For the third time in six years, the Catanduanes Provincial Prosecution Office has topped the Bicol region in performance ratings for 2021.
The local prosecutors’ feat was first announced during the first quarterly National Prosecution Service (NPS) meeting of the Bicol chiefs of prosecution offices in Guinobatan, Albay last February.
Last June 1, 2022, DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay and Regional Prosecutor Mary May B. De Leoz presented the award to Provincial Prosecutor Mary Jane L. Zantua and her staff during the Regional Convention of Prosecutors and Staff in Sorsogon.
According to data gathered by the Office of the Regional Prosecutor, six provincial prosecution offices obtained similar scored of 5 during the evaluation but the Catanduanes PPO obtained the final ranking of number one over the City Prosecution Office of Tabaco and CPO Iriga.
The prosecution offices were rated based on three categories: case disposition rate, or resolved cases as a percentage of all cases handled for investigation or resolution; case aging, or the percentage of criminal complaints for preliminary investigation pending for 120 days; and prosecution success rate, or the percentage of prosecutions with favorable judgments.
Catanduanes PPO scored 100% in both disposition rate and case aging, with its success rate slightly lower at 96.3%.
With a total weighted score of 5, it likewise improved on its performance in 2020 when it was rating was 4.85.
In 2021, local prosecutors had an investigation caseload of 632 and a court caseload of 1,221, for a total of 1,853 cases.
Its eight prosecutors handled an average of 232 cases during the year and had no case for investigation that was pending for 120 days.
In comparison, the City Prosecution Office of Naga City had a caseload of 985 cases for each of its 26 prosecution officers.
The Tribune was not able to secure data on the number of prosecuted cases with favorable judgments, particularly those involving illegal drugs and significant crimes like rape, murder and homicide.