Press Release
November 21, 2006


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan reiterated calls for Malacañang to hasten appointments to the judiciary, to fill at least 160 vacant salas nationwide. According to Pangilinan, a new listing of some 500 nominees covering 160 posts, has been transmitted by the Judicial and Bar Council to Malacañang , awaiting action. Pangilinan is a member of the Judicial and Bar Council.

"If these 160 new appointments are made, we will reduce the vacancy rate of judges in courts nationwide from 27 percent to 19 percent," Pangilinan said.

Currently, there are 2258 total number of judicial positions. And if 160 of the pending appointments are finalized by Malacanang, it would reduce the number of vacancies in the judiciary from 601 to 441 positions or 19% from 27%.

"Part of the reason why there is manifest delay in the resolution of cases in our courts is because of the huge vacancy rate of judges throughout the country. Filling up these vacant salas is crucial if we are to speed up the resolution of cases. The early resolution of cases restores our people's faith in the judiciary. There is a direct relation between respect for the rule of law and the filling up of the vacant salas nationwide. Malacañang must act swiftly on these pending appointments in order to ensure that the people's respect for the rule of law remains alive," Pangilinan added.

Since the enactment of RA 9227, which was authored by Pangilinan in 2003, the take home pay of judges has doubled and the JBC has experienced an avalanche of applications to judgeship positions nationwide, thereby making it possible for the JBC to fast track its process of screening applicants to posts throughout the country.

"We are now able to choose from a wider bench, we are now able to recruit the best and the brightest with more lawyers considering a career in the Judiciary," Pangilinan ended.

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