Harvard University graduate: Hilbay Hyperinflates His Role In Maritime Case Against China - The Daily Sentry

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Harvard University graduate: Hilbay Hyperinflates His Role In Maritime Case Against China

In response to the allegations of former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay on the false narration of facts written on Marites Vitug’s book entitled “Rock Solid: How The Philippines Won It’s Maritime Case Against China”, Vitug wrote a lengthy rebuttal on Hilbay’s allegations.
Author Marites Vitug and Former Solgen Florin Hilbay / Composite photos from Rappler

Rock Bottom

In a post she shared on Facebook, Harvard University graduate, veteran journalist and author Marites Vitug bared that Hilbay often dismisses as “fake news” those events that put him in a bad light. Vitug further said that Hilbay has his own version of the truth, and all the others are lies.

He trumpets his version of the truth—and everything else is false.  Indeed, Hilbay has reached rock bottom,” Vitug wrote.

The Facts

Vitug questioned the fact that Hilbay tagged her book as containing false narration of facts yet he declined to be interviewed by Vitug when she was making her book. In an attempt to include Hilbay’s version of the truth in her book, Vitug invited him for an interview, but Hilbay declined.
Former Solgen Florin Hilbay / Photo from CNN Philippines

Read Hilbay’s email below:

"Dear Marites,

thanks for the invite. appreciate it.

fyi, though, i (w/ justice francis) am also writing about the same topic. our efforts, though, are much more limited to our role as agents in the case so we can deliver a more personal, first-hand narrative. i hope you understand my (i don't know about j. francis) preference to narrate the (for my part, predominantly positive) experience myself.

if you want to read parts of our individual accounts, you might want to check out the special issue (March 2017) of the ateneo law journal on the award. 

i look forward to your book, as always. and congratulations in advance.


Vitug also claimed that Hilbay is trying to hyperinflate his role in the maritime case when he said “I consider my treatment of Itu Aba as a significant contribution to the case I helped win as its official representative,” but according to the foreign lawyers representing the Philippines in the tribunal, Hilbay was nothing but a “figurehead agent” that contributed nothing to the case both in content and strategy.

In an email in 2016, one of the key foreign lawyers of the Philippines described Hilbay as a mere “figurehead Agent,” having “contributed absolutely nothing to the Philippines’ case” both in content and strategy. It turned out “he did not write a single word” in the submissions,” Vitug wrote.

Humility Is A Virtue

Vitug went on and rebutted all the allegation hurled by Hilbay, arguing that all the information in her book were checked from multiple sources, and was verified to be true. In her final statement, MaritessVitug accused former SG Hilbay of lacking the humility to accept his errors and admit his mistakes.