The decent thing to do
IT is the duty of lawmakers and everyone working in government to work for the people’s interest hence it is their job to legislate and support pro-people legislation like the Reproductive Health or the Freedom of Information Bills and pass these into laws.
In case of a conscientious objection, it is important that such should be grounded on scientific facts and not circumstantial evidence, religious prejudice or mere whim.
It is also central for objectors to present, if possible, a counter-proposal for the people’s consideration. Mere objection to the bill is simply unacceptable.
Furthermore, to ensure that the objection is conscientious and not whimsical or based on religious prejudice, it is the duty of the objector to cite the basis of his objection and name his sources.
Unfortunately this simple requirement seems to be a herculean task for some.
Take for example the practice of Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III incorporating parts of the written works of others in his anti-RH Bill speech “turno en contra” without their authorization or even an acknowledgement of the original authors. He even used portions of a 1966 speech of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy without batting an eyelash in the last part of his speech.
Curiously, Kennedy’s speech, which was delivered in Cape Town, South Africa, has nothing to do with the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.
It is about liberty, freedom of speech, and democracy which Sotto unabashedly used to spice up “his speech”.
Instead of apologizing when his plagiarism was exposed, Sotto lambasted and belittled
He called them “mere bloggers” when he was deluged with censure from netizens (internet users) who discovered his barefaced copying.
Unbelievably, he, who is rich and powerful, claimed to be a victim of “cyber-bullying” and even threatened to pass laws that will censor internet contents and penalize critical bloggers.
This nearly made me fall off my seat. What an arrogant and shameless guy so typical of the fictional character Tito Escalera, which Sotto played in the old popular sitcom Iskul Bukol.
It seems that the Escalera persona rub itself to Sotto when he was portraying it with gusto that he is now living this character in reality out there in the Senate.
It is not wrong to use or quote the work of others. I have nothing against quoting others or using their work. That is how knowledge is enriched and spread. However, decency dictates that a proper allusion must be made. That is the square thing to do.
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Sen. Sotto is an influential public figure adored by many. His reckless actions could not be ignored or taken for granted by this humble corner because those would soon reflect on us Filipinos.
Granted that the gravity of his plagiarism is not as weighty or worse compared to the wanton raid of the national coffers or abuse of power by other public officials but that is an argumentum ad hominem. We cannot negate the truth and its importance by pointing out the negative characteristics or doings of others.
Worse, because Sen. Sotto is popular and highly influential among the less informed segment of our society, his acts of plagiarism could be taken by them an acceptable behavior in society.
Therefore it is definitely not contributory to the nation’s welfare. I bet, you too, do not want this kind of outlook and behavior ingrained in your kids.
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