Replace inefficient judges
The news article “‘Atimonan massacre’ cops granted bail” (News, 3/3/17) upset me. The incident happened way back in 2013. I do not know if the police are guilty or not, but the case has dragged on for four years.
That is a long time if the accused policemen are innocent. And if they are in fact guilty, they should be serving time without bail in Muntinlupa.
Why were not the accused given a faster trial? Section 14(2) of Article III of our Constitution states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall… have a speedy, impartial, and public trial…” Four years is not a speedy trial. Constitutional rights have been and continues to be violated. Yet there are probably hundreds of people out on bail, or languishing in jail because the judiciary is completely clogged with a huge number of cases. Ultimately, the fault lies with the Supreme Court. I do not know what’s holding the justices, but they seem unwilling to fix the problem.
Filipinos are frustrated with the courts. So a quick way has been found: Extrajudicial killings. But if cases were handled in a quick way, if there were enough judges, and fewer delays are schemed by fiscals and defense lawyers, the thirst for justice might yet be quenched.
Perhaps, the Supreme Court should set a rule: Once a person is charged, his case must be decided within a year. If not, the suspect should be allowed walk free and the judge stripped of his office. Someone more fair and efficient should take the judge’s place. This way, the constitutional right to a speedy, impartial trial will be satisfied.
The judicial system is broken, and someone needs to fix it.
JONATHAN C. FOE,
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