Vic Sotto: We're all behind Tito

Posted at 08/17/12 10:13 PM

Tito takes responsibility for 'plagiarized' speech

MANILA, Philippines -- A brother of Senate Majority Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III threw his full support for the lawmaker after the senator drew criticisms for allegedly plagiarizing parts of his speech against the reproductive health (RH) bill. 

Vic Sotto shrugged off rumors that he will seek a political post in 2013, but said, in jest, that
he might run for senator to support his brother Tito in his causes.

Comedian Vic Sotto on Thursday came to the defense of his brother, who is in hot water over allegations of having copied parts of his first and second speech from Internet blogs.

"Kung anuman ang nangyayari, I believe, kung anumang rason ni Tito, we're all behind him," Vic told ABS-CBN News.

"Mabuti naman 'yung kanyang mga hangarin eh, wala namang masama sa gusto niyang mangyari. So we're all behind him. We support him all the way," Vic said.

'Plagiarized' speech

On Thursday, the lawmaker's chief of staff, Atty. Hector Villa Corta, admitted that they copied the work of American blogger Sarah Pope in the senator's turno en contra speech on the RH Bill, which Tito delivered before the Senate last Monday.

Following the admission, the senator took responsibility for the issue.

"Whatever it is, the buck stops with me," Tito told newscast "24 Oras." "I'm the senator. Whatever I delivered in the Senate hall is what's important. Kahit anong paninira nila, kahit anong sabihin nila, we'll take it in stride."

Among the supposed "attacks" against the senator after delivering his speech, are accusations of having put up an act as he turned emotional over his first child's death, which he blamed on the use of contraceptives.

Vincent Paul

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Tito's brother Vic also recounted the personal tragedy. Vincent Paul, the first child of Tito with actress Helen Gamboa, died five months after he was born in 1975.

"Magkasama kami ni pareng Joey (de Leon) doon," Vic recalled. "Kaming magkakapatid, araw-araw binibisita namin 'yun, 'yung baby niya noon, si Vincent Paul."

"Bago kami mag-uwian, daan muna kami sa hospital, sa Makati Med, tingin muna kami, kwentuhan, araw-araw 'yun. Hanggang sa nawala na nga," he added.

Gamboa and his daughter with Tito, actress-singer Ciara,  earlier defended the senator for the use of his personal experience in his speech.

Appeal for respect

Ciara appealed for respect from his father's critics, and expressed dismay over "personal attacks" made against the lawmaker.

"'Yung mga nambabato, tiradang pikon nalang 'yun, hindi na dapat pinapansin," Vic also said.

"Pagka-rume-react nang matindi, ibig sabihin may tinatamaan. Kaya siguro napipikon 'yung ibang tao. Pati nga ako nadadamay, pero wala kay Tito 'yun," Vic added.

The veteran comedian also echoed Ciara's appeal: "'Yung isyung ito is very divisive, ika nga. You cannot please anybody. It''s either you're anti- or your pro-RH bill. You just have to respect each other's opinion on it. Mag-respetuhan nalang tayo."