Like the Indigo Girls Song…
‘Saying it in Pilipino is still plagiarism’, says Philippine senator
Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a long-time academic in the field of law, doesn’t buy Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III’s defense that speaking in Filipino gets him off the hook from charges he plagiarized English passages from a speech by the late US Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
“I don’t accept that because as I’ve said in the academe, whether you translate or not, whether you interpret or not, it makes no difference. You have to attribute,” Santiago said in a news conference following a speaking engagement on Saturday.
First, my thoughts/reactions on the issue of plagiarism:
- How difficult is it to acknowledge (Putting the above source-hyperlink did not take me five minutes)? Kahit nga sa tsismisan meron tayong “daw”, “sabi ni ____” o kaya “ayon sa aming reliable source”. As vague as it seems, at least the gossipers do not pass as theirs the information they got from others.
- Another thing Sotto and his staff can learn from the Filipino tsismoso/tsismosa: paraphrasing/rephrasing/editing/watchamacallit (I’m not good in grammar and its technical attachments). And no, direct translation does not count, as Sen. Santiago asserts. Although worms end up as snakes in tsismis, at least people do not relay secondary information as is, putting “personal” embellishments, in addition to their source (again the importance of “daw”).
- Has Sotto changed his staff yet? He better do it asap, before he makes another blunder. Or does he even make time to check whether what’s being fed to him are faulty or not?
- Yes, there is the problem of incompetence of our government officials, but the plagiarism issue is, in my opinion, a big deal because it is basic. While citation is academic, it is also otherwise; do-not-claim-what-is-not-yours is a fundamental human concept (or is common sense really not common at all?)
Next, my thoughts on RH Bill:
- I am Catholic, and I support the RH Bill. I would like to place confidence to my fellow Filipinos, that they are not as stupid and lamb-like as the anti-RH people imply them to be. After all, education and information is part of the Bill, to make us informed about our choices and rights.
- While the un-conceived and all their possibilities is a valid concern, I would also like to believe that God would want the born (from babies to elderly) to be taken cared of as well.
- My problem with the issue of (non)conception is that it entails speculation and uncertainty, which I don’t like. The same reason I am hesitant with stocks and economics and insurance plans.
- If only the pro- and anti-RH will treat the Filipino citizens as subjects (i.e., decision-makers and directors of their sexual and family life) instead of objects (recipients of contraceptives and health care and persuasions).
…”the hardest to learn is the least complicated”.