An online petition seeking the removal from the upper House of a Philippine lawmaker allegedly for being a serial plagiarist is gaining ground after gathering 7,469 signatures as of Saturday.
Change.org website accuses Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III of using his political clout and showbiz influence in spreading misinformation on the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill. Sotto is a former movie star and sometimes hosts noontime show "Eat Bulaga" on television.
The petition said: "He steals other people's opinions when he doesn't have his own and shamelessly distorts them to advance his own stupid, selfish cause. He is a very bad example to the youth who might as well be allowed to cheat in their exams, and he bends religious teachings to justify his acts."
Sotto, an anti-RH Bill, in his privilege speech two weeks ago blamed the death of his unborn child on his wife's unconscious use of contraceptives.
“He (Sotto) could have prevented the accidental pregnancy by wearing a condom,” the petition stressed.
"Let us show this traditional politician that he is not a victim of online bullying but that we are all willingly criticizing him for free," the petition said.
Many of the signatories explained their reasons for wanting Sotto removed from the upper House.
"We need people of integrity in the government. He not only plagiarized once, twice but thrice - and he had the gall to deny it! And when he was proven guilty over and over again, he blustered and said ‘What now? It was only a blog!’" said Vida Lim of Quezon City.
"The integrity and competitiveness of our government is at stake, also his actions provide a terrible example to the youth," said Allen Tiongson of Pasig City.
"If they cannot even create a speech of their own original writing, it just comes to show how brainless, useless and utterly unhelpful they are to the country," said Camille Armas, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Japan.
Sotto has yet to comment on the campaign for his ouster. But the Senate has already asked the public to stop bullying the senator.