MANILA, Philippines - An online petition has been set up seeking the ouster of Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III.
The petition at the Change.org website accuses Sotto of allegedly using his political and showbiz influence in spreading misinformation on the reproductive health (RH) bill.
It also accuses Sotto of being a serial plagiarist without remorse.
"He steals other people's opinions when he doesn't have his own and shamelessly distorts them to advance his own stupid, selfish cause. He is a very bad example to the youth who might as well be allowed to cheat in their exams, and he bends religious teachings to justify his acts," the petition said.
The petition also accuses Sotto of being sexist for blaming the death of his unborn child on his wife's unconscious use of contraceptives when he could have prevented the accidental pregnancy by wearing a condom.
"Let us show this traditional politician that he is not a victim of online bullying but that we are all willingly criticizing him for free," the petition said.
The petition has gathered 7,469 signatures so far.
Many of the signatories explained their reasons for wanting Sotto removed from the upper House.
"We need people of integrity in the government. He not only plagiarized once, twice but thrice - and he had the gall to deny it! And when he was proven guilty over and over again, he blustered and said "E ano ngayon? Blog lang yun!" said Vida Lim of Quezon City. "We would've respected your position but you chose to defend it through erroneous data and suppositions then claiming these findings as your own."
"Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us. As the great Cherie Gil famously said on screen, 'You're nothing but a second rate, trying hard copy cat!' In this case, you became a second rate, trying hard copy-paste. Do we need senators like you? No, thank you," she added.
"The integrity and competitiveness of our government is at stake, also his actions provide a terrible example to the youth," said Allen Tiongson of Pasig City.
"This is important to me because incompetent people are not meant to sit in positions of power," said Camille Armas, an OFW in Japan.
"If they cannot even create a speech of their own original writing, it just comes to show how brainless, useless and utterly unhelpful they are to the country."
"What we need are people of good and positive change who can be role models. We cannot stay silent anymore with people like Sen. Sotto who spread the idea that plagiarism is acceptable," Armas added.
"Public office is a public trust. If an elected senator can't even be trusted to admit his mistake but instead hides behind arrogance and parliamentary immunity, then, he does not deserve the public trust," Antipolo resident Connie Veneracion said.
Sotto has yet to comment on the campaign for his ouster. - with a report from ANC