Silliman University echoes the Statement of Concern issued by the Coordinating Council of Private Education Associations (COCOPEA) on the Supreme Court ruling on the issue of plagiarism.
It affirms and supports the view of COCOPEA of plagiarism as a form of “intellectual dishonesty”. The full statement (text appears below) has been posted on the Facebook site of the University to encourage open discussion among its students, alumni and friends.
In the Student Handbook, Silliman considers plagiarism a major offense and a form of violation of “academic integrity”. It defines plagiarism as “the act of taking ideas, writing the works from another and passing them off as one’s own, or using the work of another without giving due credit to the source.”
The University Disciplinary Board deals with plagiarism cases seriously. There had been students expelled from Silliman specifically for committing plagiarism.
Silliman President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III sits as Chairman of COCOPEA, which is composed of five academic associations in the Philippines: Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities, Catholic Educational Association of the
Philippines, Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities, and Technical Vocational Schools Associations of the Philippines.
COCOPEA Statement of Concern
The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), with due respect, takes exception to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case entitled, “In the matter of the charges of plagiarism, etc. against Associate Justice Mariano C. del Castillo.”
As educators, we are alarmed by the Supreme Court ruling that plagiarism cannot be committed without “malicious intent”. How can we now discipline our students who copy the works and writings of other authors without attribution when they can simply take refuge behind the Supreme Court ruling?
Plagiarism is intellectual dishonesty. It is thievery of intellectual property. In the world of the academe, it is punished most severely.
To treat plagiarism in a cavalier fashion is to fling the door wide open to flagrant violations against intellectual property and invite
intellectual thefts without fear of punitive sanction. This academic atmosphere is not only deleterious to scholarly pursuits, but more so to the moral fiber of young minds, but more importantly, it detracts from the essential purpose of the Higher Education Institution (HEI) to be the cradle of original ideas. It is for this reason that the right of academic freedom is granted to HEIs.
In view thereof, we implore the Supreme Court, most respectfully, to follow “The Way Forward” of Justice Sereno’s Dissenting Opinion as the only way by which it can maintain its judicial dignity.