First Quarter 2014

Justice Azcuna

On January 16, 2014, the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation paid a courtesy call on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno to personally hand over their donation of 100 sets of Anatomically Correct Dolls for the use of our Family Courts nationwide. The Court, through PHILJA, received the gift at the Signing Ceremony of the Deed of Donation. Each set is composed of two adult male and female dolls, as well as a pair of boy and girl dolls designed to be of assistance in the conduct of investigative and forensic interviews of sexually abused children.

Further ushering in the New Year were the following programs: the 69th Orientation Seminar-Workshop for Newly Appointed Judges in the PTC-Tagaytay; the Seminar-Workshop for Newly Appointed Sheriffs and Process Servers in Cebu City; the 32nd Pre-Judicature Program (PJP) in Pasay City; and the Judicial Career Enhancement Program (JCEP) for RTC Judges of Region X in Cagayan De Oro City.

Eight Special Focus Programs also took place: the First Judiciary Budget Conference in the PTC-Tagaytay; a Seminar-Workshop on the Apostille Convention at the Supreme Court En Banc session hall; two Seminars on the Rules of Procedure on Financial Rehabilitation - one for the Court of Appeals Justices in Cebu City, the Special Commercial Court Judges of Regions VI to VIII, and other stakeholders therein; and the other for the Court of Appeals Justices in Cagayan De Oro City, the Special Commercial Court Judges of Regions IX to XII, and other stakeholders therein.

Also held in Cebu were the Seminar-Workshop on Substantive Laws and Jurisprudence on Intellectual Property for Special Commercial Court Judges of Regions VI to VIII as well as selected Attorneys of the Court of Appeals Cebu City Station; and the Seminar-Workshop on Various Laws and Rules Relating to Money Laundering and other Financial Crimes for Judges of Region VII. The same program was also conducted in Naga City for Judges of Region V. The Personal Security Training for Judges (PST), a program that provides trial court judges the basics in safety and security precautions including training on the proper and practical use of firearms and marksmanship, was delivered for selected Judges of Region 1 in Baguio City.

PHILJA also assisted in the 19th National Convention and Seminar of the Philippine Women Judges Association held in Manila, with the theme Women Judges: Keeping Up with Information Technology and Issues in International Law, and in the 9th National Convention and Seminar of the Philippine Association of Court Social Workers, Inc., (PACSWI) held in Palawan which focused on The Vital Role of the Social Workers in Responding to the Current Social Challenges in the Judicial System.

Our Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW) activities for the year opened with the delivery of Information Dissemination through a Dialogue among Barangay and Court Officials in Mandaluyong City.

In furthering Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) conducted several Refresher/Advanced Courses for Court-Annexed Mediators for the Bataan, Zambales, and Pampanga Mediation Programs in Tagaytay City; the Iligan, Ozamiz, Marawi, and Cagayan De Oro City Mediation Programs in Cagayan De Oro City; and the Leyte, Cebu, and Zamboanga City Mediation Programs in Cebu City.

The PMCO activities for this quarter focused on two areas in Mindanao: the Orientation Conference with Stakeholders on Court-Annexed Mediation in Malaybalay City for the Bukidnon Mediation Program; and the Orientation and Screening of Prospective Mediators and PMC Unit Staff in Dipolog City for the Zamboanga Del Norte Mediation Program. In addition, a Basic Mediation Course as well as a Pre-Internship Orientation and Meeting with Judges, Clerks of Court, Branch Clerks of Court, Mediation Trainees, and PMC Unit Staff of the Bukidnon Mediation Program also took place in Malaybalay City.

The Judicial Settlement Conference for Judges on Judicial Dispute Resolution (a skills-based course) were also held for two batches in the PTC-Tagaytay. Orientations on Judicial Dispute Resolution for Clerks of Court and Branch Clerks of Court as well as for Public Prosecutors, Public Attorneys, and Law Practitioners in Olongapo City completed the PMCO activities for this period.

We also uploaded new rulings of the Supreme Court and reminders given on doctrinal rulings, as well as the newly issued Court orders, resolutions, and circulars on our website OCA circulars were also posted.

In March, PHILJA celebrated its 18th Foundation Day with a simple program imbued with our usual camaraderie and good cheer. Eighteen years is truly a milestone, synonymous to having entered adulthood. Now an adult, PHILJA is ready to make even more significant strides toward excellence in the Judiciary.

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it took our officials and staff, our corps of professors and lecturers, and program partners to bring PHILJA into being the leading judicial institution that it is today. I would like to congratulate everyone for having done an excellent job of it and for generously giving their time, talent, and even their treasures to the Academy. Thanks, too, to the Chief Justice and the Court En Banc for their remarkable and much appreciated support for all our programs and activities. Above all, we thank the God Almighty for making all these things possible.

All the best.


PHILJA-Information Systems Division, Administrative Office and Research, Publication and Linkages Office ©LAR2014

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