DOJ Aguirre vs Senate plan to Remove Authority over Cases
Some senators aims to form a new office to oversee the review of cases as reported in News 5, July 4 which will strip the Department of Justice the authority to lay hand on filed cases.
This conflict between the Senate and the Department of Justice set off after the charges against the policemen involved in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa went down to homicide.
In a discussion with the News 5 Senior Political correspondent Meanne Los Baños, it was asked whether it is possible to disempower the DOJ on its jurisdiction over the cases.
According to Meanne, referencing the statement of Senator Chiz Escudero, there had been a proposal already presented in the senate as early as 2008, to establish an office that will be administered by a prosecutor general whose responsibility is to review cases.
The plan would entail the loss DOJ's jurisdiction over them.
"So sinasabi na ang characteristics lang ng office na 'to [ay] fixed term lang parang ombudsman, insulated supposedly from politics, hindi co-termino sa pangulo," Meanne explained.
"Malaking bagay ito para matanggal ang bahid ng politika sa pagrereview ng kaso, gaya ng sinasabi ngayon, o ang inaakusa kay Secretary Aguirre," she added.
The Senate Bill 1453 was filed by Senator Loren Legarda to established an autonomous national prosecution service.
The Department of Justice has been responsible in overseeing not only high-profile cases; it is in fact all-inclusive.
"Kunwari naglabas ng resolution ang piskal, hindi masaya 'yong kahit isang partido, pwede ka palang umakyat sa DOJ, ipa-review mo. Iyon 'yong set-up ngayon. Pag 'di ka pa rin masaya, i-akyat mo sa Office of the President, tapos executive secretary ang magdedesisyon. 'Pag di ka pa rin masaya, i-akyat mo sa Court of Appeals," the senior political correspondent cleared.
The problem, according to Senator Escudero, takes place after the piskal, between the DOJ and the Office of the President where the play of politics is highly probable.
If the new bureaucratic blueprint will push through, the role of the Department of Justice in the process will be preempted by the prosecutor general.
"Ang problema lang naman dito ... may mga kaso nga na either pro- or anti-admin. So baka doon talaga nagkakaroon ng kulay ang DOJ na syempre, dahil appointee siya ng pangulo," she further explained.
It was also made clear that the proposal was not brought to light because Secretary Aguirre was the head of the department.
In a clip shown by during the TV program, Senator Chiz Escudero said: "You don't clip the powers of a department simply because you don't like the guy. Dahil 'pag natapos ang termino ng pangulong Duterte o 'pag pinalitan si Secretary Aguirre, p'ano kung magaling naman ang Secretary Justice parang tinali mo ang kamay niya para gampanan 'yong tungkulin ng bagay-bagay na pwede at dapat niyang gawin."