Friday, October 29, 2010

Opinion piece on Del Castillo plagiarism matter

from an opinion piece in the Philippine Star:

Amazingly, the Supreme Court adopted the findings of its Ethics committee that the “errors” in the subject decision was made by the legal researcher during the preparation. It ruled “that the magistrate is not guilty of misconduct and gross inexcusable negligence” because the plagiarism was done without “malice of intent” and was merely an “accidental removal of proper attributions”. It is difficult to believe that Del Castillo and his staff forgot to attribute their sources or accidentally deleted their references fifty-nine times! An early onset of Alzheimer’s would have made a more plausible explanation.

To condone and coddle its own is already a shameless act. But not content with that, the Supreme Court is now attempting to extract a pound of flesh from thirty-seven UP Law professors who signed a manifesto against Del Castillo. In the most outrageous display of arrogance and highhandedness, the tribunal has issued a show for cause order against the signatories. In the entire saga of Philippine jurisprudence, never has the highest court of the land so recklessly staked its institutional integrity. It is so reminiscent of the spite shown in nine years of the so-called “Strong Republic”. And why not? This is a 100% Arroyo-appointed court, with the midnight appointment of Chief Justice Renato Corona as the final coup de grace.

The international legal community is aghast at the Supreme Court’s ruling for such a serious offense as plagiarism, compounded by the vindictive action taken against the UP Faculty of Law. Supposedly this war is being instigated by the Ateneo Law Faculty, headed by the wife of Justice Del Castillo. Furthermore, the credentials and basis of Del Castillo’s appointment to the high court is now under scrutiny. Described by some in-judiciary as “not being the sharpest tool in the shed”, Del Castillo supposedly wooed GMA until she acquiesced, no doubt with a quid pro quo.


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