First Quarter 2011

Justice Azcuna

As the year New Year unfolds, a number of significant activities have been undertaken. There was the 59th Orientation Seminar-Workshop for Newly Appointed Judges. There, too, was the 22nd Pre-Judicature Program for those interested in becoming members of the bench. And, there as well, were the Special Focus Programs, which included the Chief Justice Renato C. Corona First Distinguished Lecture on “Media and the Courts,” given by Hon. Chief Justice Robert Torres of the Supreme Court of Guam; the Roundtable Discussion on Anti-Trafficking in Persons; the Seminar-Workshop on the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases in Regions 5 (2 Batches), Region 2, and Visayas and Mindanao; the ASEAN Awareness Program on Trafficking in Persons for Judges and Prosecutors (2 Batches); the Tenth Multi-Sectoral Seminar-Workshop on Agrarian Justice for the Province of Negros Occidental; the Competency Enhancement Training for Judges and Court Personnel Handling Child Abuse and Trafficking Cases; and the Resource Persons Discussion-Workshop on the Capacity Building Seminar on Environmental Law and the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases.

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.”

Furthermore, the following PHILJA Special Focus activities also successfully transpired: The Final Validation Workshop and Writeshop on the Helpbook on Human Rights Issues: Extralegal Killings and Enforced Disappearances; the Forum on the Philippine Membership in the Permanent Court of Arbitration and International Dispute Resolution; the Information Dissemination Through a Dialogue between Barangay Officials and Court Officials in the City of San Fernando and the Municipalities of Pampanga; the City of Santiago, Isabela; the Cities of Cauayan and Roxas, Isabela; and the Municipality of Ilagan, Isabela; the Seminar on Speedy Trial and Disposition of Cases; the Personal Security Training for Judges; the Orientation Seminar-Workshop on Comparative Analysis Between the Family Code and the Code of Muslim Personal Laws; and the Seminar-Workshop on the Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The National Convention and Seminar of the Philippine Women Judges Association saw us contribute our share as requested, this time on their 16th such affair.

On Mediation, we held a Judicial Settlement Conference for Judges on Judicial Dispute Resolution (Skills-Based Course), and an Orientation of Clerks of Court, Public Prosecutors, Public Attorneys, and Law Practitioners in the City of Manila on Judicial Dispute Resolution.

On an even happier note, PHILJA observed its 15th Anniversary with the Theme: Greening the Academy, by planting trees at our Tagaytay Training Center grounds followed by a simple program and lunch.

This issue also carries the New Rulings of the Supreme Court and Doctrinal Reminders.

Finally, for reference and use of all our readers, there are the Supreme Court Resolutions, Circulars, and Orders, as well as OCA Circulars on various subjects.

As I complete my two-year term as Chancellor, with the possibility of a new term in June, let me thank The Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, for their trust and confidence, and all the PHILJA family, officials and employees, including the PMCO staff, heads of offices, field units and the mediators, all of you, for the dedication, cooperation and support which account for our continuing ability to serve in our primary task of being the training arm of the Supreme Court for all Philippine judges and court personnel.

All the best.

March 31, 2011.


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