Sotto's latest speech sparks more plagiarism accusations
Instead of sparking a debate on the Reproductive Health bill, Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III's latest speech against the bill triggered more accusations of plagiarism.
Right after he delivered his speech, screen captures of a part of his Tagalog speech and that of former U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy began circulating on the Internet.
The posts, which implied that Sotto merely translated part of Kennedy's speech, were specifically quoting the last part of the senator's speech which says:
"Ito ang iiwan kong mga salita: 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."
This was shown side by side with a part of Kennedy's speech delivered on June 6, 1966 to members of the National Union of South African Students at the University of Cape Town, South Africa which says:
"Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and in the total of all these acts will be written the history of this generation. Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in the isolated villages and the city slums of dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. 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."
In an interview with reporters late Wednesday, Sotto laughed off the accusation saying "marunong mag-Tagalog si Kennedy?"
"Sino ngayon ang kinopyahan ko na Tagalog? Meron ba silang alam na pinanggalingan na Tagalog nun?" he said.
"Madaming nagbibigay sa akin ng mga materials, madaming nagbibigay ng text. Hindi mo na alam saan galing ang text, saan galing ang ideas. Pero maganda ang idea. So para nga safe, tinagalog ko. That came from a text from a friend," he said.
"Kaya nga tinagalog [ko ang speech ko] para tigilan na nila ang kaaano, naghanap pa rin sila," he added.
Sotto, however, said RH backers should just answer the figures and issues that he raised in his speech.
“Hanggang ganyan na lang ba ang kayang gawin ng mga walang masagot sa issue ng RH Bill? Sagutin na lang nila ang funding, population control, at abortion," he said in a separate statement issued later in the day. — DVM, GMA News
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