Holding the UP Law Faculty in Contempt Would Be a Grave Mistake

by Evan Criddle and Evan Fox-Decent

[Opinio Juris is delighted to post these remarks by Professors Evan Fox-Decent (McGill) and Evan Criddle (Syracuse) on the fallout from the allegations that their article was plagiarized by a member of the Philippines Supreme Court]

We are writing to lend support to the University of Philippine’s College of Law, which now faces a very serious charge of contempt from the Philippine Supreme Court (PSC). If the members of the College are held in contempt, they face the loss of their bar licenses and with that the loss of their ability to teach and practice law.

A few months ago the PSC rendered its decision in Isabelita Vinuya et al. v. Executive Secretary et al. The complainants asked the PSC to order the Philippine government to seek reparations from Japan for the Japanese military’s mistreatment of Philippine women during World War II. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the Japanese military interned scores of Philippine women and placed them in sexual slavery. The Vinuya decision discusses jus cogens or peremptory norms of international law, as these norms enjoy a status that cannot be overridden by treaty. The PSC concluded the no such norm prohibited sexual slavery, and thus that jus cogens was irrelevant to the case.

In its jus cogens discussion, the PSC quoted without attribution numerous selections from an article by Evan Criddle and myself, an article featured here at Opinio Juris. In the aftermath of Vinuya, Professor Criddle noted that the most troubling aspect of the PSC’s jus cogens discussion is that it implies that sexual slavery, crimes against humanity, and other abuses are not covered by jus cogens, whereas we had emphatically argued that they are.

The complainants in Vinuya filed a motion for reconsideration, pointing to more than 30 tracks lifted without attribution from our article. The complainants also alleged that material from Mark Ellis and Christian Tams had been used without proper attribution. The motion is available here. The University of the Philippine’s College of Law issued a statement critical of the apparent plagiarism, available here.

The PSC held a hearing to review the plagiarism charge and delivered a split decision. The majority acknowledged that some of our article’s text was used in Vinuya without appropriate referencing, but chalked this up to clerical errors. The minority doubted that so many selections could be used innocently without attribution, raising the possibility that the lack of attribution stemmed from the Vinuya Court reaching conclusions directly contrary to those expressed by us, Ellis and Tams.

On 18 October 2010 the PSC issued an order giving members of the UP College of Law 10 days to show cause as to why they should not be sanctioned for issuing the statement critical of Vinuya.

Professor Criddle and I believe that it is not the place of a court to sanction individuals or institutions that have been critical of it. This principle is especially important in the case of a law school, where discussion of cases is an integral part of legal pedagogy. The idea that a law school or its members cannot express an opinion on a case is contrary to the best practices of law schools everywhere, and an affront to free expression. That a court would assert jurisdiction to sanction its detractors is, in our opinion, an abuse of judicial power. To the best of our knowledge, no court in a democracy has ever attempted to assert the kind of jurisdiction the PSC is asserting now against the UP College of Law.

We initially declined to comment on the substance of the plagiarism complaint, except as noted above. Readers can draw their own conclusions from the ‘tables of comparison’ (comparing the original text with text in Vinuya) provided by Justice Sereno who wrote with the minority in the plagiarism decision. Given the stakes involved now for members of the UP College of Law, we believe it is important for us to offer our opinion on the merits of the plagiarism charge. The point of our doing so is only to underline that the UP College of Law issued its critical statement in good faith and has clean hands in its dispute with the PSC. While the UP statement contains some harsh and uncompromising language, it emerged in the wake of a controversial decision, and is clearly within the scope of speech protected under any reasonable interpretation of freedom of expression.

A cursory glance at the tables of comparison set out in Justice Serano’s opinion reveals repeated verbatim or near-verbatim uses of text from our article without attribution. If a law student submitted an essay with this much cut-and-paste text, without attribution, he or she would almost certainly be subject to disciplinary action. We say this with all due respect to the PSC, and only to emphasize to others in the legal community that we believe the UP College of Law acted in good faith when it criticized the use of our article in the Vinuya opinion. The College has clean hands in this dispute, and in our view deserves support.


119 Responses

  1. After the original writers have spoken, I hope that emails circulating asking for foreign condemnation would stop flooding our email accounts.  This is a case which should be decided within Philippine territory, as Philippine law on plagiarism is vague as contrasted to other jurisdictions. There was an investigation  resulting in majority of the justices issuing the show cause order to the Faculty for many reasons. With due respect, this is a pending case and I hope comments in this blog will take that into account as it tends to aggravate the situation.  All the Faculty needs to do is answer the show cause order and they can do that with ease. But the Court is entitled to respect and that covers the behavior of all parties pending trial.

    Paula Defensor Knack
    Adv. LL.M in Public Intl. Law (Leiden University)
    Msc. (Technical University of Munich
    Former Legal Adviser to the Philippine Permanent
    Representation to the Organization for Prohibition of
    Chemical Weapons until August, 2010.
    The Hague

  2. Pointing out a serious mistake is one thing, but condemning the Supreme Court, calling for resignation and impeachment of the justices,  harsh and undignified language is something else.  Hence, the show cause order for contempt.  The members of the Faculty are my good friends, but asking for foreign condemnation of the Philippine Supreme Court is way too much since the university is known to detest foreign interference on matters of domestic jurisdiction. We need to be consistent.

  3. Ms. Knack, The fact that the Court is entitled to respect does not mean that it is entitled not to be criticized.  As far as I can tell, this case has nothing to do with “Philippine law on plagiarism”; it turns on the Court’s willingness to threaten the livelihood and academic freedom of a significant number of academics because they had the temerity to point out that the Court engaged in blatant plagiarism and misrepresentation.

  4. Mr. Heller, good point. Someone has been forwarding this blog to lawyers abroad asking for condemnation of the Supreme Court without qualifications as to whether it is the plagiarism case or the contempt portion.  I believe criticism would do its function of educating the public when there is full cognizance of the facts surrounding the case before and during trial  including the facts that led the Supreme Court to issue the show cause order.  We ourselves, criticized the Supreme Court in this case, but the problem is,  not all facts surrounding the show cause order for contempt is placed here for the information of all. There are many facts relative to the behavior of the parties that led the Court to issue the order of contempt. As far as I know, these facts are not equally illuminated.  Criticism of orders of the Court is valid, but this issue has been blown way beyond proportion as to call for impeachment of justices.  I wonder if that is proper in other jurisdictions. If this case is to be discussed in a blog, one must invite the views of other Philippine legal scholars who are fully aware of the facts surrounding the contempt order.

  5. A political angle in the case has been brought to our attention. 

    From inside sources, I was informed that the Supreme Court wants to admonish disrespect to the Court by the behavior of counsels during trial, but would not cancel their licenses to practice. 
    The true beneficiary of this controversy is the incumbent President who has shown utmost disrespect to the Supreme Court even before taking his oath of office for reasons unrelated to their performance, yet is guilty of the most cruel land reform story in the Philippines – Hacienda Luisita. If the justices are impeached, he can then appoint his own minions. He refused to take his oath before the Chief Justice, simply because the latter was appointed by his political enemy.
    There shall be no further comments from my side, and I thank the website owners for posting my posts.

  6. In my opinion the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines (SCoRP) owes a debt of gratitude to the UP Law Faculty and Petitioners in the Vinuya case.  The Decision has not yet actually become final and executory and is awaiting disposition of a Motion for Reconsideration on the merits, and through  which the existence of unattributed material was first raised.  Strictly speaking the Decision is not yet Law of the Land as it were, not yet a promulgated ACT of the Court. In other words it has not YET committed plagiarism.  But if the Court does not acknowledge the UP Faculty’s observations and allows the Decision to stand as is, then they will be committing the novel new crime they say Justice Del Castillo did not: INTENTIONAL plagiarism.

    Now in a related development, news reports in Manila today say that a SECOND instance of plagiarism by Justice Del Castillo has been detected in a Decision that IS final and executory.


  7. Does anyone know what is the specific behavior of counsel/s that prompted the Court to issue a show cause order for contempt  – is it the Code of Professional Conduct ? Is it the Code of Ethics of Lawyers, other laws,  and how ???  We all agree on the misrepresentation of authorship which has been severely denounced. Unless we know the specific behavior that prompted the contempt show cause order, we cant get the complete picture.

  8. One last thing –  the UP Law Faculty are my friends/acquaintances but many UP Law graduates do not agree with behavior of counsel/s before and during this case.  I have received many emails of support from alumni  of the law school, reminding our colleagues of their manners in addressing the Court, especially when only one justice committed the mistake, and not the entire Court. Calling for the resignation and impeachment of all justices in national newspapers and trimedia  without citing the facts surrounding the contempt order and even before the investigation is terminated, does not speak of the dignity of our law school.  This is conduct unbecoming of lawyers.  Addressing the Court in undignified language in pleadings is likewise abominable. That is not what we were taught in law school. I dont think any judge, faced with this kind of behavior will hesitate to cite for contempt.  Which court would allow signatures and pleadings or say, service of summons by email?

    If we seek truth, isnt it true that the case of the family of the President INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF as co-owner of  Hacienda Luisita is facing a landmark case before the Supreme Court relating to the hacienda’s systematic evasion of land reform for 50 years and unpaid debts to the government amounting to almost a billion or so, while peasants labored below minimum wages and this case IS PENDING BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT FOR RESOLUTION ?   It is not a secret that the President wants the Chief Justice replaced.  One of the counsels of the Faculty is closely related to the President while another is an appointee ?  No wonder there is call for resignation of all justices because that would please the incumbent President, and consequently counsels engaged in behavior that elicited a show cause order for contempt.

    If counsels invoke freedom to criticize, so do I. The attacks calling for the resignation of ALL justices and for the impeachment of these justices is destroying a vital institution of the country. Let us not forget, one justice, and not all justices, committed that grave mistake.  Why should we allow ourselves to be pawn in a political game ? To that, we cannot agree. 

    No wonder, many brilliant professors no longer wish to teach in UP !!!

  9. Ms Defensor says, ” It is not a secret that the President wants the Chief Justice replaced.” and writes,  “One of the counsels of the Faculty is closely related to the President while another is an appointee ?  No wonder there is call for resignation of all justices because that would please the incumbent President, and consequently counsels engaged in behavior that elicited a show cause order for contempt.”

    Ms Defensor is implying that the criticism of the SC by UP Faculty Law 37 has been prompted by sheer political motive. I believe Ms Defensor has forgotten that the criticism was founded — from day 1, on the discovery that there had been an act plagiarism. I believe the contents of their criticism as manifested in their letter have not changed. To imply therefore that UP Faculty Law 37’s denunciation had been politically motivated all along would be pushing the envelop of credulity too far…

  10. Ms. Anne de Bretagne,   what are the facts surrounding the show cause order, apart from those dealing particularly with the merits of the case ?

  11. Do you want to know when the criticisms started ? WAY LONG AGO even prior this case, in  their Facebook walls and newspaper articles as well as their utterances and interviews.
    Many are not informed of many facts.

  12. Regarding that comment about President Aquino:  It would be interesting to note that the Chief Justice’s appointment by former President Arroyo was questionable in the first place, because it was a “midnight appointment”; click here. In spite of this rule being in black-and-white,  the Supreme Court decreed that the Chief Justice’s appointment was not covered by that provision.  What you should also know is that a VAST majority (all but one, unless I’m mistaken) of our Supreme Court Justices were appointed by Pres. Arroyo.  She also made several questionable appointments. See them here.  You should be aware that Mrs. Arroyo correctly anticipated that she would eventually be facing a slew of charges after her stint as President was over, so there was a widespread perception that she was trying to “hedge her bets” by stuffing the Highest Courts with her appointees. The Hacienda Luisita case is a very political issue, and should not be dragged into the discussion here because it will only tend to blur the main issue. But wait, there’s more! Here’s a little compilation of some recent controversial decisions of the Supreme Court. Click here. Draw your own conclusions.
    @ An interesting point brought up by Mr. Bocobo.  However, is this to say that after stealing something (say money), your act can be condoned/forgiven just as long as you can say, “Oh, It’s not so bad, because I still have chance to give the money back” ?  The fact is, the money had already been stolen! Similarly, In the case in question, plagiarism had already clearly been committed.   

  13. Thought for the day: If you were a CEO, would you keep in your employ an Auditor who filches pennies from the desks of people in other offices?

  14. Now werent we expecting that you would hide behind pseudonyms because you will be humiliated before the international community.   You have gotten so used to calling for the downfall of governments or of institutions – the country is not moving forward anymore ! Isnt it obvious some counsels are direct beneficiaries of the incumbent President’s graces and would help him change the current composition of the Court ? The Hacienda Luisita case is pending before the Supreme Court and the Court has already chastised  the President as co-owner of that Hacienda for the the way they have evaded their obligations under several land reform laws.  Arent you so beholden to the President you cannot anymore see the truth ?

    The more you behave like that, the more fan email I get from fellow lawyers from the UP College of Law and lawyers of other schools.

    C’mon why dont you admit how many of your cases lost before the Supreme Court ?  And who falsified documents just to qualify for socialized tuition in UP ?

    And what was the intent of the Vinuya case ??? To compel the Executive to file a case before the ICJ ?? And when it reaches here, you will make us defend it before the ICJ so you can take the glory back home ?  We would need Japan’s consent. Then you will insult again the way Philippine legal counsels handle the case for the Phil. in the ICJ, will that include the great Reismann who was hired by the government  !   You are so good with criticizing, how many cases have you won ?????

  15. Paula Defensor Knack becomes desperate with her arguments and makes reference to the current president and the questionable Chief Justice appointee. 

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. Is that the best she can do?

  16. Isagani, whats your real name ?  You are destroying the entire Supreme Court, when your enemy is only one. How many justices sided with you as compared to the majority who agreed on the show cause order. Why dont you tell the truth on your arrogance as lawyers, bringing the name UP Law, when in fact so many of your cases were defeated before the Supreme Court.
    I have no connection to Gloria Arroyo nor have I spoken to her nor shaken her hand. Have you run out of ways of destroying Philippine institutions and gotten used to your mob mentality of going to the streets and asking for destruction of instituions as fast as one changes clothes ? Look, your enemy is one justice, not the entire Supreme Court or have you become so blind by sudden notorious popularity ?
    C’mon get out of your pseudonyms.

  17. Ms Defensor Knack

    It’s a good thing you posted your credentials at the end of your first comment. Otherwise, I would have just brushed you off as a nut job.

    By the way, any relation to the good senator?

  18. It would be a big help to this discussion surrounding the facts of the show cause order, if someone can post the transcripts of the actual court hearings before the Supreme Court so we will know if the Court was justified in issuing the show cause order. Can anyone do that ? So we can judge once and for all if the Supreme Court WAS TOTALLY UNJUST or not.

    Oh now, this is gonna be fun….She’s my sister and very proud of her – we never hide under pseudonyms because we can defend ourselves openly.  She was the Philippine candidate to the ICJ and tied 3 times in the UNGA , the first time ever and many in the Faculty were her students.

    You – were you also nominated in the ICJ ?  How many books have you written ?
    Why dont you reveal your true identity and official position ?

  19. I would appreciate if someone could post the transcripts of the actual hearings of counsels before the Supreme Court case that led to the show cause order for contempt.  What was the Supreme Court angry about other than criticism of plagiarism of 1 justice ?  THATS THE QUESTION.

    Please identify yourself, your official position, and your address.

  20. Response...The more you behave like that, the more fan email I get from fellow lawyers from the UP College of Law and lawyers of other schools. – Knack

    Can you name me one?

  21. Hiding again behind pseudonyms.  The behavior of a coward.

    Give me your name, position, and address. Your pseudonym is not helping you, as a lawyer, prove your case. What does that say about your lawyering skills ?

  22. Ms Paula Defensor Knack is correct with her observation.

    I personally believe the respondents answer the show cause order and to show respect for the Court. Showing off of brain muscles for too much and too openly rather than dealing with the basic issue of respect for the Institution is clear sign of arrogance and is unbecoming of lawyers and law professors. Why not just answer the show cause order and let the Court decide? Why involve the media in this circus? And now the international community? For God’s sake… this is shameful — we are putting ourselves again in the limelight of bad publicity! This is embarrassing and this issue should be decided in Philippine Courts and should not be left circulated candidly in international blogs. UP Law and the Supreme Court can decide on this issue without involving bad publicity.

  23. Ms. Paula Defensor Knack, As far as the majority of the justices they are all Gloria Arroyo appointees, right?

    And as to Aquino and Hacienda Luisita, are you by any chance implying that the current make up of Gma appointed justices including the midnight appointed Chief justice set to wield havoc to the current administration using the Luisita issue?

    Better think through your arguments, my dear.

  24. Thank you Neps Guingona. I am still waiting for the posting of the transcripts of the hearing that led to the show cause order.

    Isagani – I dont reply to pseudonyms. 

  25. Response…

    There was no hearing which prompted the show cause order. The UP law faculty issued a statement to the media. The statement can be found in this blog.

    On the fourth paragraph above, click the word “here”.

  26. why are you afraid of me and hiding behind a pseduonym ?
    Is it because you have called for the downfall of an institution of the Republic  wayyyyyy beyond academic freedom ?

  27. Response…

    From Ms. Knack

    “The attacks calling for the resignation of ALL justices and for the impeachment of these justices is destroying a vital institution of the country.”

    The call was for the resignation of only one justice – the expert on IP (inadvertent plagiarism).

  28. Still a coward hiding behind a pseudonym ? and you are a law professor trying to drag the entire country on your mess?  You have insulted in a very systematic and abusive way the entire Supreme Court and not just 1 justice.  Thats why you have a show cause order for contempt.

    Since theres no transcript of a hearing when the order was issued.  This one is from Philippine Online Chronicles :

    “The 37 UP deans and professors wrote a strongly-worded statement saying, among others, that the “hopes (of the comfort women were) crushed by a singularly reprehensible act of dishonesty and misrepresentation by the Highest Court of the land” and that “[i]ts callous disposition, coupled with false sympathy and nonchalance, belies a more alarming lack of concern for even the most basic values of decency and respect.” The statement was posted in the internet and fed to the media – at a time when the SC Ethics Committee was investigating the charges of plagiarism.

    Again, when the Court directed the UP deans and professors to show cause why they should not be disciplined for violation of certain provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), their first instinct was to go to the media by calling a press conference, landing them a banner story no less, from the Inquirer.

    Among the cited violated provisions by the Court is Rule 13.02 of the CPR which provides that “[a] lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.” The rule is as clear as day.

    Pray tell, are the UP deans and professors exempted from this rule – just because they are members of the academe? Are they not covered by the CPR, an annotation of which they themselves produced very recently? Is the UP law academe so infinite so as to immune them from the code of ethics for lawyers? Maybe not.”

  29. Can someone kindly post a copy of the actual show cause order ?

  30. Response…

    I am not a law professor Ms. Knack. I am a two-bit lawyer working in the government.

    You were not reading carefully Ms. Knack. I said go to the fourth paragraph of this article, and click the word “here”. It will open a new window with the UP faculty statement.

    Like Nike says, just do it.

  31. Response…

    Oh sorry. The show cause order? Why don’t you ask Harry Roque.

  32. Response…

    The show cause order can be found here in the article. On the sixth paragraph above, click the word “order”.

  33. ….and you really show you are a two-bit lawyer by being a coward, hiding behind a pseudonym. Is their a topnotch litigation lawyer in the Philippines who hides behind pseudonyms ?  And you dare call yourself a government lawyer ? I was a government lawyer once too, and I never hid behind a pseudonym. Why do you ?  Shame on you.

  34. Response…

    “Is their a topnotch litigation lawyer in the Philippines who hides behind pseudonyms ?”

    Ms Knack review your basic English first please. THERE you go.

  35. pfft !  So how many cases in the Supreme Court have you lost against the Department of Foreign Affairs ?

  36. And there was this stupid case filed before the Supreme Court by one of the counsels asking for an order to compel the government to ratify the Rome Statute.  Do you know what is treaty process ?
    And Reismann is not good for you as counsel of the Philippines before the ICJ !

  37. Response…

    Ms. Knack. I do not have a famous name like yours, and I value my obscurity.

    So far, I have only provided you with info where to get the documents you seek. My responses here are all clarificatory.

    So please don’t go on the attack. I am not a UP law faculty member, and not at all associated with Harry Roque. All my friends are as obscure as I am.

    Let’s get back to the issues, instead of these ad hominem digressions.

  38. after the way you have behaved, hiding behind a pseduonym, you want US to argue with you ????????   You have forfeited so many chances, and all I was asking is that you reveal your identity so we can face each other  personally if you want to argue. But dont drag the image of the entire country into your mess.

  39. Is this another pattern of sorts?  But taking a cursory look at the profile of Supreme Court sympathizers in this no-brainer Plagiarism issue, why does it seem that so many of them are Pres. Aquino bashers? Or those who were out to vilify him during the election campaign?  They should not let their political predilections cloud their opinions or judgment.

  40. On the original article above, I noticed this line: “The PSC concluded the no such norm prohibited sexual slavery, and thus that jus cogens was irrelevant to the case…”

    I read the decision and I am not sure that the Supreme Court actually said that no such norm existed or that jus cogens was irrelevant to the case.  They made no conclusion that it absolutely did not exist. But they said  they were not yet absolutely convinced that it did.  So it could be yes or no. There is a difference between that and saying that no jus cogens norms exist.

    Nevertheless, they did agree that such sexual slavery was a violation of international law.  And that even if  a jus cogens norm did exist to prohibit  such actions, it did not mean that the country was absolutely obligated to sue Japan.    We have the right to, but it is not a violation of international law for us not to formally prosecute Japan for this  (and this is correct: otherwise, we would be saying that countries like Korea and China are violating international law as well, for not yet bringing Japan to the ICJ).

    The Court simply followed the long-held doctrine that foreign relations is within the authority of the Executive to act on and not the courts.   I think the decision was actually sound, and it was concurred in unanimously.  After all, if we want to help the comfort women, their advocates should petition the new government, since this decision was rendered in April under the former President. The new administration may decide to support the cause of comfort women even without the Court ordering them to do so.

    On the plagiarism issue, something not being raised is that the supposed plagiarized portions (meaning, no citations whatsover) mostly do not actually appear in the ponencia itself, but in the explanatory notes in the footnotes. The entire decision is full of footnotes and citations. If we look at it objectively, it does look like there was no intent to pass off someone’s work as the ponente’s own.  (Of course, it would have been nice  if the Court had apologized formally for this, maybe they still will, who knows).

    Regarding the show cause order, the SC precisely gave the professors the opportunity to explain their side.  Due process.  They have not been held in contempt yet.  So all they have to do is respond.  Why are the law professors so sure they will be held in contempt?  If they do have a strong defense for their actions, then they should present them to the Court.

  41. Ms Defensor-Knack,

    You ask, “Do you want to know when the criticisms started ? WAY LONG AGO even prior this case”

    With due respect, but I fail to see what exactly criticisms of long ago, or prior to the plagiarism ‘case’ at hand, have got to do with the UP Law Faculty 37’s July 2010 statement criticising the SC, or more specifically Justice del Castillo?

    We know that that specific criticism, i.e., July statement by UP Law Faculty 37,  stemmed from the discovery that Justice del Castillo had committed plagiarism and misrepresentation in Vinuya v. Executive Secretary (see UP Law Faculty statement here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6482645-a-up-law-statement-on-plagiarism-and-misrepresentation-in-the-supreme-court-this-is-a-public-statement-and-may-be-reposted-acknowledging-its-authors )

    We also know that the Supreme court thereafter ordered the 37 statement signatories to show cause why they shouldn’t be cited for contempt.

    We all recognise that all the fracas continues to focus on the del Castillo plagiarism issue (the Vinuya case almost being sidestepped in the process) and has remained focused on the plagiarism issue. And so, I say your implying, nay, your asserting that political motives aimed at ousting the Chief Justice have always been the backbone of the criticism of del Castillo’s act of plagiarism is a wee bit off base.

    With regard to your query, “what are the facts surrounding the show cause order, apart from those dealing particularly with the merits of the case ?” May I suggest  you consult this link containing an appeal by Professor Diane A Desierto, UP College of Law, narating the background of the case here.

    Incidentally, or as we speak, it seems that other instances of plagiarism involving the good justice’s ponencia have been discovered again. Please check this link here.

  42. Here is my simple take on this issue: what do you expect from someone who finds credence from the previous president who herself was a thief and a liar herself? There is a Pilipino saying that goes like this, “Ang sinungaling ay kapatid ng magnanakaw.” And vice-versa. And since plagiarism is a form of theft, then, therefore, she, too was the number one plagiarizer of whom this so called justice learned from her. To hell you belong man!

  43. YOUR FORMER  PRESIDENT ?!!!  Excuse me. You can jail her, you can export her to the ICC for all I care! Go ahead.  We couldnt care less. She was never my friend nor my wedding sponsor .

    The problem is, you have become too arrogant using the great name of UP that you think you are over and above the code of ethics of lawyers.  And you call for foreign condemnation for the country as you do in human rights violations.  GO TO WORK AND ANSWER YOUR SHOW CAUSE ORDER .   This is a very easy case to win but you are too arrogant.
    And if you lose this case, we are here, watching on your lawyering skills as you have lost so many cases against the DFA they treat you like a little nuisance, then you didnt learn anything from UP except showbiz skills, rather than legal skills.

    Now go to work !  You have shamed all  Filipinos with all your letters requesting for foreign condemnation of the Supreme Court as an institution. Isang justice lang kalaban mo, akala mo genocide.

    A little humility before the Supreme Court will also remove the air from your heads. Now win this case !

  44. Btw, when we were in the College of Law, UP won the Jessup Intl. Law Moot Court Competition, topped the BAR and had half of the BAR topnotchers for the year,  was champion for ALL DEBATE COMPETITIONS, oratorical contests and sports tournaments against other law schools. ALL OF THEM.

    During your terms, what happened to UP ????  What did you do to our school ?

    Now go to work !

  45. From a stupid plagiarism,comes all this this ????? the UP law faculty wants to take down the PSC, because they were ask to show just cause”????, i am not even a lawyer, and i can already see the pathetic arrogance of this UP  lawyers,instead of argjuing their case in court,are now taking it,to the court of public opinion..you people got something more than this case, something political, something greedy..another yellow propaganda working on this pathetic argument… I BET !!!!

  46. And in one of the emails I received asking for foreign condemnation, it states :”This is our last resort “.  You excitable little kid, the order is not even final. What did the College of Law teach you or what are you teaching in the College of Law ?  And you address yourself a Prof. ?
    Humble yourself.  There are 2 lawyers from Ateneo working regularly near you and they dont boast anything.  Yet they work for the highest arbitral tribunal of the world.  Next time, you get excited and panicky, know that foreign diplomats will still ask me if your cause is worth helping and in this case THE ORDER IS NOT EVEN FINAL and the court only wants you to explain and you call for foreign condemnation of an institution of the Republic. 

  47. Academic freedom doesnt mean you have to humiliate the country and the court by sending emails to bar associations while the case is pending as if theres a massacre again.  This is embarrassing.  What purpose will that serve ?  If I were the Supreme Court, I will not hesitate contempt since t you have repeatedly insulted the court in interviews, printed comments, and interviews and emails to foreign lawyers saying “this is our last resort”. Case is pending…helloooo !! What does openly soliciting foreign condemnation in a pending case have to do with academic freedom when you are the parties yourselves and lawyers at that.  I hope you will be circumspect about emails you send to other bar associations.  You should be the one giving advice to the people, not other lawyers abroad.  I am disappointed.

  48. Also, we have good lawyers in the country, you need not lecture to us. We dont appreciate that and we are not asking for your comments. We criticized the plagiarism but we dont want you to dictate on us.

  49. There has not even been any order punishing the UP law professors yet, and so what they have to do as lawyers is to simply answer the order of the Court.   By their bringing this case to other bar associations, they are showing that they don’t even accept the right of the Supreme Court to discipline lawyers as they don’t like it that they are even just being asked to explain their actions.   

    Now in any legal battle against the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will win, as the Constitution recognized\s them as having the ultimate judical authority in the Philippines.      They even have the authority to invalidate an act of Congress or an act of the President.  So they just won’t resign like that simply because of a petition from a group of academicians.
    All that the Supreme Court has done it to ask them to show cause why they should not be disciplined. It’s not a final order yet. 

    In the meantime, it is hoped that the Court will still issue some statement owing up to the plagiarism (at least in some form) and indicating steps they will take to prevent this from happening again.  But again, it is up to the Court.
    Now Ms. Knack, what do you think of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s statement of support for the UP law faculty?  

  50. The UP law needs free legal aid from foreign bar associations in a case thats not final and they are the parties and lawyers? Desierto calls it last resort in her desperate appeal for lack of skills to defend themselves Roque losing cases always. How did they become professors? Are foreign bar associations higher than the Supreme Court ? Why are yo embassing our country ?

  51. Officer of the Court,
    (sorry for the delay, had to log back when someone called me up that a question was posted in this blog 🙂

    What Senator Enrile is saying is nothing new in Legal Ethics.   It is basic principles. Senator Enrile in that news article humbles himself before the Court which implies, that even high-ranking elected officials accord high respect for the Court as the final arbiter of all legal questions.

    “At the same time, Enrile, as a member of the Philippine Bar, reminded those in the law profession that they are bound by rules of ethical conduct, especially in the manner by which they are all required to accord the Court utmost respect.
    “In the practice of or profession, whether as counsels, litigators, advocates or professors, we are subject to the Supreme Court’s disciplinary power,” he said.
    “Our duty to conduct ourselves properly as members of the Bar carries with it the serious duty to protect the Court’s honor and integrity as an institution devoted to the dispensation of justice,” he added.
    These are basic principles and its very sad that law professors have to be reminded not to act like excitable little kids  🙁   THE COURT CAN DISCIPLINE. And I must add, that is an inherent power of the judiciary.
    Further, Officer of the Court says and YOU MUST LISTEN : IN ANY BATTLE THE COURT WILL WIN. No question about that. It is a futile exercise to insult the Court again and again.

  52. You can defend the present Supreme Court all you want. The fact remains that Del Castillo is a serial plagiarist (as seen in Vinuya and now, in Ang Ladlad) and the Court sees nothing wrong with non-attribution that they even affix their own signatures to a decision without bothering to check and recheck; doing it by themselves or with their own researchers.

    It reflects negatively not only on the competence and honesty of the Supreme Court but of the whole legal profession in the country.

    Including you, Mrs. Knack.

  53. Tongue twisted, SO WHY ARE YOU AFRAID OF SPELLING OUT YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND POSITION ?   You afraid  ?  Obviously.

    and now you include “THE ENTIRE LEGAL PROFESSION IN THE COUNTRY ?” Do you know what this means if our government officials know this ?????????? Now you are insulting the Supreme Court and all Philippine lawyers. HOw dare you !

  54. I am not bothered with the plagiarism issue. I am more worried with an associate justice putting his signature on a piece of paper whose content he is not fully aware of. The ponencia should direct the details of the decision thereby influencing the course the researcher is taking. This case is a clear example that some retirables in the robes now are assuming ceremonial duties and the researchers and secretaries are calling the shots.

  55. There are all sorts of critics against the Supreme Court over the Vinuya decision, from people who obviously have not bothered to read it at all. 
    This plagiarism and show cause order issue should just have been left within the country instead of being blogged, with foreign bar associations being asked by Filipino lawyers to intervene in a domestic matter.  The University of the Philippines has never stood for foreign intervention. 
    If they want foreign bar associations to condemn our own Supreme Court, then these lawyers have no right condemning the government (under ANY President) when they enter into trade or defense arrangements with foreign governments (including their hated United States of America) and raising hell about “foreign intervention”.


  56. Sanc Olde, we all find plagiarism disgusting.
    But again,  I  dont agree with the plan of sending emails signed by a member of the Faculty soliciting condemnation from foreign bar associations when the investigation is pending and order is not final.  Most of all, I just dont like being bothered by a pending case.

  57. Ms. Knack:

    I don’t think the ponencia willfully lift those passages. I think his researcher willfully left those passages. The fact that those passages were taken out of context and made to support something which is completely the opposite to what the original authors would like convey is a clear indication that the writer of the decision has neglected his duty to oversee the progress of the decision from draft to the finish form. I can’t imagine an associate justice taking a passage from a book purportedly in agreement with the decision willfully knowing that that is not what the book mean.

  58. It is possible that an associate justice may willfully lift a positive statement to support a positive statement. But I don’t think he has lost his senses in lifting a negative statement and turn it into a positive statement.

    The first one can be forgiven as a case of “I forgot to put the attribution” like what the researcher admitted. The latter is an obvious case of “I have not fully understood what this mean, but it sounds good. I’m putting my signature.”

  59. But I agree with you that the steps the UP C of L faculty took is out of the line. The issue would not have blown up to this proportion if they have confined their actions within the ethical bounds. At the end of the day I’d still cast my support on a crusade that will clean up the system without losing its integrity, rather than in a crusade that will clean up the system and irredeemably tarnish it.

  60. p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }
    First of all, I’m not ex-PGMA or CJ Corona ally or whatsoever. The interpretation of the 1987 Phil. Constitution is very clear. Under Article 7, Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.
    And under Article 8, Section 8. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.
    (2) The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four years with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years, the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.
    Therefore, the issue of appointment of Chief Justice Corona was already closed, and legally binded. Judicial Department is co-equal branch of Legislative Department. The position of CJ Corona is not executive in nature. Don’t twisted the interpretation of the Philippine Constitution.
    Now, about plagiarism. SC Justice Del Castillo should apologize to the writers he plagiarized. If he intentionally did not attribute the statement of the writers, and he take it as his own statements, this is a crime! What is the function of a footnote, if the reference did not attributed to author of an article?
    About the Faculty of UP College of Law, please criticize with respect! Freedom of expression is not justification to make a harsh statements addresses to Philippine Supreme Court Justices. Remember, fault of one is not fault of all!

  61. Ms. Knack, I am similarly opined, and am glad that even as a freshman law student I have arrived at a conclusion similar to yours- that the UP College of Law faculty has to stop its overzealous means not befitting the profession.
    Allow me to share my take on this matter.


  62. The faculty of UP must also apologize for embarassing the country and rushing to post their appeals in listservs when the order is not final. Plus, they are the parties crying out loud in a pending case. They are not only commenting they are bringing a pending case to an international blog. Violation of professional conduct rules ! Contempt is due for embarassing the country.

  63. The pathetic UP faculty should be ashamed of themselves..You guys would rather attempt to takedown an institution, and defy everything it stands for,just to prove your point…are you people that stupid ??? or just plain dumb, i truly hope, that you worthless scum,gets disbarred,for making a  political drama out of something as petty as you people’s lives…ANG BOBO NYO !!!

  64. I see some confusion with legal techniques.

    a) When human rights lawyers call attention for human rights violations, they usually run to media for help inb order to create public awareness and elicit some form of action or policy.
    b) Contrast that to this this case – the lawyers themselves (and are professors of law) are parties to the case and were the ones who immediately called a press conference or granted one according to newspaper accounts while the case is pending.  The order is not final.  Then they try to elicit sympathy from other lawyers abroad by posting it on listservs of foreign legal organizations in order to sway the decision in their favor.

    The 2 cases are  not the same. When one is a party to a case and the case is pending, you are prohibited from commenting on the merits of the case during its pendency in a manner that would sway  judges to rule in your favor. But as we saw, they were all over media.

    This is basic in Legal Ethics class.  Lawyers, especially professors at that, are expected to conduct themselves appropriately at all times especially before the court and at a level far higher than an ordinary individual uneducated in the rules of court. Lawyers are charged with full knowledge of rules binding themselves to the jurisdiction of the court.

    The behavior is immature and reckless. We do not wish to see this kind of behavior from law professors. 

  65. lester2K1,  I wish you good luck in your law studies.  Wishing you much success in the legal profession !

  66. I’m a plain citizen, and am neither a lawyer or allied with GMA or CJ Corona.  I had high respect for the UP College of Law but after reading this thread, I now think differently – that the UP professors have been poisoned by their own biases and are no better than a bunch of fraternies willing for fight for their members, right or wrong. Lawyers, and professors at that, are expected to manifest a high degree of professionalism, always putting reason over emotion. Because of what these professors did, the country has been humiliated; it’s like going to town and crying, with the order still pending. UP Professors: Are you kids in tantrum, or adults willing to meet and resolve the problem with the SC in a sober, ethical manner?   What’s your beef against the Supreme Court? Is it CJ Corona? Come on! Your bright yellow slip is showing! 

  67. MS. KNACK,  you are so damn right. Do these professors consider this case an extension of the media war vs the Supreme Court? Calling for a press conference while the case is still pending defies basic logic and professional  ethics. It’s gross. They stooped too low; only showbiz personalities do that. Posting their case on listserv is even worse. These professors are KIDS!

  68. I totally agree with Ms. Knack.  She has to be admired for her courage in pointing out whats wrong.

    I dont like the negative comments from foreign lawyers who are not aware of how complicated politics in the Philippines is.  This group of professors from UP are closely allied with the yellowists or pro-President Aquino who is bent on destroying the Supreme Court as he is co-owner of a huge feudal farm with thousands of workers who are oppressed and the President himself is liable to pay nearly a billion pesos in government loans which they continue to evade. The Supreme Court is about to rule on the Hacienda Luisita case and these law professors received government appointments and one is the godson of the President.  Here is the story by New York times, no less  !!!!


    Ms. Anne de Bretagne, you do not know the whole picture so stop acting arrogantly yourself .  Shut up !!! Go to the Philippines and know the facts first like a real lawyer should ! You do not know the whole picture !!!!  Stop treating us like we are ignorant. You are the ones who are ignorant and you immediately jump at the opportunity of commenting so your comments can be published and you get publicity also.   Go to the Philippines before you start talking like ignorant fools here !!!!

  69. Response…

    The Supreme Court should have referred the matter to the Court of Appeals for disposition, not hear the matter itself.

    a defendant in criminal contempt proceedings should be given a public trial before a judge other than the one reviled by the contemnor.”

    Mayberry v. Pennsylvania 400 US 455, 466 (1971)

  70. the_jester

    We have our own set of case jurisprudence and U.S. law is not a primary source of law. We are not bound by U.S. law.  The Philippines is not a colony of the U.S. ANYMORE.  Try revealing your name and saying this in front of a Filipino audience and you might see eggs flying towards your direction.  You’d be lucky if you get only eggs. NO kidding.

    Only 1 justice erred, he is one  among  many and he was investigated. Dont tell me there were no investigations in other governments as well. The U.S. ?   Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill, and ——— Clinton, Monica, hmmm and the list goes onnn………..

  71. Response…

    Jester, youre not going to help your case by pretending to be American.

  72. In these opinion threads, I thought I would find healthy, collegial discourses regarding this plagiarism issue. instead, I find many of comments here full of venom and spite. The recent posts in this thread, save for a few (like the one of Mr. Bocobo) are actually worth reading.

  73. We are therefore clear that the statement by a trainee in the International Court of Justice circulated among foreign BAR associations is wrong.  The insinuation on institutional persecution when the case is pending and the order is not final is premature . This is the misleading statement :

    “We have no recourse left.
    Very truly yours,
    Professor Diane A. Desierto, University of the Philippines College of Law”

  74. To blur the Plagiarism issue with Political color will do no good, because any prescient individual would easily see that this is basically a MORAL and ethical issue.  In fact, I consider this PLAGIARISM issue as a litmus test of sorts for the Supreme Court itself, because this “case” concerns ONLY ONE  JUSTICE, and is free from any external influences or factors.   Therefore, I perceive  attempts to tinge this case with political undertones as efforts to obfuscate matters, and divert the reader from the real issue(s) at hand.

  75. Jay, you dont seem to be familiar with the fact that the UP College of Law is always in the midst of political issues. The school has a long reputation for that. We may argue among ourselves but we have produced presidents of the country.

  76. If theres a facul ty who always wants to be in the limelight of political issues, its THIS Faculty. Former Dean Bocobo has funny blogs.

  77. I Totally agree with you Ms. knack,,The UP Faculty should not have blown this issue, its ridiculous, you people  really need to tell the world our business ??? nobody is disputing your plagiarism issue, but to take the whole institution, and defy  a simple judicial process only tells us, that there is a political agenda behind this petty drama…SHAME ON YOU  …

  78. Batang Makati is right – crybabies running to foreigners. They should be ashamed for putting the country in a bad light. Crybabies is the right word! Ms. Knack, I am now a fan. Mabuhay ka!

  79. “To blur the Plagiarism issue with Political color will do no good.” – But how do you qualify the professors’ actions of calling for a press conference and waving their plaint across the globe? Is it protocol? That’s politics gone berserk!  Look at how the yellow media supporters now lap it up, short of ganging up on the Supreme Court. Is that fair?  The solution is simple: Schedule a meeting!  This issue is not about toxic waste that should be heard in international forums.

  80. After having read all the posts above i am embarrassed and by the actions of these uplaw professors.  they are like kids doing something which later on comes back to them and in panic, ran out of the house and shouting around the neighborhood asking for help.
    they panicked at the sc’s threatened contempt order. when all they just have to do is explain themselves accordingly.
    if i have a child planning to take up law in up, i would suggest to him to go to ateneo instead.

  81. “I am not also a lawyer, but isnt it a rule that parties cant comment when theres a case in court ? I thought everybody knows that and I am surprised UP Law professors are writing letters asking for condemnation of the judiciary from foreign lawyers. If I were the judge, I would also get angry. This is so embarrasing for a law school when theres no final order and for the country. One email is signed by them ( the one posted in this blog in another topic is signed by a trainee Diane Desierto). What are they thinking ?! My goodness, spare the country. Please dont teach law ever again ! ”

  82. Guys and legal luminaries, is plagiarism should also be construed to news articles? Don’t make me wrong. I read a news article of one of the leading news online in the internet, I was wondering when I access the other news online. I read same news article and the context are the same, word by word. Amazingly, different reporters. Is this plagiarism? I’m suspecting either of the 2 reporters did the copy and paste format hehehe..

    In law school, there is legal ethics. How about journalism?

  83. Response…

    Ms. Knack. The show cause order quoted Black’s Law Dictionary, and In re Kelly, penned by Justice Johnson in 1916, which is studded with citations of US precedents.

    It is still persuasive to quote US precedents if there is no Philippine precedent on the matter. In fact, the other allegedly plagiarized case, Ang Ladlad, cited the Boy Scouts of America case, re homosexuality.

    Ad hominem again, re I am pretending to be American. That means all who cite US precedents are pretending to be American. Why don’t you confront the point raised by Justice Douglas in Mayberry v. Pennsylvania, that it is a fair procedure to let another judge/forum decide the contempt proceedings?

    The Supreme Court is the aggrieved party here, the accuser. So it is, in fact, judicious for the Court of Appeals to hear this case, so that a neutral forum decides the merits of the case.

  84. I’m not a lawyer so forgive my simple views, but what does Hacienda Luisita or the stacking of the SC with GMA cronies have to do with the issue at hand? An SC justice was caught plagiarising. Even more worryingly, instead of just owning up to the mistake, they come with a lame excuse that it was actually OK because there was no malice involved. And if that was not lame enough, they even went as far as blaming Microsoft Word for it.

    I’m sure that if I was caught stealing and making such feeble excuses, I would be first laughed at and then summarily dismissed.

  85. Jester CBELI, I hope you are my colleague whose identity I got right  -> U.S. law is subsidiary means of determining rules of law. But when Philippine law is clear, there is no need to resort to subsidiary means of interpretation. Hence you cant go to Court and cry that this time you wish U.S. law to apply when it favors you. 

    fredamargo –  Why are you afraid to reveal yourself ? What is the reason for fear or panic in revealing one’s true identity ? What have you done that you need to hide ? All of you are afraid of revealing who you are.  Reminds me of the behavior of mice – always sneaky.

    You can open a topic On Hacienda Luisita when youve had the courage to reveal your true name, official position, address and if youre a party to the current case. IF you are candid about who you are, I see no reason why people will not join. When it comes to oppression by the President of the Chief Justice, you can get thousands to comment on that.

    NOTE :
    As my schedule is full and have 2 conferences to attend starting tomorrow, I shall sit this case out and wait for the final decision of the Court.
    If indeed, there is manifest institutional persecution, then by all means, we shall denounce it. I also look forward to the appropriate penalties being meted out for plagiarism. 

    Thank you.

  86. P.S.  Fredamargo,   you pretend you are not a lawyer, but you know these legal terms :  MALICE, SUMMARY DISMISSAL.     
    Do they teach this in cooking class or in law school ?
    And if so, who was your particular teacher who taught you these concepts in criminal law and remedial procedure who can also teach cooking and perhaps dancing ?

    I rest my case till the finality of the decision of the subject case.

  87. Surprisingly, my name is Fred Amargo, I’m not a lawyer and have nothing to do in the legal profession, nor have any ties with the Philippines and its legal institutions, and thus have no official connection to this case whatsoever.

    To be honest, I’m not sure why someones official position and address is needed to express their opinion on a blog, nor do I think comparing me to a mouse is warranted. Nonetheless, thank you for the comparison since mice definitely enjoy the moral high ground in this case: they do not plagiarize nor make feeble excuses. Whichever way you may twist or turn this issue, it still boils down to the fact that an SC Justice of a major Asian country is getting away with plagiarism with the most ridiculous excuse. If you would have caught me stealing, would you have taken me seriously if I said in my defense “I didn’t mean to so it doesn’t count” and “it was because of Microsoft Word”? I certainly hope not.

    Hope you enjoy those conferences!

  88. I am not a lawyer, but lets simplify,their language here,since they write it in such a confusing engloish,that morons like me gets lost..but here is how i understand this issue…. A bunch of ladies, from 1000 yrs.ago, wants the supreme court to penalize the japanese gov. for atrocities committed 6o yrs. ago….now let me answer that…That is not the job odf the supreme court, if anything, they should press,the executive dept. since  there is an international protocol of issue , when it comes to ancient history…
    And some idiot in the Supreme court, must have gotten to lazy to write his own opinion, and went ahead and copied someone else’s drama, and past it as his…am i right so far ???  and the UP faculty,saw that, and they went berserk, instead of arguing their case to the right channels, they took it upon themselves to expose that petty plagiarism to the world, and painted the whole supreme court as this corrupt institution, that needs to be revamped…on a plagiarism charge ????…Cmon people,Hilario Davide  clearly breached the constitution,that even a grade 5 student like myself could see that.. but i did not hear a squeak from this UP lawyers…Can you people see, what i am seeing too ????  now you can respond, and give me that big words and confusing statements with matching links on past ruling that happened somewhere in the planet Mars.just so,that your argument becomes relevant, well you guys are mistaken, it wont !!! And in the end, its still a pathetic issue,blown out of proportion…you people oughta get off, this issue, cause if you think, that the Pinoys worldwide sides w.you…you oughta think again.

  89. <blockquote>Jester CBELI?</blockquote>

    CBELI who?  I am not in Europe.

    <blockquote>”But when Philippine law is clear, there is no need to resort to subsidiary means of interpretation.'</blockquote>

    What Philippine law or precedent case are you talking about? Didn’t you read the show cause order which quoted Black’s Dictionary (definitions from US cases) and In re Kelly which pointed to US precedents? Why don’t you educate me and point to some Philippine precedents that are contrary to the point I raised citing Mayberry v Pennsylvania?

    So I am sneaky as a mouse for not revealing my identity.

    My identity is irrelevant because I am not as accomplished as you are. You seem to have more titles than the Register of Deeds.

  90. Tommy raises important points that was neglected.  It was this  SAME UP Law faculty which was instrumental in installing Gloria Arroyo in power and overthrowing the duly-elected President Estrada, and in effect, calling for people power in their chatboards (ex. yahoo) in total violation of the explicit provisions of the Constitution which provides for terms of presidents. They basked in the glory of having installed illegally the corrupt Gloria Arroyo.  What kind of law professors are these ? You judge. 
    Then, when Gloria Arroyo was besieged by allegations of corruption and abuse of power, this SAME UP Law faculty again cried abuses and pretending to be ivory towers of integrity cried out loud to bring her to the International Criminal Court and demanded  the ratification of the Rome Statute. They  filed a case asking for an order from the Supreme Court that would order government to ratify the Rome Statute.  These are law professors but they want to interfere with treaty process as a party to the statute of the international criminal court and lost the case.
    Now this Faculty of Law appeals to Senator Enrile a very wealthy and powerful man, to support them in their current fight against the Supreme Court, when in fact in the past  they villified senator Enrile during martial law days as former secretary of national defense who incarcerated their fellow alumni from UP, some of whom disappeared mysteriously, while others were tortured and accused him  of  grave human rights abuses in detention centers and stockades nationwide where innocent Filipinos were detained on charges that they were all subversive as they were critical of the abuses of the Marcos regime.  I am surprised that NOW that they have elicited support from Senator Enrile, they are suddenly quiet quiet about his human rights abuses during martial law. Arent these hyprocrites and blatant political butterflies ?
    Also, this Faculty are openly yellowists or allied with the current nincompoop president Noynoy Aquino who brought to the country the hostage crisis debacle, an international incident with the government of HongKong, and whose executive orders ARE ALL being challenged in the Supreme Court, and whose legal issuances are all legally defective because he is surrounded by idiots. 
    Despite being law professors, they are AGAIN quiet because the current dean who is not Bocobo (this guy is decent) got a high ranking job in the administration of Noynoy perhaps the biggest salary he ever received in his life as the peace panel for Mindanao makes the funds of the Office of the President its milking cow (another major scandal involving the revelations of former head of the peace panel Anabelle Abaya) and the counsel in this Vinuya case who is also a faculty member tells the whole world that Noynoy Aquino was his wedding sponsor and is close to him.
    The country is witness to several legal debacles  in the Aquino administration, including the many pending cases of Aquino before the Supreme Court and his refusal to take his oath before the current Chief Justice PLUS the legal issuances of the Office of the President lack basis and is castigated by both houses of Congress and by civil society.

    Now pray tell me, what is the motive behind this case if its still not clear.  Political butterflies and hypocrites SHOULD NOT be believed. They have no credibility left and thats common knowledge.  For further details, one must fly to the Philippines to see the whole political picture before one denounces the country in international blogs.

  91. Agree ! There’s more but too long.

  92. Batang Makati,  dont forget  each time this braggart Harry Roque vomits (literally) and goes to court it is covered by trimedia (vomitting covered by national TV really for effect). This trimedia group is owned by the biggest media group monopoly of  the crony of the nincompoop President Noynoy Aquino.  Are there other law professors who could call press conferences within minutes and have all of the media represented in the Office of the President at their beck and call ? Not that I know. Past deans couldnt even get to page 10 of any newspaper and he lands on the frontpages each time he spits to criticize the Supreme court in the Inquirer which of course inquires nothing, having been instrumental in suppressing news of rivals of Aquino during the campaign. Using yellowist Faculty, pro-Aquino media, and now international blogs in a bid to topple the Supreme court so Aquino’s Hacienda Luisita case and massive debts to the government of about a billion can be resolved by a new judiciary, again in violation of the Constitution is what these law professors are teaching.  These are repugnant and unacceptable in a democracy. THIS TOUPE DUDE MUST GO .

    Incidentally, can you imagine how much the Office of the President is spending to topple the Supreme Court – openly and covertly ? Phew !

    and what do we get out of the Office of the President ? executive orders and other legal issuances for lack of legal which have all been challenged before the Supreme Court for having no legal basis. ALL OF THEM. GO FIGURE.

  93. Let’s let Paula speak as much as she wants.  She has freedom of expression without conditions.  But, of course, everyone else should behave according to her dictates and queries, including not mixing up culinary arts and the law.

    See http://foolawecon.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/paula-defensor-knack-on-vagueness-and-the-countrys-image/

  94. Orlando R,   you posted and allowed my clarifications on your website, and then you deleted them a day after.  That speaks much about your  truthfulness and integrity. What did Einstein say about limits ?   Res ipsa loquitur.  Case closed. 

  95. Orlando your tricks are cheap !! Oh man… We like Ms. Knack – courageous and smart. If your asking for pity from Filipinos abroad, your not going to get that by panicking . The thing is – its You we’ve never heard of! Clutching on to her skirt for a little publicity ? Pathetic.

  96. Good day everyone! As I read the opposing insights re: UP Law Professors show cause order from PSC…I can only surmise the hidden agenda of these Maroons. Resorting to this kind of actions…for a “Plagiarism Issue” is a bit overboard.
    We may not like the appointment of Chief Corona as PSC chief…but we don’t like ABNOT either to take control of the Court of last Resort.
    We must always remember that The Hacienda Luisita Case is pending before the Supreme Court and ABNOT being  “part owner” of the HL does not want the composition of the SUPREME COURT : ergo it might rule to distribute the lands to its rightful owners…the farmers.
    We must also remember that the ComGROUP of Malakanyang has a lot of money to spend…to tarnish the present Supreme Court set-up. This is people’s money.
    It does not have to be a “Lawyer” to detect their real colours…which happened to be YELLOW.
    To Ms. Paula… you are fast becoming a “Celebrity”…the more they (Maroons Supporters) give their  selfish insights…the more you become famous because of your true wisdom and that is…to protect our Judicial System.
    It is time for these arrogant Maroons to learn their lessons.
    They felt they monopolize the whole discussion even challenging the Justices to resign. Well…they are wrong.
    Keep fighting Ms. Paula Knack for the truth…we the poor people are in support of your cause. ENOUGH of THESE YELLOW GULLIBLES and AQUINOFOOLS!

  97. Ms. Knack:

    I don’t understand your comments here.  My blog has comments under moderation set so I need to approve the first.  After that you can comment all you want, subject to my no-ad-hominem rule.

  98. Let us not all forget, THERE IS AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM:

    We humbly appeal to the Supreme Court that proper APOLOGIES be given by concerned individuals to these respected foreign authors whose works were copied, and to kindly forgive some rash behavior on the part of the faculty asking for foreign condemnation while the case is pending and the order is not final.

    As to the concerned individuals within the Court, whoever you are, it is helpful to recall this famous line : “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
    The dictates of morality and ethics is a way forward in this dispute.  I  sincerely hope that a more constructive approach involving the legislative branch, the judiciary,  and academe could be devised to address the issues. It would be likewise constructive to hold a dialogue between the opposing parties.

    Father Joaquin Bernas, S.J, former dean of another law school and a highly respected legal scholar,  has announced that he will comment on this plagiarism case when the decision becomes final in his newspaper column.  We all look forward to that.

  99. Friends,  Orlando R. has offered his hand in peace.   I accepted it.

  100. The issue here is not:

    Pres. Aquino and Hacienda Luisita
    Pres. GMA and her appointees in the SC
    The decision to deny the comfort women and their claims
    Whether the UP Law Faculty are hypocrites
    etc. etc.

    The issue is whether AJ del Castillo has committed plagiarism and whether the UP L F has violated their ethics as lawyer in their actions.

    Reading the dissenting opinion,


    I come to the same conclusion. That AJ del Castillo committed plagiarism. It doesn’t matter whether there is malicious intent or not. It doesn’t matter whether her researcher forgot to put the quotes before and after a lifted paragraph. Like jaywalking you can commit it without malicious intent. Plagiarism is an act, whether there is intent or not is immaterial. After crossing the street illegally you cannot say you have not committed jaywalking because you have no malicious intent on crossing or you forgot about the prohibition. For the majority to call the act as not plagiarism is to call white black. Sanction for the act is another matter. Read the dissenting opinion.

    As to the implication whether the decision is wrong because of the plagiarism is another matter. We cannot say that AJ del Castillo wrote a wrong decision because statements from that decision can be found from another book.

    As to the UP L F behavior, I don’t think its ethical. The Vinuya decision is not final. So is the decision on AJ del Castillo not committing plagiarism (correct me if I’m wrong.)

    Now to all of you hurling ad hominems, I am hurling this ad hominem to you. You are all stupid.

  101. The actions taken by the UP Law Professors are way out of line! They had embarrassed our judicial practices by maligning the Philippine Supreme Court in an International Forum like this.
    I call on the now famous Atty. Harry Roque (via the Amapatuan Case)…to please stop promoting your Blog re: support for the UP Law Professors…in an international forum like this…your blogs are nothing but previous insights of people regarding this “Plagiarism Issue”…I thought you can provide “New Ideas”. I know fully well that you are an “inaanak sa kasal” ni Abnoy…that makes you a YELLOW PROPAGANDIST…or are you in the payroll of Malacanyang’s COMGROUP out to destroy the reputation of our Philippine Supreme Court.  We believe your HCOS PCOS leader is the final beneficiary of all these…what with pending Hacienda Luisita Case now in Supreme Court…which to our common knowledge your leader sliced the budget because Chief Corona is the chief.
    COMGROUP has millions of pesos in disposal for PR firms out to destroy our SC…so the HCOS PCOS leader can appoint his own chief!!!!
    We the poor people are no longer naive to all these YELLOWMOCRACY…for which they hold on for over 22 years. Need I say more about your connection to Malacanang Hon. Atty. Roque?
    Please do not tarnish the image of our “SUPREME COURT” in the International Forum…for at the end of the day…WE ALL LOVE OUR COUNTRY…The PHILIPPINES!

  102. Words to live by :

    “Its the strong man who knows how to apologize.”
    (Richard Stengel, Time Magazine, 13 April 2001).

    “Don’t worry so much about your self-esteem. Worry more about your character. Integrity is its own reward–Laura Schlessinger”

    ” To defy the law is to appeal to violence, for where lawful methods do not prevail, the gun and the mob do. There can be no compromise with lawlessness, no truckling to threats of violence, no surrender to the forces of anarchy. If the US is to continue as a society that cherishes liberty, every citizen must uphold the law that are liberty’s shield.”
    -Editorial, The Spirit of Lawlessness,The New York Times, May 7, 1967, p.10E, col.1 in Quote it Completely by E. Gerbert, Hein &Co., 1998.

  103. May I respectfully ask the mod to delete my comments above. Thank you.

  104. …edit my ad hominem.

  105. and ad hominem in mine as well.  Thanks.

  106. @Paula:  You said that “Jay, you don’t seem to be familiar with the fact that the UP College of Law is always in the midst of political issues. The school has a long reputation for that. We may argue among ourselves but we have produced presidents of the country.”

    Thanks for your reply, Paula. .  I only mentioned political issues in direct reference to the matter at hand:  An (alleged) act of plagiarism committed by (allegedly) a Supreme Court Justice . To me, there is no politics involved there, regardless of any political controversies regarding the appointment of the Supreme Court Justices. As for the matter between the Supreme Court and “UP Law Faculty 37”,  it’s a toss-up between free speech (more specifically, the right to point out something that is blatantly wrong), and following the Lawyer’s Rules of Conduct and Ethics.  There’s really no politics there, either, unless the people involved (or we, who are watching by the sidelines), choose to add political color. While this might sound naive, taking threshing out the chaff from the grain would be good way to analyze the situation in a judicious and dispassionate manner.  Of course, realistically speaking, we need to factor in certain aspects, like hubris, human frailty, etc. But then again, when push come to shove, these matters will need to be set aside if we are to make a truly unbiased decision.

  107. The great presidents UP produced ARE ALL DEAD and shaking in their graves for in the midst of a show cause contempt charge you go around the world soliciting foreign condemnation of the judiciary WITHOUT FIRST FILING YOUR REPLY TO THE SHOW CAUSE ORDER.   Let me remind you  UP big shitheads – the latest your university gave to the country, is the very corrupt and thief-in-chief  Gloria Arroyo. Is she your pride ?????  She should be imprisoned in the International Criminal Court like Milosevic ! The one before her is the martial law dictator Marcos who the US airlifted to Hawaii in a drastic show of foreign intervention.  Marcos was another  big product of UP who had hundreds of thousands tortured and killed. Is that also your pride ???? Despots and thieves are what you produced ! THE COUNTRY IS UNDERDEVELOPED and has no sense of good government BECAUSE OF THEM.  The 2 other senators who supported your cause are members again of the Yellowists or the LP for goodness sake – Escudero and Pangilinan who are buddies of Harry Roque the ambulance chaser and propagandist of LP and who vomits in front of media for all to see !    The law schools who support your cause are full of BAR flunkers and are not top law schools.
    why dont you tell the world how many BAR flunkers in the last 10 years has UP produced – and its passing percentage?  Youre not even worthy being called scholars of the country or the state university – a law school producing BAR flunkers.    Your law school has demeaned itself by reducing law professors to mere ambulance chasers like Harry Roque.  The UP College of Law is mediocre ! The other law school is way on top of you in terms of performance and qualify of their graduates. You rank 36th in the world and you brag about it.  So how many foreign bar associations came to your help in the midst of a show cause order for contempt and before even submitting your replies ?  It might be best to keep a low profile rather than one that OPENLY solicits contempt from the Court by asking for foreign condemnation in international blogs at that !   Thats the Supreme Court and your law school has been reduced to ambulance chasers with no great litigators or legal luminaries  in their faculty, unlike before.  As someone here noted rightfully, you only have crybabies, fresh graduates, and professors with no masters degrees in law calling themselves professors and no doctorate degrees much less ! When they do have one postgraduate degree, after lecturing for a subject, they call themselves Professors.  Everyone knows your faculty has no great litigators nor legal luminaries. Its time you stopping sitting on laurels of dead people but create your own.  Stupid lawyers with poor credentials. Get a life other than being toads of Noynoy Aquino who is another nincompoop just like you.

  108. It is true UP’s standards has decreased through the years.  Their BAR topnotchering days are gone.  Their best law professors have retired or left. This younger set I agree are no big names in litigation and bringing their own domestic cases while facing a possible contempt charge and in defiance of their show cause order to international blogs only highlights their lack of litigation skills. why dont they reply to the show cause order immediately and put research skills to good use. Quite immature.

  109. The more is said of Ms. Knack the more I am a fan of this jessup champion debater, fighter of corruption and pretty too! Cute girl in Congress actually… I will copy her quotes. Thanks Ms . Knack.


  111. Kiko Pangilinan ? “Mr. Noted.”    Had a tongue lashing from Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on his inadequate commend of legal principles during arguments. Is it true Kiko was caught cheating in an exam in UP ????? If so, how did he become senator except by the graces of the Liberal Party, the President’s party ???

    And Escudero…..LP also.

  112. sanc olde, whats your real name ?
    Are you a party to the case commmenting in an international blog ????
    funny, you have selective memories of your own ad hominees. And since you also have – I tell you –  theres egg all over your face !

  113. Senator Kiko flunked litigation at a Makati law office. He left after job performance appraisal by partners showed he bungled cases left and right. Havent seen him in court since even before election his current post.

  114. REMINDER :

    We await formal APOLOGIES to these esteemed foreign professors. 

    To use the title of Professor in their countries entails a long record of academic excellence, tenure, solid record of publications,  hard work, and integrity within a formal system of promotion in the academe.  Not any fresh graduate who lectures is a Professor.  Now please apologize .
    Ateneo must also press its graduates to apologize. Together, let us promote stability of institutions in society.

  115. Incidentally, the U.S. Supreme Court had interesting decisions on academic freedom of government employees paid by taxpayers money as contrasted to other professors. But thats the US Supreme Court.

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  1. […] We are writing to lend support to the University of Philippine’s College of Law, which now faces a very serious charge of contempt from the Philippine Supreme Court (PSC). If the members of the College are held in contempt, they face the loss of their bar licenses and with that the loss of their ability to teach and practice law. Criddle is one of those whose work was plagiarized by del Castillo. Read the whole article here Opinio Juris […]

  2. […] by Professors Evan Fox-Decent and Evan Criddle… click here. Tagged as: Plagiarism Allegation Rocks the Philippine Supreme Court Leave a comment Comments […]

  3. […] Remarks by Professors Evan Fox-Decent and Evan Criddle… click HERE. […]

  4. […] the full blog here. CATEGORY: Commentary TAGS: mariano del castillo, plagiarism, Supreme […]