#Sinotto: Sotto translated Kennedy speech?

Sotto is accused of plagiarizing parts of his 'turno en contra' speech

Rappler.com
Published 8:30 PM, September 05, 2012
Updated 3:44 PM, November 27, 2012

Sotto delivering his turno en contra speech

Sotto delivering his turno en contra speech

MANILA, Philippines - Accusations of plagiarism are nothing new to Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto III.

Mid-August, Sotto was accused of plagiarizing the first part of his "turno en contra" speech against the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.

The Senator vehemently denied plagiarizing from blogger Sarah Pope. But lawyer Hector Villacorta, Sotto's chief-of-staff, later admitted to lifting parts of Pope's blog without attribution.

On September 5, Wednesday, Sotto delivered the final parts of his speech. Moments after, Twitter user Michel Eldiy accused Sotto of translating into Filipino and using parts of a speech by Robert F. Kennedy.

Here's what she tweeted:

Screenshot of a Twitpic sent by user @ChiliMedley.

Screenshot of a Twitpic sent by user @ChiliMedley.

Sotto appeared to have translated parts of a speech Kennedy delivered in South Africa in 1966.

On her Twitter account, Eldiy explained how she caught Sotto's latest case of plagiarism.

Sotto's speech:

Iilan ang magiging dakila sa pagbali ng kasaysayan, subalit bawat isa sa atin ay maaaring kumilos, gaano man kaliit, para ibahin ang takbo ng mga pangyayari. Kapag pinagsama-sama ang ating munting pagkilos, makalilikha tayo ng totalidad na magmamarka sa kabuuan ng kasaysayan ng henerasyong ito.

Ang mga hindi-mabilang na iba’t ibang galaw ng katapangan at paninindigan ang humuhubog sa kasaysayan ng sangkatauhan.

Tuwing naninindigan tayo para sa isang paniniwala, tuwing kumikilos tayo para mapabuti ang buhay ng iba, tuwing nilalabanan natin ang kawalan ng katarungan, nakalilikha tayo ng maliliit na galaw. Kapag nagkasama-sama ang mumunting galaw na mga ito, bubuo ito ng isang malakas na puwersang kayang magpabagsak maging ng pinakamatatag na dingding ng opresyon.

Kennedy's speech:

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and in the total of all these acts will be written the history of this generation. Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in the isolated villages and the city slums of dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries.

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

The issue quickly went viral on Twitter, where users coined the term "#Sinotto," a spin-off of an earlier Sotto-related Twitter trending topic.

Here are some of the #Sinotto tweets that Rappler was able to compile:

'Marunong mag-Tagalog si Kennedy?'

The Senator, however, was quick to dismiss the accusation.

"Marunong mag-Tagalog si Kennedy?" he said in interviews after his speech. (Can Kennedy speak Filipino?)

"Madaming nagbibigay sa akin ng mga materials, madaming nagbibigay ng text. Hindi ko na alam saan galing ang text, saan galing ang ideas. Pero maganda ang idea so para safe, Tinagalog ko." (A lot of people gave me material, text. I don't know where the text came from, or where the ideas came from. But the ideas were good, so I presented them in Filipino.)

Sotto also challenged his detractors to focus instead on the issue--the RH Bill. "Sagutin nila ang mga figures, sagutin nila ang population issue. Yun ang sagutin nila, 'wag yung Tagalog ko," he said. ([Those for the RH Bill] should just respond to the issues of funding, population control, and abortion.)

"Nakakatawa na sila, sila ang komiko, hindi ako eh," he added. (They're being silly. They're the comedians, not me.)

What do you think? Did Sotto plagiarize parts of his speech? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. -Rappler.com