Friday, August 31, 2012
Since the news of Sotto’s plagiarism broke out, I knew someone in his office will get it, for it is rare for these politicians and even business leaders to be writing their own speeches.
I was waiting for the celebrity senator and his office to own up but Hey! They haven’t and looks like they are bent on setting a wrong as a right to be an accepted template in the senate!
I strongly feel that Filipino netizens shouldn’t let this issue die down until Sotto and his office owns up. The SC Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo may have gotten away with the excuse of “accidental removal of proper attributions”, but THINKING people know better. Sotto and his office cannot invoke the same when it is very obvious that the staff purposely and knowingly omitted attribution.
According to Atty. Hector Villacorta, Sotto’s chief of staff: “We plagiarized the US Constitution. All the amendments became our Bill of Rights. But do they call us a plagiaristic country? No, because the law is based on precedent.”
Do excuse my pedestrian knowledge of the law but from my angle, what I only I see is that Villacorta talks about laws but has overlooked the fact that there IS ALWAYS a corresponding attribution to note. May I be advised as to how did he come to know that so and so bill is copied and that our Bill of Rights was copied from the US Constitution, if there was no mention of it anywhere?
Villacorta talks about laws but is obviously oblivious of the laws that govern INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE INTERNET. Is he even aware that a photo, a blog or anything online can be deleted or shut down based on INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ABUSE? Case in point are those in this album who claimed “Minsan may Isang Puta” as their own and even dared to say they have made it an entry to a competition.
All of them had been taken down by Multiply or the server/site administrator.
With all due respect, Mr. Villacorta, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) dictates that everything is copyright protected once a material hits a server therefore making individuals who copy and paste, improperly quote, or intentionally plagiarize online material financially liable for their actions.
The rule on reposting content from other bloggers, is that you need to obtain permission unless the blogger allow reuse as specified in the Creative Commons Licenses.
THAT’S AN INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE PHILIPPINES ISN’T EXEMPTED FROM THAT, MOREOVER THE ‘HONORABLE LEADERS’ IN THE SENATE!
Villacorta further adds insult to injury by stating: ““We cannot draw up a speech that says ‘according to this blogger who quoted this author.’ It’s simply too awkward. Besides, what would the Senate President say,” Villacorta said.
“A whole gamut of ‘according to’ would also not make the speech credible. This is the Senate we are talking about,” he added.”
Is it too hard for the office of the “honorable” senator Vicente Sotto to just own up and join the trend set by the infamous motorist Robert Blair Carabuena? The office cannot be held as liable as that of the quick tempered Carabuena, due parliamentary immunity but they should show some decency by not abusing such privilege and at least, set a good example for the people who buy the popularity of the name that the office carries.
Reports of the emotional health of newly-appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno continue to make discussion fodder for the Philippines’ chattering classes. Sereno is noted for being rated a four on a 1-to-5 psychological stability scale (5 being the lowest) by a test administered by the Judicial Bar Council (JBC). According to “unverified” news reports, she was allegedly characterised as “dramatic and emotional”. Yet, despite Malacañang reportedly brushing off the results of that psych test, the administration of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III has been compelled to issue statements aimed at discrediting that information…
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said such a report is deemed unconfirmed, at least for now.
“Hindi naman verified ang sources niyan, unconfirmed reports. Sinama ng JBC sa shortlist ang ngayong Chief Justice, si Chief Justice Sereno. Hindi na kami magkukumento roon,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.
When asked if the Palace considers the psychological test moot, she said, “It’s not that. [The supposed information] is not an official release from the JBC….”
To be fair, her predecessor, former Chief Justice Renato Corona was also quite the emotional basketcase over the course of his impeachment trial. He was inclined to public prayerfulness and emotional breakdowns during his court battle against Uncle Peping’s legal forces. Sympathy for Corona coming from both the public and the Senator-Judges was put in jeopardy by his walk-out from proceedings during his first appearance before the Senate Impeachment Court. And much of his testimony then and in the second time he appeared was laced with appeals to emotion.
So much for the cold steely fortitude most of history’s truly great leaders served as exemplars of. Unfortunately, Filipinos being the drama junkies that they are reserve no amor for stoic silent types. You can see this in the way they mourn their dead — often wailing and flailing like they are trying to awake their loved ones even as their remains are lowered into a hole or shoved into a concrete niche. It is why necropolitics is so potent an opiate for the Filipino electorate. The most celebrated Filipino “heroes” die not in glory on the battlefield but as victims in sordid tales of woe — and Filipinos lap it all up: habitually launching entire political eras and catapulting whole dynasties into power on the remains of dead “victims”.
Yet, as the Deputy Speaker of the Philippines’ House of Representatives opined, one has to be emotionally switched on to see one’s self and the people one leads through challenging journeys…
[Deputy Speaker Jesus Crispin Remulla] party whip of the Nacionalista Party, said Sereno would need a lot of “emotional quotient” to withstand the pressure of being the chief justice.
“Sereno has got to have a lot of EQ. They may all have equal IQs but being the best of the best requires a lot of EQ to deal with and being among equals,” Remulla said.
Perhaps the concept of “emotional intelligence” should be clarified for an entire nation of people raised on a media diet of teleseryes, idiotic comedy, and necropolitics. Emotional intelligence involves (1) knowning when and when not to exhibit emotion, and (2) having the skills and constitution tomanage emotion to suit a situation. Obviously, one characterised as “dramatic and emotional” has a lot of skills upgrading to do in that department — assuming, of course, emotional intelligence can be learned.
But if we consider the latest findings coming from the emerging field of evolutionary psychology, the prospect of “learning” emotional intelligence may turn out to be another one of those consultants’ empty promises. Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviors or traits that occur universally in all cultures are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations including the abilities to infer others’ emotions, discern kin from non-kin, identify and prefer healthier mates, and cooperate with others. In other words, one’s emotional make up is strongly determined by one’s genetic heritage — in short, there is only so much upbringing, education, and training can do as far as our core character is concerned.
In the 1998 paper Sex differences in the Big Five personality factors: Testing an evolutionary hypothesis strong evidence was found that “females showed, on average, significantly higher scores on the Agreeableness and low Emotional Stability factor than did males” and that “the differences between males and females were maximized along this factor and were not significant on all other factors”. This puts a bit of science behind what it means to be a female in power in a man’s world, and adds some perspective to the manner with which we might consider what Malacañang’s rah-rah boys celebrate about Sereno’s appointment: her being female, young, and “God-fearing”.
This is not about being sexist or ageist. This is about being scientific and grounded on the latest ideas. Indeed, when someone tells you that you have “the balls” to do the job, it is usually considered to be a compliment — even to a woman. That simply points to the reality of what it means to succeed in human society which, contrary to the insistence of some emos, is still one dominated by the male of the species. Having balls is all about not getting all girly when the pressure starts to bear down.
Who knows? Lourdes Sereno just might surprise us.
[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the Wikipedia.org article “Evolutionary psychology” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]
Wednesday, August 29, 2012