Press Release
March 1, 2012



To fast-track the resolution of cases pending before the anti-graft court, Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has filed Senate Bill No. 3111 which seeks to increase the number of associate justices in the Sandiganbayan from 14 to 44, thus allowing faster resolution of cases.

"We want to ensure that justice will be implemented fairly, equitably and with the highest level of integrity. With the additional associate justices in Sandiganbayan, the need to extract accountability in a timely and relevant manner will no longer suffer," Sen. Guingona said.

In a study jointly sponsored by the Supreme Court and the World Bank entitled "Philippines: Formulation of Case Decongestion and Delay Reduction Strategy Project-Phase I," it is revealed that each division handles approximately 1,000 cases per year, with each case taking an average of seven years to be disposed of by the Court. The Guingona amendment seeks to address such a heavy workload.

To increase the efficiency of the Sandiganbayan, Sen. Guingona's bill also seeks to allow one justice, instead of three, to hear and receive evidence of a case thus resulting to more cases being heard by the court at the same time.

"Efficiency is one of the pillars of good governance. Good governance is the vital solution to our nation's ills. If we do not transform on how our institutions are managed, all efforts for transparency and accountability will just go to waste. We need to strengthen the capacity of our institutions to make the right decisions, and to regain our people's trust in government," Sen. Guingona said.

Sen. Guingona's bill proposes to sit 15 divisions in Sandiganbayan, instead of the current five, with three justices in each division. The first seven divisions shall be stationed in the Metro Manila, four divisions will be stationed in Visayas, and another four divisions to be stationed in Mindanao.

"I will continue to push for the needed reforms in the judiciary and other government institutions. The Filipinos should be empowered to seek reforms in government. The government, civil society organizations, academe and the private sector should support reforms that will benefit the majority of the Filipinos," he added.

Sen. Guingona, a reforms advocate, said that government should renew its trust and partnership with the Judiciary to escalate the needed reforms in the country.

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