Sandiganbayan case disposal up 74%
Court's caseload still up

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan’s disposal of cases went up by 74.09 % in 2011 to 430 cases from 247 in 2010, the latest report issued by the graft court yesterday showed.

Sandiganbayan, a special court of five divisions, has exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving high-ranking public officials.

Based on the same report by the Judicial Records Division, it was the second division that posted the best case disposal rate with 138 cases resolved for the year followed by the fifth division with 97 cases decided; the third division with 88 cases; the first division (76) and fourth division (31).

Despite the increased output however, the court’s caseload still surged from 2158 cases at yearend 2010 to 2228 as of Dec. 31, 2011 largely because of the 482 new cases filed during the year by the Office of the Ombudsman compared to 297 cases in 2010.

A total of 18 cases were also revived during the year.

By all indications, however, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales will not be filing as many cases as her predecessor, resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro.

In fact, Morales only filed 29 cases from September to December 2011 after assuming the post in August.

Conviction rate

According to the Sandiganbayan report, the 430 cases disposed last year involved 503 defendants of whom 77 were convicted of various crimes after trial while four pleaded guilty for a conviction rate of 16.1 %.

The court likewise acquitted 211 accused public officials; dismissed 134 cases for various reasons including insufficiency of evidence or lack of basis; ordered 31 cases archived and one case returned to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for re-evaluation.

The Ombudsman on its own also withdrew 44 charges. –


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