Senate plagiarism – a template to follow?

Since the news of Sotto’s plagiarism broke out, I knew someone in his office will get it, for it is rare for these politicians and even business leaders to be writing their own speeches.

I was waiting for the celebrity senator and his office to own up but Hey! They haven’t and looks like they are bent on setting a wrong as a right to be an accepted template in the senate!

I strongly feel that Filipino netizens shouldn’t let this issue die down until Sotto and his office owns up. The SC Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo may have gotten away with the excuse of “accidental removal of proper attributions”, but THINKING people know better. Sotto and his office cannot invoke the same when it is very obvious that the staff purposely and knowingly omitted attribution.

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As “leaders” and “educated” men, they are setting a perfect example of arrogance and ignorance for the rest of the citizens of the Philipines to emulate.
Let me try to understand the argument of the chief of staff of the Senate Majority Leader that “Plagiarism is rampant in the Senate, but some staff members of senators consider it an acceptable practice.” (

According to Atty. Hector Villacorta, Sotto’s chief of staff: “We plagiarized the US Constitution. All the amendments became our Bill of Rights. But do they call us a plagiaristic country? No, because the law is based on precedent.”

Do excuse my pedestrian knowledge of the law but from my angle, what I only I see is that Villacorta talks about laws but has overlooked the fact that there IS ALWAYS a corresponding attribution to note. May I be advised as to how did he come to know that so and so bill is copied and that our Bill of Rights was copied from the US Constitution, if there was no mention of it anywhere?

Villacorta talks about laws but is obviously oblivious of the laws that govern INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE INTERNET. Is he even aware that a photo, a blog or anything online can be deleted or shut down based on INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ABUSE? Case in point are those in this album who claimed “Minsan may Isang Puta” as their own and even dared to say they have made it an entry to a competition.

All of them had been taken down by Multiply or the server/site administrator.

With all due respect, Mr. Villacorta, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) dictates that everything is copyright protected once a material hits a server therefore making individuals who copy and paste, improperly quote, or intentionally plagiarize online material financially liable for their actions.

The rule on reposting content from other bloggers, is that you need to obtain permission unless the blogger allow reuse as specified in the Creative Commons Licenses.


As “leaders” and “educated” men, they are setting a perfect example of arrogance and ignorance for the rest of the citizens of the Philipines to emulate.
(Image Credit:

Villacorta further adds insult to injury by stating: ““We cannot draw up a speech that says ‘according to this blogger who quoted this author.’ It’s simply too awkward. Besides, what would the Senate President say,” Villacorta said.

“A whole gamut of ‘according to’ would also not make the speech credible. This is the Senate we are talking about,” he added.”

Is it too hard for the office of the “honorable” senator Vicente Sotto to just own up and join the trend set by the infamous motorist Robert Blair Carabuena? The office cannot be held as liable as that of the quick tempered Carabuena, due parliamentary immunity but they should show some decency by not abusing such privilege and at least, set a good example for the people who buy the popularity of the name that the office carries.

Public servants you all are but the arrogance is very unbecoming.

8 Replies to “Senate plagiarism – a template to follow?”

    Question: Would it be possible to look into
    the standing rules and regulations, then see
    what the duties of the seargent at arms are
    to see if as Chief Law enforcment officer
    he can be motivated to bring action against
    any member: the punishment should be listed
    in the rules and regs…please advise!

  2. If that’s how he put it, I feel sad for Villacorta’s children. Teaching his kids to copy an article word for word. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

  3. No, no, no, no. They are not leaders. You’re talking about the Philippine Senate. In other countries, politics is sometimes described as “show business for ugly people”. In the Philippines it is more like show business for utterly stupid, failed people. These are failures as human beings not just as politicians or has-been C-List celebrities but leaders? No way. Not in a million years.

  4. Maybe Sotto, copied from his classmates, when he was a student….Taga Kopya, parang pumasa….This is the reason, he became a comedian….he copied his jokes also. Then, some YellowTards idiots, voted him as Senator…

  5. For all the hullabaloos it created, I still believe that Sotto will survive his latest indiscretion. For one, his cohorts in the Senate will not allow their comrade to be made a scapegoat because of an alleged plagiarism on his part. As guilty as they are as Sotto’s, they will surely come to his aide if push comes to shove. Secondly, the issue will come to past as soon as a new one erupts from somewhere. That is how it is. The present controversy is replaced by a new one and forgotten to oblivion. Lastly, the issue is really not that serious in terms of impact or quality that would affect the entire country. It is not as if he stole millions from gov’t. To the man on the street, Sotto’s fault is just another political issue that does not concern them.

    In the scheme of things, what really is ‘plagiarism’ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the jobless?

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