Monday, November 26, 2012


MANILA, November 27, 2012-Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Monday said that the Judiciary has its work cut out for them and that it needs to prioritize reducing court vacancies to one percent, and upping the conviction rates through the speedy dispensation of cases.

"Let's be very frank here: the current justice system is anti-poor. The system grinds agonizingly slow that those without the resources are ultimately rendered helpless. Cases languish on an average of six years in the lower courts. Unless the Judiciary works on these bottomlines, we will continue running in place."

Pangilinan was interpellating in the Senate plenary during the budget deliberations for the Judiciary, and said that there is "hardly need to reinvent the wheel" because of previous gains that had already been achieved.

"The JBC was able to reduce court vacancies through tireless screening and by interviewing court applicants daily for five months under Justice Artemio Panganiban's leadership. That can be done again."

Pangilinan also urged the Judiciary to fulfill its mandate in upholding the rule of law.

"Let us not kid ourselves into thinking that we can modernize our Judiciary while ignoring the fact that our conviction rates remain pathetically low. There have been a staggering amount of media killings, for example, during the Arroyo administration to this current administration. Yet of all those cases, only two have resulted in conviction. The message this is sending to would be criminals is that they can get away with murder quite literally. Let us put an end to this and give our people the kind of justice system befitting a developing society."

Legarda Supports Call for 5-year Extension of Kyoto Protocol

MANILA, November 26, 2012-As nearly 200 countries send their representatives to converge in Doha, Qatar to discuss the impacts of climate change, Senator Loren Legarda urged leaders to extend the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that legally binds developed nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but only for a five-year period.

Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, supported the call of the Philippine delegation to the Doha Climate Change Conference led by Climate Change Commission Vice Chair Mary Ann Lucille Sering, that the Kyoto Protocol must be extended, but not longer than five years, because the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a matter that must be addressed the soonest possible time.

The first Kyoto Protocol is from 2008-2012. During the Durban Conference on Climate Change in 2011, at least 35 industrialized countries agreed to a second commitment period of the agreement. The European Union’s proposal is to extend the Kyoto Protocol for eight years.

“Climate change is a problem that we have to confront everyday. There is a necessity to adopt a united and proactive response, considering a recent World Bank report that highlighted the worse impacts of a 4-degree Celsius global temperature,” Legarda stressed.

She noted that a “4°C world” may have seem impossible twenty years ago, but today, the World Bank warned that the whole world is nearing a crisis that if not responded to proactively, will continue to endanger the survival of the present and succeeding generations.

“Reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change is a matter of high importance to the world now, especially to developing countries where disaster risks abound, and to the poor and the marginalized who are most affected by disasters. We urge developed nations to immediately establish and strengthen measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because we do not want to see the extinction of one-third of the world’s flora and fauna, aside from the extreme weather events that we are going to experience with a hotter global temperature,” she added.

“The issue of the environment cuts across age, gender, or ethnicity, and without a united front against disasters and climate change, we could do little to minimize risks,” Legarda concluded.


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