This was how Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III described the online “attacks” leveled against him following his insistence that his privilege speech on the Reproductive Health Bill was not plagiarized from an American blogger.
In a follow-up speech delivered Wednesday, Sotto stood up against his online critics, saying the attacks are part of a demolition job that seeks to discredit him for going against the proposed RH Bill.
“Mula sa blogs, Facebook, at Twitter, ginawa akong sentro ng mga mapanira at malisyosong atake ng iba’t ibang tao, lalo pa ng mga sumusuporta sa RH Bill,” Sotto added.
Because the issue has been brought to fore, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, in explaining his defense of Sotto, pointed out that there is a need to succinctly define the rules of blogging in the Philippines, a proposal which Sotto quickly backed up.
“Ngunit wala yatang batas sa ating bansa tungkol diyan (blogs),” “Marahil dahil dito sa ating naranasan … para maliwanagan na ito at magkaroon ng patakaran o reglamento o rules na susundin ng lahat, ay mag-panukala tayo ng batas.”
This proposal clearly did not stand well with Filipino bloggers and social media users, who stressed the need for maintaining freedom of expression, even online.