No raffle of plunder cases for now

by Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2014 03:21 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2014 07:38 AM

Sandiganbayan to wait for SC ruling on special divisions

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has decided to wait for the Supreme Court's ruling on the creation of 2 special divisions to exclusively try the pork barrel scam cases of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla, et al, before raffling them off.

On Tuesday, Sandiganbayan spokesperson Renato Bocar said the anti-graft court may find it challenging if only a single division will try all pork barrel scam cases given the heavy workload involved.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier asked the Supreme Court to create 2 special divisions in the anti-graft court to exclusively try the cases.

In a resolution on Tuesday, the SC en banc asked the anti-graft court and other parties involved in the case to comment on the matter within 3 days from notice.

Bocar said the Sandiganbayan will be extending judicial courtesy to the SC and will wait for its decision.

Normally, cases are raffled off to a specific division every Friday.

Bocar said it is up to the high court as to how the special division will be created and how the justices will be selected.

In the Estrada plunder trial, Bocar said the SC handpicked the justices who sat in the special division.

Like the Estrada case, there may be 3 justices who will compose the special court and two alternate justices on stand-by.

Bocar said he will be the "temporary spokesperson" until a special court or special courts are created, which may assign their clerks of courts as spokespersons.