Supreme Court Chief Justice Peralta to retire early

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020   •   228

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta will retire a year early than his compulsory retirement, a high court official said Tuesday.

Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Keith Hosaka said Peralta confirmed to him his intention to avail of early retirement but “did not elaborate further” on the reason.

“I have asked him personally and he confirmed it. The Chief Justice did not elaborate further but said that he will make a formal announcement in due time,” Hosaka said in a message to reporters.

Peralta will step down from office in March 2021 when he reaches the age of 69. The mandatory retirement age for justices and judges is 70.

Peralta was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte in October 2019.

When he retires, the Supreme Court’s most senior justices will be automatically nominated for the position subject to their confirmation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Supreme Court resets oral arguments on Anti-Terror Law to Feb. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The oral arguments on the controversial anti-terrorism law have been moved to February 2, the Supreme Court announced Friday.

This is after staffers of Solicitor General Jose Calida tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Considering the meritorious request of Solicitor General Jose Calida that his Assistant Solicitor General and some staff who will attend the oral arguments have been tested positive for COVID-19, you are hereby informed, per instruction of the Honorable Supreme Court, that the oral arguments is reset to February 2, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.,” the Clerk of Court said in a statement.

“No further postponement will be allowed,” it added.

The high court originally scheduled the oral arguments on January 19.

JBC opens application for Chief Justice after SC OKs Peralta’s early retirement

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has opened the applications for chief justice following the Supreme Court en banc’s approval of the early retirement of Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

In an announcement, the JBC said the applicants may submit their applications and other documentary requirements on February 15.

Applicants must visit the JBC website and access the online application scheduler from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight not later than the said date, it added.

The JBC said Peralta’s optional retirement was approved by the magistrates on January 5 during their first en banc session this year. He will step down from office when he turns 69 on March 27, one year ahead of the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices.

The SC in December confirmed that Peralta opted for early retirement but did not disclose the reason.

Peralta was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as SC chief justice in 2019.

When he retires, the five most senior magistrates in the high court will be automatically nominated for the post, subject to their confirmation. They are Justices Estela Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Alexander Gesmundo, and Ramon Hernando.

Supreme Court to implement 4-day work week starting Dec. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court will adopt a four-day work week scheme for all its officials and employees starting December 1.

In an administrative circular issued by Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, high court employees will work 10 hours a day or from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to complete the required 40 hours of work each week.

The justices will decide the operations schedule of their offices but all other high court offices and services will still be open from Mondays to Fridays with at least 80% personnel attendance.

The total number of employees in court offices will be divided into five groups, each comprising 20% of the total number of workers. Alternately, they will have to take one day leave during weekdays.

“Subject to the discretion of the Chiefs of Offices and services, the groupings, new work schedules and supposed rest day/day off may be changed or modified, upon prior notice to the employees,” the circular stated.

The practice of flexible time and overtime work for employees will be cancelled for the time being.

Peralta said the observance of a four-day work week is in line with the directive of the Civil Service Commission in October for implementation during the period of health emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chief Justice also required the heads of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and all trial courts to prepare their guidelines for the workweek schedule.

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