Lagman doubts plagiarism enough to impeach SC judge

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2011 02:13 PM | Updated as of May 18 2011 10:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman sees rough sailing for the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.

“This is the first time in the history of the Committee on Justice where with respect on question on sufficient in form vote was very close. There is an apprehension or reservation on many members possibly  this impeach case will not hold water," he said.

Lagman expressed doubts the alleged offense of plagiarism constitutes betrayal of public trust.

“Hard to make a call whether impeachable or not because there’s a gray area whether it would fit into catch all phrase betrayal of public trust. Wala naming complainant. The one plagiarized - is he complaining? Ito bang allegedly plagiarized material material to the decision penned by justice? Baka nasa prefatory statement lang yan. Wala sa real disposition," he said.

For Lagman, today’s close vote on the test of sufficiency of form was a bellweather indicator of the sentiments of congressmen.

Voting 11-10-1, majority of the House justice committee members found the complaint sufficient in form.

The committee will vote on the complaint's sufficiency in substance Wednesday next week.