2017 Christmas Message of the Honorable Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang

Good afternoon everyone.

Let me begin by thanking each and every one of you for taking part in our wonderful celebration. Of course, my profuse thanks go to the various committees, most especially to the 2017 SB Christmas Party Committee chaired by Justice Lori Pahimna, and co-chaired by Justices Ed Caldona and Ian Jacinto. Thank you as well to the performers, and our special guests who contributed significantly to making our Christmas Party a complete success.

More than all of this, however, I would like to thank you all for making 2017 a banner year for the Court. As you all know, last September, with three (3) months still left in our calendar, the Court surpassed its highest record of disposed cases for the past sixteen (16) years. Let me read to you a report from the Philippine Star published last November 13:

Based on the figures from the Sandiganbayan Judicial Records Division, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 of 2017, the anti-graft court has already resolved 925 cases, one point higher than its records for three years combined or from 2014 (277 resolved cases), 2015 (276 resolved cases) to 2016 (371 resolved cases).

The court's performance for the past nine months of the year has also broken its records of 767 resolved cases in 2001, the highest for the last 16 years.

... ... ...

With three months left in the work calendar, there is also a chance that the Sandiganbayan might break its record of 966 resolved cases in 2000."

Well, I am pleased to tell you that we finally broke that glass ceiling last October 2017. Based on the statistics from our Judicial Records Division, we have already resolved 1,095 cases despite the ever increasing number of cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman. 1

Let us give one other a warm round of applause. Each of you have contributed to this achievement and may claim it as a product of your energy and faithful dedication of time to this Court.

Duplicating this feat may be a tall order for 2018. However, with your total commitment, support and cooperation we can do it again. Let our collective achievement inspire us to do even better next year. I believe we can do it! With the God of all that is possible helping us, nothing is impossible. Let us make that our mantra for 2018! And so, even as we thank Him for what we have already achieved, let us thank Him in advance for what we are going to achieve!

2017 has also seen the welcome entry of three (3) new Justices and their staff to our Sandiganbayan family. To Justices Lorifel Lacap Pahimna, Edgardo M. Caldona, and Bayani H. Jacinto and staff, a very warm welcome.

Let me also take this opportunity to formally welcome the newest employees to our family. Work hard, perform your functions with utmost passion and integrity and you will find your continued place in this Court.

2017 has also seen some sorrow. Let us remember Justices Cris Cornejo and Nap Inoturan and cherish their memories ever thankful for the gift of having been graced by their presence in life.

Finally, let us praise and thank God for all the blessings He has showered upon us. For this Christmas season, I wish you and your loved ones peace and good health. May 2018 be a better, brighter, happier and more prosperous year for all of us, our families, our Court and our country.

Thank you.

Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat at mabuhay ang Sandiganbayan!

1 1,311 cases were filed in 2016. As of the latest data, 2,151 cases have been filed this 2017.

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