MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on Thursday refused to comment on the latest plagiarism issue against his colleague, Sen. Vicente Sotto III.
"I think it's up to Sen. Sotto to investigate. It is internal on their part. I have no business meddling in the affairs of other senators," he told reporters on Thursday.
Sotto has been accused yet again of plagiarism after parts of his "turno en contra" speech on Wednesday turned out to be translated from the speech of the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Social media user Michel 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.
Kennedy, brother of late US President John F. Kennedy, delivered his "Day of Affirmation" speech in post-colonial South Africa in June 6, 1966, according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Sotto said the last part of his "turno en contra" speech on Wednesday 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.