SANDIGANBAYAN AND AUSTRALIA LAUNCH MODERNIZATION AND TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE
The Sandiganbayan and the Australian Embassy launched the Sandiganbayan Modernization and Transparency Initiative on Tuesday, 19 June 2018. The launch coincided with the Sandiganbayan’s 40th anniversary.
The Sandiganbayan’s Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang along with the Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley officiated the event. The Australian-supported program includes a fiscal management and procurement law workshop, and the court calendar digitization among other elements. Through this program, the Sandiganbayan will improve its efficiency, competency and transparency in its hearings.
“We are most grateful to the Australia for their unwavering support in this endeavor” said Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang. “In line with the Supreme Court’s leadership in implementing reforms across the Judiciary, the Sandiganbayan Justices, officials, and employees are firmly committed to continuously strengthening our institution. It is thanks to partnerships such as these that our passion for reform is concretized and put into action,” she added.
“Australia has been a long-standing partner of the Philippine Government on its anti-corruption initiatives. This project aligns with a key pillar of the Australian aid program - the building of stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance,” Kimberley said.
“I congratulate the Sandiganbayan on their milestone anniversary, and commend their pursuit of a more accountable justice institution in the country. Australia is proud to support them,” he added.
In 2017, the Sandiganbayan disposed a record one thousand two hundred sixty four (1,264) cases. Its highest disposition rate in twenty-two (22) years. Under the Modernization and Transparency Initiative, the Sandiganbayan will receive a new Computerized Case Management System, a Legal Information Archive, and digital calendars. According to Presiding Justice Tang, “these, along with the Supreme Court’s recent guidelines on Continuous Trial in Criminal Cases, will aid in the fair and expeditious adjudication of cases before the Sandiganbayan.”
Australia’s development investments in the Philippines for 2017-18 are worth around AUD 85 million (PHP 3.4 billion) and support peace and stability, education reform, gender empowerment, increased trade & investment and inclusive development.