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 in relation to the In Re Almacen doctrine. Under the Midas Marquez doctrine, you can demand the resignation of the President, Senators, and Congressmen. Heck, you can even demand the resignation of the Pope. But you cannot call on an SC Justice to resign??!! The gods must be going crazy on the promotion of additional gods.

In In Re Almacen, the Supreme Court itself said that “Courts and judges are not sacrosanct. They should expect critical evaluation of their performance. For like the executive and the legislative branches, the judiciary is rooted in the soil of democratic society and nourished by the periodic appraisal of citizens whom it should serve.”

I also plagiarized the following relevant Supreme Court pronouncements:

“Ultimate good desired is better reached by the free trade in ideas… that the best test of truth is the power of a thought to be accepted in the competition of the market, and truth is the only ground by which their wishes can be carried out.”

My personal favorite:

“Sunshine is the best anti-septic; the maligned should answer back and let the marketplace of ideas work; when an idea is exposed to the public for debate, its merits and demerits are exposed and eventually, the public will know the truth and the false;

“The interest of society and good government demands a full discussion of public affairs. Whether the law is wisely or badly enforced is a fit subject of public comment. Public policy, welfare of society and the orderly administration of government have demanded protection for public opinion.”

“freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech x x x discussion would be futile; and that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrines; the greatest menace to freedom is inert people.”


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

  1. leo says:

    We alaways regard our constitution as the ultimate wisdom in guding us with regards to our individual rights and rule of law.

    For Midas marquez to asserts his parachial application in criticizing the UP faculty in the plagiarism case of the supreme court justice constitute a mockery of our constitution. Thus, Midas like his boss should vacate her position too.

  2. joey says:

    . . . this just confirms that everyone (well, almost everyone)at the SC (especially the justices) seem to be above the law, above morality, above God, heck – above ALL . . . once appointed (midnight or daylight), they have absolute power, staying power . . . to interpret the law and issue decisions that serve vested intrests and purposes and not for the benefit of all concerned . . . they can plagiarize, pass up decisions, commit inconsistencies . . . and justify them . . . wow, it’s good to be the king . . .

  3. Code of Professional Responsibility says:


    Rule 11.05 – A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the proper authorities only.

    • harryroque says:

      And the point is? I think the thesis of the article is that in a democracy, freedom of epression is a peferred right and should, on issues involving public interest, prevail ?

      • secret says:

        Sir, I think the big debate on Freedom of Expression vs Ethics is pointed here. Because, as much as you are a citizen empowered by the Constitution to freely express your sentiments, you are a lawyer bound by the ethics of your profession.So it is very hard to draw the line.

        With all due respect, I believe that no freedom is violated when you are only expected to follow due process.
        Your plight is very well taken but as lawyers, the manner of putting it forward is what is questioned by the SC.

        Thank you sir.

      • harryroque says:

        I think the real dilemma is that the court cannot accept valid criticisms.

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