Supreme Court suspends work at all courts Monday afternoon for Family Week

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020   •   189

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday announced that work at all courts nationwide will be suspended at 3:30 p.m. on Monday in line with the observance of Family Week.

“Chief Justice Peralta leads the Judiciary in celebrating Family Week pursuant to Proclamation No. 60 (s.1992),” the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said in an advisory posted on its Twitter account.

“Work in all courts nationwide today shall only be until 3:30PM, to encourage court employees to spend more time with their families,” it added.

Under Presidential Proclamation No. 60 (s. of 1992), the last week of September of every year is declared as Family Week.

Malacañang earlier announced that work in government agencies under the executive branch will also be shortened on Monday afternoon to allow workers to celebrate Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day.

The Palace also encouraged other branches of the government, independent commissions and the private sector to do the same.

However, agencies whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health and services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of other vital services are exempted from the work suspension.

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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