MANILA — The Sandiganbayan en banc on Tuesday assured the public that they are aware of the voluminous cases pending before their sala as they vowed to respond to speed up its resolution.
Thirteen of the 14 magistrates of the anti-graft court signed the ”Comment” they arrived at of not allowing the request made by the Office of the Ombudsman to create two special courts to try plunder and graft charges of those accused in the malversation of the multi-billion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“At any rate, the Sandiganbayan en banc is aware of the clarion call to speed up the resolution of three cases. This court undertakes to respond to such call not only with respect to the said cases but also to the other cases filed ahead of them and pending before it,” the decision read.
Aside from Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, other members of the Sandiganbayan signed the Comment in their response to the Ombudsman requests were Associate Justices Gregory Ong, Efren dela Cruz, Jose Hernandez, Alexander Gesmundo, Napoleon Inoturan, Alex Quiroz, Samuel Martires, Rodolfo Ponferrada, Teresita Diaz-Baldos, Roland Jurado, Maria Cristina Cornejo, Rafael Lagos and Oscar Herrera Jr.
The 14th magistrate who failed to sign was Rodolfo Ponferrada because he was on leave.
“The creation of a special division or divisions in the Sandiganbayan, which would exclusively try PDAF cases, could lead to a conflict with the other equally important cases being handled and tried by the justices who will be assigned to the said special division/s because these justices would definitely give priority to the said cases. This would adversely affect the other cases pending before the different divisions of the Sandiganbayan,” the comment further explained.