Monday, April 5, 2010

My Thoughts on MVP Speech Controversy

Hello again, many people have been asking me for my comments on the MVP speech controversy. Just to clarify, the speech which i previously posted was MVP's address to the Ateneo School of Science & Engineering and School of Management graduates, which was held on the first day of the ceremonies. This was not the speech that had borrowed quotes from JK Rowling & Oprah. Rather, this came directly from his mind and heart.

The speech that had sparked controversy was the second one he delivered the following day to the Ateneo School of Social Sciences and Humanities graduates.

That's right, he prepared two totally different speeches for the two days. First of all, there was no obligation for MVP to accept the invitation to be the guest speaker for this commencement exercise. He had already spoken to an Ateneo graduating class a few years ago. This time, he not only accepted one, but he whole-heartedly accepted both invitations even if he could have politely declined. We all cannot imagine what kind of schedule this man has to deal with every single day, being Chairman & board member of the largest corporations in the country like PLDT, Smart, Philex, MetroPac, First Pac, Maynilad, Meralco, to name a few. In fact, I believe he just flew in that morning from a business trip to Hong Kong in order to deliver his speech in the afternoon. Despite that, he accepted both invitations and opted to prepare two different speeches when he could have just prepared the same one for both days.

The reason for that reflects the deepest sincerity of MVP because he wanted the students from different fields to be able to better relate to his words. Many criticisms have emerged and that is expected because of the stature and integrity of this man. Just like a perfect Tiger woods committing infidelity, but of course this issue is nowhere close to that in magnitude. But to me, i think what's truly essential is to look at the bigger picture - the intention. From accepting and making two separate speeches despite all the circumstances, it is clear that MVP wanted to impart his wisdom to the graduates in order to ENCOURAGE and to INSPIRE them to succeed in life. That alone tells us the kind of man that he is. He could have taken the easy way out and simply declined. It was indeed a mistake to fail to cite and give proper reference to JK Rowling and Oprah but his intention was not for people to praise him as a great speaker by borrowing those lines, but rather he wanted to extract their creative minds by supplementing those words with his personal experiences. If you've read or listened to the speech, i can say about 95% of the content came from his personal stories and own wisdom. The borrowed lines are there to supplement and add a little more flavor.

At the end of the day, a mistake was done and it cannot be taken back. But let's look at the positive side. This is a lesson for MVP and for every one of us. Even the mightiest of the mighty are entitled to make mistakes. It doesn't make them less of a person. Jesus said "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her." What is valuable is that we are deeply sorry.

In his letter to Fr. Ben Nebres, MVP expresses his sincere apology and his wish to be disconnected from Ateneo. It really takes a lot of courage or "balls" as our Coach always puts it, to own up to your mistakes. MVP is truly a leader we should admire because of his love for the Filipino people, his exceptionally generous heart and his incredible courage!

However, being disconnected from Ateneo... Being an alumnus and former Blue Eagle, I definitely hope not!

Chris

31 comments:

borly said...

Well said, Chris!

kalliepepper said...

well said Chris. I heard about the whole controversy from a different blog and was hoping for your reaction. Yes you're right - it takes a lot of courage to own up to our mistakes. I agree that we should look on what MVP has done for our fellowmen - athletes or not - rather than making a big deal about the speech. True, it wasn't right that he cited some parts from JKR's speech without proper acknowledgment but hey, we all make mistakes and this one wasn't intentional - he just didn't know that it was taken from another person's speech.

love the quote from the Bible. ♥

Anonymous said...

this is one of the reasons why i want my kids to be like you when they grow up.... you're a good man with a kind heart. you always see the good in every individual that you write in your blogs. keep it up...good luck to your team.

Liezl from Dubai, UAE

Anonymous said...

Does MVP have a wife or kids?

jonx_29 said...

mr.MVP is one of the few people i admire..i just heard about it this morning in am station..well,the way it was reported was like MVP made a grave mistake..i mean who cares?!wala namang perpektong tao s mundong ito..it's so modest of him to write to father nebres to officially cut him out of ateneo and put the blame solely to him..bless him..(but i think cutting him out totally of ateneo is rather too much of repentance)..

sna lahat gnyan mag-isip..(lalo n ung mga nsa gobyerno at nsa malacaƱang!haha,do i sound bitter?)

it's just a speech..mistakes doesn't make him LESS human..he just use some of those "borrowed phrases" to inspire the graduates..

lastly,congratulations to charles!
and
the best of luck in your games there in serbia..(no injuries please!hehehe..) ^_^

miel said...

people can sometimes unintentionally quote something remarkable that another person have said, most especially if it made such a big impact on him. It happens to the best of us, and sometimes, no matter how much you wanted to give credits, it just slips off. Either you cannot remember who said what or from where you've heard it or there could be a thousand and one more other reasons. For all we know, even JK Rowling or Oprah have committed the same mistake at one point in time. Bottom line is, just try to understand what the guy is trying to convey. Was the experience and the lesson that he is trying to impart had also been copied from someone else's life? I wouldn't know much, I've been away from the country for quite some time, just dropping a thought.

Anonymous said...

AMEN. everything is true. those people are just detractors that need not to pay attention because that's what they want, to see want they did even if its negos! poor people. i just see crab mentality!

shikazelic said...

Such nice sentiments. I will also blog about this for I am quite sure Mr. Pangilinan wasn't aware of his fault but admitted them afterwards, anyway. That makes him aman of integrity.

erica said...

Very well said Mr.Tiu, and i commend u for also having the "balls" to clarify d issue & for being mature enough to look at the bigger picture.

Maybe those who magnify this incident simply wants to bring MVP down, either because they are jealous of what he had become, or they have other intentions of their own. Instead of doing such, i think they should focus on making their own speeches or at least find a way to inspire others in their own little way...

I have not met MVP yet. But I am looking forward to what he can do and achieve. He too is not perfect like everyone else. But at least he has again, the "balls" to apologize accept it .

Always,
erica

crazypeach said...

I hope other people see this post of yours. It would truly shed light on the current issue about this. This post deserves a BIG round of applause and I'm sure MR. MVP will be proud of you!

Leanne said...

For me, Mr. Pangilinan is a man that we should still give our respect for he knows how to say sorry and accepted his mistakes. He remained humble and had the courage to self-reflect.

Anonymous said...

personally i feel bad for manny pangilinan, but at the end of the day, he did plagiarize. it's very embarrassing, and even illegal. to add salt to the injury, the news has now reached the new york times and the bbc. plagiarism is a very serious offense, particularly in academia. students get expelled over stuff like this. so i think mvp did the right thing by apologizing and resigning. i don't understand why the ateneo board is not showing the same delicadeza by accepting his resignation. actually i do understand why, but i'm not going to spell it out. needless to say plagiarism should not be tolerated *in a school*, no matter who is behind it. and i think manny pangilinan shares the same sentiment, that's why he resigned. why doesn't ateneo take the hint?

charnegrete said...

Very well said kuya chris! :)

Anonymous said...

How sensible, Mr. Chris Tiu! No wonder why we look up on to you :)
MVP's speech is very inspiring and motivating. The media really makes small things in to big. Tss.. :|

Ana said...

"To err is human, to forgive divine" (Alexander Pope)

There is a twist to the quote above, and it goes: To err is human, to forgive is not company policy. With MVP, I guess this isn't the case. If it's true what the Inquirer said that despite the willingness of MVP's two new, young speech writers to come forward to take the blame, MVP still insisted on taking full responsibility for this controversy, then the success behind his companies is probably a testimony to the kind of leader that he is-- the kind of boss that he is, which he may as well add to the Type of Bosses he enumerated in the other controversial speech-- The Boss with Integrity. How I wish a lot of our public officials would take his lead and do the right thing and not simply brush things off with an "I am sorry" and continue with the shenanigans.

Tiger Woods' folly was very much his own doing, yet it still is divine to forgive him. Personally, I think that the magnitude of these controversies is due to the personalities involved. I empathize with MVP, though I cannot imagine generating as much controversy should I foul up big time. However, I still would appreciate it if people would rise above petty and malicious talks and deal with the issues with much charity and understanding. And, I hope, that should I one day find myself in his shoes, I would be just as "big" as him to own up to my mistake.


"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been wrong, which is but saying, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday." (Another quote by Alexander Pope.)

Tony said...

With the irony of being the head of PLDT-Smart which advocates internet literacy and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ADMU, what would MVP do now after he became a "victim" of internet plagiarism?

Do ADMU and other schools have existing policy on plagiarism? Are the students taught of the virtue of academic honesty?

lhoi said...

Well said Chris,,,
No matter what,,I still salute MVP!

Erine said...

The decision of being disconnected to Ateneo was far more heavy than the plagiarism issue.Copying of other people's speeches is forgivable naman eh. MVP has contributed a lot to the Ateneo community for years and getting himself disconnected to it just because of a copy+paste speech is just so shallow..

kinulang lang sa acknowledgement... Yun lang ang issue di ba??

Anyway, it was nice that you've commented on the issue.. Everything's very well said..

Anonymous said...

When I asked my favorite teacher in Moral Philosophy (Ateneo de Davao University)about his thought on this issue, he stated..."One stupid speech does not destroy a lifetime of hard work."....rom_batestil

Anonymous said...

Something's up with Manny Pangilinan's writers. I heard this happened as well during one of his corporate events, in Meralco's Corporate Rites.

Check it out here!
http://honeyDLSU.blogspot.com

Kali said...

it's true that plagiarism is a serious crime... and we should take it positively that people took the matter seriously because this is a testament of how mature we are as a society in terms of dealing with intellectual property rights.. But we should give credit to MVP for acknowledging his mistake and taking proper action.. that's something very admirable... a few people would respond to that situation the way he did... some would have simply apologized. i agree with you that this is why where he is right now. Why PLDT-Smart is the biggest telecomm company in the Philippines is because they have a leader like MVP who takes responsibilities for his action.

Anonymous said...

The issue of MVP's contributions to Ateneo is really a non-issue here (although the Ateneo must be grateful), it is not relevant. And the apology was needed, he shouldn't be overly praised for that, but it is acknowledged nonetheless. I think the honorary degree in Humanities is also academic in nature (however I much resent that), which is why it is different say from a mere plaque or "honor" alone. Plagiarism is also academic in nature. The honoris causa must be withdrawn, not out of spite or vengeance but to exact fairness to all members of the Ateneo community, in order that Ateneo demonstrate its incorrigible and uncompromising values that it has held for 150 years of tradition.

Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely what MVP did to make amends was a truly honorable act. But, I think the Fr. Nebres and the Board should accept his resignation. It's honoring a man's decision on how to correct his own mistake. Besides, plagiarism is a serious offense that has denied many an undergraduate the privilege to be called an Atenean and rightfully so. Should Ateneo have a different standard for its students and another for its alumni? Definitely not.

--- Chris (AGS '92, AHS '96, College '01)

Jenn Besonia said...

Hi,
I read your article on Inquirer.
Nice insight. I agree with you.

Sana nga hindi na sya mag-resign. Nakita naman na natin yung sincerity nya sa pag-admit nya ng mistake nya.

God bless.
Jenn

Anonymous said...

i'd like to know your thoughts on 1)the current state of the smart gilas program... do we have a shot at the london olympics... 2) the current state of the blue eagles. =D

Anton said...

mga atenista ba ang nagpost ng mga comments dito? MVP is a better human being than most of you because he realizes the GRAVITY of what he had done. His resignation is the appropriate response to a SERIOUS offense (many responses diminish the seriousness of plagiarism; another word for it: intellectual thievery, pagnanakaw ng idea na hindi sa iyo. That is what MVP owned up to and he is a better man for it. What you people are saying is that he should not be held accountable for the wrong that he owned up to. And that is NOT the so-called Ateneo way... Furthermore, you dishonor MVP by trivializing his resignation!!!

jeffrey buendia said...

sabi nga... nobody is perfect!

erica said...

OH NO!

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/gma/20100416/tph-manny-pangilinan-irrevocably-resigns-d6cd5cf.html

Anonymous said...

MVP shoed class by resigning irrevocably! so unlike the Ateneo board of trustees! and all you apologists!

Chin said...

hi
gee, after so many months, my prayers were heard ... thank you so much ,you never forgot this blog ...
well, you are right chris, we are just only humans, subject to mistakes and we don't have the authority to quickly judge others without listening to their side ...
what matters most is not on what he said during his speech but on what he had contributed for this country ...
i hope people will realize the good side of one thing ...
God bless Chris and continue to be an inspiration !!

zippo_d_frog said...

MVP will not be affected by the Ateneo Speechgate (he is too successful to be affected by it)... but the Ateneo educational system will.

I agree that the lifted portions did not comprise a decent portion of the message.

However, it is the lifting of passages without giving due credit to the original is the main academic issue.

It compromises the academe's ability to exert its authority over the plagarism and lifting of words from another material without adequate citations.

As expected, it is the academic community who made substantial noise to ensure that what they do is not compromised.

The academic community is regarded as the highest standard in which right practices are made. It is solely tasked to educate people the proper way of doing things, including the smallest detail. Most of all, we are here to teach professionalism, defined as being right the first time all the time.

The Ateneo academe cannot be compromised that way and to that extent.