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Comfort women decry 'plagiarized' SC ruling

Some 17 comfort women, victims of sexual slavery during World War II, went to the Supreme Court on Monday to assail a supposedly plagiarized ruling that junked their plea three months ago. In a supplemental motion for reconsideration, the comfort women asked the high court to rethink the allegedly "plagiarized" ruling it issued on April 28, 2010 penned by Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo. In 2004, some 60 comfort women filed the “Vinuya v. Executive Secretary" case, petitioning the Philippine government to compel Japan to make a public apology and provide compensation for them. However, an SC decision on April 28, 2010 denied the women's petition.
Former "comfort women" ask the SC to reconsider its April 28, 2010 ruling which allegedly has portions that were plagiarized from foreign sources. Sophia Dedace
Part of the SC's 34-page decision said: "Regrettably, it is not within our power to order the Executive Department to take up the petitioners’ cause. Ours is only the power to urge and exhort the Executive Department to take up petitioners’ cause." The women, who call themselves the "Malaya Lolas" or Liberation Grandmothers, said the SC's decision contains alleged plagiarized portions taken out of context to support the arguments for denying their petition. "Kayong mga mahistrado ng Supreme Court, kayo na nga ay nangopya, binaluktot niyo pa. Kung hindi niyo maibigay sa amin ang hustisya, dapat mag-resign na kayo (Justices of the Supreme Court, you not only copied, you even twisted [texts from other law cases]. If you cannot give us justice, you should resign," said an emotional Pilar Galang, 80 years old. "Pinatay ang tatay ko at ang kapatid ko. Pinagsamantalahan kami [mga comfort women]. Bakit hindi kami pinapansin ng gobyerno? Bakit walang kalinga sa amin (My father and brother were killed. We [comfort women] were raped. Why is the government ignoring us? Why is there no compassion for us?)," she said in between sobs. She and some of her companions shed tears when they filed the motion for reconsideration, saying they have been clamoring for justice for more than 60 years now. In the motion for reconsideration, their legal counsel, University of the Philippines law professor Harry Roque Jr., wrote: "It is thus every lawyer’s serious and urgent concern that this Honorable Court address and disclose to the public the truth about the manifest intellectual theft and outright plagiarism discovered (and discoverable by the rest of the world) from the Court’s published Judgment, which did not only twist the content of such texts, but worse, resulted in gross prejudice to Petitioners." In a separate interview with reporters, Roque said the purpose of the supplemental motion was to "let the court know that the ruling was plagiarized." Vinuya v. Executive Secretary Since the comfort women filed the "Vinuya v. Executive Secretary" case in 2004, about 20 have already died and on Monday, only 17 were physically fit to file the motion for reconsideration. According to the women's motion for reconsideration and a Newsbreak report, portions of the ruling were supposedly borrowed from the following sources:
  • 31 parts of “A Fiduciary Theory of Jus Cogens" by Ivan Criddle and Evan Fox-Decent, published last year in the Yale Journal of International Law;
  • 24 parts of “Breaking the Silence on Rape as an International Crime" by Mark Ellis, published 2006 in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law; and
  • 4 parts of “Enforcing Erga Omnes Obligations in International Law" by Christian Tams, published in 2005. The women said copyright infringement is punishable under Article 217 of the new Intellectual Property Code or Republic Act 8293. If proven guilty, those who committed plagiarism can be imprisoned for one to three years and is required to pay a fine from P50,000 to P100,000 for the first offense. Meanwhile, Supreme Court administrator and spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez he has yet "to read the motion first' before making a comment. –VVP, GMANews.TV
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