9 on JBC shortlist for Supreme Court justice post

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021   •   480

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Friday nominated nine applicants for the position of the Supreme Court (SC) associate justice, the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said.

In a document released to the public, the shortlisted candidates are the following:

• Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang
• Former Ateneo de Manila University School of Law dean Sedfrey Candelaria
• Court of Appeals Associate Justice Ramon Cruz
• CA Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao
• Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg
• Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Rafael Lagos
• Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez
• CA Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh
• Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva

The SC PIO said the shortlist for the position of the SC associate justice has been submitted to Malacañang for the selection of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The post was vacated by Alexander Gesmundo following his appointment as chief justice in April.

Duterte has 90 days from the vacancy to name a new SC associate justice.

Work in NCR Courts suspended Wednesday due to inclement weather – SC

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo has ordered the suspension of work in all courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the inclement weather, the high court’s Public Information Office (PIO) said Wednesday.

The work suspension will take effect at 12 noon, according to a memorandum posted on the SC PIO’s social media account.

It covers the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, Sandganbayan, and all National Capital Judicial Region courts.

The order also covers offices under the Office of the Court Administrator, Presidential Electoral Tribunal and the Judicial and Bar Council.

The state weather bureau on Wednesday morning raised heavy rainfall warnings over parts of Metro Manila and nearby areas due to the effects of the southwest monsoon, which is being enhanced by the Typhoon Fabian and a severe tropical storm outside the Philippine area of responsibility.

Supreme Court approves rules on use of PNP body cams

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has approved the guidelines on the use of body cameras in police operations with an aim to promote transparency and uphold the constitutional rights of individuals.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said the guidelines will be issued once it has been signed by court justices.

The guidelines would take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or newspapers of general circulation.

“The court en banc approved already the final draft but of course it will have to be printed in the gilbert, you know that. And its members would have to sign the final resolution. Hopefully, by Friday it will be signed and duly promulgated,” Gesmundo said.

High court justices recently met with PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar to discuss the rules on the use of body cameras when serving arrest, search, and seizure warrants.

In crafting the guidelines, Gesmundo said the court took into account the “delicate balancing act of ensuring an individual’s constitutional rights vis-à-vis arrest, search, and seizure.

“As far as the meeting with PNP is concerned, we clarified that we crafted the rule in such a way that there’s a balancing between the protection of individuals vis a vis constitutional rights and the rules will not hamper the operations of law enforcement agencies,” the chief magistrate said.

“We were both positive in our discussions, in fact, they themselves the PNP has promulgated its own rules on the use of body-worn cameras during their operations. So we are optimistic that something will definitely come out of it to address these current issues on law enforcement operations,” he added.

Gesmundo previously said that the Court will make an arrangement soonest with the Philippine Judicial Academy, the SC’s judicial education arm, to provide the training of all those involved in the implementation of these rules. He added that the PNP may also want to send participants to this training.

Eleazar earlier said that the use of body-worn cameras can guard against incidents of police abuse as the new system allows the PNP Command Center to monitor the actual police operations of all units nationwide.

The cameras are also tamper-proof and cannot be manually turned off by policemen wearing them.

PH Supreme Court orders flags in courthouses at half-mast to honor Aquino

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered courthouses across the country to lower all flags at half-staff to honor the late former President Benigno Aquino III.

“The Supreme Court of the Philippines orders all flags in courthouses nationwide be flown at half-mast beginning today in view of the passing of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III,” the SC Public Information Office said.

Three of the 14 incumbent SC justices – Estela Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa – were appointed by Aquino when he served as the country’s president from 2010 to 2016.

Aquino passed away Thursday morning at the age of 61.

His family said Aquino died “peacefully in his sleep” at 6:30 a.m. from renal disease secondary to diabetes.

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