Padilla wants court sentences translated in Filipino, local languages

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2022 06:40 PM

MANILA - Neophyte Senator Robin Padilla wants court sentences to be read in Filipino, aside from English, to individuals facing criminal cases.

Padilla, in an interview Monday, said his intention for filing his penned "Equal Use of Languages Act," is to ensure that individuals charged of any crime can fully understand their sentence, with the verdict to be read in English, Filipino, or that person’s preferred language.

Padilla said his proposal is fully enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, particularly, Article 14, Section 7.

"Sa karanasan ko po, hindi nagagamit ang Filipino. Laging English lang. Tulad sa batas natin pag lumalabas ang batas natin English. Sa korte pag nasentensyahan ang tao English ang binabasa. Sa akin unfair yan. Parang hindi patas sa kababayan natin na 'di ko sinasabing 'di nakakaintindi ng English kundi masyado kasing, ang may kinalaman sa batas, ang English niyan masyadong hindi naitindihan," Padilla told reporters.

He added: "Pag sinentensyahan ka dapat nababasa mo sentensya mo sa salitang Pilipino, alam mo. Kasi minsan, totoo ito galing ako kulungan, naintindihan lang ng bilanggo ang sentensya niya ang number lang. pero bakit siya nasentensya, di niya alam."

His bill, Padilla said, does not necessarily target schools, citing the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., for schools to improve teaching, with English as the medium.

Padilla meantime reminded those who will engage in any transaction with the government, or in the private sector, not to be shy to request for a Filipino version of the document that they would need to sign.

He said every person has the right to be fully aware of what’s in the document that he or she will sign.

Offices on the other hand, are required to meet such request, the senator said.

"Huwag dapat matakot ang kababayan nating mag-request. Kasi siyempre minsan nasanay tayo, masyado tayong inglisero, masyado tayong Amboy," Padilla claimed. "Dapat masanay tayong Pilipino na hingin yan. Hingin nyo. Kasi kahit dito sa ginagawa naming panukala kahit wala itong panukala pwede nyong hingin yan dahil nasa Saligang Batas ito, maliwanag Art 14 Sec 7 na sinasabi doon, ang communication instruction dapat Pilipino (sic) at English. So mga kababayan pwede niyo hingi niyan kahit walang panukala."

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