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rule of law

Contemptress LOOKING ASKANCE By Joseph Gonzales (The Freeman)

The Supreme Court en banc has spoken – one of its own, recently-appointed Justice Mariano del Castillo, did not commit plagiarism, even when he failed to indicate the sources of some of the passages to be found in his decision. (The subject matter of the case was the 70 women used by the Japanese army […]

Self-Incrimination and a Political Question

I was fuming mad Tuesday when I read last Tuesday that former Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo refused to appear in the Sandiganbayan invoking the right against self-incrimination. Apparently, she used our pending petition in the Supreme Court questioning the Ombudsman’s refusal to investigate her for possible violations of our penal laws as the suit that may give […]

Battle Royale

Impeachment is once again controversial. In an unprecedented move, the House Committee on Justice lead by its Chairman, Rep. Neil Tupas Jr., voted overwhelmingly to defy a status quo order ordered by the Supreme Court on the impeachment complaint filed against the Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. At issue is whether a second impeachment complaint by the […]

Cloning De Lima, the IIRC and the inquisitorial system

The raging controversy today is the 12-point recommendation of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee on the August 23 Luneta debacle. There has not been any report in this country that was welcomed by everyone. The IIRC report is no exception. It was met by a mixture of relief and appreciation by those who want […]

DON’T CHARGE THE MESSENGERS: Bad journalism is not criminal conduct

The Center for International Law (CENTERLAW), a civil society organization that advocates, among others, freedom of expression and a free press, express its disappointment at the IIRC recommendation to charge the media for the August 23 debacle. While we acknowledge that media may have failed to observe the highest degree of professionalism and self-restraint in […]


It was another day of revelation and surprises on the continuation of the Ampatuan massacre case. The former Ampatuan houseboy, Lakmodin Saliao (“Lak”), took another three hours to detail what transpired after the November 23, 2009 massacre. It was a testimony that sounded like chapters in a mystery novel replete with allegations of bribery, perjury […]

Defending Human Rights

Wednesday was a very busy day for the protection of human rights and the fight against impunity. It started with the resumption of hearing in the Ampatuan massacre in a make-shift court house in Bicutan, Taguig. Prior to yesterday, the victims manifested their disturbance and distraught at the fact that despite an agreement reached by […]


9 months ago, at least 62 policemen participated in the worse massacre in Philippines history: the Maguindanao massacre. Then last week, at least 9 of them, although their numbers should swell as more evidence are uncovered, were also involved in a torture witnessed in every living room in the country courtesy of a cell phone […]

International Humanitarian Law on IHL Day

When a fighter from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front beheads a soldier or a civilian, or resorts to cutting off ears and other body parts, he will be subject to an obligation of all states to investigate, prosecute and punish him for a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law. In like manner, a soldier from […]

To SC Spokesperson Midas Marquez: Take heed of the Supreme Court’s own ruling — “Courts and Justices are not sacrosanct.” by Joel Butuyan

SC spokesperson Midas Marquez uses a parochial application of the sub judice rule when he criticized the UP Faculty on the latter’s stand on the plagiarism issue. To stop embarrassing himself, he should read the constitutional right on free speech in relation to the doctrine of “fair comment on matters of public interest” and also […]


A STATEMENT BY THE FACULTY OF THE UP COLLEGE OF LAW An extraordinary act of injustice has again been committed against the brave Filipinas who had suffered abuse during a time of war. After they courageously came out with their very personal stories of abuse and suffering as “comfort women”, waited for almost two decades […]

Filipina “Comfort Women” Deserve Political Support

(From ICTJ) NEW YORK, July 23, 2010—The Philippines government should support renewed efforts by former sexual slaves to seek reparations and an official apology from Japan , said the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) today. Before and during World War II, the Japanese military government forced an estimated 200,000 women from many Asian countries, […]

American Academic Confirms Plagiarism

Supreme Court Spokesperson Midas Marquez, in defending the Court from allegations of plagiarism , said that the authors of the alleged copied articles, and not the comfort women, have the standing to question the alleged intellectual theft. Without conceding this point, it appears though that at least of one of these authors has in fact […]


I confirm that two individuals recently arrested by the Philippine National Police in Maguindanao are amongst the four suspects in the killing of Maguindanao massacre witness, Jessie. Bedo Pasawilian alias Bro Pasawilan and Morshed Salik Simpal were arrested Thursday, July 2, 2010, on the basis of  a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Ibrahim Banzawan […]

Do you know who was Suwaib Upham?

Would Justice secretary Agra have acted more favorably to the application for witness protection of Suwaib Upham if he had been presented to the DOJ by someone other than me or Centerlaw? A true commitment to justice should transcend personal prejudices. As a consequence of the secretary’s prejudice, a key witness who went to Manila […]