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sotto on rh bill is the laughing stock of social media, he victimized himself – patricia evangelista

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The lightning rod

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Tito Sotto is a victim, or so Tito Sotto claims. He believes he is the focus of a concerted effort by the heavily funded supporters of the Reproductive Health bill, all of whom are desperate to demonize him and weaken his resolve. He suspects he is the first senator to be made victim of cyberbullying. He has been insulted, criticized and threatened with lawsuits. His history has been exploited. It is a hatchet job, he says, a demolition job.

The senator is correct when he says that plagiarism has become the issue, instead of the nuances of the bill itself. He is also correct when he talks about the online response to his speeches. He is the laughingstock of cyberspace. “Sinotto” is a trending hashtag for plagiarized lines. The face that once decorated blockbuster movie billboards is a Facebook meme. When the senator used translated-into-Filipino chunks of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 Affirmation speech in his latest privilege speech, the online community responded with a slew of translated song lyrics and movie lines from Lady Gaga to Cherie Gil, all attributed to Tito Sotto.

He also finds it odd that none of his opponents, not a single one of his critics, has attempted to rebut the ideas he has put forward in his privilege speeches.

“I have not heard a response to any of the criticisms I have thrown against the RH bill.”

The senator is not correct. It is true that the plagiarism issue has made him less believable, far less credible, but advocates of the Reproductive Health bill have refuted his ideas point by point, in columns and blogs and television interviews, establishing his sources as outdated, his claims misrepresentations, and his statistics misinterpreted, while pointing out the fundamental factual error in his emotional claim that his child died in 1975 because his wife had ingested birth control pills. The pill he specified, Diane, was yet to be distributed the year he lost his son.

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senator sotto’s legacy- sotto makes it to New York Times on the rh bill

August 30, 2012 2 comments

the honorable senator tito sotto has made it to the big apple, at least at the New York Times on the speeches he has been making on the rh bill at the senate floor. we think this piece by miguel syjuco is an excellent piece that gives very good snapshots of the legacy of the senator at the philippine senate.

sotto’s latest rant on the rh bill at the senate floor gave us these:

  • sotto thinks he is immune from criticism and disagreement from social media netizens. sotto in his latest rant at the senate floor practically spent 99% of this speech complaining about how he has been criticized for his plagiarized speech.
  • not only that, sotto has threatened to pass a bill to stop or control bloggers and netizens from social media.
  • president noynoy aquino also makes speeches and he also gets criticized by social media netizens but we have not heard the president complain, much less threaten netizens of censorship. sotto apparently feels otherwise.
  • he spent 99% of his speech complaining about the criticisms and disagreements thrown at him by social media netizens, the balance 1% he spent on one sentence, at the very end of his speech – he asked the senate to remove from the senate records the plagiarized parts of his speech that he delivered on the floor.
  • to this date, sotto has not admitted he has plagiarized parts of his speech but now we wonder why he needed to ask the senate to remove parts of his speech from the senate record.

A Plagiarist’s Rant Against Birth Control

By MIGUEL SYJUCO Published: August 29, 2012

WHILE anatomically illiterate politicians in America babble about “legitimate rape,” a Filipino legislator opposed to birth control has been shedding crocodile tears in Parliament and plagiarizing speeches to bolster the case against reproductive rights.

On Aug. 13, the Senate majority leader, Tito Sotto, wept while addressing his assembled peers. The former actor told the Senate that birth-control pills, used by his wife in 1974, had led to the death of their newborn son a year later. The emotional scene shut down the day’s debate. It was the latest obstruction to passing a reproductive health law that has languished for 14 years.

Proponents of the reproductive health bill say it will address poverty, women’s rights, infant and maternal mortality, and overpopulation in a poor nation crowded with 94 million people. Though contraceptives are currently available, the general population can’t afford them. The bill seeks to offer natural and artificial birth-control options, reproductive health care and sex education in public schools.

Opponents, like Mr. Sotto and the powerful Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, saycontraception is akin to abortion. They claim the bill is an elitist and foreign conspiracy to corrupt a country in which 80 percent of the population is Catholic. They fear the erosion of family values, state intrusion on religious freedom, tacit approval of promiscuity and side effects of oral contraceptives.

Two days later, news that Mr. Sotto had plagiarized his speech spilled across blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Careful readers proved that he’d copied and pasted, without citation, large portions from as many as at least five online sources. Among them were the writings of Sarah Pope, who blogs as “the Healthy Home Economist”; a New York University Web site on the notable birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger; and an American activist named Janice Formichella, writing for Feminists for Choice. What’s more, the senator twisted their words for his own purposes.

Mr. Sotto forcefully denied responsibility rather than confessing and offering an apology. When Ms. Pope blogged her dismay at being plagiarized, the senator declared on Filipino TV: “Why would I quote from a blogger? She’s just a blogger.” His chief of staff, Hector Villacorta, told reporters that blogs aren’t copyrighted, governments are exempt from copyright laws, and parliamentary immunity protects the senator. Besides, the Philippines “plagiarized the U.S. Constitution,” he said. “Even our image was copied from God. We are all plagiarists.”

God, it seems, is also on Mr. Sotto’s side.

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