Every candidate promises to rid government of graft and corruption, and file cases against corrupt officials. But data from anti-graft court Sandiganbayan shows that some cases have languished there for over 2 decades.
Rappler also looked into the causes of such delays, and the responsibilities of Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Ombudsman in resolving these cases.
What makes this project innovative?
Data on the status of all cases before Sandiganbayan are hard to obtain. Rappler was fortunate to have obtained Sandiganbayan's dataset in 2013. From there, we asked for the status of the oldest cases on that dataset.
The data clean-up was also extremely difficult, because data entry for almost all fields were not uniform over the years.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The story examined the accountability of 2 key agencies involving in the investigation and prosecution of cases of corruption in public office. Readers were able to find out that many graft cases involving former First Lady Imelda Marcos remained pending at Sandiganbayan (with the oldest ones filed in 1993). Some cases were also revived by the Sandiganbayan after being archived for decades.
Source and methodology
The Sandiganbayan data was obtained in 2013 by Rappler. The data was then cleaned and categorized into different buckets.
For the list of oldest cases, we queried from the dataset those that have been pending the longest, then requested for the current status of each one at both the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Microsoft Excel and Python were used to clean up the data from Sandiganbayan. Graphs were made via DataWrapper.
Pia Faustino of Thinking Machines aided in data processing. Lian Buan gave additional reporting.