Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sotto, Plagiarism and Hope (?) for the Future

When I was in university, the punishment for plagiarism was expulsion. This violation is considered so severe that, if one is caught, the student will forever be banned from earning a college degree.

I remember a story about this writer who attended the Siliman National Writers Workshop like I did. Apprently, he'd lifted a story or parts of a story from a known author and passed this off as his own. The panelists were said to have used his work to discus why plagiarism is never acceptable. As the story goes, this writer's college degree was then repealed.

Plagiarism is stealing. It is owning knowledge / genius that's not yours, robbing the true owner of the recognition he deserves. But most of all, it is unjust.

This is why I am expressing my disappointment towards Sen. Sotto. It is ironic that students will be punished severely for plagiarism, but here in the "real world," the very leaders of the country are excused. Why should women put their reproductive rights into the hands of a man so ignorant of what he's talking about that he and his staff resort to stealing other people's work?

From Rappler, Tito Sotto's comment on the issue:
Itong blogger na sinasabi nila, eh pareho kami ng pinagkunan eh. Ang pinagkunan namin si Natasha Campbell-McBride. And in my speeches, even in my first speech and my second speech, I’ve always said, every now and then sinisingit ko, hindi po ako nagdudunong-dunungan ha. Hindi po galing sa akin ito.”
“Bakit ko naman iko-quote ang blogger? Blogger lang iyon. Ang kino-quote ko si Natasha Campbell-McBride.” (Why should I quote a blogger? She’s just a blogger. I’m quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride.)

Why, Sir, at least we are just bloggers. You, on the other hand, are just a plagiarist.
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