Luna, Apayao – The Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) and the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) approved a resolution appealing to Justice Secretary Vitaliano M. Aguirre II to facilitate the immediate establishment of a separate Regional Prosecutors’ Office in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to speed up the resolution of numerous cases being appealed to the Regional State Prosecutors’ Office in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions.
The two regional bodies stated establishing a CAR Regional State Prosecutors’ Office is consistent with the strategies in the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 particularly on the chapter on swift and fair administration of justice it will declog the Regional State Prosecutors’ offices in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions of cases from the different CAR provincial and city prosecutors ‘offices.
Earlier, the RDC-CAR’s Development Administration Committee favourably endorsed the creation of the Regional Prosecutors’ Office in the Cordillera during its first quarter meeting last February 15, 2017.
Since CAR’s creation on July 15, 1987, the RPOC and RDC chaired by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan added there has been no Regional Prosecutors’ Office established in the region, thus, preventing a swift, steady and prompt disposition of cases and inhibiting the victims from pursuing justice due to the inaccessibility of the offices in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions.
Memorandum Circular No. 12 issued by the office of the President on October 24, 2016 directed the formulation of the Philippine Development Plan, Public Investment Program and Regional Development Plans or Investment Programs for the period 2017-2022 pursuant to the priority programs of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Further, the RDCs were tasked to prepare their parallel regional development plans 2017-2022 aligning regional development directions with national development directions and priorities to guarantee development for all after the term of the President.
One of the major concerns of the Cordillera Regional Development Plan is the swift and fair administration of justice where disposal of cases in the various courts has been identified as an urgent concern to attain an effective, efficient and fair administration of justice, consistent with the thrust and priorities of the present administration.
Administrative Order No. 36 issued by former President Aquino on September 23, 1987 provided for the establishment of regional offices in the CAR including the Regional State Prosecutors’ Office but the same was never realized to date for still unknown reasons.
Lawmakers attempted to create the said office through legislation but bills creating the Regional State Prosecutors’ Office in the Cordillera were never given priority by Congress.
By Dexter A. See