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In the matter of the charges of plagiarism, etc., against Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo. [A.M.

No. 10-7-17-SC]

FACTS:

Supreme Court issued a decision which dismissed a petition filed by the Malaya Lolas counsel for Vinuya
et al, questioned the said decision. He raised, among others, that the ponente in said case, Justice
Mariano del Castillo, plagiarized three books when the honorable Justice “twisted the true intents” of
these books to support the assailed decision.

As such, Justice del Castillo is guilty of plagiarism, misconduct, and at least inexcusable negligence.
Interestingly, even the three foreign authors mentioned above, stated that their works were used
inappropriately by Justice Del Castillo and that the assailed decision is different from what their works
advocated.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is plagiarism in the case at bar.

HELD: No. There is no plagiarism. Even if there is the rule on plagiarism cannot be applied to judicial
bodies.

The passing off of the work of another as ones own is thus an indispensable element of plagiarism.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary: Plagiarism is the “deliberate and knowing presentation of another
person’s original ideas or creative expressions as one’s own.”

This cannot be the case here because as proved by evidence, in the original drafts of the assailed
decision, there was attribution to the three authors but due to errors made by Justice del Castillo’s
researcher, the attributions were inadvertently deleted. There is therefore no intent by Justice del
Castillo to take these foreign works as his own.

Justice del Castillo is not guilty of misconduct. The error here is in good faith. There was no malice, fraud
or corruption.

G.R. No. 151258 December 1, 2014


ARTEMIO VILLAREAL, Petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
FACTS:
In February 1991, seven freshmen law students of the Ateneo de Manila
University School of Law signified their intention to join the Aquila Legis Juris
Fraternity (Aquila Fraternity). Hazing was pre-requisite in joining for which
Lenny was one of few who had undergone the process. After the initiation,
Lenny’s condition worsened due to the blows he received, the Aquilans
rushed him to the hospital. Lenny was pronounced dead on arrival.

Consequently, a criminal case for homicide was filed against the 35 Aquilans.
Four of the accused (Tecson, et. al.) were found to be guilty of homicide by
the trial court but was reduced to crime of slight physical injuries and
sentenced to 20 days of arresto menor by the Court of Appeals. However,
upon appeal to the Supreme Court by the Office of the Solicitor General, the
Supreme Court ruled that they should be liable for reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide instead.

In Motions for Clarification or Reconsideration, Tecson et. al. clarified the


effect of the decision of the Supreme Court to their criminal liability. According
to Tecson et. al., they immediately applied for probation after the CA rendered
its Decision lowering their criminal liability from the crime of homicide, which
carries a non-probationable sentence, to slight physical injuries, which carries
a probationable sentence. Hence, they have already been discharged from
their criminal liability and the cases against them closed and terminated by
virtue of their granted Applications for Probation for which the terms therein
are already been complied with.

ISSUE:
Whether Tecson et. al. can be covered by the Probation Law despite their
appeal of conviction?

HELD:
Yes. First, the Court in resolving this issue ruled that the RTC Branch 130 had
no jurisdiction to act on the probation applications of Tecson et. al. for the law
requires that an application for probation be filed with the trial court that
convicted and sentenced the defendant, meaning the court of origin (Branch
121). Hence, its grant of probation with Tecson et. al. is void.

However, the Court abandoning its previous stance on ineligibility of those


who have appealed their conviction to probation, citing the then recent case of
Colinares vs. People that the Probation Law never intended to deny an
accused his right to probation through no fault of his. Had the RTC done what
was right and imposed the correct penalty, he would have had the right to
apply for probation. Moreover, the Court was quick to clarify that it remains
that those who will appeal from judgments of conviction, when they have the
option to try for probation, forfeit their right to apply for that privilege.
Romualdez vs Marcelo

G.R. Nos. 166510-33

July 28, 2006

Facts:

Petitioner claims that the Office of the Ombudsman gravely abused its discretion in recommending the
filing of 24 informations against him for violation of Section 7 of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; that the Ombudsman cannot revive the aforementioned cases which
were previously dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in its Resolution of February 10, 2004; that the defense
of prescription may be raised even for the first time on appeal and thus there is no necessity for the
presentation of evidence thereon before the court a quo. Thus, this Court may accordingly dismiss
Criminal Case Nos. 28031-28049 pending before the Sandiganbayan and Criminal Case Nos. 04-231857–
04-231860 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, all on the ground of prescription.

In its Comment, the Ombudsman argues that the dismissal of the informations in Criminal Case Nos.
13406-13429 does not mean that petitioner was thereafter exempt from criminal prosecution; that new
informations may be filed by the Ombudsman should it find probable cause in the conduct of its
preliminary investigation; that the filing of the complaint with the Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG) in 1987 and the filing of the information with the Sandiganbayan in 1989
interrupted the prescriptive period; that the absence of the petitioner from the Philippines from 1986
until 2000 also interrupted the aforesaid period based on Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code.

For its part, the PCGG avers in its Comment that, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution and RA No.
6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989, the Ombudsman need not wait for a new complaint with a new
docket number for it to conduct a preliminary investigation on the alleged offenses of the petitioner;
that considering that both RA No. 3019 and Act No. 3326 or the Act To Establish Periods of Prescription
For Violations Penalized By Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide When Prescription
Shall Begin To Run, are silent as to whether prescription should begin to run when the offender is absent
from the Philippines, the Revised Penal Code, which answers the same in the negative, should be
applied.
Issues:

(a) Whether the preliminary investigation conducted by the Ombudsman in Criminal Case Nos. 13406-
13429 was a nullity?

(b) Whether the offenses for which petitioners are being charged with have already prescribed?

Held:

Petitioner claims that the Office of the Ombudsman gravely abused its discretion in recommending the
filing of 24 informations against him for violation of Section 7 of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; that the Ombudsman cannot revive the aforementioned cases which
were previously dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in its Resolution of February 10, 2004; that the defense
of prescription may be raised even for the first time on appeal and thus there is no necessity for the
presentation of evidence thereon before the court a quo. Thus, this Court may accordingly dismiss
Criminal Case Nos. 28031-28049 pending before the Sandiganbayan and Criminal Case Nos. 04-231857–
04-231860 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, all on the ground of prescription.

LOUIS "BAROK" C. BIRAOGO, petitioner, v. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010, respondent.

G.R No. 192935. December 7, 2010

REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, REP. RODOLFO B. ALBANO, RR., REP. SIMEON A. DATUMANONG, and REP.
ORLANDO B. FUA, SR., petitioner, v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND MANAGEMENT SECRETARY FLORENCIO
B. ABAD, respondent.

G.R. No. 193036. December 7, 2010

MENDOZA, J.:
FACT:

E.O No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) of 2010 was signed by President Aquino.
The said PTC is a mere branch formed under the Office of the President tasked to investigate reports of
graft and corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals,
accomplices and accessories during the previous administration and submit their findings and
recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. However, PTC is not a quasi-judicial
body, it cannot adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle or render awards in disputes between parties. Its job
is to investigate, collect and asses evidences gathered and make recommendations. It has subpoena
powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt or even arrest. It cannot determine for such facts
if probable cause exist as to warrant the filing of an information in our courts of law.

Petitioners contends the Constitutionality of the E.O. on the grounds that.

It violates separation of powers as it arrogates the power of Congress to create a public office and
appropriate funds for its operation;

The provisions of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot legitimize
E.O. No. 1 because the delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the Office of the
President to achieve economy, simplicity, and efficiency does not include the power to create an
entirely new office was inexistent like the Truth Commission;

The E.O illegally amended the Constitution when it made the Truth Commission and vesting it the power
duplicating and even exceeding those of the Office of the Ombudsman and the DOJ.

It violates the equal protection clause

ISSUE:

WHETHER OR NOT the said E.O is unconstitutional.

RULING:

Yes, E.O No. 1 should be struck down as it is violative of the equal protection clause. The Chief
Executive’s power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having been
constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the
President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with
the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not
affected by the fact that the investigating team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the
former used the offices and facilities of the latter in conducting the inquiry.

CASE DIGEST: TECSON VS. COMELEC

12:41 AM

G.R. No. 161434 March 3, 2004

MARIA JEANETTE C. TECSON and FELIX B. DESIDERIO, JR. vs.COMELEC, FPJ and VICTORINO X. FORNIER,

G.R. No. 161634 March 3, 2004

ZOILO ANTONIO VELEZ vs.FPJ

G. R. No. 161824 March 3, 2004

VICTORINO X. FORNIER, vs. HON. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and FPJ

Facts:

Petitioners sought for respondent Poe’s disqualification in the presidential elections for having allegedly
misrepresented material facts in his (Poe’s) certificate of candidacy by claiming that he is a natural
Filipino citizen despite his parents both being foreigners. Comelec dismissed the petition, holding that
Poe was a Filipino Citizen. Petitioners assail the jurisdiction of the Comelec, contending that only the
Supreme Court may resolve the basic issue on the case under Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the
1987 Constitution.

Issue:

Whether or not it is the Supreme Court which had jurisdiction.

Whether or not Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that Poe was a Filipino citizen.

Ruling:

1.) The Supreme Court had no jurisdiction on questions regarding “qualification of a candidate” for the
presidency or vice-presidency before the elections are held.
"Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal" in connection with Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987
Constitution, refers to “contests” relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the "President" or
"Vice-President", of the Philippines which the Supreme Court may take cognizance, and not of
"candidates" for President or Vice-President before the elections.

2.) Comelec committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding Poe as a Filipino Citizen.

The 1935 Constitution on Citizenship, the prevailing fundamental law on respondent’s birth, provided
that among the citizens of the Philippines are "those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines."

Tracing respondent’s paternal lineage, his grandfather Lorenzo, as evidenced by the latter’s death
certificate was identified as a Filipino Citizen. His citizenship was also drawn from the presumption that
having died in 1954 at the age of 84, Lorenzo would have been born in 1870. In the absence of any other
evidence, Lorenzo’s place of residence upon his death in 1954 was presumed to be the place of
residence prior his death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse
Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. Being so, Lorenzo’s citizenship would have
extended to his son, Allan---respondent’s father.

Respondent, having been acknowledged as Allan’s son to Bessie, though an American citizen, was a
Filipino citizen by virtue of paternal filiation as evidenced by the respondent’s birth certificate. The 1935
Constitution on citizenship did not make a distinction on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child, thus,
the allegation of bigamous marriage and the allegation that respondent was born only before the
assailed marriage had no bearing on respondent’s citizenship in view of the established paternal filiation
evidenced by the public documents presented.

But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-
born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to
hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of
candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code.