The 50th Pre-Judicature Program; the 85th Orientation Seminar- Workshop for Newly Appointed Judges; the respective Career Enhancement Programs for First Level Clerks of Court from the Seventh and 10th Judicial Regions; for First Level Court Sheriffs from the National Capital Judicial Region and the First, Second and Third Judicial Regions; for Court Social Workers (Round 2) from Regions IV and V and another for those coming from Regions VI to XII; and a Career Development Program for Court Legal Researchers were just some of the activities held during PHILJA’s eventful third quarter of 2019.
The Academy, in cooperation with the Metrobank Foundation Inc., held the 16th Professorial Chair Lecture featuring then Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, now the 26th Chief Justice of the Philippines, as lecturer on the topic “The Significance of Recent Developments in Criminal Law, Procedure and Jurisprudence to the Philippine Judicial System.” The successful event had over 300 attendees and was held at the En Banc Session Hall of the Supreme Court.
Quite a number of seminar workshops for the benefit of judges and other court personnel in different regions were also carried out, as follows — Capacity Building on Environmental Laws and the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases for Selected Judges and Branch Clerks of Court (Regions I to VIII); Competency Enhancement Training for Family Court Judges and Personnel Handling Cases Involving Children (NCJR, Regions III to VI and VIII); two Seminar-Workshops for Judges on Cybercrime (NCJR and Regions VI to VIII); a Seminar-Workshop for Selected Judges on Financial Crimes and Money Laundering (Regions VI to VIII); and a Seminar-Workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law for Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcers of the Seventh Judicial Region. Two Trainings on International Humanitarian Law for Judges, Prosecutors, Public Attorneys and Law Enforcement Officers and a Validation of the IHL Manual were likewise held for participants coming from Regions IX and X.
PHILJA also delivered a Training Seminar on Special Issues on the Implementation of the Revised Guidelines on Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases and the Revised Rules of Procedure for Small Claims Cases (Regions IX and X) and four consecutive Training Seminars on the Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases (NCJR; Regions I to V; VI to VIII and IX to X, respectively). The Personal Security Training for Judges also continued its run at this time (NCJR, Regions III and IV, VI to VIII and X to XII).
A Training Seminar on the Guidelines on the Use of Videoconferencing Technology for the Remote Appearance or Testimony of Certain Persons Deprived of Liberty in Jails and National Penitentiaries; an Orientation and Seminar-Workshop for Court Decongestion Officers of Beneficiary Courts of Mindanao and a joint Training Seminar for Quasi-Judicial Sheriffs and Personnel of the CIAP, IPOPHIL and DTI were likewise completed.
An activity called “Promoting Pathways to Local Integration: Exploring the Shift towards Facilitated Naturalization and a Roundtable Discussion on Special Cases on Refugees” for Justices from the Court of Appeals Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City stations and selected RTC judges from the NCJR and Regions II-IV, VII, IX-X and XII was also conducted this quarter.
A rare Forum took place with H.E. International Court of Justice Judge Yuji Iwasawa speaking on the Significance of the International Court of Justice in relation to Municipal Legal Systems and Domestic Courts.
A Pre-Summit Conference Workshop on the Dangerous Drugs Law was finished this quarter.
Notwithstanding its full calendar, PHILJA continued with the holding of several Information Disseminations through Dialogues among Barangay Officials and Court Officials in Compostela Valley, Roxas City and in the City of Iloilo. We also assisted in the conduct of the 21st National Convention and Seminar of the Metropolitan and City Judges Association of the Philippines with the theme “MeTCJAP Judges: Anchors of a Robust Judiciary” which was held in Dumaguete City.
The Academy, through the Philippine Mediation Center Office, also conducted a series of activities supporting Alternative Dispute Resolution such as a Skills-Based Course on Judicial Settlement Conference for Judges on Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) for selected judges from the NCJR and Regions I, II, IV and VIII to X; an Orientation on JDR for Clerks of Court and Branch Clerks of Court including Public Prosecutors, Public Attorneys and Law Practitioners in Bohol; and an Orientation of Court Personnel and Law Practitioners in Zamboanga City.
An Orientation and Screening of Prospective Mediators and PMC Unit Staff was held in Mamburao and San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Agoo, La Union and Negros Occidental. A Basic Mediation Course and a Pre-Internship Orientation and Meeting with Judges, Clerks of Court, Branch Clerks of Court, Mediation Trainees and PMC Unit Staff were also conducted in Occidental Mindoro.
A Refresher/Advanced Course for Court-Annexed Mediators (Skills Enhancement Course) was also held in Davao and SOCCKSARGEN in relation to the Mediation Programs in place in these areas. In addition, a Curriculum Review on the Refresher Course Program for Court-Annexed Mediation and a Work Orientation and Skills Enhancement Seminar (WOSES) for PMC Unit Staff were also completed.
New decisions of the Supreme Court were noted and reminders given on doctrinal rulings, as well as on newly issued Court orders, resolutions, and circulars through our website http://philja.judiciary.gov.ph. We also took note of new OCA circulars.
To our officials and staff whose usual efficient work and good cheer continue to make PHILJA one of the leading judicial training academies in the world today, thank you and congratulations.
I also wish to thank all our development partners for their material and moral support and for the trust and confidence they have in the Academy in pursuit of our common goal.
Thank you, too, to Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin who retired in October and to our new Chief Justice, Diosdado M. Peralta, for the unwavering support and encouragement given to PHILJA and all its endeavors. Thank you, too, to the entire Supreme Court, the Court Officials and the ever reliable rank-and-file.
Finally, thanks to God Almighty for the strength in our bodies and the joy in our hearts as we strive to do our part towards a transformative judiciary.
All the best.
(Sgd.) ADOLFO S. AZCUNA