THE accusations of plagiarism against some personalities were forgotten momentarily, overtaken by the fateful event that took the life of someone considered to be among the most powerful and loved cabinet members  in the country.

But plagiarism reared its ugly head again when even this episode in the nation’s life was not spared of not only erroneous reporting but an apparent instance of cut-and-paste journalism.

Two news articles on went viral on Wednesday for reporting that a Fokker 27 plunged into Manila Bay, killing at least 14 of 34 passengers, several of whom are children, including an 11 year old boy whose body was found still bound to his seat. has since corrected the error but did not apologize.

As soon as I read the report on Wednesday, I spent time tracing the report, and found some paragraphs lifted from an article in

But since some on-line-newspapers do not have dates on their reports, I researched further and learned that the details used were those of Laoag Airlines Flight 585’s crash at Manila Bay on November 14, 2002.

Journalist Fareed Zakaria, a renowned CNN host and editor-at-large at Time magazine, was recently accused of plagiarism and of employing interns to write for him, although Zakaria denies the charge, saying he only started using the services of a  research assistant last
year after 25 years of writing.

It is no secret that popular and highly in-demand personalities use the services of writers to do their speeches and messages for them.

Even Presidents have people writing for them, as do many others whose calendars are packed with engagements.

Myself an academician and a researcher, I am more terrified of the nameless and faceless people lurking in all the four corners of the world waiting for the opportunity to pounce at anybody, perhaps for lack of anything productive to do with their own lives.

Even if some people may have wittingly or unwittingly fallen into the trap of plagiarism, their good deeds still should not be ignored or forgotten.

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