A Debate Challenge:Tito Sotto vs Claudio/Syjuco

Tito Sotto, you have to face the fact that you Plagiarized and it is a crime, no matter what your opinions are,  don't fool the Filipino people because you are just fooling yourself. Stop making fun of yourself. And don't act like an underdog, you know better than that.

To stop the issue over plagiarism on his RH Bill speech, writer Miguel Syjuco and professor Leloy Claudio challenged Senator Tito Sotto in a tag team debate. The debate is a chance for him to prove that he knows what RH bill is.
Dear Tito Sen,

Almost a year ago, I challenged you to a public debate on the Reproductive Health Bill. I did so because of your facile understanding of statistical analysis, which led you to question the maternal mortality rate in the Philippines. In response, you said it was “superfluous” to debate outside the Senate, and that doing so would be “an insult to Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Pia Cayetano, who are both defending the bill.”

After I received your love letter, I spoke to both Sen. Defensor-Santiago and Sen. Cayetano. Neither of them would feel slighted if you granted my request. My dear Sen. Sotto, it is in this light that I humbly reissue my challenge. This time around, however, I offer a variation: below is another letter from Miguel Syjuco – my tag-team partner.

Hopefully you are more open to debating now. In your last privilege speech, you complained about cyber-bullying and claimed that your detractors refuse to refute the substantive portions of your turno en contra speeches. Should you accept our challenge, we will do exactly as you requested. Present all your evidence, and we will respond accordingly. If you want a tag-team partner of your own, there is always the CBCP.

In the past year, you have disregarded and misrepresented the arguments of RH advocates, while slandering them as individuals. And yet you ensconce yourself within the protective barrier of parliamentary immunity. It is you, not us, who have refused to engage.

You insist that your cause is just. Your allies from the CBCP and the theocratic right claim you are on God’s side. Such platitudes impel you to defend your views/faith outside the Senate floor. Do not fail your bishops. Do not be a coward.

If you feel, however, that the time for debating is over, it is your job as Majority Floor Leader to let the legislative process run its course. Put this bill to a vote.

As we challenge you anew, we are also encouraging other RH advocates to do the same. If for some reason you – a senator of the Philippines – do not want to debate a junior academic and a freelance writer, perhaps you would deign to square off with our other allies.

Whatever the case, your duty as a public official requires you to face your dissenting constituents. Go on, show us you have what it takes.


Leloy Claudio
Teacher and concerned citizen
Dear Tito Sotto,

You are senator to all Filipinos—the millions who live at home and the millions who, like me, make a life abroad. You serve as a democratically elected leader both to those who agree with you and those, like me, who do not. You are answerable to us all.

Your critics accuse you of deliberately delaying voting on the Reproductive Health Bill. Others believe you have also plagiarized in your speeches and acted with conduct unbecoming a senator. It’s time you put that to rest, or allow immediate voting on the RH Bill.  

As you know, the legislature and the media are key venues for public discourse on matters pertinent to the development of our nation. Discussion is vital to democracy. As such, Leloy Claudio and I issue you a challenge: a tag-team debate. 

In one corner, Mr. Claudio and me. In the other, you and a partner of your choosing from your allies among the Catholic bishops. We can finally debate the benefits and faults of the RH Bill, as well as the legality, ethicality, and propriety of your unauthorized appropriation of other people’s work. No mudslinging. No ad hominem attacks. No senate immunity. 

This debate is important because there remain questions that deserve answers. For instance, you’ve avoided  allegations that, in addition to Sarah Pope and three other online sources, you also plagiarized the work of Janice Formichella and Peter Engelman, two American writers who tell me personally that you copied-and-pasted from their copyrighted work. Nor have you provided tangible proof that the pill Diane was linked to the very tragic death of your son, nor explained how your wife even took Diane in 1974 when it only existed in 1978. Neither you nor Hector Villacorta has addressed these issues.

Since you say copying is permitted in the Philippines, I propose a catchy name for our event: D'Thrilla sa Manila. Subtitled: Church & State vs. Academia & the Internet. 

This will be streamed live on the Internet for the world to see. 

To quiet the accusations that you are merely filibustering, this debate must occur no later than the day after your final turno en contra speech, and should cap discussion and guarantee voting in the Senate before the end of session. The wheels of democracy must be allowed to turn. 

If you refuse this challenge, there’s evidently nothing more to discuss, and you must allow voting on the RH Bill to proceed immediately. 


Miguel Syjuco
Writer and concerned citizen

photo credit: http://politicallyintoxicated.blogspot.com/2012/09/claudiosyjuco-vs-sotto.html

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  1. wow! I do hope he'll say yes. Because all I hear is his side ON TV and we (the bloggers) are heard on the internet. Not all people can relate to our hard work, not all people knows how PAINFUL it is and how you can be so angry when someone else steal something from you. Kasi nga daw, "BLOGGER LANG NAMAN YON..."

  2. Tito Sotto has really dug himself too deep this time by never admitting he plagiarized, he just don't want to admit he was wrong. The years of saying "wala yan sa lolo ko" must have him thinking that like his lolo, he can never be outmatched.

  3. This one is catchy: Church & State vs. Academia & the Internet. Now waiting for his response (for sure he will ask opinion and advice from his supporters and allies).

  4. This debate challenge should serve him as a wake up call to change and be a man of integrity. Otherwise, his political career will end soon.

  5. This I am willing to pay to watch Sotto mumble and fumble and eat his shit out!

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