Number of pending cases at 3-year low: Sandiganbayan

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    THE number of unresolved cases at the Sandiganbayan has dropped to a three-year low, the anti-graft court’s third quarter report showed.

    Latest figures released by the Sandiganbayan Judicial Records Division showed there were 4,339 pending cases as of September 30, 2019 down 15.65 percent from 5,144 cases in the same period in 2017 and 19.75 percent from 5,407 cases in 2018.

    The numbers consist of the combined case disposal output of all seven divisions of the Sandiganbayan during the first nine months of 2019.

    Former President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law Republic Act No. 10660 on April 16, 2015 creating additional two divisions to speed up Sandiganbayan’s disposition of corruption cases against erring public officials.

    From 1995 to 2015, while conducting hearings with only five divisions, the anti-graft court has averaged 53 cases resolved each month.

    Since adding two divisions in January 2016, its case disposal rate has jumped to 78 cases per month.

    For 2019, the court has improved to 81 cases disposed each month or a total of 730 as of the third quarter of the year.

    The falling case backlog was aided by the sharp drop in the number of cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman totaling just 172 for three quarters of 2019 as opposed to 1,825 cases during the same period in 2017 and 564 cases in 2018.

    The Second Division posted the highest case disposal number with 184 cases followed by the Fourth Division with 146 cases resolved, and the Sixth Division with 111 cases.

    The First Division posted 93 cases good for fourth spot with the Third Division close behind at 85 cases (fifth spot) and the Fifth Division with 70 cases (sixth place). The lowest case disposal went to the Seventh Division with 41 cases.