sc plagiarism ruling reconsidered

October 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm 9 comments

Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col. Jessep: [shouts] You can’t handle the truth!
– From A Few Good Men

i’m thinking of reconsidering my initial reaction to the philippine supreme court’s ruling that absolved justice del castillo of plagiarism when he wrote his ponencia in the vinuya vs. romulo case (g.r. no 162230). voting 10-2, the justices dismissed the charge for lack of merit. they agreed with del castillo that there was no “malicious intent” in his failure to attribute sources.

i thought it was ludicrous at best to arrive at such a decision. but since it hasn’t elicited much howls from the media and the legal pundits, i’m coming to the conclusion that i might have prejudged the wisdom of the court. on the other hand, could the fear of being held in contempt of court have something to do with it? nah, i don’t think so. descendants of lapu-lapu, dagohoy, and bonifacio can’t be intimidated just like that.

even though it goes against the grain of public opinion, the current supreme court should be lauded for making this controversial decision. after all, del castillo is entitled to the protection of his fraternal brothers and fellow colleagues. when under siege, they’re only following the motto of “all for one, and one for all”.

it can be considered a landmark ruling and ahead of its time. future historians will mark it as the beginning of the end of the copyright age in the philippines. it will start in the academe when, under the blessing of the supreme court, students take the liberty of incorporating passages into their works and treat them as their own. when caught and charged with plagiarism, they can use the no “malicious intent” defense to get them out of trouble.

in a country where a culture of impunity exists, this no “malicious intent” ruling, hereby known as the del castillo law of plagiarism, may eventually find its way into the court systems and morph into the del castillo law of no malicious intent. when that happens, it’ll make the administration of justice a no-brainer that even a high school dropout can do the job. all the accused have to do is invoke the no “malicious intent” mantra and they go scott free.

just imagine, for instance, the ease of handling the ampatuan massacre case. the ampatuans would only declare the absence of “malicious intent” as they gunned down their victims and the case is dismissed.

and the father who has been accused of raping his teenage daughter every day for 18 months? he can say, matter-of-factly, before the court that, if the good judge can read his mind, he or she will see that the so-called rapes were committed with no “malicious intent.” since the good judge can’t read his mind, he or she will be obliged to give the accused the benefit of the doubt and set him free.

but then again, the supreme court must have envisioned that the del castillo plagiarism ruling should be intended on a case to case basis only and not to be universally applied. to start, you’ll be required to be a fraternal brother or a member of a privileged group to avail yourself of a fair trial. now that’s more like it!

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

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

Free Falling Go Southwest Airlines

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  October 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

    You are mentally deprived! ROFL!

  • 2. plaridel  |  October 23, 2010 at 11:34 am


    huh? it takes one to know one.

  • 3. World Spinner  |  October 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    sc plagiarism ruling reconsidered « Musings of a Random Mind…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  • 4. plaridel  |  October 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    what difference a few days make. since i posted this entry, many have voiced their disagreement with the supreme court ruling. this makes me proud, really proud of being a filipino.

  • 5. coolwaterworks  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:58 am

    This issue has earned me the tag of ‘extremely subversive’ in a forum I used to be active.

    If I was the English teacher of this judge, I’d get up from the grave (ala Winnie Monsod) and give him a good beating – using bones…
    Assuming that there was no malicious intent, the only valid reason for this case is that this judge is just plain dumb in not knowing how to use quotes, references, annotated bibliography and the likes in rendering formal written material… Grrr…

    • 6. plaridel  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm


      just last may, cj renato corona was quoted by the philippine inquirer as saying that they [supreme court] “will decide things and cases on the basis of the law and evidence.” this ruling proves otherwise. it shows that those in power can do something bad like plagiarism with impunity. heaven helps the filipinos!

  • 7. Melany Truver  |  November 5, 2010 at 6:28 am

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  • 8. Rosanna Ringelspaugh  |  November 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

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  • 9. accomodation paarl  |  November 29, 2010 at 10:06 am

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