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Sotto erred in birth control pills claim?

MANILA, Philippines - Amid his problem with plagiarism, Senator Vicente Sotto III may yet again be asked to explain on his claim on a birth control pill's brand that supposedly was the reason behind his son's death in 1975.

A pro-reproductive health bill Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/prorhbill) posted that the birth control pill brand -- Diane of Bayer Schering Pharma - mentioned by Sotto in his anti-RH bill speech last August 15 was introduced in 1978.

An entry in Bayer's website -- http://www.bayerpharma.com/en/company/history/index.php -- confirmed that the birth control pill brand was introduced that year.

In published stories quoting the senator, his son Vincent Paul died in 1975 or three years before Diane was introduced to the market.

"Diane po ang pangalan ng pills na ginamit ng aking asawa noon. Supervised po siya ng doktor habang ginagamit nya ito. Intellehente naman po ang asawa ko, alam niya kung paano gumamit nito. Malinaw po ang sinabi sa amin ng kanyang doctor, katuwang ang aking ina, Dra. Herminia Castelo Sotto, ** na ang pagbubuntis niya kahit may contraceptives ang maaring naging sanhi ng kumplikasyon, prematurity at eventually pagkamatay ng anak namin. Bakit ko po iimbentuhin ang katotohanang ito?" the senator said in his August 15 speech, which is a continuation of his August 13 speech titled "Turno en Contra."

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The two speeches have become controversial, not because of its subject, but because of the supposed plagiarism committed by the senator. Parts of the speeches were supposedly copied from blogs.

Sotto had said that his son died five months after he was born in 1975.

The senator said that after his wife, actress Helen Gamboa, gave birth to their eldest daughter Romina in 1973, she was advised by her doctors to take contraceptives so as not to disrupt her schedule in doing movies.

However, the contraceptives did not work and Gamboa became pregnant with their first son.

He said that the weak heart of his son led to the need for regular blood transfusions, which went on until his death five months later.

“At that time I asked God why this happened to me. I badly wanted a son, why did you take him away from me? Thirty-seven years later, the Lord gave me his answer, it is my mission to stop this bill (from being approved),” Sotto said.

In the Facebook entry, pro-RH advocates scored Sotto for allegedly lying on the bill control pill's brand and date. Some comments said that the error was a result of poor research on the part of the senator.

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