New SC chief justice bares plans for judiciary

MANILA Newly appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Monday called on the high court's workers and officials to work for unity and abide by the law as he bared plans to improve the judiciary.

"First of all, may I stress that as the 26th chief justice of the Supreme Court and as a longtime public servant, I will lead by example. Secondly, to achieve our goals and aspirations, each and everyone in the judiciary must be guided by this motto which should follow by heart: Let us be united and let us follow the rules," Peralta said in his speech during Monday's flag ceremony, his first as head magistrate.

Addressing court officials, Peralta said that on top of the agenda is the elimination of backlog in the Supreme Court and all other courts.

"Clerks of court will be required to conduct periodic inventory of all the cases pending in their divisions and consult with the court en banc as to how to solve the issue of backlog and other concerns," he said.

"All other courts must continue to comply with existing rules and guidelines pertaining to prescribed periods for trial dates, including promulgation of decisions and other rules geared towards the realization of a speedy disposition of cases," Peralta added.

His other agenda are as follows:

* Implementation of duly approved revised rules of court and the continuous revision of the rules of court and other rules of procedure to be more responsive to the needs of court users, and for the Philippine judicial academy to focus on skills-based training for judges and court personnel;

* Automation of court processes and incorporation of technology in hearings and trials;

* Cleaning up of misfits from the judiciary;

* Improving the security of justices, judges and halls of justice;

* Setting up 24/7 help desks in the office of the chief justice and other offices;

* Monitoring of performance in all courts especially for the observance of the rules;

* Improvement of procurement and bidding processes for faster and more timely implementation of projects;

* Creation of strategy planning management unit under the Program Management Office. This is for the organized planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of court projects.

Peralta, 67, was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte on October 23.

Before his appointment to the high court in 2009 as the 162nd associate justice, Peralta served as presiding justice of the Sandiganbayan. He was a member of the anti-graft court's special division, which convicted former president Joseph Estrada of plunder.

Peralta is the ponente of the SC ruling, which invalidated the implementing rules and regulations of the Expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance Law, thus allowing its retroactive application to persons deprived of liberty serving time before 2013. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency