Press Release
September 16, 2012

Drilon lauds CJ Sereno's effort to fill up court vacancies

Senator Franklin M. Drilon has been assured by Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno of the efforts being undertaken by the Supreme Court to fill up around 600 court vacancies.

In CJ Sereno's letter to Drilon, she said the SC is committed, under the present leadership, to fill up all existing vacancies in the Judiciary within a reasonable time frame.

"I have been meeting with the members and staff of the Judicial Bar Council, as well as of the Office of the Court Administrator, to address, with all due attention, this matter of common concern," Sereno said in the letter.

"This filling-up of vacant positions will go hand-in-hand with the judicial reform initiatives that are being undertaken," said Sereno.

Drilon, also the Senate Finance Committee chairman, welcomed the new developments and likewise lauded the resolve shown by the newly-installed Chief Justice to firmly address the problems in the judicial system.

"The very slow pace of dispensing justice in our country continues to be a challenge to the Judiciary, and the very slow delivery of justice is attributed to the vast number of vacancies that are now in the judicial system notwithstanding adequate funds that have been provided to them," said Drilon.

He noted that as of January 2012, there are almost 600 vacant positions in court, and said: "I challenge the Supreme Court to be more innovative and attentive to the filling up of vacancies because this affects the backlog of cases in the court."

In 2013, the Judiciary will get P17.77 billion, including automatic appropriation, from P15.71 billion, or an increase of 13.08 percent, noted Drilon.

"The proposed 2013 budget will support the resolution of about 324,434 cases pending in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Court of Tax Appeals, as well as to address the needed developments in the Judiciary," said Drilon.

Of the proposed budget, Drilon said, P15.72 billion will go to the Supreme and Lower courts, an increase of 12.86 percent from P13.93 billion, while P1.32 billion will go to the Court of Appeals, P181.22 million higher than its present budget of P1.144 billion.

Also, P392.44 million will be for the country's anti-graft court, the Sandiganbayan, P35.18 million higher than its 2012 budget of P357.26 million; P244.33 million to the Court of Tax Appeals, P31.41 million higher than its present budget of P212.92 million; and lastly, P90.94 million will go to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, P16.42 million higher than its 2012 budget of P74.52 million.

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