JBC extends deadline for Chief Justice application, nomination to Sept. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019   •   856

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has extended until September 2 the deadline for application and nomination of the next Chief Justice of Supreme Court, a panel member announced on Thursday.

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the council decided to extend the deadline to invite more applicants to the position.

The application for the next chief justice initially closed on August 20.

Only four Supreme Court justices have filed their application and acceptance of nomination, namely, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Andres Reyes Jr and Jose Reyes Jr.

Perlas-Bernabe and Peralta were among the five SC senior associate justices who were automatically nominated for the post. The other three magistrates are Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguiao who all rejected their automatic nominations.

Carpio earlier said he declined his nomination as he is set to retire in October. Leonen and Caguiao, however, did not cite their reasons.

The chief justice position will be vacated when CJ Lucas Bersamin will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on October 18.

Bersamin was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as chief justice on November 28, 2018.

SC eyes releasing body cam guidelines by July

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) is eyeing to release the guidelines on the use of body cameras in police operations by July.

SC Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said the high tribunal will tackle the matter starting June 15.

“The proposed rule is to be taken up as soon we resume session on June 15. And our colleagues have submitted their respective inputs. Hopefully and I’m optimistic that maybe after 2 or 3 deliberations we will come up with the final version,” he said.

“Our judges know the responsibility that they have to comply with what the Constitution and the Rules of Court should provide. So, we hope that with the issuance of these rules on body-worn cameras, these issues will be addressed specifically. It’s in the works. By July perhaps, we will have the final version and we’ll approve it for implementation immediately,” he added.

The proposed body-worn cameras was recommended after reports of corruption and abuse by authorities. Based on the record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), there are over 7,000 cases related to suspects getting killed during the government’s anti-drug campaign.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has previously ordered the use of body-cameras during operations in the NCR. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

SC modifies interpretation of ‘psychological incapacity’ as ground for nullity of marriage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) has modified its interpretation of ‘psychological incapacity’ as a ground to nullify marriage.

“The Court in the case of Tan-Andal v. Andal, G.R. No. 196359, unanimously modified the interpretation of the requirements of psychological incapacity as a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage found in Article 36 of the Family Code,” the SC said in a statement released on Wednesday (May 12).

Under the the new Leonen ruling, it said that “psychological incapacity is not a medical but a legal concept.” Due to this, testimony of psychologist or psychiatrist is not mandatory in all cases to prove psychological incapacity.

“[Psychological incapacity] is a personal condition that prevents a spouse to comply with fundamental marital obligations only in relation to a specific partner that may exist at the time of the marriage but may have revealed through behavior subsequent to the ceremonies,” the new ruling stated. AAC

 

 

 

Judges, court personnel hospitalized due to COVID-19 to get financial aid — Supreme Court

Robie de Guzman   •   April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Judges and court personnel who contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be provided with financial assistance from the Supreme Court, the Office of the Court Administrator said Wednesday.

In a circular issued by Court Administrator Midas Marquez, the cash assistance will range from P15,000 to P30,000 for those hospitalized depending on the severity of their illness.

Families of those who succumbed to death, whether hospitalized or not, will receive P50,000.

The financial assistance was approved by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo with the concurrence of the members of the Court en banc.

“Considering that there are judges and court personnel of the first and second level courts who contracted COVID-19 while in the performance of their functions there is a need to help them defray the hospitalization expenses incurred in treating COVID-19 infection,” the circular read.

Potential recipients of the assistance are required to submit a copy of the positive result of the RT-PCR test from March 2020 onwards, a medical certificate stating the clinical findings of the illness caused by COVID-19, a death certificate indicating that the patient died of COVID-19 or its complications, disbursement voucher, and obligation request.

The SC Public Information Office said that some 1,113 judiciary personnel tested positive for COVID-19 with 20 fatalities.

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