Sotto finds ally in Enrile in plagiarism issue

Ignorant.

This was how Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile described the bloggers, who have threatened to file an ethics complaint against Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto for allegedly committing plagiarism.

"We cannot be questioned for what we say inside this Chamber anywhere, not because we are a special breed but because that is the immunity given by the sovereign people so that we can speak on any subject under the sun," Enrile told reporters.

Related story: Three US bloggers set to file plagiarism complaint vs Sen. Sotto

"There's a major, national, sovereign policy. That's Constitutional law. I said that before not because of any arrogance of power: Those people who do not understand it, they're ignorant of Constitutional law, of the very Constitution that they are supposed to," he noted.

The senate president was referring to the Constitutional provision about the legislative department under Article VI Section 11.

It states that 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.

Enrile said filing an ethics complaint against Sotto may not go anywhere in the Senate, where an issue has to be decided based on number of votes.

"For as long as we have the system, it's always a question of numbers and there is always a political content involved in everything we do here," he explained.

Related story: Kennedy daughter confirms plagiarism complaint vs Sotto

"You cannot discipline anybody here unless they commit a crime. If you commit a crime, you can charge them.  They can file an ethics case (but) what ethical misconduct is there?" he added.

He also noted that Sotto can only be held liable for civil damages considering that committing plagiarism does not require criminal action.

However, the Senate president clarified the issue of plagiarism is about lawmaker's "individual responsibility" more than a rule against plagiarism in the legislative body.

"That's an individual responsibility. In fact, as an institution, we copy laws prepared by other countries," he added.

For his part, Sotto refused to comment on the strongly-worded letter from Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) against him over the weekend.

"I have not received official communication to that effect. Other than that, I don't want to be their talking head for them to make it to the news. Excuse me," Sotto said.

"Until there's an official word, I won't say anything. This can be invented by invented by aficionado (or) manipulators on the internet," he added.

He refused to issue a public apology though, noting that "there's nothing to apologize" for translating some parts of some blogs in his controversial privilege speech.

In other news: Right of reply debate seen to further delay FOI bill approval


In a letter dated November 9, Kennedy hit Sotto for "his unethical, unsanctioned theft" of her father's intellectual property and all those he plagiarized.

Last week, bloggers from the US, Sarah Pope, Janice Formichella, and Peter Engelman expressed intent to file a formal complaint against Sotto for using their posts in his speeches.

University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University professors vowed to join the American bloggers in filing complaint against Sotto.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe, this is the best time for you to invest a brand new car. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term up […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. But he expressed confidence that China would …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options