U.S State Department’s 2008 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in the Philippines said corruption and inefficiency in the judicial system have undermined human rights in the Philippines and caused “widespread skepticism of due process. In response, the Supreme Court admitted, on February 28, 2009, the slow pace of the country’s judicial system as alleged in the US State Department report.
A SC spokesman attributed the problem to the lack of resources and the judicial structure itself. If our present judicial structure and system are flawed and have been for many decades, is it not high time to reform it? Our current president, Noynoy Aquino, seem to be serious in keeping his election promise to get rid of graft and corruption in our country. If this were so, he needs the people and the law by his side. But until our judicial system is reformed, Noynoy and succeeding well-meaning presidents will be powerless to effect significant graft “busting” changes in our country.
The Organizers of Worldwide Philippine Jury Initiative (WPJI or PhilJury) with the support from Overseas Filipino Workers and Filipino Residents worldwide believe that now is the time to raise the awareness of the Filipinos to one of the many solutions to our country’s problems. We are advocating the incorporation of the JURY SYSTEM in our constitution through the enactment of a National Jury Law because “juries are effective in shaping a nation’s judgement and increasing its natural rights”.
We admit that this is a protracted movement to rid our government of unjust and corrupt practices. But the long lasting effect of a jury system in the Philippine judiciary is a just and humane society where:
- people are free from fear of intimidation;
- the government is honest, transparent and accountable for its actions; and
- justice is served when it is due because justice delayed, is justice denied.
Our strategy is three-fold:
- To educate the Filipino people about the jury system;
- Through the power bestowed on the people as provided for by RA 6735 or “Initiative and Referendum Act” and Article 6 Sec 32 of the 1987 Constitution, in a DIRECT PEOPLES’ INITIATIVE, we will gather at least 7M signatures of the country’s registered voters in a petition to ADOPT THE JURY SYSTEM.
- With the success of the above Signature Campaign, a REFERENDUM will be held asking the people whether they want a JURY System or not. A YES vote for the Jury System will lead to the enactment of a NATIONAL JURY LAW.
The Signature Campaign will be launched this October 2013. We have until 2015 to gather the 7M signatures. This we can do, but we need your help. If you spread the word about the campaign to your friends and relations, a ‘snowball effect’ will be created. This will prove to the Congress and all our leaders, corrupt or not, that the JURY SYSTEM is widely supported and that we all firmly believe that a Jury System will:
- Empower the Filipino people in the administration of justice;
- Make our leaders respect justice and fairness;
- Enforce our country’s laws and instil respect for them from all levels of our society;
- Create a Judiciary that is untainted and equal to our peers throughout the world.
We appeal to all Filipinos to support this Peoples’ Initiative until the JURY SYSTEM is incorporated into our judiciary and a National Jury Law is enacted. It will ensure that THE GOVERNMENT REMAINS THE SERVANT, NOT THE MASTER, OF THE PEOPLE.