a winner never quits

July 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm 8 comments

justice mariano del castillo being sworn in by president gloria arroyo
manila standard today photo

if there’s one trait that’s admirable in a public official, it’s dedication to duty. it’s especially true in the philippines where everybody stays in his or her post for better or for worse.

even those who have committed wrongdoings tend to stick to their positions as if by divine right. take the case of former president arroyo who cheated during the 2004 presidential elections. when caught on tape, she went on tv to apologize for her lapse in judgment, but didn’t resign. or how about her deputy national security adviser who beat up his live-in partner? he defended his action by acting as the aggrieved party. he said he wouldn’t quit and even dared the administration to fire him. of course, he kept his job and the case ended up as a domestic issue between him and his live-in partner.

if any of these cases happened in another country, it would have ended with a resignation, jail term, or suicide. but not in the philippines where public service is held to the highest standard.

it’s for this reason that the recent case involving supreme court justice mariano del castillo who has been accused of plagiarism will go nowhere.

in his ruling last april, justice del castillo is said to have copied from three international journals and books. to make matters worse, he’s alleged to have taken the materials out of context to suit his arguments.

as expected, justice del castillo denied committing plagiarism. in a letter to fellow magistrates, he wrote:

“It must be emphasized that there was every intention to attribute all sources, whenever due. At no point was there ever any malicious intent to appropriate another’s work as our own.”

citing section 184(k) of republic act no. 8293 or the intellectual property code of the philippines, he added that “any use made of a work for the purpose of any judicial proceedings shall not constitute infringement of copyright.”

i guess justice del castillo has a valid point. there’s nothing wrong with using other people’s works. but to use them without proper accreditation, twist the original intent, and make them appear as your own? sir, that’s where you’ve crossed the line.

“If a student can be expelled from school because of plagiarism,” according to senator francis pangilinan, “more so a Supreme Court Justice.” i totally agree with the senator.

as a dedicated public servant, however, justice del castillo will likely stay in his post. by jove, he’s a winner. this case will go down in history as nothing more than an aberration in his official record. the least he can do is ask the subordinates who helped him write the plagiarized decision to take the high road and resign.


interested in reading my latest thoughts on this subject? you’ll find it here.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, commentary, filipino, philippines. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Look @ Her Picture! Then Ignore Enough Already!

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. virtualanimosity  |  July 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    extra na naman dito si idol gloria! šŸ˜†

    • 2. plaridel  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:58 am


      hehehe. she won’t go away that easily.

  • 3. Shumai  |  August 3, 2010 at 9:16 am

    What a shame. This judge should be kicked out if he doesn’t quit on his own. He had put the court and the country in a bad light.

    • 4. plaridel  |  August 3, 2010 at 11:29 am


      i agree. he has tainted the integrity of the supreme court. one wonders if this was just a tip of the iceberg. if he had committed plagiarims on this ruling, what about on the past rulings that he authored? unlikely? less likely? most likely? it’s anybody’s guess. but the shadow of doubt will remain from here on forward.

      an ethics committee headed by the chief justice himself is looking into the allegation of plagiarism. i don’t believe the committee will have the balls to discipline or dismiss one of their own. for pete’s sake, it’s a collegial body. what would probably happen is that the ruling will be rewritten and sanitized of plagiarized contents. end of story.

      • 5. Shumai  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        Hehehe. Just a tip of the iceberg? What are you suggesting? A witchunt?

        • 6. plaridel  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:09 am


          well, i guess i’m getting a little overboard. we should wait for the ethics committee to issue its final ruling on this case.

  • 7. Marisa Heineck  |  November 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Hi! Is it Okay if I ask something kinda off topic? I am trying to view this page on my iphone nonetheless it will not show up properly, do you may have any options? Thanks in advance!

  • 8. Kathryn Berstler  |  November 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I really liked the article. It is always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!


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