Monday, October 18, 2010

Has Not the Supreme Court Judged Its Own Cause?

A recent En Banc Decision by the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines (SCoRP)  disposes of charges that a previous En Banc Decision Vinuya v. Executive Secretary contained plagiarized passages from three froreign academics, as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of all of the above, the Court:
1.       DISMISSES for lack of merit petitioner Vinuya, et al.’s charges of plagiarism, twisting of cited materials, and gross neglect against Justice Mariano C. del Castillo; 
That's funny...Vinuya v. Executive Secretary was an EN BANC Decision, so if anything it was the En Banc that was being charged with plagiarism, twisting the conclusions of the cited materials [sic!] and gross negligence.

By portraying the charges as being merely directed at Justice Mariano C. del Castillo, the Court is being entirely disingenuous.  Whilst the Court attributes the entire brouhaha to the "editiing errors" of an unidentified Court researcher, it cannot escape notice that the researcher herself could not have been responsible for the Court's having come to an opposite conclusion to which the misappropriated materials originally led--as the genuine authors Criddle and Fox-Descent in fact claim the Vinuya decision did.

The subject matter of the allegedly plagiarized material (jus cogens status of the war time rape) was not tangential but central to the entire Vinuya Decision, which held that the Philippine government is not under any obligation under international law standards to assist the Malaya Lola's long search for justice!

This substantial and essential matter was under the complete control and recognizance of the En Banc during the three times that Del Castillo's draft was on their agenda.

ERGO, by issuing A.M. 10-7-17-S.C. allegedly exonerating just Del Castillo, has not SCoRP in effect, exonerated the En Banc of all editorial and juridical responsibility for Vinuya and unethically and most inappropriately judged its own cause?

Should not every Justice who participated in the production of Vinuya, taken cognizance of that participation and delicately recused themselves from the Administrative Matter?


baycas said...


Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

Of interest and relevance is Canon 3 Section 5 of the New Code of Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary