justice del castillo plagiarism case a done deal

November 15, 2010 at 1:15 am 7 comments

photo from gmanews.tv

after all is said and done, justice del castillo will remain in his post and continue to serve until he retires. since the ethics committee of the supreme court has cleared him of any wrongdoing, the possibility that he’ll quit out delikadesa has become virtually nil.

the supreme court’s unanimous decision to dismiss the plagiarism charge leveled against him in the vinuya vs. romulo case (g.r. no 162230) has been an unpopular one. it was a travesty of justice generating a lot of ink from all over the world. the evidence that he committed plagiarism in his ponencia was overwhelming. sad to say, the court didn’t rule based on the evidence presented. in addition, it didn’t look at the motive of why he did it. it was the fact that giving proper attribution to the passages that he lifted from the original authors would make him look like a fool because he was quoting them out of context.

in a letter to fellow magistrates, del castillo 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.

i wonder why the justices would believe him and why they would consider lack of “malicious intent” as a valid defense in plagiarism. legal experts and educators alike think otherwise, including del castillo’s alma mater.

as sophia m. dedace of gmanews reported in Ateneo: SC ruling on plagiarism contradicts ‘code of integrity’:

…the Ateneo said its Loyola Schools Code of Academic Integrity identifies plagiarism “not through intent but through the act itself.”

“The objective act of falsely attributing to one’s self what is not one’s work, whether intentional or out of neglect, is sufficient to conclude that plagiarism has occurred,” Ateneo said.

“Students who plead ignorance or appeal to lack of malice are not excused,” it said.

The memo added that academic integrity goes beyond the proper use of attribution marks when using someone else’s works as one’s own.

Rather, academic honesty is “a question of personal discipline and moral character,” the Ateneo said.

now comes the question: was del castillo absolved because there are higher stakes involved that we aren’t privy of? perhaps it doesn’t really matter whether he was guilty or not. he could have committed murder and still go scot free. he was cleared by his peers because it was the politically-correct thing to do. in other words, they had to protect del castillo not only because he’s one of them, but also because chief justice corona needs him to maintain his grip on power. if he were forced out, he’ll likely be replaced by another sereno who will assert his or her independence and not suit up to his political agenda.

of course, it’s nothing but pure speculation on my part. but then again, consider what jarius bondoc of philippine star pointed out in Pattern shows in SC rulings.

he said that, based on their latest rulings, the current justices of the supreme court have been “consistently voting together, to concur or dissent” and in a manner that are “perceived to be political, if not partisan.”

in the same article, he mentioned the following cases where the same justices voted as one:

  • Impeachment complaints at the House of Representatives against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez
  • President Aquino’s Executive Order No. 2 firing Arroyo’s 200-plus midnight executive appointees
  • Plagiarism case against Justice del Castillo
  • Show-cause order on 37 University of the Philippines law deans and professors

i think we’re witnessing the making of what could be the most politically-motivated and partisan supreme court in history. former president gloria m. arroyo must be very pleased. when the day of reckoning comes, it’ll prove to be her court of last resort.

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

change is inevitable The Mountain May Be High

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. stacy  |  November 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm


  • 2. john  |  November 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm


  • 3. sub  |  November 20, 2010 at 12:35 am

    whew. never have given much thought about this.

    • 4. plaridel  |  November 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm


      there’s always more than meets the eye. 🙂

  • 5. Rubi Schuckers  |  November 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now.

  • 6. Debbie Gaier  |  November 25, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Please, keep up the excellent work and continue to post topics like this. I am really fan of your blog.

  • 7. sikiş  |  December 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Couldn’t be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


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