Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Did This Baguio Politician Just Plagiarize A Quote And Claim It As His Own?

A Facebook page called Vice Mayor Edison Bilog Page has posted the following photo accompanied by a quote. If you can't clearly read the text, it says "My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned but not bought."

It's a very inspiring quote. It's a creed that every politician should adhere to. But here's the problem: why did the page attribute the quote to Vice Mayor Bilog? That quote isn't his. That's by Margaret Chase Smith, an American politician who served in the U.S. Congress from 1940-1940 and then in the U.S. Senate from 1949 to 1973. The Vice Mayor Edison Bilog Page posted Smith's words as if it's Bilog's own words.

Plagiarism is defined as "the "wrongful appropriation" and "stealing and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions" and the representation of them as one's own original work." [Source: Wikipedia]

Based on this definition, what transpired here is plagiarism. Pure and simple. It's like using John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." then putting your name under it.

Now, it's but fair that we give Bilog the benefit of the doubt here. We are all aware of the fact that anybody can create a fake profile or page and post updates without the knowledge of the REAL owner of the name. So this brings us to the question: did Bilog post the photo and quote himself or a representative of his did it on his behalf? Is he even aware of the existence of the page? There's the chance that he isn't personally running the page as he has his own profile page.

UPDATE (May 8, 2 pm):  A certain Jib Ilacad has left comments here and on Facebook stating that it was him/her who posted the photo and quote as an admin of the Vice Mayor Edison Bilog Page. I'm going to reply to some of the comments he/she left.

It is not my intention to destroy Mr. Bilog. I have nothing against him. I've never met him. I just noticed a Facebook page with his name on it putting out a quote as if it's his own. That's the only thing I'm trying to point out. Now that you have admitted to posting it yourself and not Bilog himself, that's great. At least we now know that it wasn't Bilog who posted it.

Why should I take it down? You already said that it was you who posted it. Now that the readers know, give them the chance to decide for themselves. It's up to them to believe you or not. And here's what I don't understand. Why would you call the article "malicious"? What's malicious about it? I just pointed out something that I thought was wrong.

So Mr. Ilacad, you've admitted of being the admin for the Bilog page and that you've posted things on it in his behalf. That said, I suggest you take full responsibility for what you have posted. And this responsibility does not include calling this article "malicious" and alluding to some "real intentions". I find it ironic that the quote by Margaret Smith which you didn't attribute properly was talking about expecting constructive criticisms and smears. However, your comments and reactions to this article show that you CAN'T take criticisms.

So this article is staying as is. I'm not deleting it.