Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blogging, Plagiarism, and a Senator

I do not consider myself as well versed when it comes to the intricacies of politics and issues involving the government, the people in the government, and issues in the country. When news on these topics come out, I usually have an opinion, but rarely do I broadcast them since I do not consider myself knowledgeable enough to speak on the subject. With a few exceptions like the debate on the RH Bill (of which I’ve established my position as a firm supporter), you will seldom elicit enough outrage from myself to fuel a blog post.

But here it is, and this is not about the RH Bill.

The issue here is not a complex one. It does not take a college graduate to understand what has happened: A proud politician has erred and instead of apologizing, the man, a Philippine public servant, first denies the wrong doing and demeans the other party involved, then defends the same act by justifying it as a normal occurrence, the status quo. In another statement, he defends his obvious mistake by charging back at his detractors and questioning their personalities. He asks, “Alam ba natin kung sino? Matino ba sila? Mabait ba sila?”, as if the answers to these questions would somehow lessen the gravity of his misdeed. 

I speak now because I believe this issue needs not an expert to be fully explained. It is the most basic thing we are taught in our youth: do not take what is not yours.  Whether it be toys, clothes, or crayons; or as we grow older, money, wives (yes, the bible said so), or words, stealing is stealing and no amount of explanation and rationalization will change that fact. We all know this from childhood, and if a 6 year old version of myself can understand this, why can’t a Philippine Senator?

Then again, a 6 year old version of myself would also probably know that an apology from the start would have had fixed the whole debacle, the Senator has not caught on on this either. He remains firm on his stand; downplaying the importance of intellectual property (plagiarism is not criminal, he says), claiming to be cyber-bullied, and hosting a noon time show which (apparently) helps hundreds everyday.

And don’t get me started on that Blogging Bill that was proposed– a poor attempt to “divert the issue”. 

(For those of you who do not exactly know what blogging is, this essay by Niko Batallones explains it perfectly.)


  1. Holy cow! I clicked on Niko's blog and I saw my name and immediately my eyes fell off from their sockets as thoughts raced back to the past, "ano nanaman kayang kalokohan ang ginawa ko to be mentioned like this." ANyway, who is this politician? I'm so out of date when it comes to Pinas news.

    1. It's a Friendster testimonial, Reg, which I archived when that site went another direction. Whaaat. I thought it was funny!

      The politician in question is Tito Sotto, he who had a speech outlining his arguments against the reproductive health bill, already a very touchy issue, made all the more touchier when it was discovered that one of the things he said during his speech was copied, word for word, from a blog quoting an expert arguing against the use of The Pill.

      When confronted, Tito suggested that he was just quoting the said expert. Why will he quote someone who's just a blogger?

      Said blogger - who turns out to be pro-choice - reacted, and demanded an apology from the senator. She won't sue, she said - she just wants an apology so we can all move on. And that's what most of the Twitterati want from him too. (I'll admit, I actually forgot about this - the news went on overdrive when DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash, and all the grandstanding that goes with it.)

      But instead he suggests that we resort to bashing him because we don't have good arguments against his thoughts, which is fucking ridiculous because (a) his sources are obtained questionably, (b) he's going for the emotional jugular, like when he attributed his son's death in 1975 to a contraceptive that came to the market in 1978, and (c) they went all over the place, like his suggestion that we shouldn't pursue the RH Bill because it's backed by "foreign lobbyists" who are "pro-abortion". He's distorting the facts all over the place to suit his already compromised position.

      And now he's suggesting that our outrage at his (or his staff's) stupidity is cyberbullying, that we critics have not done anything to help people (unlike Eat Bulaga) and that because of our reactions to his stupidity, we should be regulated. Thus my blog entry.

    2. I couldn't have explained it in a better way.


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