September 6, 2012
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today urges the heads of the three branches of government—President Benigno Aquino III, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.—to convene the Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory Consultative Council (JELACC) as a means to institutionalize budgetary support for the Judiciary.
”With a new Chief Justice in place, it is timely for all branches of government to come together to map out a strategic direction for judicial reforms. Of course, in order to implement the reforms that we have long been waiting for in the judiciary, the JELACC must push for greater budgetary support for the Judiciary. The Judiciary simply cannot be modernized by a measly one percent of the national budget,” Pangilinan points out.
The senator, who first proposed the JELACC in 2007, continues, “Government must be able to address the budgetary woes that have been plaguing our antiquated justice system. Matagal nang humigingi ang taumbayan ng reporma sa hudikatura, e hindi naman napopondohan ang mga repormang ito. We call on the national government to put its money where its mouth is, and invest in urgently needed judicial reforms.”
Pangilinan reiterates that the country cannot expect a first-world justice system with a Judiciary that is given a third-world budgetary allocation.
“It will not do us any good if the Judiciary continues to fall behind as the other branches of government are moving steadily forward. Let all the other branches of government reach out and lift the Judiciary from the quagmire that it finds itself in because of lack of budgetary support and lack of justices. Let us convene JELACC and institute the necessary reforms to modernize our Judiciary.”