‘I’m a victim of cyber-bullying’ – SottoBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines – Saying he was a victim of “cyber-bullying,” Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto on Wednesday moved to purge from the records of the Senate a portion of his speech that he allegedly plagiarized from a blog article.
“Perhaps I’ve been the first senator in the Philippines to fall victim to cyber-bullying,” said Sotto, who stood up on the floor to answer the continued attack he has been receiving in social networking sites.
“In blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, I became the center of ridicule and malicious attacks from various individuals, especially those backing the RH Bill,” he said, referring to the Reproductive Health bill (RH).
“This might be part of their strategies, with their millions of funds. If you can’t kill the message, kill the messenger,” said Sotto, who is opposing the passage of the bill.
Sotto insisted that he did not plagiarize his speech contrary to claims by US-based blogger, Sarah Pope.
“I did not take any credit because I’m no doctor. The blanket disclaimer is an admission that the research materials cited in my speech are based on studies by respectable experts,” he said.
And to his critics, Sotto had this to say: “Para sa mga naninira at humuhusga sa akin sa Facebook, Twitter, Blog at pati na rin sa diyaryo ito po ang masasabi ko. Kahit mukha akong walang pinag-aralan kung ikukumpara sa mga pinag-aral nila at hindi kasing dunong nila, ang mahalaga ay ang ipinaglalaban ko.”
He said his intention was to fight for the sanctity of life.
And to put an end to the controversy, Sotto moved to be stricken off the record a paragraph in his speech last August 13, containing reference with the study of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.