Kiko Pangilinan calls for measures to strengthen judiciary

June 17, 2010

Press Release
June 17, 2010

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today strengthens his commitment to modernize and improve the country’s justice system, saying he will support the new administration’s legislative agenda, especially those concerning the judiciary.

“We support the call for a larger share of the budget for the judiciary. We believe that if the campaign slogan ‘kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’ is to be made real, a necessary step is to modernize the justice system and provide the necessary resources to make it happen. The judiciary receives less than one percent of the entire national budget. If we are to raise the conviction rates for corruption cases, we must ensure the vacancies in our courts and the prosecution service are filled up with the best and the brightest.”

Pangilinan wrote about concrete plans in helping the country achieve peace and prosperity in an entry in his blog entitled 4 Proposed Solutions to Help Fix the Philippines early 2009. Under the section Ending Pervasive Corruption; Modernizing the Justice System, Pangilinan wrote “The conviction rate of the Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan for corruption cases is pegged at an estimate of less than 20 percent. For every 10 cases filed, less than two end up in conviction, the rest of the cases are dismissed. No wonder there is no fear of committing corrupt acts. More than eight out of 10 get away with it. This is in sharp contrast to the conviction rates in Hong Kong for corruption cases, which is pegged at 79 percent.”

“We must also create more courts and raise compensation packages of government employees and officials in the justice system,” Pangilinan adds. “We ought to double the judiciary budget within six years to ensure major headway in our fight to end pervasive corruption and improve the quality of life of our people.”

Pangilinan also stresses the importance of a reliable justice system in preventing heinous crimes such as the recent killings of media practitioners.

“These killings underscore the urgent and pressing need to strengthen and modernize our system of justice and instill both a fear and respect for the rule of law. The culture of impunity will only end when the culture of respect and fear of the law is instilled–and this is best achieved when our system of justice punishes more, and punishes swiftly.”