SC urged to assign special courts to hear ‘pork’ case
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has been urged by a senator to designate special criminal courts that will handle and conduct daily hearings on the P10-billion pork barrel scam once the issue reaches the court.
At present, however, the cases filed against those involved in the scam remained pending at the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Isang pwedeng maging legacy ng ating Supreme Court ngayon ay ang pagsasagawa ng continuous trial nang mapabilis ang hearing ng lahat ng ito pag nakarating ito sa korte,” Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement on Wednesday.
(One possible legacy of the Supreme Court is the holding of continuous trial to speed up the hearing of all of these once they reach the court.)
Cayetano issued the call amid concerns and fears that political affiliations and loyalties might render meaningless all of the efforts of the present administration in weeding out graft and corruption in government, particularly the case filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against those involved in the pork barrel scandal.
“Ang iba, inaasahan nila na magkakaroon ng change of administration in 2016. Tapos ang nakaupo doon ay maglalagay ng DOJ at ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) officials na hindi sing-init ngayon. Huwag mong sasabihin na itong mga akusado ay walang pera at walang political clout,” he said.
(Some are expecting a change of administration in 2016.Then the one who gets elected will appoint DOJ and NBI officials who are not as persistent as those who are in the position now. Don’ tell me that these accused have no money and political clout?)
“Ang akusado, lalo kung malaki ang pera, malaki ang impluwensya. Nasasakripisyo ang hustisya sa politika.”
(An accused, especially if he has a lot of money, also has a big clout. Justice is being sacrificed because of politics.)
But the “unfortunate reality,” Cayetano said, is that the administration of justice in the country “moves at a glacial pace.”
“And the resolution of the pork barrel scandal case, if it even reaches the courts, might go beyond 2016,” he said.
“Ang ating hustisya sa bansa ay napakabagal. Katulad ng Ampatuan massacre, after four years, wala pang nangyayari. Halos isang taon na ang rebelasyon ng PDAF scam, pero wala pang formally na nakakasuhan sa korte,” he said.
(Our justice system in the country is very slow. Like the Ampatuan massacre, after four years, nothing has happened. The PDAF scam expose is almost a year now but no one has been formally charged in court yet.)
“The longer it takes, the more you give the powerful the chance to maneuver,” Cayetano said.
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