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Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late American senator Robert F. Kennedy, is the latest to accuse Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto of plagiarism following the earlier complaints of three US-based bloggers.
Kennedy, who is also the President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, has issued a formal complaint regarding Sotto’s misguided use of her father’s 1966 Day of Affirmation Speech. Though the senator claimed that this was not a case of plagiarism as he had delivered his speech in Filipino, Kennedy stated otherwise, saying that it is still “a clear case of plagiarism.”
“The Day of Affirmation speech is an internationally well-known and frequently referenced piece of American rhetoric. The 'ripple of hope' line in particular is one of Robert Kennedy’s best known quotes and it is absurd to suggest that Senator Sotto came up with identical remarks himself,” read Kennedy’s complaint, which can be read on Rappler.com. “Senator Sotto has claimed that because he recited my father’s speech in Tagalog, rather than English, the words are his alone. This is an argument that has no ethical merit.”
Kennedy is asking for an apology from the Filipino senator, adding that she was “particularly offended” at Sotto’s use of her father’s speech in an argument against the use of contraception. “Expanding and protecting access to contraception is a global priority I have promoted for years, and limiting that freedom was in no way the topic of the 1966 Day of Affirmation speech.”
According to an article on Rappler.com, Kennedy’s complaint will be included as an addendum in the ethics case against Sotto, which will be filed before the Senate Ethics and Privileges Committee on November 13.
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)