DOJ budget hearing ends quickly

September 7, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 334 views

THE proposed budget of the Department of Justice pegged at P26.686 billion was easily terminated and approved by the House committee on appropriations.

After the DOJ presented its proposal, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman initially moved to dispense interpellation, and terminate the budget briefing and hearing, with the reservation that the committee and House members could ask their questions during the plenary deliberation.

Members of the committee did not mention any changes to the budget for the DOJ Office of the Secretary and its 10 agencies.

Meanwhile, committee chair Ako Bicol Rep. Zaldy Co lauded Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla for creating the Prosecution Integrity Board and the Case Decongestion Task Force and adopting the electronic inquest system.

Only ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro raised the issue of extrajudicial killings (EJK). She asked the DOJ for updates from the investigation of the AO 35 Committee regarding the so-called “Bloody Sunday” massacre.

DOJ Usec. Brigido Dulay provided an update, stating that 30 personnel from the Philippine National Police now face murder cases. DOJ Sec. Jesus Crispin Remulla also assured that the DOJ will continuously investigate the EJKs.

Co also commended the DOJ for maintaining its law enforcement Tier 1 ranking in the US Human Trafficking Report these past seven years.

The DOJ reported to Congress that it has reduced its case backlog to 25.48 percent in 2021 from 57.4 percent in 2013 with a matching improved case disposition rate of 92.35 percent in 2021 from 78.30 percent in 2013. Its prosecution success rate climbed to 91.8 percent in 2021 from 68.3 percent in 2013.

Of the DOJ agencies, the Bureau of Corrections has a proposed budget of P5.9 billion, the Public Attorney’s Office has P5.03 billion, and the National Bureau of Investigation has P1.85 billion.