Recto wants gov't to prioritize creation of 'Google-like' database for justice system

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2020 05:57 PM

Recto wants gov't to prioritize creation of 'Google-like' database for justice system 1
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto presides over the approval of a bill on alternative learning system on May 4, 2020. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB

MANILA - Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Wednesday pushed for the immediate creation of an online database that would collate all arrest warrants and other court documents issued in the Philippines to help law enforcers correct the "organized chaos" in the bureaucracy.

The database of arrest warrants should be similar to Google's search engine platform that can generate results in a matter of seconds, Recto said in a statement.

If the Philippines had a "Google-like justice system database," 2 elderly drivers who were arrested in Caloocan City could have been freed earlier, Recto said, referring to jeepney drivers Elmer Cordero and Wilson Ramilla.

"Mabilis pa nga iyon. If it was not a high-profile case, baka mas lalong natagalan ang verification," Recto said.

(That was actually fast. If it was not a high-profile case, perhaps the verification could have taken longer.)

The technology can also speed up the process of applying for National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances, a usual requirement from job applicants, the senator said.

"In this land of popular surnames like Reyes, Cruz, Rosario and Santos, naku, ang hirap kumuha ng police o NBI clearance. Marami kang kapangalan at dadaan ka minsan sa butas ng karayom para patunayan mong hindi ikaw 'yun," he said.

(In this land of popular surnames like Reyes, Cruz, Rosario and Santos, it is a struggle to obtain an NBI clearance. You have a lot of namesakes and you have to go through the eye of a needle to prove that they are not you.)

"The failure to interconnect and digitize the antiquated record system have led to jail congestion, a police force clueless on the identity of wanted persons, and border control that inconveniences many innocents," he said.

The National Justice Information System (NJIS) project was started during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

While the technology has cut the NBI clearance application process to 5 steps from 11 steps, it has yet to fully rid the justice system of red tape.

Under the 2020 budget, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has a budget of P5 billion to create the National Justice Information System (NJIS), the Senate President Pro Tempore said.

"This will eradicate the use of guesses, discretion and overreach in tagging persons in trouble with the law," he said.

"Basta ang importante, hindi ito maha-hack, hindi mako-corrupt, data privacy laws are upheld, at walang 'pindot gang' na magdadagdag-bawas ng pangalan, kasama na ang mga inosente," he said.

(What's important is that the system will not be hacked, will not be corrupted, will uphold data privacy laws, and that 'key-in gangs' will not tamper with the files, especially of innocent people.)