SC justice faces impeachment raps-A A +A
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
ELEVEN legislators filed an impeachment complaint Tuesday against Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo for plagiarizing a ruling on the World War II comfort women case.
Representatives Reynaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro), Kaka Bag-ao and Walden Bello (Akbayan), Bernadette Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon), Bolet Banal (Quezon City), Vincent Belmonte (Iligan City), Teddy Baguilat Jr. (Ifugao), JV Ejercito (San Juan), Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes), Florencio Flores Jr. (Bukidnon), and Irvin Alcala (Quezon) joined comfort women Isabelita Benuya, Pilar Galang, Maria Kilantang, Maxima Regala Dela Cruz and Leonor Hernandez Sumawang in filing the impeachment complaint for betrayal of public trust.
“It was from our own volition that we want to file this case kasi we feel na marami nang dapat macorrect ang ating hudikatura,” Umali told reporters.
For her part, Bag-ao noted that they decided to file the complaint because it is the only power left in Congress in pursuit of a checks-and-balance system.
Del Castillo was earlier accused of plagiarizing portions of a ruling on World War II comfort women case from foreign sources without proper attribution.
Parts of the decision denying the plea of the comfort women were allegedly borrowed from “A Fiduciary of Theory of Jus Cogens" by Evan Criddle and Evan Fox-Decent, "Breaking the Silence on Rape as an International Crime" by Mark Ellis, and "Enforcing Erga Omnes Obligations in International Law" by Christian Tams.
Ten justices however cleared Del Castillo of the accusations, saying his staff member “accidentally deleted” the attributions.
The lawmakers, mostly members of the Liberal Party, said it was their personal decision to be a co-complainant and that no order came from President Benigno Aquino III.
Umali added that the complaint should not be looked at as a constitutional crisis but an opportunity to correct the institutions of the government. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)