Press Release
June 29, 2010


Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan today recommends to President-elect Noynoy Aquino to convene the Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council to review the budget of the Judiciary before budget hearings start in December.

"President-elect Noynoy Aquino has the confidence of the people. That is key. When the JELACC first convened in 2008, it was able to push for a 20 percent increase in the budget of the Judiciary. We need to do more if we are to modernize our justice system. Convening the JELACC will help immensely in achieving that goal."

JELACC is the brainchild of Pangilinan. It aims to serve as forum and venue for the three branches of government to undertake measures on matters affecting the primacy of the rule of law.

"Our Judiciary receives a measly sum of less than one percent of the national budget. The remaining 97percent goes to the Executive department, while some two percent goes to the Legislative department. JELACC was created to precisely address the budget woes of the Judiciary."

"If we are able to up the Judiciary budget to even two percent of the national budget, we will see a rise in the swift dispensation of justice, in the creation of more courts, construction of justice halls, the filling up of vacancies of existing courts, the augmenting of the compensation and benefits of judges, prosecutors and court personnel."

"Through JELACC the budgetary target of two percent, or in real terms some 20 billion pesos, can be achieved within the term of President Noynoy Aquino."

Pangilinan also sees JELACC as an expeditious means to deal with clogging of the dockets that continue to plague Philippine courts.

"On average, it takes six long years for a case to be decided upon in the first-level courts. This is too long. This is totally unacceptable. With the increase in budgetary support for the Judiciary, our courts, through the leadership of the Supreme Court, must endeavor to reduce the average life span of a case that remains pending before them. Within a period of six years and with the creation of more courts, appointment of more judges, the life span of a case on average should be reduced to two years maximum."

"When cases are resolved swiftly and fairly, then the respect, trust, and confidence in our justice system is reinforced immensely."

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