Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto has refused to make a public apology following the plagiarism accusations hurled against him by four American copyright holders, including Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy. “Huh, for what?” Sotto was quoted by Rappler.com as saying when he was asked if he would apologize.
He also said that the issue was merely a “rehash” of the allegations he had faced in September. “Bakit ako? Wala iyan eh. Ano iyan eh, rehash. ‘Diba pinag-usapan na natin noong September iyan? Kayo naman oh, you’re being manipulated (Why me? That’s nothing. That’s just a rehash. Didn’t we already discuss that in September? You’re being manipulated),” he told the media.
Sotto also questioned the authenticity of Kennedy's complaint, saying that it might just be something made up by people who want to bring him down. “Ako pa magiging talking head nila para magkaroon sila ng news, excuse me ha? Pag walang official, don’t say a word. Anong rereactan mo, baka imbento lang iyan ng mga aficionado na professional manipulator sa Internet (They will even use me as a talking head so they will attract news, excuse me. If there is nothing official, don’t say a word. What will I react on, that may just be a fabrication of aficionados who are professional manipulators of the Internet.).”
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile later came to his colleague’s support, saying that as senators, they should have the freedom to say what they want to say. “We cannot be questioned for what we say inside this chamber anywhere, not because we are a special breed but because that is the immunity given by the sovereign people so we can speak on any subject under the sun,” he was quoted as saying.
However, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who heads the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, assured that public that the Senate will take on Sotto’s case as fairly as possible. “In any collegial body, that’s the balance, the balance that you’re not above the law and you cannot be arrogant with power but the balance also that you need a certain degree of statesmanship and cooperation to be able to pass the laws and be able to conduct business as a legislative body.”
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)