Next Bar exams will be held in November 2021, Supreme Court says

Robie de Guzman   •   September 8, 2020   •   286

MANILA, Philippines – The next Bar examinations will be scheduled in November 2021, the Supreme Court announced Tuesday.

In a bulletin posted on its Twitter account, Bar Examinations chairperson, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said the examination periods and venues for the next licensure test for aspiring lawyers will be announced in a separate bulletin.

It can be recalled that the high court postponed this year’s Bar exams “due to increasing number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the prevailing quarantine protocols all over nation, and the continuing uncertainty.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the SC traditionally holds the Bar examinations in November of every year and announces the results either in April or May the following year.

81,888 PDLs released during COVID-19 pandemic — SC

Marje Pelayo   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has noted the use of technology, specifically video conferencing, in expediting the cases of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) even amidst the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

During Friday’s (October 23) ‘CJ Meets the Press’ briefing, Peralta reported that from March to October this year, a total of 81,888 PDLs had their cases resolved and been granted freedom.

The Chief Justice added that the majority of the more than 110,000 cases that they have deliberated on virtually were criminal cases.

The proceedings yielded 88% success rate and only 12% failed due to poor or intermittent Internet connection.

According to CJ Peralta, several PDLs were granted a reduced bail, particularly the indigent ones, to qualify for release while reading of sentence to minors was temporarily suspended.

“Napag-aralan namin na kakaunti lang makapag apply ng bail dahil karamihan dito ay mga indigent,” Peralta explained.

The decision to expedite the release of PDLs was to decongest jail facilities across the country where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high.

Because at that time we felt na yung COVID-19 ay nag-i-spread na sa mga jails, not only in BJMP jails but also in provincial jails, municipal jails and detention centers ng ating mga pulis,” the official noted.

Of more than 28,000 employees of the Judiciary, 252 contracted COVID-19 which is only 1% of the government branch’s total employee population.

Meanwhile, Peralta said the Supreme Court is now looking into the delays in the processing of cases of more than 1,700 detained quarantine violators.

The Chief Justice stressed these violators shouldn’t stay long in detention as they can be released by just paying a penalty or fine. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Supreme Court Chief Justice Peralta wants probe on ambush of CamSur Judge

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has called on law enforcement agencies to immediately investigate and arrest those behind the attack on a Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court judge and her aide that left them injured.

“I strongly condemn the recent attack on Judge Jeaneth Gaminde-San Joaquin of Libmanan, Camarines Sur and her companion. I urge all law enforcement agencies to immediately investigate the matter and ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are apprehended,” Peralta said in a statement posted on Twitter.  

“An attack on our judges is an assault on the Rule of Law. This has no place in a civilized society like ours,” he stressed.

An initial police report showed that Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court Branch 26 Judge San Joaquin and a member of her staff, Rocelle Martinez were aboard their vehicle going to Naga City when they were attack by two unidentified gunmen.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Oct. 20 in Barangay Puro Batia in Libmanan, Camarines Sur.

The two sustained injuries and were taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Duterte appoints CA Justice Rosario to Supreme Court

Robie de Guzman   •   October 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Court of Appeals magistrate Ricardo Rosario has been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Duterte signed Rosario’s appointment paper on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Rosario will fill out the vacancy created by the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Jose Reyes last Sept. 18.

“As the newest member of the High Court, we are confident that Justice Rosario would advocate judicial independence, uphold the rule of law, and continue the reforms in our court processes,” Roque said.

“We wish Justice Rosario all the best in his new assignment at the SC,” he added.

Rosario obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1983 and passed the Bar examinations in 1984.

He worked as a judge at the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court and then moved to Makati Regional Trial Court. He was later appointed to the Court of Appeals.

Rosario, who will turn 62 on Oct. 15, will have 8 years to serve in the high court until his retirement at the age of 70.

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