Sen. Sotto’s Speech Faux Pas: Channeling Kennedy’s Speech in Filipino

By Katrina Victoria Gumaya | The Philippine Chronicle Luzon Bureau
Saturday, September 8, 2012 11:00 PM

Just a few days after Philippine Senator Tito Sotto’s multiple plagiarism issues spark a controversy on the internet, this picture showing a comparison of a part of Senator Sotto’s 2012 Senate speech to that of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 speech during the Day of Affirmation in South Africa quickly spread in social networking sites and blogs. The meaning of both speeches are exactly the same, the only difference is that they are in two different languages which clearly shows that Sotto’s camp translated the speech from English to Filipino creating more bashers for the infamous Majority Floor Leader.

Instead of sparking more debates on the RH Bill during his 3-part speech, Philippine Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto has stirred more controversies on another accusation of plagiarism.

Just about an hour after the senator delivered his speech, a twitter user named Michel Eldiy noticed seemingly “awkward translations” which prompted her to search keywords on Google, and eventually landing her to the page of Robert Kennedy’s speech delivered on June 6, 1966 at Capetown, South Africa. Just minutes after she posted a “tweet” about it, the information went viral on social networking sites.

The image above is just one of the viral images that have been circulating on the internet since September 5, which also got on the author’s spam folder with the subject: “Ito ba ang Matalinong Pinoy?”

Sotto Shrugs-Off Accusations

When asked by reporters to comment on the issue of plagiarism, Sotto gave it a casual laugh and said Marunong mag-Tagalog si Kennedy?… Kaya nga tinagalog para tigilan na nila ang kaaano, naghanap pa rin sila.”

Sotto was also quoted in saying that he has been the first ever senator who has been “cyber-bullied.”

In a text message sent to the press, Sotto retorted that pro-RH bill individuals were simply nitpicking to divert the attention of the people from the drawbacks of the RH Bill. He further challenged them to answer the questions raised against the bill instead of doing sidetrack tactics.

“Hanggang ganyan na lang ba ang kayang gawin ng mga walang masagot sa issue ng RH Bill? Sagutin na lang nila ang funding, population control, at abortion,” he said.

Did Sotto hit Strike 3?

Before the Kennedy speech fiasco, Senator Sotto has dodged earlier accusations of plagiarism thrown at him during his Aug.15 speech.

Sarah Pope, a blogger of the Healthy Home Economist, has openly expressed her disgust after Senator Sotto supposedly “lifted entire sections of the article word for word… and then denied the charge of plagiarism.” Her original article where Sotto allegedly copied parts of his speech was entitled “How The Pill Can Harm Your Future Child’s Future” written last February 23, 2011.

Pope also called Sotto a “lying thief.”

“A thief is a thief… Denying it doesn’t get you off the hook; it just makes you a lying thief,” she said.

Another blogger, Janice Formichella, also threw similar claims. ”

According to the Filipino reporters who alerted me to this, Sen. Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III lifted entire passages from a post I wrote for Feminists For Choice and twisted them into an anti-choice argument against an important reproductive rights bill in the country,” Formichella said.

With all the hubbubs created by the allegations of plagiarism against Senator Sotto, the Filipinos seem to be discovering more things about Sotto’s stand on the RH Bill, maybe more than what Sotto has bargained for. (Katrina Gumaya/The Philippine Chronicle News)

Posted by on Sep 9 2012. Filed under NATION, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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