Did Sotto copy again? Netizens point out translation of Kennedy speech

by Jose Carlos Maningat

Originally posted at Sotto copied again? Netizens point out translation of Kennedy speech

It seems that Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III did it again.

Netizens flagged again Sotto on Wednesday, pointing out that the senator translated parts of a speech delivered by the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy and used them in the last part of his “turno en contra” privilege speech against the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.

But Sotto, who was previously accused of plagiarizing a US-based blogger, sees no problem with the use of the Tagalog translation of Kennedy’s speech.

“It was texted to me by a friend.  I found the idea good. I translated it into Tagalog. So what’s the problem?” Sotto said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.

“Ano? Marunong nang mag-Tagalog si Kennedy? [What now? Does Kennedy now know how to speak in Tagalog]?” he added.

Below are parts of Kennedy’s 1966 speech in South Africa which Sotto translated and used for his speech’s conclusion:


“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”


“Iilan ang magiging dakila sa pagbali ng kasaysayan, subalit bawat isa sa atin ay maaaring kumilos, gaano man kaliit, para ibahin ang takbo ng mga pangyayari. Kapag pinagsama-sama ang ating munting pagkilos, makalilikha tayo ng totalidad na magmamarka sa kabuuan ng kasaysayan ng henerasyong ito.


“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”


“Ang mga hindi-mabilang na iba’t ibang galaw ng katapangan at paninindigan ang humuhubog sa kasaysayan ng sangkatauhan. Tuwing naninindigan tayo para sa isang paniniwala, tuwing kumikilos tayo para mapabuti ang buhay ng iba, tuwing nilalabanan natin ang kawalan ng katarungan, nakalilikha tayo ng maliliit na galaw. Kapag nagkasama-sama ang mumunting galaw na mga ito, bubuo ito ng isang malakas na puwersang kayang magpabagsak maging ng  pinakamatatag na dingding ng opresyon.”


Image via Näinö Gädingän of Get Real Philippines facebook.