Cayetano urges SC to create special court for PDAF scam

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


SENATE Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano is pushing for daily trials to be held on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam through the designation of special criminal courts by the Supreme Court.

"Isang pwedeng maging legacy ng ating Supreme Court ngayon ay ang pagsasagawa ng continuous trial nang mapabilis ang hearing ng lahat ng ito pag nakarating ito sa korte (Our Supreme Court can leave a legacy of a speedy trial of the pork scam by conducting a continuous or daily trial when this reaches the courts)," Cayetano said.

The senator issued the call amid concerns and fears that political affiliations and loyalties may render meaningless all of the efforts of the present administration in weeding out graft and corruption in government, particularly the case filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against those involved in the pork barrel scam.

Earlier, Vice President Jejomar Binay issued statements belittling the DOJ's efforts in going after those involved in the pork barrel scam, some of whom are his staunch allies in the opposition namely Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Jose Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.

Cayetano said Binay's statements are raising fears from the ranks of the pork scam whistleblowers and state witnesses that the case might be abandoned once he wins as president.

"Ang iba, inaasahan nila na magkakaroon ng change of administration in 2016. Tapos ang nakaupo doon ay maglalagay ng DOJ at ng NBI officials na hindi sing-init ngayon. Huwag mong sasabihin na itong mga akusado ay walang pera at walang political clout (Some are pinning their hopes in a change of administration in 2016. And the incoming administration may put a friendlier DOJ and NBI officials. The accused are not ordinary people without funds or political clout)," he said.

"Ang akusado, lalo kung malaki ang pera, malaki ang impluwensya. Nasasakripisyo ang hustisya sa politika (The accused, more so those with wealth and influence. Justice is sacrificed for politics)," he added.

Cayetano said the unfortunate reality is that the administration of justice in the country moves at a glacial pace, and the resolution of the pork barrel scandal case, if it even reaches the courts, might go beyond 2016.

"Ang ating hustisya sa bansa ay napakabagal. Katulad ng Ampatuan massacre, after four years, wala pang nangyayari. Halos isang taon na ang rebelasyon ng PDAF scam, pero wala pang formally na nakakasuhan sa korte (Justice runs very slow in our country. The Ampatuan massacre is running at four years now with no progress. The PDAF scam since it was revealed is now almost a year old, yet charges have yet to be filed in court)," he said.

"The longer it takes, the more you give the powerful the chance to maneuver," Cayetano said.

Earlier Cayetano said the office of the Ombudsman should act the soonest time as he also urged the Department of Justice to come up with strong witnesses and strong evidence to the extent that whoever sits as president in 2016, they would not be dismissed. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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