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    Posted March 4, 2014 by

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    Philippine gov’t: Prosecute ‘pork’ culprits!

    THE Philippine government made an assurance Tuesday that the cases against lawmakers being implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel scam will continue even after President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office in 2016.
    Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Palace is hopeful that cases filed against those involved in the scam will continue in courts even after the President bows out of office more than two years from now.
    “I think we can only speak till 2016. Beyond that I cannot speak beyond 2016, and I think it will be too presumptive for me. But I will certainly hope... we will certainly hope that the justice system will continue,” Lacierda said.
    With regards to the pace of cases being resolved in courts, Lacierda said this is the reason why the administration wants judicial reform—so that justice is served those who deserve it.
    He added: “That's why we need the judicial reform that the President would also like to see happening.”
    There is also a need to build strong cases so that they could stand trial in court, he said, noting it’s the job of the Department of Justice to prepare such cases.
    The entire judicial process should also function well, from the DOJ, the Office of the Ombudsman until the cases reach the graft court for the eventual prosecution of the accused.
    Lacierda also said the Palace supports a legislation being introduced by Sen. Franklin Drilon aimed at adding more benches in the graft court for a more effective and faster litigation of cases.
    “We hope that it would be faster but again this is the process of our justice system right now. And part of the reform process that is being done right now is a measure that, I think, Senator Frank Drilon has come up before the Senate that is to increase the number of courts in the Sandiganbayan,” he said.
    “This includes all cases involving government officials. We only have a few divisions in the graft court and now there is a proposed measure in the Senate to increase the number of its benches.”
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