- Posted June 23, 2014 by
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Phl to transfer Witness Protection Program?
"Removing the present mandate on implementation of the law from the Department of Justice to the proper court would shield the program from possible corrosive politics," stressed 2nd district of Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol.
Authored by Apostol, House Bill 4583 seeks to transfer said powers from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the proper court by amending R.A. 6981.
The author pointed out that R.A. 6981 was enacted into law principally to encourage an individual who has witnessed or has knowledge of the commission of a crime to testify before a court, a quasi-judicial body, or an investigating authority, by protecting him/her from probable reprisals and from unavoidable economic dislocation.
Apostol believes the program is built on political control because the DOJ is under the control and supervision of the executive branch of government.
"When cases that the DOJ is prosecuting conflict with the interests of the executive and its officials, the implementation of the program will be detrimentally affected, and any applications that risk undermining the government will likely be rejected," he said.
Under the present law, the DOJ Secretary is the final arbiter concerning the implementation of the Program, he said.
"In order to avoid being under the control of the DOJ through its Secretary, it is better that the proper court is given the mandate to formulate and implement the said program," Apostol concluded.