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Statement of the YCC Film Desk on the acts of plagiarism committed by film blogger Jojo Devera

04 Nov

We, members of the Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle (YCC), denounce in the strongest possible terms the acts of plagiarism committed by film blogger Jojo Devera (also known as Vincent Joel Llamas Devera) in his blog Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy.

Although Devera rendered his blog publicly inaccessible at about 10:00 PM last 3 November 2013 (Sunday) and has subsequently deleted it, we have been able to gather evidence showing that Devera copied passages of varying lengths, from single sentences to entire paragraphs, from texts written by YCC members without permission or acknowledgement and presented such as his own work. Where he did not simply substitute his name for that of the author—as in the case of the post on Nunal sa Tubig (1976), which is wholly drawn from an essay by Eulalio R. Guieb III—he went a reprehensible leap further by producing reviews on films that combined excerpts from materials contemplating or assessing completely different issues—as in the case of the post on I Love You Mama, I Love You Papa (1986), which patches together parts from essays by J. Pilapil Jacobo, Nonoy L. Lauzon, and Patrick D. Flores, none of which discuss the Maryo J. De Los Reyes picture. Other members whose essays were plagiarized include Eloisa May P. Hernandez and Jaime Oscar M. Salazar.

While we have thus far managed to identify only six posts containing material lifted from both print and digital sources put out by our group, we are convinced that such constitute the merest tip of the proverbial iceberg: Devera began his blog in 2006, and before he took it down, it had nearly 400 entries—all of which, by the way, he had the gall to assert copyright over, if a line that ran along the bottom of his now defunct blog is any indication: “Karapatang Magpalathala 2006-2013. SARI-SARING SINENG PINOY Lahat Ng Karapatan Ay Nakalaan. Disenyo Jojo Devera”. Moreover, the way that Devera put together the plagiarized posts, which are in places inevitably marked by schizophrenia of tone and thought, suggests not the creativity of the parodist or the inventiveness of the pasticheur—we are not unaware of the lively and meritorious debates surrounding the concepts of authorship and originality—but something that is, to our collective misfortune, becoming more and more banal at present: the calculation of one who seeks to establish and burnish a reputation as a commentator in as expedient a manner as possible, without putting in the necessary time and effort to organize one’s thoughts and to deliberate over one’s words, or to give credit to those who have done so.

Considering the sheer amount of data that is available in the world today, online or otherwise, and the concomitant difficulty of guarding against plagiarism, it is perhaps not astonishing, but certainly unfortunate, that Devera has been as successful as he has in building a degree of credibility within the film community by carving out a niche for himself as a kind of specialist in Philippine films from the 1970s and the 1980s. We trust that he realizes, at the very least, that he has done this community a signal disservice. Lover though Devera might be of Filipino films, a claim he announces in his online properties, he might be exceeding his zeal if it spurs him to abduct the texts of others rather than to arduously work through the experience of cinema with his own body and mind in conversation with others.

In view of the foregoing, we demand that Devera immediately issue a formal public apology for his detestable acts of plagiarism, not only to us but also to every other individual and organization from which he may have lifted material without proper attribution. Furthermore, we caution all parties who have published or are considering publishing anything that Devera professes to have written to examine whatever he has done according to the strictest editorial protocols, and to withdraw or reject his work as necessary. Finally, in light of the situation at hand, we call on all film enthusiasts, bloggers, reviewers, and critics, as well as on all members of the general public, to contribute toward cultivating an environment that encourages, if not expects, judiciousness and responsibility in the production, circulation, reception, and use of information. We must always strive to uphold intellectual honesty as we pursue, develop, and disseminate knowledge.

*

To download the evidence, click Evidence of Plagiarism by Jojo Devera from YCC.
 
9 Comments

Posted by on 04/11/2013 in Philippine Film

 

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9 responses to “Statement of the YCC Film Desk on the acts of plagiarism committed by film blogger Jojo Devera

  1. nana@gmail.com

    05/11/2013 at 9:57 AM

    o mga hater ng on the job, nasaan na kayo? wala ba kayo utak? bakit ito ang hindi niyo kinagagalitan? ay oo nga pala, wala sa taste ng uneducated class ang originality — simplicity lang

     
  2. J.B. Capino

    06/11/2013 at 1:33 AM

    Friends, I urge you to cease this public flogging, which is cruel and unjust. This is not the way academics are expected to handle such issues. In the five years I have known him, Jojo has never represented himself as an expert on Philippine cinema. He’s a kind and unfailingly generous man whose love for Philippine cinema is nothing short of inspiring. I urge those of you who know me personally to reach out to me in case there’s something I might be able to say to change your position. It makes me so sad to see him being pilloried and just as rueful that some of my friends and colleagues are behind it.

     
    • Fernando

      06/11/2013 at 10:15 AM

      Your sympathy for a friend is touching Jaybee. But what’s your stand on what he did? That he has not responded to all these allegations is critical. You may want to instead reach out to him and help him along the right path– admit his guilt, apologize, and offer redress for his theft of another’s work <– that's what's cruel and unjust.

       
    • Wayne Moises

      03/12/2014 at 4:58 AM

      I am the big fan of Filipino films when I was six years old at the time in the Philippines my favorite is action/adventure comedy kids/family horror/mystery scifi/fantasy western historical drama/true story/teen drama-comedy military/war and other stories in popular culture in Filipino entertainment history. Thanks!
      From:Wayne

       
  3. J.B. Capino

    07/11/2013 at 10:04 AM

    I appreciate the injury that was done to my colleagues.I do not wish to second-guess them.

    I can only speculate on what I would do in this scenario if I were the injured party. As an academic–and majority of YCC members are fellow academics–I would have to follow certain protocols. If the respondent is a student of mine, I am compelled to abide by my university’s disciplinary procedures. If the respondent is a colleague or another party infringing on my copyright, there are lawful remedies available to me, such as sending a cease and desist letter. In neither case would I have the right to shame an individual and enlist others to shun him or her through social media.

    As academics, we are authors as well as educators. We should assert our moral rights as authors but in doing so we would do well to consider how our vocation as educators might come into play. We deal with academic integrity issues all the time. We understand the problem and we know what a proper, measured response looks like.

    Your social media campaign is destroying a good person who has done so many wonderful things for the study and preservation of Philippine cinema. Because he is such a humble man, few people appreciate the towering significance of his collection and preservation efforts.

    I come to his defense not only because he is a friend of mine but because of the good work he has done for our cinema and our field. One of the most important things I have learned from
    doing research on Philippine cinema at archives and libraries is that we owe most of what little we have to the efforts of non-professionals who gathered and salvaged those materials at crucial junctures. For instance, one heroic employee from the censors office rescued three decades’ worth of film stills and posters from the dumpster. Another example: a former entertainment journalist, now homeless and destitute, is responsible for assembling the biggest collection of articles on a major director. More than 98% of that material was never indexed by librarians, and would have been invisible to researchers today. Out of respect for my friend’s privacy, I will not tell his story here, but rest assured that his DIY preservation work saved many precious works from the hopper and the dustbin of history.

    Thanks for hearing me out. And again, I ask that you treat my friend honorably.

     
  4. ram

    07/11/2013 at 10:43 PM

    This is sad… I got to this post as I was trying to find out why all his blogs are down. I visit his tumblr site regularly, sometimes his blogspot too (but I only check the characters and the screenshots). He seems nice… he replies back to almost all comments on his posts. I tried reading a few of his blog entries (movie reviews) but they get me lost rather than appreciate the movie.

    Still, thank you Mr. Devera for the movies🙂

    – I’m not a writer, sorry for the casual construction of my comment.

     
  5. deleon

    21/11/2013 at 5:53 PM

    It’s not just six posts. Practically all of his “film reviews” of notable films from the 80s were plagiarized from existing pieces found in the coffee table book, “The Urian Anthology 1980-1989” as edited by Nicanor Tiongson (with reviews from Lumbera, Hernando, etc.). Where the originals were written in English, he merely translated it to Filipino and passed it off as his own. This is just for those titles that came out during said decade. It’s likely Devera’s reviews for Filipino movies from the 70s, and 90s and so forth were similarly plagiarized from corresponding editions of The Urian Anthology.

     
  6. lestatt

    19/12/2013 at 1:52 AM

    Etong YCC na to dapat din mag apologize sa atin sa ka artehan magsulat. GIVE YOUR READERS AN EASY LIFE!

     
    • marieantoinette

      21/01/2014 at 12:42 PM

      Tama!!! What has this YCC done to improve local cinema??? We dont even know your org and much less your pwesident!!

       

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