MANILA, Philippines - Senator Tito Sotto is standing firm on his position to fight the reproductive health bill as long as his proposed amendments are not incorporated into the measure.
Sotto believes that God put him in a position to fight the RH bill despite the criticisms he has received including accusations that he has committed plagiarism.
“Basta ako naniniwala sa pananaw ng Panginoong Diyos [na] tama ang ginagawa ko. They can always put me down. Sanay na ako na binabato, minumura, inaapi. Ako’y isang hamak na musikero lang. Hindi ako kasing-dunong nila. Pero ilalaban ko kung ano ang tama,” he said during the Kapihan sa Diamong Hotel forum.
“Naniniwala po ako na hindi ako mapupunta dito kung hindi ginusto ng Panginoong Diyos na ipaglaban ko itong adbokasiya na ito. Kaya ipagpapatuloy ko po ito. Isang hamak na musikero. You may mock me, you may insult me, you can do anything, you can say anything, but that will not change my position against those who are against life, who are pro-abortion, who are pro-immorality for teenagers, who are pro-abortifacients… I will never [back] down. I will never give up.”
Sotto also blasted the bloggers who have accused him of plagiarizing a speech of the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
“Kung ang tingin niyo sa akin ako’y graduate ng Iskul Bukol, o graduate ako ng Harvard, still kilala n’yo. The point is kilala n’yo ang pamilya ko, kilala n’yo saan ako galing, kilala n’yo where I am coming from, kilala n’yo ang mga kapatid ko, mga anak ko. Ito pong mga naninira sa akin, hindi n’yo kilala. Nakatago lahat sa computer. Kaya ho, sino ang paniniwalaan n’yo? Ako’y maliwanag na lumalahad sa inyo at alam ninyo kung ano ang ipinaglalaban ko,” he said.
Sotto said pro-RH groups have not rebutted his points on the bill’s alleged promotion of abortifacients and the foreign funding that pro-RH groups receive.
He said he was instead accused of plagiarism, which he repeatedly denied.
He also lamented that while most of the news reports on his statements are accurate, not all his statements make it to media.
Ethics complaint won't prosper
Meantime, Sotto is confident that the ethics complaints against him will not prosper and will not be voted upon.
He believes members of the committee may decide on the merits on the complaint on the basis of the Senate journal that contains his speeches.
“I am very confident that it will not reach into that. Kasi siguradong doon lang sa pagpi-prisinta at pagsagot mo, they can already decide there, once and for all. Madali ‘yun,” Sotto said, urging complainants to read the Senate’s rules on what can be taken up in the ethics committee.