MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - Did Senator Tito Sotto, who has been accused of plagiarism, copy yet again from someone else in the last part of his "turno en contra" privilege speech against the reproductive health (RH) bill on Wednesday?
Social media user Michel Eldiy
called out Sotto, accusing him of only translating parts of a speech originally delivered by the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Eldiy said on Twitter that she noticed something wrong in Sotto's speech in Filipino.
"I knew 'maliliit na galaw' sounded like an awkward translation of something originally in English. So I googled 'ripples courage,'" she said.
Some of the contentious lines of the speech are:
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Iilan ang magiging dakila sa pagbali ng kasaysayan, subalit bawat isa sa atin ay maaaring kumilos, gaano man kaliit, para ibahin ang takbo ng mga pangyayari. Kapag pinagsama-sama ang ating munting pagkilos, makalilikha tayo ng totalidad na magmamarka sa kabuuan ng kasaysayan ng henerasyong ito.
Ang mga hindi-mabilang na iba't ibang galaw ng katapangan at paninindigan ang humuhubog sa kasaysayan ng sangkatauhan.
Tuwing naninindigan tayo para sa isang paniniwala, tuwing kumikilos tayo para mapabuti ang buhay ng iba, tuwing nilalabanan natin ang kawalan ng katarungan, nakalilikha tayo ng maliliit na galaw. Kapag nagkasama-sama ang mumunting galaw na mga ito, bubuo ito ng isang malakas na puwersang kayang magpabagsak maging ng pinakamatatag na dingding ng opresyon.
Kennedy discussed individual liberty, apartheid, and civil rights in his speech. Here is the audio
of his speech.
Sotto's speech is against the RH bill, which seeks to provide universal access to maternal care, sexual education, contraception, and fertility control for couples in the country.
Sotto: Translated from text message
Sotto said the last part of his "turno en contra" speech on Wednesday is in Filipino to fend off plagiarism accusations.
He told Sen. Jinggoy Estrada that his speech Wednesday was entirely his
"A oo. Baka ho na naman imbes na sagutin nila yung mga sinabi ko baka daanin na naman sa plagiarism o pinlagiarism yung mga isyu kaya ko ho Tinagalog. Kaya Pilipino na ginamit ko para hindi na magbintang itong kung sino-sino," he said.
He said he did not use a disclaimer except for material wherein he clearly cited the authors. “Except dun sa mga binanggit ko, galing sa akin ito,” Sotto said.
Sought for comment, Sotto laughed off allegations he merely translated Kennedy's speech to Filipino without attribution.
Sotto said he wasn't aware the passage came from Kennedy. He said a friend texted him the passage, and finding it beautiful, he had it translated and included it in his speech.
The senator told reporters he hoped his critics would stop accusing him of plagiarism because his speech was in Tagalog.
"Sino ngayon ang kinopyahan ko na Tagalog? Mayro'n ba silang alam na pinanggalingan na Tagalog niyon?" he said, laughing.
"Nakakatawa na sila. Sila ang komiko, hindi ako eh," he added, referring to his critics.
Sotto said people supporting the RH bill and attacking him should just answer the points he raised in his speech.
In August, Sotto was widely criticized for allegedly plagiarising the work of an American blogger.
Sotto initially denied it, but his staff later admitted that the senator's speech writers indeed used portions from a blog entry without properly attributing them to the author. - with a report from Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News