In the pork barrel scam cases filed before the Sandiganbayan, the cards are stacked against the state. The Ombudsman's lowly paid prosecutors are up against what many say are the best defense lawyers in town.
One indication: prosecutors had to ask the Sandiganbayan if they can amend the charges against some of the accused, which the anti-graft court rejected, a sign that the initial information filed may not have been well-crafted.
Under the rules, the accused have the right to file various petitions and appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, which may delay the case.
Public interest in the pork barrel scam is expected to lose steam as the trial drags on, state witnesses may change their mind, evidence may get lost. And even if the state wins, executing decisions on recovery of public funds is another difficult undertaking.
With the 2016 elections just 23 months away and if the new president is allied with some of those charged, expect the wheels of justice to turn back.