Did Sen. Sotto copy from 4 bloggers?

Posted at 08/16/2012 3:56 PM

He told Karen Davila, “Why should I quote a blogger?”

Two commenters named alana lillium  and miguel syjuco have found other instances of copying made by Senator Vicente Sotto in his speech yesterday August 15. My thanks to their quick eyes.

Alana noted that Senator Sotto copied a passage from the blog thetruthofcontraceptives

Miguel also found what Alana did. Plus, he found two other blogs from which Senator Sotto had copied portions word for word. These are talkingsense  by Marlon C. Ramirez and  feministsfor choice.

This morning, when Senator Sotto was asked by ABS-CBNNews anchor Karen Davila whether he had copied from the blog thehealthyeconomist.com in his August 13 speech, he had replied:

    "Pareho kaming pinagkunan. I’m quoting Natasha Campbell McBride. Why should I quote a blogger?"

He’s right you know.

He did not quote from a blogger. He quoted from FOUR bloggers.

This is what Alana and Miguel found out.

I don’t know who the four bloggers are. Perhaps somebody can give me more details. But the fact is, Sen. Sotto did not acknowledge in his speech that he lifted from their blogs, although he used the same exact words they did. Thus, he gave the impression that he wrote everything and all those thoughts and careful crafting of words came from him.

He’s probably going to say, why quibble over a few words – 345 words to be exact. [Those are what alana and Miguel have found so far. There may be more.] The 345 words are a mere 7% of his 4,760-word speech.

That’s not much.

But we’re not speaking of volume here, but of thought.  And intellectual honesty.

Could I be wrong?

Well, don’t take my word for it. Look at the similarities yourself.

Below, I have listed FIVE INSTANCES of his copying word for word, as noted by Miguel and Alana.

Some supporters of the senator would probably say they find nothing wrong in such copying. It’s done all the time. Words aren’t covered by copyright.

If you notice, though, what Senator Sotto did is the same thing that CNN’s Fareed Zakaria was recently accused of. Zakaria had the decency to apologize and he was suspended by CNN and Time magazine.

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.

Below are the instances of copying. I have highlighted the words that he lifted in red.