In an unusual move, Senate President Tito Sotto has been posting Bible verses on his Twitter page of late. Was this his way of dealing with critics of the Anti-Terrorism Bill?
On Monday, June 15, the lawmaker tweeted a chapter and a verse from the book of Exodus, while pointing it out as the 9th Commandment of God.
The verse says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” which is a timely reminder to those who commit perjury or agree to spread deceitful lies to condemn or defame someone.
The 9th Commandment Of the Great Architect Of The Universe!
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) June 15, 2020
But, netizens had mixed reactions towards the Senator’s tweet. While some agree with his post, others found it a ‘funny joke’ and slammed Sotto for doing so.
According to a netizen, the 71-year-old lawmaker should tell that himself to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s Deputy Director Mocha Uson who keeps on spreading false information and fake news online especially about Vice President Leni Robredo. It is undisputed that the country’s Vice President has long been the target of tirades of DDS trolls, including Uson, for her open criticisms about matters that she sees disturbing under the Duterte Administration.
The netizen reacted, “Pakisabi po niyan sa grupo nila Uson na puro kasinungalingan pinagsasabi about @VPPilipinas.”
The netizen also reminded Sen. Sotto about the eighth commandment which states, “You Shall Not Steal” in relation to Sotto having plagiarized a speech back in 2012 which many critics think, is the major reason why he inserted a provision on online libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Anti-Cybercrime Law.
“Isa pa, don’t skip the 8th Commandment: “You shall not steal,” she went on.
Plagiarism, as defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary, is an act of taking and using other’s ideas or work without crediting the original owner, hence, pretending that it is your own.
Some Twitter users echoed the same sentiments. Here are their reactions:
…but, first, Mocha Uson.
— unofficiaplayer⁷ (@unofficialplyr) June 15, 2020
Let's also not forget the Eighth Commandment. pic.twitter.com/fSAY9QT8HX
— NovemberOscarWhiskey (@NovemberOscarW2) June 15, 2020
Can you also tell that to @MochaUson?
— Rambo Tan (@RamboTa55018599) June 15, 2020
But it’s not the first time that the Senate Leader tweeted a bible verse.
On June 7, he also tweeted, “Luke 23:34,” which the Bible says, “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments,” a day after red-tagging Kapamilya star Angel Locsin as a supporter of the communist group New People’s Army (NPA).
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) June 7, 2020
Netizens found his action of liking a tweet claiming the actress as a pro-NPA unacceptable and bothersome especially to those who openly condemned the passage of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill.
Locsin called out Sotto in her tweet and clarified that she never supported any terrorist group in any way possible.
Hi Sen @sotto_tito, saw that you liked this tweet. I will never support terrorists, nor will I ever support any kind of violence. You have the right to like any tweet. And we have the right to voice out our opinions. I hope we don’t get tagged as terrorist for doing so. Thank you pic.twitter.com/xfQNsnCFF5
— Angel Locsin (@143redangel) June 6, 2020
Further, the lawmaker labeled the critics of the controversial bill as ‘epal’ and ‘misinformed’ for they just keep on opening their mouth without going through the details of the bill being presented.
He said, “Napakaraming naririnig at nababasa sa social media na mukhang hindi naiintindihan eh, katakot-takot na pintas. Hindi nila alam itong anti-terrorism bill na bago. Ang daming epal, ika nga. Tapos ang dami namang pumipintas, ‘yung pinipintas nila wala doon sa bill.”
After the House of Representatives approved the passage of the bill on third and final reading on Wednesday, June 3, with 173 affirmative votes, 31 negative votes, and 29 abstentions.
House Bill 6875, or the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which seeks to prevent, prohibit, and penalize terrorism in the country is merely a step closer to becoming a law especially now that the final verdict is in the hands of President Rodrigo Duterte.