Prolife group rallies behind besieged SottoBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A profile group on Wednesday rallied behind beleaguered Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who is accused by his critics of being an unrepentant serial plagiarist.
Anthony James Perez, president of Filipinos for Life, said Sotto was a victim of “trial by publicity” because of his opposition to the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
“On behalf of all the members of Filipinos for Life, I would like to extend to you our support for your and our prolife cause. These must be very difficult times for you and your family, especially with the way that the public has engaged in a trial by publicity instead of focusing on the issues that will matter to this nation,” Perez said in a letter to Sotto.
“We have always held you in the highest regard and this is the reason we offered our assistance to you and your staff in battling the RH bill. Rest assured that nothing has changed, and that we are always at your disposal,” he added.
Academicians on Tuesday filed a complaint against Sotto before the Senate ethics committee for plagiarizing the work of others when he delivered three speeches against the RH bill months ago.
Sotto also got words of sympathy from election lawyer Romulo Macalintal. In a “letter of concern” to the Senate ethics committee, Macalintal said he believed Robert Kennedy “would even be proud that Senate majority leader Tito Sotto used a speech he delivered against apartheid in 1966 in the fight against government-endorsed contraception.”
The late senator’s daughter Kerry, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human rights, had reportedly accused Sotto of distorting her father’s “Day of Affirmation” speech, using it without attribution and passing off the words as his own just because the senator had translated the portions he used in Filipino.
Yet another letter of support for Sotto came from a group calling itself Responsible Internet Users for Social Empowerment (CyberRISE) which asked the committee to ignore the ethics complaint against Sotto. With a report from Cathy Yamsuan