On Plagiarism, The Pill, and Presumptuousness

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

First, let me extend a very warm welcome to the many new Filipino readers that have discovered this blog in the past 24 hours.  My husband is from Australia, so I do get down to that part of the world on occasion and I hope to visit your beautiful country at some point in the future.

It is great to have you here, although the circumstances of our meeting are, to say the least, unusual.

It seems one of your esteemed Senators, Tito Sotto, plagiarized a blog post I wrote on February 23, 2011 entitled How The Pill Can Harm Your Future Child’s Health, lifting entire sections of the article basically word for word that were delivered in a speech to the Senate Floor regarding the possible passage of the highly controversial Reproductive Health Bill.

What’s worse, Senator Sotto is denying the charge of plagiarism, saying in an interview with ABS-CBN:

“Why would I quote the blogger? I was quoting Natasha McBride.”

Nice touch Senator.  You almost had me convinced you were a nice guy with the tears and all.  Many of your citizenry have emailed me assuring me that was a put on, and I’m starting to think they are right.

A thief is a thief, Mr. Senator.  Denying it doesn’t get you off the hook; it just makes you a lying thief.

On the bright side, I am thrilled that your lapse of moral judgment has brought much needed attention to the fact that the birth control pill can have devastating consequences to a woman’s long term health and possibly those of her children and even grandchildren.  Gut dysbiosis is a serious condition that has multi-generational consequences that women need to be educated about and completely aware of before making the very personal decision to use them.

It was indeed brave of you to take this controversial position.  Kudos to you for that.

By the way, I am truly sorry for the loss of your son.  As the mother of two sons myself, I can only imagine the pain and devastation you have felt from such an experience.

While this has been a highly charged and hopefully enlightening experience for all involved, it’s time now to set the drama aside and get back to fighting the good fight by continuing to educate people about how their food and pharma choices affect not only themselves, but also those they dearly love.

And although my attorney will likely try to persuade me otherwise, for now I’m moving on as I’ve got work to do.

Women of the Philippines: I am terribly sorry my blog was used and twisted against you. You deserve the choice to use The Pill if you want or need to based on your particular circumstances. While I want you to know that this choice has health consequences as does the decision to use any pharmaceutical drug, I in no way would ever condone taking this choice away from you!  Mabuhay!


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit


Comments (863)

  1. Pingback: Cayetano Drafts ‘Responsible Plagiarism / Replication Habit Bill’. Sotto Opposes. | So, What's News?

  2. So what was the outcome? I have found numerous news items about this from November, ending with statements that there would be hearings by the Senate Ethics Committee about Sotto’s numerous instances of plagiarism.

    A search of Google news comes up with nothing more recent.

    My assumption is that the whole thing was then swept under the rug. That would be typical of the Philippines, where rich/powerful families can do pretty much as they please (Sotto’s brother was one of three guys who gang-raped a 15 year old actress in 1982 — charges were dropped after they ‘apologized’).

  3. Good Day to all of you readers and Sarah
    Although I don’t know much about this Sen. Sotto…one thing is clear this guy is a complete JERK! You all Filipino voters should come to your senses not to re-elect this guy!!! I have Filipino friends around here in US. They are such a very welcoming and warm people…I can’t say nothing ever that negates them. Now hear this…a personal testimony of mine…I come from an all white folk where we are told that anything that is not WHITE is not RIGHT. For a time in my life I adhere to what I was told about…which I can say is totally crap. The first time I come across with Filipino’s I was ashamed of what I believed. It’s the exact opposite. Filipino’s are one of the best people I work with. It totally changed my perspective in life. Now for this Senator Sotto guy…I think I will make an exception…just maybe this the kind of guy my folks was talking about.? I think this guy in violating Sarah…(Yeah Sarah you are being violated samewise)..is a complete utter waste of good oxygen. I am sorry for the Filipino readers in saying this to your Senator Sotto…you have been “F*CKE*D” up pretty good. I have to be honest though…we also have guys like him here in the US. We got choices in life…either wank em or smoke em. But I am a God fearing man. Although I can say I am not religious enough. Heard it though that Philippines is a very religious country. One thing for sure you guys have ugly politics…sorry. I really do felt sorry for the Filipino there in Phils. and of course Sarah. I felt the Filipino’s are being robbed of a God given right to have something better out of your politics and politicians. I curse Sen. Sotto and his hair!!! Hah hah.

  4. Pingback: The RH bill and Sotto’s plagiarism issue « Quierosaber's Blog

  5. I am truly sorry, Ms. Sarah Pope. It is so embarrassing that your name had to be dragged into this. Please, feel free to sue Sen. Sotto (and yes, I puked at the instant I read ‘esteemed’) and Atty. Villacorta (who’s title doesn’t seem to match her intellect). Teach them a lesson.

    Dear Sen. Sotto, with all due respect sir, an apology would have sufficed. You brought this all to yourself.

    Atty. Villacorta, you disappoint me. How did you manage to pass the Bar when all the while you though Plagiarizing is merely sharing? You are such a disgrace to all Filipino lawyers. You don’t deserve your title.

  6. Pingback: Philippines news: The Philippine Cybercrime Law:  Repealing the 21st Century | Pinas news library

  7. Senator Tito Sotto October 16, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Dear Sara Pope,

    Did you know that back in 1982, my brother Vic Sotto, his friends and co-hosts Joey De Leon and Richie Reyes, drugged and raped a mega rising star in show business? Yes, that was a True Story! Pepsi Paloma was a young aspiring actress. She was raped, no doubt about that. She did file charges against them but it didn’t go anywhere since I was instrumental in persuading our courts not to pursue any charges. She later committed suicide by hanging herself in her apartment. That’s what they said. I’m telling you this because I am a senator! I can do anything! I can steal and lift your work from your blogs and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. = )

    • Unless you can prove all these accusations, expect to hear from my lawyer. I have your IP address and will be getting in touch with your ISP.

      This has gone too far.

      • Senator Tito Sotto October 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        I am an embarrassment to the Philippines most specially to the Filipino women. I’m an epitome of hypocrisy and I shouldn’t have been re-elected when I ran again as a senator. The Filipino voting public MUST NEVER FORGET that, I, senator Tito Sotto together with my younger brother Vic Sotto and their good friend Joey De Leon, and Richie Reyes, were figured in a rape case in the 80s involving a young Filipina sexy star Pepsi Paloma ,but the case was swept under the carpet because of our celebrity status. And now I have committed another shameful act — PLAGIARISM. I have the right and the nerve to put the full blame on my staff including Sarah Pope instead of taking responsibility and accountability as an elected public figure. Exactly what I have always done whenever I get caught in shameful acts. Sue me if you can. = )

  8. Senator Tito Sotto October 14, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Dear Sara Pope,

    You are very disrepekfull to me my office and the peepol of the Phelipines I represented. I am a Senator. Yes a real one! Voted by the peepol! You cannot tell me I stoled your work! I happend to be a graduated student from one of da extensive skools here! I never copy! I want you to come visit me and I’ll show you my report cards! I am a Senator! My job as a senator includes counselting our beautiful women with the use of condoms, pills, viagra, and other afrodisiacs in case of emergency in the bedroom. You cannot chop me down Ms. Sara Pope. I am very honest person.

  9. Pingback: Plagiarism | sacdalanraphael

  10. Those belonging to the “majority” (those who can distinguish right from wrong and conversely) but who are also already tired of these very very long thread here (our apologies, Sarah), you may opt to just sign the ongoing petition at change.org.

    For a read about this, ABS CBN news printed this: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/09/07/12/1m-signatures-sought-oust-sotto-senate

    Let’s get the ONE MILLION signatures to unseat someone who doesn’t deserve to be in the honorable halls of the Philippine Senate!

  11. Hi Sarah,

    Honestly speaking it was really bad that the Senator said in the interview “why should i quote a blogger… she’s just a blogger…”. At the very least bloggers do know how to quote their sources.


  12. Sen. Sotto doesn’t want to take away any choice. Is Sarah misinformed about his intentions? Contraceptives are available in the Philippines for everybody. The RH Bill says the government should give contraceptives to the poor, which means all tax payers are going to pay for their contraceptives. When there’s a healthy and free alternative which is easy to learn, isn’t it obvious that money can be spent more adequately on other things? This alternative are the modern methods of natural family planning (for example Billings method). I am sorry Sarah, but with your last apology by acting as if Sen. Sotto is using your words against the women in the Philippines, you sent out a completely wrong message! Women need to be informed about not only the possible health consequences of contraceptives, but also about the established connection with promiscuity and abortion (due to failures in contraceptive use). Read for example the article by Keith Ryler: Birth Control, Contraception Don’t Cut Abortions.

  13. Sara, when you say Sen. Sotto plagiarized your idea in your blog post, you are then saying you are the original author and all the information you stated in your blog post are rightfully yours. But they’re not yours. They are from a doctor who made a research about the subject. Why then would you accuse our Senator of plagiarism? By doing so, you are the one who’s guilty of plagiarism, can’t you see that simple logic?

  14. Pingback: Philippines news: 2nd US blogger accuses Sotto of twisting her words; senator says they came from book | Pinas.Net

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  16. hi sarah,

    was you blog on the pill original? or did you just rephrased mcbride? you bashed sen sotto for the plagiarism and at the same time kissed him for publicizing the harmful effects of the pill in his plagiarized speech.. can’t understand that. or are you just trying to play safe? afraid that the pro-rh or the pharmaceuticals will bash you for taking a stand? that’s not healthy thinking in my opinion

    • onyak- In what way will Ms. Pope be “afraid that the pro-rh” will “bash” her “for taking a stand”? Pay attention, the blogger is an American; Philippine politics does not concern her.

  17. sotto strikes again, this time victimizing the late JFK! The story can be read at this link: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/did-sotto-copy-again-.html. Here are the transcripts:

    Kennedy’s speech:
    “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

    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.”

    Kennedy’s speech:
    “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.”

    Sotto’s speech:
    “Ang mga hindi-mabilang na iba’t ibang galaw ng katapangan at paninindigan ang humuhubog sa kasaysayan ng sangkatauhan.”

    Kennedy’s speech:
    “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.”

    Sotto’s speech:
    “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.”

  18. Pingback: In Medias Res » Blog Archive » A plague of plagiarism

  19. Good job in putting the best of the internet to use Sarah! Let our arrogant and ignorant senator know that the internet gives a “non-senator” the power to be heard by everyone on this planet even more than a whose who’s privilege speech!

    Although sadly, more than the majority of us Filipinos will probably still see this arrogant ar$e’s behavior as a “hero” of some action movie being tortured by his nemesis and will one day still come out victorious (in the polls). Oh well, life goes on.

  20. wilfred basquial August 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Dear Sarah Hope,
    It’s so sad that the whole Filipino nation has been put to embarrassment because the majority floor leader of the Philippine Senate and his staff denied having copied excerpts from your blog then to admit on just the same. This is a result of Filipinos basing popularity on whom to vote- another reason why movie stars and boxers have taken over sensitive posts in government.

  21. Hi Sarah! I cannot say how much I am ashamed to be born in the same country as Tito Sotto. I never voted for him and never will. He’s a comedian turned politician and still makes comedy in our government. Just today he made another speech in the senate claiming he is a victim of cyber bullying?! The nerve. Not to mention that he still appears on the no. 1 daily noon time show in our country just to get our people to like him. You deserve an apology from him and I myself as a Filipino is sorry just because we are Filipinos. Pls do not misjudged our people. There are a lot of good Filipinos our there.
    You’re doing great in a lot of your blogs and helping so many people especially mothers like me. Keep up the good work!

  22. Hi Sarah! I’m also from the Philippines and I think Sen. Sotto is such a shameful arrogant idiot. You deserve, at the very least, an apology for this matter. But knowing how boastful many of our politicians are (I’m not generalizing here), it’s hard for you to get that apology. I just hope the senator will have a taste of his own medicine. He’s such an embarrassment to the country.

  23. Money, money... money August 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    After all these controversy, publicity and website hits, it must be good for your business. I would take your lawyer’s advice and milk as much publicity as you can from it while it is fresh.

  24. Is it true that your blog is not copyrighted? Here is Sotto’s claim:

    “The problem is she just copied it. Second, it’s a blog and has no copyright,” he said. Read full article @ technology.inquirer.net

  25. Pingback: Philippines: Senator Accused of Plagiarism · Global Voices

  26. Hi Sarah – you had been soo kind and respectful to Tito Sotto. First of all, he is definitely not esteemed and he is not respectable – he is an arrogant idiot and a lowlife! He is an embarrassment. He doesn’t deserve any respect and i just don’t understand why on earth the people voted him to the senate.

    By the way, love your blog.

  27. Tito Sotto is a dimwitted pea-brained amoeba causing shame in Philippine Politics by merely being a senate member. He is no different from the likes of Lito Lapid, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla Jr. – senators who took advantage of the uneducated poor; used their ‘acting charm’ to be hailed to power. Sickening.

    • agree with you. they are a bunch of unqualified stooges who mistakenly thought politics is an extension of showbiz. include manny pacquiao in the roster, politician for years already and yet no news about any contribution for the country except winning in boxing rings.

  28. Well, according to the law you really cannot sue Sotto. However, that is not the issue. Whether or not he can be sued, what he did is still plagiarism, and is unethical. Remember, even students who commit plagiarism cannot be tried by court, they can only be suspended, failed in the subject, or expelled based on the school policies. :D Then again, just because there is no criminal liability doesn’t mean what they did is wrong and unethical. Damn it.

  29. Pingback: It’s a MUST…. « Will Of Heart

  30. According to Mr. Sotto we paste and copy whatever we want, because he teached us now: “It´s a blog and has no copyright” . A strange understanding what Philippine Laws says.

  31. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/255890/plagiarism-common-practice-ok-in-senate-says-sottos-aide
    Former Sen. Ernesto Maceda was in the Senate Wednesday and acknowledged that the copying of bills from a previous Congress was indeed considered acceptable among his peers during his term. In the case of speeches, “when we lifted a passage or quotation, we gave the corresponding attribution to the source,” he said.

    However, Maceda would not hold Sotto and Cayetano personally accountable for passages in their speeches that might have failed to attribute the right sources. “I can believe the two senators if they say their speeches were prepared by their staff. It was an omission…. I think to me it’s not a big thing. It’s forgivable if it does not really affect the overall content of the speech…. Almost all senators depend on staff work,” he explained.

    Santiago was also magnanimous when asked about the issue. “Maybe the speech writer just overlooked it…. This is politics so I guess we should give more leeway to the senators as long as later on they admit that they took it from some other source and they acknowledge that source,” she said. “This is not academe where it is grave, in effect a mortal sin not to attribute something to its source or author,” Santiago added.

    Still, Maceda said it would be good if the senators would “express an apology to authors asking it.” Not on Villacorta’s watch in the case of Sotto. “Senator Sotto was not personally responsible for preparing the speech. He only read it on the floor. Besides, I already apologized to (US blogger) Sarah Pope,” he said.

  32. Pingback: Blog hat kein Copyright | Philippinen Blog

  33. Please focus on other issue that needs your immediate attention dear senators! stop debating on RH Bill! It won’t do any good to us! You’re just wasting our taxes!

  34. Another member of sotto’s writing staff “Jammer”… duh! as if he understand the recent post of ms. sarah. IDIOT! please read it!

    Vote sotto again! hahaha

  35. I was going to post the link but Philip was faster than me. lol. I wish to emphasize the stupid argument of Atty. Villacorta here.

    “Copying is a common practice. Why do you need to think of a brand-new measure when a good one that was not enacted already exists?” said Hector Villacorta, Sotto’s chief of staff.

    At a breakfast forum, Villacorta said former senators would sometimes approach incumbent ones and ask them to refile the measures that failed to reach approval during the former senators’ term.

    “They request new senators to refile [the bills] because (these are) already in the archives. Why reinvent the wheel? Re-filing is an accepted practice. It is called copying,” he said.

    “It’s really copying …. Why exert effort when these bills are just lying around?” Villacorta said.

    “Even our image was copied from God. We are all plagiarists,” he said.

    Tsk.. tsk.. why even mentioned God. He got nothing to do with here.

    • Indeed, like what Santiago said, it may not be academe but not really serving a good example to its people.

      Villacorta did apologize, that’s given, but it is really funny how law makers can find a way to break their own laws or find a way to construe it…

      Politics is really more exciting than telenovelas… hehehe…

  36. Sorry but I will just have to comment on this…

    I find it funny that the number of pinoy posters here is overflowing, to the point of bashing each other out — a good sign of FOE, but somehow crossing the line for some.

    I agree that the main issue here is the fact that the good Senator’s staff failed to acknowledge Ms. Pope (which they should have) other than Dr. Mcbride. If that happened, this wouldn’t even be an issue.

    I agree as well that he could have atleast humbled himself, a bit, as his staff already confirmed that they lifted the entire passage from Ms. Pope’s blog. —> But what’s new with this issue? None. MAJORITY of Filipino politicians are either that good or that unlearned about the LAW, which they themselves promulgated, and try to work their way around it.

    Anyway, unless Filipinos become smart voters, we will always have these types of politicians leading our government…

  37. a whole bunch of traitors you all are- YOU VOTED FOR THE GUY..and sarah, please, it’s not like you’re not enjoying the attention

    • Excuse me, I’d rather vote myself – an engineering graduate and a topnotcher than these mascots. By these mascots, I’m referring to: Miriam Santiago, Tito Sotto, Lito Lapid, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla Jr. — they are no different from Ronald McDonald and Jollibee.

      • @ Nate … that’s funny because your vote for yourself will be the only vote.. great job their top notcher we are very impressed with your credentials.

  38. Here we go.

    Senator Sotto- Plagiarized Parts of his Speech
    His brother- used the storylines of “Lastikman” and “Gagamboy” without acknowledging anything, taking it for his own. :)

  39. I was reading Frank Hilario’s blog(creattitudesonline.blogspot.com) and according to him Sen.Sotto made his attributions on certain editorials, newspaper column pieces…and other reference materials or literature of experts in the field of science and law with regards to the speeces he delivered in the Senate… I kinda agree with him..so how is it plagiarism? I am not a supporter of Senator Sotto..but im just saying…read his blog maybe it can help ease your anger.And to Sarah, correct me if i am wrong, but the purpose of your blog is to share information on relevant issues right?…i beleive that is exactly the case here.

    • Someone copied/stole your idea without permission. When confronted with about it, they, instead of apologizing, insulted and belittle you instead.

      If the good Senator only did the right thing and apologize to Sarah in the first place, this would have been a non issue.

    • Gina, the issue here is that the senator plagiarized Sarah’s blog. He used her exact words in one of his speeches without quoting her. Any listener would have initially thought that those were his words when they clearly were not. THAT is why it is a very clear case of plagiarism. Sarah’s blog shares information but that does not give anyone the license to steal her words. I say this with all sincerity: Please do more research on plagiarism and try to seek out reputable resources. I am saying this because it is very surprising that many people still do not seem to be aware of what constitutes plagiarism and thus, continue to commit the same mistake.

  40. “Women’s health” and “reproductive freedom” are two of the biggest misnomers out there. Artificial contraception (and abortion) are definitely NOT healthy for a woman’s body! And I have women tell me all the time they wanted more children, but their husbands wouldn’t let them have more!! That is not freedom. Artificial contraception has caused enormous social turmoil (increase in divorce, acceptance of pornography and abortion, just for starters.) The world has always had prostitution and pornography — but not to the extent that you see it today. It has become mainstream, thanks to the Pill and our “free sex, no regrets” attitude. (50% of abortions are attributed to failed contraception.)

    “Adam and Eve After the Pill” is a fascinating look at this topic.

    Did you know, all Christian religions (not just Catholics) were vehemently against artificial contraception until not so long ago. The mention of it was taboo in the years just before most of us were born. Margaret Sanger (that “champion” of the Pill) was an outspoken racist who wanted to use birth control to keep minorities, the weak, and others who she considered inferior from reproducing. She and Hitler were mutual admirers (no joke).

    Oh, yeah, and our water is filled with artificial hormones because of the Pill. There is no getting it out of the water system. There is absolutely nothing good about the Pill.
    NFP is the only way to go.

    • for a troll to get me to reply, you got guts.

      Your testimony on women wanting more children but the husbands won’t let them may come down to different reasons depending on where you are living now and the financial burden of a big family. Your accusation on artificial contraception being the faults of those things you make mention of is dead silly considering you can attribute other issues such as economics, the lack of a recognizable family structure in some communities and what not. The free sex/no regrets attitude certainly comes from the lack of education for young people regarding sexual education and things to take away from their distraction. If there is someone to blame for that its the parents AND the government for keeping things the way they are.

      And your margaret sanger to hitler correlation is the icing to the cake of your trolldom. Seriously, that is the weakest shit I have ever read.

      Do the rest of the Pinoys a favor and if you are a female, NEVER procreate. I would have to deal with your ilk 50 years down the road to help contribute bringing the glory of a lack of education and mediocrity to the nation.

  41. No to plagiarism, No to the bad things included in the RH Bill(there are some good in it)….NO to everything that’s wrong.

  42. Hi Sarah, I’m from the Philippines. Pardon our senator’s stupidity including his staff. You made a right point that you should’ve been credited by him when he included some excerpts from your blog in his speech. This senator is not a lawyer nor a college graduate if I’m not mistaken. He’s a kind of popular and became a politician coz he’s a comedian. Yes you heard it right a comedian. Some politicians here in our country are just the biggest jokes and scums of the earth.

    Again, apologies in behalf of our stupid senator. I hope i shed some light to your concern on why this stupid senator of ours reacted like that.

  43. The pro-rh senator Pia Cayetano is also guilty of plagiarism. Not only that, she is now covering up her tracks by adding footnotes to her former speeches. Her speech was down in her website last night. How’s that for integrity?

  44. Tito Sotto never stopped being a comedian. It seems like his staff picked up his penchant for comedy.

    Iskwelang kwela ‘to dito’y enjoyable
    konting aral lang konting bulakbol
    dito nang lahat, madaldal at bulol
    dito na nga, Iskul Bukol

  45. Tito Sotto’s (and his staff’s) initial reaction when exposed to this shows you how some politicians think of their position. It is best illustrated by the late Jose Avelino, himself a senator “serving” under Elpidio Quirino.


    I encouraged you to read the above.

    Some highlights

    – “What are we in power for?” – Jose Avelino (then senate majority leader) about the on going investigation regarding his moneymaking activities
    – “I am no saint…but when public opinion demands an investigation, we have to go through the formality of ordering one.” – then President Elipidio Quirino

  46. Do I need to say more? everything I supposed to say is here, but the bottom line is some comments get out of control and getting emotional than factual, let us not get out of the focus on the real issue which is plagiarism, what’s wrong with the senator is that he focus too much on emotions and pills, RH bills is not all about pills but an options, they are are also pushing for education and natural methods, and he should take accountability for his staff’s comedy of errors.

  47. Pingback: Today's 10 most-liked Facebook Pinoy stories - Philippine Business Portal

  48. Sotto is a disgrace to Filipinos. Unfortunately, Sotto, like most politicians in the Philippines, represents and, indeed, panders to the supermajority of the population of the Philippines–the common man who is far more concerned about food in his belly than the finer points of intellectual honesty. Sotto will not apologize for his intellectual transgression because the issue is way beyond the radar screen of his constituents. He will continue, like many of his kind, to wield undeserved power with impunity. I thank you personally for being instrumental in highlighting political scums like Sotto, who is properly characterized in an article I recently read entitled “Sotto the Pimp” with the following link: grpshorts.blogspot.com/2012/08/sotto-pimp.html Enjoy!

  49. After reading about the serious health consequences from contraceptive use, I can only think that as the result of honestly informed choice, only those who are in high risk of being raped will still use them instead of Natural Family Planning, which is free and has no bad effects on your health. I honestly have more faith in independent researchers than in big organisations like the WHO who may be manipulated by groups having particular ideological or financial interest. On use of the Pill in their fact sheet, they say: “Reduces risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer; should not be taken while breastfeeding”. Where are all the risks which Sarah reports in her blog? There’s traditionally a lot of misinformation from the Pro-RH Bill side. What they never say is that in countries with decades of globalised contraceptive use and sex education, more than 50% of abortions happen with those who were using contraceptives! Those countries also experience new problems related to decreasing population, unbalance between working people and elderly, which has to be compensated through immigration. Through the increased promiscuity there’s also a massive rise in spread of STD’s which is only partially countered by condom use, because consistent and correct condom use for everybody will only ever exist in theory. How many men are always going to withdraw right away from the body of their partner after ejaculating? How many will always use condoms for oral sex? Contraceptives, combined with a culture of pornography, superficial morals in popular music and movies, provide a deadly environment for people to grow up in.

  50. ‘Iskul Bukol’ in the Senate

    (Editorial, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2:06 am | Monday, August 20th, 2012)

    The circumstances surrounding the acts of plagiarism committed by Sen. Vicente Sotto III, in the first two installments of his controversial “turno en contra” speech at the Senate last week, are so comical, so ridiculous, they invite disbelief. Did Sotto, the majority leader, really tell ANC’s Karen Davila that he was not obliged to attribute the passage he and his staff lifted almost word for word, comma for misplaced comma, from American blogger Sarah Pope because “blogger lang ’yon [she’s only a blogger]”?

    Did his chief of staff, lawyer Hector Villacorta, really leave an extended comment in Pope’s blog that became an instant classic of offensive stupidity phrased in legal gobbledygook? “We are both indebted to the book’s author [Natasha Campbell-McBride] but if you wish that you also be credited with the contents of the book, let this be your affirmation. I can do it and by this message, I am doing it.”

    Did Villacorta really tell GMA News, after news broke that the second part of Sotto’s speech also had at least three instances of outright plagiarism, as pointed out by the likes of prizewinning novelist Miguel Syjuco, that one can appropriate anything from the Internet? “Yes, the Internet is a free range of ideas for the world to see. It’s in the free atmosphere.”

    And did Sotto really say to the Star (as quoted in the helpful timeline prepared by Filipino Freethinkers, whose blogger Alfredo Melgar was the first to find the passages lifted from Pope) that “Plagiarism, whether you give attribution or not, applies only if you contend that the contents are yours”?

    It is tempting to respond to this series of intellectually dishonest rationalizations, this dumbfounding serial comedy, by simply laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. At a fraught moment in a once-in-a-generation legislative debate, one of the key players in the Senate turns out to follow the academic standards of the infamous Wanbol University–you know, that fictional school in “Iskul Bukol” where one of the most popular characters Sotto created, back when he was still doing full-time comedy, held court as king of school hijinks.

    This makes us realize that there may be no better way to put Sotto’s acts of plagiarism and his and his staff’s tortured defense in perspective than to quote that satirical blogger, The Professional Heckler. Out of many laugh-out-loud passages, we choose this: “Yet latest online reports reveal Tito Sotto plagiarized the work of not just one BUT four bloggers to be exact… prompting actress Cherie Gil to quip, ‘You’re nothing but a second-rate trying hard copy-paste!’”

    To be sure, Sotto is not the only high-profile personality wrestling with issues of intellectual fraud, which is the bottom line of any act of plagiarism. The influential Time writer and CNN host Fareed Zakaria was recently suspended for a month by both news organizations for lifting one passage from the work of Harvard professor and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore. Unlike Sotto, however, Zakaria readily admitted to the mistake. And according to both Time and CNN, they found no other instance of plagiarism in Zakaria’s work.

    Sotto, however, remains a piece of work. He is reported to be preparing a privilege speech this week to defend himself against the charges of plagiarism by claiming that what political operatives call a demolition job has been ordered against him. If only he didn’t provide his detractors with the sticks of dynamite himself. As The Professional Heckler’s own tagline reminds us: “The problem with political jokes is they get elected.”

    But, important as the issue of plagiarism is, the deeper issue in the Philippines is the fate of the long-awaited Reproductive Health bill. It is here where the real import of Sotto’s cut-and-paste approach to his speeches can be seen. He is ready to use everything–the work of bloggers he does not deign to acknowledge, dubious or at least ambiguous research, the sloppy legal justifications of his staff, even emotional blackmail–to stop the bill from becoming law. That is the real joke, but nobody’s laughing.

  51. This issue brings me to here sarah’s blog and the rest of filipino blogger or not. Im am filipino from cebu, and a blogger. Everythings has been said here and I just wanna say they love your work because they copy it! :)

  52. David, yes this is not scientific work, beacuse scientific works, requires PATENT.. the reaction are extreme? yes it is.. because this guy represents, FILIPINO people and i’m being one of that.. and stupid thing that his staff said, “is using bible if you quote them”, I went on an outrage when his stupid staff said this one..

  53. I think your reaction is extreme. This is not your scientific work, but it’s referring to someone else’s work. It’s not because someone copies your way of saying it,that it’s theft and that it should be attributed to you. You are simply angry because it was used to make a stand against RH Bill. While it would have been polite to mention that it was taken from your blog, your reaction overall is extreme in comparison. If I would be making a blog about a scientific work and would rephrase what i would have read from an author, why would I be so important about this? I would just be like a messenger, a journalist, referring to something I find interesting. It’s the original source which matters.

    • For increased internet traffic to her blog. Look at how many comments her other articles have compared to this one. There’s a reason why she hasn’t closed this one for comments yet, Let’s give her some slack. This is the only time her blog is ever going to get this much attention. In the next few weeks, when there’s another big thing going on in the Philippines, this site will go back to how it was before. She’s just enjoying every minute while it lasts. Now, if she starts talking about the traffic enforcer who got slapped, then we really know she’s hungry for attention.

    • David, it seems you have little understanding of what plagiarism is.

      No, Sarah’s reaction (and the reaction of others) are, in no way, extreme.

      Yes, it was theft because someone copied her way of understanding it and the way she presented the information, which is integrated with her own beliefs and perspectives. Sotto and his writers, on the other hand, did not bother to think for themselves what the original source was saying.

      It is not merely polite to mention where you got your source from. It is a requirement. In schools, you can get your diploma and degree taken away from you if you plagiarize. You can be removed from office. No less than Manny V. Pangilinan resigned from the Ateneo’s Board of Directors after it was found out that parts of his speech had been plagiarized.

      No, you are not just a messenger when you study about information from a particular source. You study it, express your opinions and perspectives on it and add also your findings. No one has the right to parrot it and pass it off as their own.

      Or, you can try this. Try plagiarizing someone else’s work and make sure to do it where and when it matters – let’s say in a school presentation, a research paper or a company report or fact-finding project. Then, when they go after you for it, give them this lame excuse and see if you don’t become an instant laughingstock, derided and chided by co-workers or students alike. No one will trust you with their ideas anymore because, should you do this, everyone will know you are either a brazen thief or just too thick-headed to understand what you did wrong.

      • He did say that the ‘things I’ve been telling you are the product of our research from other sources. It’s only plagiarism when you call things your own when they are not. He didn’t do that. What did Sarah add to the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell as valuable data? If Sen. Sotto would have phrased in other words the exact same meaning, would it have been just fine? While I think it’s better that Sen. Sotto would have used his own words to refer to the work of Dr. Campbell, I get the impression this case is now being used as a stick to beat on him, simply because he’s anti-RH Bill.

        • No, David.

          Yes, Sotto did call Sarah’s work her own by not telling the Senate where it was from. That is lying by omission. Honestly, do you really read? Do you know what you are talking about? Did your school drill into you the ethics of researching? Di ba in school we are taught not to copy? And sometimes those are only formulaic knowledge or memory work. How much more complex ideas.

          I already gave you the case of Manny V. Pangilinan and it seems you have not even read it. At least he had delicadeza. I promise you, not one University here or workplace who holds high standards for excellence and ethics will accept this poor excuse for a reasoning you’ve got. Just ask those who’ve had their Phd’s removed.

          You want something more international? I hope you read Times Magazine because recently they suspended one of their journalists, Fareed Zakaria, for the same thing. He copied statistics and also the way they were presented from a writer of another publication. You could say, well, it was mostly just numbers, blah blah blah. But no, these people understood what honesty and integrity was. Mr. Zakaria was even a Yale and a Harvard graduate. But you know, he had the balls to say that he was sorry for his mistake and it made him realize certain things. Let that be a demonstration to you of how even educated and rich people can graciously accept their mistakes, unlike Sotto who isn’t man enough to admit that he was wrong.

          What do you mean add anything of value? When you do research you study ideas, see if they are viable enough to support whatever thesis you have, examine them, see their strong and weak points and then present your own ideas based on them. That’s YOU thinking, adding to people’s knowledge. Or baka naman the reason you don’t understand what Sotto did is you’ve never done research in your whole life, which is impossible because this is a staple when it comes to schooling.

          And YES, if Sotto had phrased it in his own words, that would have been fine – not just paraphrase because for your information, paraphrasing is also plagiarizing if you don’t quote the source. So YES, it would’ve been fine but only if he had phrased it in his own words according to how he understood Campbell’s or Sarah’s words. That he parroted Sarah’s work simply means that he did not understand what he was talking about at all.

          No, stop making this about the RH Bill. It’s you antis who keep making this about the RH. The rest of us can see clearly enough that he stole. If he doesn’t understand his own advocacy and needs to steal ideas from other people, then he needs to step down. He’s just unfortunate he got caught using someone else’s ideas to fight for a cause which that person had nothing to do with. Sarah’s blog is geared towards health and, never towards our RH Bill.

          And FYI, he copied from four more bloggers. Ang sipag talaga nya no?

          The main problem here is that Sotto has not shown integrity whatsoever. If he goes on like this, he’ll just be embarassing himself more.

          • I repeat that Sen. Sotto “made it clear in his speeches that the contents, including the references to ideas, thoughts or medical and scientific findings were not his own.” So you shouldn’t make comparisons with Fareed Zakaria or Manny V. Pangilinan. I can agree that it would have been better to use his own words and interpretation and make reference to the basic sources (not blogs who themselves refer to other sources). It’s not plagiarism in the sense that he didn’t pretend that this was his own original writing.

          • No David.

            He copied it word for word. Just like what Manny did. Just like what Fareed did. Fareed nga even made some micro adjustments.

            What Sotto did was “palusot”. It’s not “better” to have used his own words. It’s what he should have done. It’s plagiarism. And it’s established, FYI. And he also did the same to four other bloggers.

            If I copied word-for-word a news article in the newspapers, say the Manila Bulletin or the Inquirer – or even just part of this article – and used it in a speech, the author and the newspaper can go after me, regardless of whether I say that the thoughts and information I am using in the speech are not my own IF I do not quote my source. Sabi ko nga sayo di ba (Didn’t I tell you), go do the same thing and see if your excuses for Sotto will be accepted or – most likely – be ridiculed?

            But I guess you refuse to understand that because you CAN’T even seem to understand how Sotto’s case is the same with Manny or Fareed. Don’t even tell me that I shouldn’t compare Sotto’s case to them as if you understood what plagiarism and integrity meant because clearly – you don’t.

            Either you and Sotto are of the same character and the same type of reasoning or you’re just plain too thick to get it, in which case you’re making a good demonstration of it. You probably don’t even know about the 4 other bloggers, don’t you – and one of them even an SVD priest. Go do your research. Better yet, educate yourself on plagiarism. It may just save you a career or an academic credential – or even your reputation.

            Oh, by the way, last I checked, the claims of plagiarism against Sotto was already well-established; he’s being called on it internationally; the daughter of Helen’s former doctor has already spoken up on the misuse of her mother’s memory; plus, his misuse of Barbara Seaman’s ideas in her book and her political position is also now coming under scrutiny. How’s that for one big mess created by a man who didn’t even care enough to research on his advocacy and present his stance with integrity? Pfft.

            Sorry, no excuse of Sotto will ever erase his reputation as a lying thief and he’s just destroyed his own credibility, especially with his colleagues – and his COS, Villacorta, is doing an even better job of burning it to the ground.

  54. I agree with you. Sadly, here in the Philippines, senators rely on their staff to do their speeches (apparently they could not create something on their own). Even if he says that his staff is the one responsible for the plagiarism issue, the senator is equally accountable. He should’ve checked and double checked the speech he’s about to make.

    Plagiarism, again, is not a big issue here in the Philippines. Hell, the senator’s lawyer made some crackpot response about making the issue a big deal and blowing things out of proportion. As a student, it makes me mad because in my university (University of the Philippines), we are taught to ALWAYS CITE OUR SOURCES. And plagiarism merits expulsion from the university (sometimes, Ph.D.’s are removed). Paraphrasing is not hard, and the citation of sources is not difficult either. BUT APPARENTLY, instead of taking the high road and APOLOGIZING PROPERLY to you, he chose to think of the plagiarism issue as a direct attack to his anti-RH Bill sentiments.

    I am here to offer my support to you. I am a Filipino like Sen. Tito Sotto, but I do not agree with his flippant attitude towards his plagiarism (intentional or not) of your work. I hope that you have a good day.

  55. let us not forget that it was tito sotto who pulled the strings for his brother and his co-horts in the rape of pepsi paloma. tito sotto is not giving filipinas any favors here, he just wanted to secure there will be people to vote for him on the next election so he could amass more wealth for himself. let me just share this post that i found online: “Pepsi Paloma was best known as one of the “softdrink” beauties along with starlets Coca Nicolas and Sarsi Emmanuel in Philippine Cinema of the early eighties. Her career and life were tragically cut short after an unfortunate alleged crossing of paths with comedy stars and noontime variety show personalities Joey de Leon, Richie d’Horsey, and Vic Sotto. Vic Sotto is the brother of now Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto who himself was a famous showbiz celebrity. The man who was to become Senator of the Republic starred alongside his brother Vic and Joey de Leon in various productions. The trio are well-known for their billing as “Tito Vic and Joey” with d’Horsey often joining them in supporting roles…” I got it from this website: http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011/09/recalling-senator-tito-sottos-pepsi-paloma-connection/

  56. Sarah, I admire you for calling Senator Tito Sotto a lying thief. You hit it right on the spot. Tito Sotto was a comedian-actor whose popularity on TV got him voted into the Senate. Unfortunately in the Philippines, the major block of voters are the poorly educated people who vote based on the popularity of actors, singers or comedians. That is why we have so many incompetent politicians being elected into office. It is such a sad state for Philippine Politics. As long as the majority of voters remain poorly educated, there will be no solution to this problem in the Philippines.

  57. best advice, just continue the case with this senator, please… he is a COMEDIAN and he is only reading the script given to him,.. it’s better now so he can not be re-elected again.. NO APOLOGIES, GIVE THIS COMEDIAN LESSON.. PLEASE.. MAYBE HE MAY HAVE AN AWARD FOR “BEST ACTOR” IF HE MAKE APOLOGIES..

    I’m a Filipino and I don’t vote and lastly PROUD to be a “Monkey” Pinoy!

  58. Hi, Ms. Pope, I am also a blogger and as a Filipino I asked an apology for what had happened even though I am not the one who did it but it made me feel I am part of it… for me the issue is he took something from u’re write up’s and should asked permission before it was used, or should I say at least it was quoted…. the issue of RH bill for me is timely and need to be pass but I guess as a catholic country the government should conduct an information awareness about this bill, what are the pro’s and cons of this issue so that people will clearly understand about this matter because at the end of the day Filipino people are the one who will be benefited or suffer with this bill….

    With regards to pills and other contraceptives it is legal here in the Philippines infact women have the choice which birth control can be use, anyway thank you so much for this post and more power to you….

  59. Why should be it be considered as Plagiarism. When you put something on the Internet It is already public Property. There are a lot of country who can use it. A lot of students use internet materials as their own term paper and thesis reports. Your rules may not apply to ours :p

    • Hi Sarah! It’s sad in a way that the issue of plagiarism has sidetracked people away from the issues in your blog but I guess it may also have it’s advantages. I’m a Filipino, a photographer and a blogger as well and I strongly deplore and find extremely ignorant the claim of Sen. Sotto and his supposed aide, Atty. Villacorta that anything on the INternet is free and clear for use by anyone. How that ignorant buffoon became a lawyer I’ll never know. It’s not even a question of legality but plain and simple decency, good manners and ethics which is obviously a foreign concept for those clowns. I’m one with you on the good fight for what is right and you do have many supporters here in the Philippines. Mabuhay!!!!

    • Your assumption that putting something on the Internet automatically makes it public property is incorrect. Accessing something on the Internet, and using it (with proper citation) is different from copy pasting and claiming it as your own. Read up on the Internet and public domain before making ignorant statements such as this.

      Also, “your rules may not apply to ours?” I don’t know about you, but when I went to college in the Philippines we had rules against plagiarism. I even know people who got caught. Unfortunately, the attitude towards plagiarism here is not as strict as it is overseas. So please don’t use being in the Philippines as an excuse to commit plagiarism, it’s insulting.

    • i have to disagree with you, paul dyke. your reasoning is the same with tito sotto and atty. villacorta which is so dumb. it is true that information is readily available in the internet for research papers and thesis reports but if you are going to use it, you have to paraphrase it to claim it your research work. if you’re so lazy to paraphrase and just wanted to copy paste it, you have to at least quote it and cite you source.

      i’m sorry. i don’t know what school were you from and i don’t wanna know. you’re embarrassing the whole philippine school system in the world. if your school doesn’t have a high standard as other schools in the philippines, don’t say “your rules may not apply to ours”. because, in some higher standard schools in the philippines, plagiarism is a major offense and you can get expelled for it.

      i’m just saying that there is still some good schools in the philippines that has its standards.

    • Paul Dyke: a Sotto sock puppet.

      Again, snarky comments meant to muddle the issue or another useless display of “filipino machismo”.

      The rest of the world calls it acting like a pussy.

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  62. Very well-written! I applaud your ability to stand up for yourself and not leave any room for tolerance of less than congruent behavior, while remaining thoughtful and compassionate to both the Senator and his experiences, and to the women of the PI. Great job, keep up the amazing work!!

  63. i got so curious about your blog because of this not so good senator who plagiarized your work. he’s indeed a thief in robe. i support your advocacy which is to empower people by making them informed. kudos to you.

  64. Pingback: Predicament on the Senator’s speech « GrayPencil

  65. great i discovered your blog because of the plagiarism controversy. i’m pro women and pro-choice. i have four sis and i adore you complete for addressing Filipinas to reclaim their right to choose and to decide what to do with their vaginas and ovaries and what pills to shallow. i’m a catholic and i’m informed that aside from shallowing pills, or using IUDs, etc., CATHOLICS WEAR CONDOM TOO, unlike many catholic priests who refuse to wear condom and in the process sire kids. i personally find nothing controversial in rh bill. what is important for me is the women are educated, informed and given the liberty to choose based on their conscience. i find it perplexing and appalling that in the rh bill debates in the philippines, men, and senators at that, engage lady senators in screaming bouts. for the love of Christ, let the women decide what to do with their wombs and how best to protect it. power to women to legislate. you’ll be welcomed in Manila. Mabuhay!

  66. Some people should realize that this is not about RH Bill anymore and about PLAGIARISM that was done by no less than AN ELECTED PHILIPPINE SENATOR.

    I guess there would be no chest beating and chants of “proud to be Pinoy” this time around should international media gets a wind of this issue.

    Let the Filipinos be reminded that the Distinguished Senator from the Philippines IS A PRODUCT IF THE DYSFUNCTIONAL MESS THEY HAVE THAT’S CALLED PHILIPPINE POLITICS.

    It’s all about name recall, how good you can sing or dance during campaigns this side of Babylon. Ask a common botante (voter) bystander of what his chosen candidates political stances are in timely issues and he may answer you he has no idea or he believes his chosen “manoks” (picks) are good because he happened to see him on TV commercials and local show guesting.

    For those who defend him or asking for giving the Senator some slack because he a fellow Filipino. Mga BUGOK KAYO (explicit content). That’s the very reason why in the Philippines NO GETS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING THEY DO WRONG.

    People should realize that their politicians are their REPRESENTATIVES to the world and they should EMBODY THE IDEALS AND WHAT IS GOOD OF BEING FILIPINOS. If that bozo senator makes a booboo damay lahat ng Pilipino sa kahihiyan (all Filipinos get a share of the shame).

    Proud to be Pinoy? You should be, your countrymen elected a plagiarist.

  67. As a blogger, I feel so bad about the issue of plagiarism. Senator Sotto admitted that he does not write his own speech. As a Filipino, I feel so sorry for those who are not aware that quoting sentences or even phrases from the internet journal is already called Plagiarism.

  68. Tito Sotto made a mistake..a mistake that will take him to his grave. his dreams will never be quite..i am expecting his to have another privilege speech and publicly apologize. I personally did not think that his speech writer wrote that..it could be his son. His speech was a typical school homework kind of job…I am also against the RH Bill because of several reasons.
    1. The monopoly of these contraceptives and others. The Filipinos will get third class items. You know hoe much product development is working now-a-days..Technology is ticking every second. The Govt. will favors companies to supply the needs of these RH Bill. 2. a new door for corruption..just like the pork barrel in which it was embedded in the yearly Philippine budget. 3. It deprive life to start…and for a wife or husband bound by duty to protect its Offspring, born and unborn to do this act is wrong, unhealthy for the family..i am talking about Spiritual, mental maturity and Moral Health …a fiber needed as a leader of the family, this will create a Father or Mother that is less than an inspiration to there children…

  69. What people show know that Sotto said his wife used Diane contraceptive pills that led to the death of their son. That was in 1975, counting 9 months pregnancy so pills could have been used 1974 and before that.

    Here’s the clincher, in every source about Diane, the said pills were marketed FIRST in Europe in 1978.

    It was introduced into Asia in 1985!

  70. Tito Sotto’s Camp Admits Using Sarah Pope’s Blog according to news today. I wanna hear sotto say a public apologo to ms. pope since this is the big issue now in the philippines and to all bloggers out there. Now we learn something from this issue.

  71. and the battle of words begins…. how exciting! you should all be in the senate to show that even the common people are aware of the pros & cons… your points here are more legitimate..

  72. Dear Sarah,

    The very group of people who contacted you to report on Senator Sotto’s plagiarism, and who have used you for their own political ends, are now calling your source, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a quack, and a practitioner of pseudoscience. This is an indirect affront to your own advocacy. In effect, they are also calling you a quack.

    Your new-found allies are heralding you as an advocate of women’s choice, but have conveniently left out your message that pills can have devastating health consequences (which is also Sotto’s advocacy). Isn’t that ironic? These people have also failed to inform you that there is no ban on birth control pills in the Philippines. Pills and other contraceptives are legal commodities in the Philippines and can be obtained from government clinics by those who need them for free. The health department has a yearly budget for this.

    In fact the Philippines has a Magna Carta for Women passed way back in 2009 (http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2009/ra_9710_2009.html), which already guarantees comprehensive medical care for women:

    Section 17. Women’s Right to Health. – (a) Comprehensive Health Services. – The State shall, at all times, provide for a comprehensive, culture-sensitive, and gender-responsive health services and programs covering all stages of a woman’s life cycle and which addresses the major causes of women’s mortality and morbidity: Provided, That in the provision for comprehensive health services, due respect shall be accorded to women’s religious convictions, the rights of the spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions, and the demands of responsible parenthood, and the right of women to protection from hazardous drugs, devices, interventions, and substances.

    Access to the following services shall be ensured:
    (1) Maternal care to include pre- and post-natal services to address pregnancy and infant health and nutrition;
    (2) Promotion of breastfeeding;
    (3) Responsible, ethical, legal, safe, and effective methods of family planning;
    (4) Family and State collaboration in youth sexuality education and health services without prejudice to the primary right and duty of parents to educate their children;
    (5) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and AIDS;
    (6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract cancers like breast and cervical cancers, and other gynecological conditions and disorders;
    (7) Prevention of abortion and management of pregnancy-related complications

    As you will notice, these things can be done without a “reproductive health” law. There are principled differences between those who want an RH legal framework and those who don’t. This is not about banning contraceptives.

    I hope you publish this for the sake of fairness.

    Check this google search for what Sotto’s enemies have written about Dr. Natasha.

  73. As a Catholic, I think it is a far greater sin to create a human being that you can’t feed than to take a pill that will prevent you from the forced starvation of children.

  74. Also, regarding RH bill. Sadly, I know that our certain hobby back home is yep, laying some pipe down on the misis or the mister. Cheap, healthy and of course nobody gets tired o that. The thing is, I know how rich our country is regarding natural resources also it has been said that the country can be sustained by using Mindanao’s resources alone. There ain’t no problem with the country, the thing is, our government has been fucking up our shit ever since after the Marcos regime. I’m tellin yah, if I can bring that nigga back to life, aw shit, errthang would be different. Everything just keeps on going up, gas prices, food, jesus even rice is so expensive now. Taxes is also a bitch, but I DON’T see any kind of progress. I visited Phils. last June, I must say, there is a ton of those Government projects that aren’t finished. Flooding is still an issue and several other things. It is somewhat depressing to see how a country so full of potential being torn asunder by the fucking government. Y’all need to see how far behind we are compared to the other ASEAN nations. Vietnam is amazing, economy is booming. Japan got atom bombed twice less than a hundred years ago, got hit by major earthquakes, a big ass tsunami and look how it is right now. Google the before and after images of Japan, now that’s how a government should be like.

  75. Don’t use kudos, he ain’t gonna figure out what that is. And puhlease tell that guy tito stop using the “i lost my son” routine. That shit done been used already. I dunno why people o the motherland keep on puttin celebrities in places of power. I can name a few celeb politicians that I know for a fact that really do an amazing freakin job at governance, like Vilma Santos! Much props to yah lady, you really do try. I spent half my life in Batangas, Phils, and here at Queens, NYC. I know how hard life is in the motherland, but I am still hoping though, that one day Pinas would change. Change for the good. What Tito Sotto did, is an embarrassing and cruel reminder that we need to be a tad more strict regarding picking our candidates for government. If that guy can’t do proper research and reading and has to resort to PLAGIARISM to make a decent speech, who knows what else has this guy fucked up coz of his laziness. Jesus, Grab a book man, Honestly.

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  77. Senator Sotto must say sorry to Sara.End of the story. Personally, the main problem is that there are lot of Filipinos who are not aware of their options iregardless of their class.There is family planning. My mother undergone for a ligation after giving birth of 6 children but my father was not in favor of it. I saw my mom using pills before being ligated but still she got pregnant because somethimes she skipped to take one so meaning if she didnt take pills then she would have more than 6 children? I am from lower-lower class of family and I know how hard it is to provide the needs of our family and one thing I learned is that we have choices in life. We can plan our family but given the safest option that will not ruin the health of the mother and child.Education is the key to promote the healthy family and healthy country. Execution of the law after being educated is next to productive individual.

  78. EVERYBODY MUST RESPECT EACH OTHERS OPINIONS! Otherwise, all these “intelligent” comments and remarks would amount to NOTHING at all. I strongly suggest to everyone to just leave your personal comments and NOT TO DEMEAN or CRITICIZE OTHERS for what they believe in. Having said that, here’s my 2 cents worth:


    Obviously, there will be opposing ideas as to whether Sen. Sotto indeed committed plagiarism by lifting portions (big or small) from the blog of SARAH and using it in his speech on the SENATE floor. I SAY, IF IT WAS INDEED PLAGIARISM, THEN THE ONLY WAY TO REALLY FIND OUT IS FOR MS. GRACE TO SUE IN COURT ( whichever court she deems she will have a good chance to win). Otherwise, SEN. SOTTO and his STAFF must apologize and Ms. Grace SHOULD ACCEPT the apology and that’s that! WE CAN NOW CONTINUE WITH THE BUSINESS IN HAND AND THAT IS THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE BILL.


    Again, as human beings with different mind sets/characters/intelligence and religious beliefs, we expect OPPOSING OPINIONS on the matter. Obviously, there ARE CERTAIN CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES that must be discussed thoroughly so that a COMPROMISE CAN BE REACHED.

    But what is VERY important and NOW QUITE URGENT is to ADDRESS the sorry state of the HEALTH CARE of our Filipino women (the poor and the ignorant and NOT the rich, affluent women with just one, two or three children). I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT IT IS THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT THAT PROVIDES THE MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE PROS AND THE CONS OF THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL. Most of those who oppose the bill do not see the complete picture which really includes and PERTAINS to the underprivileged. HOW CAN THERE BE REAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE IF THEY DO NOT KNOW ALL THE CHOICES AVAILABLE!

    “The only thing CONSTANT in this world is CHANGE”. Lest I be accused of PLAGIARISM, I would like to cite the person who FIRST USED THAT PHRASE.

    The Philippines now has 100 MILLION in population. While the God-given natural resources of the country may still be enough to cater to the FOOD NEEDS of such a RELATIVELY BIG POPULATION, can you imagine the FOOD, HOUSING, HEALTH etc situation after 20 years from now when the present 100 MILLION can be extrapolated to reach 150 MILLION at the present POPULATION GROWTH RATE! Do we need to wait for this time before we will ACT? Will we have to follow CHINA’s POLICY of INE CHILD PER FAMILY after 40 years when our population would grow to about 300 MILLION by then?


    One thing is for sure, GOD GAVE US FREE WILL and INTELLIGENCE to be able to decipher what is right and what is wrong, TO ADJUST OUR BELIEFS BASED ON THE CHANGING TIMES!

  79. People…who..think…that….copying…from…online…sources…is…not…plagiarism…are…simply…not…aware…of…the…rules…governing..online…articles…

    Those…in…the…public..domain..are…stated…specifically….these..are…few…though…95% online contents are copyright protected….Those concerned should educate themselves of plagiarism rules…nakakahiya kayo!

  80. Please sue him, teach him a lesson, I’m from the philippines, I DONT VOTE, its the people like Mr. Sotto that made me lose interest in voting. Please please sarah! Sue that idiot!!!

  81. Pingback: US blogger accuses Filipino senator of plagiarism | Tatay Pepes

  82. He’s got no room at the senate! Forget about the drama (he’s from the show business anyway) because everything else is just “papogi” pretending to be an intellectual person but you are not.
    Please go back to TVC (tito vic and joey) where you really belong.

  83. neither pro nor anti August 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    This is WAY OUT OF LINE!sue the senator to help our nation? BAKIT ikayayaman pa ba natin yan e dagdag pending lawsuit lang yan dito sa pinas. RH bill nga hindi na nakausad usad tapos gagatungan pa ng ibang isyu. Napakahilig talaga ng Pinoy na palakihin pa isyu lalo na pag me involve na tiga ibang bansa.

    “Send me that letter of apology I’ll post that on my blog and we can consider this issue done,” Pope added. – with ANC

    Evidently MS. SARAH POPE is not that pathetic as you all are so she’s just now ignoring all the bogus comments that you have. Fortunately she has this american culture that an apology from the senator will do and it will END from there. WAY FAR from the filipino crab mentalism that you all are showcasing in your comments.




  84. @Atty Hector — Great apology. Toinks. Try this — google ‘heartfelt apology’ then copy verbatim lol. Try the ‘caps’ button too. It works wonders.

    So the only thing original in that speech was the (teardrop/sniff/cry) cue. Wait…I heard that lifted from another blogger lol

  85. Just like what others said, you should sue. By suing, you will give the people of the Philippines a chance to get rid of one dirty politician in our government.

    He also said: “sue if you can”. A threat for all bloggers around the world that has been plagiarized or their content stolen without attribution.

  86. Wow, Sarah, on so many levels, Wow! Part of me thinks, “I’d love to be such a well-read blogger that someone copies my work!” But as a former journalist and editor, plagiarism is terribly vexing…you are right to be irked. And the issue of the pill…yikes! The pill is so, so dangerous. But so are government mandates and regulations. We need to tell the truth, to share concern and info so people can make the right choices! Education, never coercion! Good work, Sarah.

  87. Pingback: Senator Tito Sotto and his monkey of an Attorney « Crazy.Apple

  88. Hi Sarah.
    Sorry about our senator and lawyer. I assure you not all Filipinos are that stupid. I used to write for my highschool and college newspaper and I always am reminded to mention my source if I am to use an idea or a quotation that is not mine. Simply speaking, that fact that they acknowledged your blogged, means they know you exist, they know what you wrote, and they know what they were doing. Now these people surely went to college and at some point had to create a thesis to pass. Seriously, weren’t they taught that need CITATIONS because surely they had to “borrow” ideas from other authors? This is basically the same thing. Doesn’t really matter if the idea came from a century-old author or a teenage blogger. If you “borrow” an idea, you CITE it

  89. Pingback: Sotto aide takes blame but denies plagiarism, says blogs meant to be shared | Philippine Times of Southern Nevada

  90. Esteemed is not really the type of word i would describe Sen. Sotto, I myself is even wondering why he’s in senate.I like your blogg so much, read a few of your articles already. you’re a brilliant woman. I suggest you go on with what your doing,continue enlightening people

  91. atty. villacorta is just doing his job guys, just like any other as$h*le and crook lawyer… ang lumusot hangga’t makakalusot kahit huli na sa akto :)

  92. The problem with Mr. Senator Vicente Sotto III is that he is also an actor in the Philippines. We cannot really say if he is truly telling a truth or bravely telling a lie. Or perhaps he is acting super super (with emphasis) dramatically infront of his fellow Philippine senators in order to convince them and be able to win their sympathy.
    You are now in a very disadvantageous position Mr. Tito Sen (as you are famously called back home), because your credibity has been tarnished. It tantamounts to distrust you not only by your fellow senators but also by the majority of the POOR Filipino people like us.
    Next time Mr. Tito Sen, be respectful enough to use proper referencing as we strictly do here in North America.
    By the way, there is ONE thing I want to THANK you Mr. Tito Sen. Because of the controversy of your much awaited senate speech, I have learned to know this beautiful webblog of Ms. Sarah Pope.

  93. This only goes to show the incompetence of persons being voted upon by the people. Plagiarism, denial and lies are but only of a few things a lot of politicians here in the Philippines do. And to whom does this reflect? Not of Sotto’s, but us as a people. I am a Filipino, and proud of it. But I am not proud of “some” Filipinos and the way they live their lives.

    Election 2013 is just around the corner. Hopefully this would serve as a wake up call for all Filipinos to make wiser choices among people vying for positions in the government.

  94. Pingback: American Blogger Sarah Pope Makes Buzz in Philippine Media | Brain Contour

  95. The fact is that the senator did not only used Sarah’s work and insulted her but also twisted the intention of her blog to substantiate his anti-RH campaign. To add insult to injury, the senator’s chief of staff in a nonsensical effort had the gut to reply to the Sarah’s blog, admit to copying her work and urge to her to take their side on the issue of the RH bill. The senator is missing the whole point of the RH bill. RH bill is not all about the pill and the condom. For me, it advocates pro-choice. Making well-informed decisions and options available for everyone especially for the poor. I took the pill for a couple of months until I consulted an ob-gyn and she told me that I should not take the pill because of a skin condition. And I thought I had enough access to this sort of information; what more for the less privilege Filipinas.

    I am neither a Catholic nor a religious person but I do respect other people’s beliefs. I just wish that a certain religious sector would realize that they could no longer speak for everyone. Saying that Filipinos do not engage in premarital sex and should practice abstinence is total hypocrisy.

  96. Sarah Pope,

    stop commenting on our National Issues such as the RH bill. You are not a Filipino Citizen, therefore you do not have the right to participate in any of the issues affecting our Nation. If you feel you have the right to voice your opinion, then its plain American arrogance.

    On plagarism, tough luck on you. You posted it on the internet, a public domain. Your american Laws does not apply to us.

    Cry foul if the plagarism has at least caused you some financial disadvantage, but from the looks of it, you are benefitting from all this with the hits you are getting from the whole incident.

    • an presumptous blogger trying to demean our senator here……you put miss mcbride’s words ino your own and then somebody made a quote of it and you’d say your works been plagiarized…if attention to your blogsite is all you need , you got it…but you are not the original source of that knowledge, it was somebody more fitting.

      • Granting that McBride is the REAL source of information, I presume that Ms. Sarah Pope was professional enough to paraphrased the original version and referenced the credit where credit was due.
        Did Mr. Tito Sen do the same thing? He should have gotten off the hot seat had he done the right referencing and acknowledgment.
        Grandstanding of politicians is not surprising nowadays, actually, we Filipinos are fed up with a lot of those.
        We need an honest to goodness politicking, I know one politician, he is spending a lot of money from his own pocket to help not only his constituents, but all Filipinos who have seeked help from him.
        We need politicians who will SERVE the Filipinos, and NOT who will LORD over us.

        • I suggest you read raucousrobin’s comment a while back.

          “DO you understand what plagiarism is?

          Plagiarism is not the act of stealing one’s ideas. It’s the act of copying one’s expression of an idea without properly attributing the source and then claiming it as your own.”

          In this case, while the ideas were McBride’s, the EXPRESSION was Sarah’s. Sarah properly attributed the idea to McBride. Sotto did nothing.

          You obviously don’t have any experience in academic writing.

          • To add:
            You obviously don’t have any experience in academic writing, so stop talking about the interplay of paraphrasing ideas from a content source and plagiarism like you know what you’re talking about.

  97. Maam,

    Thank you for the recognition you have given to our country, even though it is highly ugly. I just have one wish for you, from a Filipino blogger and scholar. Please sue the senator and his chief of staff, please. Looks like nothing will be done under our own law.

    I am deeply sorry, but please do consider my request. Help our nation.

    Kenny G.

  98. Surely, “esteemed” and “distinguished” are not exactly the kind of words I would describe Senator Sotto. I would likely prefer “extinguished” more than anything else. He and his chief-of-staff, Atty. Villacorta, are still on denial that they committed plagiarsim at its very core. Any decent man would take the high road, accept responsiblity for failing to attribute the words (and ideas) to their source, apologize, and resign. That is any decent man. I seriously doubt if either Senator Sotto or Atty. Villacorta is decent enough to man up. I hope you pursue a lawsuit. This is the only way both of them will learn the lessons of moral. ethical and literary integrity.

  99. Pingback: Does Sotto’s “Plagiarism” Make the RH Bill Any Less Flawed?

  100. The hormonal birth control pill is a group one carcinogen. A GROUP ONE CARCINOGEN. Natural Family Planning is just as effective and it works for every woman. Every woman is unique and has a different cycle. The birth control pill eliminates this uniqueness. It manipulates her body so that she can be sexually available to men (husband or not). It boils down to USE. The late Pope John Paul II said, “the opposite of love is not hate, it is use”. I’m not saying women shouldn’t have access to hormonal birth control. I do however hate that tax payers in this country are paying for a lot of it. I also don’t think that hormonal contraception should be the only option given to women. Poor people need to be educated about their BODIES. They have free will and the ability to use it. They need to know about their cycle, fertility, and how awesome human reproduction is. Education is power, not hormonal birth control. Give these women AND men real options. Sex, reproduction, and family planning is not just about women. We can no longer keep pushing men aside as if they have no say and then demand that they support women and children. Sex, love, and family life is about male and female. Men should understand how a woman’s body works too, this promotes DIGNITY OF THE PERSON and the responsibility of family planning is not left for the woman to figure out.

    AND there is a revoultion springing up to bring back the dignity of the human person, love, family life, and good, healthy sex. . We’re bring sexy back : http://www.1flesh.org/category/blog

  101. Nice blog post Sarah. We Asians, by nature, do not easily admit when we make mistakes. ‘Saving face’ is endemic in our very own culture. Thus, instead of saying, “My mistake”, “I apologize for…”, or “I’m sorry”, we try to ‘save face’ by denying it, lying about it, covering it and making excuses about it. To my fellow kababayan, it’s easy to condemn the Senator for denying what he did, but how many of us admit quickly when we make mmistakes? Note: This is not to defend Sotto. I don’t know him enough; I live outside the Pilippines. I should add, I condemn plagarism!

    • Sorry for the misspelled words in my earlier comment. While I admit, it’s my mistake, I blame my worn out keybaord for it ha ha:)

  102. Pingback: An open letter to Atty. Hector Villacorta, from a humble blogger | Evenstarlight

  103. I never did like Tito Sotto. Plagiarism is still plagiarism. He should still quote and give credit even if it is a blogger. My blood boils when I heard him say “Why should I quote a blogger?”

    Well, at least we know what a fake he is. He doesn’t even know what original and unique means.

    And oh…the lawyer is an idiot. *face palm*

  104. Hi Ms Sarah! I just watched your interview in The World Tonight. I agree with you 100% Sen Sotto should have acknowledged his mistake and apologized instead of denying it. I honor your patience and wisdom. Perhaps this experience will make him eat humble pie.

  105. Oh please please please make just one edit and take out the word esteemed. If there is anyone who does not deserve the word it’s Sotto. For somebody who made a living by tasteless slapstick comedy and then using popularity as an actor to catapult himself into politics and power, he’s the lowest of the low. The fact that he can look into the camera and lie about what’s painfully obvious does not make him esteemed. I sympathize with him on the loss of his son, 37 years cannot erase that pain. But to use that experience and act it out on the senate floor is distasteful, especially when it’s very apparent that he’s just doing it to get the Church’s support.

  106. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 17, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Finally, someone got smart enough to figure me out!!! I was wondering how long it would take. But here are some things we ought to remember.

    First, Sarah’s view is that the birth control pill has side effects, and they may affect the children, and even grand children. That much she has made clear.

    Sarah said her work was plagiarized by Sotto, who is a staunch anti RH advocate.

    It is going viral that Sarah is a staunch pro-RH advocate. Photoshopped pictures of her have captions like pro-RH.

    Until Sarah says that she fully supports the passing of the RH bill, this is going to be another case of Roe vs. Wade.

      • i won’t try to make this exchange more complicated than it already is so i will not attempt to explain roe vs. wade, even though i *think* i understood what ana lynna sandoval is trying to say.(anyway, i don’t think roe vs.wade can be explained neatly in a nutshell)

        ana lynna sandoval, i am pro-RH but RH supporters who go over the top and use this Sarah-Sotto issue to rally their cause– without even taking time to be properly informed– makes me want to grit my teeth. every. effin. time.

  107. You seem to be handling the situation well, Sarah. Women should have the right to choose whether or not to use birth control, breastfeed, or any other subject related to reproductive rights.

  108. I respect you sarah, despite sotto’s condescending remark about you being just a blogger, you didnt stoop down to his level. Classy act!!!! I salute you!!!

  109. I am a Filipino and I love the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos, but this actuation coming from a senator is totally shameful. Unfortunately, my country is just like any other belonging to the third world where politicians are voted based on popularity and not credibility and the thinking, hard-working middle class has the least discernible voice during elections.
    I still love it here though…it’s more fun in the Philippines!

  110. Sincere apologies in behalf of our arrogant senator. This is not the first. Even one of our SC justices committed plagiarism and was able to get away with it on the ground that there was no malice. Embarrassing.

  111. Miss Sarah,
    Nice job going straightforward. :)
    Apparently, here in the Philippines, some public figures are acting too strange, and others are never admitting to it. The news here today is somewhat alarming to me even at a younger age because I’m a teen.

    I really appreciate what you did there, because he might swallow his pride over what he did to your blog. Maybe he thinks plagiarism is for only for students, but hell no. Everyone should avoid or should not do that. That is stealing-caught-in-the-act, and that should be penalized.

    Great job there, Miss Sarah.

  112. Awhile ago on a certain national news program, the senator’s team said that though they did get those infos from your blog, they can still very well use them because the internet is a “public domain.” What they have said might be true but I was outraged by it because it was you who thought of those words, and it was you who typed them into the world wide web. in my opinion, that blog is your intellectual property. from what I have learned in the subject thesis writing (which all 4-year courses here in the Philippines have) copying to at least 5 words from a source without any kind of acknowledgement is plagiarism and that is from ANY source, from books down to the use of electronic media including the internet. We were taught that if the information was taken from the net, one has to include the name of the author/blogger and the date the site was posted (copyright), or if there is none, at least site the url. I cannot believe that his team said such things when they are graduates from prestigious colleges and universities here, how could they not know about it? If I may add, writing a thesis is the ticket to graduation, so it is natural that they should know about these things. If they would say that they are not updated about the new trend, then that’s just lame. As an old saying goes, “IGNORANCE OF THE LAW EXCUSES NO ONE.”
    I would also like to emphasize the fact that he’s an actor turned senator, so that side show of his just made my eyes roll.

  113. to you ms. sarah.. I admire your straightforwardness..
    well an actor turned politician will always be an actor.. tears and all are a nice touch.. it has been well played.. sympathy votes thats what’s he’s banking on..

  114. miss sarah,

    we have a saying here in the philippines that goes ‘a thief caught in the act of stealing will never admit that he is stealing’. right now that is what senator sotto is doing in the broadcast media. anyway thank you for calling him for what he really is. a lying thief.


  115. Considering that the said senator holds bloggers in low esteem, and that he plagiarized a blogger, I wonder what kind of esteem he has for himself?

  116. Guess what today’s local headlines are? The said Senator insists he did not plagiarize and dares anyone to sue him. I hope Sarah takes that dare. The evidence is just so obvious. We have a lawmaker who knows shit nothing about the law. Damn my stupid neighbors for insisting to vote for comedians/action stars/sports stars(no offense to Arnold Schwartzwhatever).

  117. Hi Sarah nice to meet you ! Sorry for meeting you this way but I am glad you stood up to the staff who did not sound sorry at all with the letter she sent you. Anyway, I am for the Reproductive Health Bill and I do know that pills and other birth control options have consequences but I also believe it is the right of every women to make her on choice on when to use such or not.

    Being a Catholic dominated country our country leaders believe that it is a sin to use birth control natural or artificial and this is a very uneducated way of teaching our countrymen in the Philippines. I am for the Reproductive Health Bill and I stated this in my blog.

    I’ve always liked Senator Sotto I’ve known him since I was in grade school it was just shameful that his writer made this horrible mistake and he was standing up for his people whom I guess he did not know plagiarized. If his writer admited what she did the Senator would have been a bit humble. I did not like the crying in the Senate though, Sotto was a former actor by the way and he is still an entertainment noontime tv show host , he was showing his talent. I don’t buy the crying by the way.

  118. Dear Miss Sara,

    I am sorry that until now our own Senator not only despise us as a blogger is still haven’t sent you an apology for the word that he steals from your blog. And despite from this whole controversial instead of just admitting his mistakes he tries to correct it and justify his act just to be on the right side.

  119. My dear new friend Sarah,

    First of all, I would just like to say I admire you and your posts ate incredibly informative and helpful. I am Zane and I am from the Philippines. I am not really that much in to politics but I wish to assure you that many of the people of the Philippines support you on this issue, and yes, you can count me in.

    Like I said, I am not that interested with issues concerning politicians but I am very much concerned about the issue that is being discussed as to why in the first place, our stupid senator used your words as his own. The issue about the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines is very complex and I believe that given the chance for it to be approved, it can help a lot of people progress and also get progressive results on the government’s aim to achieve zero HIV in our country.

    I admire how you set yourself free from the stupid senator’s selfish intentions when he used your blog on his speech.

    The Filipino people are behind you. Keep it up Sarah!


  120. This is really EMBARRASSING. Ms. Sarah, we apologize for this circus. He’s one of those senators who got elected because of his fame as a celebrity, as an actor. You see, a large number of voters are from the masses, those who were deprived of good education and are easily influenced by stupid flashy campaigns.

    Ugh. I hate that the whole nation is being dragged into this.

  121. The contradicting opinions about RH bill… They’ve actually been arguing about these issues for a very long time… very long, indeed. And it just gets…. I simply want to see the end really.

    Sen. Sotto definitely made a terrible mistake of plagiarizing. And now the credibility of his stance regarding the RH Bill is being shaken to the core. For my own part, I think that providing health services to everyone is a big yes! Be it a man or a woman or a child.

    But, I fear that too much of anything (like independence) can have its own pitfalls. Hypothetically, if I give a daughter the independence she demands, the independence to have sex with whoever she pleases and whenever, I might send the idea that she can avoid the consequences of her actions. If I provide that independence to a mother, it may seem fine. But the bill has no marital status. It does not differentiate a married from a single person. I fear that I teach a daughter that she can get away with a very natural phenomenon such as pregnancy. There will always be consequences to our actions. Why can’t we just leave it at that?

    I am also afraid of this term “isang pagkakamali” Yesterday or probably the other day… I was listening to Ms. Korina Sanchez’s radio program, and there was a guest with 10 children and she used the word “pagkakamali” (when referring to the birth of the children) and the funny part is the mother also agreed! If my mom ever calls me a mistake I swear I’ll tell her… “Nagpakasarap sarap ka tapos isisisi mo sakin yang ginawa mo?”

    Anyway, I just hope that even just a little bit we can try to look at children as gifts, if not a miracle. Because seriously, not everyone can bear a child. Not everyone. And please stop looking at Filipinos as liabilies and dead baggages…. may silbi ang mga tao. Eh kung ang government magpapasa ng law na mula daycare hanggang pag PhD all expense paid by the taxpayers, willing ako na magsipag sa pagbabayad ng tax ko, edukasyon yan ehh…

    Note to readers: I know a good number of the writers here bash those with grammatical and typographical errors… I just hope you can look more at the content and less on the form. Thanks.

  122. Dear Sarah,

    Sotto is a dumb corrupt POLITICIAN who would rather encourage STEALING (anything) than to encourage the use of contraceptives. He is one of those people who is to be blamed why our country is below poverty line. So if I were you, do not hesitate to file a law suit. He deserves it.

  123. Pingback: sotto self-destructs #RH bill | StuartSantiago.com

  124. Sarah, why dont you just shut up! we filipinos would like to move on from sen. sotto’s plagiarism issue. so please dont comment anything anymore. leave this issue. you wont get anything from this. people will forget you after one week. so dont feel like you are the most important person in this world.

    • defensive ka tsong? August 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

      uhm tsong… wait lang.

      Nag-comment lang naman siya once.

      The rest of this kerfluffle is basically made up of us Filipinos. Di na kasama si Miss Sarah dito.

  125. it’s really more fun in the Philippines..:)
    I think this situation is enough for everyone to learn a lesson– that plagiarism is dangerous to one’s image especially if you are assuming like you are the most intelligent person in your field.
    Sen. Sotto should realized that everything is easy to find in the internet. Why did he deny it? in the first place the respectable senator cannot blame anyone of his staff for such slip because he read it and review it before he started doing ‘his scene’ in the senate. Too bad…:(
    Anyway thanks Sarah you’ve got a nice blog and this surely helps every woman to decide on whether to continue using a pill or not. God Bless

  126. http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/270179/news/nation/sotto-aide-takes-blame-but-denies-plagiarism-says-blogs-meant-to-be-shared


    Villacorta defended his and his staff’s actions, saying that there is no law covering blogs, and therefore copying from them isn’t considered plagiarism.

    “There is no jurisprudence, there is no privacy law, even if she wants to press charges. I already talked to a lawyer from New York. Even in the US, there is no legislation,” Villacorta said.

    • oh my.
      saang law school galing ito?!?!
      im sorry pero ang sarap niyang batuhin ng intellectual property code!!!

      from the article:
      “Hindi naman copyrighted ang blogs kasi,” he explained, adding that he was tasked by the senator to speak about the issue on his behalf. “If they can show that it’s verbatim, and they’re the source [that’s when it might be plagiarism]. Pero hindi copyrighted, so there’s no infringement.”

      from the law:
      Sec. 172. Literary and Artistic Works. –

      172.1 Literary and artistic works, hereinafter referred to as “works”, are original intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain protected from the moment of their creation and shall include in particular:

      (a) Books, pamphlets, articles and other writings; X X X

      *double facepalm*

  127. Pingback: Sarah Pope’s Statement | Mula Sa Pilipinas

  128. Hi Sarah,

    I hope this issue, more than confirming how stupid our politicians are, assured you well that the rest of the population are not just intelligent but are as well sharp and are progressive thinkers. I apologize that your entry were lifted and twisted to suit not even an advocacy but more likely his political ambition. Myself and many of the active political watchers have decided to simply call him Sotto, as we believe he doesn’t deserve respect in his position as Senator. He’s not making any sense or logic.

    Thanks for being very prompt, for addressing the women of our country and for being cool and feisty, you have definitely gained the respect and love of Filipinos! Mabuhay!

    • Our politicians are not stupid (as for Senator Sotto, I’m not sure.) They just believe they can get away with anything. :D

  129. Come now people. We all know how things work when it comes to these speech/articles of prominent people, no matter where you are in the world. If successful, they claim full credit for it. If issues like plagiarism, poor grammar, etc. arise they say the writers did it. But when there is no problem, you always find the PREPARED BY: NAME OF LYING PROMINENT PERSON on it. And this has been religiously practiced by many. Only thing is, instead of Sotto following the trend of naturally putting the blame on his writers (I also detest this part.), he tried to break tradition by first claiming innocence. Then when caught completely red-handed, trying to make inexcusable excuses.

  130. Sorry for being a bit off topic, but why do i have a feeling that Ana Lynna Sandoval is some kind of troll?
    She keeps on insisting that Sarah is PRO-RH and that she is the person who should make it known to everyone that the Pill has NO negative side-effects. This is is after the author/blogger has clearly stated her stance on the issue– that the pill DOES have side effects but she supports the right to have an educated choice.
    If you read Ana’s comments closely, you will certainly realize that she is driven, coherent, and writes her statements like she is purposely baiting the author as well as the readers.
    I won’t be surprised if she is doing this so that she can quote Sarah and tell the real pro-rh folks, “See, your iconic-figure-of-the-moment denies supporting you. Stop deluding yourself!”

    Ana Lynna Sandoval (who has usernames like that?) I do not believe you are Pro-RH.
    You are also not as clever as you think you are.
    Stop feeding the troll, people :-/

    • If you’ve read Sarah’s comments previously (can’t copy-paste here, unfortunately, but read through the comments), she has implied that women should be informed of the consequences of the pill, but the choice to use it should not be taken away. She is, in essence, pro-choice.

      • If you read my comment carefully, i said “she supports the right to have an educated choice.” so i don’t understand your reply.

        1. fact: sarah did not declare that she is pro-RH BILL
        1. false claim: but ana lynna sandoval stated that she is.
        2. fact: sarah said the pill has side effects.
        2. false claim: ana lynna sandoval said it was sarah who is saying that the pill has NO negative side effects.

        ana said sarah should be the voice of the truth because anti-RH bill people are lying (claiming that the pill has neg side effects).

        by having this type of “supporter”, the cause is being discredited.
        by egging sarah on with these type of false claims, sarah can actually speak out and reiterate facts 1&2.
        if that happens, the anti-RH people can use that as proof that sarah AGREES with them (pill has neg side effects)

        that’s why i said i don’t believe ana is pro-RH. if you didn’t get my point, nevermind.

        i’m just saying, ana lynna sandoval can be indeed pro-RH who doesn’t read very well. or she’s a poser who is trying to get material to use against the RH bill supporters.

    • You’ve said it better! Yes that’s what i have noticed since last night. Shes actually not a pro-RH by the way she comments here. What she desbis reverse psychology

  131. All I can say is that Senator Tito Sotto is a thief. He even denied it at first and also blame it all in his staff and that makes him a irresponsible senator being not able to know or ask where the speech written came from

  132. Hi… It was so nice to hear that you would like to visit our country in the future…

    and I wanted to apologize on what happened to your blog. It was used in a “Intellectual Debate” by our lawmakers. Just to give you heads up, ONLY FEW of our LAWMAKERS is knowledgeable by LAW…

    Anyway, at least you have you have new readers and followers on your blog in ASIA, particularly in the Philippines.. :)

    • I disagree. The lawyers in our country who commit the worst types of crimes/activities to gain advantage are those who are the best when it comes taws, policies, etc. They are really good at finding loopholes to get what they want. Problem is, as they think they are above the law and thus commit unlawful acts, they sometimes put themselves in situations that the so-called loopholes no longer exist. It’s kind of ironic. Don’t forget what happened to our deposed SCJ. He’s a typical example of those who believe they have become above the law.

  133. A lawyer talking against an obvious work of plagiarism? Oh, come on! Another wrong move from the side of the senator.

  134. Pingback: Cayetano Drafts ‘Responsible Plagiarism / Replication Habit Bill’. Sotto Opposes. « So, What's News?

  135. I am ashamed Sen Tito Sotto didn’t realize his team was tired that day he assigned the ‘research’ for his upcoming speech. Obviously, he wasn’t informed and someone had to be blamed.

  136. If only he admitted his and his staff’s fault earlier, this would not have gone this way. Though I haven’t really watched the video of him in an interview saying “blogger lang yon (She’s just a blogger),” It was a wrong move for him. Better choose his words next time.

    • if you know about law in the philippines, he is protected by the constititution. so please stop this issue. let’s move on. we’ve learned so much from this unfortunate event.

  137. “In hindsight, perhaps we should have mentioned that we also got it from Sarah’s blog but it may be inelegant to say that.” – Villacorta to rappler.com


    Mr. Villacorta, in one breath you said quoting content from bloggers is INELEGANT but copying and claiming the words as if they were your own is downright what? CLASSY? You dare label the respect of giving credit to a person’s work inelegant since her work is posted on the world wide web?? In which case, thinking their work is unworthy of the elegance you so dearly hold on to, you and your staff deliberately COPIED content from the very sorry sort of work you call – BLOGGER.

    Well, of course you cannot quote her! because you first needed to twist, more likely distort the words on Sarah’s blog to suit your extremist’s pointless views and use it in front of the SENATE and the Filipino people!!

    So for you to get the hell out of this mess, you call what is supposedly a noble thing to do, INELEGANT and you condescend the manner of which it should have been done in the first place!!!

    You are so face palm worthy. 7 lawyers and researchers and this is what you offer the Philippines??!!

    Twilight Zone lang ito diba? Sana.

  138. Oh, my goodness gracious great balls of fire!

    I am now totally ashamed of Sotto and his staff (Chief of Staff?).
    1. He give a ridiculous lame excuse.
    2. He talks arrogantly
    3. He doesn’t capitalize.
    4. He communicates a personal message thru the comments portion?
    5. He’s supposed to be the Chief of Staff, the highest post in the office next to his Senator boss, who is the laughingstock of the Philippines, and thanks to Sarah’s blog…the world!

    This must be a blessing from heaven because at least some of the people starstrucked with the comedian senator finally realize they’ve been “Eat Bulaga-d”!

  139. Pingback: Part 4. Senator Tito Sotto's chief of staff admits he used Sarah Pope's blog - Blog For Charity

    • OMG!!!!! The Supreme Court deserves a million facepalms!!! That was really low…. now my blood pressure is rising.. grrrr.. Stupid Corona!!!!

  140. She made the right decision not to sue. She knows allot, and I suggest to all Filipinos in this page are rather being incoherent. Leave this bogus plagiarism because it is not for you, rather it is for your said Senator. And please, RH bill does not kill. It teaches how people should know how to stop and have more knowledge about it. I am no pro nor con.

  141. Pingback: Bloggergate: Timeline of Senator Sotto’s Plagiarism | Filipino Freethinkers

  142. Sotto isn’t sorry…

    It is not elegant to attribute portion of a Senate Speech to a blogger

    “There is no jurisprudence on that (quoting blogs) because blogs are part of public domain. They can test the liability of the senator but that is virgin territory, even in the US.”

    oh my lord….. I hope the Ms Sarah teach these people what intellectual property is. Away from their Philippine comfort zone. jeez o_0


  143. First off, Sarah, thanks for being steadfast in all this. It’s quite embarrassing, but the topic people have started to talk about on here deviate completely from the intended message of the post.

    Second, to all the trolls here who started using this as a forum for your RH bill diatribes, take it elsewhere. Her intention was to acknowledge the PLAGIARISM issue brought about by one of our stupid countrymen, not to discuss the RH Bill. That’s our problem here in the RP, not hers.

    Third, to Atty. Villacorta and staff, I get your point about this blog being public and that it is for sharing, but let’s recap the stance of your office, shall we?

    1) One of your writers copies and pastes portions of Sarah’s blog for use of the Senator in his speech as his own words. Not Natasha McBride’s or whoever, obviously not Sarah’s, but his as it is HIS speech.
    2)When accused of plagiarism, he says he quoted McBride while he was verbally pronouncing Sarah’s words as his own, and then says, she’s just a blogger anyways.
    3)You come out and apologize but not really, as you stated categorically that your intention was to acknowledge for both the Senator and Sarah, that the portion copied into his speech was from McBride. Lame.
    4)You ask her to support the RH bill. Even Lamer.
    5)You tell her its just a blog and meant for sharing. Does that mean that no acknowledgement is in order or that anybody can just rip off portions of the blog and count it as their own unique idea or expression? Very lame indeed.

    Call a spade a spade, Atty Villacorta, and apologize properly. This was never your forum to begin with.

  144. as a filipino, i find this embarassing. A senator who plagerize? nuf said. Thats why I don’t vote celebrities to be part of the govt. Most of them just dont know what to do.

  145. Pingback: Plagiarist Tito Sotto « Joseph on Perspectives

  146. God bless you, Sen. Sotto. Please continue on with the fight. Do not get discouraged from this one small, temporary, set back. We honor you and thank you for taking up the cudgels for all of us, anti RH people, who truly, honestly love this country, and willing to sacrifice for this country. Here’s one praying that God would continue to give you and all pro-God anti-RH people the strength and wisdom to carry on the fight. God bless you!

    • So by this you’re saying that I am not Pro-God if I support the use of contraception? Please check in your right-wing extremist insights at the door. Who are you to say that my faith is less than yours just because I choose to use a condom? Separation of Church and State, please, this is not the medieval period.

    • Rico, if you are willing to sacrifice for this country, then may I ask how much you’ve contributed to the efforts to provide healthcare and educational opportunities and assistance to the Filipinos at the grassroots? Have you met these people, the majority which comprise our nation, who also love this country and are also trying to find the means to survive day to day existence? I ask because their daily life is a sacrifice. And if we can help educate and inform that they do have options in life, then their daily sacrifice will be lesser.

      • @Agassi: NO. Anti RH Pro God was used in an “and” sense (pro God and anti RH) => intersection of the two concepts (use your Venn diagram).

        @Shay: YES. I did my own share, still doing so. But that was not the point. The point was/is I support Sen Sotto and all anti RH who fight for this cause.

  147. Hi Sarah.

    After reading your original blog entry and the transcript of Sen. Tito Sotto’s speech, it is quite clear that there were huge chunks of your blog entry that have been copied verbatim in the speech. On this point, I completely agree that you should’ve been cited as a source along with Dr. Natasha McBride. This was indeed plagiarism.

    This issue piqued my interest a lot, I tried looking up the rules in citing sources. I couldn’t find the rules as it applies to legal documents or speeches. I only skimmed the academic rules they follow in two US colleges/universities. Unless legal rules are different from the academic ones, I did not find anything about the need for obtaining permission nor getting approval on the usage of the quotation from the cited source. I guess this makes sense. Otherwise, how can we cite material from diseased authors or to debunk other people’s work (good luck getting approval in this case)? We can cite from several sources and come up with a completely different conclusion from all of them. This is not villainy or ‘twisting’ the message of the sources. I think the plagiarism.org site says it best: “Doesn’t citing sources make my work seem less original? Not at all. On the contrary, citing sources actually helps your reader distinguish your ideas from those of your sources. This will actually emphasize the originality of your own work.”

    Maybe it was just emotions running through you when you aggrieved that your permission wasn’t sought and that they “twisted the message of your blog”. But from what I read, they didn’t have to worry about either if only they properly cited you as a source. If only… SMH.

    Unfortunately, that is their biggest mistake and IMHO their only mistake. Above all else, you are entitled to sincere apologies from Sen. Sotto and his staff. And I do hope you get one soon if you still haven’t.



  148. Pingback: My Message for Senator Sotto « The Views

  149. You are very graceful Sarah. I am a Filipina and your message made me cry. We need people like you here in the Phils. God bless you and your kind soul. May you live long and prosper.

  150. UniversityOfThePhilippinesGraduate August 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm



    RosalindaL, have shame on yourself if you are not a Filipino and if you dont have an idea how “high” the system of education is here in my country. Other asian nationalities are swarming towards the Philippines for what? Simply for VERY COMPETITIVE COLLEGE DEGREE and for a simple fact THAT WE FILIPINOS SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY MOST OF THE TIMES, EVEN BETTER THAT MANY “ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES” AS THEY CLAIM IT TO BE!

    sorry, my apologies. I being an educator and a book author (both for Mathematics disciplines) just cannot stand the fact that this RosalindaL exist. more so, i cannot believe that, while im having hard time processing contents of every material i make for my students, people on higher seats of the Philippine Politics are taking it lightly to plagiarize someone else’s work. may it be a book or a blog, if its not for the blog, the book will not be discovered (by the culprits) or should i say, they only have the chance of knowing the book because the name of the author is mentioned in the part of the blog being lifted?

  151. Hi Sarah again Im very very very very sorry. Believe me we believe in you more than our stupid senator. Anyway thank you for a wonderful site. Ive learned a lot reading your posts

  152. Pingback: Plagiarism: 7 Proper Ways to Avoid it « Maribeth Oliver's Blog

  153. Pingback: Tito Sotto's staff admits plagiarism | News from the Philippines and Around the World

  154. Hi there, Ms. Sarah..

    Please sue this actor in our Senate.. You’d be doing the Filipinos a favor if you would. As a matter of fact, he is challenging you to sue him.. read it here

    • Grrrr….people, people, people. Really? You want Sarah to sue because of your opinion? Shame on you! The topic here is PLAGIARISM. Don’t freaking post something about suing the senator because of his lies about the pill. That’s your issue NOT SARAH’S. And guys, have respect. This post was published to inform about the act. I’m an RH-bill supporter but to “rally behind Sarah” is not a good way to express your plea. It seems that many of the people who made comments want to use Sarah’s issue as a weapon. And for people who thinks Sarah is wrong, mind your words. We have this something called “RESPECT”. Not everyone knows what you know. And to that person who said that ALL WOMEN HAVE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT REPRODUCTION….well, have the women in the mountains set their own internet connection. As a Filipino citizen, you know how difficult it is to inform each women about reproduction. Maybe try going up there and tell them – in layman’s terms – about it. Go ahead.

      • Even the poorest provinces have 7-11s and mini stops. They all sell contraceptives. I have relatives from the poorest provinces and parts of the Philippines. They have no problem accessing all sorts of contraceptives. Contraceptives is available everywhere in the Philippines. The issue is the government forcing families to reduce the number of kids, supposedly as a solution to poverty. That is real purpose of the RH bill. It is supposed to address poverty. How? By ramming down condoms and pills down people’s throat.

        If you truly want to provide for the poor, how about this? Give them the money, let them chose whether to use it to buy contraceptives or food. That way, the people TRULY have a choice.

        • food or contraceptives? wheres the choice in that? both are needs. but one will always choose food. this to the detriment of their health and quality of living.

          you know how to enable people exercise free choice? present them with these options: abstinence (free), the calendar method (free), contraception (government-funded through RH Bill and therefore free). the people can then align their choices depending on their needs, circumstances, religious beliefs, etc. add to that, educate the people of the pros and cons of each option, through sex education, also promoted by the rh bill. NOW THAT’S FREE AND INFORMED CHOICE.

          the rh bill will not “ram down condoms and pills down people’s throat” nor will it “force families to reduce the number of kids.” it only makes available REAL ACCESS to reproductive health options. and that DOES NOT MERELY MEAN MAKING THEM AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET. real access means making these options READILY OBTAINABLE AT THE LEAST COST, IF NOT FOR NO COST AT ALL. so u can still have as many kids as you want. as long as when you choose not to have kids, then you can do so, and lack of money will no longer be a reason for your failure to do so.

          • Your argument is precisely an admission that the RH Bill will result inefficient use of scarce resources. By saying that food will always be chosen to contraceptives, you basically admit that food Pareto dominates contraceptives when it comes to utilizing scarce resources. But at the same time, you want to constrain the poor from using the money to buy food instead of condoms.

            Why engage in a constrained choice set? Why not open the choice to, say, (a) $amount for condoms, (b) $amount for pills (c) abstinence, use the $amount for food, or additional education expenses for junior, (d) etc., etc. By constraining the choice set to (a) or (b), the government is preventing the people from using the scarce taxpayers’ money to the government’s fiat, instead of decentralizing decision making by the individual economic agents, which is the essence of laissez faire, the invisible hand (Adam Smith) and the market economy. The government should not decide for the people that they ought to use condoms or contraceptives. The government cannot decide that x amount of children in inefficient and will translate to poverty. The essence of decentralized decision making is letting free people decide how many children they want to have, free from centraiized planning by the government that says such and such amount of children is inefficient, and therefore you should have less.

          • If the people want to use the money to buy food instead of contraceptives, do not prevent them from doing so. That is the essence of free will and free choice. By allocating the scare resources specifically to condoms and pills, that government effectively makes the decision for the people that the money is better off utilized to contraceptives rather than to, say food.

            My argument is let the people have unconstrained choice with regard to the money, instead of government making the decision for them that the money better be used for contraceptives. That, my friend, is the essence of opportunity cost.

          • In short, we are not in a communist country. The government should not decide that such scarces resource are better off allocated specifically for contraceptives instead of food. The government should not decide that the poor should not have as much children. It is the people’s right to decide how many children they want to have, and not as the government deems that their children are simply too many.

        • @rico

          i agree with you

          my neighbors here in Baseco Port Area have money for cigarettes, liquor, tong-its, bingo, high-alai, sakla, etc.

          if they can afford those things, it means that they can also afford to buy pills and condoms for their sexual pleasures.

          and of course, there are also couples who really can’t afford contraceptives

          but these pills and condoms are freely available in public health centers

          they just have to visit and ask for their free supplies

          may I also add that majority of teenage pregnancy cases here are because of incest or rape

          I think contraceptives will NOT help prevent abuse against women

          it may even make it worse

          instead of contraceptives, I think that it’s best if we spend the funds for livelihood projects or college scholarships

        • Again…the word is INFORMATION. That also means telling women they have a choice about bearing children. Even if you have your own stock of condoms and pills in your store, many of the women won’t care. What they have to know is the after-effects of bearing too many children. Or bearing a child they know would endanger their lives. The point here is information. Information that they have a choice not the information that their stores sell condoms and pills.

          • @maxene

            i see your good intention

            but i think that you are underestimating the knowledge of the poor people

            we are not bobo and ignorant just like what the media wants to portray

            most (if not all) of my neighbors are already aware about condoms and pills

            and they know how to use those stuff

            i hear the mothers talking about it

            the real issue here is whether the government should finance contraceptives or not

            and for me, the answer is NO

            my neighbors always set aside 10 or 20 pesos for “easy 2″ or “lotto”

            if they can do that, then they can also pay for their own contraceptives

            they just have to use their finances wisely

            what the government must do is to intensify the importance of family planning by conducting seminars in neighborhoods. But funding billions of pesos for pills and condoms is not necessary.

            also, the reason why I am suggesting to use the funds for college scholarship is because poor women tend to start a family at a very young age.

            after high school, they don’t know what to do with their lives

            either they get a job (which is difficult) or they marry too young

            instead of giving the poor women the option to use contraceptives, why don’t we give them a chance to get a degree and become professionals? in that way, they will become productive citizens not parasites who rely on the gov’t for free pills and condoms.

      • Ana Lynna Sandoval August 17, 2012 at 1:26 am

        Oh please, Maxine, as a fellow RH bill supporter, you and I know that it has always been about the RH bill. If a pro-RH personality plagiarized Sarah’s blog, we wouldn’t have made a noise. And it was good for our cause that Sotto plagiarized, because that gives us winning edge. And the important thing is to win, to be able to get that RH bill passed, so that contraception, which is already legal anyway, can be accessible to everybody. It doesn’t matter what Sarah believes in, because what is going viral right now is that she is a staunch pro-RH advocate. And for as long as Sarah does not give a definite statement that she does not support for the passing of the bill, the internet, and the many photoshopped pictures of her, tell everyone that she is for the passing of the bill, that she is for the greater accessibility to and high usage of contraception. Plagiarism made us move forward in the battle. Encouraging Sarah to sue Sotto will make us move another. The goal is to pass the bill, no matter what, because access to contraceptives, which Sotto and the Catholic Church reject, is the most important goal. So, do get off your moral high horse, fellow pro-RH. This is all about the RH bill. No more, no less. Stop pretending it’s not.

        • Ana,

          Why do I have this feelings that you are actually anti- RH. I dont like how you are setting the mindset of readers that all pro-RH have the same vision as yours. I dont agree that Sarah made it look Tito Sotto like a bad guy. Sarah did not do that act. She didnt have to do that as it’s Sotto himself who made his own grave.

          • And oh! That comment was for your other post btw! For this one, please! I still believe most people here are still thinking wisely to know that you are actually doing “reverse psychology” thus, making pro-RH guys look like antagonist.

        • On the contrary, contraceptives are restricted in Manila. Health centers are not allowed to carry them to give to the poor. And a baranggay in Alabang IINM tried to further reduce access to contraceptives by trying to require people to have prescriptions before they can buy them.

          So, no. Contraceptives are not that free in the Philippines. Not to the poor, as Atienza has done, and if the “Pro-Lifers” can have their way, not to those who can afford.


        • So Ana, this is an admission that you would use another issue to get to your goal. That it’s alright to fight for what you believe in by using someone? And please never assume I think the same way you are. So don’t say I am pretending. For what I see, you are trying to say you have the same thoughts as anyone. I am going to fight for the bill not through this. Be open minded. Anybody may be anti- or pro- the bill but he or she may have a different way of ways on how they would want to fight for it. If for you, we can pass the bill through this, fine. I don’t blame you. But don’t freaking tell me to get off my moral horse because we don’t think the same way.

      • I don’t know about the others, but I want Sarah to sue Sotto because:
        1. it would set an example that plagiarism (and other kinds of intellectual property/copyright infringement) is WRONG. I’ve lived in several countries (including the Philippines) and the attitude towards these things in the Philippines is extremely lax. Sotto’s copy pasting is NOT new. Remember Manny Pangilinan’s plagiarized speech at the Ateneo graduation? How about Supreme Court Justice Mariano del Castillo, who plagiarized at least 20 times and blamed Microsoft Word for his error? EMBARRASSING! We Filipinos have to learn that this kind of thing is NOT ACCEPTABLE. So we want to be world class? We want to be known for our intellectual capital? Then we have to learn that these kinds of things are NOT cool.

        2. To prove that politicians are not above the law.

        • Whew….now, this is the post that really focused on the issue…though, I apologize for also commenting about the RH Bill because I can’t help it. But I found this post the most direct and most related post for the real issue here.

  155. You copied Dr. Mc-Bride’s ideas and you claim Sen. Sotto is a thief who stole your lame ideas? Gee. What class you have. You call yourself an economist, where did you get your Ph.D. in economics? The same as where Malthus got his? In the Philippines, ALL women have access to information on reproductive health, all they need to do is simply open the Internet. The issue is NOT about being educated — it is the government forcing down condoms and pills on people’s throat using taxpayers’ money. It is public provision of a private good — if you don’t understand what that means, go back to economics school. Even my undergrad economics students know more economics than you. Read what Robert Lucas and Ed Prescott, both Nobel-prize winning economists, have to say about this, IDIOT. Government has no business telling families how many kids they should or should not have.

    • I’ll let the rest of the commenters nitpick your terrible post, but I’ll take exception with a few of your points. First of all, what Mrs. Pope did was take McBride’s ideas, reformulated those ideas in her own words, and commented on those ideas; this is how research and discourse works. What Sotto the comedian did was copy and paste, without proper attribution, Mrs. Pope’s words, not Dr. McBride’s. This is not research; this is plagiarism, and is a serious academic offense.
      Secondly, your point about how women can simply “open the internet” shows how out of touch you are. NEWSFLASH: a lot of Filipino women are living in poverty and don’t have access to the internet or proper education. How ignorant and callous of you to presume that everybody has the same luxuries that you enjoy.

      • Using a thesaurus to substitute verbs and adjectives is NOT research. There is no element of scholarship of whatsoever. What Ph.D. academics call as “originality” — that element is lacking. If you simply regurgitate other people’s thoughts, those ideas are not your own. You are not really saying anything new or something that is your own. How is that scholarship?

        • Yup. That is what you call “paraphrasing.” However, as you are being so damn narrow-minded you failed to notice that Sarah Pope did add something “new”. Oh, wait did I say narrow-minded? I mean “blind”. You did not read her article well enough.

        • I think you missed my point so let me try again. Quoting other scholars is a fundamental part of research. If you look back to Mrs. Pope’s original blog entry, she actually cited McBride by name. The rest of her blog entry builds upon the thesis that the pill can be harm “one’s child,” using the findings of scholars and other sources (which she lists at the end of her blog entry). The original blog entry isn’t just one McBride quotation. The entry is original in that it is entirely Pope’s words, unless stated otherwise.

          Now compare that to Senator Sotto’s unattributed/stolen remarks. Now, I must point out that Sotto’s original defence was that both he and Pope were quoting from the same source. This is a blatant lie; he was not quoting from McBride. He was ripping off Pope’s paraphrasing of McBride.

          This isn’t so hard to grasp. This stuff is hammered to people in high school, which makes it all the more unsettling that a lawyer could have made such a great oversight.

          • *In principle*, he is responsible for his staff’s work. But based on the realities on the ground, with literally hundreds of papers coming in government desks everyday (for example, in order just to get a newspaper in the government, the paperwork goes back to officials at least 5 times – from obligation slips, to purchase requests, to vouchers, etc. etc), my take is that it’s difficult to vet all the papers that his staff gives him. But that’s no excuse. In my opinion, he should still have vetted it. But not to say there should be an excuse for all the moaning and the bitching either.

        • DO you understand what plagiarism is?

          Plagiarism is not the act of stealing one’s ideas. It’s the act of copying one’s expression of an idea without properly attributing the source and then claiming it as your own.

          For example, Sarah wanted to express the idea stated in Campbell’s research that pills have harmful effects. She then in her own words expressed that idea then properly cited Campbell as its source. In this case, there is no plagiarism.

          On the other hand, when Sotto copied word for word that portion of Sarah;s blog that expressed Campbell’s idea, and remember that it was already expressed in Sarah’s words, then combined it with other portions from other blogs and articles, then he called it his speech, without citing Sarah as the source, then there is plagiarism.

          Even if Campbell was the originator of the idea, plagiarism was committed against Sarah because it was her work that was copied and it was her words. her expression of Campbell’s idea, that was copy-pasted in Sotto’s speech. This is just proper since it was Sarah who read Campbell’s research, digested it, and in her own carefully chosen words expressed again said idea in her blog.

          This whole scandal would have been avoided if the following would have been done:
          1. Sotto’s legal reasearcher looked for Campbell’s original research that was cited from the blog, read it, then paraphrase it, or if the researcher is still too lazy, lift portions of it, in quotation marks, then cite Campbell.
          2. Sotto’s legal researcher, if he is really that lazy to do number one, paraphrase or quote that portion of Sarah’s blog, then cite Sarah’s blog as the primary source then say “quoting Campbell…”, or if he thinks too highly of Sotto’s speech to cite “just” a blog, then cite it this way: “Campbell… quoted by Sarah…”.

          Yes, largely research is just a regurgitation of already prevailing ideas. But that is what research is all about. Thus “re-search” or search again. It is by compiling the already prevailing ideas and condensing it in your own words and adding a little of your ten-cents worth of ideas and opinion does a researcher/writer make a living. It may not appear scholarly and honest, but it obviously entails much more work than just copy-pasting portions of other people’s written work in your or your boss’ speech. And this work, like any other work/profession must be respected and its fruits protected.

          So… get Sotto and his staff a Turabian.

          • What a world lacking in innovation we will have if that is the definition of “research”. But I get your point, belabored with so many words — which might tell us why we might simply be making a mountain out of a molehill. The main point is, it was NOT her original idea. And it’s such a big deal.

          • While we’re at it — on the whole legal philosophy behind protecting intellectual property. Isn’t it the case that the public policy behind why we protect intellectual propert, is that we, as society, want to encourage innovation and invention, and that’s why we imbue the creator of the innovation with a property right protection? If in this case there is no innovation to protect in the first place, would the purpose of the law be achieved by protecting an innovation that is NOT even there to begin with in the first place? Just asking.

          • Not that I’m defending the copying of Sen. Sotto’s staff/s — as I do agree with you that they should have at least read the original (Dr. McBride) work and used their own words.

          • rico,

            but it was her work. and that is a big deal.

            yes, intellectual property laws do encourage innovation and invention by granting property right protection. but it also seeks to continue the development of knowledge and artistic works.

            that is why the law makes a distinction between the “idea” and the “expression”. It is the expression that the law protects and grants property rights over and not ideas. If ideas will be also be covered, there will be stagnation in the development of knowledge. especially in copyright, innovation in expression is the one protected.

            so it is not true that there is no innovation in this case. paraphrasing an entire research into a few sentence may be an innovation in ideas, but there is a protected innovation in expression. the same line of reasoning applies to derivative works, which is also protected by copyright – the same idea is expressed in a different manner.

            btw, you seem to be an advocate of the classical school. too bad im rusty with my economics. all i know is that the theory of classical economics have a lot of flaws too. that the market forces do not always work according to Smith’s formula. that the economic depressions prove that. and hence, the coming about of other schools of economic thought that show the need for government intervention.

    • Hi Rico I assumed you’re also a Filipino and I also assumed you’re sotto’s staff. Can you do the rest of Filipino a big favor? Can you tell your boss to resign and pleas shut up. Not all Filipino are like you and you’re boss. Please stop being stupid…. please shut the fuck up

      • I am NOT Sen. Sotto’s staff. But I am a Filipino. And I do real research and I think critically. NOT simply regurgitate other people’s ideas.

        • We all do research here. We do not “regurgitate other people’s ideas” but we have our own too. Your first comment is definitely insulting to the blogger. You dare even questioned her credibility just like what the arrogant Villacorta and Sotto did. It did not merely go around the issue of plagiarism BUT also blatantly shoved to every reader your stand on the RH Bill. You are lucky that you even received a few civil replies and explanation. BUT PLEASE, do not attack the blogger on this one. Nakakahiya na.

        • If you do real research then I am sure you know what “review of related literature” is and if indeed you do research then you should know how big of a deal plagiarism is… it doesn’t matter if you have primary, secondary or what ever degree of literature, you have to cite it and even if you have an original idea you still have to find related sources to support it so why would there be any lack of innovation when most recent studies are based on previous research, either proving or disproving it? This wouldn’t be a big deal if the senator and his staff after failing to cite the first time, apologized and gave due credit.

    • Whoa we have a bad ass here who doesn’t have good comprehension skills. FYI, Rico, the blogger clearly credited Dr. Campbell-McBride’s study regarding the hazards of long-term pill use. HOWEVER, Sarah the blogger explained Dr. McBride’s study IN HER OWN WORDS. This reworded explanation of one’s study is still under the law covered by intellectual property law. Even if she did not conduct this study, by law and APA, it is still considered intellectual property. Salita ka kasi ng salita di naman nag babasa ng mabuti. In law school, we were consistently reminded to READ AND UNDERSTAND the law before giving baseless answers and accusations just like what you did in your post.

      And for the record, you dishonorable twit, the issue here is not about the passage (or non passage) of the RH Bill. This blog post is solely about the issue of PLAGIARISM – a crime sanctioned not only in Philippine laws but in International law as well.

  156. Pingback: On Sotto’s Plagiarism: Either he resigns…or he resigns | Blog Watch Citizen Media

    • Well, now. Trolling are we? Well, let me translate your words into English for the sake of the non-Filipinos here that you are nothing but crap.

      “Putang ina nyo! Nalilito ang mga tao sa inyo… WALANG KWENTA MGA COMMENTS NYO! Gamitin nyo talino nyo sa tama!” (tangena nyo)

      “Your mothers are whores. People are getting confused by you people. YOUR COMMENTS ARE WORTHLESS! Use your intelligence to do something right!” (tangena nyo)

      You’re one to talk, buddy.

      Works Cited

      tangena nyo, (a worthless post), 16 Aug. 2012, Web, 17 Aug 2012

  157. Sarah,
    I’m a Filipino and a blogger, too. The news brought me here. What caught my attention is his answer “Why should I quote a blogger, she’s just a blogger” (correct me if I’m wrong this is what I read in Rappler). This made me dismay. If that’s true, for me, this is one of the most arrogant quotes I’ve heard from a public servant. There are lots of Filipino bloggers, I know, got hurt, too. And about plagiarism, how could he got amnesia on quoting. It won’t demote him as a senator to give attribution, even from a blogger.

    Apologies for my ramblings because I have experienced something like this. One of my blog posts got copy-pasted (but included my byline), too few months ago. But that blogger didn’t ask permission to me so I ask to remove it. Fortunately, he did.
    I know how you feel right now. Weird.

    Just Let Go and Let God!

  158. Mabuhay, Sarah!

    I’m glad you have taken to task unrelentingly Sen. Tito Sotto for plagiarizing your work. Sotto is actually a comedian trying to sound intellectual.

    Thank you for your support of Filipino women. Please visit our country. You won’t regret it.

    All the best.

  159. I am not sure if this has been said before, but I really admire you, Sarah for being such an insightful and intelligent blogger. What we need here in the Philippines is more people like you, who despite having their own reservations about something, are still open-minded and smart enough to let others decide for themselves. I was disgusted by the act of plagiarism that was done, and I am even more disgusted by the fact that Sotto denied having plagiarized at first.

    In the news article on ABS-CBN News Online, one of the most influential news outlets in the Philippines (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/08/16/12/sottos-office-admits-copying-us-blog), it even appears to me that the Villacorta fellow who apparently apologized on behalf of the Senator’s office was not even sincerely apologetic. It is such a shame that these are the types of people we elect into office.

  160. I’m from a catholic high school in the Philippines, and that is where is first heard about birth control. They informed us about different forms for birth control, including artificial means and even abortion. The only thing they add is that they made it clear which ones are acceptable by the Church, and which ones are not. And this was more than 10 years ago.

    I don’t know why other schools are still in the dark. If they are still not doing reproduction education yet, it could be because of incompetence, not due to lack of policy, I think.

  161. ps. i work with urban poor communities and they are aware of the contraceptives available. some use them, others don’t. my children learned sex education in school and even my 15 yr old does not think it is appropriate to teach at gr. 3. i believe it is the responsibility of parents to teach sex education to their children. unfortunately, there are many irresponsible parents. does this make it the responsibility of the state then? i am a taxpayer and i believe we should spend the 14billion to build schools and improve the quality of education in our country.

  162. Sarah, firstly, if you want credit where credit is due, then take full responsibility for the consequences of your words.

    I appreciate that technically, you concluded with the statement that you do not condone taking this choice away from women, but you know and I know that your article is so full of bias, it was nothing more than a disclaimer for the sake of avoiding backlash as your entire article up to this point is about pushing your agenda.

    I read the article in question, and I checked your sources. The first source has had the linked page removed, but does have a disclaimer that the information on their website is not intended to serve as or replace medical advice. The second source, WAPF, is where you get your reference for zinc deficiency, however you’ve omitted the part where they recommend sources such as red meat, oysters, fish, nuts, seeds and ginger. More on this to come. Your third source is none other than an AFFILIATE link to a book on Amazon, where you will get a commission on each purchase! Some transparency for your trusting audience here, please.

    For the record, I agree that big pharma is the enemy. I live a clean lifestyle, eliminate processed foods, and I think that Thomas Edison showed incredible insight with his quote that “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition”. My only conflict here is the contraceptive pill, of which I am ever so grateful for, as I am a realist, of sound moral compass, and simply could not bring an unplanned child into the world when I am unable to give them the absolute best care at this time of my life. I do however, make responsible nutritional choices and balance out the negative effects or risks of the Pill with prebiotic foods, probiotic supplements, foods rich in Zinc, and I will make this a priority when, at the right time of my life, I am ready to raise children of my own. Drug induced gut imbalances (IF they occur) may be difficult to treat but certainly not impossible.

    For the record, I spent 9 months last year in a very provincial town on the island of Negros Oriental, Philippines. I wanted to experience the culture, and worked hard to befriend our local neighbours, so shy and so ashamed of their poverty and their lack of education. Ashamedly, this beautiful country is becoming more and more Americanised by the day. Their admiration of white skin, their growing addiction to fast food and sugar, their rising statistics of diabetes… The health consequences of taking the contraceptive pill, versus the benefits to a poverty stricken, over-populated country such as the Philippines, are miniscule compared to the health risks they are facing through their poor nutrition, poor sanitation, over-population and lack of education. Do you think a family of 10 living solely on rice and Tanduay Rum would have MORE problems if they had access to the contraceptive pill?
    Perhaps you may have written differently if your article was directed at the 100million strong population of the Philippines struggling to feed their children than your majority American audience, or perhaps not. Regardless, you are publishing your opinion on the world wide web, your words are part of an issue that is so much bigger than you and carries huge consequences that you fail to address. You have the opportunity to make a difference in the world, and you choose to use it to push your own agenda. You are no better than big pharma!

    Your moral cowardice is evident. You want to be attributed for what you believe is an informative blog post, but are you happy to accept the consequences of your words? A simple closing paragraph does not suggest that you are, it simply suggests that you are weak. If you truly supported the education of women on contraception, you would do just that, pose all sides of the contraception argument, the positive and negative effects of each, outline the ways in which women can make better nutritional choices to minimise the negative effects of the Pill in a realistic world, in order to truly educate women on how to make the best possible choices for their circumstance. That would be an article you should be proud to defend, not this one.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but you can’t hide behind it. If you are open and honest about your opinions on the Pill you’d be able to present all sides to the argument and have it stand on its own two legs, without using fear tactics to side with your agenda. I expect a backlash to my comments, I can’t expect you to see my logic here on a subject filled with such misguided emotion.

    p.s. to the Filipinas on this thread who have stood up for their contraceptive rights, I am extremely proud, you are smart, you are unique and you are strong, and I can only hope that the smart young kids that were our neighbours in the Philippines grow up to follow in your footsteps and experience life as they choose to.

    • I can see what you are trying to do here. You do have a point. I did check out those sources you mentioned above and it’s quite accurate. Your arguments are quite plausible. Still, with respect to the issue being discussed in this section, please post your damn sentiments elsewhere. The main issue here is the fact that her work was plagiarized, regardless of whether the information, text, etc, where true or false, fact or opinion, or the mix. For sure, she definitely put a lot of effort into thinking things through, and presenting her side. After all, who would want their work to be plagiarized. Not only that, the side of the ones who plagiarized her work is trying to make it appear that she was the one at fault. I’ve read the message sent to her and that’s how it appeared to me.

      • Let go of the minutiae and accept the bigger picture here. Bloggers need to accept responsibility for what they publish, which has the power to influence millions of people. Simply put, if Sarah had considered the consequences beyond her own nose, and truly believed in the right to choice, she would have presented a more plausible, all-encompassing argument and impartial views. Sarah’s message to the women of the Philippines that any possible harm is no reason to have this choice taken away from her is nothing more than an afterthought in response to this fluke of events, and is simply a result of reckless and irresponsible writing. If that is her position it should have been voiced throughout her article. It’s a shame for the greater good of what Sarah is advocating here that her article is so full of bias and therefore lacking credibility. While the world needs critical thinkers, this level of ignorance of the wider world can have catastrophic results and this case should be made an example of. I am obviously not in support of plagiarism, but a government that resorts to plagiarism to support an argument clearly has bigger issues to deal with than Sarah’s pride. In the end, do the majority of Sarah’s supporters here understand her stance on the Pill due to its possible effect on gut dysbiosis? No, they are just happy to have another anti-contraception supporter, another voice. Is it really worth it? Plagiarism is the minutiae here, let go of the minutiae and you will see the bigger picture. Again, if you want credit where credit is due, then take full responsibility for the consequences of your words.

        • oh please. the reckless and irresponsible writer here is YOU! so self-righteous…why don’t your take full responsibility of the consequences of your words? you’re spewing blame and hate – to everyone except yourself. and ugh! it’s icky! take responsibility for the psychic goo you’re spewing!

        • Susmaryosep. You don’t get it, do you? Sarah’s audience was never the Filipino women. It was Sotto who, in failing to take into consideration that the RH Bill was situated in the Philippine context, took Sarah’s words without asking her and made it seem like his own ideas.

          Sarah was never involved in the RH Bill. Maybe if Sotto actually took the time to study what was handed to him; if he had taken the time to formulate his own opinions; if he had actually studied Sarah’s sources as well; then he perhaps he wouldn’t be in this mess he himself created.

          Sarah’s “pride” is an appropriate reaction when someone steals your work and uses it IRRESPONSIBLY, which is what Sotto did. FYI, what did Sarah have to do with the RH Bill in the Philippines in the first place? You make it sound as if she wrote specifically for that purpose when she did not. Of course she has bias, you moron. Everybody has. It’s a fact of life. But she’s free to write about it and people are free to think for themselves.

          Think of it this way. If we never found out that Sotto plagiarized this article, then we would have all gone on believing that he gathered and organized those ideas himself. And so who would you be directing your accusations of irresponsibility and being biased to right now?

          God, you are so self-righteous when in fact your estimation of the situation is so highly inaccurate, incorrect and so out of context.

          Bottomline: This piece was not a message of Sarah to Filipino women. It was one of many blogs on the net that netizens and people were free to think about it until Sotto took the ideas, made us believe they were his own and attempted to use them to forward his advocacy.

          I hope that’s clear enough.

          • For a moment, let go of the plagiarism issue, let go of the RH bill and let go of her intended American audience. I know full well it wasn’t intended for the women of the Philippines, or a position on the RH Bill, and that is my point. What you’re left with is an article published on an international platform for all the world to discover. When you look at the contents of a good article, it will present both the upside and the downside, and sure, some writers may conclude with their bias if it so fits their circumstances after their research, but so long as the article is objective, freethinkers have at least some base from which to assess the upside / downside of their personal circumstances or do further research in order to make an informed decision. Her words may have been used irresponsibly by the Senator, but prior to these events, her unintended and impressionable audience were never presented with any data that didn’t fit with her agenda in her original article, on a subject that so, so critically relies on an upside / downside approach to making a very personal decision. For many, this is the first time the subject has been so front of mind, at least from this perspective, and it warrants an objective, considered approach. Though on the surface it may seem out of context I am harping on this as in the end it does’t matter exactly how an article has reached its new audience, when you publish on a global platform you leave yourself open to repercussions far greater than plagiarism. Lets not be naive, let it be an example to others and a lesson learned as to how how widespread your audience can be, and how consequential the impact on others. Of course you are free to write about your personal opinions, but can you accept the consequences of your failures to address such a critical subject with an objective approach, ESPECIALLY if you supposedly believe in the right of choice? It’s just poor form, from someone that ought to know better. Something to think about.

      • Ok, Realist. Let me adress some of your more “salient” points.

        Number one, good that you know the context of the article.
        Number two, international platform? Are you kidding me? But of course it’s the world wide web! Which brings me to my third point.
        Number three, “freethinkers” also know enough not to let just one blog, one article, one research, one whatever to influence their whole thinking. In my opinion, anyone who does not practice critical thinking will come across any piece of information on the internet and either treat it as an authority or get mired in confusion.
        Number four, when you write you do have an intended audience. You cannot, repeat, cannot take into account every. little. piece. of. thing. Oh sure, why not write about reproductive health and the pill for all women of the world, regardless of culture, nationality, religious beliefs, upbringing, sexual orientation, etc. That’s so possible, right? NOT.

        Let this be a lesson to you in independent thinking and responsible use of information. You expect every writer, it seems, to spoon feed you AND it seems you have little understanding of the nature of research. Even the greatest thinkers and scholars from different periods and era did not agree upon the same ideas and many had their ideas misused or represented as well. Oh sure, they weren’t on the web back then but their ideas also reached shores outside of their own. Think about the ideas that spawned the French Revolution, Evolution, Big Bang, Communism, etc.

        Now, it is up to people like you to do your own research. These are ideas and information put together and no one can do what you want them to do – which is to basically lay out for you the information and knowledge you should be critical and responsible (and industrial) enough to do yourself, with the knowledge that human society is so diverse and that people’s perceptions vary.

        And, as a final point, anyone who bases their decision on one article/author/findings alone is someone who is simply lazy or easily dictated upon. Imagine – even patients get a second opinion because no one doctor gets it right all the time. You, as the seeker of information, should know better. Don’t blame others for poor decisions you might make because of shoddy research. Eh, why would you believe in only one source, in the first place? And for the others who may not have had the chance, this is precisely the reason why we need the type of education that the RH bill brings. Okies? I rest my case.

        • Nads, I am sure you are smart enough to realise that I am certainly not the one in need of being spoon fed here, and I won’t waste my time pointing out where this is obvious. Nor did I ask for an entire thesis in every blog post, this subject comprises of such a huge number of conflicts and variables. Health, unplanned pregnancy, religion, poverty, education, legislation… But all the knowledge and research in the world is beside the point when the only way you should make a sound decision is to weigh up the upside vs the downside of your own circumstances, and this ‘choice’, a single sentence would do, was not once advocated by the writer.

          The majority of these readers, intended audience or otherwise, are emotional and impressionable, it’s a part of what makes us human. It’s unfortunate that most ‘research’ is conducted selectively in support of their theory and not to disprove it as they should. What passes for science today is disgusting.

          THIS writer claims to support a woman’s right to choice. THIS writer presented an article which was 100% downside to the pill, a fear-driven article designed to inflate potential risks that may occur. There are good points to be made here, and we should indeed be made aware, but this is sensationalist journalism at its best. THIS writer is spineless, as if she truly did support a women’s right to choice, she would not have so strongly pushed her agenda and omitted her stance on choice from her original article. So which is it then? Agenda or choice?

          A word of advice, I think this may help you. When someone becomes an ‘expert’ on any particular matter, alarm bells should ring, they are considering only what they DO know, and not addressing what they DON’T know.

          • In my opinion, Realist, you are trying to impose too much of your own standards on other writers. What would you have people do? Police their own blogs? It is a blog – you do realize that, do you? People are always free to sift through information on the world wide web and there is no guarantee that the information you get will always be correct.

            Of course, she can present all the cons of the pills but in the end she can always state that it’s your choice. No, I’m actually smart enough to know that you don’t seem to understand the nature of the internet either. Sarah’s blog wouldn’t have even come to the forefront where it not for Sotto’s plagiarism. I mean, last I checked, she wasn’t sticking her nose in Philippine affairs, no?

            Eto na lang. If you don’t like the way she writes, find another source and create your own blog. The net is a platform for a free exchange of ideas, some you won’t like, some you will. But nobody will care that much unless you can actually present your own arguments in the same way Sarah did. You want to refute her claims and have a stronger stance? YOU do it. Don’t try to impose your own sense of standard and ethics on other writers. Sarah did her research, organized it and presented it, integrating it with her own beliefs and opinions. THAT’s her work.

            Impressionable and emotional? Are you kidding me? And what would you have researchers do, walk on eggshells? We’re not kids anymore, those of us who search for this type of info. Movies function the same way. Sotto tried to do the same thing with his weepy speech. Advertisements do it all the time. Even biographies are not exempt. But in the end, it’s still up to you, my dear realist, to distinguish fact from fiction; emotion from logic. People can present information in whatever way appeals to you. But YOU drive the car and think. Don’t think you’re such a vanguard for other people’s critical thinking. People can and do think for themselves. What we need is more information for these people and education in order for them to be able to know how to weigh information because, whether you like it or not, there will be other articles on the pill, the RH and whatever whose style you will regard as irresponsible and “spineless” – according to you, of course. But it’s still up to people to make up their minds. What they need is training to be able to do that.

            Why, if there are people you consider to be bad, you want them to change, become “good” or you want to know how to deal with them effectively instead? Your proposal is a waste of time, methinks. Oh, and of course, the main thing will always be that had Sotto not plagiarized Sarah’s article and integrated it into his anti-RH speech (thereby dragging the whole thing into the Phil RH controversy when it wasn’t before) makes the whole thing, really, when you think about it, Sotto’s doing. Salamat sa kanya (Thanks to him), this information is now more highlighted in a way.

  163. all i can say is that the roman catholic church in the philippines has to recognize the delineation between church and state. its leaders have no right to ram its dogma down the throat of people whose beliefs run contrary to theirs. medieval idiots!

  164. hi sarah,

    it’s sad how you got involved in all this but i hope before you take the side for the RHBill you actually read it first. i realize you are for choice and you are right about that but the bill doesn’t give catholics the choice to refuse therefore there is no more freedom for those who are against it. fyi, if any of the women want free contraceptives it is already available in the local health centers. the local govt spends for it. we do not need another law which will allow law makers to spend more on contraceptives, force gr. 3 students to listen to sex education when they can learn this in gr. 5, penalize employers for not distributing condoms to their employees…this bill is actually a step to legalize abortion. we want the P14 billion to be used to educate girls and women so they have more opportunity and therefore have less children. we have a magncarta for women and children that can provide for reproductive health issues.
    our govt cannot even provide basic health care to the poor. where is the logic in spending P14billion a year on contraceptives?

    • Yeah, right I’ve read the RH build.

      You know I actually support the church’s notion to stop the RH bill. However, it has absolutely nothing to do with religious crap like the according to God, “Go forth and multiply.”, and that sort of trash. This post is not against the Almighty though, hope you don’t misinterpret. I just don’t see why the damn Catholic Church is interfering with sex and reproductive health education. (Boy, if God can really see them now, they would be punished severely..) Remember that the church has a history of being the most corrupt institution ever. (I read it from Royal Scandals.) and also,, as for believing that the Earth is the center of the universe ( :hysterical: ), they only admitted they wrong in 1995 (after many centuries, the divine, holy, miraculous Church).

      Still, even though they’ve got their reasons all wrong, I like the church contradicting the RH bill. Why? Simple. The financial part. I will not get into the details of my suspicion, as it is too delicate to do so, but at least I want to let you see the big picture. I totally disagree with the Church’s reason for opposing the RH Bill, but I also agree that it should not be allowed, not just yet. There are still a lot of things that have to be amended in there, especially what the funds will be used for. :hysterical:

  165. Pingback: Sarah, Tito and the culture of plagiarism « Journeys and Travels

  166. I want to share that I took the pill for 13 years…healthy non-smoker, no other risk factors etc, so I was a good candidate my doctor said.
    I wish I knew the real risks.
    At 39 I was almost obstructed wtht a cancer tumour in my colon before they found it and I had to have surgery.
    I regret having the subtotal colectomy.
    I regret taking the pill for 13 years, but I am glad to be on a different path of wellness and nutrient dense foods as a result of my health struggles.

    • Please, anyone reading this comment, understand that this is an extremely unscientific outcome, starting with the word ‘healthy’. A healthy diet of grains and low fat foods? Who would know. It is sad and unfortunate, but you simply cannot connect those dots. This is dangerous territory if you do not open your mind to other factors that may have led to this illness.

      • Ana Lynna Sandoval, there is a lot of grayness or nuancing in this matter. It is not all black and white. Yes, the RH bill is GOOD because it will educate and give more choices to people, especially poor women. Yes, some contraceptives have possible side effects. The pill can be beneficial in controlling how many children you want to have. The pill can have side effects. It is not one or the other. A person can be pro-RH bill, and yet, opt not to use the pill. A person can be pro-RH bill, and also be ambivalent about the possible side effects of some of the contraceptives. I hope this helps clarify matters.

  167. You know Ms. Sarah, even though the most righteous course of action would be to sue the senator, you’ve made the better choice. Filing a complaint of plagiarism in the Philippines is like filing a nonexistent case. In fact, they usually try to make the righteous move backfire at the person who initiated it.

  168. sotto is representative of philippine politics.
    it is full of has been actors, unprincipled criminals, and political families all hell bent on maintaining the status quo for the elite.
    the corruption is staggering and is actually getting worse permeating all levels of society.
    whether it is copying tv shows, products or ideas the filipino way is always the easy way, and for someone else to do the work, or play the victim and get aid/help.
    when the national sport is cock-fighting, the main interest is videoke and the primary dream is to leave the country no wonder it remains a backwater in the developing world and amongst its neighbours. tourists skip the guns, pickpockets and dangers of the philippines for the culture and beauty of cambodia or thailand. investors look to singapore, s korea and even vietnam.

    filipinos are good people but abused by their own leaders who possess little intellect or integrity, just hypocricy. sad, since they deserve better.

    • I want change, I want to be educated I assume every Filipino does. We want to put an end to poverty, control the population and stop the corruption. But how? Even this RH bill, i like the idea of it, educate people and let them have a choice ( especially women ). Somehow theres still a doubt that lingers. I feel that theres always someone who will take advantage of this bill for their own benefit and corrupt it. I am aware that my (our) country the Philippines is in a very difficult challenges right now, why there is no other choice beside RH bill? If this bill will be pass wld it reach those families high in the mountain (that they have to walk 3hrs or more jst to go to a clinic or sch. ) If it will be implemented for how long are they going to be doing it? like every road that gets to be fix during election and left unfinished afterwards ( *ningas kugon* we are all familiar w/ ).

      I dont speak english as everyone here does, you may find alot of grammatical error, wrong spelling, u can bash me with all u might or call me names but If you are going to bring a child in this world then u have to make sure that the child will receive all the care and love it deserves and help that child prosper and be a better person/citizen. If you cant or in doubt that you will or simply doesnt know anything about responsiblities and parenting or u r not ready or u have already alot and theres no means to support them please consider or choose contraceptive/condoms or other means to control. For me its a greater sin to neglect, abandon, hurt, uneducate and starve a child than to use a contraceptive measures.

      Trust. I dont have it anymore. How can you trust govt officials and all these politicians when all they do is lie, be arrogant and steal just because they can. These political figures are the one preventing us to change cuz if ppl are educated how can they corrupt, make money and do all illegal stuff. They using religion and Gods name to fool the masses. They’ll cry, fake their health, put a cast on their neck, sit on the wheelchair just to arouse sympathy from the public. Those who oppose this kind of situation/pubic officials here is just a minority. There are still millions that has been deceive by this acts, smiling in the tv, holding a poor baby in time of election, going to the wet market and shaking a vendors hand. The ex president who has been ousted b4 for corruption was number 2 in the rank in last presidential election he still had millions of voters what the hell right?

      If a public servant or his staff steals an idea what more they can steal? If they cant say a simple sorry and belittle an educated person what more they can do to an ordinary citizen who doesnt know what blog is?

      Plagiarism, Rh bill, there will be ppl using this for their own benefit, drag the issue make a name for themselves for the next election, or someone will highlight this plagiarism so ppl will forgot about poverty in Phil. or someone will make a bigger scandal about a celebrity so that our attention will shift. Choose whichever same story goes on and on.

      Who am i? an ofw, a breadwinner of 5 sibling and sick mother, single, no kids, been to worse, been to alot of racial discrimination bcuz I am fr 3rd world country, been in a tough times when i was a kid till now my story is the same with all the ofws around the globe.
      I am still holding on to my country, wishing it will be different and hoping my siblings will have a better life as well as the next generation.

      Sarah……..education and choice will all want it.

  169. When any of the major TV networks in the US picks up this controversy involving a Philippine senator plagiarising an American bloggers work for Sotto’s arguments in his senate debate, it would be an embarassing sight to see US networks representatives descend on the Philippine senate floor to get Tito Sotto explain his take on this issue. It is embarassing to the country, to the people and to the institution that Tito Sotto represents.

  170. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    You know, I’m getting confused already. In Facebook, I read this about the Senator Sotto — Sarah Pope brouhaha. Many pro-RH Filipinos are saying that Sarah is a pro-RH bill advocate. This is how they put it:

    Need we say more? The staunch anti-RH bill advocate plagiarized the work of a staunch pro-RH bill advocate!

    Sarah, are you or are you not a pro-RH bill advocate? Pro-RH bill supporters are making it viral that you are. Can you post something that will clearly say what your side is on the matter?

    • Does it even matter what Sarah’s stand on the matter is on a proposed Philippine bill? Would she now be the “celebrity” endorser of a particular stand? The issue here is not whether she is pro or anti RH bill. It’s about someone who used someone’s work and didnt give due credit, and when found out later on, didnt even had the guts to say “sorry” and instead went on excusing himself (or at least his chief of staff making lousy excuses in his behalf)

      • Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm

        Of course it matters, specially since she is being described as a staunch pro-RH advocate. So please, Sarah, if you are reading this, are you with us for the passing of the RH bill in the Philippines? Are you with us in making contraceptives available to everyone, specially poor women and teens?

      • Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

        The issue of plagiarism is just the first step. Sarah can help the cause of the pro-RH bill get rid of Sotto. Those who oppose the measure to make contraceptives easily accessible to everyone, specially the poor (who multiply like rabits), and the teens, don’t have a place in the Philippine government.

        Anti-RH bill people lie about contraceptives, and Sarah can help stop these people from lying. Sotto, and all those people who say contraceptive kills, need to be removed from office.

    • Hi Ana,

      I can’t speak for Sarah, but I interpret her words (see her statement to the women of the Philippines) to mean that she supports RH education and healthcare for everyone so that people can make their own independent choices.

      I believe it is our duty as RH Bill advocates to ensure that the program we support will definitely help everyone, especially marginalized women, in this goal. While I myself share Sarah’s concerns regarding the safety of oral contraceptives, I acknowledge that the priority is education and healthcare, and this is why I believe in the RH Bill, as the way to do this.

      Our urgent priority now is to fight to pass this bill. But our work won’t end there. We must continue fighting to ensure the proper implementation of the bill and be true to our ideals of responsibility, informed choice, and human rights.

      Your fellow RH Bill advocate :)

      • P.S. I don’t know if we can say she is a “staunch RH Bill advocate”. Her priority, of course, is her own family and her work in promoting health. But even though she isn’t a Filipina herself, she has been gracious enough to shown her concern for us and state her support for reproductive healthcare and education. I don’t believe she is obligated to do any more than what she’s already done (with regards to our RH debate).

    • Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      But this is exactly the kind of lie that pro-RH supporters want to dispel. That’s why we, the RH bill supporters, rally behind Sarah in this plagiarism issue, because it is these very same lies that Sotto is trying to perpetuate. That’s why there’s a need for Sarah to sue him, because we have to silence such lies.


  171. The poor people in the Philippines have to resort to eating Garbage called Pagpag, to feed their large families.

    If you have time Sara, please search BBC documentary Pagpag on Youtube, and see how the Filipino destitute gather leftover restaurant waste and convert these into food for their children.
    You might want to cry.

    In spite of the majority of Filipinos wanting Reproductive Health services, the catholic church has used its influence to stop it.

    • Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      And that’s also why the pro-RH bill is against the Catholic Church. If we can one by one silence the voices of those who propagate the lie that the pill is dangerous, then all Filipinos can have easy access to contraceptives. Sarah has already done the first step of making Sotto look bad. The next step is to sue Sotto. If we remove the anti-RH bill people one by one, the Catholic Church will not have anymore politicians to do their bidding.

      Being pro-RH is being anti-Catholic Church. We who support the passing of the RH bill thank Sarah for paving the way to remove all those politicians in the Philippines who spread lies that contraceptives kill.

      • Ana, chill… you are actually making pro-RH people look bad….

        we should not silence the voice of anybody…

        or remove anybody one by one…

        you can be Catholic and still be pro-RH because these priest are men and they can make mistakes and they may sometimes be uninspired by God…

        not everything about the pill are lies… try to buy a pack of pill and read the contraindications, side-effect etc…

        Sarah is not supporting the pill, Just the freedom to make informed choices…

        again… chill….

        • your replies are kinda scary… makes me think you’re some sort of a hitman, “silence” and “remove”… hahaha just kidding…

          but seriously, let’s win this RH battle using the RIGHT information because that is what RH is about…

  172. ALVINBRYAN S. BAYSA August 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Dear Sarah,
    I fully understand how you feel about this issue on “Plagiarism” or in other words that you also said “Thieving”, “Copying”, or whatever else you would like to say in so far as this issue is concern. And for those Filipino citizens that have also posted on this blog with the intentions of giving you the satisfaction that Senator Vicente Sotto is indeed that of what you think. Now, the only question i have for you is that, where do you think all of this is going? If you ask me, NOWHERE! The Senator’s Chief of Staff have expressed their sincere apology, and as a matter of fact even asked you what they can do to make you satisfied and at ease in order for this issue to die and all parties can move on. But instead of offering your forgiveness you retaliated very negatively. That’s a shame. What i was expecting was two parties getting together and resolving each other’s issues and move forward in pushing their concerns. I did not expect that there will be negative responses that will occur between each party. So my suggestion is, just move on and help each other in educating everybody the most effective way, not destroy each other’s personality. Now as far as Senator Sotto’s profile as being a comedian, or what not. For those of you who criticizes him, well why dont you guys step to the plate and for public office. Also, if you guys dont know yet, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota was also a comedian, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger was a action star, President Ronald Reagan was a movie star. So it seems to me that the United States also have some of what we have in the Philippines in so far as politics or public officials are concern. Thank you very much.


    • “But instead of offering your forgiveness…”

      You want the wronged party to ask for forgiveness? What?! What in god’s name is wrong with you?

      Also, it’s unfortunate that you ostensibly reside in the United States but have a terrible grasp of the English language. It’s “concerned” not “concern.”

      • ALVINBRYAN S. BAYSA August 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Well you know what John, why dont you try and speak my language? Let’s see how that goes. And for you to talk to me that way, let me tell you that I am serving your beautiful country the United States of America and defending its freedom. Before you criticize anybody, not just me about grammar, you better make sure you have perfect grammar.

        • 1. Most people commenting here are Filipino, including myself, in either nationality or ethnicity.
          2. As a corollary to #1, I can in fact speak Tagalog.
          3. I do not live in the United States, nor the Philippines.

          My, my, so many mistakes and presumptions from you. BTW, I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why Ms. Pope, who was the victim of intellectual dishonesty and plagiarism, should ask forgiveness from the comedian.

          • ALVINBRYAN S. BAYSA August 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm

            Eh ganun naman pala eh, nagtatagalog ka pala. Hindi ko naman sinabi na humingi ng paumanhin ang nasabing babae na batay sa iyo ay isang biktima, basahin mo at intindihin mong mabuti ang isinulat ko. Huwag kang bira ng bira. Kung iyong mapapansin ang sinabi ko ay “But instead of offering your forgiveness” at hindi “But instead of offering your apology”, ayusin mo ang buhay mo John. Ang sinasabi ko lamang ay humingi na ng tawad ang isang kinatawan ng senador sa kanya. Ang ipinagtataka ko lang ay bakit hindi na lamang nya ibigay ang patawad na hinihingi ng nasabing kinatawan. Gusto pa niyang palakihin bagkus na magkapatawaran na lamang para matapos na ang usaping ito. At kung makapagsalita ka tungkol kay Senador Sotto, eh para bang hindi ka pinoy. Ilang taon ka na ba at kung makapagsalita ka ay parang kilalang kilala mo si Senador Sotto. Huwag kang masyadong kampante John at baka tamaan ka ng karma. wala akong kinakampihan, nagtataka lang ako na kung bakit pinalalaki pa itong usapin na ito.

          • John, my take is that the guy thinks Ms Sarah owes the chief of staff some forgiveness because she refused to accept the apology that lawyer was giving. The same “sincere Apology ” Mr. Baysa insists. But I like best how someone here had said it – the Non-Apology apology.

            Personally, I think that was full of bs.
            However, Mr Baysa is entitled to his own opinion, however far-off his arguments are.

          • ALVINBRYAN S. BAYSA August 17, 2012 at 1:06 am

            Now how sure you on that assessment? How would you suggest to say an apology in order for it not to be considered “BLATANT ARROGANCE”? I’m just saying, enlighten me please.

    • I’m sorry Dear, but what I saw was not what you can call a “sincere apology”. His so-called “apology” certainly lacks remorse, humility, and sincerity–and I guess, 99%+ of the readers here would agree. Frankly, Villacorta should have shut his mouth as his “apology” only added insult to injury.

  173. I personally suggest that the author would lock this post and make it read-only. In the end people would just see (or have already seen) this as a place where they could discuss RH-bill issues and this would eventually end up as an RH-bill debate thread.

    It’s good that the author has made her side known about the issue of plagiarism and how her post relates to the issue of artificial contraceptives. But this is getting way out of hand.

  174. First of all, this is very tragic. I can’t help but feel embarrassed by this egregious faux pas by Sen. Sotto. Unforgivable..I hope this does not take the focus away from the real issues regarding the RH bill.
    Secondly, I want to just say my apology now for all the civilized people here and who will read this comment, but what in the mother of **** is this Atty Villacorta saying? UnFORKING Believable!!! Livid…
    Sorry from Sen Sotto won’t cut it, he should bloody step down.

  175. I’m thankful for this brouhaha because I discovered your site. I’m actually reading your blog posts! Hehe. I try to eat healthy as much as I can (and try to cook when I can, it’s healthier than eating out). I also prefer alternative methods over Western medicine (except that our health card can only cover Western medicine). But I also believe in the RH Bill and that it’s about time the women of my country spoke up. Thank you so much.

  176. Pingback: Dear Senator Sotto - KabayanTech

  177. It’s funny that this matter has become a thread now. Our senator, indeed, has become an overnight sensation once again. Kudos to him for a job stupidly done.

  178. Ana, yah. But one has to shoulder the expenses if Sarah would come here to apprehend Sotto. That would take some time to process, and until when does she have to stay in the country to attend the hearings and all? Sotto’s assertions against RH Bill are now tainted.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but plagiarism in the country does not support the electronic media.
    I’m an RH Bill supporter by the way.

    • Our Intellectual Property Rights Code covers electronic media like blogs. But this law is part of the Civil Code, i.e., it is not a criminal offense to plagiarize. But the affected party (Sarah) can file for civil damages, which is an option for her.

      If you notice, her original blog is already preserved. If you visit it, it is only in read-only mode as it has been locked.

  179. Ms. Sara, I apologize on behalf of our countrymen who have turned your blog into a debate site for the reproductive health bill in the Philippines. While I approve of debate, I believe that it should be held in proper places, and while you have stated your position on the pill, you have also stated your position on how to respect the choice of the individual.

    Given that, I think we Pinoys should stick to the topic of the post, and direct our fiery opinions elsewhere.

  180. If I were Sotto, I’d push for my imminent resignation than put myself to shame and be a hot item in the social media and blogspots. Sotto, you can’t get away from what you did during your “turno en contra” speech, netizens will surely punish you. It’s either you admit it or admit.

    • Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      That’s why Sarah has to sue Sotto. With Sotto out, then no one can spread the lies about the serious side effects of contraception to the woman and to the child. We, the supporters of the RH bill, should do everything in our power to remove anyone in our government who will not approve the bill. Getting Sarah to show that Sotto plagiarized her work is the first step. We should then push Sarah to sue Sotto so that we can get rid of him. Contraception should be made easily accessible to the Filipino people. That’s what the RH bill is for. Contraception for all.

      • Anna Lyna, keep it cool! Sarah knows what she is doing. Let’s just support her and respect whatever step she decides to take about this course.

        Go Sarah! I really admire how you graciously handle the situation. You’re one smart woman. :)

  181. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    And what about the poor women of our society? They breed like rabbits because they are poor and uneducated. The RH bill is going to make sure that the government gives them contraceptives so that their population can be controlled. They have so many children they can hardly feed, and then you have a lot of children roaming the streets, begging. Contraception is necessary to control the population of the poor. That’s why the RH bill needs to be passed. It is for reasons of providing contraceptives to the poor women so that they don’t get pregnant.

    And what about teen pregnancies? We need the RH bill so that we can prevent teen pregnancies. The RH bill will make contraceptives easily accessible to our teenagers so that they don’t get pregnant.

    Contraceptives is needed, so let us pass the RH bill. We have to control our poor population, and we have to prevent teenagers from getting pregnant.

  182. I think Sarah laying off the dear Senator is quite fine. I never took him seriously (if ever) and those who did really have their expectations on the wrong side of things (much like the entire function of the political system in the Philippines). As of the RH bill itself, at one point I only opposed specifically due to ideas on how to bring about the education. I’m not a fan of free government funded condoms but I am about addressing to the poor the impact and implications family size within economic means. I am also interested in their efforts in programs to engage and educate the young women with the consequences of being sexually active and giving them the knowledge to cope with those consequences (especially those victims of rape who do get pregnant). Unwanted pregnancies aren’t the only dangers besides finding hackneyed ways to do so (coat hanger technique, paying absurd money for a wonder drink to ‘get rid of it’). You also have sexually transmitted diseases and with the lack of awareness to get tested, no wonder HIV is slowly looming about in certain areas.

    The pill is certainly not the be-all-end-all solution. Quality education is in contrast with goals to accomplish for the future. And certainly much better than the whole ‘vague effort of conserving the meaning of the family’ that Sotto and his company want to offer. He knows damn well he profits from those who aren’t educated.

  183. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    If Sarah is saying that she believes contraceptives can be harmful, why is she supporting the RH bill then? Isn’t it that we are trying to say that contraceptives provide the safest option to prevent pregnancy? The Filipino Freethinkers have put up a picture saying she’s pro-choice and pro-RH.

    • Have you read her blog, the one about Dr. McBride’s book? You should because this entire thing is all about that original blog that was plagiarized. The reason Sotto plagiarized her is because …

    • Ana,

      Sarah is actually saying that there are harmful effect from using the Pill. What she supports is having the Choice… the RH bill is not just about the pill. And yes some of the horror stories are true, I am pro-RH, I use the pill and I know well enough what it could do to my body so I don’t intend to use it for a long time. there are other options.. Like all medicines, there are side-effects. Pro-RH people should know better than to try to convince people there is absolutely no harm in taking the pill, because that would be deceitful..There is possible harm, it is not for all women, some might react/cope well with it, some may not. I have tried the depo-shot before.. did not suit me, tried 3 different types of pill and surprisingly the cheapest on seems to be the one that suits me best.. but like i said, i know of the consequences so i plan to shift to non-hormonal options.. may be IUD… See? I am well aware and I decide for myself. Let us not tell the people that the pill is 100% safe because all pill manufacturers do not claim that. let’s stick to the facts.

  184. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Sarah, the Senator is dared to be sued. I say SUE HIM. The pro-RH side need to silence those who speak lies about contraceptives. Senator Sotto is telling the Filipino people that using contraceptives poses a threat to both the woman and the baby. Sue him, Sarah, and help us silence the voices of those who tell lies about contraceptives. You must help us make it clear that contraceptives pose no dangers, and you can do that by suing one of the people who are against the passing of the RH bill.


    • Ana, in fairness to Sarah, her position is slightly different from ours/yours.

      Sarah Pope blogged about Dr. McBride position that the Pill does have some harm to women. Read the original blog. Of course, you and I disagree with that, but we will respect Sarah’s position.

      What Sarah wholeheartedly agrees with us is on the issue of RH education and choice. She believes that women should be educated about options and risks so that they can make a good decision about their choices. This is the part where you can raise Sarah to whatever pedestal you want to build for her.

  185. Hahaha! I’m happy for you, Sarah. The prominence of your blog suddenly skyrocketed. Your blog’s link is shown in all major Philippine news sites. I now even start to see your photo is some sites.

    And you are doing well with your messages. You support the Filipino women’s right to have a choice in their RH decisions. You also rejected the senator’s staff non-apology apology.

    A friendly advice: show your best foot; this blog will soon be seen by millions.

    Now, if you want to land in Philippine prime-time TV and fight for the principle of intellectual property rights, then sue Senator Sotto under the Philippine Intellectual Property Rights Code. You will find that our very best lawyers will support your suit.

  186. Correction. Tito Sotto is not one of our “esteemed” Senators. He thinks he is a comedian but he is not funny. If you want to sue his ass for stealing your property, JUST DO IT! Follow your lwayer’s advise.

  187. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I would also like to add that your support for the RH bill will help the poor Filipino women understand that contraceptives will never have any serious side effects for them. The anti-RH have always scared the poor by telling them horror stories about the side effects of contraception. Now, these poor women will have the contraceptives, and they are going to have peace of mind that their own bodies, and those of their future children, will not be affected by the use of contraceptives. And most of all, this will be government funded. Thank you for giving us your support in defeating those who are opposed to the passing of the bill. Thank you so very much, Sarah Pope.

    Sarah Pope, supporter of the passing of the RH bill in the Philippines.

  188. Ana Lynna Sandoval August 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I’m glad to see that you support for the passage of the RH bill in the Philippines. I found this in the Filipino Freethinkers page in Facebook.


    Thank you for taking the side of those who are for the passing of the RH bill. You are going to be of big help for the cause by telling the Filipinos that contraceptives do not pose any serious side effects, which is what Senator Sotto was trying to do. I’m glad that an American like you can help correct the lies that the Pill is dangerous.

    • The graphic used with Sarah Popes image in that link (FB page) should be in the same category as the plagiarism. Of all the work that Ms. Pope has done with her blog in educating the public about big pharma, GMO farming and healthy eating tips, that graphic is absolutely profane and does not fit at all in the theme of her blog! Of all the things I have felt of Ms. Pope, I feel that her comment was not made to promote the polluting and manipulation of a woman’s mind and body by big pharma through Planned Parenthood, Maria Stopes, WHO and the UN. It is sick how these organizations continue to sabotage words and phrases to turn them upside down and use them for the manipulation of the poor and helpless. I pray that this does not represent Ms. Pope’s true sentiment and can only hope that she will clarify her true position. Sue Sotto? How about sue the establishment that she so successfully and effectively fights against through her blog, daily? That graphic, in my opinion, does not represent Ms. Pope!

  189. I’m glad to have read a classy response to what a senator from my country said. I especially like the last part of what you said that Filipino women need to be EDUCATED about the pros and cons of taking The Pill. That’s what the reproductive health bill is supposed to be about: that information be available to those who want and need it.

  190. Dear Atty. Hector,

    An act of plagiarism was clearly committed. And plagiarism is downright stealing. Period. What do you not understand about the word ‘stealing?’ In the field of medicine and research, to copy someone’s words and pass it off as your own is considered the gravest of all sins.

    And the least that you could have done was to APOLOGIZE to the aggrieved party, instead of writing a very looooong explanation and defense. Very lame, and very unprofessional.

  191. Abstinence? Really RosalindaL? I’m not sure if you’re a bitter virgin or a blog-commenting nun, but your suggestion is kaput. And why were you giving Bart such a hard time for saying he’s poor who wants to have his choice of either taking contraception or not? Are YOU poor to be speaking for the poor? You’re not. So why do you assume all poor people DON’T want the RH Bill?? RH will educate people; rich or poor. It will not forcibly stuff anyone’s mouth of what you say is a poisonous whatever.

  192. Pingback: Sen Tito Sotto chief of staff admits copying anti-RH bill speech from US blogger Sarah Pope | Batangas Today | Breaking News, World News And More News

  193. What that idiot of a senator did was dead wrong. In fact, they are grounds for a LAWSUIT. I strongly suggest you considering suing his a** because I have a very strong feeling this will escalate/worsen. He had absolutely NO RIGHT to plagiarize and put someone down for being a blogger. He is evidently a chauvinistic pig. He and his stupid staff obviously do not have the diligence to put in the necessary work to either credit people for their work much less to produce sentences on their own accord without having to “copy and paste” someone verbatim. Pardon my French, “Sue the Muthaf*ckaaa!”

    • I am just wondering if this thing.. plagiarism and not doing proper research, could be considered a betrayal of public trust… I mean, he is floor leader and is expected to do his very best to serve his country men. The people trust him to carry their best interest at hand… so doing a haphazard job on something as big as this… hmmmm betrayal of public trust??? what do you think? cause if it is… IMPEACH!!! hahahaha that would make those politicians think twice about lazily doing their jobs…

  194. Saying sorry without even a hint of sincerity is like saying, “What??? Huh! I did not copy any.” The chief of staff is being true to himself – arrogant and “carabuena”. It’s better to say sorry + + +…than be sorry but with a BUT after. Whew!!!

  195. Im not surprised. This is the funny thing in PHL Politics.
    an actor turned comedian turned senator who becomes a thief and a lying thief.

  196. Please do yourself and an entire country a favor and sue him.

    He’s an idiot and an embarrassment. Ridiculous, pointless man.

  197. Thank you! I’m glad to know you support reproductive health. It’s disgusting that a SENATOR blindly copied facts from your blog without understanding the context in which you wrote them, and then DENYING it and even scoffing that he’d be accused of copying from a BLOGGER.

  198. Hi, Sarah! It is refreshing to see your response to one of our “esteemed” public officials plagiarizing material from your blog to be used in denying the people a right to manage their families as they see fit. You have handled the situation impeccably, and I feel terrible that you had to be dragged in to a debate that should (understandably) not be your concern. Nonetheless, your input is appreciated and welcomed.

    Yes, I agree that contraceptives (as with almost any pharmaceutical product) have their side effects and contraindications. Yes, I agree that when considering such means of birth control, one has to weigh the pros and cons, and its short, medium and long-term effects on themselves and those around them.

    No, I do not agree to members of the family (especially the mothers/mothers-to-be) being denied the basic right to the knowledge and means of managing a family for their own good, as well as that of everyone else. No, I do not agree to blind opposition to legislation merely on disinformation, hearsay, lies and vitriol.

    So with that, it is a pleasure to have come across you and your blog. We do hope you consider a visit here in the near future, and you will get the warmest welcome on this side of the Pacific. Guaranteed.

    And yes, you have my thumbs up to sue the Honorable Senator Tito Sotto for plagiarism since it has now been proven without question. If someone with the reach of CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria could own up to making such a grievous lapse in judgment, surely a legislator from some country in Southeast Asia should have been capable of doing the same. Cheers!

  199. Hi Sarah,

    I appreciate you taking the high road on this issue of plagiarism, intellectual property is of little value to some people sometimes. Sad that the debate about the RH Bill in the Phils. is now at your comments page, everybody convincing everyone else. I just don’t understand why people need to condone other’s opinions and views instead of just respecting and accepting that it is their decision in the end anyway, whether or not to use the pill, to inform their kids about sex ed and other issues attached to this.

    Personally, I have been using the pill for 6 years now and don’t plan to stop despite the health risks. Why? At 28, I already have two kids (I had my first at 16 because no one told me it could be prevented…) and I dont want any more. However, I have been to 3 OB-Gyns and all of them denied me of my request for ligation. I told them that I wouldnt, that two was all I really wanted, that I already have a boy and a girl, that two kids is all that I could afford to spend for in my lifetime, that I didnt want to contribute to the ballooning population, that I had too much complications during my last pregnancy that Im still suffering from 5 years later that I would never want to go through it ever again. They said I was too young, I might change my mind later; one even said, “if one of your kids die, you may want to have another one to replace it,” wtf, right? So here I am, at 34 and still taking these damned expensive pills daily so that I wont get pregnant again.

    To the people who say abstinence: try to convince your husband about it first, then let him talk to mine and all the other husbands that women have all over the country (yeah, you dont have one, I thought so).

  200. Hi Sarah,

    I appreciate you taking the high road on this issue of plagiarism, intellectual property is of little value to some people sometimes. Sad that the debate about the RH Bill in the Phils. is now at your comments page, everybody convincing everyone else. I just don’t understand why people need to condone other’s opinions and views instead of just respecting and accepting that it is their decision in the end anyway, whether or not to use the pill, to inform their kids about sex ed and other issues attached to this.

    Personally, I have been using the pill for 6 years now and don’t plan to stop despite the health risks. Why? At 28, I already have two kids (I had my first at 16 because no one told me it could be prevented…) and I dont want any more. However, I have been to 3 OB-Gyns and all of them denied me of my request for ligation. I told them that I wouldnt, that two was all I really wanted, that I already have a boy and a girl, that two kids is all that I could afford to spend for in my lifetime, that I didnt want to contribute to the ballooning population, that I had too much complications during my last pregnancy that Im still suffering from 5 years later that I would never want to go through it ever again. They said I was too young, I might change my mind later; one even said, “if one of your kids die, you may want to have another one to replace it,” wtf, right? So here I am, at 34 and still taking these damned expensive pills daily so that I wont get pregnant again.

    To the people who say abstinence: try to convince your husband about it first, then let him talk to mine and all the other husbands that women have all over the country (yeah, you dont have one, I thought so).

  201. Pingback: Plagiarism « Being Away from Home :.

  202. “Unlike my critics, I don’t pretend that I know it all. I always cite my sources whether news columns, books or statements from the experts. So, sue me,” Sotto said.

    He’s asking for it! Sue him and teach him a lesson!

  203. I’m so happy to read that so many Filipinos are disgusted at both the plagiarism and the stupid “apology.” That belligerent “apology” is symptomatic of the old culture in the Philippines of those in power bullying and strong-arming those they perceive as weaker than themselves. These people commenting on your post, I perceive, are the most hopeful sign of the new, vibrantly growing culture in the Philippines of people who will no longer sit back and allow themselves to be cowed, to be silenced; who will no longer just meekly follow the rich and powerful against their better thinking. The clamor for the RH Bill, which actually surprised me, is a sign that Filipinos WANT to think for themselves – and never mind what the priest preaches on the pulpit!; and that Filipinos are demanding to exercise their freedom to choose. I’m so happy we are waking up at last!

  204. Wonderful comeback to our “acting” senator. Esteemed. Yes. That would sting dearly. :) As of now, even his script writing team admitted to plagiarism.

    The only thing I’m sad about in this situation is how this will only reach part of the masses who has access to the internet, and those who are denied their choice in birth control and reproductive health education are who are very unlikely to know about your response due to poverty and lack of information flow. They are the ones that need the RH information the most. Hopefully it’s not only the drama antics of Senator Sotto which gets broadcasted en masse in our media but also this, your response, and your beliefs that every woman should have a well-educated say in what happens to her body, and that through the power of other media they get enlightened by the way the esteemed senator is robbing them of their right to information.

    May you continue to bring your good news around the globe. And if I get the time in the kitchen, I’ll try some of your recipes. :)

  205. …and the Oscard-award-winning crying on the Philippine Senate floor? Anyone here knows where the senator and his layer-staff lifted those CROCODILE TEARS from? Are they original? Just curious.

  206. I am a Filipino and i support and encourage you to sue the senator! i would have think otherwise but after reading the side of sotto’s arrogant apology, i was like “come on! its a shame” He should take accountability and learn his lessons!

  207. 1. Sotto was not aware of the allegations made by Ms. Sarah mainly because HE DID NOT WRITE THE BILL thus denying that he plagiarized Ms. Sarah’s work. Haha bobo lang.

    2. Ms. Sarah, congratulations on making ur allegation BIG! Yay to your new readers! You knew that you could have handled this discreetly but you even posted another blog highlighting how one Philippine Senator plagiarized the quote you took from somebody else. Don’t you know that you have offended and embarrassed a huge crowd because of this post? Yikes.

    3. Don’t get me wrong, nobody likes other people taking credit of your work but seriously? Whoever wrote the speech committed a minor offense in plagiarizing but you really made it big. Heck, i bet nobody here knew that the movie Terminator was plagiarized by James Cameron but everyone here knows that Sotto copied Sarah’s work. w/e. that’s what she said.

    • So you mean to say this should have gone unnoticed?

      Or that by the huge crowd you mentioned, the majority of the voters, who I’m pretty sure do not understand what plagiarism mean by dictionary standards?

      Pipay, don’t get me wrong, I’m not humoring anyone by pressing on wound that the majority of those who votes are illiterates – if they are not, greatly persuaded by fame and false promises.

      Perhaps maybe we shouldnt really be focusing on our domestic issues but what affects people who puts “intellectual property” hence original words, creations, and thoughts, in general. this is not even about being Filipinos at all but the violation that was done for those who shares this “property” and being here and taking part of it, online. This plagiarism done and the actions Ms Sarah did at least by doing this article I believe is a stand for everyone, regardless what country each blogger comes from.

      Yes it’s embarrassing that it has to come in form of a public senator from our country to show this and I share that shame, but I am also a blogger, a photographer who shares her pictures and even if I do not exactly ask for a fee for using what I had created, at least what I would expect, is the decency to acknowledge and credit me for the work I did.

    • Sorry: WHO and HOW has this offended and embarrassed? The Senator’s team of halfwits headcount hardly comes to a “huge crowd”, unless of course that is how many it actually takes to scour the internet and chop and change other people’s work.

      He even said himself that he sits down and discusses with his team what it is that needs to be said…and again..like in every other setting whether it be work or play: With leadership comes responsibilty. He IS accountable for both his mouth, and his team of *script*writers.

  208. Hi Sarah,
    Was just checking out the twitterfall in Manila on Sotto.
    Just want to let you know that Filipinos are clearly disgusted over the actions (and reactions) of Tito Sotto and his staff.

    The closest tweet to a positive comment was that we should separate the issue of plagiarism and the RH bill. No comments of support for Sotto at all.

    The senator will most probably be sending you an apology letter as soon as he googles an appropriate template (I got that off one of the tweets).

    Thank you for bringing up the issue.
    The senate is suppose to house the 24 finest minds in the country.
    Majority of our people do not know that.
    Hopefully we can change things for the better real soon.


  209. The TIME writer and CNN host Mr. Fareed Zacaria readily apologized to the public when he was exposed for plagiarism, saying: “Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers.” (ref: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/time-magazine-to-examine-plagiarism-accusation-against-zakaria/)

    Such act of admission shows Mr. Zacaria’s humility and courage, among other virtues. He did not use a lawyer-spokesman to clear his name, for there is nothing to clear in the first place — only to admit and then express “sincerest” apologies.

    Philippine senator Tito Sotto and his staff are both not even close to Mr. Zacaria in being regarded as “esteemed”, by their words and actions before, during, and after the obvious act of plagiarism — clearly defined as “stealing somebody’s work or idea: the process of copying another person’s idea or written work and claiming it as original
    (ref: Microsoft® Encarta® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation).

    Sarah, please write more — and expect more Filipinos to be on your side — if you feel more needs to be said. Just be cautious not to put yourself in the same very low level as the shameless senator and his prevaricating staff. Godspeed always!

  210. How can a woman who is against PROCREATION still pray sincerely to GOD? Unless she prays to a god who is NOT the giver of life. Honestly, she lost her faith a long time ago already. What a sad state of soul that person is in. :-(

    • Orrr maybe she doesn’t care. Maybe you’d be sad if that happened to you, but we all don’t believe in the same things.

    • Lucky for us God does not discriminate… He listens to everyone, even the sinners… and who are we to say what God truly thinks about all this? I hope those opposing the RH-bill would stop using morality and spirituality, because it is very arbitrary… Majority of the Filipinos may be Catholic but not everyone is, if it is against a person’s religious belief then that person has the right to not use contraceptives (natural or artificial). If those are the best arguments they have to oppose the bill then it won’t be enough.. better go with the argument about the bill taking a huge chunk from the budget, etc. or do some more research (hopefully good quality).. that might get somewhere, then again…
      As for the Magna Carta for women… the thing is, hopefully the RH-bill will be able to educate men just as equally because both need to be educated.. most men here (usually underprivileged ones) think that it is solely up to the women to do measures for birth control, when there are in-fact options for men as well (and honestly, women do all the child-bearing and all already, why not share the burden of birth control?).

      Plagiarism.. I am honestly disappointed. I could not believe that a lawyer and chief-of-staff would be so… ignorant and arrogant! I think Sotto should be responsible of his people’s actions, as any leader should be. He was wrong about a lot of things, and first on the list was to put trust on his staff (maybe just a couple of them.. some of his staff may be good)… I feel sad for him for this part.. I am thinking, It could be that when he delivered his speech he was unaware that passages were lifted from somewhere else (most likely the case as I don’t really think he would do these things himself), then news broke that parts of his speech were copied… he asks his staff about it and the staff denies it (they must be the one to say that thing about quoting bloggers) and so that’s what he said to the media as well. I seriously doubt that Sotto himself would got to the computer and goolge or check it himself. Again at this point, I would have taken responsibility as I am the leader.. but fired the staff responsible… But what’s really unbelievable is his staff… they allowed their boss to go public with plagiarized work, on an issue as big as this! Then, to make matters worse is they did not admit right away their mistake, they allowed their boss to deny something they know to be true… only to admit the following day that they did commit the crime. AND!!!! That comment from Atty. what’s-his-name was so arrogant my blood pressure shot up after reading it! Seriously!!! I know I am one of the privileged ones able to obtain good education but being that you claim to be a lawyer, truly plagiarism is not something new to you, it is something taught as early as highschool, nowadays, even in elementary. The nerve of this guy!! I had a hard time believing it was really from Sotto’s staff because yes, some politicians here are nothing but jokes, but surely they must employ some good staff to compensate for that… well apparently not. Why would they lift something from a blog? Not to belittle blogs, I have found tons of information and help from them, but blogs are supposed to lead to proper sources (I am thinking they actually just read about McBride from your blog and did not really bother to read that)… preferably those that are published. Especially on something as big as this, they should have searched for some hard supporting facts.

      Really disappointing… On the up side… my fave part is “Women of the Philippines: I am terribly sorry my blog was used and twisted against you. You deserve the choice to use The Pill if you want or need to based on your particular circumstances. While I want you to know that this choice has health consequences, I in no way would ever condone taking this choice away from you! Mabuhay!”

      Thank you for this statement. I really believe the RH-bill is about having a choice.

      • and another thing… To do the so called apology via the comments section??? this guy must really hate his life or something. maybe he secretly wishes to be fired… hahahaha

  211. ooops, pahabol.



  212. Well, this has caused quite the international kerfuffle! Let’s hope for a silver lining as new readers of this blog explore some of the many important posts here having to do with real food nutrition, the work of Dr Weston A. Price, the underlying nutritional problems causing many modern diseases, health freedom, and flawed public policies based on profit instead of people’s well-being. There’s much to discover and consider!

  213. Christopher Llaguno August 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm


    i feel sorry that yu were not given the credit that you deserve..as a Filipino living in the Philippines,i am truly embarassed about this. by the way he’s a comedian by profession but what he did is not a joke so please extend your patience. Again, sorry for his ignorance.

    God Bless!

    Chris from Manila, Philippines

  214. The senator should be aware what bloggers can do. There are a lot of Filipino Bloggers worldwide. Some countries like Iran, prohibited the use of this. They can’t speak themselves. We all have a freedom of speech. He should recognize the source of his speech. It hurts for me and to my fellow bloggers to hear his quote saying “Why should I quote a blogger?she is just a blogger”. What the heck is he talking about! Sorry Sarah for what did he said. Copy paste thing w/o permission or credits. If hes speech is a blog, for sure google will delete it.

  215. didNOTvoteforSottoinks August 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    hey sarah,

    all these posts might annoy you, but this saga ain’t far from over. apparently, these morons (read:hector “theheckler” villacorta) plagiarized not just your blog, but FOUR OTHER BLOGS!

    it’s gonna be fun!

  216. talking about choices…this RH Bill is written for women who not only do not have much choices in life but are generally ignorant of their rights and choices because majority are uneducated and poor making them vulnerable to anything taught or told to them. Conditioning…brainwashing…this are the better terms to use when giving them “choices”. So what choices are we talking about? And yes, from a fellow (Filipino) blogger, please accept our sincere apologies for the thoughtlessness of this senator’s staff…I bet heads will roll by the end of this week.

  217. Count me in as one of those who wish to apologize for the despicable actions by an uneducated solon and an arrogant attorney from the Philippines. These men do not deserve the prefix “honorable” and “esteemed”. They are, by their actions, the epitome of what we in the Philippines call “trapo” (translation: rag) which is short for “traditional politician”. These men do not even deserve to be used as rags to wipe my vomit off the floor when I read about this whole episode. I am so sorry. Many of my countrymen feel the same way. Let this episode, (and the actions of two idiots undeserving of public service) not be your endearing image of Filipinos. Thank you and mabuhay!

  218. AnonymousEngineer August 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This is what happens when different social norms clashed with each other. Plagiarism is as common as piracy in countries like the Philippines. There is really nothing people can do about it. Philippine politicians are one of the worst in the world, just look at it’s economy. I am a Filipino and I am not one of those “proud to be pinoy” archetypes. I condemn the Philippine politics which is why I left the country. It’s hopeless. The people are ignorant and uneducated and they would vote for whomever is popular, as in the case of Tito Sotto.

    I agree that it is Sotto’s responsibility. But he is nothing but a front. He would just point to the people behind him. This illustrates my point about ignorance in politics.

    My advice: Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

    • AnonymousEngineer,

      I must admit that I am insulted, as a writer who’s based on the Philippines, that you assume that all of us are okay with this. Some of us are just as embarrassed as you are, maybe even more so since we still live in this country. Some of us are, on the other hand, trying to fix the problem with whatever little ways we can.

      I am grateful that you have chosen to leave the country. You may be smart, as is expected of an engineer, but I believe we have enough people who complain too much but do too little in this country.

      May you have a good day and God Bless.

    • AnonymousEngineer,

      Thank you for this over sweeping judgement about Philippine politics and its whole as a nation. Could you do us a favor? The next time you come back here, please make sure that you are no longer a Filipino citizen. If you no longer hold a Philippine passport, good for you and good for us.

      To the smart readers, I know that you can understand beyond what this comment is trying to imply. No nation and no man can be hopeless. Every country has its own struggles, challenges and opportunities. Therefore, judging an entire nation and putting a point blank period on its future is just plain….. Sorry I can’t say the word.

      One thing is for sure, I pity the childhood or whatever bad memories this person had endured in my ever loved Philippines.

      For the record, you may have changed your citizenship but the very blood that flows through your veins remains ‘Filipino’, until your dying day.

  219. A lot of people already said what I wanted to say about this lying thief. But please, do consider suing this senator for plagiarism. For our own sake. Thank you.

  220. Hello Sarah.. What the senator did is unforgivable.. But something bothers me.. Did his Chief of Staff really send you that apology letter? It’s too idiotic to be true.. A part of me thinks it’s a troll’s doing..

  221. I salute you for taking the high road. Its really stupid denying what is obvious. The issue is really simple, it is not the government nor the Catholic religion that should decide for people. Their functions should just laying options and educating people. Its up to the them to decide what is right for them. After all, its their lives and they can do whatever they want.

  222. Pingback: Sen. Sotto busted for serial plagiarism | The ProPinoy Project

  223. Pingback: Life in the Enchanted Kingdom » Sen Sotto busted for serial plagiarism

  224. We’re deeply sorry our Senator’s a dud. And *thank you* for emphasizing personal choice. It’s one aspect of the Reproductive Health Bill we’ve been wanting to get across.

  225. I truly admire how you are dealing with this. I also admire how you acknowledge a person’s right to choose. Although you believe in one thing, you are not closed in to the fact that, ultimately, it’s the woman’s decision to make.

  226. I feel sorry for those people instead of saying a sorry or apology they still have tones to say that “THEY ARE JUST BLOGGERS”. Oh well, discriminating a person in other way. We do what we do best Blogging and please to the staff of the Senator Sotto do yours. Quoting a ones persons work doesn’t hurt.

  227. People of the philippines, you really need to vote wisely or your country will always be in a shithole. Stop voting for celebrities as they are there because they dont have careers in showbiz anymore and they only want exposure to revive their careers. In the end, you all lose.

    • i remember what my mom told me while we were waiting in line during the elections. She told me that she’s gonna vote for PNoy because she knew a lot of people voting for him. At that moment when she told me that, i want to shout at her for being so ignorant. I felt sad because i knew my mom wasn’t the only one doing this during the elections. I’m not sure if you already knew that this has happened before. During the elections wherein J. Ejercito won the presidency. He is also an actor here in the Phils. I think his status being an actor made him win the elections back then. so sad :(

    • As much as the people want to, at least based from those who took the time to give intelligent and worthwhile comments not just here but everywhere else in the WWW, these same people, and I’d like to think I may perhaps belong to this group, sadly we are but a minority. Most of the those who make up the majority of votes have not even reached college or perhaps high school. I am fortunate that my parents was able to give me proper education but many, and millions here are not. I am not belittling anyone, but as what Feanne keeps on reiterating on her comments, the level of poverty here is unbelievable-if we are to logically think how rich the Philippines is! Natural resources? Strategic country location? Admit it or not, but many foreign folks envy the potential our country could offer! We just cant go forward because we are dragged down by a minority of individuals who wants all of these for themselves. Shameful and sad that these politicians twist and can easily “persuade” these “market” for their own gain. It is very demoralizing when you come to realize that most politicians here live in vast contrast from those people who elected them.

      Although I realize that from the article Ms. Sarah had wrote, the topic had gone off very far from which the article intends, I had to press on that this topic had touched many, many aspects that cannot be ignored. By now, I’m sure Ms. Sarah had realized how passionate Filipinos can be when it comes to their, my country; how we live, what we for hope and aspirations. We have this innate pride that becomes both our positive and negative trait. Hats off to you Ms Sarah for taking this in, and being so cool under fire, yet positive and warm in acknowledging that one person ( or his staff for this matter ) do not share the same thinking and beliefs. Understanding the fact that one person shouldn’t embody everybody else, no matter if that person holds a public office.

      As what someone here commented earlier, unfortunately, Ms. Sarah, you will definitely become a part of this spectacle, and will be dragged on. Yet forgive me in saying this but, It is however, fortunate for us that it was you. Why? Two things: because for a non-Filipino to take stand against a behemoth authority for fighting rights and yet not take it against the rest of us. And second, I hope you do what should be right; because in this way you not only stand up for the twisting of information that Filipinos should know about but also in fighting plagiarism and standing for everybody in the world who blogs.

      Thank you for being in this vast space of the web and bless you Ms. Sarah


  228. Thank you very much for standing-up and letting people know your view about this piece of legislation. I’m not a lawyer nor a doctor all I know i that the bill is all about giving us a choice. We need to be responsible with our choices. Again, thank you for clarifiying this issue and please stand your ground the good senator might invoke your good nature just to clean his name. Please continue to support our struggle for freedom of choice Godspeed!

  229. Good day Sarah! Recently they admitted their fault. Nevermind Sotto, he’s just one of those “artist-politician” in the Philippines who is expert in reading “scripts” instead of making one themselves. :)

    Longlive and Godbless.

  230. Hi Sarah,
    These people commenting and giving you support belong to a very small group of Filipinos who actually know the meaning of the word ‘plagiarism’. The majority who voted for the senator I’m sure doesn’t understand the issue.
    The people here can’t accept the fact that plagiarism has long been part of our history. Media is blowing this up real good. Thanks to twitter, it served as a great tool to show the bandwagon effect typical for Filipinos.
    Don’t worry, we are experts in “ningas-kugon”.
    Stupid Pinoy.

  231. Sarah,

    I hope all is well! On behalf of the Filipino people i would like to apologize for the actions of our ignorant Senator. I totally agree that all people should have the right to choose and the right to have an option. Please do not think that all Filipinos way of thinking are like those of our misguided senator. He does not represent the entirety of the population. He is a passionate opposition, i give him that. But in no way do we the people condone his actions.

    I would also like to apologize for the poor way the “apology” comment posted by a numb skull attorney Villacorta. I guess birds of the same feather do flock together. If you are in our neck of the woods please feel free to visit our country. It’s more fun here in the Philippines!

    Respectfully Yours,
    David from Manila

  232. thank you sarah for taking time to respond to this. i apologize on behalf of the filipino people for the actions of our senator.

  233. Sarah,

    I am a Filipino, I have been watching the news and got intrigue by our senators speech,
    I have never imagined and with all honesty the first time I saw and heard something like this.
    The Word is “Verbatim”. He could have paraphrase it or simple since this is a fact use it as a source not claim it as his own.

    I am very sorry for my country that we have someone from high office who would do something like this and justify it by denying.

  234. ^ wow look at that compilation…what’s that supposed to do? Could you at least make a comment that you yourself wrote? It’s another copy-paste thing! Well ok, at least you cited your sources whoever they may be :p

  235. Thank you so much Mrs. Sarah Pope.
    We really admire you for that….God bless you & your family.

    Love from the Men,Women & Children of the Philippines…:)

  236. Sarah,
    Just want you to know that the people who exposed the plagiarism of Sen. Sotto also thinks you arebsome sort of crank which we all know is not the case. See here http://is.gd/3SI9hx
    As for me you just won a new reader. and do not mind Tito Sotto he is a big joke.

  237. Good day,

    Our country has a lot of intelligent people, we’re just being led by STUPID politicians.

    Thank you for the information on The Pill.

    Best regards,


  238. Atty. Villacorta,


  239. Atty. Villacorta and the whole staff of Sen. Sotto, including himself have insulted the thinking minds of the Filipino people by showcasing work that is twisted and plagiarized. Is this really how you perceive the intellect of your fellowmen? You think that by creating, for that ‘copying and pasting’ words, you can manipulate the Senate, the whole Philippines to believe that you are presenting well-researched evidence and proven argument that can perhaps, twist our minds to agree with your stupid claims? How very INSULTING that the whole staff of a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines underestimated the people’s ability to process facts and ideas that you dare feed us with your incompetent JUNK work.

  240. Destiny beckons. You did not expect this, Sarah, but you should be fully aware of the significance of this development. A nation of 100 million people is divided in a debate on RH. For 15 years now, the Philippines have been debating whether or not we should educate our people and provide services for reproductive health.

    Some 70% of our people want RH. But the Catholic bishops are adamantly against it. In Congress, Senator Sotto is the central figure in the opposition against RH. Critics to the senator has been arguing that he is using fallacies and that he is not credible, BUT the senator seems unstoppable in his harangues against the bill. Then you arrive — INTO the center-stage of our nation’s debate. I envy you. It seems that destiny appointed you to play a crucial role, without you willing or planning or even wanting it, in stopping the senator and cutting down his credibility. If this bill passes, your name and your blog enter into our nation’s history.

    I am not asking you to do anything, much less actively criticizing the senator. Your very blog, your very existence is already undermining him. Already, you have made the RH aspiration of this nation closer to reality. We are a 100 million people, you are one blogger; it is amazing how destiny willed that our paths will cross at this moment in our nation’s history.

    • Sotto is not just using fallacies. He’s also using misinformation, plagiarism, and melodramatic theatrics to brainwash the uneducated sectors of the Philippines.

  241. An action very unworthy of his elective post. And to insist he did not plagiarise even after caught red-handed? Shame on him for doing this misdeed.

  242. Oops! please excuse the errors in my subj-verb agreements and other spellings…I did not proof-read my comment before submitting (like who should be whom) as my browser is hanging. I wanted to edit but can’t. Thanks!

  243. As a Filipino, I deeply apologize for what he did. We would love for you to visit our country sometime. I can assure you that our people are better than our politicians (most of them).

  244. I am an avid fan of his TV show Eat Bulaga and his TV station GMA, but I didn’t like the way he quoted us. He mentioned that we’re just “mere bloggers”. Although some are saying that it was interpreted out of context, I can’t find any context that would support their claim. That was simply insensitive of Tito Sotto. Yeah, we’re just ordinary bloggers, but WE BRING CHANGE!

  245. I am Anti-RH, no thanks to Sen. Sotto. I am anti-RH not because of my Catholic beliefs. I am anti-RH because I believe that Filipino women needs COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE and not just reproductive health care. We are not just uteruses. I am anti-RH because hormonal contraceptives are harmful…this is not just a belief but backed by evidenced based studies that even WHO has published. Why should we expose the women of the lower classes of society to who this RH Bill is targeted to something with questionable safety and adverse reactions? This is not the answer to poverty and overpopulation. There are many provisions in the bill that is not ethical or moral like providing a budget to the DOH for initial implementation of this bill…a huge budget that can be used to address poverty, homelessness and lack of education in this country. The DOH has had thousands of chances to implement reproductive health, maternal health, adolescent and child health programs that they already have. But because of corruption, they always fail. Why should a huge chunk of our much needed taxes spend for artificial contraceptives that can easily be accessed and cheaply too. I disagree that it is expensive for the E market…the E market can buy Php10 to 20 for their cellphones at least 2x a week, they can buy cigarettes, sodas, chips, gamble in STL and Lotto…but they cannot buy PHP35-40 a month pills? or condoms? Where is the logic in that? The failure of government will not be solved by an RH Bill.

    • It is not the government’s responsibility to take care of our health, it is ours. Once the government stops subsidizing health care and once they open up the economy, the prices would go down and more people would be able to afford it.

      You have the right to live, and you have the right of ownership of your life, but you are not entitled to somebody else’s money and hard work.

      The RH bill would be a waste of money, and another method of coercion through taxes. It will be another exploitation of the poor, and a perversion of the idea behind it.

      • Actually, it is the government’s responsibility to take care of the people’s health. That’s why there are government-funded hospitals. That’s why there are governmentally coordinated emergency responses whenever there’s a natural disaster in the country. That’s why it wasn’t San Miguel Corp. or SM. Corp rushing to the aid of the flood victims these past few weeks. Get a clue, Andrew Ryan. You sound like a misinformed adolescent.

        • John, you have embraced the welfare system as if it is your right to have them. It is in this troubling notion that people become highly dependent on what their government can give them.

          You also fail to know, in the unfortunate event of a national disaster, that there were more help given by other organizations (Red Cross, Your broadcasting networks’ foundations, CDRC, etc. ) than the government itself. Although, i would not count out their efforts as the military also played a good role relocating the victims.

          The welfare system is broken. Abusing is easy for people with low morals yet many people seem to do this. Help will be given to those who are in need of it, but you cannot force everyone to be altruists.

          I would have you know that i am neither misinformed nor an adolescent.

          • free market is indeed ideal but only when ceteris paribus, that is everything else is equal. unfortunately in our society, everything else is far from equal. majority of filipinos do not have access to health care, moreso reproductive health care, because quality health care is priced too high or, even when they are reasonably priced, they do not just have the money to spend for them.

            though it doesn’t seem like it, governments are created for a purpose, that is to protect every citizen’s human right to life, liberty, and property. and its not just any other kind of life but a descent, quality, and healthy life. thus the internationally recognized right to health, which includes reproductive health. the hard-earned money you so unwillingly pay to the government is spent to cater to these rights.

            the rh bill promises to open up access to reproductive health options to everyone, the poor and the rich, including you, who appears to be someone who can afford health care. whether or not you avail of these options is up to you, but they will be very much available when you choose to.

            its not just for the women. its not just for the poor. ITS FOR EVERYONE. indeed, it has been stressed that it the bill will cater to these sectors BUT ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO DO NOT ALREADY HAVE ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE.

            the bill is far from setting up a welfare system for reproductive health care. the private options will still be there. but it will provide public, cheap options. and because there are cheaper options, which the populace will definitely prefer, the market will try to compete with this and the prices for reproductive health options will go down.

            being dependent on the government should not be distasteful BECAUSE THAT IS THE VERY PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT – to be depended on, especially on things we cannot provide for ourselves. the roads you travel on, the water you drink, so may things we enjoy are paid for out of everyone’s hard-earned money, including the poor, who may not pay taxes directly, but share the burden through indirect taxes.

            and if anyone thinks he is self-sufficient, he probably should go live somewhere else beyond the protective reaches of states, where he shall not be forced to pay taxes, if such place still exists.

          • raucousrobin,

            Such a place does not exist because taxes are necessary for the government to regulate the law. I do not deny the need for it.

            The government’s purpose is to regulate the law. That is their primary purpose. We depend on them to do their job and not for additional privileges. The welfare system is a privilege and not a right. The poor is not entitled to somebody else’s wealth just by being poor.

            You are correct that the private options will still be there, but because there will be a national provider for these products then that will eliminate the competition. There will be less investment in them which will lessen the number of products on the market and make them more expensive. Overtime, it will be difficult for the government to provide for the poor, much less for everyone. You will then be in a deeper problem than before.

            Moreover, it is monopoly in your country and low foreign investments that is raising the prices which makes it hard for the poor to get out of their current state. Eliminate this, repair your constitution and open the economy, then more people would be able to depend on themselves.

          • It is the government’s job to implement the law. But what are these laws for? it is for the protection and promotion of our human rights, which includes our right to health, which then includes our right to reproductive health. Health is not a privilege, but a human right.

            Again, the bill will not create a welfare system, Trust me, the demand for private options will still be there. Although the option will be there, the rich might not choose to avail them. The long lines might scare them. Secondly, given the scarcity of funding, the government will likely to provide only the most basic forms of contraception. So the market for extra-thin condoms and pills that give you also healthy skin will not be competed with by the government option.

            Btw, why are you so against the welfare system? UK, Canada, even Cuba have state-run welfare health systems. Looks like they’re running ok.

            Actually our country has a free market, especially on the medicines sector. And it hasn’t bode us well. Local pharma companies are either dead or struggling. If there is a monopoly, those are comprised by multinational/foreign pharma companies. Rather than boosting the economy, opening our market has done otherwise. Medicine prices are still high, beyond the reaches of the poor. This bill seeks to answer that problem.

          • raucousrobin,

            You have a right to take care of yourself, and your health for that matter. Having someone pay for your medical needs is an entitlement and a privilege.

            Even if the government (if they are smart enough) provides the most basic contraceptives to the people, production would need the same raw materials, and would still raise the prices as the demand grows.

            There are countries who adopted the welfare system, and is now paying for it. USA’s Obamacare and Medicaid is increasing the country’s debts. Europe is also currently in welfare state crisis. Canada’s welfare was disastrous and they’re minimizing it ever since. Britain could be next. Also, Cuba is a communist country.

            And i disagree. You have not opened your market. There is still the 40% ownership law in the 1987 constitution. The fact that your local pharmacies are dying is a statement to that. They buy from the same people. You should be aware that the country at almost all sectors is monopolized (MERALCO, SM, Ayala, Globe, etc.) even your president’s Hacienda is part of a monopoly.

          • Mr. Ryan,

            You made a claim that it is not the government’s responsibility to look after the health of its citizens. My post was meant to make clear that you are mistaken. One more example: there have been several instances where Filipinos have been imprisoned in China and were facing the death penalty. It was the Philippine government that tried to negotiate for their release and transfer back to the Philippines, not the Red Cross or a private corporation. To say that the health or well-being of the citizenry is not among the responsibilities of the government is false.

            It is besides the point if some private corporations pitched in to help Filipinos. This does not disprove my point.

          • John, you have absolutely taken my statement out of context and out of scope to prove your point. I’m afraid that we would just have to agree to disagree.

  246. You are the esteemed KARMA for the likes of Mr. Sotto and Mr. Villacorta stand for – pride, arrogance, apathy, and other traits that make them think they can get away from doing irresponsible and disrespectful things like this.

    The universe will always balance everything – we found your insightful blog while having an ally for what matters in our lives as women – the FREEDOM TO DECIDE FOR OUR OWN BODIES & SELF.

    Thank you Ms. Sarah

    Now a regular reader ;) specially on cancer & other important stuff in your blog ;)

  247. I love you for explicitly saying you would never condone taking the choice of using the pill away from others! However, I do hope your attorney successfully persuades you to sue.

    Sen.Sotto must NOT get away with what he did! That was way too easy! If nobody teaches him a lesson, he will likely do it over and over again to other people expecting to be exonerated in the end.

    Cheers, Sarah!

  248. If I may suggest, I think we should all read Malcolm Gladwell’s article regarding Plaigarism( a little bit long though) entitled “Something Borrowed”


    This is on the latter part of the article:

    “Creative property, Lessig reminds us, has many lives–the newspaper arrives at our door, it becomes part of the archive of human knowledge, then it wraps fish. And, by the time ideas pass into their third and fourth lives, we lose track of where they came from, and we lose control of where they are going. The final dishonesty of the plagiarism fundamentalists is to encourage us to pretend that these chains of influence and evolution do not exist, and that a writer’s words have a virgin birth and an eternal life. “

    • I’m a big fan of Lessig’s work, and I understand the importance of appropriation and inspiration as part of creative culture. However, Atty. Lessig himself emphasized the importance of giving credit to the creator. Furthermore, there’s a difference between paraphrasing and copying-and-pasting.

      • I totally agree. However, the article showed almost the same scenario here, the Senator used the writer’s words for his cause, he was wrong for not giving credit, and he had his apology.

        When I read Gladwell’s article I was confused at first then I realized we cannot really identify the absolute owner of a thought, and somehow plagiarism hinders us from expressing ourselves in more creative ways.

        I feel sorry for miss Sarah but I request my fellow Filipinos to focus on the more important issue at hand: the Reproductive Health Bill.

  249. ‏@HecklerForever
    BREAKING: Senator Tito Sotto is drafting a letter of apology soon. He’s just looking for a template online.
    Did Sotto & Co. really expect an American writer to NOT react to their condescending comments? They are even dumber than I thought.
    Blogger’s reply to Sotto: “A thief is a thief, Mr. Senator. Denying it doesn’t get you off the hook; it just makes you a lying thief.”
    So it’s SOTTO’S staff hu did the “LIFTING,” d copying, whatever they wanna call it. Pls check, baka naman STAFF lang ang anti-RH not Sotto.
    Dear Senator Sotto, “You’re nothing but a second-rate trying hard copy-paste!” > http://professionalheckler.wordpress.com
    Admission, apology, then the arrogance. LOL. RT @neeleshnowin3d: Sotto’s Chief of Staff admitting plagiarism. Disgusting.
    Filipinos can’t be fooled by high-sounding, smart-talking politicians. No more! People thirst for sincerity & truth. Tito Sotto has both.
    Such embarrassment! No matter how many try to uplift the status of Fils. a moronic action of one ruins them all! #Sotto #PambansangKahihiyan
    Yay a Senator/Plagiarizer

  250. You can argue all you want but using artificial contraception is a sin. If you’re a Catholic, ma konsensya ka naman. Sorry to hear about the plagiarism Ms. Sarah. He’s obviously not the smartest guy in town but he’s worth much more in God’s eyes for what he’s fighting for.

    • Alright, smartypants.

      Define why it is a sin.

      According to Catholic teachings, life beings at conception. Contraception prevents conception (as defined and agreed to by the Church, science and institutions). Therefore, how is it killing? How is it a sin?

      And for the record, the bill will NOT FORCE anyone to use these methods. They will simply make it, and the necessary education, available to our countrymen so that they may live better lives by making better decisions concerning their personal reproductive health.

      Lastly, you’re a Catholic, but are all Filipinos Catholic? Do Catholics have a monopoly on morality?

      PS: Do NOT shame our God by continuing to follow the edicts and advice of old men who have the mindset of a world 100 years ago. God gave you a wonderful brain of your own. USE IT.

      • One of the ways the pill works is to prevent implantation and so in this case, it is an abortifacient, since conception occurs before implantation. (Just to let you know.)

    • justtrollingaround August 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      The Philippines is not just for blind Catholics like you. You may hold a majority in numbers as compared to any other religion in the country but you are not the only people the government should serve. What makes you above everybody else? What you think is against your so called faith is not the same for the rest of us! Laws are supposed to be for the benefit of everyone, that is the very reason for the separation of church and state! And yes, I must agree with Kevin. Please stop using God and making it seem like you are better Christians. You are not God. In the end, I will only answer to my God and I know that my God would not close his doors for me because of my vote on this bill. My God’s love is unconditional.

    • Your views do not reflect my views. Why should I be forced to follow your point of view? Because you’re from a majority christian sect you get a free pass to tell everyone else to follow what your god supposedly wants?

      So I’m guessing you’re entirely submissive to your husband’s will (if you’re married)? You do not proclaim your prayers out loud for others to see? You do not judge, lest you be judged? You have given away all your belongings to others in need?

      I respect your views and allow you the choice to not use contraception as it is against your faith. But do not deny it to those who do not follow your views, for they are free to have that choice.

    • Lanie, even if it stemmed from the RH Bill debate, what we’re arguing about here is the wrong that Sotto did when he and his staff plagiarized. And he continually denies it. And then here comes his minion admitting to it, but then again makes absurd excuses, even insulting their unnamed source.

      You can argue all you want but plagiarizing is wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

      Okay, what about Sotto’s conscience working on admitting the wrong he did and making a proper apology? Catholic or not, as one of the nation’s leaders he should have a conscience.

      He should say sorry to Ms. Sarah for the plagiarism, and then to the Filipino for not being the proper public servant that he should be.

    • Hi Lanie, I’m Christian.

      As a Catholic, I assume you know the contents of the Bible. Where does it say that it is IMMORAL and against GOD’S WILL to use artificial contraception? Since the story of Onan’s ejaculation in Genesis in the Bible goes against those using natural “methods”, can you cite me a verse that goes against the artificial ways? Or are you assuming that that verse in Genesis also covers artificial methods?

      Far as I know, no verse in the Bible blatantly castigates the use of artificial contraceptive methods and thus the practice of artificial contraception is not against God’s will.

      I don’t look up to the Pope nor Vatican II nor CBCP as authorities so anything that say is invalid to me. I am Christian and pro-RH.

      So there, engage us please. Thank you.

  251. I am a Filipina but I strongly agree that what Sen. Tito Sotto’s staff did is plagiarism and that Mr.Villacorta’s reaction/message is not the best of what an esteemed attorney could have said, instead of showing modesty and regret. If this be sufficient, please let me apologize in my countrymen’s behalf. Thank you.

  252. Hi Sarah,

    I use contraception myself but am now seriously reconsidering it, based on what I’ve learned here. Still, like you, I think it’s highly personal and the choice to use the pill or not should not be taken away from a woman.

    Again, like many others here, please accept our humblest apologies for this unfortunate incident. I assure you there are many morally upright, intelligent people in this beautiful country of ours. You are more than welcome to visit us any time.



  253. Hi Sarah, On behalf of our stupid senator im humbly asking for your forgiveness. Please dont think that all Filipinos are like him and his staff.

    Anyway I was visiting your blog since yesterday when your name was all over the news in manila. I must say this is a good site. Its been two days since I started reading the contents of your blog and I’ve already learned a lot.

    Your number one fan

    PS. Most of us are on your side.

  254. “dear sarah;
    a blog is meant to be shared and we shared.” -Mr. Villacorta

    I honestly doubt that he is from the office of Senator Sotto. I’m giving this self-proclaimed lawyer the benefit of the doubt. I do hope he is NOT because if he really is, then I can say that I am totally disappointed. A true lawyer representing a public official who holds a high position in government can really do and write better than that. This Mr. Villacorta just proved how incompetent, mediocre and lazy Sen Sotto and his staff are when it comes to research in opposing the very beneficial RH Bill. I agree with command responsibility, as a leader you have to own up to your actions. Sen Sotto is NOT a 6th grader who needs to be defended by his parent or teacher. Take responsibility, face the consequences. Be a real man. There is no denying that Sen Sotto was so confident and proud to show to the world his emotional and conspiracy-based speeches finding out later that some parts were stolen from another person’s mind. It was an obvious gross negligence on the part of the good Senator. Sadly, he is not man and professional enough to own it himself. And adding to the sinking ship of him is this so-called lawyer who can’t even write better than his boss. By the way this lawyer wrote his ‘apology’ comment, I can be convinced that he is part of Sen Sotto’s staff.

    I can only shake my head.

    NJay Maldito
    Pro-Smart People (but willing to help and educate some not-so-smart-peeps too)

    • Pro-RH? Pro-Life? Really? It isn’t possible. You cannot be Pro RH and Pro Life at the same time. That is impossible and immoral. This is not only about conraception, it’s about forced sterilization and forced population control – read about the Chinese, who are forced to abort their children in the name of population control. Ask them if they like the RH bill when women are laying lifeless next to their 8month gestation, forced aborted children! This is not just about plagarism or thievery – this is about LIFE and the RH bill must be defeated!

      • Ignorance.

        The bill in no way endorses abortion. It reaffirms its illegality, actually.

        DO yourself a favor and educate yourself. The bill is free to view online. Read first before you embarrass yourself more.

        • Kevin, it is not ignorance, it is providence. When a country is infiltrated by the WHO and the UN trying to kill their babies through contraception, sterilization and abortion, they don’t come in with the entire truth, they come in the name of “choice” slowly and methodically. Instead of targeting the poor and their children, why dont they help the government feed these people and teach them to be self-sustaining? Do you know why? Because that isn’t their goal, their goal is to limit and control people of color. The WHO and the UN are constantly focused on Africa and the Philipines, where the people are naturally pro life and pro family. They know what they’re doing and they know how they’re doing it and if you want to talk about ignorance, try looking in the mirror – because either you’re ignorant of the goals of these ProAborts infiltrating moral countries or you are one of them and want to kill off people of color in the name of choice – neither is good!

          • It is not the job of the WHO or the UN to feed the poor- that would just be treating a symptom. They are trying to deal with the cause. The lack of family planning is the root of all of this. People need to be educated or else they would fall prey to the kind of paranoid idiocy that you are spouting. Where is your proof of this so-called conspiracy? You try to make choice sound like a bad thing- but it is not! The freedom to choose-FREE WILL- is one of God’s gifts to humanity.

          • RosalindaL

            Just curious, do you have a first hand experience of being in a very disadvantage situation? like not having something to eat before going to bed as well as the next day, when you wake up? can you feel the hardship of having to feed more than 5 children everyday?

            What the author of this blog and the most advocates of the RH Bill are trying to highlight is EDUCATION. When a person is educated about something s/he can make an INFORMED decision.

            have you been to a developed country? have you experienced the life they have?

            If you would take the effort to educate yourself, even just to experience the 2 worlds, you would appreciate this RH Bill information.

          • The UN and WHO are trying to kill our babies through contraception and sterilization? That’s quite a logical leap. Contraception by definition prevents conception, while sterilization makes it impossible to conceive. No conception, no birth, no baby. I believe life begins at fertilization and therefore abortion is tantamount to murder. However, I’m all for responsible parenthood. I don’t know how many babies have been killed by contraception and sterilization, if any, but I’m going out on a logical limb here and say a lot more babies and mothers have died from lack of information and access to contraception, and from poverty and negligence.

      • Please stop embarrassing yourself and READ the RH bill before you condemn it. There is nothing about FORCED sterilization or FORCED abortion. On the contrary, it is about giving adult women an INFORMED CHOICE. The RH bill is designed to combat the kind of ignorance and misinformation that you just displayed here now.

        • You are absolutely right, Free Will is a gift from God, but this bill does not promote free will. A law does not have to pass for the government to educate her people. The reason a law has to pass in this case is so the government can control her people! The RH bill is unnecessary and will be used against the people once it’s passed. And how convenient that it isn’t the JOB of the WHO or the UN to feed and educate people, but it IS their job to hand out contraception, sterilizations and abortions? Really? Give me a break!

          • Yes, because feeding and educating children is the job of the PARENTS. They are the ones who should take responsibility for their actions. Or are you advocating a free pass for people who do not PLAN and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their actions? As I said, the WHO and UN are trying to deal with the ROOT cause and not the symptom- because that is the best way to deal with the problem caused by parents who have children they can’t afford to feed and care for!

          • RosalindaL, maybe you can take a different stance in fighting against the RH Bill since throwing a wrench, which is morality and abortion issues, at the pro-RH people will not work. The RH Bill is redundant in the area of right to information since that is already part and parcel of the Magna Carta for Women. As always, the problem is with implementation.

            Many of the pro-RH people are banking on information dissemination to inform the “poor” of reproductive health. Even as an anti-RH, I agree to this since knowledge is and will always be a key to survival. Why am I against the RH bill then? I am against it since the funds of the Filipino people will be corrupted through the bill by such clauses that require the import of contraceptives to support the RH “law” implementation. Again, such clauses that require public organizations to push information to all women is available and just needs to be pushed more efficiently. Funds should be used for that instead.

      • justtrollingaround August 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

        Oh my, as I continue reading your comments, I am more and more convinced of how stupid you are. If you want to debate about the bill, go to a different forum where it is the topic. This post is about how your favorite senator stole someone else’s idea and deliberately omitted the credit. Anyone who went to school would know that this is unacceptable and yes I don’t expect you to understand. And oh, this is definitely about plagiarism. Now run along, self-righteous ignorant hypocrite.

      • Dear RosalindaL,

        I don’t get the point why you reacted that way on my comment signature as Pro-RH and Pro-Life when in fact my whole comment post has nothing to do with RH Bill itself. Really? as in for real? You want me to abide on how you view people who consider themselves as Pro-RH and at the same time Pro-Life? Please don’t go there. I am in no way under your authority.

        Your term use like forced sterilization and forced population control shows how misinformed and blinded you are. No, no ,no, I will not read about the Chinese and a big no no no again, I will not ask them because they are in no way related to the issues regarding reproductive health in our country.

        I won’t enter to the debate door that you just opened for one obvious reason that this is not the right blog site to do such.


        NJay Maldito
        Pro-Quality Life
        Pro-Smart People (but willing to help and educate some not-so-smart-peeps too like RosalindaL)

      • Yes, it’s possible.

        Being Pro-Life is not just about giving birth. It is also about making sure that the life which exists is given due respect and ensuring that life that is yet to be will do so under better conditions.

        Since you are obviously one of those who have not read the Bill yet, then I will give you some sample provisions and then you tell me if they are against Life.

        The State recognizes and guarantees the exercise of the universal basic human right to reproductive health by all persons, particularly of parents, couples and women, consistent with their religious convictions, cultural beliefs and the demands of responsible parenthood. Toward this end, there shall be no discrimination against any person on grounds of sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, political affiliation and ethnicity.

        SEC. 8. Maternal and Newborn Health Care in Crisis Situations
        The LGUs and the DOH shall ensure that a Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health, including maternal and neonatal health care kits and services as defined by the DOH, will be given proper attention in crisis situations such as disasters and humanitarian crises. MISP shall become part of all responses by national agencies at the onset of crisis and emergencies.

        Temporary facilities such as evacuation centers and refugee camps shall be equipped to respond to the special needs in the following situations: normal and complicated deliveries, pregnancy complications, miscarriage and post-abortion complications, spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs, and sexual and gender-based violence.

        SEC. 14. Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions
        All serious and life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers, obstetric complications, menopausal and post-menopausal related conditions shall be given the maximum benefits as provided by PhilHealth programs.

        SEC. 15. Mobile Health Care Service
        Each Congressional District may be provided with at least one (1) Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas. The MHCS shall deliver health care supplies and services to constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The purchase of the MHCS may be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each congressional district. The operation and maintenance of the MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers and adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audiovisual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by a focal city or municipality within a congressional district.

        SEC. 16. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education

        Age-appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and non-formal educational system starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School using life skills and other approaches.

        [of which some are]:

        -(a) Values formation;
        -(b) Knowledge and skills in self protection against discrimination, sexual violence and abuse, and teen pregnancy; (VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE YOUNG ONES)
        -(c) Physical, social and emotional changes in adolescents;
        -(d) Children’s and women’s rights;

        And so on….

        SEC. 20. Ideal Family Size
        The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall be imposed on parents having more than two children.

        [11 May, 2011, Complete Reproductive Health Bill Text, accessed from http://rhbill.org/about/rh-bill-text/

        So, YES. These are Pro-Life provisions. And in case you didn’t know: One, abortion is a no-no under the 1987 Constitution – something which I think still needs to be challenged, but I will not get into that here; Two, the scenario you outlined looks like more a product of cruelty than of willful abortion. FYI, as stated in Section 20, there will be no punitive action taken against those who have more than two children. The case in China is a form of punishment, something which I believe people here in the Phils, pro or anti RH, would be humane enough to protest. Hindi tayo t*nga or manhid. We know what the RH really says and it’s not about killing life as in the case you just mentioned. Kung umabot man sa punto na yun, un ay hindi na tama and we know enough to protest THAT – but not the entire RH Bill as it stands today, at this moment. THE RH Bill that is actually being debated upon here in Philippine soil. Read, read and read again. Enough said.

  255. Thank you for engaging the public on the issue in a very open and respectful way. We hope some of our clerical and political leaders who share your position against “the pill” would argue for their case like you do.


  256. Hi Sarah,

    At least we’ve learned about your blog. It’s really informative. :)

    As for the senator, you might need to consider changing your chief of staff if indeed he’s the one who just posted on your behalf.

  257. ahahahaha! I can’t stop laughing at you, “Atty.” Villacorta, or whoever you are! you’re making me roll on the floor. XD
    Are you really an attorney or just a troll? your message is so embarrassing. you’re trying to send apologies and yet, at the same time, you’re telling her off as if she’s the bad one and you’re not.

    Just apologize, man.

  258. Much of the Philippines are deeply ashamed of so much idiocy this Sotto and his office has been propagating. With that, we beg for so much apology regarding their actions AND their recent reply to you, Ms. Pope.

    This Sotto is not only a buffoon, but his own staff’s lack of humility for their apparent misconduct towards the very person they violated mirrors many things unflattering about this politician. Never have I been so much disgusted with lapse with ethics and intellectual honesty. Imagine, having been proven to commit a mistake, yet filled with such rancid audacity!

  259. Atty. Villacorta, you’ve just made the situation much worse. A simple apology would have suffice, but sadly, you opted to antagonize (more) the respectable blogger instead. Apparently, you do not know how to handle sensitive situations like this. Not something you would have expected from a COS. *facepalm*

    Sarah, thank you for all the information and insights regarding reproductive health. Your blog was and will always be a good read. Hope you keep it up.

  260. Hello Sarah, I really want to apologize in behalf of those people. Not only because they plagiarized your work, but because once they were found out and attempted to apologize, they ended up trying to make you look like the bad guy for (to use their words) “crucifying” our senator. I wanted to do this because, honestly, that apology I read did not sound sincere, it almost sounded sarcastic which is funny because the internet usually disables sarcasm. Those people are terrible because even after doing something bad, they couldn’t own up to it, they apologized with ignorance and insincerity and it disgusted me.

    Your blog is cool by the way, Fred.

  261. Sarah,

    We condemn his stupidity. Fellow bloggers do not promote plagiarism what more of a public official who’s indeed a model of character to his countrymen, the Filipinos, NOT!

  262. It really makes my heart sad that you still think the pill is a good “choice” and advocate for it Sarah. I think by now we all know it’s not. How many recalls and illness has to happen with birth control pills before women realize that it’s not the answer to planning pregnancy? That’s the real issue that no one, especially in the U.S. wants to address!

    • The Pill can be helpful to women in certain circumstances such as her health would be compromised by a pregnancy or she is finished having children. This issue is not black and white and I while I would not use The Pill myself, I would never exalt myself to a position to make that decision for another woman! Now THAT would be presumptuous as Senator Sotto is trying to do to the women of the Philippines.

      • I agree with you Sarah.

        I am against the pill as well but eveybody deserves a choice. What the pill carries are risks and the more we are aware, the better judgment we will have. Even chemotherapy has risks. But knowing all its dangers will allow a person either to take it or not. The effect is not the same on all people. For others it may be effective while for others it may not. The best way is to have all the information that we can get and this is what’s Sarah’s blog is all about. Information and choice.

    • Yes, there are possible complications to using the pill. However, it is not your place to deny adult women the right to be informed and to make a choice whether to use it or not. That is what Sarah is trying to say here. If you would stop being condescending for a moment, you would realize that you are trying to treat adults like children!

      Mabuhay Sarah! Thank you for this post. It is unfortunate that there are people who continue to be arrogant and try to rationalize their blatant dishonesty. You have shown far more class than our “esteemed” Senator.

    • Dear WAPF Mom,

      I understand your sorrow, but please also understand the difficult position of many of my fellow Filipinas. These women do not have the privilege of education and access that we do. Mothers are dying every day– in squalid, unacceptable conditions– due to childbirth or abortion complications. These stem from poverty (lack of access to healthcare) and ignorance (lack of education). We RH Bill advocates want to provide them with access to healthcare and education so that they can be empowered to make their own independent choices about their bodies and their families. Hormonal contraception is only one of many family planning options, and the RH Bill will provide the full range. The important thing is that everyone, especially marginalized women, should be empowered with the ability to make informed decisions.

      I don’t think Sarah is endorsing the pill as a “good choice”. Only acknowledging the desperate situation here in the Philippines, and the urgent need for reproductive health education.

      I would also like to ask you to understand that national-level policymaking can’t be based on Dr. Campbell-McBride’s work, since it’s a relatively young field in science. More research must be done. Established institutions such as the WHO are the preferred source of information for government decision-makers. Despite my agreement with most WAPF ideas, and my enthusiasm for sharing these on my blog, and my awareness of the limitations and failings of mainstream science– I can’t reasonably expect the public or the government to agree, without the support of established scientific institutions. So right now I’ll just support WAPF and ancestral health scientists in their hard work and research, and share my own personal experiences as much as I can.

      A Filipina and your fellow WAPF supporter

      • Feanne, where will the government get the money for it? They would get it from the people, even to those who would have none of it.

        Understand that some people don’t have a problem with the idea behind bill. The problem with it is that it’s going to be a bill. There’s no escape.

        If the duties of the RH Bill would somehow be transferred to a non-government organization funded by donations from the people who support this cause, then we would have solved the problem. Let’s take a look at Earth Hour for example. It suggests that it aims to help conserve the Earth’s depleting energy by having people turn off their electronics for at least an hour. This is voluntary. Imagine if Earth Hour was made into a bill.

        • Way to make a specious analogy. If you want to compare the RH bill’s implementation to anything, compare it to the Philippine public school system. Imagine if Philippine elementary schools were all privatized. Imagine if roads and hospitals were all privatized. Imagine if the police and military and urban maintenance were all privatized.

          Feel free to condemn tax-funded programs as devil’s work, but the rest of us who live in reality will recognize that they’re a fundamental part of any modern society. Making sure that the resources of the country is not depleted is not radical socialism; it’s an investment towards your country’s future.

          • If all of these were all privatized and your government fixed the constitution to open up your economy then your people would be able to afford them. True marketing competition would lower the prices. Your country’s resources, being monopolized by the same people, are exploited and thus your people are impoverished.

            I do not condemn tax-funded programs. Neither do i believe it’s the devil’s work (what brings you to assume this puzzles me). There is need for taxes in order for the government to regulate laws.

            What i don’t understand is why you have to involve the government for your RH needs. Certainly another organization would be capable of doing the same without coercing the people.

          • Andrew

            There used to be other organizations (NGOs) that provided assistance. However, LGUs decided that they don’t want those NGOs, and they kicked them out, removing the funding for any form of family planning (case in point Manila and Lim).

            This is why we want this enshrined in law. So that the local units will follow the rules and will not block the rights of all.

          • doesnotexist,

            Then ammend the bill, and remove the parts in which the government will be able to coerce tax payers of their money. There are favorable things written in the bill, and that is a fact.

            As i said, the idea behind it is not the problem. Fix the bill and more will support it.

        • Hi Andrew,

          I believe that for issues this large-scale and urgent, it’s part of the government’s job to step in and help with national-level policies.
          Earth Hour is a great cause and people should continue it– but we should also still push for legislation that supports sustainability. Same case with reproductive healthcare and education. The situation is urgent in my country, so I support the shared responsibility.
          I’m open to valid criticisms from those who oppose the RH Bill– these are healthy and necessary to improve the bill and ensure its proper implementation.
          Thanks for your thoughts!


        • I have no idea why people like you keep on harping about the taxes you’ll pay for these things. I’m a taxpayer, too. I don’t whine about how much I have to pay on other people’s behalf as long as it actually gets to them and not in someone else’s pockets.

          The purpose of tax is for equitable distribution of wealth. That means that it’s distributed according to where it’s needed, not whether everyone needs it or not. My goodness, if everyone thought like you then what’s the purpose of paying tax AT ALL? Someday, you’re going to need something that others don’t care about whether you get or not – but thanks to other people’s money, you will, anyway. And keep that in mind before you start proposing delegating the State’s responsibilities to NGOs or private entities.

          And Earth Hour? Might as well make it into a bill. At least that wouldn’t cause you – personally – money, just inconvenience. But FYI, a bill can be crafted so that it does not force people to do anything. That’s why there are provisions and that’s why it’s also debated upon.

          Anyway, what’s it to you? You’ve probably never given birth nor worked in the health sector or interacted with the people from depressed areas. If you have, you would have a better understanding of the OTHER provisions of this bill rather than just repeatedly harping on contraception, contraception and – oh yes, contraception.

          Dio mio. A lot of provisions in the RH are voluntary as well – such as whether you’ll use artificial or natural methods of family or planning OR whether you’ll even control your family at all. On the other hand, your tax will never be voluntary, whether the RH is passed or not AND you can be sure that corruption will continue happening. You can target that instead, because corruption is the problem and NOT the allocation/allotment of funds.

          • Nads,

            You have paid so much tax all your life that you have no idea what it is like to live in a country with low tax rate but still have high GDP. While I admire your altruism, you cannot force people to pay for somebody else’s privilege. This violates the laws of Liberty. Although, you can do so yourself along with others who would be willing to devote themselves for the welfare of other people.

            As i said before, I see the need for taxes. The government needs it to regulate and enforce the law. Your Bolshevik dream of what the purpose of tax is will lead your country to an increase in government spending and taxation which exacerbates the economy (see Obamacare). Also, entitlements such as free contraceptives are not within the scope of a State’s responsibility. Might as well give free lunch and drinks to everybody if it is.

            And contrary to what you think, i have good understanding of this bill, and by experience I also have a good understanding of your country and the government that runs it. I have repeatedly said that i have no problem with the idea behind the bill, or the other provisions that it offers for that matter. But that is why there are bills, for they needed to be carefully evaluated. Even if it proposes for a right outcome, it should have the right means.

    • If men had to go through the side-effects like women have had to in the name of pleasure, the pill would not exist – oH wait, that IS What happen!! When men were used in experiments and got sick, the studies were halted! But when the same thing happen to women, the studies were adjusted and so here we stand, continual guinea pigs at our own hands – AMEN, THAT is choice!!

      • Excuse me-male condoms can cause allergic reactions. Vasectomy has side effects as well. It’s a matter of choice. If you don’t like hormonal contraceptives then don’t use it. Community women in Payatas, Baseco and Smokey Mountains want it badly to somehow address their poverty and sufferings. Have you ever immersed and tried to talk to them and know their real needs of Filipino women?

      • Hey RosalindaL,

        I’m a fan of yours! Your grammar, choice of words, and position really cracks me up.

        Keep up the good work (amusing us, I mean).

        Meanwhile, I’ll fight for the passing of the RH bill, for for women’s rights, and for the good of the majority. Let US do the serious work, you be our clown.

      • Andrew,

        Just because I have paid high taxes all my life does not make me callous to how high it is. Please do not insult my sensitivity or intelligence on this matter. And last I checked, GDP was not a reliable indicator of wealth and what it actually does for a country’s citizen.

        No, do not patronize me with your “admiration” of my altruism. I do not believe in cuddling my fellowmen nor do I believe in helping my fellowmen unconditionally. I also do not believe in forcing anyone to expend resources on behalf of anyone’s advocacy.

        Bolshevik? Please. THAT is your word and your assumption. It may not be what I mean at all. Your example of Obamacare comes from a country which apparently has been raised to believe they are entitled to a lot of free things and free support.

        If you truly understood the situation in the Philippines, then you will know that rarely anyone here, except those from the upper crust of society, know what it’s like to be entitled to anything at all. We work hard, really hard for what we have and we don’t experience free education, free health care, insurance or anything of the sort. There is no welfare here.

        In the Philippines, many experience being turned out of hospitals even at the point of giving birth, dying or even if they are already in extreme pain simply because they don’t have the money to pay (sometimes, they are turned away simply because they don’t look like they have the money to pay). Public education is a nightmare for many. And that’s just a few examples.

        What I have trouble with, mostly, is you asking why involve the government in the RH at all. I don’t subscribe to the overpopulation premise of the RH as well but I believe that, given the situation here, a lot of people can get help with the funds that will be allocated for many of the beneficial provisions that are contained in the RH Bill. Amend it? YES. As well as amend many of the ways and practices which lead us to have a situation where resources are strained, not even because of depletion but because of abuse. But yes, the government needs to be involved in the people’s RH needs, as you put it, in many aspects. And if it means allocating funds from people’s taxes, then so be it. Because the allocation is not the issue – rather, it’s the stealing of funds that’s actually the biggest problem here.

    • Another WAPF Mom August 17, 2012 at 3:52 am

      I agree, my heart is sad as well. What will happen when these impoverished mothers have children with immense problems – autism, food allergies, etc? They will have a greater burden and they will end up mistrusting any kind of attempt at medical assistance. This proposal seems to be only a quick fix with possibly generations needed for healing. Do you really think they will be taught all of the potential side effects?

      A similar problem is whether it is charitable give terrible food to the hungry. Should those that are able donate vegetable oil and soy food or nothing at all? I remember Sarah’s post about throwing away the fast food as unfit for human consumption. I think a drug that can harm future generations, like food that causes underdeveloped future generations, are equally bad.

      I don’t know what the answer is here but promoting BCP seems all wrong and more harmful in the long course.

      When I worked as a public servant in the poorest parts of Washington Heights and Harlem, I saw so many girls with kids in their early (early!) teens. Women were grandmothers when most of the rest of this country’s women are mothers for the first time. A grandmother (who was usually single) raises those kids. This is the cycle, the culture, the way it is. There are endless “programs” there that do very little. The only effective thing I saw was direct involvement by someone who could connect on a personal level to someone in need.

      • I agree that it’s a tough question. I choose to support both short-term and long term solutions. Please remember that the RH Bill’s focus is education and access, not hormonal contraception.

        Here’s my own answer to the question of donating junk food.
        Given that the only options are really either fast food or nothing, I still think it’d be better to give junk food. I know it’s terribly unhealthy, but it’s still better than starvation. But if you give a starving person junk food today, at least you keep them from dying of starvation today, and maybe tomorrow they will have another chance for better food and a better life. Of course it is a tiny chance. But if you give them nothing at all, then they’ll die and they’ll have no chance at all. I choose the tiny chance over no chance.
        Of course, that’s a hypothetical situation wherein only those options are available. In real life that can still be the case in emergency relief operations, where there is a massive and urgent need for relief goods. Here in the Philippines we experienced it just a couple of weeks ago when we were hit by massive flooding, with over a million people displaced, and hundreds of thousands of people in evacuation centers. It was unavoidable that many relief packages included instant noodles. But would I rather throw those items away? No. The only thing I can do is encourage and support better options– like cooking meals and wrapping them in banana leaves. That was actually done by some, and it’s certainly a much better option. But not everyone will have the awareness and resources to do it. So again, the best way to go about it is education, especially by example.

        I believe that the RH Bill will be able to provide the education so urgently needed by many people in my country. And I believe that we must try to find a good balance between short-term and long-term solutions, especially in urgent situations.

        I hope this helps you understand my support for the RH Bill.

        Thanks for your thoughts!

        A Filipina and your fellow WAPF supporter

        • Another WAPF Mom August 17, 2012 at 4:37 am

          Thank you for a thoughtful reply and good for you for supporting better eating options. I hope to do the same with the soup supper my church runs, it is the longest running one in our city.

          I just hope that if the bill passes, all people get TRULY educated. (Unlike the “healthy eating” education of our day!)

          • Yes, I hope so too, and I have strong faith in the people leading the RH Bill movement. And it is certainly part of our responsibility as RH Bill advocates to remain vigilant in its implementation.

            More power to your soup supper! You’ll be happy to know that a local WAPF member was able to organize the production and distribution of real broth in one of the local municipalities, as relief aid for flood victims. Even though research is still underdeveloped in evolutionary health science, and we can’t really use it yet to influence national-level policies, we can still help out in our own small ways, sharing education and access to healthy food with people we can reach.

            Thank you also. :)

  263. Hello Sarah. I’m Spanky a long time friend of Sen. Sotto. I’m reaching out to you in behalf of Tito to apologize for the craziness this atrocious chain of events has caused. The actions of Tito’s staff ultimately reflects on him and, as your Pres. Harry Truman says, the buck stops here. But let me also thank you for helping deflate some intentional misinformation that the contraceptive lobby is attempting to foist upon my fellow Filipinos by saying that there is absolutely no harm from using The Pill. Your article has pierced the bubble somewhat to show the veil of misinformation that Tito and others like him in the minority of public opinion here trying to tell the facts. More power to you and your blog. Onwards and upwards!
    Spanky Rigor.

    • Why you? Tito Sotto really be the one to apologize. He should take the time to reach out to Sarah and make amends. It may have been his staff who knowingly stole Sarah’s words, but Sotto should take responsibility for it. No one else should be making the apologies for him.

    • Spammy/Spanky, you seem like a sensible man. This is probably one of the most reasonable comments I’ve heard about the plagiarism issue from someone affiliated with Sotto.

      Can you please, PLEASE tell Sotto to just own up to his (and his team’s mistakes) and apologize? His arrogance that he has done nothing wrong is just infuriating. Nobody expected him to be an expert on the issue — it’s understandable that he would draw ideas from other people. But there is a difference between incorporating other people’s ideas and findings in his speech and copying someone else’s intellectual property WORD FOR WORD without proper attribution then denying the theft. I don’t understand why he cannot understand that basic concept and has the balls to claim that he has done no wrong.

  264. Pingback: Sarah Pope’s Comment on Plagiarism against Senator Sotto « Chester2278's World of Blogs

  265. Pingback: Pinoy Senator Tito Sotto’s Plagiarized Speech Got the Attention of Blogger Sarah

  266. Hi Sarah,
    I really appreciate your post. I’m a staunch supporter of the bill and the pill, but I’m lucky not to have the complications. I know many people who have had health problems and have either been perscribed the pill or told to get off it immediately. Thank you for your stand. You have my e-mail if you ever decide to visit my beautiful country, do drop me a line.


    • Her stand?? Did you even understand her stand? She said that the pill may cause problems… buuut should not make it take the choice away from those who want to take it… that’s pretty lame.

      • You know, dihydrogen monoxide is detrimental to your health. Excess consumption can lead to dizziness, even death. Did you know that it has a 100% fatality rate?!

        Do your research. Understand the risks. Then decide if the risks are worth it for you. If it isn’t worth it for you, then don’t. But don’t take away the decision for someone else.

        • Godprey. If you didn’t know, dihydrogen monoxide is also something called H20…aka water.

          See? It’s nice to be educated sometimes.

          Like Sarah said, every drug–natural or not–has side effects depending on your genetics. Everyone will have a different reaction to different types of drugs. What if something was detrimental to my health and I needed the pill to survive? Oh, wait. Some people actually need to do that. You know…to survive (physically and financially–the medical bills!) and have the chance to conceive? Look up PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) or Endometriosis. Some women actually bleed so much during their cycle and need to be taken to the hospital. These are genetically induced. You don’t have a choice in that. I’m not sure if you can relate because I think you’re a man but if you’re a woman, have mercy on your future children.

        • *Facepalm.

          Haha…oh my, dihydrogen monoxide a.k.a H2O a.k.a water has a 100% fatality rate? Surely, you jest?

          Oh well, I’ve done my research. I’ve decided it’s best for me to keep taking this dihydrogen monoxide. Pretty sure I need it and wouldn’t want to miss my bath, anyway. ;)

      • Sarah’s point is not lame. As a nurse, I can assure you that most, if not all medical treatments and drugs have pros and cons. Many will die without a coronary artery bypass graft; however, the surgery, as do all surgeries, carries the risk of death. The patient should be given the right to make an educated decision. Another example, neonatologists use the drug indomethacin to close patent ductus arterioses in tiny NICU babies. The drug saves the patient the risks of a surgical procedure to repair the ductus; however, the drug carries the risk of intraventricular hemhorrage in the brain, which could have life-long consequences for the baby. Modern medicine is all about informed choices. Sarah realizes this!

        • Agree! All types of medication carry possible side effects, and the choices may be different for every person. Contraceptive pills come in different formulations and a doctor can help you determine which one is best for you, or if you should choose another method of contraception. For instance, my doctor prescribed a formulation which does not make me dizzy like my previous brand did, and does not affect lactation since I am still nursing my child. In any case, the fact that Sarah shared information about possible side effects of the pill is, I believe, a contribution to reproductive health education.

          As for the plagiarism issue, well, let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we? I used to work as a writer in the House of Representatives of the Philippines and this quality of work would have never been tolerated by our chief-of-staff.

  267. Attorney Villanueva, how did you even pass the bar- for heaven’s sake?! SERIOUSLY? I am so pissed with what you responded -when you said this is not about plagiarism, well this is all about integrity, everything is for that matter. I am so pissed because you don’t have any sense of morality. And because of that, it is better to say my last remarks in Filipino: Napakatanga mo.

  268. I suspect that there is more to this issue than meets the eye, especially for us online freelance writers. For all the speechwriters out there, there is this thing called Copyscape. Don’t be lazy. Spin manually and rewrite.

  269. Hello, Sarah.

    It’s funny people are reacting to the adjective “esteemed” you used to describe Sotto. I almost fell off my seat, too! LOL

    Don’t worry no Filipino in his right mind believes Sotto’s speech (and *sob*) was real anyway. Not to downplay plagiarism in this case (because yeah, it really is the highest form of intellectual dishonesty), but you should know that you need not ask for apologies to us Filipino women because you feel that somebody misquoted your work to suit his purpose. NOBODY BELIEVES THE CRAP HE SAID ON NATIONAL TV. He’s a comedian plain and simple. Sadly, we get to watch/hear this kind of political circus from time to time. We just have to bear with it. *super saaaad* Blah. There I said it.

    To Atty. Villacorta, please re-think the message you sent to Sarah. I think you may have said things way too rude, when you guys should be the ones asking for apologies. Chief of Staff, really?!? Galing mo naman magsulat. LOL

  270. Nice article. Straight to the point, concise, and with grace. It is important for women in the Philippines to have the RH bill because it will give them INFORMATION, which is power in itself. Give them the good and the bad, and let them decide.

    And do come to the Philippines. It’s a nice place to visit ^__^

  271. I prefer calling you Mr. Villacorta instead of Attorney Villacorta as you don’t deserve it. You can’t even start your sentence right! Note that you should always begin your sentence with a capital letter. It seemed like you are just texting a neighbor or a friend. Everything is in lower-case. Goodness!

    I see Robert Blair Carabueno in you, Mr. Villacorta. I just hope you will realize how democracy in social media works.

  272. nice blog… its simple… direct to the point.. STRONG ….. SCARY yet gentle .. and ending up with an attitude! nice nice nice! love this post!

  273. Rise to fame. :)
    Thanks for your blog.
    Education is needed but doesn’t have to be come a law. Education is not only what the rh bill contains.

  274. Hello! I would just like to reiterate that Tito Sotto is not an esteemed senator of the Philippines. I think it is safe to say that one of the reasons why he is still a senator is the lack of proper education and access to information that sadly affects most of our countrymen. With the help of technology and social media, we hope to see better results for next year’s elections. Thank you so much for your kind words about our country. Mabuhay! :)

  275. First and foremost, Atty. Villacorta, your capitalization is un-lawyer-like.

    Anyway, that is such a lame excuse, and for you to sound arrogant is just too much. Even if you were the ones who lifted the words, the Senator still used them in his speech delivered to the PUBLIC. Good job on proofreading (and citing) on his part, don’t you think?

    It was already your fault and you still have the guts to say such words in a bad tone. How could you?!

    And, to the author of this blog, sorry, but Atty. Villacorta and the Senator are not the best representations of the Filipino people. Please do excuse them for their inability to give gratitude to whom it’s due, and, of course, their ignorance, at that.

  276. Pingback: US blogger confirms that Sotto plagiarized her work | News from the Philippines and Around the World

  277. I have to disagree with the blogger on 2 points.

    1. That pills messes up gut flora.
    2. That the said senator is respectable. (he’s nothing more than a comedian who got popular by acting stupid, the way he conducts himself in the senate indicates that it is not an act) Likewise, he has shown a high level of ignorance and bigotry on various issues. Lastly, despite his moralistic stance, he has constantly been hounded by a past rape incident as well as allegations of coddling drug lords.

    • oh yeah. The rape incident issue. Tsk. I am an anti-RH and I am not happy that Sen. Sotto is our frontrunner in defending our stance.

    • the Pepsi Paloma rape issue primarily involved Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon. if it was all a publicity stunt or there was coercion involved, it was not cleared since there was an amicable settlement. The drug lords issue however is an exposive issue when unravelled.

  278. I’m terribly sorry that you were dragged into our crazy political debate. You’ve handled it with such grace. On behalf of reproductive health advocates and women of the Philippines, thank you. Mabuhay.

  279. Atty. Villacorta,

    You sir, are an embarrassment to our country. Had you done your job well to begin with, all this side story would not have happened. Sarah will not tell you this because she a very polite person. But your sir are very arrogant for making it seem like Sarah is making a huge deal about it. She is not, but you are. How arrogant of you to come to her site and chide her like she is a child not even bothering to capitalize the first letter in every sentence except to your name! You think mentioning your name and title will simply make people shudder and keep their mouths shut. Well, that only happens in the Philippines. Welcome to the world wide web!

    It is because of authorities like you that I am elated to be residing in America.

    Sarah, I truly apologize for this disrespectful response you got from an ‘authority’. I am confident that you will handle this matter very professionally, whichever route you might want to take. Best wishes to you!

    • Tito Sotto is never and will never be an esteemed senator . No Way. Tito Sotto is a mere comedian more famous as Tito Escalera of Iskul Bukol University and Tito sotto of Eat Bulaga.

      • Tito Sotto got it bad in this issue. I wish his staff just issued a formal apology to the source, in this case Ms. Pope.
        With regards to our current crop of senators, I think there are a lot more of them who could be considered with less esteem than Mr. Sotto:
        – a senator who evaded being prosecuted for murder by hiding out in other countries
        – a senator who was involved in two coup attempts by staging them in posh hotels
        – a senator who staged his own ambush in preparation for the declaration of Martial Law
        Senator Sotto’s voting record shows one who is deeply suspicious of foreign involvement in Philippine affairs:
        – votes vs GATT/WTO, US VFA

  280. i am atty hector a. villacorta. i am the chief of staff of senator tito sotto. i understand you felt slighted that your blog was not attributed to you which became part of the speech of the senator. let me say that after asking my staff, indeed, your blog was used but only in quoting also from the same book of dr. campbell- mcbride. we are both indebted to the book’s author but if you wish that you also be credited with the contents of the book, let this be your affirmation. i can do it and by this message, i am doing it. hope it satisfies you. but if it does not, what would you want us to do? what have we done to deserve your incriminating words. the senator did not lift it himself, we did. did you want us to tell him to admit what he did not do? who would you like to crucify for this oversight? all the unborn wants very much the right to be born and they need everybody’s help, including yours. remember, rizal was the seventh child of 11 children of teodora alonso and francisco mercado. be on our side. please, and don’t deflect the debate to this matter of plagiarism. it is so out of sync in this great debate. join us in the side of life and truth. forgive us our single trespass. we had no malice, we thought you would be happy about it. there was no injury. hope this makes you feel better. warm regards.

    Atty. Hector A. Villacorta
    Chief of Staff
    Office of Senator Sotto

    • *facepalm*

      i hope you are not really sen. sotto’s chief of staff. this is a lame excuse for plagiarism. i hope the author takes legal action against you for being arrogant when you should be humble. where does the buck stop???

    • I don’t like the fact that my blog was used without my permission against the education of the women of the Philippines and their reproductive rights. That is the issue and it was indeed plagiarism. If his staff did it, he condoned it. He is responsible for your actions. My BLOG was quoted, not Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I put her work in my own words and you copied my words.

      A woman needs to know that the Pill can indeed harm her but this is NO REASON to take away this choice from her in the first place.

      I do not agree with Senator Sotto’s position on this issue and he twisted the message of my blog to suit his own purposes against the women of the Philippines.

      No, your lame comment does not make me “feel” any better.

      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist August 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

        Women of the Philippines: I am sorry my blog was used and twisted against you. You deserve the choice to use The Pill if you want or need to based on your particular circumstances. While I want you to know that this choice has health consequences, I in no way would ever condone taking this choice away from you!

          • totally agree… information.. the power and the weakest part of the internet.. I guess they did not see that someone will notice it if they use a blogger’s post..

          • You didn’t share it. You stole it. If you had shared it, you would have cited the source. Instead, you stole it and tried to pass off the contents as your own.

          • Are you really a lawyer? Because in spite of the title that you put before your name, it seems that you’re having great difficulty grasping the very simple point of this whole issue.

            The issue here is that your boss committed plagiarism by failing to cite the source of the words that he used in his speech not to mention that he twisted it for his own twisted ends.

            My advice for you is that you and the whole staff of Sotto resign and take the fall for your boss. Senator Sotto, for his stupid and vehement stance against the Reproductive Health Bill alone is slowly becoming the laughingstock of the country. And now this equally stupid gaffe.

            Maawa kayo sa boss niyo na sobrang nagmumukhang tanga na.

            ps. And for Christ’s sake you shouldn’t have posted here in the comments section. You should have contacted the owner of this blog privately and offered your profuse apologies. Which really makes me wonder how ended up being an attorney and a chief of staff for a senator. Ang tanga mo eh.

          • A book is also meant to be shared, so is an academic paper, medical journal, etc. But you still have to acknowledge the author of that book or paper if you are going to use his or her idea, much more if you are going to quote from them directly.

            Then again, what can you expect from a senator who criticized musicians for double meaning songs, conveniently forgetting the fact that his comedy group became popular as a result of naughty double entendre songs.

            Esteemed, he is definitely not.

          • wow. you have the audacity to reply back with those words? why not just say, “yes, i agree with you and we sincerely apologize for not giving you the credit.”? is that hard to say? yes, a blog is meant to be shared, but you also need to give credit to whom credit is due. geez

          • Are you really a lawyer? From what university did you graduate from? It seems you do not even understand the basic tenets of intellectual honesty. There is no hope for this country if all lawyers think like you.


          • Dear MR. Villacorta,
            You are absolutely right. A blog is meant to be shared. Problem is you did not share it. You stole it. Your boss even twisted the arguments of the blog and used it to support his position. You are wrong plain and simple.

          • You didn’t share it; you PLAGIARIZED it.

            The only reason you admitted it came from Sarah’s blog was because you got CAUGHT.

            And to add insult to injury, now you and your boss are BELITTLING the source you stole from.

            If you want to truly make amends, then I suggest you actually learn some ethics, grow a backbone and unequivocally apologize instead of trying to pass off poor excuses for your dishonesty. Remember that this ultimately reflects on your boss and not just you and his other staff.

          • Wag kang pilosopo.

            If your intention was to “share” it, you would have attributed the relevant parts of Sen. Sotto’s speech accordingly. You would have cited the blog and given a link to the post you lifted. But you didn’t. Had the Filipino Freethinkers not discovered your plagiarism, you would have continued to pretend it was a completely original speech.

            What a poor reflection of a Filipino. What a poor reflection of a chief of staff.

            At this point, the only thing that could have redeemed you was a sincere apology, but you’ve shown how your terrible excuse for writing skills couldn’t even manage that.

          • This Senator comedian and his staff obviously doesn’t know what a blog is. Like his view on RH, it’s totally backwards.

          • What audacity you got here, Atty. Villacorta. For a while I thought Sen. Sotto’s staff is his Eat Bulaga’s staff.

          • Mr villacorta, sharing requires citing your sources. You are right, everybody can share whatever are on blogs. Actually, you can quote anything you have ever read or heard (blogs, books, stories, movies, etc). You just need to acknowledge where you quoted them from. Understand that while you used the same book as a source, Sarah actually used her own words (which required some work) rather than lifting paragraphs word for word (which you did). Do you know why inspirational quotes always tell you from whom the quote came from? It’s to acknowledge the thinking done by that person who originated the quote. If you don’t do that, you would be taking their work as your own. Hence, it’s stealing/plagiarism. Are inspirational quotes copyrighted? No? But we always acknowledge the source don’t we? Mr atty, you obviously have no grasp of intellectual property. Sad.

          • I’m sorry Atty but you didn’t shared it,,you stole it and twisted the blogger’s arguments. You’re a lawyer and you should have known that re-stating or copying someone’s work without proper attribution is illegal. Can’t believe you still have the nerves to justify your illegal act! How arrogant! so shameful..You’re so lucky Sarah didn’t sue you for that…Lesson learned: don’t belittle a blog post.

          • lezel: if you were really a lawyer you shouldn’t have posted that message here in the first place. you should have at least sent her a private message. It seems like you were doing this to draw attention to yourself…

            yes true, it wasn’t the senator that wrote the speech (that’s for sure) however that doesn’t absolve him of what has happened. Just as sarah said, he still condoned it. Used it as a way to get into the spotlight, to make his name and his CHOICE known. The thing is in the end since you have confirmed that this blog was used as a reference, then it sho