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Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Just For Senator Sotto

Hope his staff doesn't read it first.
(Courtesy of

Dear Senator Sotto,

Many events have taken place since my last blogpost, more than 24 hours ago.

And they have to do with your public disavowal of plagiarism on a television show; the subsequent discovery of the blogger of all this brouhaha happening halfway around the world from where she is; and her reactions - first being "amused" and then later writing a rather pointed blogpost and mentioning you directly that leaves no doubt as to what she wants to say. We also have the "apology letter" written by the head of your staff now going viral, which is basically an admission that your office committed plagiarism, and the pecuiliar way the apology came off.

See the following for full details:

First, an admission.

I did not vote for you. That is because I have been consistently vocal about my extreme discomfort with entertainers subsequently running for public office. Personally, I feel the lopsidedness in your advantage as far as name recall is concerned: your position as entertainers assures that you will stand out in some way. And name recall is king in our elections. Or at least our brand of it.

I am well aware that as a citizen of a secular democracy, you are entitled to run for any elective office. The question is not can you?...but rather, should you? The recently deceased local King of Comedy said it quite well (and I will paraphrase it in English): It's easy to win an election, but what happens after?

Also, let me say this off the bat: I am not a lawyer, a legal expert, not even a paralegal. I am "just" a blogger - the way you casually mentioned bakit ko naman iquo-quote ang blogger should tell everyone how you view anyone who "just" blogs. But as I understand it, a senator is someone with a national mandate to write, amend, and if needed, change completely, our laws.

(Quote from

Are you aware of what an awesome responsibility that is? I am desisting from using the word power, as that is all we have been brought up in and known, all our lives - a politician is to be feared, respected, bowed down to. I want to focus on the other side of the coin, a cliche thanks to Spider-Man: with great power comes great responsibility.

You can effect laws that can change our very lives: Economic provisions, the taxes we pay, whether foreign bases can (again) set foot in the country, the punishment to be meted out to child molesters, what it means to uphold the separation of state and religion in a tangible, concrete way and not as a vague concept only to be discussed in political science courses...

It can also affect he state of maternal mortality and teenage pregnancies in the country, one of the many issues that can be helped, even in some measure, by the passage of the RH Bill. Actual lives - human lives - are at stake by choosing which pieces of legislation to pass. That is how encompassing your responsibility as a senator is.

Which is why I cannot hide my dejection, disappointment and most of all, my anger, with this issue of plagiarism, something your chief of staff wanted Sarah Pope to stop focusing on, something you yourself dismissed nonchalantly as an attempt to discredit your person, under the (erroneous) assumption that what you have charged about the ill effects of the RH Bill cannot be countered by those who support it (they have been answered point by point squarely, by your co-senators and by many, many groups and people, over and over again).

I expect that all senators - even the ones I did not vote for - be personally responsible for what they say and do, because whether I like it or not, your decisions will affect me in a personal way. And as a citizen of this secular, democratic country, I will be bound by the laws that you and the other senators approve.

You cannot pass off this "incident" and say "my staff did it": they won't be voting on crucial bills. YOU ARE. It is your vote, your decision and your signature that will determine what passes for law in this country. It behooves you, therefore, to have armed yourself with the latest scientific findings and factual research when it comes to issues regarding reproductive health.

You do this country a great disservice by not researching things on your own, and while you are not barred from hiring people to help you with your work, it is your responsibility to ensure that they have provided you with accurate information for the purposes of crafting legislation. You do us an even greater disservice by passing this off as the work of those under you, and doing what is colloquially called a Pontius Pilate: washing your hands off the incident.

Do you not comprehend the gravity of what you may have done had the blogger not called you out on this?

Whenever I hear of "how much work" senators have to do, of how many meetings you have to attend, of how many committee hearings are scheduled, of how your backlog is so huge, it strikes me as odd - I've edited myself here - that I now see senators posing for ad campaigns of processed meats, computer universities, and even hosting morning and primetime television shows.

Surely, in between takes, you could at least verify that the information you are using as the basis for legislative decisions are, at the very least, identified by source?

This recent debacle you are now facing has reinforced my vote in the last senatorial elections as being the correct one. I am hoping that many more of our citizens will come to the same realization, too, as well as one more thing:

Public officials answer to us.

Guy With A Blog


*As I was about to post this, a news item was alerted to my attention. I'm guessing this is how the senator plans to handle this - a friend called it Sotto Pilato.,-says-chief-of-staff


  1. I've lost any shred of respect I've had for this man.

  2. Nung unang tumakbo si Sotto, bata pa ako, at fan ako ni Tito, Vic and Joey. Gusto ko manalo si Sotto nun, kasi paborito ko siyang komedyante. Sabi sa akin ng nanay ko, "Alam kong paborito mo si Tito Sotto, pero di ko siya binoto kasi mahal kita. Para yan sa kinabukasan mo." Di ko naintindihan ang nanay ko noon, pero ngayong matanda na ako, malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa nanay ko. Thank you, Mommy. Thank you for thinking of my future.