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MANILA, Philippines – Why did a senator from the Philippines have to do this to a foreign blogger who calls herself the “Healthy Home Economist”?
The blogger called “Sarah the Healthy Home Economist” confirmed early Thursday morning, August 16, that Philippine Senator Vicente Sotto III plagiarized her work in a speech against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
“Are people that hard up for something original to say?” said Sarah Pope in a Facebook post, noting that Sotto never asked her for permission.
The blogger, however, said she doesn't intend to sue Sotto over this. “It just feels very weird to be in the middle of the debate on a bill in the Philippines over women's reproductive rights.”
She added she's not mad at the comedian-turned-politician – “more amused than anything with his sobbing during the speech and all.” “I do feel bad for his loss of his son. I can't imagine how incredibly difficult that would be,” Pope said, referring to Sotto's appeal to emotions in his speech against the RH bill. (Watch Sotto's speech below.)
Pope added Sotto's actions don't reflect on Filipino integrity in general. “After all, this is the home of coconut oil!” said the blogger.
In an interview Thursday, Sotto denied plagiarizing the Healthy Home Economist. “Bakit ko naman iko-quote ang blogger? Blogger lang iyon. Ang kino-quote ko si Natasha Campbell-McBride,” he said, referring to the doctor whom Pope originally quoted. (Why should I quote a blogger? She’s just a blogger. I’m quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride.)
But a comparison of their speeches shows word for word similarities. Pope and her followers therefore criticized Sotto's alleged plagiarism in the blogger's Facebook thread. (See Storify link below.)