First Quarter 2013
2013 began with PHILJA hardly breaking its stride after having had a good run in 2012. Two consecutive Orientation Seminar-Workshops for Newly Appointed Judges (the 64th and the 65th) and one Orientation Seminar for Newly Appointed Clerks of Court (the 25th) opened the year. The JCEP or the Judicial Career Enhancement Program for Judges, one of the PHILJA core programs, was also conducted for magistrates in Region IX and in Region III.
Legal Researchers in Regions V and VII likewise had their training via the Career Development Program. As it is MCLE Compliance season once again, the Academy also mounted, for the benefit of lawyers employed in the judiciary, the Continuing Legal Education Program for Court Attorneys in the Court of Appeals Mindanao and Visayas stations, as well as for those in the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals.
The Ninth Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture entitled “Towards a More Forward-Looking Insolvency System” was delivered by 2012 Chairholder Atty. Francis Ed Lim, member of our Commercial Law Department and Senior Co-Managing Partner of the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW).
By way of our Special Focus Programs, the following activities were held: Capacity Building on Environmental Law and the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases for the Court of Appeals in Tagbilaran, Bohol; Seminar-Workshop for Judges on Various Laws Relating to Court Technology (for Regions I and II, III, IV and V); Lecture Fora on the New Judicial Affidavit Rule for judges, court personnel, prosecutors, public attorneys and IBP members in the Ilocos Region, Tacloban City, Samar and Leyte, as well as in Misamis Oriental, Baguio-Benguet, La Union, and Pangasinan.
In addition, the Academy also conducted the following: Personal Security Training for Selected Judges at the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City; training on Increasing Judicial Efficiency: Seminar-Workshop for Judges on the Effective Use of the Benchbook for Philippine Trial Courts (revised and expanded); Seminar-Workshop on Strengthening Judicial Integrity and Rule of Law for Executive Judges and Single Sala Court Judges of Regions X, XI and XII; Competency Enhancement Training (CET) for Judges and Court Personnel Handling Cases Involving Children; and the roll-out of the Competency Enhancement Training for Judges, Prosecutors, Social Workers and Law Enforcement Investigators Handling Trafficking in Persons Cases (CET-TIP) for Cebu City, in partnership with the International Justice Mission-Cebu.
We also partnered with the Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA) for the conduct of their 18th National Convention and Seminar in Palo, Leyte, the theme of which was Kababaihan Para Sa Katarungan at Kalikasan.
PHILJA also continued to support the Court’s Enhanced Justice on Wheels (E-JOW) Program with the conduct of Information Dissemination through a Dialogue with Barangay officials and Court officials in Binangonan, Rizal.
The Academy, thru the Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO), conducted a number of activities in support of Alternative Dispute Resolution such as: a Refresher/Advanced Course for Court-Annexed Mediators for the Camarines Sur Mediation Program; an Orientation Conference with Stakeholders on Court-Annexed Mediation for the Bohol Mediation Program, as well as the Orientation and Screening of Prospective Mediators and PMC Unit Staff, also in Bohol; and a Judicial Settlement Conference for Judges on Judicial Dispute Resolution in Tagaytay City.
We likewise continued taking note of new rulings of the Supreme Court and kept up with the doctrinal reminders, as well as newly issued Court orders, resolutions, and circulars in our website. We also took note of new OCA circulars.
In closing, I would like to quote the Knight’s Oath from Kingdom of Heaven, a film about Jerusalem during the Crusades:
All the best.
Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong— that is your oath.
(Sgd.) ADOLFO S. AZCUNA