On Plagiarism, The Pill, and Presumptuousness

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist August 16, 2012

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 (870)

    • I read esteemed senator and almost choked on my cornflakes. Feanne below is right by the way. The RH has nothing to do with promoting birth control pills. It’s about the right to health education, something Sotto has proven that our country desperately needs.

        • Classy. We would all do well to follow your example. I think the best defense against dogmatism is education and this incident served the purpose of leading more people to your very insightful and informative blog.

        • You’re not being disrespectful by lashing out the word “THIEF”..that;s just too heavy a word to say for something done as if the senator committed a crime. Do not be TOO RIGHTEOUS even though your name is POPE.

          • The blogger was disrespected first, and SOTTO is not just a THIEF, he’s a LIAR, BASTARD, IGNORANT, A**HOLE, F*CKFACE!

            Haha you’re dead SOTTO!

          • You are as classic as Moose.
            Your comment is completely dull. Plagiarism is stealing someone’s work, idea pretending it’s your own when it’s not, specially without asking permission and not citing it.

        • This is absolutely embarrassing. This “senator” must learn that Not everything on the Internet is free. Copyright laws were here ever since. Plagiarism has been always a bad practice if not a crime. People share their opinion and thought for others to benefit as far as freedom of speech, but as a lawmaker you should be one of those people who would rather advocate for taking responsibility alongside your freedom. Sadly, you manifest the ugly face of our political system by not being humble enough to accept your faults but use your power to try make the wrong right! Shame on you.
          PS. …and copy pasting an entire paragraph(s) without even referencing is a work of an idiot.

      • I understand the need for sex education..let it be as it is..we need not have a law or the Tax payers to finance it…It logical to have sex education being in our schools and the contraceptive education be in 18 years and above and also before getting married. I am also looking at a survey of the street children in Metro Manila and they have rejected the fact of using contraceptives ,,a fact that would burn the RH Bill itself…For these people to have somebody who love them back is ac accomplishment and to have real sex in a luxury..I do not think it will be right for the government to sit in the middle of this… I have two Girls in my life..my wife and my child just 7 years old…i hope their future will be safe..

      • The issue is “Are you in favor of R.H. bill irregardless whether Senator Tito Sotto’s copying of ideas translated into Tagalog?” What Sen. Tito Sotto had said is right.RH bill is not a solution to poverty and corruption in Philippines. RH bill will only benefit the U.S. pharmaceutical drug companies. RH bill is an escape goat reason of Philippine government as if it is doing something for the welfare of Filipinos . What the Filipinos needed from its government are that the Philippine government must produce good jobs with benefits for its citizenry and the Philippine government must provide good K-8 education with free internet technology based online education reducing the amount of years we spent in ELEMENTARY study from 6 years to 4 years only. Filipinos are brilliant multi races.

        • Pedro, Pedro, hey Pedro, you’re out of order. We are discussing about plagiarism that Sotto committed..the RH bill is set aside for the meantime.

    • i wanted to say this, but francis secor beat me to it. :) thank you sarah. i hope when you do get to the philippines you will see how wonderful it is, despite the apparent idiocy of some of our public figures.

      • It just amuses me how many people choked on the word ESTEEMED! :)

        And yes I agree with all of them. Sotto is just a comedian in the senate. Nobody believes his crocodile tears.

        • I’m from the Philippines and like many others from here who have already read this blog post, I too almost coughed up my coffee and my cereal bar when I read the word “esteemed”. Haha!

          I never voted for Senator Sotto and despite his title as a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, many still only accord him the respect that comes with being just a showbiz comedian and slapstick game show host. Ironically, it is his showbiz past that has made him a Senator since election time in this country can be compared to an American Idol season wherein the most popular and not necessarily the most talented wins.

          Thank you Sarah for being firm against this blatant act by no less than an elected Senator who is trying to wash his hands of this shameful and embarrassing act. He can’t even own up to this mistake that he and his staff are equally responsible for. I do commend him though for the wonderful acting job of crying! Haha!

          • Sotto even have the nerves to say “sue me”. I really hope somebody does! According to his chief of staff it’s not even plagiarism since it is found in a public domain (I guess he’s referring to the internet). Duh!? Is this guy really a lawyer?

            Every time I hear the word “Honorable Senator” makes me want to puke.

      • WTF! why would you even go there. There are other things to do the senator is right why would he quote a blogger. it’s not even her own too. it gave her publicity and she should have left it at that.

        • Hey Idiot…stay out of the net because you are one of them who know nothing about how serious it is to plagiarize. It is a very shameful thing to do. I hope you understand. Haven’t you seen how a lot have reacted even the more educated pro RH Bill crowd admit that it is wrong. If you don’t have the brains, at least you have eyes…!!!!

    • Here’s the thing, Sotto and most of the politicians in the PI are from that special breed of douchebag that think themselves above everyone else. What they’re essentially saying is that it’s ok for a girl as young as 14 to give birth to as many babies as they want and that being educated regarding safe sex, stds, and having a safe birth are “against catholic church doctrine”.

      Most of these women are at and below the poverty line. They can barely afford to feed themselves much less their children. Sotto lives in a lavish mansion surrounded by equally rich neighbors. These women don’t exist to them until election year when they show up en masse to buy their votes with a small sack of rice with their picture printed on it. They create a dire situation then use it to get a vote.

      Please, sue Sotto. Give these women a voice they have long been denied. Show them that people like Sotto cannot and should not be allowed to behave like spoiled children and play with their lives. Give them hope.

    • kung kutyain natin yong senador NATIN para namang ang sama sama na. stick to the point lang tayo….ano na ba ang nagawa nang mga blogger na ito sa ating bansa….crab mentality nga naman oh…sino ba tayo para mag malinis…..tayong mga Pilipino ang lumalabas na nakakahiya dito….binabanatan natin yong taong napahiya na nga….he doesnt deserve this much negative publicity….nakalimutan na nga natin ang mga ginawa ni ERAP….mga pang aabuso ni MARCOS nakalimutan na natin….yong SENADOR NATIN na dio naman siguro kasingsama ng mga nauna kong sinabi ay binabalatan natin…..patay na patay kayo kay sarah pope eh wala namang pakialam sa atin yan, mamatay man tayo lahat…

      • That’s precisely the point! If we stick to it. You are right that Ms. Pope doesn’t have to do anything with the issue with our country as per discussion or debate with the RH Bill. So why in the hell did Sotto used her work to be used in the Philippines in the first place. SO SI SOTTO ANG NAKIALAM AT HINDI SI MS. POPE.

        Ang sinasagot nya ay hindi ang isyu ng RH Bill kungdi yung isyu ng PAGNAKAW ni sotto sa trabaho nya.

        • ano ba ang ba ang ninakaw na kini claim ni pope iyong idea ni mcbride na kinopya din niya? ikaw ang mag isip erwin. ibig mong sabihin kapag nag blog si pope tungkol sa theory of evolution ni darwin eh kanya na ang kredito? hindi ba kapag nag speech ang kahit sinong tao at binanggit ang theroy ni darwin si pope ba ang dapat i-acknowledge? paki sagot mo muna bago mo akusahan ang kababayan mo nang pagnanakaw ng idea.

        • “trabaho” ni Ms. Sara? ano bang trabaho niya ang sinasabi mo dito Erwin? Ang pag-plagiarized niya (Sara) sa TRABAHO ni DR. Campbell-McBride? Hindi naman si Saraang may ari nung impormasyon na yun kundi si Dr. Campbell McBride, Paano nanakawin sa kanya yun? NAIINTINDIHAN MO BA KUNG SINO ANG TUNAY NA NAGNANAKAW DITO NG TRABAHO NG MAY TRABAHO? Stupid!!!

        • i agree with choy batski. crab mentality nga naman. masyadong pinalaki tong walang ka kwenta kwentang bagay. imbes na problemahin yung mga walang hiyang politiko na wala naman naitutulong sa sambayanan inuuna pa to.

          erwin wag ka na nga magingles dinugo ilong ko sa kakatry i figure out kung ano ibig sabihin mo. pareho ka sa mga pinoy dito sa US na nagpipilit mag ingles – pa kool nga ba.

      • choy, sen sotto deserves all the negative publicity because he brought it on himself. he did a wrong thing, denied it and then wants to get away with it. is this the kind of politician we want to lead our country out of poverty? even more than the plagiarism, he used the opinion of someone else to promote his own twisted agenda.

        dapat malaman ito ng lahat ng pilipino at hindi pagtakpan. kung pabayaan natin ang maga lider na ganito, talagang hindi tayo uunlad. it has nothing to do with siding with sarah pope on this, napakababaw ng sinabi mong “patay na patay kay sarah pope”. mag-isip ka naman ng masmalalim.

      • Hi Choy Batski, hindi naman sa kinukutya ng mga kapwa natin Pilipino si Senator Sotto. Personally, I am against his and his party’s demeanor after Pope claimed what’s hers and he threw an insult instead of an apology. Had Sotto been humble, admitted his mistake and apologized then all these trends would have ended.
        You’re right, Pope has nothing to do with any issues in our country. But this is not about the RH Bill. This is about plagiarism. I understand you are defending the senator because isa ka din Pilipino. I admire you for that.
        Also, agreeing with this American blogger that she has to fight for her intellectual property is not crab mentality. :)

        • I think guys/gals you are all forgetting to speak as much as possible in English (please)? You are all not in a Filipino’s blog but to a non-Filipino’s website, so do speak in English so everybody could understand what you are all saying. And try to refute each other without resorting to expletives.

          Do forgive my fellowmen, Sarah. Sometimes emotions get ahead of them instead of using their brains.

          • In truth some of them are doing it intentionally so they can make snarky, passive aggressive comments, and not get caught by the owner of the blog.

            This is a common tactic in the PI. Post something in tagalog that won’t be understood by the person you’re talking about. Pinoys are brave when they feel they won’t be caught (take Sotto for example). They only apologize and tuck tail between legs when caught and forced to face their mistakes. If not, they’re strutting around like they’re a VIP of some sort.

        • in more ways than one , the senator committed a mistake. when he denied plagiarizing an american blogger’s work, technically, he was correct because it wasnt him who made that speech, twas his aide, but all the same, he condoned to it somehow.let us stop there. isnt it selfish for a blogger to insist on public apology instead on looking at it on a wider perspective, on how the message was magnified to affect critical insights.
          pero gusto ko pa rin magsalita sa tagalog kasi hindi naman pasikatan to eh, di naman kailangan na maintidihan ako ng mga katulad ni POPE, di naman ako kulang sa pansin at di ako hihingi ng apology dahil doon.pero siguro nga tama siya, pero wag naman na nilalait natin yong tao, napahiya na nga eh.ganito na lang; tingnan na lang natin kong masama ba o mabuti ang mensahe ng speech niya. kung nakabuti, pasalamatan natin si POPE kahit di na si TITO SEN. ayos ba yon….

      • Eh ikaw pala yong lumiko sa usapan CHOY eh. We are talking about how Mr. Sotto plagiarized the blog of Miss Sarah tapos umabot ka na kay Erap at Marcos? Huh?

        This is why plagiarism is worst. Mr. Sotto who happened to be a Senator in the Phils, misquoted on what Sarah is trying to say in her post. He misled us in not using contraceptive pills because according to him, will affect the child and even the grandchildren. Choy, how will the Philippines grow economically if we still stick to traditional religions and beliefs that promote to this people not in favor of RH bill. This must have been executed long time ago given that Filipinos are mostly educated. Surely, this will help alleviate the problems and the worst economic situation in the Phils.

      • Oh man, crab mentality daw oh ang pagbanat sa isang plagiarist & nuknukan ng sinungaling! Kung kukunsinthihin ang ganitong nakakahiyang gawain (plagiarism), anong klaseng tao o bansa tayo? Tayo ba talaga lipi ng mga walanghiya at magnanakaw di lang ng pondo ng gobyerno pati ideya o akda ng iba? How low can we get, really, to condone such despicable shameful acts. No wonder that we have people like SC Asso. Justice del Castillo and Tito Sotto, “honorable?” they are supposed to be. Dapat nga sa mga taong tulad nila hagupitin ng husto para matauhan. Sa tutuo lang, ang bansang Pinas hindi natatawa sa punch line ni Sotto na wala raw plagiarism dahil halaw sa isang blog “lamang”.

      • Oo, tama ka, crab mentality! Pero ikinumpara mo kay ERAP? Kay MARCOS? Ibig sabihin ibinababa mo rin si ERAP! Pati si MARCOS! Baka ikaw ang nakakalimot ng iba nilang ginawa na nakapagpabuti sa ating bansa! Kung maka-kutya ka, parang yung komento mo, hindi rin “one-sided”! Tandaan mo mga ito, ha: Kay MARCOS, ang exchange rate ay $1=P7, mababa ang presyo ng langis; Kay ERAP naitaguyod ang Phil. Carabao Center, bukod dun, madami tayong sanda-mukal na ERAP JOKES! Pinoy din mga yun, a! Saka, let’s face it! PILIPINO TAYO! Nasa kultura din nating humingi ng paumanhin kapag may nangyaring mali, kahit na hindi tayo ang nauna! FILIPINO COURTESY, sa madaling sabi! Hindi ba’t yun ang totoong essence ng isang TOTOONG PILIPINO? Nawawala na ba talaga ang mga kaugaliang tulad ng ganito? Blogger? Madaming naitutulong ang mga yan! Kailangan lang natin silang makita in a different prospective! May ilang BLOGS na nagco-contribute sa mga research, kadalasan nga lang, hindi sila nabibigyang halaga! BLOGS are ONLINE BOOKS/JOURNALS!

  1. Thank you Sarah for taking the time to respond to this issue.

    While I have my own reservations on the safety of hormonal contraception, I wish to emphasize the fact that the RH Bill is not about promoting hormonal contraception. It’s about giving everyone the chance to be educated, and to have access, to adequate reproductive healthcare and education. I also wish to emphasize that this access is direly needed in a country where so many people are living below the poverty line, and are hard-pressed to even feed themselves at all.

    I agree with you that we need to educate people regarding their food and pharma choices. In fact, it puzzles me as to how Mr. Sotto could miss the fact that his case actually highlights the need for more education.

    • Excuse me but I would have to point out an omission that in the Philippines, we already have that freedom to choose contraceptives. Any drug store will fill a prescription of OCP’s and you can walk into any 7-11 convenience store to get condoms. Nope this Bill is a foreign funded lobby to institutionalize contraception and to control the population of the poor who are considered by this government as a burden to it’s social security coffers.

        • what we fail to focus on is the fact that this bill will also be our country’s declaration as a state policy that we need RH education, among others. it does not merely put into legislation the use of condoms. this can be the basis of succeeding laws that will promote women’s rights and the family.its not just about pills, and condoms. it is also about us putting into official words the need to help and educate the citizenry regarding reproductive health

          • Women’s rights and access to info on family planning are in fact in a law already. Please do a research and read the Magna Carta for Women and you can see that most of the provisions of RH Bill are already there, it just needs to be implemented. We also have Anti AIDS law already. So actually, the only thing unique about RH Bill is the promotion and distribution of contraceptives to the poor because they do not have money to buy them.

          • Sect 13 number 3 of the said Magna Carta specifically provides for one of the aspects of the RH Bill. yes i have done my research Maam. And no where in the RH BIll version of either house does it say that people will be FORCED to use a specific or if at all any contraceptive. what the bill aims to do is to provide an OPTION that is sanctioned by the Gov’t. It did not say that anyone who does not accept such options will be prejudiced. If you want to follow the CBCP in saying that this option should not be taken, then don’t. You are not forced to. So, I really do not understand why you want to stop an enabling law that SUPPORTS a declared and existing policy when it is not commanding and neither is it obligatory.

          • Hey, being an anti-RH Bill does not necessarily mean being anti-contraceptives as well. I am actually pro for all the contents of the RH Bill BUT I think that creating another bill is unnecessary because most of the provisions of RH Bill are already in a law that includes education in reproductive health.
            Proper and strict implementation is what we need. Family planning is actually in a law already, but why are they saying we are still overpopulated? Passing a law is not the mere solution. Passing and implementation are.
            They can’t implement the existing laws properly, they can pass RH Bill but we have no assurance that it will not suffer the same.

          • Enigma:
            The Magna Carta for Women is a general law, being that yknow, ‘Magna Carta’ literally means ‘Great Charter.’ It actually provides that specific laws such as the RH Bill be legislated in order to address specific needs of women. When you say that we just need to properly implement it, passing the RH Bill is one of the ways by which the Magna Carta is implemented. It is not redundant nor is it a separate bill that provides for existing laws – it makes it more specific and thus strengthens it. Also, the RH Bill provides for reproductive health needs of men that the Magna Carta doesn’t address, such as condoms (yes we forget men are usually the ones who wear them) and vasectomies if they so wish. So really, the argument that Magna Carta exists therefore RH Bill is not necessary is not valid.

          • Implementing means putting a law into practical effect or actually carrying it out, not to create another bill out of an existing bill. As I said, they can pass the RH Bill and then what? What I am actually trying to point out is that we have existing laws that are lacking of proper and strict execution. Magna Carta of Women was supposed to lessen the statistics of dying mothers/babies due to maternal problems but it didn’t. That is why I think we do not need another law, what we need is to amend the existing laws (correcting loopholes, if there are any; adding provisions that it lacks) and implement.
            Actually, if the RH Bill is passed and the problems still persist, they could create another bill out of RH Bill and the story goes on…

          • Get the title right! August 17, 2012 at 4:19 am

            Enigma: You keep citing the Magna Carta but you can’t even get its title right. It’s the Magna Carta OF Women, not the Magna Carta FOR Women. That law was made by women through their own initiative. It was not made FOR them.

          • I actually corrected it already with my last comment. Please read before you point something out. Also, the bill was supported mostly by women (for obvious reasons) but there were male authors of the said bill that’s why you were wrong when you said that that law was made by women and not for women because it is a law FOR women. You just based these claims on the title’s usage of “OF” instead of “FOR”. But anyway, initially citing the title wrong does not make my point wrong. Likewise, pointing the error of others does not make your arguments right.

      • So you subscribe to his delusions then?

        I am of the female persuasion and I live in the Philippines. Until I was 25(ish), I didn’t know of my options for contraception. I haven’t heard of anything at all at that time – it was not discussed during any of my high school sex ed classes. The only thing discussed there was condom use. And high school being high school, the condom was shortly made into a balloon.

        You know how I heard about contraception? The Trust Family Program commercials. That showed me that hey, there’s these things called contraceptive pills that I could take if in case I get sexually active and did not want to get pregnant! And the outcry from all the anti-RH people then!

        I am of the middle-class. You’d think I’d know where to get these information – but since it was not discussed, I didn’t know. If I were sexually active then, how different my life would’ve been! I would have been miserable if I got pregnant then.

        Now, let’s go to the poor of our society. You think this is population control? A family who can’t feed one kid, let alone 10, shouldn’t be informed of their options in taking care of their family? This is not promoting just medical contraception, this is promoting all methods – including natural family planning methods. This is informing people that they have a choice in raising their family, that they don’t have to live in squalor if they think ahead. Imagine the difference having three kids instead of ten would make on a 100 peso budget.

        Yes, you can buy condoms at most convenience stores (was that Alabang issue ever resolved anyway?). You know how much they cost? Around fifty pesos? You think that’s affordable for a family of 10 living on 100 pesos a day?

        Honestly. Grow up. Look around you. The poor do not need to live like that. They deserve a chance to improve their lives, that they don’t have to be poor anymore. They deserve better, and this bill will be a stepping stone in achieving that.

        • So the solution is make the condom free and sex education – what is the syllabus then. This a brilliant idea – the people of Africa has been supported and funded heavily by these so-called pro-choice. Oh! I guess that was then another reason came up… what is next?.. oh.. As the most intelligent creature crestion according to the concepts of darwinism… I think it is becuase… hmmm … global warming? ahaaa- unknown disease…. i’ll talk blog and make sure I get money for this….. blah blah blah.. all about money, funding… isn’t it what you doing right now? You say im a christian bigot then what are you…. the saint? the modern day christian or the most developed brain? When will you all stop? If truly you are helping the world then why is it still the same as before, It didn’t change,

          • I don’t even…

            Where does your bigotry even come to play? I didn’t even point out your religious views.

            Let me put it this way:

            As a Roman Catholic YOU are not allowed to use contraception by your church. YOU are required to come to mass every week, take communion and perform confession.

            I am not Roman Catholic. I should have access to the items that I believe are helpful to myself. You do not dictate what I can and cannot do. We are a secular country, not a theocracy.

            Did you not study your history? A lot of changes has been made in a hundred years!

          • It’s really sad that most of us, Filipinos, still clinging to this infamous institution after almost four centuries of deception. Does anyone really read history or even the BIBLE?

      • The bill is not for the people who can afford contraceptives. It’s for the general population who are below the poverty line. Obviously, if you can’t see this fact, then you are surely only thinking about yourself and the people like you, but not about the millions of Filipinos who don’t have enough to pay for health services themselves.

      • What’s the point of freedom to choose if you can’t follow through with your choice? The key problem here is accessibility and those things you’ve mentioned are definitely not accessible to all. Do you know how much the cheapest condom available in 7-11 cost? As Theresa said, the price is too steep for the poor couples who actually need it. Plus you can’t just take any pill, there are literally dozens of contraceptive pills and women must know which suits them more. Some women have irregular menstrual cycle so they can’t go for the calendar method and some men have hair trigger orgasms that would make withdrawal a hard choice (literally!). Some people are allergic to latex, etc. Most poor people don’t even know why they get pregnant. Most men won’t even consider vasectomy. And the poor can’t just go and buy condoms on a whim. This is why we need the RH bill. To give those who want to plan their family the choice to do so. No one will stop you if you want to have a dozen children you can’t feed.

      • Regardless of who is funding the RH Bill ( and whether true or not), the ISSUE here is whether WOMEN’s REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE is being given enough attention by the government. given the alarming statistics directly related to this. This is real issue and the PRIMARY CONCERN of the RH BILL. The rest of the issues that have become controversial are just consequences of this and if needed, must be discussed thoroughly to reach a COMPROMISE.

        How can there be FREEDOM of CHOICE, if the “ignorant” poor DO NOT EVEN KNOW THE CHOICES?

      • No one knows about it, that’s why we need this bill. I dont want to attack the church, but since you brought up a little bit of “conspiracy theory-ish” argument, I will bring a little bit of it too. The church is against any form of population control because it’s bad for business. Less babies means less baptisms (hard to find a church that offers free baptisms), less people means less donations, less women getting pregnant means less couple getting married (we all know that one of the common reasons couples get married is because the girl gets pregnant, and you cant get married without paying).

    • I’m sorry, but this post makes no sense to me. We are basically being told that the pill is poison to our bodies and can, in fact, hurt future generations, but we should all have the right to continue to use it – according to our circumstance and promote it? Really? It’s poison, physically, emotionally and morally – why in the world would we promote anything of the sort? How about promoting abstinance? Yes, there is such a thing as abstinance in marriage. Abstinance means I chose you and you chose me, not because you can give me pleasure, but because you are so perfectly and uniquely made and I love you. Abstinance is not a dirty word. It is the only thing that can save us from ourselves, married or not. Dominion over our senses is one of the most freeing and edifying gifts given to us… Ask any athlete. Why is it that when it’s monsanto, we scream from the roof tops that we should not participate, period! It’s evil, it’s wrong, it’s so bad for you and all your generations, but when it comes to “S.E.X”, we can’t touch it, even when it means life and death? WAKE UP PEOPLE! Contraception is an evil for the body NO MATTER your circumstance. Period.

      • “Abstinance”…oh please. Before you comment on the evils of contraception, take the time to learn about the evils of improper spelling and bad grammar.

      • All drugs are basically poison and you can’t force everyone to practice abstinence in their OWN bedrooms. I really like how Sarah clarified her position and that she respects the choices of everyone on whether they want to take the pill or not as long as they are informed of the risks. BTW, there are existing scientific research that says that masturbation and other sexual activity reduces the risk of prostate cancer (depending on a man’s age). I think I’d rather lower my chances of getting prostate cancer, thank you!

      • It is not strictly limited to the pill, or haven’t you read the bill in the first place?

        And abstinence, yes, let’s look at the current statistics of teen pregnancies in the Philippines, why don’t we? 53 births per 1000 women aged between 15 to 19. FIFTEEN TO NINETEEN! That’s hormone central! You remember yourself in high school? How you cried over the littlest thing, became giddy at the thought of your crush liking you back? And said crush just looking to score?

        You’d think they would use their brains, no? But teens don’t look that far ahead, they aren’t informed of the consequences, they don’t know what waits for them at the end of that road. I’ve had a friend get pregnant and drop out at 18.

        Heck, it’s not limited to teens. I also have another friend that certainly isn’t prepared for motherhood get pregnant – she and her husband are both unemployed. They’re in their mid-to-late twenties. They live in the gratuity of the husband’s family. If they ever lose their favor, what do you think would happen to them?

        This is about choice. My choice may not be your choice, but let the choice be made known to everyone.

          • Enigma, that has been raised soooo many times already, but the pro-RH always set it aside and pretend they don’t hear (or read) anything when someone mentions that fact. Most pro-RH have either been blinded by the authors that the bill is “for the poor,” or are fed up by the moral champions from religious factions, which leads them to continue supporting the bill.

            Many think that the poor people need to be educated when there are actually a lot of programs for information dissemination, but these Class D and E citizens are either too lazy to attend/listen or are too busy trying to find ways for themselves to get by on a daily basis.

            There are a lot of volunteer nurses and doctors running around the metro and the provinces trying to provide medical help, and medical education, which includes reproductive health. They can do that and they are doing that. Why? Like you said, the Magna Carta for Women already has such clauses that have the same direction as the RH bill.

            The only BIG thing added in the RH bill are the provision of contraceptives. Actually, if they remove that part, I’d probably be okay with the RH bill. Rather than dividing the funds and efforts into providing contraceptives and educating people, they should just FOCUS the efforts into making the information dissemination stronger and easier.

            Oh, lastly, the RH bill would spare no one – even private organizations will have to follow. What about the rights of these private organizations to follow their own mandates and constitutional right to follow their own values (as long as they don’t go against the law)? I guess these are the things that most pro-RH fail to consider since they’re pretty much being the champions for the poor.

            Before I end, I’d like to applaud Sarah for the classy response to the plagiarism of Senator Sotto’s camp.

          • Let me guess. “Magna Carta of Women”

            Can you guess what comprises a family? What comprises the sexually active population? Did you know that there are these beings called men that actually also need access to reproductive health? Access to these information should not be limited to women alone. The women should not be left alone with the burden of trying to manage their families.

            The Magna Carta of Women enshrines women’s rights. The RH bill enshrines everyone’s rights to proper reproductive health education. There is a difference.

      • From the looks of it your just another one of them bigots. Give us poor the freedom to choose. It’s our family that gain or suffers with our choices not yours. If you don’t want to use contraceptives fine with me, but don’t prevent a bill which gives us the freedom to choose what we see is best for our family.

        • Us Poor? Really? You have access to internet? Cell Phone, maybe? Cable? I’m sorry, but that does not put you in the poor category. None of those are necessary for LIFE – they are extras. If you can afford all of those luxuries AFTER you feed your family and raise your children, then you have a right to talk. But if you have all of those luxuries and CLAIM to be poor – No! Your priorities are way out of whack! THAT is not poor… BTW, the poor, deserve respect, dignity and Truth – they do not deserve to be used, abused and thrown in the trash – RH does the latter.

          • hey rosalindal, do u know what are u talking about here? if there must be a person who shouldn’t be given a chance to use a computer for the fear of giving pointless, misleading comments, it must be YOU.

          • Oh, how sweet, I get my own author post – nothing gives me more pleasure than to know that the devil is so uncomfortable, he targets me directly – ALEJATE SATANAS!

          • you are obviously so out of touch with the realities of the poor people in our country. try to talk to some of them and live in their squalid shanties where both parents sleep with all eight kids on the floor, where children do not eat for days and turn to rugby to forget their hunger, where teenage girls are sold to prostitution to help their families get out of the rut….i could go on and on but that might affect your sensibilities too much.

            btw, the post does not say the pill is all-evil, it just points out some negative effects that may or may not happen. it is not an all-or-nothing situation, and it that light, it does make sense.

      • Is this a joke? Do you really think that enough education will keep people from having sex? The teen pregnancy rate in the Philippines is extremely high and while there is no formal education on the subject, we *were* taught to practice abstinence. It doesn’t work.

      • Please tell rapists to practise “abstinance” please, please, please do. Please tell impoverished women who are saddled with 10 children to refuse sex when they’re so completely and desperately financially dependent on their men. Men in the Philippines see sex as their god-given right. They demand sex and expect women to give it to them. If they can’t have it, they have no qualms about looking for sex elsewhere. That is reality. Please stop living in a bubble. Have some empathy. If you were poor with ten children you can’t feed, and your man tells you if you don’t provide him sex, he’ll leave you and your children to fend for yourselves, would you feel the same way about abstinence?

        • You are making my case for me. Think about what you’re saying. You are advocating for the pill so that women can be used and abused without consequence. With the pill, the woman becomes an object to be manipulated and used at the whim of the male – so what you’re saying is that a woman should be given free contraception so that she can be raped more consistantly, used and abused and treated like a blow up doll? Just because a woman is given a CLASS 1 Carcinegan, the pill, to eliminate children, does not mean that the woman will be treated any better – the only difference is that there will be no evidence of the act. Why is that better for women? The rapist is not going to stop just because she is on contraception, as a matter of fact, the rapist is more consistantly active because of the contraception. There are many studies that show that men stray more when the woman is on contraception, than when she is fertile. This is why so many step-fathers sexually abuse their step-daughters at a very young age – his wife is no longer fertile and he and his hormones long for fertility – that is how the human male is created – to procreate. Instead of being in lockstep with ignorance, read and understand the ramifications of what you are suggesting. http://www.mypontification.com/2009/09/29/contraception-why-not-part-16/

          • So not only is a woman raped, she also has to care for the rapist’s spawn. Yes, that’s what every woman wants.

          • So, you’re acknowledging that women and girls are raped constantly, and you acknowledge that there’s no incentive for men to stop raping women and girls, but you seem to think that making women and girls suffer triple-fold — first the rapes, then the pregnancies/births, then watching their children starve — is some kind of charity? Women and girls being physically brutalized by rape and childbirth, and starvation, are not punishments for rapists! They’re additional violations and humiliations for raped women and girls.
            If women want to raise their rapists’ children in poverty, the availability of birth control won’t stop them from exercising that choice. But it will help women and girls who, for example, don’t want to give birth to their own brothers and sisters, products of their fathers’ rape.
            Is it not enough for you that they’re being raped? When they end up pregnant, it’s not as if the pregnancy offers them a way out of households where they’re being regularly raped and assaulted. Instead, it keeps them desperate and dependent, and it introduces even more potential victims into the picture.
            Making victims suffer MORE is not now and never will be a solution to victimization. If women and girls being forced to give birth to their rapists’ children were some kind of discouragement to rapists, rapists would use condoms when they raped women and girls. Men aren’t thinking about children one way or the other when they rape because, no matter what, it’s the woman’s body and the woman’s responsibility.
            If you actually gave a damn about women and girls, you’d be advocating for women and girls to be believed when they say they were raped, WITHOUT them having to suffer the additional violation and humiliation of pregnancy and childbirth to “prove” what happened to them.

          • please tell me you failed Logic 101, please tell me you failed Logic 101, please, please!!! If not, I’m gonna hunt down your Professor shove what you just said up his behind…

          • If I know, ROSALINDAL is just copying and pasting some useless information from the web. I think this is not a human being…Are u a human being Rosalindal? neither she is a ROBOT since Robot do not have wrong spelling of words and wrong grammar! Get lost u ugly, fat ROSALINDAL!

      • RosalindaL, you sound sweet and naive. Abstinence is an option, YES. That it is the best option, NO. Before you propose such a mechanism, please read up on reports and interviews of our fellow Filipinos who do not have access to education, who do not have regular jobs, who are more concerned with trying to make sure they get by everyday — these are the ones who said they would appreciate knowing and having more options. The RH Bill promoted this education mechanism, and gives people a clearer grasp of how they can be responsible for things. For you to twist Sarah’s premise that since taking the Pill can be hurtful, therefore why even consider it, is very limited.

      • I suggest you read the Bill before you make your argument, ma’am. After reading the whole Bill, then by all means, voice out your argument. You are being blinded by the definition of evil when you do not really know what evil really is.

      • LOL, abstinance. Goodness. This blog has spell check. You should have at least corrected the spelling before hitting the submit button.

      • Where are you from? The Suburbs? Abstinence? Really????? Fuck off!!!!! Feeling virgin!!!!!

        Dear ignorant one, the point of this post, lies in the fact that every single thing you pop into your body has a potential side-effect! Do you take biogesic? Did you know it has the potential to kill you? Same potential in the pill! The day you refuse to take a biogesic for a fever, will be the day I stop taking my BC pills!!!!!

    • Recalcitrant Nomad August 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      I have to agree with Feanne on this one. It’s not to promote but to educate us about it esp. those who belong below the poverty line.

  2. Well atleast Maam, Ur helping On the prevention OF RH BILL, OR of Using Pills which according to you very harmful to a women’s health. You’re Blog Did move mountains.

  3. Thank you Sarah for being respectful despite what happened. He is an actor copying western movies and now a senator copying blog post without permission for his speech.

  4. Dear Sarah,

    We are so ashamed of this. Sorry for having comedian senators, action-star senators, etc senators.


  5. Sarah, it is nice that you have noticed my country… :) but yes, it was at a unusual circumstances. i learned a lot from your blogs in the past 24 hours, especially the 6 reasons not to get a vaccine for your kids part.

  6. 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???

    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      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, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: On Plagiarism, The Pill, and Presumptuousness

      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
        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 should be cited. It would have made a whole lot of difference if you did.

            as for the issue of the RH bill. I for one believe that everyone; men, women and teens should be given a chance to at least learn from this. I do not think the “poor” population of this country even understands what the RH bill is all about and yes we all have a opinion on what the RH bill stands for therefore it would be good if both sides come together and make their own stands and let the people decide whether they believe it should be done or not because in the end this is for the people and if majority of the people do not believe in the end result of this law, whether it be pushed through or not, then what’s the point?

            I personally is of Pro-RH however i still believe that everyone has a right to understand what the RH bill is all about and if they do decide that it is wrong then so be it. It is their CHOICE.

          • Not only did you steal it, you twisted the bloggers message to make it seem she was on your side. You should be ashamed of yourself and stop justifying your actions. Just man up and admit your mistake (oh, “mistake” is an understatement because you did this on purpose, with malice intended) and not make excuses.

      • You’re work is plagiarized, yes, you were wronged, yes, there was an apology, yet you continue to say things like they are taking women’s choices away, etc… without any inkling as to what this entire issue is all about basing it on a youtube video you watched. do you even know where the Philippines is? I wish you just enjoy your 24 hours of fame and increase in site traffic because this is probably the only time you’ll get it. Good day!

          • Why is he a troll? Why, because he doesn’t agree with this horrible bill that will force the poor women if a very moral country to be part of population control against their faith?? That is a not a troll, that is a human being trying to save his country from the moral decline of every other country touched by the UN!

          • I’m saying he’s a troll because he basically just posted a comment insulting Sarah and belittling her intelligence. He called her ignorant in no uncertain terms (ex. “do you even know where the Philippines is?”) and insulted her blog.

            Did you not read the comment I replied to? Looks like someone’s overreacting! HAHA! :D

          • Since I can’t reply to RosalindaL on her comment below:

            A VERY MORAL COUNTRY?!

            Excuse me, I need to go out and laugh.

            I am Filipina. Every single day I see immorality. A majority of religious population does not a moral nation make. The Catholic church itself is not the beacon of morality that you think it is. Paranaque (or was it Pasay?) diocese scandal rings a bell? Priests with kids? Priests molesting children?

            Again, you are not being forced to go against your faith. Let the Catholic/sectarian schools do what they did with the Rizal law – request their exemption because it is “against their religious beliefs”. I don’t care.

          • i guess i also need to say this to RosalindaL:

            a very moral country ei? you go to Quiapo church and you see what? geez… there are people selling drugs used to induce abortion.

          • RosalindaL: He’s a troll for insulting Sarah for standing up for her work. Plagiarism is theft, no matter how you cut it. Just because Sen. Sotto and his people is working for a cause you morally agree with does not mean he can act dishonestly about it.

          • ROSALINDAL, tell me where the hell in the world u came from? What morality are u talking about here? Please do not inject opinion in this blog anymore. You are nothing but a mess. Admit it, are u a filipino or what?

        • What apology? The one that belittled and demeaned Sarah for catching on that someone used her ideas and words without her permission? That’s not an apology; it was an attempt to excuse dishonesty after it was caught.

          As for having no inkling about the issue, that doesn’t matter. Exclude her from the RH debate if you want but she still has a right to what she wrote while Sen. Sotto and his staff have none, especially after using it as if it was theirs.

          It’s hypocritical of you to argue on the moral importance of this debate while ignoring Sen. Sotto’s basic human responsibility to remain honest in all his actions, especially as a Senator. Even where it was his staff that’s at fault, he has a duty to remain upright in this matter. Or is that something you don’t care about in your blind devotion to the Senator, right or wrong, honest or dishonest?

        • and WHERE is the apology?!… and if that comment from Atty Villacorta was ever intended to be one, it was definitely as half-assed as that sorry excuse for a speech in the Senate. and YOU even dare ask if Sarah “even knows where the Philippines is?” how insulting! you are just as crude and rude as Sotto and his staff who do not know how to do their job well!

      • STILL, it’s originally campbell’s work, not urs..
        all u did was put her works into your own words, which is not a hard shit to do.
        and u did TOTALLY NOTHING to contribute into that works, which the senator’s party

        plus, he’s right. A blogger’s just a blogger.
        Make your ‘words’ official and we’ll acknowledge you if ever we get some of ur words.
        If not, gtfo

        • “not a hard shit to do” then why bother stealing her words in the first place? Walk the walk before you talk the talk. With that kind of reasoning, your username reflects what you are.

          • why bother “walk the walk” when someone already did it?
            and before u call me dumbie,, go do ur homework in SPELLING CLASS, *roflmfao*, Mr. Annanymous.
            almost thought ur name was something Anal. lol

          • dumbie

            Oh, and you’re a prime example of good English grammar and spelling? The standards must’ve been set so low.

          • I’m scared for the future of our country if more people think like you. “Why bother ‘walk the walk’, when someone already did it?” Really? Your analogy brings lazy high schoolers to shame. “Why bother writing this homework when I can just steal parts of it from Wikipedia?” “Why bother studying for this exam when my teacher won’t fail me anyway?” “Why bother getting a job when my parents can continue giving me baon anyway?” HOORAY FOR YOUR IDEA OF PROGRESS!

            Also, it’s miss, not mister. Ergo, I called myself ANNAnymous. But I guess your thick brain didn’t even notice my (corny) wordplay. How can you, if “u” insist on telling someone from the internet to do “ur” homework in SPELLING CLASS despite your own lack of knowledge for proper spelling and punctuation (read: one comma is enough, sweetie!)

            I’d love to call you a c*nt, but you seem to lack the depth and warmth of one.

        • Oh, so she must be a published author? Why did not your Senator’s staff get the book in the first place and quote that? Because, as evidenced by your chief of staff, you are too lazy to do your own research.

          If a blogger’s just a blogger, why did you consider her point of view valid then?

          You’re attacking the person that provided you with a talking point in the first place. What is the world coming to?

        • what did you say?! “A blogger’s just a blogger”?! guess you’ve never read our works ei? yes, we are “just bloggers” but we have contributed a lot and we have changed views and we have helped a lot. no thanks to you. :)

      • For shame, Atty. Villacorta. As a staffer of one of the higher officers of the land, and a legal officer at that, you should know better than to write a “sincere” apology. Next you should know better than to write a LAME “sincere” apology via a blog comment. A sincere apology from your office is best done via official mail. For shame.

        Embarassed Filipina.

    • Sarah is right. She discussed dr.campbell-mcbride’s work with her own words, and Tito Sotto or his staff copied it and used it in a speech in the SENATE. It’s a clear sign of plagiarism. Atty. Hector A. Villanueva, if you are really a lawyer you would know. But I think you are stupid enough. Kudos to you Sarah for your humble reaction in this matter. But I hope you seek legal actions.

    • Sarah, forgive them for they know not what they are doing. :D

      This isn’t an apology. If anything, this is an excuse. Guys, you made a mistake and you should own up to it. You could’ve just said you’re sorry and then asked what you can do to make this right. Instead, you come up with this “apology”. tsk tsk tsk

    • Atty. Villacorta,

      Professionalism should be the stand here, Firstly, it would behoove your position to be able to write and capitalize properly. It seems that texting has affected the way you write your correspondences, you should be more aware of it with the position you hold. Secondly, there was a huge mistake made – an article was plagiarized – it was wrong. Admit it and apologize. That is the right thing to do. The Senator cannot be above this. His office and staff made the mistake – command responsibility. You have the temerity to chide the author as if she is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Is she !!! You twist her words and intentions to suit the senators need and she should sit back and remain silent. Typical politician mentality. Tell Sotto to do the right thing – Accept what has been done and apologize. How can one even give credence to his stand when he is not even capable of owning up to this.

      • Stop transforming this into a plagiarism issue. The point is, is the issue of dysbiosis because of contraceptive use real?

        • The families have to be informed of the side effects (if any) of the family planning methods they choose to use – whether it be artificial or natural. If (as I do not have data that would say that this issue is a real risk) there is a risk factor in taking oral contraceptives, the couple can then choose other contraceptive methods. IUDs. Condoms. Hysterectomy. Vasectomy. Rhythm. Or being made eunuch.

          This is not about oral contraceptives alone.

        • Why? This IS a plagiarism issue. Senator Sotto’s staff stole her ideas and words; they admitted it.

          Just because there’s a bigger issue involved does not mean it’s okay for Sen. Sotto’s staff to act unprofessionally and unethically. To say it’s okay while arguing on the moral issues of reproductive health is nothing more than hypocrisy.

        • â—‹â—‹â—‹ August 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

          I agree. If she wrote something like that about the pill, that it could be harmful then by all means, she should stand by her belief. To say that she is not taking away that choice to the Filipinos is showing that she does not even believe fully her own blog. what im hearing is this: pill is bad but your country is poor so you can take it if you please.
          I get where this comments are coming from, and i know we have population issues and dont get me wrong, i believe in educating our people and giving this married couples the contraceptives they need. As for senator sotto and staff, i think admitting that They copied sarah’s blog is hard enough so yes i think that by that credit was already and if she wants something more then say it and stop writing a blog telling that you’ve moved on when in fact you havent because of your comments which again gives me the impression that you lack sincerity in what you are writing.

      • Beth, have you taken into consideration that this person is not American? He is from another country who do not speak English. Seriously, people! What the Senator did was wrong, but what you all are doing is not any better.

        • But the good Senator can speak English and for the record, ours is one of the most corrupt country in the world that even our bishops accepted SUV as bribes to support a corrupt former President. So much for being a very moral country. We are not the center of the universe and we should not act as if people from other nation should always consider our circumstances. He plagiarised, lied about it, and belittled every bloggers’ credibility while quoting one in his speech. If it offended Sarah, our Senator should’ve offered a sincere apology. Or would you rather that we patronise Sotto like a little child who broke a vase?

        • I am insulted by your insinuation that we Filipinos do not speak English. It is our second national language, right next to Filipino.

          If this guy is who he claims to be – an attorney, no less – then wouldn’t you hold him to a higher standard? He’s an “attorney” for crying out loud! That’s how many years of education? Four years pre-law, then five(?) years of law school, then the bar exams!

          We do not give the attorney status to just about anyone, though sometimes it may look like we do.

          • Mr. Sotto never went to law school. I’m not even sure if he finished college. Except for Wanbol University, a fictional school in a comedy series shown on TV decades ago

        • RosalindaL, the correct way to say it is “He is from another country THAT does not speak English.” Oh for your information we do speak english in the Philippines.
          Seriously RosalindaL, are you trying to say that to expect accountability, intergrity and honesty from our senator is wrong!!!! Maybe for you, but for a lot of others we feel that Filipinos deserve nothing less from their PUBLIC SERVANTS.

          • Of course not, he is responsible and should be accountable for his actions. My point was that we are talking about people who are from a different country and we don’t know what their educational level is – even if it is their chief of staff, in the English language. But of course, you don’t care what my point is. People like you don’t care what the truth is, you only care to attack and demonize by focusing on the small stuff. Is it really my grammar that bothers you or the fact that I don’t fall into lockstep with you and your leftist ideals? I would assume the latter.

          • Waiiiit…
            You’re confusing. When you say “he” who are you actually referring to? Sotto? Villacorta?
            Regardless of educational level attained, Sotto seems able to speak English well.
            Villacorta says he’s a lawyer, but looks like he also understands and speaks English, albeit bad sentence construction and capitalization.
            So your point about English proficiency and plagiarism is what…?

            Your grammar is not that bothering. Nor which side of the fence you’re at. It’s just a bit difficult to get your point because your statements are like shotgun pellets that when fired go to all sorts of possible directions, totally missing the target. How do we argue when you don’t stay within the issue. The issue here is plagiarism and the shame that Sotto and Villacorta brings to the Filipino people – pro or anti-RH Bill. It is a side-story of the RH Bill debate, but it is the main issue here.

            What’s leftist in demanding for accountability from a supposedly-esteemed public servant? If it’s not so off-topic, please connect “leftist” with plagiarism. (No, I am not asking you to merely use those words in a sentence.)

        • I wonder why it is then, that you are American, but we Filipinos obviously speak better English than you? Your comments have many grammatical errors.

          • Oh my goodness dear lady, are you even comprehending what you read more so what you say! You may be talking about people from a different country but I clearly stated that I am Filipino so I DO know what I am talking about. You keep on mentioning about he (referring to Atty. Villacorta) not being American and from a non english speaking country and that if he does speak english you do not know what level of education in English he has attained. So please who is being petty or small. Regarding the pill, what is your point – that the pill is harmful to women physically, emotionally and morally; that there is an international conspiracy to control and slowly lessen the Filipino population by promoting the use of the pill: etc. etc. Is that it? Ok then that is your opinion, good for you. Lock step left leaning, hmmmm??? Nope I am more right of center. Well it has been engaging. Good bye

        • hello, mr. sotto finished “Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English” unless the wikipedia is a bunch of (*grapes*). Now what say you ms rosalindaL?

          So he’s not a native english speaker, then it behooves them to actually understand what they are reading in english or better yet elocute in tagalog.

          what he was doing was wrong but putting out lame excuses like theirs make it even worse.

        • RosalindaL.

          So, are you saying…
          - Sotto is not an American – he’s from a non-English-speaking country, ergo he doesn’t speak English. (The Philippines, for your information, has TWO official languages – one is Filipino and the other is… well, that one you say we do not speak.) So, Sotto did not fully understand what he copied from Ms. Sarah.
          - Being a non-American/not fully understanding what you were saying or doing is an excuse for plagiarism.
          - “Plagiarism” is an English word. We Filipinos do not understand it. Whatever rules surround it does not apply to us. The ethical rules that apply to Ms. Sarah do not apply to Sotto.

          What language then did Sotto use to deliver that speech? If it was English, why the heck did he choose to communicate to the people in a language that none of the citizens, including himself, could (fully) understand?
          Are you a Filipino? Why are you communicating in English?
          The heck, why am I communicating to you in English – we can’t speak the damn language, right?
          Are you still with me?

          Rosalinda… Sotto did wrong. What do you want us to do, praise him? Defend him? LOL! We can’t do that when instead of apologizing for his misdeed he denies it. And then his minion (I refuse to believe that he is a lawyer – that the IBP has allowed him to practice law) aggravates the situation by showing arrogance instead of saying sorry – bringing us further shame. I can’t believe the chutzpah on this one for the ill-written comment he made. So unprofessional. It’s either he didn’t learn anything in law school (granted he attended one) or unlearned everything after passing the bar (if he truly did).

          Doesn’t it disturb you that a man who openly deceives and continues to lie (and is unapologetic about it) holds a seat in our Senate? That a deceiver/liar shares the power to grant or deny the people the choice for reproductive health services? Or that this deceiver/liar fights the passing of the RH Bill for you?

          BTW, are you for real or are you someone who’s just pulling legs pretending to be shallow and insipid just to get a laugh from the replies? If you’re the latter, you’re doing a good job trolling.

          • I think Rosalinda meant that plagiarism isn’t a big deal in the Philippines like it is here in America. Therefore, we shouldn’t crucify the Senator and his Chief of Staff since they aren’t Americans anyway.


          • Emily, you don’t speak for me. I didn’t say or mean anything you wrote. But of course you know that, since the WHO trolls have taken over…

          • RosalindaL — so exactly WHAT are you saying about how being American relates to this issue, then? I’m really confused.

          • Rosalinda, your reasoning can be likened to that of an inebriated fool. Pray tell, what are you high on?

        • I am deeply insulted by saying that Senator Sotto came from a country that doesn’t speak English! Mind you, if you will… English is our second language and we are one of the best English speakers in Asia. I can assure you he can speak fluent English more than I do!

        • These people atleast is letting Tito Sen know that there are people who’s not gonna vote for him if he continues this lame acting job and delivering lame speeches to justify taking away “this choice” to our people. Oh, and about morality, if giving the people a choice for a better life (which for you means committing sins) immoral, then your “God” is immoral for giving us the choice to commit sin.

          Oh and since your using these religious stuff to support your lame argument, I will do too.

          Why not let us who believes that there is nothing wrong in deciding when we want to have babies, and having sex without the purpose of bearing a child is not a sin have this choice?

          Do you know why He chose jesus to be the Messiah and not Lucifer? Because Lucifer did not want us to have the free will to choose the right. Lucifer wanted to force righteousness upon us and God did not want that. God wanted us to choose Him. So who are you and Tito Sen to take this choice away from us huh!!!!!!

    • First of all, Your post is not apologetic at all and second, I wish you used the right capitalization of the letters because I did have hard time reading it.

      If you want to apologize to the blogger then just apologized without having lame excuses. It was a mistake to quote word for word the work of the author and claims you are quoting the source. Sen. Sotto made it look like the author not worthy of respect because he bypassed her work and went to her source.

      Lastly, I am a Filipino and we are known for being resourceful specially when it comes to writing and Sen. Sotto and his writers we’re just lazy enough to even made a research on the author’s sources.

      I am still anti-RH bill but please give the credits Ms. Sarah deserved.

    • Stop embarrassing yourself any further. I know you’re just a scapegoat for the “esteemed” senator. Well, I do hope he fires you all, you guys deserve it, a grade school student can paraphrase better than you.

    • Are you really the Chief of Staff? It appalls me how you can send a letter on behalf of Senator Sotto and not capitalize letters. :/

      I am also appalled by the contents of your letter. As an attorney, I thought you’d at least be aware of the importance of intellectual property and proper citation of sources. Apparently, that’s not the case.

      You did not merely “quote” Sarah’s blog. The definition of “quoting” implies that you attributed the source. Ex, according to so-so, I quote, etc. You plagiarized — you stole another person’s words and ideas and passed it off as your own, and even had the Senator deny it. And now you’re saying that there was no injury? You’re asking what you had done to deserve her incriminating words? Are you for real?! And you’re acting as if you’re doing Sarah a HUGE favor by eventually crediting her in the speech. You should’ve done that in the first place.

      So you steal someone else’s words, don’t tell them about it, pass it off in the Senator’s speech, don’t attribute, deny it came from somewhere else, and when she finds out about it, you think she’d be HAPPY. I’m sorry, but I don’t get your logic.

      The RH debate is indeed worthwhile. Which is why it amazes me why offices such as yours cannot properly prepare for it. If you properly researched on it and formulated strong arguments for it, why did you have to resort to cutting and pasting from other sources (without proper attribution, at that?) It reeks of being unprepared and uninformed and speaks volumes about the capabilities of your office.

      It’s a shame this issue got sidetracked by the plagiarism issue… but I’m sorry, you brought it upon yourselves.

    • this kind of reasoning will not excuse Sen. Sotto…He even said on the interview with Karen Davila that, when they they make a speech they talked and discussed things about it..so he was not innocent after all….

      and I hate the part when Sen. Sotto belittled the blogger saying…. “She is just a blogger”.

      • Exactly, I think the overarching issue here is that both Sarah and Dr. Campbell McBride are women. Senator Sotto and his staff do not really care about the accuracy of their attribution(s), because both authors are women. Their misogynist leanings are apparent in their desire to limit the reproductive education that Phillipino women receive. Evidently, Sotto and his staff want Sarah to be “a good little woman blogger” and just be happy that she is now being mentioned. Sorry Sotto and clowns, this is the year 2012 and plagiarism has consequences . . . even if the source was a woman!

        I do not pretend to understand the socioeconomic issues in the Phillipines. However, I am a woman and a nurse, and I strongly feel that all women have a right to receive accurate education regarding the pros and cons of various methods of birth control, and that they should have the freedom to use that education however they choose.
        Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse\’s last post: Coconut Oil: Why My Family Eats It and Other Saturated Fats, Our Favorite Coconut Oil Brand, and a BOGO Sale!

        • Nicole,

          Lol, let me share an insight about the Filipino man’s attitude that I recently realized. Between the sexes, the Filipino man is given priority. Both sexes strongly adhere to traditional role models that evolved in an island setting. The Filipina woman goes through several phase changes as she ages. From a Filipino man’s point-of-view, they are too-young, young, wife, mother, lola (grandmother).

          I am a balikbayan, i.e., a Filipino who grew up in the Philippines and then lived in the States for 25 years and then returned. I was married to an American, a caucasian, and we have three daughters. One of the reasons behind our divorce was cultural. So it’s made me acutely aware and interested in these things.

          I hope that helps you understand their attitude towards women.

          However, I will point out that Hector’s attitude wasn’t directed towards women. No, he was just being a thief!

    • > forgive us our single trespass

      You realize this “single trespass” can get the Senator impeached, right? See: plagiarism case vs. Assoc. Justice del Castillo

      • its was legit. read my comment after his letter for the website. ***faaacccceeepalllmm****

        it was too stupid to be true, unfortunately it’s true :(

        • I just read about it. And to think I defended the point that it was a troll.

          To any other Filipino lawyers or aspirants: This is not an example of how you handle matters. You personally call the slighted person, send a formal letter, or, at the very least send an email.

          Not this poorly worded, error-ridden apology.

      • A lawyer who does not know how to use capital letters, but seems to get it right in his sign off. Oh, the hilarity.

        Sarah: Thank you for your post, and thank you for your wonderful blog! As a foodie with a passion for healthy options, I look forward to testing out some of those delicious recipes!

    • Atty. Villacorta, with all due respect, are you really an attorney? If so, you should know one of our most basic precepts — “IGNORANCE OF THE LAW EXCUSES NO ONE FROM COMPLIANCE THEREWITH”, ignorantia legis non excusat, even a first year, first sem law student would know about that but what’s even more galling about your “apology” to Sarah is how it is a sorry excuse for one. You can’t even stick to a simple sorry and be humble about how you blatantly plagiarized her article but even tried to justify it by even throwing in Rizal’s name in and FYI again, Rizal was born on 1861 not this century, where too many kids are starving! And even if there was no injury, as an attorney, you of all people know that plagiarism is against the law. SHAME ON YOU.

    • mr villacorta, so you cite a blogpost as expert opinion on something that will impact millions of filipinos? and all the while tito sotto is harping on his decision against RH bill is for the good of the country based on a blog post! oversight? hey you knowingly stole someone’s material. and now that you’re getting the flak, you have the nerve to ask for forgiveness (are you?). this plagiarism reflects your boss’s hypocrisy, remember his sanctimonious rantings on upholding public moral. Look who’s talking.

    • I hope you are not really Senator Sotto’s Chief of Staff because not only can you not capitalize properly (i mean seriously you can capitalize your name but not your sentences???) but this is at best a stupid defense regarding the plagiarism matter.

    • Corrupt liar…err i mean lawyer. Instead of saying sorry, you would defend your thieving attitude with that lame excuse. Stop defending your wrongdoings. Corruption really changes people’s attitude. You guys are so used to defending your corrupt clients that it really shows

    • What’s your point about Jose RIzal being the 7th of 11 siblings? I am the youngest of 13 siblings and I support the RH Bill. Go on a 24 hour duty in the delivery room of Fabella Hospital and interview of the many teenage mothers there. Ask them why they’re having babies every year and they’ll probably give you a blank stare.

    • What’s your point about Rizal being the 7th of 11 siblings? I am the youngest in a brood of 13 and I support the RH Bill. Atty. Villacorta, has anyone in Tito Sotto’s staff gone on 24 hour duty in the delivery room of Fabella Hospital? Have you asked anyone of the many teenage mothers there why do get pregnant every year? Chances are you’ll get a blank stare

        • Nicole, they already have access to reproductive education, and they have equal opportunities as well. What they don’t have is the privilege to use someone else’s money to fund their sex life.

          • Mr. andrew ryan,

            i hope you have been to the philippines and maybe see what I have seen.

            we do not have equal opportunities there. I finished my medical education in manila. 2 mothers to one bed in a maternity ward. 4 kids stuffed like little sausages in one bassinet to be delivered to their moms after we check on them. one baby sucking the other’s foot on the way to the ward. When I deliver babies I fervently wish that the kid gets a good education or a lucky break to make their lives better. and I pray harder that this kid does not grow up to be the person who will maul me in the street to steal my money.

            people wash condoms to use again because they can’t afford to buy new ones. our househelp only takes the pill after sex because nobody taught her how it works. I told her she has other options is she cannot take the pill everyday. A lady comes every so often to have her STD treated because her husband does not want to be medicated for the STD he gives his wife. no, that’s not exagerration. that is the reproductive education access mr. ryan is talking about.

            It’s not just supplying the condom and pill, it is educating these people who do not have the means to even google what needs to be done.

            I am not back in the Philippines right now but I sure as hell go to the boondocks every time i visit home to educate people about their health. I inform them and not impose on them because that is one of the tenets of medical ethics — respect your patient’s autonomy

    • Guess what, Mr. Attorney, we know you’ve been paid to defend Sotto on this case. Of course, you are. You’re a lawyer after all. How does the opinion of a PAID person gives impact on what other people would think? If you want to defend Sotto, just go with your technical processes and technical et cetera’s instead of posting a comment in this blog. Remember, YOUR OPINION MEANS NOTHING AS YOU WERE ONLY PAID TO DEFEND THE ACCUSED. Your opinion on this matter was BOUGHT by Senator Sotto. Just do your paperwork. You can defend him elsewhere more formal, in court for example.

    • ‘if you wish that you would also be credited with the contents of the book…” – are you insinuating that this blog and the book have similarities? Because the only way your phrase would hold water is if the blog plagiarized the book, or the other way around.

      The senator did not did it himself? Has anyone on his staff get fired for this? Otherwise, Sotto has to take command responsibility

    • Are you for real? First, why did you reply here when you should have sent a private message or an e-mail instead? That’s more appropriate, isn’t it? Second, why do you still sound sarcastic despite the fact that it was your staff who plagiarized the blogger’s entry? Your arrogance is showing and it’s making us, Filipinos, more ashamed. Third, is that how lawyers write nowadays? You do not even know how to capitalize letters. Last but certainly not the least, why did you insert your stand on the RH Bill when the main issue here is “plagiarism”? The RH Bill in the Philippines does not concern the blogger. She minds her own business and I hope you do your own also. So, stop copying!

      I hope you are not really Sen. Sotto’s Chief of Staff. Otherwise, you should be fired.

    • Let me inform you of what’s wrong with this so called “apology blog”…
      But first I have to introduce myself, I am a 22 year old freshmen Law Student in USA.
      Enough said.

      Now, here…. First, if you really are a lawyer, you will not response in such manner of using a so called “apology blog”… for someone in public position, yet representing someone who in an officer of the government should have the smarts and the humility to come face to face with Sarah for a personal, heartfelt apology… I am sure you can afford to go at where Sarah’s residence, especially at your status. However, if you “can’t” afford it, as a lawyer who solemnly swear to upheld the law (Philippines), I think a public apology towards Sarah would be somewhat “suffice” enough. But then I guess, and I have a feeling you are not what you claim you are.

      Second, you have the “audacity” to offer Sarah credit? and as you said, “let this be your affirmation. I can do it and by this message, I am doing it. Hope it satisfies you.”….
      Wow!!! even a freshmen law student can do a better bribe than what you are offering Sarah, and I doubt she will take any bribes from the likes of you… And I believe that Sarah will never take any bribe or what so ever from anyone.

      Third, continues… “But if it does not, what would you want us to do”… Horrible!!! simple horrible… This is open for interpretation, the first interpretation that came by my minute brain, that you are making it sounds like Sarah will take you on for this bribe passage… Shame!!!
      My second interpretation, that she would ask you for a public apology…. oh, wait!?! You are a respected lawyer, you are smart, you’ve done her wrong, if its apology that you are inclined to do in the first place, you wouldn’t have wasted your time posting this blog of yours here, rather… you have gone through television and done so completely heartfelt. But you didn’t.

      Finally, you said: “What have we done to deserve your incriminating words”… ok, what you are about to read is sooo not a lawyer attitude… DUHHHH!!!!!!
      Do you even know what incriminating means? before you answer that, answer this… did you or did you not mention and admitted publicly that you used her blog? Once you answer this, it should also answer your question at the beginning of this paragraph. Yet again, DUHHHHH!!!

      Please, chief of staff, office of the senator Sotto… Do not use filipino heroes as an example of you arrogance.

      Thanks to you many filipinos tried very hard to raised our flag that took many decades of completion, yet you yanked it down in a few seconds…

      Quite a filipino you are MR. CHIEF OF STAFF, OFFICE OF THE SENATOR SOTTO.

    • Lol! That was a back-handed apology.

      If they “thought you would be happy about it”, then they had prior knowledge that this blog was lifted.

    • Lol! That was a back-handed apology.

      If they “thought you would be happy about it”, then they had prior knowledge that this blog was lifted & purposely twisted its meant intent.

      Women have the right to knowledge & choice.

    • Atty. Villacorta, you should realize that your response here reflects your intellectual and ethical sensibilities. Regardless of how great this debate is, it is by no means an excuse for you and any of Senator Sotto’s staff to act DISHONESTLY.

      Furthermore, you have no right to reply in such a demeaning and belittling manner, claiming that her protest to YOUR plagiarism is a trivial issue (“don’t deflect the debate to this matter of plagiarism. it is so out of sync in this great debate”) while stating that she should be flattered for being plagiarized by your people (“we tought you would be happy about it.”). There is nothing pleasant or fair about having your words and ideas STOLEN from you.

      Lastly, to act so hurt and defensive in the manner (“what have we done to deserve your incriminating words… who would you like to crucify for this oversight?”) is simply inappropriate for a lawyer, especially one who works for a lawmaker. Please at least have the dignity to respond like a responsible adult and not like a whipped child sniping back at the person rebuking him.

      No wonder Sarah finds your response lame and doesn’t feel better about it.

    • Atty. Villacorta,

      It’s good that you’re an attorney. You will understand what I’ll say:

      The act of an agent (in this case, an employee), is the act of his principal or employer. He and he alone must claim responsibility for it. He refuses to do so; instead, he tries to muddle the issue with more lies and lame excuses.

      From the way you sound, you seem like a decent, honorable person. You may want to consider resigning, instead of defending the indefensible. I’d be severely embarrassed if I were you.

    • I am against the RH Bill. I am on the side of Senator Tito Sotto. But I am definitely against plagiarism.

      I have been a blogger for years. I studied journalism back in college. I can easily point out what’s plagiarism or not. Mr. Villacorta, you have just put to shame Sen. Sotto with what you did. Sincerest apologies should be in the offing – to the owner of this blog, to the public, and of course, to your boss, Sen. Sotto.

      And let this be a lesson to all politicians: do not rely too much on your staff writing your speeches. This kind of problem has happened many times before.

    • This is the most arrogant, self-righteous and insincere apology I have ever come across. I never knew an apology can ever be this offensive! Mr. Villacorta, emotional blackmail only works for small-minded people. You are not talking to children or illiterates!

    • lezel / Hector Villacorta

      You don’t know what you doing guys! you are working in a circus with the greatest actor. Go back to law school and learn how to quote/cite your sources and tell ask your teacher how to do it right. Yes blogs are meant to be shared but not to be stolen. Imagine blogs having the same content, the internet would be a big pile of garbage.

      Identify yourself by using a gravatar to add to your trolling credibility

    • Please don’t bring up that Rizal example because Jose Rizal came from a RICH family. His parents could afford to have 11 children and send them all to good schools. Your argument there is invalid.

    • reynaldo j. castaneda August 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      But you could have reconstruct the the statement attributed to dr campbell-mcbride and still drive the message home. Sen. Sotto delivered that speech so he is responsible for it. and since you are the head of the staff of the good senator, You are equally responsible for the error, isn’t it? and to think that you have your own staff makes me squirm here. That you all guys are doing a SLOPPY WORK! You use the word “oversight” to trivialize the mistake? I don’t think we, the netizen are not deflecting the issue or the debate. We are just reminding you that readers and watchers are not fools as you might think.

    • . . . remember, rizal was the seventh child of 11 children of teodora alonso and francisco mercado . . .

      Attorney Villacorta., for your sake I sure hope Sarah Pope took up Filipino History during her school years.

    • abugado de kampana August 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      atty. villacorta, i think you and your staff should do the right thing and resign. plagiarism is a serious offense. you know that from your thesis days when you were still a student, right?

      your a lawyer, so you know the law. plagiarism is a cause of action in a legal suit. right? so why defend it?

      the topic here is plagiarism, and not the Bill that you and your master are opposing. if you want to fight the RH Bill, go ahead, but please, do it within the bounds of what is legal, moral, proper and fair.

      i do not know if Tito Sotto is getting his staff from Eat Bulaga, because you guys are really funny.

    • Sir, the fact that Senator Sotto has you in his staff; that you have decided to move forward in this manner (with a blog comment, really?); that you and your team allowed Sen. Sotto to read plagiarized matter; that you and your team did not guide him to immediately own up to the mistake (the denial has been documented); worries me to no end.
      My concern is specifically on Plagiarism and on Lying: our honorable senator is lying about where the documents came from and you wish that swept under the rug? This is why our country suffers, sir. Because we suffer fools like what you, your staff, and your boss represent in this situation. And we do not have a moral compass.

      Shay Te
      CdO City, Mindanao

    • Atty Hector Villacorta, THIS is plagiarism:

      Rizal: Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay daig pa ang malansang isda.
      Blogger: Ika nga ni Rizal, daig pa ng malansang isda ang taong walang pagmamahal sa sariling wika. Kaya mahalin natin ang sariling wika.
      Plagiarist: Ika nga ni Rizal, daig pa ng malansang isda ang taong walang pagmamahal sa sariling wika. Kaya mahalin natin ang sariling wika.

      I hope you get it. I don’t know how you became a lawyer, you don’t even know how to capitalize. My unsolicited advice: Consult professional writers, authors, etc on whether or not you committed plagiarism. Congratulations, you just put your boss into deeper sh*t.

    • Mr. Villacorta:

      Are you sincere in your apologies or not? You’re remarks here reek of arrogance. You failed to attribute lifted content and the Senator is also liable for the actions of his staff. It is what you call command responsibility. Just say sorry and strive to correct this oversight among your ranks. No need to be arrogant.

    • There can’t be any more argument at this point of the hoopla that Sotto did plagiarize and therefore lied when he declared that he did not. But how can an “honorable” man such as he lie? A senator to boot. What are we to make of this affair? Sarah cannot possibly lie because she’s the one being plagiarized–of course. But how can Sotto lie when he is an “honorable” man? Somebody made a fool of himself over this matter and it cannot be Sarah. So it must be Sotto. But how can an “honorable” man lie? As for you Villacorta, Sotto picked his henchmen right. He tells you to take the rap and you do. What is this nonsense you spout that Sarah may have been slighted because she wasn’t given credit as a source? And this childish spiel about unborn children?!? You, I and every Filipino knows what matters here is that Sotto lied. And you bear the noble title of “Atty.” Shame on you. Persuade, cajole or beat up Sotto to admit that he lied so you can cleansed yourself of the stink you contributed to this mess. This matter will immediately end once Sotto admits that he lied.

    • Miss Psychedelic August 17, 2012 at 1:51 am

      Uhm, excuse me? Are you really a lawyer? Why can’t you properly capitalize words in each and every beginning of a sentence? Now that says a lot about the Senator’s staff are like… especially how they write!

    • Honestly, Tito Sotto’s Legal Team, if they really have full grasp of the law, should know the rules of plagiarism. Should we bring out Copyscape and other plagiarism checkers to show you guys that the speech was lifted from this blog? It wouldn’t hurt to admit is simply say that Sarah’s thought pretty much mirrored what he thinks his cause supports. Denying everything makes him more of a crook which lessen his credibility as a person and as a government official.

    • Naku po ATTORNEY. Balik ka sa Grade 1 at matutunan mong magsulat ng tama. At the end of a full stop, CAPITALIZED ang first letter of the word! Haynakupzz! lolz!

    • *rolls eyes*

      Why would she even remember Rizal? She’s American. Why would she even know who our national hero is? Do you know who the heroes are of other countries? Do you remember all of them? (Besides, Rizal came from a family of means).

      And you even have the audacity to ask her not to deflect the debate to the matter of plagiarism??? As if she’s the one who did wrong? *shakes head* Who used plagiarized words on this “great debate” anyway??? It was by your own doing that you made a debacle out of this “great debate” as you call it.

      Do not hide behind the importance of the RH bill debate so as not to take responsibility for your actions. The subject of the debate is a separate issue. Step away from that. The issue here IS the plagiarism. Don’t you realize that what you really seem to be asking Sarah is to let matters slide so you will not have to be held accountable for your actions? Let you have a free pass? That is SO not right.

      Even if Sen. Sotto did not lift the words himself, he still has responsibility over what his staff did. I agree, you do not have to tell him to admit to something he did not do. But he certainly does have to admit to what his staff did and apologize because your actions reflected on him and embarrassed him.

      By posting this comment here you have only made matters worse. But I for one, am thankful that you did. So as the Filipino people who have read it and been embarrassed by it, can apologize on your behalf.

    • Sottofailbigtime August 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Atty villacorta is a graduate of wanbol university.Ms Tapia was his teacher,the escalera brother saw the potential of villacorta so they asked him to join them.

    • Pareng Hector:

      The message of your tone smacks of condescension and falsehood. It isn’t difficult to read between the lines and realize that this person really doesn’t mean it.
      There’s no need to dig deep anyway since your message made it abundantly clear that you felt you really had no need to apologize since you were just trying to paraphrase a technical paragraph from Dr. Campbell-McBride.
      Baloney! This is what you really did. You found this blogger’s post and then you may have proceeded to this blogger’s source, which was Dr. C-M. But chances are, Hector, that you didn’t go to this blogger’s source. You just made it up. Palusot mo lang iyan pare.

      Abogado ka pa so ang ginagawa mo ay ginagamit mo iyong pinagaralan mo para sa kaguluhan. Gingugulo mo ang usapan at ibinalot mo iyon dahil nahihiya ka at nahuli ka. Masamang ugali iyan ng Pinoy.

      Here’s what I said; You’re a lawyer and you have used your skills to create confusion. You are muddying the topic because you are ashamed that you were caught. This is a bad habit of Filipinos.

      You know what plagiarism is, Hector. You are not going to get crucified. In your mind, you feel that much embarrassment but you know what, pare, a simple apology would have sufficed.


      I am sorry. We had a momentary lapse of judgement. Being the chief of staff of one of our senators, I should have been more professional, not to mention, ethical. I screwed up. This is not my boss’s fault. This was mine. Please accept my apologies.

      Think about it Hector.

    • Okay….. I cannot believe that Atty. Hector Villacorte actually writes as if he’s text-messaging! Oh the shame! The shame! The shame! Can’t even capitalize his letters properly! Sighs. Philippines is a hopeless case.

    • atty villacorta, that was the most insincere and arrogant “apology” i have ever seen. you did not own up to doing wrong, you made excuses for it. it makes me sad that you underestimate your fellow filipinos so much, you can even think we will just let this go.

    • You call this an apology?! Really? It’s as if you are telling the writer of what you stole to be thankful that you stole it and your tone is pretty arrogant at that. If I were you, I’d apologize PROPERLY and stop with the self-righteous bull. It does not mean that just because you feel your cause is for good that stealing someone else’s ideas justifies it.

    • one step forward.. ten steps back… in two words: BULL SH**!

      …and to think our TAXES are paying for these people’s salaries, allowances, lavish lifestyle, etc.. the “benefits” that we, legitimate workers and tax payers, don’t even have.

      #FACE PALM#

    • 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Pingback: US blogger confirms that Sotto plagiarized her work | News from the Philippines and Around the World

  11. 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.

  12. 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! :)

  13. 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.

  14. nice blog… its simple… direct to the point.. STRONG ….. SCARY yet gentle .. and ending up with an attitude! nice nice nice! love this post!

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ^__^

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!
        Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse\’s last post: Coconut Oil: Why My Family Eats It and Other Saturated Fats, Our Favorite Coconut Oil Brand, and a BOGO Sale!

        • 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.

  21. Pingback: Pinoy Senator Tito Sotto’s Plagiarized Speech Got the Attention of Blogger Sarah

  22. Pingback: Sarah Pope’s Comment on Plagiarism against Senator Sotto « Chester2278's World of Blogs

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      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. :)

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.


  32. “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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.



  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. ‏@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

  38. 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.

  39. 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!

  40. 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 ;)

  41. 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.
    merlmd\’s last post: Stop The Debates: Pass The Freakin’ 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.

  42. 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!
    Ivan Saldajeno\’s last post: Trade Rumor Mills: A Day with a Man in Green

  43. 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).

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. Atty. Villacorta,


  47. 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,


  48. 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.

  49. 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…:)

  50. ^ 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

  51. 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.
    Lloyd\’s last post: Real Estate and Virtual Assistants

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

  53. 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

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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!

  57. 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


  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

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

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

  63. 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.

  64. 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..

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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!

  68. 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.
    merlmd\’s last post: Stop The Debates: Pass The Freakin’ RH Bill >:(

  69. 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!

  70. 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.
    Trish Baylon\’s last post: Im Sick Of Sticky Notes!

  71. 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

  72. 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!

  73. ooops, pahabol.



  74. 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

  75. 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!

  76. 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.


  77. 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.

  78. 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!

  79. …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.

  80. 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. :)

  81. Hi Sarah,

    By the way you worded this blog post, i could read in between the lines that you are a Pleasant Lady.

    I am sorry that we came to knew us in “an unusual way”

    but rest assured that we are not all the same,

    and i am hoping that soon you can give us a visit and see how wonderful people we are.

    Should you come, i am more than willing to show you around Cebu, i might temp you to try our succulent and as Anthony Bourdein describe as “World’s Best Roasted Pig” our Lechon.. opps i am sorry but this food is quite un-healthy.

    See you Soon

  82. 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!

  83. “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!

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

  85. 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).

  86. 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).

  87. 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!
    Canon\’s last post: Fractal Cracks [Hitting the Ground Running]

  88. 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.

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

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

  90. 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.

  91. 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!!!

  92. 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…

  93. 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

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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!

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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. :)

  106. 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.
    Kilawinguwak\’s last post: Manila, Drowned Like a Rat

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

  109. Pingback: Dear Senator Sotto - KabayanTech

  110. 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.
    Bea\’s last post: Before you go on a diet, check your body type.

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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…

    • 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.


  115. 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).

  116. 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.

  117. 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.

  118. 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.

  119. 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.

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

  121. 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:

  122. Pingback: Part 4. Senator Tito Sotto's chief of staff admits he used Sarah Pope's blog | News| Celebrity News | Philippine News | Tagalog Movies

  123. 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!

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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!
    Jerome Ibuyan\’s last post: 4-Step Strategy to Going Viral on StumbleUpon

    • 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

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

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

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

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

  135. Pingback: Senator Tito Sotto caught lying, own staff owns up to copying from blog! | Why Not Coconut!

  136. 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

  137. 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?

  138. 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.

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