Only 36% of graft cases go to trial
The Ombudsman’s “case survival rate” has dropped to a three-year low in 2017, with only 36 percent of cases making it to the trial stage in the Sandiganbayan.
Statistics recently posted on its website showed that only 418 of the 1,160 cases disposed by the Sandiganbayan were “terminated after trial.”
The remaining 736 were thrown out by the antigraft court without even getting to that stage.
This was significantly worse than the 51 percent and 84 percent case survival rates posted in the first half of 2016 and the whole of 2015, although better than the 29 percent in 2014.
Of the cases resolved on the merits in 2017, 253 resulted in convictions and 155 either ended up in acquittal or were dismissed due to death, failure to prosecute or the grant of the accused’s demurrer.
Even then, such numbers pale in comparison to the 454 charges “quashed” soon after they were filed without the accused getting arraigned.
In these cases, the Sandiganbayan threw out the charges because the allegations did not constitute an offense or because the Ombudsman took too long to wrap up the investigation and bring the case to court.
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