MANILA, Philippines – The American blogger, who accused Senator Vicente Sotto of being a “lying thief” for allegedly plagiarizing her in his anti-Reproductive Health bill speech last week, said the lawmaker should be “man enough to say ‘I’m sorry’ and then just move on”.
Sarah Pope, who writes for the US-based TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com, had cited Russian-born physician Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride as a source in one of her blogs on the use of contraceptives – the same source quoted by Sotto in his speech against the controversial measure.
Both Pope and Sotto quoted McBride separately as claiming that contraceptives “cause an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the intestines that breaks down the defense against infection.”
Sotto denied plagiarizing Pope although the senator’s chief of staff, Hector Villacorta, admitted that they had used Pope’s blog without any attribution.
“None of this would have happened if he [Sotto] has the guts, he must be very spineless, to not be able to be man enough to just say ‘I’m sorry,’ said Pope in a Skype interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM Saturday.
“How hard is that to do?” asked Pope.
When asked whether she would file a case against Sotto, Pope said that while she was seeking legal counsel, this wasn’t her style and that the “right course of action would be for the senator to just apologize and then move on”.
“He should take responsibility for his staff as any leader would,” said Pope.
At the same time, Pope said that if there would be anything “positive” that would come out of this, it would be for “the Filipino people see him for what he really is”.
“He thinks he’s above the law, he can do whatever he wants, then the Filipino people should take action and vote him out of office,” said Pope.
When informed of online efforts to have Sotto subjected to an inquiry by the Senate ethics committee, Pope said, “He does need to shunned by his fellow legislators for very bad behaviour.”
Pope also took exception to Sotto’s comments about her being called as just “a blogger”, saying, “I’m not just a stupid blogger, a stupid mom who’s blogging about recipe. I’m no dummy. When a woman is condescended to like that, that is very rude.”