What do Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Pia Cayetano have in common?
Aside from being both prominent talking heads for and against Reproductive Health Bill, both senators are now facing ethics complaint before the Senate for allegedly committing plagiarism.
This came after a certain Alberto Loquez Ong Jr. formally lodged a plagiarism complaint against Cayetano before the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges Wednesday.
‘’As a senator and lawyer, Sen. Pia Cayetano should not initiate the act of violating any of the existing Philippine laws,” Ong stated in his complaint.
“She is commanded by her obligation to the citizens of the Philippines to obey the Constitution and laws, and not to use her lawyering profession and public position to be above the law,’’ he added.
In other News: Cayetano cries overpricing on indelible ink
Ong accused Cayetano of “abusing and misusing her knowledge of the law” when she delivered speeches without proper attribution.
A resident of Ditucalan in Iligan city, Ong said blogger Elisa Sangalang said Cayetano copied two paragraphs from a presentation of Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde.
He claimed Villaverde first delivered parts of her speech in his presentation he gave during the 7th National Health Sector Meeting in April 2008.
He also noted some parts of Cayetano’s privilege speech delivered in June about World Environment Day were lifted without proper attribution from United Nations Environment Programme statement.
‘’Her utter disregard for law is further strengthened when she brushed aside the fact of attributing authors of works (and) showed improper conduct’ when she said it would be difficult to acknowledge works of others in every sentence in her speech,” Ong said.
But Mike Ac Ac, Cayetano’s media relations officer, said they maintained the lady senator’s earlier statement on the matter right after receiving a copy of Ong’s complaint.
In an interview in August, Cayetano denied the same allegation, saying she “has always acknowledged the intellectual property right of every writer.”
“I brought a copy of the speech that was subject of the blog. And if you will read it, from the very first paragraph, I acknowledged UNEP, the United Nations Environmental Program,” Cayetano said.
“I even defined the programs of UNEP. In all the upload on my website, there are proper footnoting. Now my staff has told me that in some cases… there had been some technical glitch on some footnotes in WordPress site,” she clarified.
Ong’s complaint is now pending before the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, which is chaired by the lady senator’s brother – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano met with his panel members to discuss and adopt proposed committee rules on the first ethics case against Sotto over another plagiarism allegation filed last week.
Sotto is confident the ethics complaint against him filed by various bloggers and university professors will be immediately dismissed.
In other News: Senate passes sin tax bill adding at least P12 per cigarette pack
Senate passes sin tax bill adding He has been accused of copying the posts of various American bloggers and some parts of late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s speech without attribution.