MANILA, Philippines – Senator Vicente Sotto III’s anti-Reproductive Health Bill speech at Senate prompted negative reactions from the bill’s advocates, and allegations that parts of it were plagiarized from a US-based blogger have only fanned the flames.
In an interview on ANC’s Headstart, Sotto denied basing his speech on a blog post by Sarah Pope, and said his speech was based on a book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurologist known for her work with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome.
This syndrome establishes a connection between digestive and mental health. Oral hormonal contraceptives, or the Pill, McBride said, cause a bacterial imbalance in the digestive system, which is bad for the health.
“Yung blogger na sinasabi nila, pareho kami ng pinagkunan eh, si Natasha Campbell-McBride. Bakit ko naman iku-quote ‘yung blogger, ang kinu-quote ko si Natasha McBride,” Sotto said.
Bloggers and other netizens went up in arms at what they believe was a wrong move for Sotto, and also attacked his supposed belittling of one of them, as in his interview with Karen Davila, he also said, “Bakit ko naman iqu-quote ang blogger? Blogger lang iyon.”
However, other online Filipinos have also defended Sotto, saying his quote was merely taken out of context. They also said they respect the Senator, as he has a firm belief in what he is fighting for.
The alleged plagiarism has even spawned all sorts of jokes on social media, with some saying Sotto's speechwriter is his daughter Ciara, who staunchly defended her father on her Twitter account.