Comfort women, lawmakers call for Del Castillo’s impeachment
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Several World War 2-era "comfort women" or sex slaves have joined forces with eleven congressmen in demanding the impeachment of Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo.
According to the complainants, Del Castillo plagiarized his April 28, 2010 decision denying a petition from the comfort women asking the court to compel the Philippine government to get a public apology and reparation for victims of sexual abuses during the World War II from the Japanese government.
The comfort women, who are part of the Malaya Lolas organization, are Isabelita Benuya, Pilar Galang, Maria Kilantang, Maxima Regala dela Cruz, and Leonor Hernandez Sumawang.
Among the congressmen supporting them are Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy, San Juan Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito, Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento, Quezon Representative Irvin Alcala, Bukidnon Representative Florencio Flores Jr., Iligan City Representative Vicente Belmonte Jr., Ifugao Representative Teodoro Baguilat Jr., Quezon City Representative Jorge Banal Jr., Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, and Akbayan Representative Kaka Bag-ao.
“[The SC’s] integrity as an institution was put to question, and the public confidence in the judicial system and in the moral authority of the judiciary was further eroded," they said.
“Justice Del Castillo betrayed public trust when, in twisting the true intents of the sources, he misled the other members of the Honorable SC," they added. “His continued service will prejudice the public interest and will bring the entire SC and the country’s justice system into disrepute."
Bag-ao added that the plagiarism was not only an offense against the comfort women, but against the Filipino people.
“The decision was plagiarized. He twisted the facts to come up with his own conclusion that is opposed to the writer’s conclusion, and he made the court believe that the document was legitimate, that the analysis was based on his own analysis and not copied from other source,” said Bag-ao.
“This plagiarism is a very clear example of dishonesty as a system that is being tolerated by the SC,” Bag-ao added.
The complainants are pushing for Del Castillo’s impeachment despite the SC having already cleared him of plagiarism charges.
Umali added that the impeachment charge marks a greater dissatisfaction with recent decisions made by the SC, including the ruling to invalidate the Truth Commission, and the more recent acquittal of Vizconde Massacre suspect Hubert Webb.