sotto, the senate, the pits #RH

other than senator miriam, who is rather forgiving of sotto…

…this is not the academe where plagiarism is a mortal sin. We should give leeway in politics, as long as later on the source is acknowledged.

and senate president enrile, who started out agreeing with sotto that a blog can be copied, and is now saying that he does not know anything about blogging, but who is of course still defending his majority leader…

Ang sinabi ko, hindi ko alam kung totoo iyung akusasyon sa kaniya tungkol sa plagiarism, pero kung totoo man, marahil ang dapat nating isipin, totoo ba, tama ba iyung kaniyang sinabi upang suportahan ang kaniyang paninindigan tungkol sa panukalang batas (RH bill) na nakasalang sa ating Senado…

and senators pimentel and arroyo, whom sotto cited in an adlib (august 29 speech) to be in agreement with him on some technicality or other vis a vis plagiarism allegations — that makes 5 senators including sotto — there are 18 others in that august chamber who have been silent as mice on the issue.  hopefully it’s not because they’re as clueless about blogs and the internet and copyright as sotto and enrile, rather, that they know better and that the pro-RH among them, sponsors miriam and pia especially, are just biding their time, ready to pounce with a vengeance when it’s their turn to respond, before any talk of amendments.

i expect nothing less than the vigor and vitriol that miriam spewed out at the prosecutor-representatives in the impeachment trial of corona.  anything less would tell us that indeed the senate these days is nothing but an old boys club, and that it’s okay lang with all of them that sotto has pulled down senate discourse to the level of eat bulaga.  yuck.  that would be really really low, lower even than the lower house.

as for sotto’s and enrile’s claim that the we in blogosphere who have been attacking him for plagiarism have no answers to his assertions vs the RH bill, hmm.  this blog, for one, has responded to some of those points, but i guess i’m under the radar, ‘no?  maybe no one’s reading me, not even other bloggers or news websites, haha, how humbling (buti na lang i’m into weil’s gravity and grace, salamat kay jorge, and i’m happy to blog as much for readers as for the record).  but there’s also dr. alberto “quasi” romualdez, former doh chief, who has been quick to respond to every argument against the RH bill via his malaya column.  i suppose he’s under the radar, too?

anyway, lest sotto continue believing that his arguments are unassailable:

(1) says sotto, “the RH bill violates the constitution that protects the unborn child from the moment of conception.”  this is all about the question of when life begins, or when “conception” happens.  at the moment of fertilization ba or of implantation in the uterus?  try googling it and you will find that there are as many arguments for fertilization, as there are for implantation, as the beginning of human life.  quite weighty, to me, is the fact that only when the fertilized egg or zygote has implanted does a woman’s urine test positive for pregnancy. 

so who is to settle the debate?  sotto?  eat bulaga?  congress? the supreme court? the president?  science?  the church?  answer: NONE OF THE ABOVE.  i say, THE WOMAN DECIDES. 

(2) says sotto, contraceptives are “harmful to the health of the pregnant mother and the unborn child.”  sotto’s proof of the harm done to the mother is the gut dysbiosis theory of natasha campbell mcbride that he plagiarized from sarah pope’s blog.  he has ordered it stricken from senate records to resolve the plagiarism issue, he hopes, but it was a lame argument to begin with.  read sotto, guts, plagiarism #RH.  according to a doctor, an internist, who does a lot of research via the internet:

Googling, found an incredible dearth of studies linking oral contraceptives to gut dysbiosis, how long it takes to develop, how long it takes to resolve on discontinuance of pills. No comparative studies. Even searching studies on gut dysbiosis in infants and neonates; there’s no mention or an “also” mention of contraceptives as cause.

sotto’s proof of harm done by contraceptives on the unborn child is a report prepared for the Royal Commission on Population in Great Britain which 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. 

it was lifted from The Truth Of Contraceptives blog, which says:

In Great Britain, in 1949, 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. [emphasis mine]

wala pang pills noong 1949.  read sotto self-destructs, and find out what kind of contraceptives women were using then that were inducing abortions.

(3) says sotto, “we don’t need it because the DOH is already doing what the RH bill wants to do.”  really?  where?  when?  how?  there’s no info campaign going on, and there are no pills and condoms and i.u.d.s available, for poor couples who might want to practice family planning once they know what their options are.

(4) says sotto,  “the RH bill will cost too much money that could be used for schools, hospitals, and medicines.”  aha.  read Mulat Pinoy, a population awareness initiative supported by the Probe Media Foundation, Inc. and the Philippine Center for Population and Development which i cited in fudging the facts: sotto’s anti-RH sob story 

Investing in family planning services will save several billion pesos, which can be used for critical social services.

The latest US and Philippine research show that governments annually spend a minimum of Php 5.5 billion in healthcare costs to address unintended pregnancies and their complications.

By contrast, only Php 2.0-3.5 billion annually is needed to fund a comprehensive range of voluntary family planning services for the entire country, which also results in a more sustainable population to provide for.

(5) says sotto, “it is not in accord with Filipino culture.”  LOL.  as if filipino culture were a fixed, static, thing that doesn’t evolve.  the … argument is a matter to be studied by sociologists and other experts in culture and social attitudes, says dr. romualdez.  besides, the surveys are consistent: an overwhelming number of filipinos, 7 out of 10, want the RH bill passed into law.

over dzmm teleradyo, the same afternoon of his aug 29 rant claiming that he is a victim of cyberbullying, i heard sotto in a phone interview with karen davila and vic de leon lima insisting that when he cried over his dead baby son, the issue was not that his son had died, but that helen had gotten pregnant despite taking pills.  my answer to that is here.  he went on to say that this is precisely the reason why he thinks pill-popping will lead to abortion: because daw women who get pregnant even when they’re taking pills would be more likely to resort to abortion.  teka, helen obviously did not.  surely he’s not saying that helen’s different from, better than, the rest of us?  obviously it’s just another fallacious eat-bulaga kind of argument.

as fallacious as calling us cyberbullies, we who blog and tweet and facebook and who have been calling him out on his plagiarizing and eat-bulaga ways.

Ako yata ang kauna-unahang senador ng Pilipinas na naging biktima ng cyber-bullying. Mula sa blogs, Facebook, at Twitter, ginawa akong sentro ng mga mapanira at malisyosong atake ng iba’t ibang tao, lalo pa ng mga sumusuporta sa RH Bill. Bahagi siguro ito ng kanilang istratehiya, lalo pa’t may milyun-milyon silang pondo. “If you can’t kill the message, kill the messenger”. Mukhang ganito ang ginagawa ng aking mga detractors. 

as usual, sotto’s reasoning is twisted and self-serving.

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.[2][3]The “imbalance of power” may be social power and/or physical power.

sotto is the one who’s being aggressive, lashing out at us from the senate on high, from a position of power.  sotto is the the one who is assaulting and harassing us verbally from that privileged podium, accusing us of malice and, even, of attacking him for the money, as in, may milyun-milyong pondo daw.  ganoon?  i certainly haven’t been offered any.  and, really, for certain may milyun-milyong pondo rin ang anti-RH.  can sotto be fighting the RH bill out of the goodness of his heart?  once upon a time he was all for family planning, along with his eat-bulaga pals.  was he doing it for the money then?  and what, who, changed his mind kaya?

what sotto really wants is for all of us to shut up, stop ganging up on him.  lol.  if you can’t stand the heat, mr. sotto, get out of the kitchen.  to think that you are a grandson, and namesake, of the original senator vicente sotto (1877-1950).  your lolo was a revolutionary and a writer, and as senator he authored the Press Freedom Law aka Sotto Law, “aimed precisely to protect press freedom and keep irate politicians from intimidating journalists and their sources if they do not like what they read.”  how ironic, and sad for nation, that you have turned out to be one of those “irate politicians” who can’t take criticism and who’s too macho to admit that you’ve made one big mistake after another, and who seeks instead to cow and intimidate us into silence.  shame on you, mr. sotto.


  1. It would be nice if every senator could read this column. You bang every nail right squarely on the head.

    I trust it is angela doing the writing. If so, you are confirmed as a liberate Filipina of the JoeAm style and liking: (

    Senator Sotto is ignorant on two points: (1) the internet, and how fast issues can explode into public view, and (2) the notion that public opinion is an important check and balance in a healthy democracy. He, and the good old boys and girls of the senate who stand idly by as gross ethical violations occur, evidently prefer a dark age process where they can operate unobserved. Sotto’s acts, left unchallenged, DO reflect on the integrity of the entire Senate.

  2. manuelbuencamino


    I can understand Miriam’s silence on plagiarism. I was told that she too, and also Pia Cayetano, was guilty of plagiarism but Miriam being Miriam and the press being what it is walang tumira sa kanya. I would if only I was not too lazy to go through her speeches and run them through google or plagiarism checker. Sana some of the plagiariam police do some sleuthing, do the work kumbaga, and then we can comment on it. Buhay tamad talaga ako.

    • Poems ni Yuson wala bang nag check? Orig ba lahat? May poems ako noon, yung technique ko gawing verse yung quotes sa impeachment trial. di ko na mahanap online pero sa likhaan yun. Tapos next year nanalo si Yuson sa Palanca, poems nya quotes ng mga news (read onky the description of these poems, not the poems themselves)

      Meron din akong poem word play lahat….
      “i’m a cat barely scratching the surface of my native turf…” tapos line about billiards, dahil “turf”, etc.

      May gumaya din. Talo ako sa mga napapublish palagi, eh ako minsn lang.

      May narinig din ako, assistant ng professor of law ng isang unibersidad. Pinagawa ng opinion tapos ninakaw ng prof yung opinion sa ginawang libro.

      Di ako masyadong takot sa mga amateurs na katulad ni sotto. kaya lang parang can of worms ito. Pag pinalampas ng pinoy, lahat ng plagiarism pwede ng palampasin. Tapos ethically speaking, parang septic tank na ang issue. Grabe, sobrang primitive natin. Walang honor mga tao, mga pulitiko.

      Honor lang yan eh, di naman sa batas lang. Kung wala kanang honor na katulad ni Sotto, dapat pariah kana ng organization mo. Pero tingnan mo yung senate.

      • Disclaimer:

        I forgot to say, I don’t mean I have been plagiarized, but derivative creations of my work coming promptly after a reasonable amount of time scares me enough. Kasi madaling gayahin yung walang fame at walang power tapos ikaw wala ka eh sila feather in their cap yan.

        • There is (1) plagiarism, which is the direct copying of words, there is (2) paraphrasing, which is using different words to say the same thing (copying the idea, not the words), there is (3) ideating, which is taking someone else’s idea and layering new thoughts on it, and there is (4) original expression. Only plagiarism is ethically frowned upon. Paraphrasing can be just as bad if the pretense is original thought. But we wouldn’t get very far as a thinking species if we did not each build on others’ ideas. A bunch of original thought would be largely nonsense.

          • paraphrase a newly published work should have original author credit. Without direct credit, you can paraphrase any old writer, but still if the phrase is not universally known, you still have to give credit.

  3. miriam , too? and maybe many more of them, if not all, ‘no? yes, that’s another explanation for the silence if it continues. senate staff get paid very well, pero puro researcher lang yata. it would seem they don’t hire real writers to ghost write their privilege speeches, writers who would know how to put together a research-based argument or exposition using their own words.

    • manuelbuencamino


      That plus I think the temptation for politicians to plagiarize is irresistable. Can you imagine a politician delivering a speech where every quotable quote he utters is a well known quoted quote? How many of them in office today are capable of a phrase that will one day be quoted by others? I’m talking real quotes and not some laughable line. Pambihira yan, collect quotes from Rizal all the way to today and you will still have a very slim book. But all politicians know that we expect them to be smarter and more knowledgeable than the rest of us. Problem solvers and leaders ang papel ng pulitiko so how can they not say anything notable or inspirational? So they copy nice phrases, intelligent studies, and whatever else will preserve their image and they will do it without attribution. Pa pogi, the need to meet expectaions, and kayabangan na rin. At madalas naman nakakalusot so why not? Nahuli lang si Sotto because the RH bill is so heavily discussed that a lot of people have read a lot about it. Someone was bound to catch his plagiarism. Someone would be so opposed to his position that he will do anything to discredit Sotto including running his work through plagiarism checker. Plus, the discerning public knows Sotto, they know he is not a scholar, so when he speaks authoritatively on an issue meron kaagad skepticism. Paano nalaman yan ng isang comediano na hindi naman palabasa? That’s why I think Miriam and Pia, and I’m sure others, can get away with it but he can’t.

      • Proven writers and intellectuals can get away with plagiarism better, pero di ibig sabihin di nag plagiarize mga yan.

        Sotto’s plagiarism was very amateurish. Dapat may totoong speech writer syang naka retainer na may abilidad gayahin tono, syntax at diction nya.

        Speech writer ni Lacson magaling yun ah.

  4. 1. Breakthrough ovulation may happen even after contraception, regardless if by natural or artificial means.

    2. This will mean there is still a chance of having fertilization in BOTH natural or artificial contraception.

    3. However, there is no inexpensive and readily available test to determine the presence of fertilization.

    4. Therefore, there is no easy way to determine the presence of abortion. (We will not be able to know if abortion took place before implantation of the fertilized egg. It is because the commonly used pregnancy test will only be positive after implantation.)

    5. The surest way to prevent fertilization (and, thus, abortion) is to abstain totally from having sexual intercourse even in “safe” days.

    6. Artificially, this can be achieved by proper and consistent use of hormonal contraceptives before intercourse (females) and condom during intercourse (males).

    7. It is of the nature of becoming either a celibate (No. 5) or sexually active (No. 6) in order to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

    8. I am pretty sure Sotto is a celibate if he intends to prevent unintended pregnancy in a reproductive age female (women capable of getting pregnant). TRUE or FALSE?