INCOMING Justice Secretary and Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” C. Remulla on Tuesday said he would fast-track pending criminal cases and keep track of the jail sentences of all prisoners.

He would do this by using a digital database for criminal cases and developing a data tracking system, as part of reforms that he seeks to enforce as Justice chief, he told CNN Philippines.

“We need to audit all detention prisoners to keep track of their sentences,” Mr. Remulla said in Filipino.

He said the Justice department and Supreme Court have to work closely to fast-track pending criminal lawsuits, which he said are often delayed by judges and lawyers.

He added that he is open to reviewing the case of detained Senator Leila M. de Lima, who has been in jail since Feb. 2017 on drug trafficking charges.

“I am willing to review her case, but recantations are frowned upon in court,” Mr. Remulla said. “It does not mean that if they recanted, they were not telling the truth in the beginning.”

Several witnesses have retracted their testimonies implicating Ms. De Lima, one of the most outspoken critics of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, in the illegal drug trade. They claimed to have been coerced by government officials into falsely accusing her.

Mr. Remulla also said he would be “more reserved” about accusing activists of being part of the communist movement.

During the campaign period, he linked supporters of Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo to the Maoist movement.

As justice chief, Mr. Remulla will be a member of the newest anti-terrorism law’s Anti-Terrorism Council. He will also head a committee that probes the killings of activists and dissenters.

Human rights group Karapatan on Tuesday said Mr. Remulla’s appointment is concerning due to his history of red-tagging.

“We express grave concern over his impending appointment as Justice Secretary, especially when his appointment also means he will get to sit as a member of the Anti-Terrorism Council,” it said in a statement.  

“One thing is very much clear to us — we can only expect more injustice and even more impunity under the presumptive Marcos-Duterte administration with Remulla at the helm of the DoJ.”

The incoming labor chief on Monday acknowledged that there is no quick fix to workers’ issues such as short-term employment.

Meanwhile, incoming Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma said he plans to create a “workable formula” with employers and workers to address labor issues, including contractualization.

“If the labor sector and employer sector will join my call for good governance, we can encourage existing investors and probably attract more investors to provide jobs,” he told the ABC-CBN News Channel (ANC).

Mr. Laguesma vowed to work closely with the newly established agency for migrant workers while encouraging more Filipinos to stay in the Philippines instead of seeking employment abroad.

“I will make my pitch on local employment because while I see foreign employment as providing us needed foreign remittances, I also look at the social costs that go with it,” he said.

Former Labor Undersecretary and Filipino worker advocate Susan V. Ople on Monday accepted presumptive President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s offer for her to head the Department of Migrant Workers.

Mr. Ople is the daughter of the late Senator Blas F. Ople, who served for 17 years as Labor chief of Mr. Marcos’ father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. — John Victor D. Ordoñez and KATA