President Aquino: Slow court action hinders government anti-corruption fight

MANILA, Nov. 17 (PNA) — The government’s anti-corruption efforts would be more effective if the courts act more expeditiously especially in sending wrongdoers to jail, President Aquino said on Monday.

President Aquino, in a Dialogue with CNN’s Andrew Stevens, vented his frustration on the courts’ inability to act quickly that affects the anti-corruption fight.

“We have three branches of government. And what I tell the executive which I hold is that: ‘the key to the corruption fight is not the ability to file cases against somebody, but actually sending somebody to jail,'” he told Stevens when he was asked whether he was satisfied with the efforts to fight corruption.

“If we can remove this belief that you can get away, literally, with murder then we will have achieved something. But you now, we are expecting some major decisions on cases that have been pending.”

The snail-paced judicial process has been frustrating for him, he said.

He said that the Constitution says that once a case is submitted for resolution, the Supreme Court has a maximum of two years to decide on that particular case. There are cases that have been languishing in the court for decades.

This also impacts on government infrastructure projects, as some products being delayed by the rather slow court litigation process.

“For instance, they are not able to give a restraining order obstruction,” he said.

“So the new method was on valuation questioning, the valuation effectively delaying the projects so that some of the targets we are hoping to accomplish before we step down will not be met.”

But the Supreme Court is taking action after it was reminded that there is a law that says it shouldn’t stop government infrastructure programs, the President said.

The President joined top Asia Pacific executives on Monday in Makati City during the APEC 2015 CEO Summit. (PNA)