was gaining popularity in a society with a serious poverty crisis, Gandhi was an outspoken critic of artificial birth control. His general attitude was that

    “Persons who use contraceptives will never learn the value of self-restraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.”

    3.

    Sotto’s speech:

    A study undertaken by Raymond Pearl, a JohnHopkins professor and noted authority on this matter, wrote: “Those who practice contraception as part of their sex life, by their own admission, resort to criminally induced abortions about three times as often proportionately as do their comparable non-contraceptor contemporaries.” Also in a report prepared for the Royal Commission on Population in Great Britain found that the incidence of induced abortion as a percentage of all pregnancies was nine times higher for women using contraceptives than for women not using birth control.

    From a 2010 blog post titled “Case Study: The Use of Contraceptives Lowers the Number of Abortions:”*

    In 1939 Raymond Pearl, a Johns Hopkins professor and noted authority, wrote: “Those who practice contraception as part of their sex life, by their own admission, resort to criminally induced abortions about three times as often proportionately as do their comparable non-contraceptor contemporaries.”

    In Great Britain, in 2949, a report prepared for the Royal Commission on Population found that the incidence of induced abortion as a percentage of all pregnancies was nine times higher for women using contraceptives than for women not using birth control.

    Journalist Raissa Robles, a blogger for ABS-CBNnews.com, noted that a total of five instances of plagiarism were found in Sotto’s second RH speech, citing observations made by Syjuco and Internet user Vincent Bautista.

    “Perhaps Senator Sotto did not mean to copy and paste. Perhaps an aide did this for him. Or perhaps someone else fed it to him and he trusted the source completely. Or perhaps one of the bloggers was even his friend.

    “However, all those copied words became Senator Sotto’s very own when they were officially entered into Senate records,” Robles wrote.

    Sotto’s chief of staff reacts

    In a text message to ABS-CBNnews.com on Friday, Sotto’s chief of staff, Atty. Hector Villacorta, said "I can't comment yet without meeting my staff."

    US blog first plagiarized

    On Thursday, Villacorta admitted that they copied the work of an American blogger in the lawmaker’s turno en contra speech on the RH bill.

    Villacorta has posted a message on the Facebook page of blogger Sarah Pope, saying that it was Sotto’s staff who lifted the content of her work without the proper attribution.

    Earlier, Sotto denied plagiarizing*parts of his RH bill speech.
    www.Gameface.ph: Changing The Face of The Game!

  3. #3
    The utter stupidity of the people we elected into the Senate is truly mind-blowing. If there was ever a case for not having a democracy, the election of Tito Sotto and his ilk would be it.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  4. #4

    Sotto does it again, channels Robert F. Kennedy in Filipino

    Sotto does it again, channels Robert F. Kennedy in Filipino
    By Norman Bordadora
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    12:10 am | Thursday, September 6th, 2012 Share on facebook_likeShare 327
    Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

    Did Robert F. Kennedy know how to speak Filipino?

    This appears to be the gist of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III’s defense amid new allegations of plagiarism after he delivered the fourth and last part of his “turno en contra” speech against the reproductive health bill.

    It took bloggers less than two hours to find out that Sotto did it again.

    A tweet from a certain Michel Eldiy at 5:30 p.m., more than an hour after the Sotto speech, triggered online discussions on the supposed intellectual dishonesty of the senator.

    “Not true that last part of Sotto’s speech is original. See Day of Affirmation speech of Robert Kennedy in 1966 in South Africa,” said Eldiy, who goes by the Twitter handle, “ChiliMedley.”

    She then tweeted a link to the Kennedy speech and later compared it with the speech of Sotto.

    Sought for comment, the senator said: “It was texted to me by a friend.

    “I found the idea good. I translated it into Tagalog [Filipino]. So what’s the problem?” Sotto told the Philippine Daily Inquirer when asked about his reaction to the fresh accusations.

    “Ano? Marunong nang mag-Tagalog si Kennedy? (What now? Does Kennedy now know how to speak in Tagalog)?” he added.

    In a separate text message, the senator lamented that proponents of the RH bill were nitpicking.

    Answer the issues

    “They should just answer (the issues about) funding, population control and abortion,” said Sotto.

    The following was Sotto’s conclusion to his lengthy privilege speech against the RH bill:

    “Iilan ang magiging dakila sa pagbali ng kasaysayan, subalit bawat isa sa atin ay maaaring kumilos, gaano man kaliit, para ibahin ang takbo ng mga pangyayari. Kapag pinagsama-sama ang ating munting pagkilos, makalilikha tayo ng totalidad na magmamarka sa kabuuan ng kasaysayan ng henerasyong ito. Ang mga hindi-mabilang na iba’t ibang galaw ng katapangan at paninindigan ang humuhubog sa kasaysayan ng sangkatauhan. Tuwing naninindigan tayo para sa isang paniniwala, tuwing kumikilos tayo para mapabuti ang buhay ng iba, tuwing nilalabanan natin ang kawalan ng katarungan, nakalilikha tayo ng maliliit na galaw. Kapag nagkasama-sama ang mumunting galaw na mga ito, bubuo ito ng isang malakas na puwersang kayang magpabagsak maging ng pinakamatatag na dingding ng opresyon.”

    According to a post on Twitter, it was an alleged direct translation from a speech of the late US Senator Kennedy in 1966:

    “Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and the total—all these acts—will be written in the history of this generation.

    “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped.

    “Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

    Sotto said his detractors should answer the issues he raised in his speech against the RH measure.

    “Let them answer the P8 billion now being used [for reproductive health and related concerns].

    “Let them answer the laws [already existing on maternal health].

    Let them answer the deception about reproductive health when it’s a population control bill,” Sotto said.

    He said his critics had gone so low because they could not answer his arguments against the bill.

    Does he consider his conclusion a product of plagiarism?

    “Impossible. It’s a good thought and better in Tagalog,” Sotto said.

  5. #5
    ^^^ Ito ang isang dahilan kung bakit dapat may minimum educational and functional literacy test before allowing people to vote. My daughter who is a freshman at the Ateneo would never have voted for someone like this. This clown is a continuing disgrace to the great men who once stood, spoke and led from the august high chamber of Congress.

    "Marunong ng mag-Tagalog si Kennedy..." How clever of him. What witty repartee. Honed by years doing Bulagaan for the bakya crowd no doubt.

  6. #6
    ^^ "In a separate text message, the senator lamented that proponents of the RH bill were nitpicking"

    Teka lang, hindi tungkol sa stand mo sa RH Bill ito...

  7. #7

    ‘Bragging rights’

    By Juan L. Mercado

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    8:31 pm | Monday, September 24th, 2012

    “Brainless children boast of their ancestors,” an Asian proverb says. Sen. Vicente Sotto III basked in his grandfather’s achievements, notably the “Sotto Press Freedom Law.”

    Authored by Sen. Vicente Sotto, Republic Act 53 shielded scores of journalists from revealing news sources. Remember the scandal of leaked test questions for 300,000 teachers in a civil service exam? In a probe, House members tried to ferret out informants. The late Philippine News Service’s Romeo Abundo and I invoked the Sotto Law. We are thankful and endorse the long overdue move to expand the law’s shield for broadcast.

    At a Cebu Press Freedom Week panel discussion Friday, Don Vicente’s grandson ran into a buzzsaw. Did you snip the Penal Code’s libel provision, then paste it into the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012? reporters badgered Sotto.

    On Jan. 24, 2012, Sotto piggy-backed the rider on the pending cybersex crime measure, Raissa Robles’ blog on the ABS-CBN website documents. Without public hearing, he expanded the old clause on libel to those “committed through a computer or any other similar means that may (emerge) in the future…”

    Sotto III denied wedging Section 4-c (4) on libel into the new law, Sun Star Cebu reported. Not my fingerprints, thank you. But he backed the libel rider. Mainstream media are professionally trained and observe ethical standards, Sotto told Cebu Daily News. “But currently, social media doesn’t.” A number of online writers post without verifying data. “They are not accountable to anyone.”

    He’s right. But gagging is not the answer. Presenting better reasons is. As a result, he is twisting in the storm that his first-denied-now-admitted amendment uncorked.

    President Aquino signed the bill into law on Sept. 12. His signature came days before he visited the new museum, in a military fort, where his father and Sen. Jose Diokno were secretly imprisoned under martial law censorship.

    “The Spanish inquisition has long been disbanded… Why are we reviving it today through constitutionally prohibited ‘prior restraint’?” asked Sen. Teofisto Guingona III. He was the only senator who bucked the bill because of, among other things, the Sotto rider. “A Supreme Court challenge is an option.”

    “We will see the Aquino administration in court on this one,” Prof. Harry Roque of the UP Law School added. “There can be nothing sadder than suing the son of icons of democracy for infringement into a cherished right… Other laws enjoy presumption of regularity. This cybercrime law, insofar as it infringes on freedom of expression, will come to court with a very heavy presumption of unconstitutionality.”

    “Prior restraint” restricts material from being heard or distributed at all. This is the “most extreme form of censorship” and is a constitutional no-no.

    UP Diliman and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, meanwhile, banned the showing of the controversial anti-Islam video “Innocence of Muslims.” Roque pushed through with showing the video in his Bill of Rights class. Asked by the MTRCB to explain, Roque twitted back: “I do not have a license from your office (but) I have the Constitution.”

    The new law’s rider offered “no distinctions, no qualifications” as to who shall be held liable for libel, noted the Inquirer in its editorial “A blow against free speech.” It does not even say “what actions constitute the crime.”

    Let me count the ways then, suggests a Rappler roundup of comments by legal experts and press organizations.

    The Revised Penal Code already includes online publication as a platform for crime, De La Salle College of Law Dean Jose Manuel Diokno notes. Sotto’s rider is “redundant.” Ateneo School of Government Dean Antonio La Viña agrees. The word “publication” refers to all kinds, whether online or not.

    The new law has “50 shades of liability” Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Law Dean Ernest Maceda says. A “computer system,” is the gateway to the online world. If someone uses this gateway to tweet a defamatory comment, is he liable? “Given the vast domain of the online universe, will expanding liability for libel allow the arbitrary closure of websites?” And does the phrase “any similar means,” in the new law, refer to the Internet? Ultimately, it is the Supreme Court or Congress that should define what the phrase “any similar means” really means.

    Are we dealing here with “borderless crime”? asks a lawyer who requested anonymity. Section 21 states that the “Regional Trial Court shall have jurisdiction… if any of the elements was committed with the use of any computer system wholly or partly situated in the country…” What does “partly” mean?

    Government ignored the 2011 declaration of the UN Human Rights Committee that the libel law is “excessive” because it puts violators behind bars, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility said. “Criminalizing libel violates freedom of expression.”

    Instead, the new law ratchets penalties for libel. Section 6 states: “The penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code.” Ordinary libel is punishable with imprisonment from six months to four years. But those who commit libel using a “computer system” may stew in the slammer from 6 to 12 years. They won’t be entitled to parole. All would serve time under the Sotto rider.

    As being written, the legacy of Sotto III will bear no resemblance to the broad freedoms of Sotto I. So what? One can always brag of ancestors.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  8. #8
    ^ So how do we go after irresponsible bloggers and other online writers? We don't let mainstream media just do as they please (or at least we give the illusion that we don't). Is Johnny Mercado therefore saying that it is alright after all to have the online media do as it pleases?
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  9. #9
    And just to be clear, yes Tito Sen, plagiarism pa din ang ginawa mo.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  10. #10
    Stressed out, Sotto thinks of quitting Senate majority post

    By Cathy Yamsuan

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    1:27 am | Thursday, October 11th, 2012

    Senator Vicente Sotto is thinking of quitting as majority leader in the next Congress.

    Yes, the stress of the job is finally getting to him.

    No, this was not brought on by his skirmishes with critics over the reproductive health (RH) bill and the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

    “I’m not saying I’m resigning. But right now, I have an 80 percent chance of quitting as majority leader,” the senator said.

    Sotto said the main problem is that he works harder than the other senators because being majority leader is like supervising traffic during Senate sessions.

    As chairman of the Senate rules committee, Sotto is tasked with outlining the session’s agenda, making sure that this is followed and mediating between arguing legislators during debates.

    He said the work of majority leader was not commensurate to the glamor or the power associated with the position.

    “You have to work harder than the rest. Be more conscientious, master the art of compromise but still take a lot of criticism,” he said.

    His civilian job as television host of the noontime show “Eat Bulaga” helps in a way, he said.

    Sotto said he sometimes “injects humor” in the Senate debates mainly to “amuse myself” and stir things up when the session becomes too tedious.

    He related how once Sen. Joker Arroyo took the microphone and wondered aloud where Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid was after Arroyo noticed that his colleague had suddenly disappeared.

    Sotto said he would order the Senate sergeant at arms (OSAA) to scour the building for Lapid.

    “If he is not here anymore, I will ask the OSAA to go to the parking lot and see if Sen. Lapid is out riding his horse,” he added.

    Another time, Sotto noticed Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile humming to the Ilocano song being sung by the choir following the Monday flag ceremony.

    Sotto asked the singers to leave immediately after their set “before Sen. (Ferdinand) Bongbong Marcos (Jr.) joins in the chorus.”

    Right now, Sotto is still smarting from brickbats that he is using his post to delay the approval of the RH bill because he opposes the measure.

    The senator also continues to weather accusations that he plagiarized parts of the speeches he delivered against the RH bill, including a 1966 speech by assassinated US senator Robert Kennedy that he allegedly translated to Filipino.

    If he does resign, Sotto said he intends to work like Arroyo who does not chair a Senate committee yet pokes his finger into every bill or resolution he takes a fancy to.

    “I am actually envious of Joker,” he said.

    Sotto would not name a specific senator he believes should replace him in 2013.

    Would Lapid fit the bill?

    “Anyone can, as long as that senator reviews or studies parliamentary rules and procedures,” he said.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI


 
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