Monday, August 20, 2012

The Senator's Speech

It’s been a very looong time since I last wrote a blog entry here.  It was partly because of the addictive Facebook and Twitter that I am having a hard time maintaining not only one but three blogs.  Anyway, I felt the need to write one now since the subject matter is close to my heart.

Okay, here it goes...

This is not about the RH Bill.  I do not have any problems with Senator Tito Sotto’s stand on the issue.  That is HIS OWN position.  I respect it.  However, to know that a portion of his speech was taken from a blog which was not even credited is not right at all.  I am a blogger myself and whatever I write here comes from my own words.  Not copied.  Not plagiarized.  If I need to quote an article or any piece of work, I add the link or insert a screenshot.  It’s that simple.  So, I expect the same courtesy from other people.

To summarize, here are just a few lessons that may be learned from the so-called plagiarism issue:

1.  Write your own speech. It may not be the best but at least, it is something you can call your own.
In my opinion, a speech should be taken as personal.  I do not understand the reason of some people getting a speechwriter.  Getting a speech "editor" or "translator" maybe, but not someone who would write an entire speech for you.  Can’t they do it themselves?  Yes, a lot of them are busy BUT if you really want to make a point and express something straight from your heart, you’ll find the time to do it.  Otherwise, one needs to make sure that his/her ghost writer is an honest individual who wouldn’t just copy and plagiarize someone else’s work, plus you may just end up consulting Mr. Google for verification purposes.

I’m just a regular person with a normal I.Q. but I was able to write my own speech once.  So, I do not see any reason why others cannot do it, especially those who are being looked up to by the people.

2.  Do not forget to cite your source(s).  A simple acknowledgement won't hurt.
Freedom of speech does not give anybody the right to plagiarize.  Any piece of work is already covered by copyright protection from the moment of its creation.  Thus, it is what we call "automatic copyright".

When you quote a portion of an article, have the decency to acknowledge the source.  Besides, you already got the information for free.  What inconvenience would it cause you to simply name the author?  

3.  Respond in a more appropriate manner.  Send a private message or e-mail instead of replying in the comment box.
For someone who is called the “Chief of Staff”, more so a lawyer, you are expected to be more knowledgeable of proper communication etiquette.  Instead of doing your boss (in this case, it’s Senator Tito Sotto) a favor, you even added fuel to the fire.  Who, in his right frame of mind, would actually reply in a blog’s comment box when the matter at hand should have been addressed in a formal way?  As far as I know, only YOU, Mr. Hector Villacorta.  [Why didn’t I address him as “Attorney”?  Simple.  With the way he responded, I do not think he deserves it.]

4.  Write decently.  Do not forget the simple rule in composition: Capitalize the first letter of a sentence.
Isn’t Mr. Villacorta aware that the first letter of a sentence must be written in capital?  He did not only reply in an informal way but he did also write in an uneducated manner.  Is that how lawyers respond to issues nowadays?

5.  Respect and humility.
The concerned senator was quoted as saying, “Ba’t ko naman iko-quote ‘yung blogger? Blogger lang ‘yun.”  By saying that, he did not only insult Ms. Sarah Pope but the bloggers as a whole.  So, is that how low he regards us, bloggers?

If indeed, blogger “LANG” ‘yun, his speechwriter should have conducted his research from an article by a more popular and distinctive author.  Para naman mas mataas ang level sa taste ng senador.  So, why did he opt to source information from a blog instead?

To add insult to injury, the “Chief of Staff” replied in a rather semi-apologetic tone with a hint of sarcasm.  Please do not apologize if it is not wholehearted in the first place.

Honestly, this is an issue that could have been resolved easily by simply respecting the writer and sincerely admitting one’s shortcoming.  After all, nobody's perfect.  People, most especially in public office and their staff members, should always learn to reply in a proper and polite manner.  Remember, how you speak and write reflect your personality.

I am a blogger, a part-time blogger.  I do not write to get paid.  I do it for free.

I am a blogger, a part-time blogger BUT I am NOT JUST a blogger.  I have other jobs.  Decent jobs.  And I am not indebted to taxpayers' money.

So, to you Tito Sen:
The business tycoon, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan, was once in the same situation.  The only difference is he owned up to his speechwriter’s mistake and even voluntarily resigned from the Ateneo Board of Trustees.  I can only describe his act in one word – DELICADEZA.

Further, do not belittle other people.  Just because you cried during your speech that made you righteous and sincere.  Truth be told, the recent event only showed the darker side of your character.  Always remember the “Golden Rule” for you do not want to be looked down as, “artista lang”, do you?

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