Drilon slams SC misuse of P1.8B funds for hiring judges

SENATOR Franklin Drilon blamed the Supreme Court for the worsening state on the delivery of justice due to the misuse of its P1.820 billion intended for hiring new judges and creation of unorganized courts in the country.

In the budget deliberation of the Judiciary on Thursday, Drilon attributed the very slow of justice to the vast number of vacancies in the judicial system. Report showed that as of end of 2010, there were a total of 377,000 cases pending in the Regional Trial Courts (RTC).

“One year after that or as of December 2011, these have gone up to 388,000 cases. In so far as the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) is concerned at the end 2010, 82,000 case are pending, and  in 2011, 82,664 so fort and so on,” Drilon said.

Drilon said there is no improvements in the disposition of cases which is directly attributable to the failure of the Supreme Court to fill up vacancies in the court notwithstanding adequate funds were provided for the purpose.

“For example, as of January 2012, they had 591 vacancies in the judicial posts, meaning, judges, these are the pending of number of vacancies as of 2010. There were 553 vacancies as of 2010, as of 2011, 591vacancies.  Dumami pa ang vacancies, this means that these position were not filled-up, notwithstanding the fact a total of P1,820, 175, 000  was allocated from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) as  budget for unfilled positions and unorganized courts, and unfiled vacancies,” Drilon explained.

Drilon questioned Atty. Midas Marquez on the said allocation which the latter answered that SC used P980 million for payment of bonuses and other fringe benefits of justices, judges and other court officers and personnel.

He said that Congress cannot compel SC to comply on the provisions provided in the GAA for the use of a certain allocations such as the budget for unfilled positions, vacant position and creation of unorganized courts since the Judiciary has the fiscal autonomy.

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