Bloggers suing Sotto are ‘ignorant of the Constitution,’ says Enrile
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile defended Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III against an ethics complaint that several bloggers are threatening to file in connection with the alleged plagiarism committed by Sotto.
“[Senators] can’t be question by anybody outside this chamber,” Enrile told reporters Monday.
He said that senators are given immunity under the Constitution to speak on any issues before the Senate.
Under Article Six “The Legislative Department” Section 11 of the Philippine Constitution, “No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof.”
The bloggers who want to file a complaint against Sotto for his alleged plagiarism of their posts were “ignorant of the Constitution,” Enrile said.
He also said that if ever there was plagiarism, it would not require criminal action, but only a civil action for any damages.
Sotto has declined to comment until he has received the full complaint.
Sotto maintained the media were just being manipulated by someone who has a personal grudge against him.
When asked if the grudge against him stemmed from the Reproductive Health Bill pending in the Senate, he said “of course.”
“This has long been a personal issue ever since my first speech,” Sotto said. He however refused to disclose the identities of those who have a grudge against him.
Bloggers from the US, Sarah Pope, Janice Formichella, and Peter Engelman, last week stated they intend to file a formal complaint against Sotto for plagiarizing their posts in his speeches.
Professors from Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and University of the Philippines, have also stated they will join the US bloggers and file another complaint against Sotto.
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