Judicial Voodoo vs. Rule of Law

By Perry Diaz

"It was classic case of “judicial voodoo” taking precedence over the rule of law where the magistrates used mumbo-jumbo reasoning."

THE RECENT Supreme Court decision absolving Justice Mariano del Castillo of plagiarism stirred a hornet’s nest in the international legal community.  And, at home, the high court’s subsequent action, which threatened to sanction 37 faculty members of the University of the Philippines College of Law, ignited a firestorm of controversy that questions the infallibility of the Supreme Court.

It all began in April 2010 when the Supreme Court dismissed the petition of 70 Filipino “comfort women” (Vinuya vs. Romulo, G.R. No. 162230) to compel the Philippine government to get a public apology from the Japanese government including reparation to victims of sexual abuse by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.  Justice Del Castillo penned theponencia.


That would have been the end of it.  But Marvic Leonen, Dean of the U.P. College of Law, learned from a student of international law that Del Castillo lifted quotes and footnotes – without crediting the authors — from three internationally published articles.   Consequently, lawyers Harry Roque and Romel Bagares submitted a motion for reconsideration  [...]

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