SC to look into gov’t prosecutors’ protest on judicial affidavits
The Supreme Court has ordered its sub-committee on the revision of the Rules of Criminal Procedure to look into government prosecutors’ protest on the Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR).
The JAR, which was approved by the high court in September 2012, requires the submission of judicial affidavits in lieu of the direct testimony of a witness in criminal cases.
It also requires each party to the case to attach all his documentary evidence to the judicial affidavit which, in turn, must be submitted at least five days before the “pre-trial” or “preliminary conference” in the case.
The JAR was said to be effective in reducing the time used for presenting the testimonies of witnesses by about two-thirds after a pilot program was conducted in the Quezon City courts.
In a letter, the office of the Zambales provincial prosecutor asked the high court to either abolish the JAR or make permanent the modified implementation of the rule exempting prosecutors for the past two years.
“In the alternative, the suspension of the implementation of the Rule (should) be extended for further study,” the prosecutors said in their letter.
In a resolution made public Monday, the high court ordered the sub-committee to come up with a recommendation.
The high tribunal already gave prosecutors two years to prepare for full compliance to the JAR, exempting them from the coverage of the rule in 2013 and 2014 “insofar as the prosecution of criminal cases in concerned.”
It had also directed the prosecutors of the DOJ and the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines (PLP) “to work closely with the SC sub-committee on the revision of the rules of criminal procedure, headed by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, in developing comprehensive and truly meaningful changes that will minimize the problems of delay in the criminal justice system.”
JAR under Administrative Matter No. 12-8-8-SC was approved by the court to address case congestion and delays in resolution of cases attributed to the huge volume of cases filed each year and the slow criminal justice system. AU
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