A WEAK judiciary system only strengthens and further the occurrence of extra judicial killings in the country, said Dean Jose Manuel Diokno of the College of Law of De La Salle University.


During the media training on Monitoring the Judiciary at the University of Baguio, Diokno said the rise of extra judicial killings in the country can be attributed to the weak justice system of the country.


“Bakit nga ba laganap ang corruption, crime, at drugs sa lipunan? Ang may kasalanan talaga dyan ay mahina yung ating sistema ng justice. Mahina ang pag prosecute ng criminal, mahina ang pag convict sa kanila kaya maraming tao ang hindi kuntento sa ating sistemang legal kaya tinatangap nila yung sinasabing mga short cut parang patayin na lang,” added Diokno.


Diokno said based on the records of the judiciary, conviction rate remains at 18 – 20 percent including slow litigation, and the congested court dockets which process 40 – 50 cases a day.


“Pag lalo nating tatangapin yung extra judicial killings, in effect we are allowing people to take the law into our own hands, lalo lang hihina ang justice system,” Diokno told journalist.


Diokno added once the legal and judicial system weakens, this may only lead to an authoritarian system of the government which is similar to martial law.


Diokno also cited in his presentation aside from the delay, congestion and the “old boys” network in the judicial system, the judiciary has high vacancy rates which contribute to the ineffective and slow disposal of criminal cases in courts.


Diokno was among the speakers in the one day seminar on monitoring the judiciary entitled “Uncovering the Courts” as part of the three-year project collaboration of Alternative Law Groups (ALG), Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), Journalism for Nation Building Foundation (JNBF), Lawyers’ League for Liberty (Libertas), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Transparency and Accountability Network known as “Hustisiya Natin.”


Hustisya Natin is a consortium of NGOs aimed at empowering civil society, including the media, to monitor the courts. In the process, we hope to enhance the accountability and the integrity of the Philippine justice system. This three-year project is funded by the European Union.


Text by Roderick Osis, SunStar Baguio, November 11, 2016