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  In the Matter of the Charges of Plagiarism against Justice Mariano Del Castillo A.M. No. 10-7-17-SC, October 15, 2010 FACTS: Petitioners Isabelita Vinuya and other members of the Malaya Lolas Organization, seek to compel the Executive Department to espouse their claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan before the ICJ and other international tribunals. The Court, speaking through Justice Mariano Del Castillo, dismissed the petitioners’ action. Petitioners then filed a supplemental motion for reconsideration which accuses Justice Del Castillo of plagiarizing and twisting passages from three legal articles when he wrote the decision for the Court in the Vinuya case. Subsequently, the Court referred the charges against Justice Del Castillo to its Committee on Ethics and Ethical Standards for investigation and recommendation. The Committee then submitted its findings and recommendations to the Court. ISSUE/S: 1.   Whet her or not Justice Del Castillo, in writing the Court’s opinion in the Vinuya case, plagiarized the published works of Tams, Criddle-Descent and Ellis. 2.   Whether or not Justice Del Castillo twisted the said authors’ works to make it appear that such works supported the Court’s position in the aforementioned case. RULING: NO as to both issues. Plagiarism supposes a conscious effort to steal another’s work and treat it as one’s own . In this case, Justice Del Castillo has made attributions to the works he borrowed from the authors albeit imprecise. Hence, the Court ruled that his imprecise citations should be seen as formatting lapses rather than outright plagiarism.  On the issue of twisting or misrepresentation, the Justice has not distorted or perverted th e meaning of authors’ passages. Moreover, there is nothing in the said decision, based on the said works, that has supported the Court’s conclusion that the Philippines is not obliged to espouse the petitioners’ claims. Nilo Hipos, Sr. vs. Honorable RTC Judge Teodoro A. Bay G.R. Nos. 174813-15, March 17, 2009 FACTS: Two Informations for the crime of rape and one Information for the crime of acts of lasciviousness were filed against petitioners Darryl Hipos,  Jaycee Carsino and others before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City presided by Judge Bay. On February 23, 2004, private respondents AAA and BBB filed a motion for reinvestigation asking Judge Bay to order the City Prosecutor to study if the proper Informations have been filed against the petitioners and their co-accused. Afterward, they filed a Joint Memorandum to dismiss the case(s) before the City Prosecutor as they that claimed there was no probable cause to hold them liable. The City Prosecutor issued a resolution affirmed the Informations filed against petitioners, and then filed a Motion to Withdraw Informations before Judge Bay to which was denied by the latter. ISSUE: Whether or not the Supreme Court can compel Judge Bay to dismiss the case through a writ of mandamus RULING:  NO. The Court held that once a criminal complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition thereof, such as its dismissal or acquittal or conviction of the accused, rests within the exclusive and sound discretion of the court. In the case at bar, it cannot be said that Judge Bay refused to act on the Motion because he had already acted on it by denying the same. The proper remedy of the petitioners should be a petition for certiorari against the assailed order, not a mandamus.

Jbi

Sep 22, 2019
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