Reforms in the Judiciary
The Aquino-Roxas campaign stands on a firm justice agenda, which is not limited to reforms in the Judiciary but includes the other pillars of the Criminal Justice System.
In the short term, the objectives of an Aquino-Roxas administration are the following:
- If the post remains vacant, the appointment of a credible, efficient and fair Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
- Convene the Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council (JELACC) as the springboard for the review of the state of the justice system and the possible areas for budgetary as well as administrative support within the first 100 days of the Aquino presidency, and utilize this council for the submission of a justice modernization budget to be included in the first State of the Nation address (SONA) agenda.
- Expedite the appointment of judges and prosecutors based on a system of meritocracy and fitness for the job, and work on all pending appointments to these important posts.
- Signal the importance of jail decongestion by releasing detention prisoners who have served their maximum terms in jail and also deserving elderly inmates who are eligible for unconditional release due to old age.
In the medium to long term:
- Strengthen the barangay justice system through increased training, the setting up of a system of accredited mediators and the inclusion of time served in the barangay justice system as part of mandated legal aid for practicing lawyers.
- Reduce the vacancy of the courts and the prosecution service to single digit figures.
- Prioritize the cases of detention prisoners, through a multi stakeholder approach (national government, LGU, civil society and business) in order to decongest our facilities and provide speedy justice.
- The consistent use of merit and fitness in the appointment and promotion of officials within the justice system.
- The modernization of the Philippine National Police through increased funding and training, and the appointment of qualified and meritorious persons in the service.
- The follow through of the Salary Standardization Law that would increase the salaries of prosecutors, public defenders and other professionals in the public service.
- Double the budget of the Judiciary to enable it to pursue its reform program and deliver justice for all.
- Increase the conviction rate of the prosecutors from 20% to 40% by the end of the presidential term, through the support and professionalization of the national prosecution service, improvement of the evidence gathering techniques in collaboration with the PNP, and the extensive use of mediation during the preliminary investigation stage, to ferret out cases which may just settle in court during trial.
- Decrease the time when a detainee is staying at the detention facilities through increased vigilance of public defenders, a case information system for detention facilities, and increased participation of civil society prison support groups.
- Decrease the average length of a case in court through improvements in the prosecution service and the public defenders, and the rolling out of various forms of alternative dispute resolution in the courts.
[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]