First Quarter 2010
We welcomed 2010 with fresh energy to maintain, if not surpass, our strong performance last year. This first quarter alone, we already launched numerous events, programs, seminars, trainings, and publications. Looking at the Academy’s calendar, I am happy that we are up for more noteworthy activities in the coming months.
Aside from our regular and special focus programs, PHILJA also joined the Chief Justice and other Court officials in various parts of the country as a partner in charge of mediation during the Enhanced Justice on Wheels (E-JOW) Program. In fact, word has reached me, via email forwarded by a friend from Mr. George Lim of the Singapore Mediation Center, that the “Philippines has done very well in making mediation accessible to the poor.”
February was a busy month. On the 19th, the Third Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Her Excellency Rosario Gonzalez-Manalo, Senior Foreign Service Adviser to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, as the main speaker on the subject of the ASEAN Charter was held at the Supreme Court Session Hall. His Excellency Alistair MacDonald, head of Delegation of the European Commission in the Philippines, and Mr. Jeffrey Chan Wah Teck, S.C., Deputy Solicitor-General, Attorney General’s Chambers of Singapore, graciously served as reactors. Asean Law Association (ALA) Officers and members also attended along with other members of the legal community.
On the 23rd, PHILJA proceeded with the launch of the publication of the Proceedings of the International Conference on the International Criminal Court also at the Supreme Court Session Hall. I thank Ambassador Rubens Anna Fedele of the Italian Embassy and Judge Sang-Hyun SONG, President of the International Criminal Court, for their presence and pre-recorded message, respectively.
Aside from having distributed a special publication entitled “Justitia et Lex: Handbook on Marriage,” PHILJA also mounted a National Summit on Family Courts (Strengthening the Multi-Sectoral Framework for the Protection of Family, Women and Children) with the cooperation of the Supreme Court’s Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ) and the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) on March 12.
On the same day, PHILJA also celebrated its 14th Anniversary as the education arm of the Court. The day opened with a morning mass and a short program honoring deserving employees while a photo exhibit, chronicling the Academy’s journey from a fledgling institution to its present incarnation as a leader and model in judicial education in Asia and in the world, was launched in the afternoon in the presence of distinguished guests includ-ing our development partners.
The said occasion also showcased the amazing talents of our very own PHILJA choir which was organized just before the event. Their performance under the helm of Justice Oswaoldo Agcaoili was indeed a pleasant revelation.
Allow me to express my gratitude to the PHILJA officials and employees for coming together as a family in celebrating this milestone successfully. There is reason to be proud for no less than the Chief Justice himself called PHILJA the “crown jewel” of the Supreme Court.
All the best this 2010!