Remember that plagiarism issue raised by Pinoy Templars? Well, Pia Cayetano’s answer has finally hit mainstream media, and it’s a lousy reply.
“I myself am a writer and a blogger. I believe that everyone is due the proper accreditation and the acknowledgment… nakalagay naman po yun sa ating Intellectual Property Code that from the moment of creation…your literary work is protected,” she said in an interview with reporters.
But she said that it’s difficult to cite all of the sources while the speech is being delivered so she just mentions the major source at the beginning and makes sure to insert footnotes where the speeches are uploaded.
“So sinasabi nila na bawat sentence during my speech dapat i-acknowledge ko? Mahirap naman gawin yun during the speech,” she said.
She has a point, of course. But hang on. Wasn’t she part of the chorus that crucified Tito Sotto? Granted that Sotto’s PR people were stupid enough not to have thought of this defense, still, it’s poor form for Pia to adopt such a crudely obvious dodge. Not to mention the fact that, apparently, the official published versions of at least one of her speeches didn’t seem to have any attribution footnotes at all for the allegedly plagiarized passages.
“My staff has told me in some cases dun sa lumang WordPress file hindi po napapasok ang footnotes. It’s a technical glitch and they have made the appropriate corrections,” she said.
“[So due to the] technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she added.
Damn! Apparently the MS Word glitch that prevented Supreme Court Justice Castillo’s attribution footnotes from showing up has infected Pia’s “WordPress file.” Double damn! I didn’t even know that WordPress did footnotes. Seriously tho,’ this is probably the lamest excuse ever. Worse for being nothing but an updated version of an old alibi that didn’t even fly the first time.
And while we’re on the subject, what’s up with namedropping WordPress? Was it an error? Did she mean MS Word? Or was she counting on the obscurity – to the general public at least – of the publishing platform as a means of glossing over her error? Did she maybe expect people to go, “ah, wordpress naman pala kasi. okay.”
She likewise clarified that her speech on “The Status of the Philippines in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals” was never delivered on the Senate floor and was just uploaded on her website.
“Unfortunately yung media officer ko akala yung na-deliver kong speech naupload yun again technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she said.
“Sana naman po may konting nag-abala yung nag-blog…that speech was never delivered on the Senate floor…you would see that in the Senate journal,” she said.
Well now, she’s just gone and torpedoed her first excuse out of the water, hasn’t she? In the first place, she says citing sources while delivering a speech was difficult. But if her speech wasn’t delivered, then – by her own logic – there’d be no problem with attributions, right? So, she waves the magic “technical glitch” wand and puts the smoking wand in her hapless – and conveniently anonymous – media officer’s hand. Real classy. Especially since people have been bitching about ‘command responsibility’ and all that.
In concluding her defense, Pia Cayetano whines that the issue had been blown out of proportion. Maybe so. But when she cheered while shit was being splattered all over your colleague over the exact same issue, perhaps she shouldn’t be so quick to complain when she gets some of that same shit splattered all over her.
Karma, truly is digital.