The Department of Justice has created teams of undersecretaries and prosecutors to resolve 10,000 backlog petitions for review that piled up during the Aquino administration.
Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay said that there were more than 14,000 petitions pending for review, 10,000 of them were accumulated during the previous administration and about 4,000 cases during the past three years of the Duterte administration.
The teams aim to resolve substantial numbers of the backlog by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
“We just want to make sure that at the very least we would just want to bring it down to a very manageable level so when it is our time to go, to turn it over [to the next administration] the volume of the pending petitions for review would not be that big,” Sugay said in an interview.
To meet their target, Sugay said that the DOJ has formed four teams, with each team comprised of a DOJ undersecretary and five prosecutors. Each team would be given a week to review 100 petitions.
In order to prevent their prosecutors from suffering a burnout in reviewing the petitions, the undersecretaries were given different prosecutors during the writeshops.
“We are addressing the really old petitions and we have been conducting writeshops. What we have been trying to do is house our prosecutors in certain places so we could resolve these petitions. Initially, the project will run for five months and we would asking our prosecutors to dedicate a week to resolve these petitions,” the DOJ official said.
The petitions are mixed with no specific team assigned for drugs, terrorism, murder and others.
According to Sugay, his team pilot-tested the writeshop last week and they were able to resolve 70 petitions that were forwarded to DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra. The resolutions of the petitions, that were reviewed by his team, are expected to be released within the month.
He added that they are also considering on holding a writeshop for the petitions for review of cases came in during the Duterte administration.