Davao region in need of prosecutors

Sep. 10, 2008

Davao City-How could cases be attended if there is only one prosecutor in a province?

This is the dilemma of the Department of Justice in southern Mindanao, as bared by regional state prosecutor Antonio Arellano during the National Crime Prevention Week press conference held at the Philippine Information Agency.

He said the problem was worst in the province of Davao Oriental where only one head handles the hundreds of cases.

“The salary offered to our prosecutors is not so attractive. That is why they are often lured by private companies,” Arellano said.

He said compensation for this profession must be increased so as to invite more qualified individuals to take the post. He stressed that this has been the major reason for a lot of vacancy of prosecutor positions as most of the qualified candidates are siphoned by private firms which offer attractive compensation.

The state prosecutor also said the barangay justice system was a good alternative to the lack of prosecutors in the region.

Though often disregarded in most barangays, Arellano believed that there must be an intensive move to strengthen the barangay justice system. “It is through these barangay courts that petty cases or cases involving minors are immediately resolved before they move up and clog the higher courts,” he said.

He urged all barangay officials handling the barangay justice system to join seminars on justice system and arbitration. Arellano added that they can hardly function well if they do not involve themselves in skills training.

Though his office could not organize seminars and trainings for the barangays, he clarified that his staff could be tapped to serve as resource persons. (PIA)

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