AN INCOMING senator on Wednesday vowed to support the goal of setting up more digitized courts to increase efficiency in the country’s legal system.
“I am open to working with the Supreme Court and the court administrator on how to increase the efficiency of its work processes through digitization, computerization, and faster communication, while still maintaining proper administration of justice,” Senator-elect Rafael T. Tulfo said in a statement.
Mr. Tulfo took his oath of office on Wednesday before Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen.
“This is necessary and urgent so that the innocent and the reformable detainees can be released sooner rather than later by the tens of thousands,” he said.
The incoming senator said budgetary requirements should be provided since “more online or video conferencing are needed not just at the courthouses or halls of justice, but also at the jails at the municipal, city, and provincial levels.”
The Philippines has one of the highest jail occupancy rates in the world since outgoing President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s drug war, according to Human Rights Watch.
Data released early this year show a 114% congestion rate in national facilities run by the Bureau of Corrections.
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, which is in charge of local detention centers, had an even higher congestion rate at 582%. More than 70% of those detained at BJMP facilities face drug-related cases. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan