A prevailing internet meme, “Sinotto”, a derived from the name of Senator Tito Sotto (Ugh, he really does not deserve the title senator. I’m gonna puke. Ugh) became one of the terms / words that infected the interwebs only last year. Sotto himself had also done some of his plagiaristic work, from quoting without atttributing to translating without attributing again.
And now the firestorm gathers around plagiarism and its new punching bag, Mark Joseph Solis, I begin to wonder if plagiarists can be sued. The answer is yes. Plagiarism is a violation of the Republic Act 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines which seeks not only to protect produced creative works by the real originators but to protect ideas as well from infringement.
To further enlighten you, here is an article from Isagani Cruz of Philippine Star that highlights the law in its essence. The article was written on September 13, 2012.
From what I have read in the news, the UP NCPAG will be investigating the aforementioned matter in accordance to its student manual. Everybody in the country shares the same disappointment as I am – Mark Joseph Solis is a graduate student of NCPAG, have delivered papers both in local and overseas conferences and a cum laude in his undergraduate political science studies from UP.
Now all of what he had achieved has been put into question. Who knows that the papers he presented might have been plagiarized too. But let me also pinpoint that Sotto should not also escape the plagiarism offenses. Hindi porket senador siya e makakalusot siya. Isa rin kaya siya sa pumirma sa Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Duh.
Further, the academe should also exercise sanctions to these plagiarists. The Solis fiasco has not also tarnished the reputation of UP but also of the Philippines as well.
I happen to watch his interview last night on 24 oras. He mentioned that because of his ever present needs for his tuition and household expenses, he was pressed to commit the act. Logic tells us that poverty or any dire straits that you experience in life is not a sufficient reason for you to commit a criminal act. Therefore, we may conclude that his reasons are invalid and are not sufficient enough to spare him from this firestorm.
I hope that every student should learn from this fiasco. Character still matters. You may have the wit of a genius but if you don’t have the character, then you have a problem there.
On the other side of the coin, I hope that Mr. Solis himself will learn a big deal from the fiasco he created. Que barbaridad, magtira ng kaunting hiya sa sarili ha? Hiya hiya naman pag may time. And be original dude!