Sunday, December 04, 2011

Re: Letter of the UP Law Faculty entitled “Restoring Integrity: A Statement by the Faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law on the Allegations of Plagiarism and Misrepresentation in the Supreme Court, A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC. October 19, 2010.

Statement of UP Professors. While the statement was meant to reflect the educators’ opinion on the allegations of plagiarism against Justice Del Castillo, they treated such allegation not only as an established fact, but a truth. They expressed dissatisfaction over Justice Del Castillo’s explanation on how he cited the primary sources of the quoted portions and yet arrived at a contrary conclusion to those of the authors of the articles supposedly plagiarized. The statement bore certain remarks which raise concern for the Court. The first paragraph concludes with a reference to the decision in Vinuya v. Executive Secretary as a reprehensible act of dishonesty and misrepresentation by the Highest Court of the land. The authors also not only assumed that Justice Del Castillo committed plagiarism, they went further by directly accusing the Court of perpetrating extraordinary injustice by dismissing the petition of the comfort women in Vinuya v. Executive Secretary. They further attempt to educate this Court on how to go about the review of the case. The insult to the members of the Court was aggravated by imputations of deliberately delaying the resolution of the said case, its dismissal on the basis of “polluted sources,” the Court’s alleged indifference to the cause of petitioners, as well as the supposed alarming lack of concern of the members of the Court for even the most basic values of decency and respect. 

The publication of a statement by the faculty of the UP College of Law regarding the allegations of plagiarism and misrepresentation in the Supreme Court was totally unnecessary, uncalled for and a rash act of misplaced vigilance. Of public knowledge is the ongoing investigation precisely to determine the truth of such allegations. More importantly, the motion for reconsideration of the decision alleged to contain plagiarized materials is still pending before the Court. We made it clear in the case of In re Kelly that any publication, pending a suit, reflecting upon the court, the jury, the parties, the officers of the court, the counsel with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision of the controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable. 

The UP Law faculty would fan the flames and invite resentment against a resolution that would not reverse the Vinuya decision. This runs contrary to their obligation as law professors and officers of the Court to be the first to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which they owe fidelity according to the oath they have taken as attorneys, and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice. Re: Letter of the UP Law Faculty entitled “Restoring Integrity: A Statement by the Faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law on the Allegations of Plagiarism and Misrepresentation in the Supreme Court, A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC. October 19, 2010.

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