Pope admonishes Sotto and crew for twisting her words
By GMA News Online and U.S. News Agency / Asian
In an ironic twist, the US blogger whose article was used as one of the sources for the speech of Senator Tito Sotto against the reproductive health bill has come out strongly on the right of Filipino women to use contraceptives if they need to do so.
Addressing the “Women of the Philippines,” blogger Sarah Pope wrote on Thursday: “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!”
Perhaps unwittingly, Pope redirected a raging debate on plagiarism to the debate on reproductive health with her response to the claim of Sotto that he did not copy anything from her blog. By Friday, her post “On Plagiarism, the Pill, and Presumptuousness” had attracted nearly 500 comments and 26,000 shares.
One of the comments came from Sotto’s chief of staff, Atty. Hector Villacorta, who wrote in the discussion thread: “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.”
He added: “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 Pope swiftly disputed Villacorta’s admission. “My BLOG was quoted, not Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I put her work in my own words and you copied my words,” she said.
“No, your lame comment does not make me ‘feel’ any better,” Pope retorted.
Pope also took offense with the way her words were used in Sotto’s speech last Monday, which expounded on the alleged negative effects of contraceptives and ended with an emotional retelling of his experience with his son who died supposedly due to his wife’s use of pills.
“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,” Pope wrote.
“I do not agree with Senator Sotto’s position on this issue (reproductive health) and he twisted the message of my blog to suit his own purposes against the women of the Philippines,” she added.