PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd has signed into law a measure that adds two more divisions–with three member-justices each–to the Sandiganbayan, which will hasten disposition of pending cases at the anti graft court.
This was announced on Tuesday by Malacanang deputy spokesman Abigail Valte, who explained that Republic Act 10660, or an Act Strengthening Further for Functional and Structural Organization of the Sandiganbayan Further Amending Presidential Decree 1606 as Amended and Appropriating Funds Therefore, “will facilitate faster disposition of cases,” including those that are filed against respondents in the pork barrel scam and the charges against former President and now Pampanag Rep.Gloria Arroyo.
“The new law has expanded the number of divisions of the Sandiganbayan. Previously, from three, we now have seven divisions, Valte said.
“So, this [expansion]will effectively speed things up in terms of deliberations and hearings of cases before it… The new law has effectively expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan,” she noted.
The new law, signed by the President last April 16, also prescribes a new procedure for decision by majority vote and proceedings have to be conducted by the divisions.
By giving the Sandiganbayan fresh divisions, he said, actual workload of the three divisions at present will be greatly eased, stressing that “hopefully, will result in the faster disposition of cases that are pending before the Sandiganbayan.”
When asked about the new law’s impact on the pork barrel scam case, Valte said divisions handling the Napoles-related cases also have other cases tocontend with.
Adding more divisions, she added, will effectively double manpower of the Sandiganbayan.