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    Posted March 6, 2014 by

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    Phl anti-graft court in sad state

    TO declog the dockets of the anti-graft court with the least cost to the government and hasten resolution of corruption cases, a Philippine lawmaker on Thursday filed a bill allowing individual justices to receive pieces of evidence in their behalf.
    In filing House Bill 3872, Rep. Romero "Miro" Quimbo of Marikina City said one of the legal loopholes which inadvertently aid corruption in the country are the snail-paced prosecution and adjudication of cases, particularly in the anti-graft court.
    "This, in turn, is attributed to congestion problems and limited number of Justices to sit and dispose cases," Quimbo said.
    At present, the lawmaker said the anti-graft court is divided into five divisions of three justices each.
    "Considering the magnitude of cases the justices have to hear and decide on, with 2,600 cases pending as of late last year, the slow grind of the wheels of justice is inevitable product of the current system. It has been said that the litigation of a case in the anti-graft court takes about five to eight years before it is promulgated," Quimbo stressed.
    The lawmaker, who chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means, said while statistics on Philippine corruption has been improving, most recently jumping 11 spots in both the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report and Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in 2013, the country still needs to intensify the crusade against corruption.
    "Despite the gains so far made, corruption still remains as the most problematic factor in doing business in the Philippines according to the Global Competitiveness Report, which accordingly, curtails the potentials of the economy. This is but one of the deleterious effects of the corrosion that corruption brings to our society. Also, the same report shows that in terms of efficiency of the legal framework, much has yet to be improved by our judicial institutions," Quimbo said.
    He said his proposal is an ameliorative approach in declogging the dockets of the anti-graft court with the least cost to the government. He further said his HB 3872 is a counterpart of Senate Bill 470 filed by Senate President Franklin Drilon.
    "In my shared vision and commitment with Sen. Drilon to improve our judicial system and support our government's fight against corruption, I am earnestly seeking the immediate approval of this measure by Congress," Quimbo said.
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