Fast-tracking case prosecution primarily a gov’t duty

Following the cue of Sen. Joker Arroyo, who like me is a Diamond Jubilarian (Class ’52) of the UP College of Law, I would like to offer, perhaps officiously, the following observations regarding the Maguindanao trial:

1) The prosecution of criminal cases, is the responsibility of the government, particularly the Department of Justice, which is vested with the corresponding authority. We follow the adversary system, and if the case does not progress enough, the prosecution may not, least of all, blame the defense or the court. It is time for it to assess how it may do better.

2) Nor should the burden of prosecuting the case be shifted to a private prosecutor. A government prosecutor must lead and direct the prosecution, perhaps upon the advice of and in consultation with the private prosecutor, but a government prosecutor must call the shots.

—ESTELITO P. MENDOZA, emram@globelines.com.ph

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