The story of Mark Joseph Solis has captured the media for the past few days. Suffice it to say that many were embarassed with this shocking news. For multiple times, he used others’ photos, claiming them as his own, only for the purpose of joining contests and getting the chance to travel abroad. Besides being infuriated with Solis’ misconduct, I also felt empathy for Gregory John Smith, the owner of one of the photos. Coming from someone who values photography and takes it seriously like he does, I know how enraging it is to see another person steal the work you’ve worked very hard for.

But what caught my attention, more importantly, was him being a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan. Indeed, it is a disappointment to have stolen someone’s property, but to have the one responsible for the crime come from the national university? It does not only put him into shame, it also puts his and our alma mater in disgrace.

However, this is not new to UP. Plagiarism has been present in the university for years. I remember my English 10 professor discussing different people who had plagiarized – from her own students, to the Supreme Court judge, and to even Manny V. Pangilinan. Hearing those big names involved in such a humiliating act was saddening.

Although we cannot undo what Solis and other people who committed plagiarism did, we can make their experiences a valuable lesson. They were, I suppose, swayed by their own goals that they went as far as stealing someone else’s work. Thus, we should not let our selfish desires get the best of us. What we can do is shape them and use them as inspirations that will drive us into working harder and more reputable. After all, nothing feels better than  getting the success you know you highly deserve.



4 thoughts on “Consequences

  1. “It does not only put him into shame, it also puts his and our alma mater in disgrace.” I completely agree. However, I also think that his actions tarnish the integrity of not only him as an individual or even UP as a school but also that of the Filipino people. This offense occurred in an international setting wherein he, being an Iskolar ng Bayan, is supposed to be the cream of the crop, represent best of the best in terms of excellence and honor. He was just not Mark Solis, Photographer. He was also Mark Solis, Filipino.

    It is really sad when people, especially mga Iskolar ng Bayan, lose sight of the true meaning of our university’s motto: honor ABOVE excellence.

    P.S. With the recent release of Mark Joseph Solis statement, I have to say that I don’t doubt the sincerity of his apologies. What I do wonder is that: was he sorry that he did it or was he sorry that he had gotten caught?

  2. I agree. I really feel bad upon hearing this news, not just to our dear alma mater, but also to Mark Solis himself. Honestly, I could only think of this situation as a grim beginning of his new life. I mean, will anybody still trust him? Or allow him to join future contests?

    But as I read his apology letter to Gregory Smith, the real owner of the photo, I could also see the positive side of this situation. He was awakened, and I believe that there’s a big chance that he could stand up again. He mentioned “This recent turn of events has taught me to become humble, to have foresight, to be sensitive for the works of others, and ultimately, to take responsibility for my action.”(read the full article here:

  3. CCP posted a statement yesterday regarding the issue. “We understand that Mr. Solis will be living in the shadow of his shame. While we do not approve of what he has done, we do acknowledge with understanding that mistakes can make some people better persons.”

    Excuse me, but doing something several times is not a mistake. And saying sorry doesn’t cut it.

    I agree with fernandezmta. This is a sad thing that might affect not only the reputation of UP but of our country and people as well. 😦

    2012 21391

  4. Your post gave me a new realization. My idea of this issue was just copying, but upon reading your post, I was enlightened that it is also a form of stealing.

    I remember my professor telling us that in the academe or in the arts, people trade with their ideas. They trade their knowledge, expertise, creativity, talent, etc. With what Solis did, he stole from Smith and deprived him of what he should have received for his skills. What if Smith was the one who submitted the photo? Then he should have received the prize. He should have received the recognition. Solis stole not just the photo, but also Smith’s chances and opportunities.

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