Escudero thumbs down proposed special court for PDAF scam

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

SENATOR Francis Escudero believed that there is no need to create a special criminal court to hold daily trials on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, saying that the Supreme Court and the Sandiganbayan are capable enough to handle such cases.

Escudero said that while it is true that the Filipino people are waiting for the result of this trial, he also explained that running after and prosecuting those who steal from government coffers is part of the judiciary's regular work and the credibility and integrity of the Supreme Court has been tried and tested.

He rejected the proposal made by Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano asking the Supreme Court to designate a special court to ensure the continuous trials on the pork barrel case to hasten its resolution.


"We have to give our trust and confidence to the Supreme Court. I am sure that they are capable enough to handle this case. For me, it should be Supreme Court’s decision. I would want to show that anybody who steals funds from the government should face the consequences and there’s no need for the creation of a special court," Escudero said.

He said the Constitution mandates the speedy trial of criminal cases.

Earlier, Cayetano cited the need to set up a special criminal court after Vice President Jejomar Binay belittled the government's efforts in going after the "pork" scam suspects, citing that political affiliations and loyalties of those accused matter.

Opposition's Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. have been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly siphoning their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) through fake non government organizations controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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