Back in my school days, my professors would curse the hell out of their students if they have found out that their term papers were copy pasted straight from wikipedia and other internet sites. Plagiarism is a heinous crime in the academe. Its punishment may range from verbal reprimand up to public embarrassment. Plagiarism has not also afflicted the academe but the other sectors as well when prominent people also fell to its trap. We can recall the case of Manny Pangilinan, Tito Sotto and a Supreme Court judge (cant remember his name though) who fell to the temptation of plagiarizing other people’s work.
Now that I am a teacher myself, I also tell my students that plagiarism is a big no-no in my classes. Every semester, I will always found a work or two being copy pasted from the internet despite my own measures of making sure that they do their assignments in the old fashioned, hand written way. I always serve a fabulous grade of 5.0 in their works and will keep doing so until they have implanted in their brains, all the way to their substantia nigra, that plagiarism is a serious offense in the academe.
I tell them: plagiarism is also corruption. Because both of them incorporates the act of stealing, disrespect of the institution involved and insulting the creative rights of the originator. In short, plagiarists are no different to common street thieves and corrupt and plundering public officials. Their only difference is that they operate on a different degree – which usually involves stealing creative works and crediting them as their own.
It is irritating to hear that a graduate student from the UP NCPAG named Mark Joseph Solis have tarnished the honor and excellence credo of his alma mater as well as adding embarrassment not only to his family name but also to the other national scholars like him when he committed plagiarism, not once but five times.
If you want to read the details of this plagiarism fiasco, you might want to see this article from rappler.com
If I could only drag Mr. Solis to hell, I wish I could. Satan would be very much happy to see another poor ethically ignorant soul, being sent down to his lair and enjoyed stealing the creative works of other people during his time on earth.
Mr. Solis have written his public apology. You may also want to view his letter of apology publicly published on Scribd.
In his letter, he reasoned out due to his youth, lack of experience and inability to see the repercussions of his actions as well as the sheer amount of prize, the stiff competition, and the unique opportunity to go abroad have blinded him and led him to do this act.
But I tell you this Mr. Solis: I dont think that your youth, lack of experience and other reasons et.al have blinded you to do such act. Heck, even a fifth grader would know that plagiarism is one of the mortal sins in the academe. What you really lack is a moral compass and blatant disrespect to other people’s work. You are blind because of the prevailing thought of credentialism – that people like you, who thought that by going to UP and other high rating institutions will make you more superior that the other folks who may have come from not-so-well-known schools. You are dead wrong.
Credentials are not sufficient to replace the essence of character. Your character will always be superior to your credentials. As some people might say right now: “tiga UP ka nga, pero bulok ang character mo. Walang kwenta pa din”
Bottomline is, you may have come from one of the most prestigious universities in our country but you utterly lack a moral compass to know if plagiarism is right and wrong.
I am saddened also that the reputation of UP is tarnished because of this fiasco. I have admired good people from UP. But let’s face reality – that even if your barrel is a state of the art one, chances are, there will be still rotten apples in your barrel. And if you don’t remove those rotten apples, it may rot the whole bunch. I hope that the academe will strictly impose a penalty against plagiarizers and help the rest be educated on the dangers of credentialist way of thinking.
Seriously, Mr. Solis, wala kang pinagkaiba kay Janet Napoles. Tseh.