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EU cash boost for Philippines justice program

Plan aims to make legal process more 'accessible, accountable and faster'

The European Union has given the Philippines a 10-million euro grant to go towards funding a long term justice reform program.

The program aims to help Filipinos, especially the poor, disadvantaged, and vulnerable, to gain better access to a system that will be faster and more accountable, according to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas.

Roxas was speaking on the launch of the program at National Police headquarters today.

He said the program will improve the "capacity and accountability of criminal justice system stakeholders in handling cases of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances."

This will be achieved by providing improvements to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication processes, through investment and training.

The improvements should allow the legal system to operate much faster, those behind the program say.

The wheels of justice in the Philippines have often been criticized for being too slow. Years can pass before cases reach court.

"Reforming the justice system is a long term endeavor requiring a genuine strategy and proper planning between all the concerned stakeholders," EU ambassador Guy Ledoux, said at the launch.

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