Taking Text and Structure Seriously:
Two Approaches to Constitutional Interpretation
2018 PHILJA Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award
for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer
As the recipient of the 2018 PHILJA Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer, Dean Pacifico A. Agabin, PHILJA Constitutional Law Department Chairperson, delivered a special lecture on Taking Text and Structure Seriously: Two Approaches to Constitutional Interpretation on May 11 at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City. One hundred seventy participants comprising Supreme Court and PHILJA officials and employees, Court of Appeals justices, court attorneys and employees, judges, clerks of court/branch clerks of court, and other guests attended the lecture.
Dean Agabin’s discourse, citing mostly from Justice Antonin Scalia’s A Matter of Interpretation book, delved on common law courts in a civil law system, the textual method (textualism) and the structural approach (structuralism) to the Constitution.
He said that Justice Scalia “believes that the American federal courts are, in reality, civil law courts as they are supposed to decide cases based on the text of the Constitution and of statutes, and not on extraneous considerations.” Taking that definition of a “civil law system” as authoritative, Dean Agabin said that “we have reason to believe that our own courts are also, and with more reason, civilian courts.”
Dean Agabin then proffered that “in the Philippines, it is submitted that the textual method should be the preferred approach to interpreting the Constitution aside from the fact that we are essentially a civil law country.” He added that “since our Constitution is only 31 years old, our Supreme Court has to abide by originalism, which specifies textualism and helps our justices arrive at definite interpretations of the text even when it is ambiguous.”
Dean Agabin further said that with regard to interpretation of the Constitution, Justice Scalia had clarified his concept of textualism under a civil law system. According to Justice Scalia, “laws mean what they actually say, not what legislators intended them to say but did not write into the law’s text for anyone (and everyone so moved) to read.”
The new textualism of Justice Scalia, Dean Agabin added, does not actually conflict with structuralism especially when it involves constitutional interpretation. Justice Scalia said that “in textual interpretation, context is everything, and the context of the Constitution tells us not to expect nit-picking detail, and to give words and phrases an expansive rather than narrow interpretation—though not an interpretation that the language will not bear.”
While Dean Agabin’s preferred choice is the textual method, he also said that there must be an attempt to reconcile the two approaches to constitutional interpretation. He said that Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe, in his book American Constitutional Law, agreed that there is “actually no inconsistency between fidelity to the text and structure.”
Further, Professor Tribe said that “the structural forms of reference are appropriate when one is addressing matters of governmental architecture. Modes of understanding and inference that are willing ‘to connect the dots’ and to argue from the logic and layout of the Constitution and of the institutions it creates as well as the freedoms and norms it presupposes should be recognized as legitimate and honored for the light these modes of understanding may shed.”
Dean Agabin ended his lecture with US Chief Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Nevada v. Hall: “A constitution is necessarily built on certain postulates or assumptions drawing on shared experience and common understanding. The Court should get beyond literalism and protect important concepts of sovereignty which are of constitutional dimension because their derogation would undermine the logic of the constitutional scheme.”
Retired Chief Justice of the Philippines Reynato S. Puno and San Beda College Graduate School of Law Dean Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino gave their respective reactions to Dean Agabin’s lecture. They both congratulated Dean Agabin for his outstanding lecture.
Chief Justice Puno discussed the phenomenon of judicialization of politics which started in the late 20th century and the judicialization of politics in the Philippines. He said, “In the rebalancing of power after the EDSA revolution, the Supreme Court was endowed with an abundance of judicial powers, including non-judicial powers. Judicial power was expanded to ‘include the duty of courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.’ In addition, the Supreme Court was given the extraordinary power to ‘promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights x x x.’ My point is that under our 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court has more leeway to decide cases less hindered by the text and original intent of the Constitution.”
Father Aquino said that while he absolutely has no reservations about Dean Agabin’s argument in favor of textualism, he pointed out that “underlying the written text of the Constitution is an underlying ‘second contract’—the basic norm of recognition; the social covenant to recognize the Constitution as fundamental law! That is not a point against textualism. It does however underscore the role of the unwritten, the importance of the tacit. There would be neither motive nor reason to write the text of the construction if there were no antecedent social covenant to accept the Constitution as fundamental law and to abide by it.” Father Aquino also agreed with Dean Agabin when he insisted that “we need not make a choice between a textual approach and a structural interpretation of the Constitution.” According to Father Aquino, that is exactly what the “text-context dynamic is all about.”
After the reactions, Dean Agabin, Chief Justice Puno and Fr. Aquino answered questions from the participants.
Dean Agabin presented his paper to PHILJA and to the family of Justice Herrera. The endowment was presented to Dean Agabin by the children of Justice Herrera. Plaques of Academic Recognition were given to Dean Agabin, Chief Justice Puno and Fr. Aquino, while Testaments of Gratitude were given to PHILJA Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera and to her children, Atty. Florentino III, Dr. Victoria Lourdes and Dr. Milagros.
The Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer was established in 2012 by the children of Justice Herrera in honor of her 90th birthday. It aims to assist PHILJA in promoting judicial excellence through the conduct of distinguished lectures on judicial education. Dean Agabin is the sixth recipient of this award; the first was Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna in 2012, followed by Retired Court of Appeals Justice Hilarion L. Aquino in 2013, Supreme Court Justice Antonio T. Carpio in 2015, Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria in 2016, and Atty. Emmanuel L. Caparas in 2017.
22nd PHILJA Foundation Day
PHILJA celebrated its 22nd founding anniversary on March 12 at the PHILJA Main Office in Manila with the theme “#PHILJA@22: Continuing Judicial Excellence, 2gether We Stand, 2gether We Can.”
In her welcome message, PHILJA Chief of Office for Academic Affairs Justice Delilah Vidallon Magtolis mentioned that in PHILJA’s relentless pursuit for judicial excellence for the past 22 years, the Academy has been successful in the conduct of local and international seminars and training programs.“Excellence is elusive, but PHILJA has proven that excellence is attainable,” she said. Justice Magtolis added that “like wine, PHILJA gets naturally better with age.”
She also thanked the PHILJA officials and employees for their continuous effort through the years. “Certainly, the 22 years of excellent service would not be possible without your passion and commitment. Hence, let me take this opportunity to recognize your remarkable efforts. I would like to thank all employees, both past and present. Without you, we definitely would not be here today. PHILJAns who last in the Academy are certainly not here for the money but have a heart for making a difference,” she said.
The anniversary celebration was graced by Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, PHILJA Chancellor, Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., PHILJA Vice Chancellor, Justice Marina L. Buzon, PHILJA Executive Secretary, Justice Magtolis, Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Head of Research, Publications and Linkages Office, Atty. Brenda Jay C. Angeles-Mendoza, Chief of Office for Philippine Mediation Center, Atty. Elmer DG. Eleria, Chief of Office for Administration, Mr. Romulo M. Abancio, Jr., Acting Manager of PHILJA Training Center, and Justice Oswaldo D. Agcaoili, Professor II.
The institutional awards were given during the afternoon program. The Chancellor’s Award was given to Ms. Luningning R. Marin, SC Chief Judicial Staff Officer, Office of the Chancellor, in recognition of her unwavering dedication and strong work ethic in assisting the Chancellor in all of his duties; for her admirable leadership, solid work and incomparable passion in managing the administrative functions in the Office of the Chancellor and in going above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring the smooth, efficient and excellent day to day office operations; and for her absolute commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the Judiciary.
The PHILJA Model Employee awardees were Atty. Jose C. Saluib, Jr. of the PMCO (supervisory level), and Mr. Jonathan G. Evangelista of the AO (non-supervisory level).
Ms. Jennifer D. Atienza and Mr. Bernardo C. Fabro were recognized for their 20 years of service to PHILJA. They were given plaques of recognition and PHILJA paperweights. Seven employees were cited for their 15 years of service and were given loyalty medals and certificates: Mr. Reynaldo A. Daclan, Mr. Cloyd D. Garra, Mr. Eduardo M. Irigayen, Mr. Armando A. Marinduque, Mr. Ciriaco M. Martos, Ms. Ma. Christina M. Molo-Recio, and Ms. Vilma L. Velchez. Nine employees received loyalty pins and certificates for their 10 years of service to PHILJA, namely: Mr. Ruehl A. Aldea, Mr. King F. Cura, Mr. Rolandino D. Due, Ms. Vanessa B. Espera, Mr. Archimedes P. Jimenez, Mr. Louisito A. Reyes, Mr. Salvador B. Roda, Mr. Rowel A. Saule, and Engr. Allan John V. Oriarte.
The host offices, Academic Affairs Office and Finance Office, prepared games and raffle prizes. Select PHILJA employees rendered song and dance numbers and the new PHILJA employees and March birthday celebrators were also presented during the program.
The program was capped by Justice Azcuna’s anniversary message where he thanked everyone “for making PHILJA a successful institution, an institution known world-wide,” and then proposed a toast to PHILJA’s 22 successful years.
First Orientation Seminar-Workshop for Newly Appointed Court Stenographers
The Academy conducted the first Orientation Seminar-Workshop for Newly Appointed Court Stenographers on February 13 to 14 at the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City.
Attended by 43 RTC and MeTC new court stenographers, the two-day program was formally opened by PHILJA Chief of Office for Academic Affairs Justice Delilah Vidallon Magtolis who gave the opening remarks. The first day sessions were devoted to lectures on the following topics: lectures on The Code of Conduct for Court Personnel by Atty. Ma. Carina M. Cunanan, Assistant Chief of Office, Office of the Administrative Services; Duties and Responsibilities of Court Stenographers by Senior Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva; Legal English by Retired SC Court Administrator and Legal Education Board Member Zenaida N. Elepaño; and Overview on e-Courts, Automated Hearings and Other Judicial Reform Initiatives by Mr. Guiller Kristoffer L. Lamug and Mr. Glenn Anthony M. Villaluz, both from the Office of the Chief Justice.
Day two sessions focused on short-hand writing lectures, exercises and transcription led by Prof. Rosa F. Diestro, Head of the Rizal Technological University (RTU) Office Administration Department, assisted by Ms. Marie Joy G. Castillo and Ms. Ma. Victoria C. Painaga, also from RTU. During these sessions, the participants were given exercises on dictation of brief forms and derivatives, legal words, and transcription of letters/correspondences and court proceedings.
The draft of the Interim Guidelines for the Direct Release and Administration of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) Budget for the Lower Courts was prepared by a Technical Working Group composed of DCA Villanueva, chairperson; Atty. Cunanan, vice chairperson; and Atty. Ocampo, Ms. Maria Cresencia Sunga (Office of the Chief Justice), Atty. Ladrillano, Ms. Febella Guillermo (Financial Management Office-OCA), Ms. Liza Laurenciano (Financial Management Office-OCA), Arch. Arvin M. Natividad (Office on the Halls of Justice-OCA), Ms. Anne Fundales (Office of Administrative Services-SC), and Ms. Lilianne Ulgado/Ms. Marilyn de Joya (Financial Management and Budget Office-SC), as members. The draft guidelines was approved through Administrative Matter No. 17-08-9-SC dated August 22, 2017, which also directed the release of the budget for the conduct of a pilot training for lower court employees.
Courts, Competition Law, and Competition Culture: A Roundtable Discussion
A roundtable discussion on Courts, Competition Law, and Competition Culture was conducted by PHILJA, in coordination with the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), on January 31, 2018 at the ADB Headquarters, Mandaluyong City.
Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, PHILJA Chancellor, and Mr. Kelly Bird, Country Director of ADB, welcomed the participants and resource persons to the half-day program. In attendance were Court of Appeals Justices Rosmari D. Carandang, Magdangal M. De Leon, and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo L. Concepcion, and Atty. Andre Palacios from the UP College of Law. Prof. Frederic Jenny, former Judge of the French Supreme Court, Prof. Allan Fels, former Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and Mr. Toh Han Li, Chief Executive of the Competition Commission of Singapore, were the invited resource persons.
The participants engaged in an open and informal exchange of views on the topics: Importance of Economic Evidence in Competition Cases (with an opening statement from Prof. Jenny), Important Role of Courts of Law in Developing a Culture of Competition and Enforcing Competition Laws (with an opening statement from Prof. Fels), and Importance of Availability of Judicial Review of Actions Taken by Competition Authorities (with an opening statement from Mr. Li).
The resource persons shared a number of useful information relative to competition law such as issues to expect in competition cases, how to determine whether an activity is anti-competition, importance of having a background on economics, creation of a specialized chamber to handle competition cases as practiced in other countries, and market protection issues. For reference materials, the resource persons said that Philippine judges can use the references used by the Office for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) since the Philippine Competition Law was modeled after the OECD.
UP President Concepcion gave the closing remarks, followed by a reception for the roundtable discussion participants.
The RTD was one of the Pre-Forum Activities of the 2018 Manila Forum on Competition in Developing Countries held on February 1 to 2 at the Makati Shangri-la.
Training on the Interim Guidelines for the Direct Release and Administration of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses
PHILJA conducted the first Training on the Interim Guidelines for the Direct Release and Administration of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) Budget for Lower Courts on November 24 at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City. The training oriented the 67 participating judges and clerks of court from Regions IV and V on the processes of the direct allocation, release, and utilization of the MOOE budget for lower courts under Administrative Matter No. 17-08-9-SC.
Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva delivered the opening remarks and discussed the General Overview: Covered Expenditure, Annual Allocation for Maintenance, Supplies and Minor Repairs, Release of MOOE Budget, Schedule of Release, SDOs, and Role of Executive Judges, Judges and Clerks of Court. Other topics discussed during the one-day activity were: Role of Court Financial Aides by Atty. Racquel M. Ladrillano, Assistant Chief of Office, Office of Administrative Services, Office of the Court Administrator; Distribution of MOOE and Liquidation of MOOE by Assistant Court Administrator Lilian C. Barribal-Co; and Modes of Procurement by Atty. Ma. Carina M. Cunanan, Assistant Chief of Office, Office of Administrative Services, Supreme Court, and Atty. Michael B. Ocampo from the Office of the Chief Justice. An open forum followed each lecture and workshops were also conducted particularly on the distribution and liquidation of MOOE.
Assistant Court Administrator Barribal-Co thanked the participants for their active participation and congratulated them for completing the orientation training during the closing ceremony.
The draft of the Interim Guidelines for the Direct Release and Administration of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) Budget for the Lower Courts was prepared by a Technical Working Group composed of DCA Villanueva, chairperson; Atty. Cunanan, vice chairperson; and Atty. Ocampo, Ms. Maria Cresencia Sunga (Office of the Chief Justice), Atty. Ladrillano, Ms. Febella Guillermo (Financial Management Office-OCA), Ms. Liza Laurenciano (Financial Management Office-OCA), Arch. Arvin M. Natividad (Office on the Halls of Justice-OCA), Ms. Anne Fundales (Office of Administrative Services-SC), and Ms. Lilianne Ulgado/Ms. Marilyn de Joya (Financial Management and Budget Office-SC), as members. The draft guidelines was approved through Administrative Matter No. 17-08-9-SC dated August 22, 2017, which also directed the release of the budget for the conduct of a pilot training for lower court employees.
Eighth International Conference on the Training of the Judiciary
The Supreme Court, through the Philippine Judicial Academy, hosted the Eighth International Conference on the Training of the Judiciary on November 5–9 at the Shangri-La at The Fort in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, the first International Organization for Judicial Training (IOJT) Conference held in Asia.
Supreme Court of the Philippines Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno graced the opening ceremonies and warmly welcomed the attendees and guests from the 28 participating countries. She said in her keynote message that “it is a great honor on the part of the Supreme Court of the Philippines to host this monumental occasion as it affirms the Philippine judiciary’s commitment to collaborate and cooperate with global counterparts in pursuance of the IOJT’s objective of promoting the Rule of Law by supporting the work of judicial education institutions around the world.”
Since the first IOJT Conference on Training for the Judiciary was held in Jerusalem in 2002, Chief Justice Sereno added that “we have in the past decade and a half shared, discussed, and analyzed significant sundry issues in the field of judicial education. From the key guidelines to be followed in publishing bench books, to challenges and opportunities facing the need for technical expertise and perspectives of the judiciaries of Singapore, Pakistan, and Nepal in the orientation and training of their judges to the current development in the methodology of judicial training in Europe as well as best practices in the member states of the European Union, in training their judges and prosecutors; from the impact of social context in Canadian judicial education to the Belgian experience in the management training of magistrates; from gender-sensitivity, globalization, and good practices to the role of academic collaborations and enhancing and enriching judicial experience and education.”
Chief Justice Sereno also said that “while it is imperative that we who are at the forefront of policy formulation and implementation in our respective judiciaries actively seek novel approaches in the improvement of judicial administration, it is more crucial that we do not lose sight of the reason behind our common objective of improving efficiency and accuracy in our judicial processes, and that is the protection of the Rule of Law and the human rights of our people. Thus as we here remain pro-active proponents of the advancement of the quality of judicial education, we likewise must remain mindful that we are doing so in order to have a direct impact on the protection of the life, liberty, and security of ordinary people.”
The Chief Justice also underscored that the judiciary can only be a judiciary worthy of its name if its pronouncements are undergirded by core values that are rooted in its commitment to the dignity of the human being and the respect that such dignity commands.
“These core values that uphold the dignity of the human being, according to Chief Justice Sereno, are what makes for the rule of law. “And it is the Rule of Law that will allow human society to continue in a spirit of solidarity. The Rule of Law in any time and in any context will allow humanity to not only survive but to flourish in peace and prosperity. It is my hope that the future of the human race, how well it survives and develops, is in large part in the good hands of the judiciary,” Chief Justice Sereno said.
Meanwhile, IOJT President and retired justice of the Supreme Court of Israel Eliezer Rivlin provided a brief history of the IOJT in his opening message. “Fifteen years ago, a group of judicial training institutes of 10 countries met to inaugurate the first International Organization for Judicial Training,” he said. “But, 20 years ago, judicial educators who came together in Sao Paulo, Brazil had a vision to work for the benefit of the international community by promoting judicial training, ethics and principles that would try to help judicial educators throughout the world. Here in the Philippines, a final draft of the universal ethics and principles will be presented to us at this Conference,” Justice Rivlin added.
Justice Rivlin also noted that “the vision of the founding fathers is now shared by 129 members from 79 countries that are all willing to let their voices heard and to share their experiences for the benefit of the international community.”
The three-and-a-half-day IOJT Conference gathered 178 participants, including 38 Philippine judges and 33 local delegates. Ms. Mary Campbell McQueen, IOJT Secretary General and President of the National Center for State Courts, was also present.
Gathered under the theme “Judicial Education 2025 – Core Values and Future Innovations,” the delegates discussed best practices, emerging issues and the latest developments in the field of judicial education and trainings during the Conference’s 2 plenary meetings and 22 parallel sessions that featured magistrates, senior judicial officials and judicial education leaders from different parts of the world as speakers, panelists, moderators and facilitators.
The International Judicial Training Principles, developed by a distinguished IOJT Work Group, was presented to and approved by the delegates during the third day of the Conference. This declaration provides a number of judicial training guiding principles, elucidating how IOJT members conceptualize and implement judicial training in their respective jurisdiction.
The delegates also visited the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City on November 7. Justice Rivlin and PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, led the planting of the IOJT trees at the front of the lodging building. Four sessions were later held at the Computer Training Room, Global Distance Learning Center, Auditorium, and Lecture Rooms 1 and 2 of the PTC.
The Conference also showcased the best of Filipino hospitality, talent and artistry during the various cultural and social events, including the superb performance of El Gamma Penumbra, a Filipino shadow play dance group, who was declared Asia’s Got Talent First Grand Winner in 2015.
PHILJA Conducts First Validation Workshop on the Revision of the Handbook for Sheriffs
Members of the Technical Working Group, resource person and participants pose for a photograph after the Validation Workshop on the Revision of the Sheriffs’ Handbook
The Philippine Judicial Academy has started the revision of the Handbook for Sheriffs with a one-day validation workshop with 22 selected judges, clerks of court, sheriffs and legal practitioners held on September 20 at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell Center, Makati City.
Dean Sedfrey Candelaria, Head of PHILJA’s Research, Publications and Linkages Office (RPLO), facilitated the workshop aimed at verifying from the participants the proper procedures to be observed in implementing court orders, as well as the problem areas encountered by sheriffs in the performance of their tasks. Participants were also asked to identify the extent of revision to be done on the existing handbook.
Atty. Arturo Noblejas from the Office of the Court Administrator was invited as a resource person. Also in attendance were members of the Technical Working Group (TWG), including Judge Racquelen A. Vasquez (Executive Judge RTC Pasay City), Mr. Fernando Regino (RTC Br. 94, Quezon City, President of the Sheriffs Confederation of the Philippines [SCOPHIL]), and Mr. Gavin P. Reyala (RTC Br. 40, Manila, Treasurer of SCOPHIL).
The handbook, first published by PHILJA in 1999 and updated in 2003, provides sheriffs with useful reference to the many important and sensitive tasks that they discharge. With the latest issuances, guidelines and jurisprudence involving the tasks of sheriffs since 2003, the PHILJA Board of Trustees approved on February 3, 2017 the proposal of the Academic Council to revise the handbook. PHILJA’s RPLO headed by Dean Candelaria was tasked to spearhead the handbook revision project.
The TWG was created on June 2, 2017 to oversee the project with Dean Candelaria as chairperson. Other members of the TWG are Atty. Megan Daphne D. Musni (Office of the Court Administrator) and Atty. Gregorio C. Tallud (Clerk of Court, RTC Quezon City).
Another validation workshop, this time on the initial draft of the revised handbook, will be held in February 2018. The TWG is set to submit the revised Handbook for Sheriffs by the first quarter of 2018.
Public Forum on Law and Economics
One hundred thirty-nine participants attended the Public Forum on Law and Economics featuring the topic “Competition Policy: A Comparative Perspective” conducted by the Academy on November 23 at the Ateneo Law School in Makati City. The forum is an initiative of the British Embassy Manila in support of the Supreme Court’s capacity building efforts on law and economics, specifically on the relevance of competition policy and knowledge sharing on the best practices in competition law.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen mentioned in his welcome remarks that “Economics, is sometimes misunderstood as law. Some associate it with only neoliberalism. x x x” As such, he expressed hope that the topics for the one-day activity will provide the participants with more insights on law and economics. He also thanked the British government and the British Embassy for providing support in these Court initiatives and looked forward to the conduct of more fora that will engage the academe and the other publics of the court in continuing and mutual dialogues on law and economics.
Meanwhile, His Excellency Daniel Pruce, Her Majesty’s Ambassador, stated in his opening message that he is grateful to the SC, through Justice Leonen, for the conduct of the forum and expressed hope for a sustained partnership. He likewise recognized the efforts of the Philippine government in setting the groundwork for an effective competition regime in the country, noting that the United Kingdom has been a close partner in the passing of the Philippine competition law, creation of Philippine Competition Commission, and the inclusion of the National Competition Policy in the Philippine government plan.
The first session dealt on the Relevance of Competition Policy. Atty. Anthony A. Abad, Faculty at the Ateneo Law School discussed the Legal Perspective: Competition Law in the Philippines. A panel from the University of the Philippines School of Economics Faculty led by Professors Ma. Joy V. Abrenica, Emmanuel S. de Dios, Laarni C. Escresa and Raul V. Fabella delved on the Economic Perspective: Consumer Welfare and Economic Growth.
The second session on International Perspective, Challenges, and Opportunities for Growth, focused on the United Kingdom experience and global challenges, were discussed by Dr. Maria Ioannidou, Senior Lecturer in Competition Law at the School of Law of Queen Mary University of London.
A lively and thought-provoking open forum ensued after the lecture sessions, actively participated by Ateneo Law students.
Philippine Competition Commission Chairperson Arsenio M. Balisacan, who was present during the forum, also enthusiastically responded to the questions raised by the public forum participants.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna delivered the closing remarks. He briefly discussed the interface between law and economics, and the balancing act and innovations in competition policy. He also thanked the British Embassy, the Ateneo Law School, the lecturers from the University of the Philippines School of Economics, Competition Management Association, and Queen Mary University of Law for their insights, and the participants for attending the public forum.
Pilot Training on International Humanitarian Law for Judges,
Prosecutors, and Law Enforcement Officers
The Academy conducted the Pilot Training on International Humanitarian Law on August 15 and 16 at the Garden Orchid Hotel in Zambaonga City, in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Twenty-nine participants attended the one-and-a-half-day training designed to enhance their knowledge of the principles of international humanitarian law and the issues and concerns about the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity (Republic Act No. 9851).
Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez delivered the opening remarks setting the tone of the training. Mr. Boris Kelecevic, Deputy Head for Prevention and Communication of the ICRC, gave a message and welcomed the participants. The following lectures were then delivered: Understanding the International Committee of the Red Cross by ICRC Legal Officer Atty. Monalisa Barro; Classification of Armed Conflict by ICRC International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Coordinator and Legal Advisor Atty. Evecar Cruz Ferrer; Principles of the International Humanitarian Law by PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna; and Republic Act No. 9851: Issues and Concerns by Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Head of PHILJA Research, Publications and Linkages Office.
Parallel workshops were conducted on the second day, one for judges facilitated by Naga City RTC Br. 61 Presiding Judge Soliman M. Santos, Jr., and another for prosecutors and law enforcement officers led by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony D. Fadullon.
The first workshop required the judges to work on a certain case problem. The prosecutors and law enforcement officers, on the other hand, were divided into three groups and were asked to prepare their respective group’s sworn statement, an investigation blue print and an Information to be submitted to the judges’ group at the end of the workshop session.
During the second workshop, judges were asked to prepare and issue the proper Orders based on the outputs submitted to them by the three groups during the first workshop. Meanwhile, the prosecutors and the law enforcement officers discussed the proposed elements of the crimes punishable by RA No. 9851 facilitated by DOJ Assistant State Prosecutor Samina S. Macabando-Usman.
At the plenary held in the afternoon of the second day, a panel composed of PHILJA Chancellor Azcuna, Judge Santos, Dean Candelaria, SDSP Fadullon, and Atty. Ferrer-Cruz critiqued the outputs of the prosecutors’ and law enforcement oficers’ groups. Questions from the participants were also answered by the panel, making the plenary a lively discussion of the issues and challenges that the participants will face in applying IHL and RA No. 9851 to the cases they will encounter in their respective courts and stations.
The participants also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the DOJ, through Undersecretary Reynante B. Orceo, and the ICRC, through its Head of Delegation Mr. Pascal Porchet, for continued training and other activities in furtherance of international humanitarian law.
The IHL training ended with the message of thanks from Mr. Porchet and the closing remarks of PHILJA Chancellor Azcuna.
Basic Mediation Course Curriculum Review
On August 24 to 25, PHILJA conducted a curriculum review of the Basic Mediation Course (BMC) at the Bayview Park Hotel, Manila. Thirteen mediators from the different Philippine Mediation Center Units in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, as well as members of the PHILJA Corps of Professors handling court-annexed mediation topics, participated in the activity aimed at revising the BMC curriculum and finalizing a standard and coherent training program for prospective court-annexed mediators.
PHILJA Executive Secretary Justice Marina L. Buzon emphasized in her welcome remarks that the activity is important because its end goal is to give prospective mediators an appropriate training to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude in the effective performance of their roles as court-annexed mediators.
Atty. Brenda Jay C. Angeles-Mendoza, Chief of Office for Philippine Mediation Center, presented the proposed revisions to the curriculum, which is now focused on the skills that mediators should learn rather than the stages of mediation. The revised curriculum aims to achieve the following objectives: (1) understand the nature and sources of conflicts among parties; (2) learn the concept and principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Supreme Court’s court-annexed mediation program; (3) understand the mediation process and the role of the mediator in helping the parties achieve mutually-satisfactory resolution of their disputes; and (4) learn specific mediator skills that are required to effectively perform their role as court-annexed mediators.
Workshop sessions were also conducted to finalize the module materials, the BMC program flow, including the time allotment of each session, session guides, and training methodologies and activities.
Commissioner Linda L. Malenab-Hornilla, Chair of the PHILJA Alternative Dispute Resolution Department, in her closing remarks, thanked all the mediators for their active participation in the successful two-day curriculum review.
Since its initial offering in 2000, the Academy has conducted 41 BMC training programs.
We are One @ 21: The 2017 PHILJA Foundation Day Celebration
The Philippine Judicial Academy unveiled its Vision, Mission and Core Values to the 149 officials, faculty and employees gathered on March 10 to celebrate the Academy’s 21st founding anniversary.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, PHILJA Vice Chancellor Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., and PHILJA Executive Secretary Justice Marina L. Buzon led the unveiling of the framed poster of the PHILJA Vision, Mission and Core Values. An audio-visual presentation was shown during the program to explain the Academy’s vision, mission and core values, which was approved by the PHILJA Board of Trustees on May 12, 2016 through Resolution No. 16-08.
In her opening prayer, Judge Thelma A. Ponferrada lifted up and asked the Lord to bless PHILJA’s roadmap and its mission “to develop judicial competence, instill sound values, and form proactive attitudes in the pursuit of excellence.” The PHILJA Choir then rendered a doxology.
Justice Callejo welcomed the officials and staff and acknowledged their unswerving and selfless dedication and perseverance to achieve the vision and mission of the judiciary. “Inevitably, our vision that ‘by 2030, PHILJA will be the leading provider of globally relevant, responsive and effective training for the judiciary in the ASEAN region’ will become a reality,” he said. “The Academy, through the collective efforts of all the past and present officials, employees and the Corps of Professors, has achieved international standards and is representative of the entire courts it serves,” Justice Callejo added.
In his traditional and awaited anniversary message, Justice Azcuna thanked everyone for being a team.
“Teamwork has been the characterizing and defining element of PHILJA,” Justice Azcuna said. Thus, he rallied all PHILJAns to embody the Academy’s core values: Professionalism, Honor, Inclusiveness, Leadership,
Judicial Training Excellence and Accountability.
Another AVP entitled PHILJA Soaring High @ 20 was shown presenting the achievements and highlights of the Academy in its two decades of existence.
The Academy’s institutional awards were handed out during the afternoon program. The 2017 Chancellor’s Awardee was Atty. Ma. Melissa R. Dimson-Bautista, chosen for her leadership in the over-all management and supervision of the activities and staff of the Research and Development Division of the Research, Publications and Linkages Office; for her solid work, tireless efficiency and role in the entire phase of the construction of the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City; for going above and beyond the call of duty in assisting the Chancellor in the legal and supervisory aspects of the said project; and for her total commitment in the pursuit of excellence in the judiciary.
This year’s PHILJA Model Employee (supervisory) was awarded to Atty. Ulidia B. Mabansag of the Philippine Mediation Center Office, and the PHILJA Model Employee (non-supervisory) was given to Mr. Diodel R. Ametin of the Office of the Vice Chancellor.
Four employees were recognized for their 15 years of service to the Academy, namely: Mr. Romeo A. Arcullo, Mr. Bernardino M. Evangelista, Mr. Gerardo D. Pinca and Ms. Joan Marie C. Tejada; while six employees received loyalty awards for their 10 years of service, namely: Ms. Charmaine S. Nicolas, Mr. Quirino V. Itliong II, Ms. Suzette P. Valdez, Ms. Sarah Jane S. Salazar, Ms. Christine A. Ferrer and Mr. Antonio P. Repiso.
PHILJA’s very own talents also performed song and dance numbers. During the socials, PHILJA officials and employees actively participated in exciting games prepared by the host offices: The Price is Right, Jack ‘en Poy, Minute to Win It and Meron o Wala.
This year’s program, entitled “We are One @ 21, The 2017 PHILJA Foundation Day Celebration,” was organized by the Research, Publications and Linkages Office, and the Administrative Office. The whole-day program was held at the Court of Appeals Auditorium.
Training on RA 9184 and Its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations for Sandiganbayan Justices, Court Attorneys and Court Personnel
The Philippine Judicial Academy conducted a Training on Republic Act No. 9184 and Its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations for Sandiganbayan Justices, Court Attorneys and Court Personnel on February 16 to 17 at the EDSA Shangri-la, Mandaluyong City. Held in partnership with the Sandiganbayan, The Australian Embassy–The Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines, and the Government Procurement Policy Board–Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO), the participating 17 justices, 32 court attorneys and 6 court personnel of the anti-graft court were updated on the latest developments in procurement laws and provided guidance on how to apply the laws in the preparation of their budget.
PHILJA Vice Chancellor Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. gave an opening remarks emphasizing that judicial reform is a continuing process that require training to enable participants to cope with rapid shifts in paradigms and processes. Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang delivered a message and thanked the partners for making the training possible.
Topics discussed during the two-day training were Overview and General Provisions of RA No. 9184 and Its IRR by Atty. Melissa A. Santiago-Yan, Deputy Executive Director V of GPPB-TSO; Procedures and Requirement for the Conduct of Standardized Competitive Bidding by Atty. Dennis S. Santiago, Executive Director of GPPB-TSO; Conditions and Procedures for the Resort to Alternative Methods of Procurement by Atty. Santiago-Yan; Offenses and Penalties under RA No. 9184 by Atty. Elmira S. Cruz-Caisado, Deputy Executive Director IV, GPPB-TSO; and Procurement Related Cases by Atty. Santiago.
On the last day of the training, Mr. Pablo Renato Lucero, Jr., Government Portfolio Manager of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Embassy, delivered a message followed by the closing remarks of Justice Delilah C. Vidallon-Magtolis, PHILJA Chief of Office for Academic Affairs.
PHILJA: Spreading Love, Hope and Joy (2016 Christmas Celebration)
Thirty-one children of the Little Angels Home, Inc. in Tagaytay City found Christmas merrier and more meaningful as the Philippine Judicial Academy embarked on its first charity project to “spread love, hope and joy” to the children-beneficiaries. The gift-giving project was held on December 9, kicking off the Academy’s Christmas celebration this year.
The Little Angels Home, Inc., established in 1998, is a child-caring facility providing 24-hour resident group care service for the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of mentally-gifted, dependent, abandoned, neglected, handicapped, disturbed, abused and exploited children. It is supervised by the sisters from the Handmaids of the Risen Christ Monastic Community (HRC).
Twenty-six PHILJA employees, 15 from Manila and 11 from the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay, handed out the special gifts, voluntarily donated by PHILJA officials and employees, consisting of sacks of rice, milk, canned goods and assorted groceries. They also brought and distributed lunch, tetra pack juice and cakes, much to the kids’ delight. During their two-hour stay, the staff played with the kids, shared stories with them and even took group photos with the children. The little angels, as an expression of their gratitude, rendered a dance number for the PHILJA staff.
The PHILJA staff were in accord that the charity project was a humbling and enriching experience. “Masarap sa pakiramdam na nakatulong ako sa kanila,” said Ms. Perla D. Villanueva, Utility Worker II from the Office of the Chancellor. Mr. Armando Marinduque, Household Attendant III from the PHILJA Training Center, cannot help but recall the happiness on the children’s faces. “Masaya ako na nakatulong ako sa kanila sa ganoong paraan at nakapagbahagi ng biyaya sa mga batang katulad nila,” he said. Because of the experience they gained and the happiness they felt during the charity project, they hope that a yearly outreach activity will be undertaken by the Academy.
The eight-minute audio-visual presentation (AVP) of the charity project was shown during the PHILJA Christmas Program held at the Auditorium of the Court of Appeals, Manila on December 19.
The program featured the annual Christmas pictorial and office parade, with the staff in Hawaiian-inspired outfits; Search for Videoke King and Queen won by Mr. Ricky E. Aznar and Ms. Lilian Catherine R. Arcullo; and the repeat of the winning “Freddie Mercury’s I Want to Break Free” performance of Mr. Brian Evangelista in the recently concluded SC Lip Sync Battle.
A surprise AVP was presented in honor of Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose “Pepe” P. Perez as one of the forerunners of the Academy. Justice Perez, in his response, recalled his deep involvement with PHILJA and thanked everyone for all the fruitful years of partnership with the Academy.
In his Christmas Message, PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna stressed three important virtues that the Academy learned in 2016: simplicity, compassion and thanksgiving. “Simplicity is accomplishing so much with so little and by being so we have produced world-class TPAs. Compassion is awareness of each other, forgiving the faults of one another and accepting your neighbor and co-worker. We also give thanks to God, who is the source of everything, for what we have, what we are and what we will be,” Justice Azcuna said. He likewise acknowledged the talents that PHILJA staff show, and congratulated the staff for the PHILJA achievements in 2016. He challenged everyone to continue to improve and shine internationally.
Special Course on International Criminal Law and Security
The Philippine Judicial Academy conducted the back to back Basic and Advanced Special Courses on International Criminal Law and Security (ICLS) in November, attended by a total of 91 participants, at the scenic PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City.
Fifty-five participants attended the Basic Special Course on International Criminal Law and Security held on November 21 to 24. Among those who attended the four-day course were PHILJA professorial lecturers, judges, court attorneys, lawyer-representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Solicitor General and Bureau of Immigration, and a member of the academe.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna in his opening remarks warmly welcomed the speakers and participants. He also thanked Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno for inviting international law experts as lecturers. Vice Chancellor Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. discussed the objectives of the special course and provided an overview of the various subjects included in the course.
Seven invited foreign and local international law experts discussed 23 topics during the entire basic course, to wit: Prof. Dr. David Cohen, Director of WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University (International Criminal Law Fundamentals Part I, Transitional Justice Case Studies: East Timor, Indonesia and Cambodia, Substantive Offenses: War Crimes, Substantive Offenses: Enslavement and Forcible Transfer, Modes of Liability: Joint Criminal Enterprise, Inciting, and Defences); Prof. Dr. Judge Fausto Pocar of the Appeals Chamber, International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Former President, ICTY (International Criminal Law Fundamentals Part II, Prosecuting International Crimes—Overview of International Mechanisms: ICTY and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [ICTR], Transitional Justice Case Studies: Special Tribunal for Lebanon [STL], European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo [EULEX] Courts and Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Substantive Offenses: Genocide, Substantive Offenses: Terrorization of Civilian Population, and Modes of Liability: Superior Responsibility, Ordering, Aiding and Abetting); Mr. Karim A. A. Khan Q.C., International Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Former Prosecutor at the the UN ICTY and ICTR, and Member of the Temple Garden Chambers, Temple, London (Prosecuting International Crimes: International Criminal Court, Substantive Offenses: Crimes Against Humanity, Substantive Offenses: Torture, Other Inhumane Acts and Persecution, Substantive Offenses: Extrajudicial Killings, Modes of Liability: Modes of Liability at the ICC, and Defences); Dato Shyamala Alagendra, International Defense Counsel, ICC, Former Prosecutor, and UN Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor, UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, and ICC (Transitional Justice Case Studies: Sierra Leone and Kenya, Substantive Offenses: Child Soldiers, and Substantive Offenses: Crimes of Sexual Violence); Atty. Katherine Vessels of the William S. Richardson School of Law (International Maritime Security Law, Maritime Security in Philippine Law); Prof. Jay Batongbacal, Director of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (Special Lecture on the West Philippine Sea); and Atty. Jeneline Nicolas of Desierto and Desierto Law Office (Overview on Philippine Law and the Incorporation of International Law).
A workshop was held in the afternoon session of the second day. Participants were divided into four groups to discuss a common case problem and suggest the most appropriate mechanism for the investigation and prosecution of the direct forms of violence committed against the victims, their families and communities. Each group then presented their outputs before a plenary session the following day.
Chief Justice Sereno graced the third day of the special course and delivered a message. She said it is important to understand international law and the context in which we are doing our work in order to really implement a rule of law-based system.
“We understand that the Constitution already accepts generally accepted principles of international law and has already incorporated them. We actually have unique statutes that incorporated many of the principles that already govern the relations of nations. x x x And that is why in my desire to increase the profile of the Philippine judiciary as a beacon of freedom and democracy in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia, I thought that it must be that we will really reach the cream or the elite of the legal firmament, so they will be equipped with the means to understand in this fast-changing world in which we are operating. We cannot give up our role as a beacon of democracy enshrined by the 1987 Constitution and witnessed by the whole world. This requires us therefore to always live as a rules-based society and for this we must understand the context, parameters, and the fast-changing developments,” the Chief Justice said.
Chief Justice Sereno also expressed her gratefulness for the friendships that have been forged with the speakers and thanked them for finding time to travel all the way to the Philippines to share their knowledge and expertise on various aspects of international law.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose P. Perez gave the closing remarks, which was read by his representative, Atty. Arturo B. Noblejas. Justice Perez noted that the presentations and panel discussions during the four-day course were thought-provoking and enlightening, and there was a lively dynamic interaction and informative discussion with experts from abroad about international law and security.
“You, my friends, were introduced to the international significance and therefore, international concern about the crime; to the international reaction to their commission and the freely concluded discussions about what has been aptly called ‘man’s inhumanity to man.’ Serious focus has also been given to the modes of liability under the international criminal court. Very interesting were the discussions on international maritime security law and maritime security in the Philippine law x x x the most controversial is the topic on the West Philippine Sea Dispute of which the Philippines is a major stakeholder,” he said.
Justice Perez also expressed his gratitude to PHILJA for continuously making him a part of its activities. “I give special significance to my participation in the activity considering that I have a personal attachment to the Academy having been at its service from conceptualization to institutionalization, from its hand held days towards maturescence until virtual renewability,” his message reads. He further recognized the Academy for its “superb efforts” in organizing the event and thanked its staff for their efficient service and support.
Meanwhile, the Advanced Special Course on International Criminal Law and Security was held on November 24 to 26 with 36 participants comprising judges, court attorneys and lawyer-representatives from various government agencies who have completed the Special Course on International Criminal Law and Security held on January 18 to 22 and the Basic Course on ICLS on November 21 to 24.
Topics discussed during the advanced course were: The West Philippine Sea Dispute by Prof. Jay Batongbacal; Jurisdiction of the ICC-Exercise of Jurisdiction: Complementarity, Admissibility and Deferral Case Study Kenya and Libya Situation by Mr. Karim A. A. Khan Q.C. and Dato Shyamala Alagendra; Substantive Offenses: Extrajudicial Killings by Mr. Khan; Modes of Liability: Individual Criminal Responsibility by Prof. Dr. Judge Fausto Pocar; and Substantive Offenses: Enslavement and War Crimes by Prof. Dr. David Cohen. Day two lecture topics were Substantive Offenses: Terrorisation of Civilian Population and Persecution by Judge Pocar; Modes of Liability: Superior Responsibility by Prof. Cohen; and International Trials by Judge Pocar and Mr. Khan.
A moot court exercise during the afternoon session of the second day of the program was facilitated by Judge Pocar, Prof. Cohen, Mr. Khan and Dato Alagendra. Participants were divided into three groups (Group 1 - Prosecution; Group 2 - State; Group 3 - Defense) and worked on a common three-part ICC Moot Court Fact Pattern - The Kingdom of Zell.
On the third day, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio delivered a Lecture on the West Philippine Sea Dispute. PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna delivered the closing remarks.
The basic and advanced courses on ICLS required participants to register online through the ICLS microsite found on the PHILJA website. The ICLS microsite, which also contains relevant information on the special course, was created through the efforts of the Academy’s PHILJA Administrative Office, and the Research, Publications and Linkages Office.
2016 Biotechnology Outreach Program
The United States Department of State, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, conducted the 2016 Biotechnology Outreach Program Manila on November 16, 2016 at the Diamond Hotel, Manila.
Thirty-three participants attended the half-day activity, among them were four Court of Appeals Justices headed by Presiding Justice Andres B. Reyes, Jr., five Environmental court judges of NCJR, two staff from the Office of Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen, six PHILJA officials led by the PHILJA Chancellor, Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, and 16 PHILJA personnel.
Mr. Ralph Bean, Agricultural Counselor from the US Department of Agriculture gave the opening remarks. Justice Oswaldo D. Agcaoili, PHILJA Professor II, introduced the speaker, Dr. Wayne Parrott, Professor from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Parrott talked about the global trends in crop biotechnology. Specifically, he explained genetic modification, genetically modified organisms/crops, US biotechnology regulations and GMO labelling.
Dr. Parrott has a degree in Agronomy from the University of Kentucky, and MS and PhD degrees in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin. The program, now on its 10th year, helps identify scientists to come out and speak on biotechnology issues, ranging from regulatory issues to latest technologies that are being used in the field.
Cybercrime and the Courts: A Roundtable Discussion
The Academy, in partnership with the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, through its Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT), conducted the first Cybercrimes and the Courts: A Roundtable Discussion held on October 21, 2016 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Manila.
The roundtable discussion was attended by 15 participants, among them judges and representatives from the Philippine and US Departments of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police and the academe. The participating judges shared the challenges, issues and concerns that confront them in handling cybercrimes cases and those involving digital information.
PHILJA Chief of Office for Academic Affairs Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis delivered the welcome remarks. US-DOJ-OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor Mr. Eric S. O’Malley, in his message, stressed that “digital evidence is an exceptional evidence of crime and that we should take advantage of this type of evidence.” He also expressed hope that an introductory training course on cybercrime for judges will be crafted and offered to the judges.
Judge Maria Rowena M. San Pedro, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 158, Pasig City, facilitated the session on Challenges, Issues and Concerns in Handling Cybercrimes Cases, while Prof. Jose Jesus M. Disini, Jr., Vice Chair of PHILJA Department of Technology, facilitated the Content Development and Training Design session.
Nepalese Supreme Court Delegation Study Tour
On September 28, 2016, a three-member delegation from the Supreme Court of Nepal visited PHILJA for a study tour. Coinciding with the regular meeting of the PHILJA Academic Council (AC), PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, together with the Department Heads and Members of the Council welcomed the delegation composed of Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai, Justice Meera Khadka and Undersecretary Sandesh Shrestha at the SC Dignitaries Lounge.
A simple ceremony was held wherein, after a short Welcome Remarks from Chancellor Azcuna, a video presentation about the Philippine Judicial Academy was shown. This was followed by an interesting exchange of ideas and experiences from both delegation(s).
Surprisingly, this was not the first time that the said delegation visited the Philippines. Justice Bhattarai shared that in 2003, they attended a training/forum sponsored by the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center with the hope of getting some ideas as they were then also putting up a judicial academy, which later became the National Judicial Academy of Nepal.
Justice Bhattarai also mentioned during the discussion that Nepal borrowed a lot of legal principles from the Philippine Judiciary. The principles of our Code of Judicial Conduct, in particular, were adopted by the Nepal judiciary. They also conduct trainings for the members of the judiciary and information dissemination for the public in general. Similarities in the process of selection and appointment of judges and justices were also shared.
After the program, the delegation proceeded with a quick tour of the Supreme Court Main Building. They complimented the En Banc Session Hall and were impressed with the SC Library and its Archiving Section.
Justice Bhattarai expressed his gratitude to PHILJA for the warm accommodation they extended to the delegation and wishes to host PHILJA in the Nepal Judicial Academy in the future.
PHILJA Chancellor Receives
Lux-in-Domino Award, Delivers Lecture
on Judicial Education in the Philippines
Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy, received the Lux-in-Domino (Light in the Lord) Award given by the Ateneo de Manila University at the Special Academic Convocation held on September 27, 2016 at the Henry Lee Irwin Theatre, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. The Lux-in-Domino Award is a capstone award that requires the crowning achievement of both life and work, given to an extraordinary individual who has incarnated in life, in an outstanding and exemplary manner, the noblest ideals of the Ateneo de Manila University. Recipients of the award are chosen exclusively from the ranks of alumni or alumnae of the Ateneo de Manila University.
Justice Azcuna was cited by the Ateneo de Manila University for being “a selfless public servant who puts country before self and as a man of deep faith whose devotion to his family is unchanging; for devoting more than 50 years of his life to judicial work, driven by a commitment to the delivery of justice; and, for ensuring the protection of every Filipino’s constitutional right to life, liberty and security through the writ of amparo,” among others.
The Lux-in-Domino recipient of Ateneo’s 2016 Traditional University Awards likewise delivered a public lecture entitled “Training the Judiciary – The Philippine Experience 1996–2016,” last September 29, 2016 at the APS Auditorium, Ateneo Professional Schools, Rockwell Drive, Makati City. The Chancellor gave the audience, composed mostly of law students and law professors, a quick peek on PHILJA’s mission, vision, organizational structure and curriculum.
The Chancellor emphasized that the highlight of PHILJA’s tasks are to train the judges of tomorrow, through its Pre-Judicature Program (PJP), and to continuously update the judges whenever there is a major change in jurisprudential doctrines. In response to the questions raised during the open forum, Justice Azcuna remarked that the most difficult subject to teach both for incumbent and aspiring judges, is judicial ethics because of a lot of gray areas, while PHILJA’s best contribution is teaching judges to maintain judicial independence through enhancement of their knowledge and mindset.
Strategic Performance Management
System Trainers’ Training
PHILJA conducted the first Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) Trainers’ Training on July 5 and 9 at the Court of Tax Appeals Multi-Purpose Hall, Quezon City. Fifty-six participants, composed of OCA and lower court personnel, attended the two-day training program designed to impart knowledge on the current rating system being implemented by government agencies as directed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC). As trainers, the participants will disseminate the details of the rating system to their respective jurisdictions and demonstrate how to accomplish the forms.
Lecture topics discussed during the first day of the training were: Core Functional Competency by Prof. Gavino N. Sagarino, Chief Judicial Staff Officer of the Employee Training and Development Division, Supreme Court–Office of Administrative Services (SC-OAS); and Performance-Based Planning and Budgeting by Atty. Renelie B. Mayuga, Judicial Reform Program Administrator, Supreme Court–Program Management Office. Workshops were held after each lecture.
The second day focused on the Overview of the SPMS in the Judiciary by Atty. Mayuga; Overview of the 360° and Coaching/Mentoring by Prof. Sagarino; and an SPMS workshop facilitated by Atty. Ma. Carina M. Cunanan, SC-OAS Assistant Chief of Office. Participants asked clarification and raised their concerns on the SPMS during the open forum held at the end of the second day sessions. As a take-home exercise and output, the participants were tasked to submit, through email, their respective draft Office Performance Commitment Review (OPCR) a week after the training.
The SPMS is a rating system based on objectively measured output and performance of personnel and units that links employees’ performance with the agency vision, mission and strategic goals. In 2012, the CSC issued Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 2012, requiring all government agencies including local government units, government-owned and/or controlled corporations and state universities and colleges to craft their respective performance evaluation system and prescribing the guidelines in the establishment and implementation of agency SPMS. The Supreme Court has already established its own guidelines for the implementation of SPMS in the judiciary.
Since July this year, PHILJA has already conducted nine SPMS trainers’ training.
13th Metrobank Foundation
Professorial Chair Lecture: Remedial Law as an Instrument to Promote Social Justice
and Environmental Protection
The 13th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture featuring the topic Remedial Law as an Instrument to Promote Social Justice and Environmental Protection was delivered by Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Magdangal M. de Leon, the 2016 holder of the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair in Remedial Law and Chair of PHILJA’s Remedial Law Department, on August 18 at the CA Auditorium. Two hundred ninety-two participants attended the lecture.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna delivered the welcome remarks followed by the message of Mr. Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, president of Metrobank Foundation, Inc.
Justice de Leon’s lecture emphasized “the role that remedial law plays in the promotion of social justice and, equally important, in protecting the environment. Katarungang panlipunan at pangangalaga sa kapaligiran.”
The first part of his lecture focused on social justice and its underpinning guiding principles. Justice de Leon said, “First, the state, as parens patriae, and guardian of the general welfare of the people, should afford protection to the needy and the less fortunate members of society, and second, those who have less in life should have more in law to give them a better chance at competing with those who have more in life. Ang mga dahop sa buhay ay kailangan ng higit na kalinga ng batas.”
Justice de Leon further said that “it is with respect to labor that the promotion of social justice finds articulation.” Thus, he discussed how the ethical construct in favor of labor is implemented in relation to procedure. Particularly, he delved on the termination of employment, serious misconduct, willful disobedience, gross and habitual neglect, abandonment, fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer, commission of crime or offense, floating status, transfer or demotion of employee, closure of establishment and reduction of personnel, payment of monetary claims – burden of proof on employer, and seafarers.
Aside from promoting social justice, Justice de Leon stressed that remedial law has proven to be an effective algorithm in the crusade to protect the environment. He discussed the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases (A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC dated April 9, 2010); the adoption in the Rules of the liberal legal standing rule as expressed in the landmark case of Oposa v. Factoran; the issue of locus standi as raised again in the Resident Marine Mammals of the Protected Seascape Tañon Strait v. Secretary Angelo Reyes; the citizen suit; the Oposa doctrine as part of the World Declaration on the Environmental Rule of Law, an outcome of the First World Environmental Law Congress held in Rio de Jainero on April 27–29, 2016 (the Philippines was one of the four Asian countries represented in the Congress, and is a signatory to the Charter of the Institute, signed by the delegates on April 29, 2016). Justice de Leon then discussed the writ of continuing mandamus, also under the Rules, issued by the Court in Metropolitan Development Authority v. Residents of Manila Bay; the Boracay Foundation Inc. v. The Province of Aklan, involving a petition for issuance of TEPO; the petition for a writ of kalikasan in West Tower Condominium Corporation v. First Philippine Industrial Corporation and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, Inc. (ISAAA) v. Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines) and Magsasaka at Siyentipiko sa Pagpapaunlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG).
Justice de Leon highlighted that “at the core of environmental justice is the fusion of environmental protection and social justice. Thus, the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases serves two noble objectives—environmental protection as well as social justice.” The Rules according to him can be called remedial law for planet earth.
After the lecture, CA Associate Justices Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles and Maria Filomena D. Singh gave their respective reactions.
Since 2004, 13 PHILJA Professors have delivered professorial chair lectures in various fields of law under the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture. It is endowed by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. to assist the Academy’s judicial education programs by providing grants to its Corps of Professors to write and publish books and treatises with innovative concepts and approaches in designated areas of law.
ASIAN MEDIATION ASSOCIATION
Annual General Meeting, October 19, 2016 and
Fourth AMA Conference, October 20–21, 2016
China Palace Hotel, Beijing, China
The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) and the Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) participated in the Asian Mediation Association (AMA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 19, 2016 and the Fourth AMA Conference on October 20–21, 2016 held at the China Palace Hotel in Beijing, China.
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)/China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) Mediation Center hosted this year’s Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference. The theme of the Fourth AMA Conference is “New Global Trend of Mediation-Similarities and Differences.” The two-day international event provided a platform for about 350 mediators and professionals across Asia to exchange insights and share invaluable experience on mediation.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, PMCO Chief Atty. Brenda Jay Angeles Mendoza and PMCO’s SC Chief Judicial Staff Officer Mr. Jose T. Name, Jr. participated on Official Business during the said events. The Philippine Mediation Center’s contingent during the Conference included a Clerk of Court, 19 Accredited Court-Annexed Mediators, and 1 PMC Unit Staff.
The Asian Mediation Association (AMA) started in Singapore on August 17, 2007. The objective of the Asian Mediation Association is to promote the use and development of mediation in Asia and the rest of the world through strengthening members’ cooperation and association. Its members include the leading Mediation Centres in Asia, such as Bahrain, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
The AGM provided a venue for the Hong Kong Mediation Centre to report about the purpose of AMA in the past year. It also provided the opportunity for its members to report on their respective performance for the year, including legal/judicial support from their countries. The AGM further discussed the membership application of the Bangladesh International Mediation Centre; the establishment and operation of the CCPIT/CCOIC Mediation Center that would focus on cross-border mediation; and the development of mediation in Mongolia through their Commercial Dispute Resolution Centre at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), the newest AMA member. The next AGM will be held in either Thailand or Indonesia in 2017, while the Fifth AMA conference will be held in Indonesia in 2018.
The two-day conference focused mainly on the following topics: (i) Court and Diverse Dispute Resolution Mechanism Reform; (ii) Comparison on Lawyer Mediation Mechanism Between Eastern and Western Countries; (iii) International Trend of On-line Dispute Resolution; (iv) Differences of People’s Mediation or Community Mediation in Relation to Eastern and Western Context; (v) Mediation Practice and Successful Cases Sharing; (vi) How Do Mediation and Arbitration Play Their Respective Roles in Resolving Disputes Arising from Foreign Commerce; (vii) History and Development of Mediation Structures of AMA Members; and (viii) Cultural Differences and Mediation Techniques Between Asian and Western Countries.
In the session on “History and Development of Mediation Structure of AMA Members” on October 21, 2016, Justice Azcuna talked about the “History and Development of ADR Structures in the Philippines.”
The Conference served as an excellent platform in the exchange of knowledge and in sharing invaluable experience in the promotion and facilitation of the use of mediation as a means of amicably settling disputes. It was also an opportunity for the members to strengthen networks and pursue cooperation and collaborative work on mediation, especially as regard cross-border and internationalized disputes that relate to trade and commerce.
Mr. Jose T. Name, Jr.
Judicial Training on Cybercrime
In June, PHILJA conducted the Basic Judicial Training on Cybercrime for Judges, the Advanced Judicial Training on Cybercrime and the Judicial Conference on Cybercrime at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City, in partnership with the Council of Europe (COE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The conduct of these activities is part of the country-specific activities of the Global Action on Cybercrime (GLACY) Project implemented by the European Union and the COE. The Philippines is one of the priority countries of the GLACY Project along with Mauritius, Senegal, Tonga, Morocco, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
The Basic Judicial Training on Cybercrime for Judges, held on June 15 to 17, was attended by 17 second level court judges. The lecture topics discussed during the three-day training were Introduction to Technology by Mr. Ariel Rodriguez, Head of the National ICT Training Division of the DOST-ICTO; Introduction to Cybercrime, and Rules on Electronic Evidence by Judge Romeo D. Tagra of RTC Br. 273, Marikina City; Trends, Threats and Challenges─International Cooperation, and Republic Act No. 10175─Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 by Judge Rainelda H. Estacio-Montesa of RTC Br. 46, Manila; Budapest Convention on Cybercrime─Overview and Substantial Articles by Judge Philip A. Aguinaldo of RTC Br. 207, Muntinlupa City; and Procedures in Cybercrime Investigation by Head Agent Jed Sherwin G. Uy of the Department of Justice–Office of the Cybercrime. Participants took part in the practical exercises facilitated by Judge Tagra and Judge Estacio-Montesa. This training is the third in the series of similar trainings held in March and October 2015.
On the other hand, the Advanced Judicial Training on Cybercrime was conducted on June 20 to 22 as a follow up training for those who have already completed the basic training. During this course, COE trainers were tapped to share their expertise and experiences in cybercrime cases prosecution. Eighteen participants, composed of judges, prosecutors and lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office, actively participated in this advanced training. Lectures on Introduction to the Case Scenario (Mr. Branko Stamenkovic, Serbian Public Prosecutor), Developing an Investigation (Ms. Esther George, Founder of Global Prosecutors Electronic Evidence Network), Traditional and Alternative Currencies (Mr. Branko Stamenkovic), International Cooperation (Mr. Ammar Oozeer, Barrister and Senior Partner, Juristconsult Chambers, Mauritius), Digital Forensics (Mr. Branko Stamenkovic), and Presenting the Case in Court (Mr. Ammar Oozeer). In between lectures, participants were divided into several groups to work on: identifying crimes and developing an investigation plan; financial aspects of the scenario; international cooperation aspects of the scenario; identifying suspects and planning strategy; and finalizing the case. The delegates and trainers underwent a case review feedback session at the end of the five group activities.
Finally, the Judicial Conference on Cybercrime, held on June 23 to 24, was attended by 42 judges, prosecutors, representatives from the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation, and other guests. The conference aimed to provide an opportunity for judges and justices of the Philippine Supreme Court to share experiences and best practices in handling cybercrime cases and appreciation of electronic evidence; revisit existing laws, jurisprudence, treaties and conventions related to cybercrime cases and electronic evidence; and assess and identify gaps between the implementation of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and the existing Rules of Court and determine the action steps to address the same.
The Opening Ceremonies started off with a Message from GLACY Project Manager Mr. Manuel de Almeida Pereira where he gave a brief background of the GLACY Project and reiterated COE’s commitment to this project in the Philippines. Mr. Jed Sherwin G. Uy, Officer in Charge-Director of the DOJ Office of Cybercrime read the Message of Justice Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas, and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez read the Message of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.
In her Message, Chief Justice Sereno said that “there is a need for members of the Judiciary to maintain a proactive stance in postulating a comprehensive response to cybercrimes by prioritizing the adoption and sharing of best practices and tools, and by educating ourselves as to how we can best approach cybercrimes.”
The Chief Justice further said that “the Judiciary is in the process of studying the possibility of creating, through legislative intervention, or designating courts of general jurisdiction, as cybercrime courts to ensure that responsive actions are taken once cybercrime cases are filed in the courts. Development of specialized trainings, in coordination with key experts around the globe, are also being explored.” The Chief Justice’s Message ended with warmest felicitations to the participants and appreciation to the Academy, the DOJ, and the COE-GLACY Project.
Lectures discussed during the conference were Overview on Cybercrime and Cybersecurity in the Philippines by Atty. Raul Cortez of Microsoft Philippines (Industry Perspective), BGen Nicolas Ojeda, Jr. (Ret.), Deputy Executive Director of Department of Information and Communication Office (Philippine Perspective), and Justice O.B. Madhub, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Mauritius (International Perspective); Cybercrime and Our Laws by Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas P. Bersamin; Understanding Digital Forensics by PSI Levy B. Lozada, Chief of the Digital Forensic Laboratory, Philippine National Police; Prosecuting Cybercrime Cases by SDSP Theodore M. Villanueva, Chairperson of the Prosecution Task Force on Cybercrime, National Prosecution Service; Preparing a Case for Court Including Evidence Presentation Methods by Ms. Esther George; Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties in Cybercrime Investigations by DOJ Chief State Counsel Ricardo V. Paras III; Budapest Convention on Cybercrime by Hon. Madhub and Ms. George.
A sharing of international best practices and case studies, with Atty. Vencent L. Salido, Hon. Madhub and Ms. George as resource persons, was held during the morning session of the second day. In the afternoon, a panel composed of Court Administrator Marquez, Court of Appeals Associate Justice Apolinario D. Bruselas, Hon. Madhub and Ms. George discussed issues in cybercrime cases and formulation of action plan. Among others, the issues and suggestions raised during the open forum include the designation of cybercrime courts pursuant to Section 21 Chapter V of Republic Act No. 10175; lack of procedural remedies available to complainant situated outside the Philippine jurisdiction where no local consulate office can be found; authority of consular officials to administer oath in lieu of prosecutors for the complaint-affidavits; authority of prosecutors to administer oath using information technology in places without consular offices; importance of presenting the affiant in court and the suggestion to include in the draft rules to consider teleconference for affiants not in the Philippines; storage and custody of computer data if deposited before the court pursuant to Section 16 of RA No. 10175; procedure in dealing with the opening of sealed data; procedure in real time collection of traffic data; procedure in taking down a website committing cybercrime; and delineating the requirements for application of search warrant in connection with child abuse cases in relation to cybercrime cases.
The two-day program ended with the Closing Remarks of Mr. Pereira, PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, and Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano, which was read by National Prosecution Service Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore M. Villanueva. They thanked the organizers, trainers and experts for the opportunity to increase the participants’ capacities on prosecution and handling cybercrime and electronic evidence cases, with the hope for more opportunities for collaborations with each other in the future.
THE MILLENNIAL JUDGE: JUDICIAL EDUCATION AT THE CROSSROADS
2016 Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award
for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer
As this year’s recipient of the Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer, Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria delivered a lecture entitled The Millennial Judge: Judicial Education at the Crossroads on June 20 at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City. One hundred fifty-five participants, composed of Court of Appeals (CA), Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and Sandiganbayan justices, Supreme Court and PHILJA officials and employees, CA, CTA and Sandiganbayan employees, judges, branch clerks of court, and guests from other government agencies and the private sector, intently listened to Dean Candelaria’s one-hour-and-a-half special lecture, which was accompanied by an animated and engaging powerpoint presentation.
Dean Candelaria, who also heads the Academy’s Research, Publications and Linkages Office, explored the challenges confronting judicial educators in designing pedagogical tools and learning methods in light of the millennial era. His lecture advanced the proposition that the situation is shared by other jurisdictions similarly confronted with the changing environment fueled by globalization and its consequent impact on information technology and delivery of legal education in law schools today.
“The Philippine Judicial Academy in its early years muddled through the delivery of judicial education and training in a rather unchartered territory, but as it learned the ropes from comparative experiences of judicial education centers, PHILJA progressed in a manner beyond the modest expectations of the architects of this program,” Dean Candelaria emphatically said.
Dean Candelaria also discussed PHILJA’s ongoing Curriculum Review pursuant to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno’s directive to review the academic offerings and training program of the Academy in line with the Court’s judicial reform agenda. Chief Justice Sereno provided the Academy her vision, observations and recommendations through her paper “A Thought Piece on the Philippine Judicial Academy Curriculum Review.” (The full text of Chief Justice Sereno’s Thought Piece was published in the July─September 2014 issue of the PHILJA Bulletin.)
A lively open forum followed Dean Candelaria’s lecture. He formally presented his paper to the children of Justice Herrera and to the Supreme Court through PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, who earlier delivered the opening remarks and welcomed the attendees and guests.
Capping the event was Chief Justice Sereno’s Closing Remarks read by Chancellor Azcuna. In her message, Chief Justice Sereno said that “legal and judicial education is indeed at the crossroads, uniquely ripe for innovative curricular and pedagogical change. We must accept that the millennial era is here.” Steadfast in the Court’s duty to respond to the changing times, Chief Justice Sereno further said that “judicial training and continuing education are at the heart of that preparation to lead the next generation—our so-called ‘millennial’ judges and those who will come after. It will entail transcending traditional curricula and forging connections with the social context to which the training will be applied.”
As chairperson of PHILJA’s Board of Trustees, Chief Justice Sereno called on the Academy to recast its traditional role into a more dynamic one—as a fully engaged educational institution that provides structured judicial training—custom-built and custom-managed for each level of the Judiciary and for each class of trainees. “Just recently, this curriculum review yielded outstanding results, paving the way for radical shifts in the way we conduct our judicial education and training,” Chief Justice Sereno’s message reads.
The Chief Justice also commended and thanked Atty. Candelaria and PHILJA for all their essential contributions to the judiciary. “I have personally witnessed your commitment to our cause in carefully crafting, revising and updating training programs and modules to develop judicial competence, instill sound values and form constructive attitudes in our judges and court personnel,” her message reads.
She ended by expressing her hope that “PHILJA will be the bright shining lights of judicial education in the entire Asia-Pacific Region.”
Established in 2012 by the children of Justice Herrera in honor of her 90th birthday, the Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer aims to assist PHILJA in its continuing promotion of judicial excellence through the delivery of distinguished lectures in judicial education. Former recipients were Justice Azcuna in 2012, Retired CA Justice Hilarion L. Aquino in 2013, and SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio in 2014.
CAREER ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM FOR COURT LIBRARIANS
The first Career Enhancement Program for Court Librarians was conducted by PHILJA on May 11 to 13 at the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City. Attended by 40 court librarians nationwide, the program aimed to refresh the participants’ cataloguing, indexing and other library skills, improve their written and oral communications, and enhance their knowledge of basic computer operations and online legal research skills.
Topics included in the program were Overview of Online Legal Resources by Ms. Milagros Santos-Ong, Supreme Court (SC) Chief Librarian; Refresher on Cataloguing, Indexing and other Library Skills by Ms. Luisa R. Madlangbayan, SC Supervising Judicial Staff Officer, SC Office of Library Services; Basic Computer Skills by Ms. Haidee M. Yacat, Computer Programmer III, Management Information Systems Office; Effective Verbal, Written, Presentation and Listening Communication Skills by Dr. Marilu Rañosa-Madrunio, Dean of the University of Sto. Tomas Graduate School; and Stress and Time Management Skills by Retired Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepaño.
Workshops on cataloguing, indexing and other library skills; and online legal resources skills were facilitated by Ms. Madlangbayan and Ms. Ong, respectively.
On the last day of the training, participants had a dialogue with Atty. Raquel M. Ladrillano, Assistant Chief of Office of the Office of the Court Administrator─Office of Administrative Services, to discuss various administrative concerns including, among others, the need for library space, internet connection and/or computers, equipment and supplies concerns, and expedited requests for procurement of books.
In addition to this latest career enhancement program, PHILJA, since 2002, has conducted one seminar-workshop for court librarians and has provided the academic component of six convention-seminars of the Court Librarians Association of the Philippines.
Competency Enhancement Training for Judges, Prosecutors, Social Workers and Law Enforcement Investigators on the Management of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children Cases (CET-OSEC)
The Philippine Judicial Academy conducted back-to-back Competency Enhancement Training on the management of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children Cases (CET-OSEC) programs designed to improve the competencies of participants in preventing, referring, investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating OSEC cases. The training programs were held first week of May at the Discovery Suites, Pasig City.
A Training of Trainers of Competency Enhancement Training for Judges, Prosecutors, Social Workers and Law Enforcement Investigators Handling Online Sexual Exploitation of Children Cases was conducted on May 3 attended by 18 selected regional trial court judges and prosecutors. The participants will be part of the pool of trainers who will be mobilized for the roll out of the CET-OSEC program.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna and Mr. Ky Johnson of The Asia Foundation (TAF), in their respective messages, underscored PHILJA’s and TAF’s commitment to combat cybercrime and online child sexual abuse and exploitations. The morning sessions were devoted to lectures on The Millennials, Their Cyberspace and Language by Ms. Melissa Legarda Alcantara, Journalist and Consultant of Cross-Cultural Digital Media; Surveillance, Monitoring, Investigation and Detection of Crimes Against Millennials by Atty. Lawrence Aritao of International Justice Mission; Catching the Predator in His Digital World by Head Agent Sherwin G. Uy of the Department of Justice–Office of Cybercrime; and Basic Facilitating Skills by Dean Erlyn Sana, PHILJA Professorial Lecturer II.
In the afternoon, Judge Amy A. Avellano of RTC Branch 58, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and PHILJA Professorial Lecturer I, presented and discussed the CET-OSEC enhanced training module, including the topics of the lectures and the plots of the trigger videos that will be used during the two-day training program. The enhanced training module was the product of the roundtable discussion conducted by the Academy on March 9 attended by 20 selected RTC judges.
Participants then underwent three simulation exercises on how to catch a predator. Facilitated by Head Agent Uy, participants were given 10 minutes to enter an online chat room and try to hook up with a predator over the internet.
Meanwhile, the first Competency Enhancement Training for Judges, Prosecutors, Social Workers and Law Enforcement Investigators on the Management of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children Cases was held May 4 to 5 attended by 45 participants, composed of selected RTC judges, prosecutors, court social workers and law enforcers. This two-day activity is an intensive, multidisciplinary program designed to improve the competencies of participants as frontline workers in preventing, referring, investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating OSEC cases.
The first day sessions started off with the opening remarks of PHILJA Chancellor Justice Azcuna, followed by a message from Atty. Carolyn Mercado of The Asia Foundation, and the statement of purpose and orientation by Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro.
A pre-test was administered to gather the profiles of the participants and measure their level of awareness of OSEC as a legal and social issue. Then, a series of lectures were delivered on the following topics: The Wonderful World of Cyberspace by Atty. Katrina Legarda, PHILJA Professorial Lecturer II; The Generation Today: Bridging the Gap between the Digital Dinosaurs and the Millennials by Dr. Bernadette Madrid, PHILJA Professorial Lecturer II; Trauma-Informed Care: Parenting the Millennial Generation and Its Carers by Dr. Norieta C. Balderrama, Forensic Psychiatrist at the UP-Philippine General Hospital Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine; Legal Framework: Making the Obsolete Relevant by Senior Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Lolita Lomanta of Cebu Province; and Detection, Surveillance, Monitoring and Investigation of the Crimes against Millennials by Atty. Lawrence Aritao of International Justice Mission.
In the afternoon, the participants watched one of the module videos entitled “Salisi.” They were later divided in three groups to discuss the psychosocial aspects of the relationships portrayed in the video; the preparations for the conduct and aftermath of a rescue operation; and the evidence that may be required to successfully bring a case to court.
The second day lectures focused on these topics: The Digital World by Head Agent Sherwin G. Uy; and The Financial Trail of OSEC by Atty. Vencent L. Salido, Deputy Director and Head of Compliance and Investigation Group, Anti-Money Laundering Secretariat.
The participants were again divided in three groups to work on different OSEC cases applying what they have learned from the lectures. Each group presented the result of their respective case investigation.
Head Agent Uy facilitated the simulation exercise where participants entered an online chat room to catch a predator. As their post-test, participants accomplished the OSEC Knowledge Inventory and the results were analyzed and discussed during the plenary.
The 12th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture
featuring “Til Debt Do Us Part: Revisiting the Rule of Law in Sovereign Debt Crisis”
by Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria
Head of the Philippine Judicial Academy’s Research, Publications and Linkages Office and Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria is this year’s holder of the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair in Law and Economics. He delivered his lecture entitled ‘Til Debt Do Us Part: Revisiting the Rule of Law in Sovereign Debt Crisis before members of the Judiciary, academe, lawyers and students from Ateneo Law School, and other guests. One hundred twenty-eight participants filled the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City on October 28 to attend the two-hour 12th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture.
Dean Candelaria’s lecture delved on three general topics: (1) Traditional International Law and the Problem of State Insolvency; (2) The International Monetary Fund Stand-By Arrangements and National Economic Policy-Making in the Context of Modern Sovereign Debt Crisis Situations; and (3)Current Legal Issues: State Responsibility and Some Aspects of the International Monetary Fund Stand-By Arrangements. Particularly, Dean Candelaria discussed the traditional concept of contractual liabilities in the pre-19th century, the protection of the rights of creditor subjects, and the German debt settlement and the multilateral approach. Then he went on to talk about the Bretton Woods System and the development of new international economic rules, the doctrine of conditionality and the development of the stand-by arrangement, the sovereign-debt renegotiation process and the IMF Stand-By Arrangement, and the IMF and its role in recent sovereign debt crises. Finally, Dean Candelaria shed light on current legal issues surrounding the consequences of non-compliance with IMF the stand-by arrangements, the full external debt service and the principle of state necessity, the human rights standards in sovereign debt crisis, the evolution of the right to development, the 1986 UN Convention on the Right to Development, the municipal law and international financial obligations, and an examination of a proposed legislation aimed at establishing limits to the country’s debt service payments.
Atty. Armando L. Suratos, Member of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Dr. Luis F. Dumlao, Chair of the Ateneo de Manila University Economics Department and Board of Director of the Philippine Economics Society, gave their respective reactions to the lecture.
Dean Candelaria presented a book-bound copy of his lecture to Mr. Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, President of Metrobank Foundation, Inc., who later turned over Dean Candelaria’s paper to the Supreme Court through Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.
Earlier in the program, PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna gave the Welcome Remarks, Mr. Sobrepeña delivered a Message, and an audio-visual presentation of the Metrobank Foundation, Inc.’s 53 years of existence was shown. Chief Justice Sereno capped the program with her Closing Remarks.
The Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture, now on its 12th year, aims to assist PHILJA in developing and enhancing its judicial education programs by providing grants to its Corps of Professors to write and publish books and treatises with innovative concepts and approaches in designated areas of law. Since 2004, 12 PHILJA Professors have delivered professorial lectures in various fields of law.
Roundtable Discussion for Judges: Knowledge Sharing in Handling
Financial Crimes Cases Involving Investment Schemes (Pyramid/Ponzi Schemes)
PHILJA conducted a roundtable discussion on handling financial crimes cases involving investment schemes on September 15 at the Manila Diamond Hotel attended by 17 selected pairing judges from the National Capital Judicial Region and representatives from the United States Federal Trade Commission. The one-day knowledge sharing activity aimed to re-apprise the participants of the various laws, rules and jurisprudence on financial crimes involving investment schemes and to discover emerging trends and best practices in other jurisdictions to further enhance Philippine judges’ capacity to handle and decide investment fraud cases.
Atty. Jose Jesus M. Disini, Jr., PHILJA Professorial Lecturer II, provided an overview of the elements and types of investment schemes and a discussion of related Philippine laws and rules. His presentation was followed by an open panel discussion on the issues and concerns in handling financial crimes cases on investment schemes with panelists Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa, PHILJA Vice Chancellor Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., Mr. Eric O’Malley of the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division–Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (USDOJ-OPDAT), Atty. Daniel Hanks and Atty. Betsy Broder, both of the United States Federal Trade Commission. During the said panel discussion, participants were given the opportunity to suggest ways on how to best handle investment fraud cases. Among their proposals were for the Supreme Court to issue an administrative circular mandating the conduct of continuous trial for investment fraud/anti-money laundering cases and the creation of special courts to handle syndicated estafa cases.
Atty. Hanks and Atty. Broder shared the international perspective on the emerging trends and best practices in handling and deciding financial crimes cases involving investment schemes, as well as the key indicators, red flags, transaction patterns and tell-tale signs of pyramid/ponzi schemes. Judge Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro, on the other hand, discussed various Philippine cases and rules concerning pyramid/ponzi schemes, existing Philippine pyramid schemes, potential scams, and the Eight-Point Test developed by the Direct Shopping Association of the Philippines (DSAP). Atty. Hanks, Atty. Broder and Judge San Pedro facilitated another open discussion where participants shared their experiences and challenges in handling and deciding financial crimes cases involving investment schemes, ways on how to deal with media pressure/influence, security concerns in handling said crimes, and the legal remedies available to victims.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna welcomed the speakers, resource persons and participants. He said that roundtable discussions are conducted by the Academy as venues for sharing of knowledge and experiences to improve the quality of administration of justice. Mr. O’Malley in his message said that he views the Philippines as “resourceful” because it opens itself to learning through sharing of ideas and open dialogue, the ultimate goal of which is to achieve justice. Justice Callejo in his closing remarks expressed his hope that the sharings and learnings from the activity will enhance the capacity of judges in handling and deciding fraud cases.
Training Seminar on the Guidelines
for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases
and Skills Development for Judges of Pilot Courts
A Training Seminar on the Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases and Skills Development for Judges of Pilot Courts was conducted by the Supreme Court, the Special Committee on Speedy Trial and the Philippine Judicial Academy on July 23 to 24 at the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City. Fifty-seven participants attended the activity. Among them were SC justices, members of the Special Committee on Speedy Trial, the Technical Working Group on Continuous Trial, the Monitoring Team, and pilot court judges.
The two-day training seminar provided participants with a comprehensive view of the Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases in Pilot Courts (Administrative Order No. 15-06-10-SC), which the Supreme Court, upon the recommendation of the Special Committee on Speedy Trial, approved on June 30, 2015. The guidelines will take effect on August 17, 2015.
Newly appointed PHILJA Vice Chancellor Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. welcomed the participants to the activity and remarked that initiatives such as the Guidelines on Continuous Trial are ways to improve the Philippine criminal justice system and expressed hope that the judges will perform their jobs with integrity, competence, and diligence. PHILJA Chief of Office for Academic Affairs Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis read the Keynote Message of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, wherein the Chief Justice expressed gratitude to the 52 judges who have volunteered to implement continuous trial in selected criminal cases. “If this first batch of volunteer judges succeed in proving that continuous trial can be the procedural norm in the first pool of hundreds of cases to be tried on a continuous basis, then the Filipino judiciary will have shattered another popular belief: that here in the Philippines, the public has to resign itself to a turtle-paced justice system,” the Chief Justice said in her message. She also congratulated the members of the Special Committee on Speedy Trial and the Technical Working Group on Continuous Trial. “Their efforts, as well as those of our volunteer judges, provide the most effective proof that the judiciary is poised to fulfill its goal of setting the gold standard in public service,” CJ Sereno said.
Justice Diosdado M. Peralta provided an overview of the Continuous Trial Project and discussed the salient points of the Guidelines on Continuous Trial: Application and Jurisdiction, Preliminary Investigation and Arrest, Arraignment and Pre-Trial, Trial Proper, and Promulgation of Judgment. Participants were later divided into groups for a workshop on automated hearing.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna started the second day of the activity with his remarks on how the Guidelines on Continuous Trial will revolutionize how cases are tried in the country. Justice Peralta then discussed the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Supreme Court Resolution: Guidelines for Litigation in Quezon City Trial Courts, the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases, the Rules of Procedure for Intellectual Property Rights Case, Republic Act No. 9165 also known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and motions that delay proceedings. Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez delivered the Closing Remarks.
In April 2015, the Special Committee on Speedy Trial was tasked to formulate guidelines for the pilot and full implementation of the continuous trial system for criminal cases. The Committee is composed of SC Justice Diosdado M. Peralta as Chairperson; SC Justice Lucas P. Bersamin as Vice Chairperson; and SC Justice Martin S. Villarama, Jr., SC Justice Jose C. Mendoza, Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Magdangal M. De Leon, CA Justice Mario V. Lopez, CA Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh, CA Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta, Sandiganbayan Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, as members.
The Guidelines was one of the reform and innovation initiatives launched as part of the judicial reform agenda of the Philippine Supreme Court under Chief Justice Sereno. The four pillars of this judicial reform agenda are: 1) institutionalized integrity and restored public credibility, 2) ensuring the predictability, rationality, speed and responsiveness of judicial actions, 3) improved systems, processes and infrastructures, and 4) effective and efficient human resources.
2015 Biotechnology Outreach Project
A 21-member PHILJA delegation attended the 2015 Biotechnology Outreach Project of the United States Department of State held at the New World Manila Bay on September 23.
Dr. Pesach Lubinsky, Science Advisor at the US Department of Agriculture, in his presentation entitled “Coexistence: A Perspective from the United States” discussed biotechnology, organic farming, coexistence of biotechnology and organic farming practices, and genetically engineered and identically preserved crops. He also shared the United States’ stand on biotechnology and coexistence, and the work of the Advisory Council for the 21st Century Agriculture. A lively open forum followed Dr. Lubinsky’s presentation.
The PHILJA delegation, led by Research, Publications and Linkages Office Head Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, was welcomed by Mr. Richard A. Bakewell, Environment, Science and Technology, Health and Energy Officer of the US Embassy. Dean Candelaria thanked the US Embassy for the opportunity given to the Academy’s delegation to learn from a very timely and substantive session on a relevant subject matter such as biotechnology.
The US Department of State supports the US Biotechnology Outreach Program aimed at promoting better understanding and dialogue among stakeholders on biotechnology issues. In recognition of the country as one of the regional leaders in agricultural biotechnology development, adoption and trade, the US Department of State has reached out to its Philippine partners in the academe, government regulators, industry groups, farmers and non-government organizations.
PHILJA Welcomes New Vice Chancellor and Chief for PMCO
On July 22, 2015, PHILJA officials and employees warmly welcomed retired Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. as PHILJA Vice Chancellor and Judge Geraldine Faith A. Econg as PHILJA Chief of Office for Philippine Mediation Center (PMC).
Justice Callejo, appointed for a term of two years per SC En Banc Resolution A.M. No. 15-07-02-SC-PHILJA, succeeds Justice Justo P. Torres, Jr. whose term expired on May 9, 2015. Justice Torres served as PHILJA Vice Chancellor for 10 years.
Judge Econg was likewise appointed for a term of two years per the High Courts’ En Banc Resolution A.M. No. 15-04-01-SC-PHILJA.
JUSTICE ROMEO J. CALLEJO, Sr.
Justice Callejo obtained his Associate in Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the San Beda College. He joined the office of the late Senator Jose W. Diokno immediately after passing the Bar. He was a Partner in Montenegro, Mandayag and Hernandez Law Office before he was appointed in 1987 as Presiding Judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court. He was appointed in 1994 as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals where he served as Chairperson of the 10th Division. In 2002, he was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, during which he chaired the Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters. Justice Callejo was the Chairperson of the 2005 Bar Examinations Committee. After his retirement from the High Court, he became the Chairperson of the Supreme Court Committee that drafted the Revision of Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court approved by the Supreme Court and of the Rules of Evidence pending approval by the SC. He served as Chair of PHILJA’s Department of Criminal Law in 1998.
Justice Callejo taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Trial Technique and Remedial Law in San Beda College, Ateneo de Manila University and the UP Law Center. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society of Judicial Excellence and an alumnus of the Academy of Comparative and International Law of the University of Texas.
He was named Outstanding Judge of Manila in 1991 and in 1994, and an awardee of the coveted Cayetano Arellano Award for Judicial Excellence by the Foundation for Judicial Excellence in 1993.
Justice Callejo, who hails from Sta. Ana, Ilocos Sur, is a loving husband to Ma. Filipinas Villanueva, doting father to Romeo Gerard, and Geraldine Callejo-Geday, and a proud grandfather to Jacqueline, Alicia and Amelie.
Judge GERALDINE FAITH A. ECONG
Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Econg was a private law practitioner specializing in natural resources and environmental law. Her judicial career started when she was appointed in 2002 as Judge of the Minglanilla Municipal Trial Court in Cebu and later in 2004 as Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 9, Cebu City. In 2010, she became the Judicial Reform Program Administrator of the Supreme Court’s Program Management Office. She was designated on May 10, 2015 as Acting Head of the Academy’s Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) until her recent appointment as PHILJA Chief of Office for PMC in July 2015.
In 2006 and 2008, she took up special courses in court and case management at the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) based in United States of America. She is an Associate Mediator at the Singapore Mediation Center.
Judge Econg, obtained her Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. She placed 15th in the 1993 Bar Examinations. She also holds a Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines, a Certificate in Environmental Management and a Certificate in International Criminal Law from Salzburg University, Austria.
Roundtable Discussion for Judges on
Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health
The Philippine Judicial Academy, in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), held a Roundtable Discussion for Judges on Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health on July 29 to 30, 2015 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila attended by 24 participants, composed of selected RTC judges, representatives from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), American Bar Association–Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) and intellectual property law firms. The two-day activity was designed to discuss issues and concerns affecting the disposition of intellectual property rights cases and improve the skills of judges in using health-related TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) flexibilities in law interpretations and application.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna said in his Opening Remarks that the RTD is a very timely and wonderful opportunity for the participants to learn the recent developments on intellectual property and public health that will be helpful in the administration of justice in our courts. Mr. Kiyoshi Adachi, Chief of the Intellectual Property Unit of UNCTAD shared a short background of UNCTAD and briefly discussed the TRIPS declaration on public health and the interconnection between intellectual property and public health. Ms. Thamara Romero, Legal Officer of the Intellectual Property Unit, UNCTAD, discussed key issues and current international and local trends in intellectual property rights and development in relation to public health and local pharmaceutical production.
A series of discussions followed on the following topics: emerging issues on patents and patentability (international perspective: Ms. Romero, Philippine perspective: Atty. Ferdinand Negre); challenges and best practices on patents (international perspective: Ms. Romero, Philippine perspective: Atty. Edmund Jason Baranda); experimental use exception, regulatory review exception and parallel imports under Patent Law, Canada-patent protection of pharmaceuticals (Mr. Adachi); compulsory licenses (Ms. Romero); protection of pharmaceutical test data (Mr. Adachi); anti-competitive practices (Mr. Adachi); and patent enforcement and permanent injunction (Ms. Romero). The discussions revolved around international and Philippine perspectives supported by statistics, cases, principles, and policies of the Court and other government agencies. Generic medicine production and its legality, and generics efficacy were also tackled. The participant-judges participated actively during the open discussions that followed each lecture. Judge Maria Rowena San Pedro provided a synthesis of the two-day roundtable discussion. A Closing Remarks was delivered by PHILJA Vice Chancellor Romeo J. Callejo, Sr.
Third Forum of Women Leaders on
On July 21, 2015, the Academy convened the Philippines’ leading women advocates of biodiversity conservation and environmental law enforcement at the Third Forum of Women Leaders on Biodiversity Conservation, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Department of the Interior (USDOI).
The guests of honor of the Forum, all renowned women in government, academe and media, were Court of Appeals Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Secretary of Justice Leila M. De Lima, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Analiza R. Teh, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Assistant Director Drusila Esther E. Bayate, Dr. Cecilia N. Gascon of the Southern Luzon State University, Dr. Minerva I. Morales of the Catanduanes State University, Ms. Karen Davila of ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs, and CTI Government Representatives Ms. Loreta A. Sollestre and Ms. Angelique M. Songco. Their short presentations highlighted their respective accomplishments and significant contributions in biodiversity conservation and environmental law enforcement, and promoted ways to increase collaborative efforts to protect the environment.
Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary and BFAR Director Asis G. Perez and USAID Mission Director Gloria D. Steele delivered their messages before the 54 Forum participants coming from the Judiciary, Executive, Institute of Environmental Governance, National Coral Triangle Coordinating Committee, USAID, and Media.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: KNOWLEDGE SHARING COURT AND CASE MANAGEMENT
On June 9–10, 2015, PHILJA, in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), conducted the Roundtable Discussion:Knowledge Sharing on Court and Case Management. The activity,held in the Philippines for the first time, is a gathering of Asia Pacific judicial academies. Forty-four magistrates, judges and head of judicial academies from Germany, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines participated in this international forum. The program was designed to re-apprise the participants of the various laws, rules, jurisprudence and developments on court and case management; familiarize them with the emerging trends on court and case management and the various challenges that must be addressed to improve present system; and expose them to the best practices being observed in other countries.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna formally opened the program followed by Mr. Marc Alexander Spitzkatz’s message in behalf of the KAS. The discussion started off with retired Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepaño’s orientation on Philippine laws and Rules of Procedure in different courts relative to disposition of cases. Following is a roundtable discussion among the participants that brought about significant views on emerging trends and best practices on court and case management from an international perspective as well as from a local or Philippine perspective. The discussants were Dr. Bernd Wilhelm Pickel, President of the High Court, Berlin, Germany; Justice Shin-Min Chen of the Constitutional Court of Taiwan; Judge Agus Subroto of the Appeal Court of Jakarta and Head of Education and Training Center for Technical Judiciary, Supreme Court of the Republik of Indonesia; Hon. Wei-Ya Wu, Head of Research and Development, Judges Academy of Taiwan; Hon. Thong Chenda, Vice President of the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions, Cambodia; Ms. Thi Hang Nga Nguyen, Deputy Chief of Commercial Law Team of Judge Training and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Lawyers Training, Judicial Academy of Vietnam; Hon. Tshering Dorji, Registrar General of the Supreme Court of Bhutan; Court of Appeals Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh; Judge Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro of RTC Br. 158, Pasig City;Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, and Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva.
From among the manychallengeson court management, the participants identified the following as prevailing in the courts: bringing courts to the digital age; growing complexity of cases that are brought to court;health effects on judges considering their heavy caseloads; and modernization through reforms in human resources, training, budgeting, information technology and public services. Justice Singh identified the following as challenges faced by Philippine courts: difficulty to shift to eCourts because of security reasons and technical deficits; and delivering justice on real time by having a court manager/trained management personnel with tailor fit court management style and working with a central docket system and a unified trial calendar in order that needed orders be expeditiously effected and served.
Relative to best practices on court management, Dr. Pickel stated that today in Germany, all court stations are equipped with computers with developed databases. In Indonesia, they provide certification trainings for judges on various areas; while in Taiwan, they train their legal assistants and clerks on preparation of non-judgment issuances, and their specialized courts are stationed in different areas. In the Philippines, judges discover that the methods they are employing are the key components to effective court management, thus the need for further trainings on these. Justice Singhlikewise presented the best practices on court management in Philippine courts: establishment of small claims courts; the establishment of eCourts which includes computerization of eCalendar, templates and forms, automated hearings, and eRaffle; and the creation of the justice zone project where there is an inter-agency coordination from case start up to adjudication to post judgment. CA Marquez went on to elaborate on the project Hustisyeah where a team, composed of a supervisor from the Office of the Court Administrator, law students and private lawyers, draws up a decongestion plan together with the judge. DCA Villanueva meanwhile expounded on the concept of eNotices or the sending notices through SMS, email or phone calls, and eSubpoenas, wherein they are deemed served upon uploading to their PNP databank.
Among the relevant views sharedon case management, noteworthy are the following: flexibility in good case management, network for exchange of ideas in the national and international arena, automized monitoring of cases, utilization of the services of an amicus curiae that can help in complex cases, court information systems for effective case management and monitoring, information desks and legal aid, distribution of digital recording devices for accurate recording of hearings and their case tracking system, and one year-period for deciding cases through the reduction of judicial forms.
Capping the activity was the Closing Remarks delivered by Court Administrator Marquez.
The activity is part of the Academy’s effort to conform to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno’s judicial reform agenda for the Philippine Supreme Court on ensuring the predictability, rationality, speed and responsiveness of judicial actions and improved systems, processes and infrastructures. It is one of those programs that address court and case management in relation to reform and innovation in realizing the judiciary’s important role in the ASEAN region.
CAREER ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMS FOR COURT SOCIAL WORKERS AND SHERIFFS
In May 2015, PHILJA pioneered the first career enhancement programs (CEP) for court social workers and sheriffs. The Academy addressed the need of court social workers and sheriffs for continuing judicial education to ensure competent, efficient and ethical performance of their official functions.
Career Enhancement Program for Court Social Workers
The program aims to update court social workers on relevant laws, recent jurisprudence and administrative policies; and enhance their skills and strengthen their values in the discharge of their duties. Topics discussed during the lectures were family court and the role of court social worker; children in conflict with the law; Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act; Rule on Examination of Child Witness; case management, preparation and presentation of case study reports; interviewing and counselling skills and techniques; recent Supreme Court circulars, administrative orders and jurisprudence concerning court social workers; and updates on adoption laws. Workshops on interviewing and counselling skills and techniques; and on ethical considerations in the discharge of official functions were also incorporated in the program.The participants were given the opportunity to dialogue with the officials from the Office of the Court Administratorin order for them to raise their specific administrative concerns.
Career Enhancement Program for Sheriffs
The activity was conducted on May 19–21, 2015 and participated in by 68 sheriffs from NCJR. In order to update the participants on relevant laws, recent jurisprudence and administrative policies, the program contained lectures such as service of summons, writs and other court processes, sheriff’s forms, execution of judgment, relevant provisional remedies and special civil actions, procedure in claiming transportation expenses from the Sheriff’s Trust Fund, verbal and non-verbal communication skills and techniques, revisiting the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel, Supreme Court circulars, and administrative orders and recent jurisprudence concerning sheriffs. To further enhance skills and strengthen their values in the discharge of duties, workshops were conducted on: how to properly serve summons, subpoenas, and writs; how to accomplish sheriff’s forms, the Statement of Estimated Transportation and Travel Expenses and the Statement of Liquidation; improving verbal and non-verbal communication skills; and applying the learnings gained from revisiting the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel. A dialogue with the officials from the Office of the Court Administrator capped the activity.
PHILJA HOLDS SPECIAL LECTURE ON THE SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE
On April 27, 2015, PHILJA conducted a special lecture featuring the topic The South China Sea Dispute by Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, the recipient of the 2015 Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturer. It was held in PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City as the main site and via video conferencing at the En Banc Session Hall of the Supreme Court, with 170 and 149 participants, respectively. The attendees were composed of Supreme Court (SC), Court of Appeals (CA), Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and Sandiganbayan justices; SC and PHILJA officials and employees; judges and other lower court personnel; CA, CTA and Sandiganbayan employees; and guests from other government agencies and the private sector.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna delivered the Opening Remarks and welcomed the attendees. Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez formally introduced the lecturer then the lecture proper followed. Aided by a Powerpoint presentation, Justice Carpio’s discussion revolved on questions and issues surrounding the South China Sea among which are: the pending South China Sea dispute; law governing the dispute; low-tide elevations (LTEs), artificial islands, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf (CS); legal effect of the reclamations undertaken by China in the Spratlys; legal basis under international law to China’s 9-dashed lines claim; overriding principle in resolving overlapping EEZs and CS; legal basis of the Philippines’ claim to Scarborough Shoal; and the basic objections of China to the arbitration case filed by the Philippines under UNCLOS. The presentation also showed photos of the historical map of Murillo Velarde, China’s 9-dashed lines and its reclamations in the Spratlys; and discussed the implications of these massive reclamations to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. The lecture was followed by an open forum. Thereafter, Justice Carpio formally presented his paper to the children of Justice Melencio Herrera and to the Supreme Court through Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno. The program ended with the Closing Remarks of Chief Justice Sereno who congratulated Justice Carpio for his presentation of a well-researched paper.
The Founding Chancellor Emeritus Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera Award for the Most Outstanding Professorial Lecturerwas established in 2012 by the children of Justice Melencio Herrera in honor of her 90th birthday. It aims to assist PHILJA in its continuing promotion of judicial excellence through the delivery of distinguished lectures in judicial education. Justice Azcuna was the first recipient of the award in 2012, followed by Retired Court of Appeals Justice Hilarion L. Aquino in 2013.
Asian Mediation Association
Annual General Meeting
The Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) hosted the Asian Mediation Association (AMA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 17, 2015, at the PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City. It was attended by 20 representatives from AMA, PHILJA, PMCO, and the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) who discussed the report of the AMA Chairman on the 3rd AMA Conference held in Hong Kong on April 3–4, 2014, the election of a new AMA Chairman for the 4th AMA Conference to be held in China in 2016, and the AMA website and linkage with ASEAN.
AMA came into being on August 17, 2007, when representatives from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore–the five leading mediation centers in Asia–signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Subsequently, AMA accepted Bahrain, China, Fiji, India, Japan, and Thailand as additional members. AMA provides access to resources for the settlement of business and commercial disputes in Asia.
Since its inception, AMA holds annual general meetings and biennial conferences. The PMCO is an active member of AMA and its representatives have been attending all its activities. Last year, the Supreme Court sent a delegation to the 3rd AMA Conference headed by PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna together with other members of the PMCO Executive Committee, namely, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, Justice Marina L. Buzon, Dean Eduardo D. De los Angeles, Judge Selma P. Alaras, Comm. Linda L. Malenab-Hornilla, Atty. Jose C. Saluib, Jr., and Mr. Jose T. Name, Jr.
Capacity Building on Environmental Laws
and the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases
for Judges and Branch Clerks of Court
A total of 37 judges and branch clerks of court participated in the Capacity Building on Environmental Laws and the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases for Judges and Branch Clerks of Court held on March 3–5, 2015 at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City.
Justice Oswaldo D. Agcaoili, PHILJA Professor II, lead off with the session that featured an overview of international protocols, constitutional, statutory and regulatory provisions related to environmental justice. Environmental laws categorized as Brown, Blue and Green were discussed by legal experts in lecture sessions on the first day highlighting on the scope and salient features of the laws, rules and regulations, prohibited acts and penalties, related jurisprudence, and their application to the resolution of cases. Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Danilo U. Uykieng of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) discussed Brown Laws. Attorney Grizelda Mayo-Anda, Executive Director of the Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. talked about Blue Laws while DENR Assistant Secretary Daniel M. Nicer tackled Green Laws.
The second day of the program was devoted to the discussion of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases. Supreme Court Justices Diosdado M. Peralta and Lucas P. Bersamin, members of the Supreme Court Subcommittee that drafted the Rules, enlightened the participants with the significant features and historical bases of the provisions of the Rules and how these can be applied in decision making. Problem areas identified by the participants of certain provisions of the Rules were clarified by the Justices in a panel discussion that ensued after the lectures.
PHILJA Curriculum Review: Focus Group Discussion of the Members of the Bench
The initial phase of the PHILJA Curriculum Review commenced with the conduct of the Focus Group Discussion of the Members of the Bench held on March 20, 2015 at the Bayview Park Hotel, Manila. Seven First Level Court Judges and eight Second Level Court Judges selected from the different judicial regions participated as resource persons.
Father Ranhilio C. Aquino, Chairperson of PHILJA’s Department of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy, oriented the resource persons on Outcomes Based Education as a tool in reviewing the current PHILJA Curriculum.
When asked about their expectations of PHILJA Programs, most of the judges remarked that a discussion of new laws, latest jurisprudence, and computation of penalties, as well as skills enhancement training on decision making and computerized legal research should be considered by PHILJA as responsive to the needs of the Bench. Likewise, they responded positively to an inter-disciplinary approach to judicial education because the inputs from other relevant disciplines will benefit them in their decision making. Moreover, they affirmed PHILJA’s responsiveness in the delivery of judicial education by pointing out the high quality of learning they received from the Academy’s programs.
The Subcommittee of the PHILJA Curriculum Review noted the meritorious recommendations of judges, among others, that at the beginning of the academic year, PHILJA should prepare the schedule of seminars to be conducted so that the judges may choose from these offerings specific seminars or programs they need to participate in, considering their respective court calendars. According to them, a network of communication can also be formed among judges and justices to implement mentoring and consultations.
Visit of the Supreme People’s Court of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
On March 5, 2015, the eleven-person delegation from the Supreme People’s Court of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic visited the Academy to learn about its organization, programs, publications and mediation activities. Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna and Chief of Academic Affairs Delilah Vidallon Magtolis welcomed Mr. Khamphanh Bounpakhom, Chief of Commercial Chamber; Mr. Anisack Vangvichith, Deputy Director General of the Cabinet; Mr. Bronkhouang Thavisack, Director of Department of Research and Training; Mr.Khamsone Samountry, Chief of the Commercial Chamber; Mr. Chittavah Vongsay, Deputy President Vientiane Capital People’s Court; Mr. Khampahay Xayasouk, Deputy Head of Technical Division; Mr. Phonepaseuth Panyasavath, Judge Assistant of the Commercial Chamber; Mr. Somphanh Chanthalivong, Department of Intellectual Property; Mrs. Sanya Khamsone, Customs Department; Mr. Khampha Vangduangnapha, National University of Laos; and Mr. Somsay Orasith. Justices Azcuna and Magtolis provided the members of the delegation a brief introduction about PHILJA and the Academy’s training programs and activities on intellectual property, a particular subject of their interest.
Pre-Pilot Seminar-Workshop for Rules 22 and 24 of
the Proposed Revised Rules of Civil Procedure
Pursuant to Supreme Court En Banc Resolution A.M. No. 14-03-02-SC dated March 18, 2014 approving the piloting of Rule 22 (Preliminary Conference) and Rule 24 (Trial of Issues) of the proposed Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, PHILJA conducted three pre-pilot seminar-workshops in pilot courts selected by the Office of the Court Administrator.
The seminar-workshops, aimed at familiarizing participants with the proposed Terms of Reference and the conduct of Face-to-Face Trials, were held in the following cities and participated in by the following:
|Pilot area and date conducted
||Clerks of Court
|Makati City and Angeles City
January 28-29, 2015
February 12-13, 2015
February 17-19, 2015
Topics discussed during the seminar-workshops were Paradigm Shift; Preliminary Conference Rule; Court Forms and Techniques; and Instructions on Trial of Issues: Alternate and Face-to-Face Trial. Workshops and mock trials were also conducted to engage the participants in active discussion and application of their learnings.
PHILJA Celebrates 19th Foundation Day
The Philippine Judicial Academy marked its 19th founding anniversary with a sportsfest entitled “Palarong PHILJA, Palarong Pinoy: Tungo sa Kalusugan at Kagalingan ng Katawan at Isipan,” held on March 13 at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City.
PHILJA officials and staff were grouped into five teams (bughaw, dilaw, lila, luntian, pula) and competed in the following games: Calamansi Relay, Takbuhang Sako, Saluhan ng Itlog, Sisirin ang Piso, Tug-of-War and Hoola Hoop Race. Team Luntian emerged as champion, Team Bughaw placed second, and Teams Pula and Dilaw tied for third place. PHILJAns also participated in a Zumba dance workout before the start of the games, and in a pre-taped video presentation shown in the afternoon’s awarding and recognition program.
During the afternoon program, five employees were recognized for their service to the Academy for 15 years namely: Joseph Arvin S. Cruz, Eliseo A. Ege, Lyra A. Encinares, Mathew R. Fajardo, and Nennette G. Zaldivar; while six employees received loyalty awards for their 10 years of service namely: Atty. David L. Ballesteros, Eleonor S. Benbinuto, Rushelle P. Dizon, Joanne N. Medina, Lourdes Lolita S. Pelausa, and Daniel S. Talusig.
This year’s PHILJA Model Employees were awarded to Suzette P. Valdez (supervisory level), and Engr. Allan John V. Oriarte (non-supervisory). The 2015 Chancellor’s Award was given to Romulo M. Abancio, Jr.
Eleventh Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture
The 11th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture featuring the topic Coping with the Changing Landscape in Civil Law was delivered by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose C. Vitug, the 2014 holder of the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair in Civil Law and Chair of PHILJA’s Commercial Law Department, on October 8, 2014 at the Court of Appeals Auditorium. Two hundred ninety-five participants composed of SC and PHILJA officials and employees, CA officials and employees, lower court employees and other guests attended the lecture.
PHILJA Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna formally welcomed the participants. Mr. Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, President of Metrobank Foundation, Inc., delivered a message. Justice Vitug’s lecture was outlined as follows: Prefatory; The Legal Systems of the World; Increasing Preponderance in the Application of Equity and Practical Realties; The Marriage Institution; Effects of Advances in Science and Technology; Coming Up: A Borderless Society; The Judicial System; The Legal Profession; The Academe; and The Not-Too-Distant Future. After the lecture, Professor Pacifico Agabin, Chair of PHILJA’s Constitutional Law Department, and Professor Ruben F. Balane, Chair of PHILJA’s Civil Law Department, gave their reactions. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno delivered the Closing Remarks.
The Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture is endowed by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. to assist PHILJA’s judicial education programs by providing grants to its Corps of Professors to write and publish books and treatises with innovative concepts and approaches in designated areas of law. Since 2004, 11 PHILJA Professors have delivered professorial chair lectures in various fields of law.
PHILJA Holds Lecture on ICSID Rules Overview
On November 24, 2014, PHILJA, upon the directive of the Chief Justice, organized a special lecture entitled An Overview of Investment Treaty Arbitration and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Rules at the Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall, with Ms. Meg Kinnear and Ms. Martina Polasek, Secretary-General and Senior Legal Counsel/Team Leader of ICSID, respectively, as lecturers. In attendance were 211 participants comprising SC and PHILJA officials and employees, CA justices and lawyers, CTA justices, RTC/MeTC judges, and other guests.
Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna welcomed the lecturers and guests and then a Message from Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno preceded the lecture. Ms. Kinnear and Ms. Polasek comprehensively discussed Introduction to ICSID; ICSID and Investment Laws and Treaties; Trends in Investment Agreements and Investment Disputes; ICSID Dispute Settlement; ICSID Proceedings; Conduct of an ICSID Convention Arbitration; Jurisdiction under the ICSID Convention (Article 25(1) of the ICSID Convention); Exclusion of Any Other Remedy (Article 26 of the ICSID Convention); Who Decides the Dispute?; Post-Award Remedies; Annulment: Article 52 of the ICSID Convention and Grounds; Recognition and Enforcement of Awards; Designations by the Philippines of Competent Courts of Other Authorities for Recognition and Enforcement; Compliance with ICSID Awards; ICSID and Philippines; and Philippines and Investment Treaties. Handouts on ICSID Caseload-Statistics were distributed to the participants.
Established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention), the ICSID is an independent, depoliticized and effective investment dispute settlement institution that provides for settlement of disputes by conciliation, arbitration or fact-finding. It promotes international investment by providing confidence in the dispute resolution process, and promoting greater awareness of international law on foreign investment and the ICSID process.
Chancellor Azcuna Elected as ICJ Commissioner
The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) takes pride in its Chancellor, Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, for his election as a Commissioner to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) [http://www.icj.org] based in Geneva, Switzerland. Justice Azcuna’s election to the ICJ is a recognition of PHILJA’s work in judicial education particularly in promoting and strengthening the cause of human rights and the rule of law in the Philippines and worldwide.
The International Commission of Jurists, composed of eminent judges and lawyers from around the world, promotes and protects human rights through the rule of law to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems. It aims to ensure the progressive development and effective implementation of international human rights and international humanitarian law; to secure the realization of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights; to safeguard the separation of powers; and to guarantee the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession. As a Commissioner, Justice Azcuna is expected to work actively towards the fulfilment of the objectives of the Commission and to assist in the implementation of its programmes, especially those related to his expertise — human rights.
Justice Azcuna, the first Filipino ICJ Commissioner, will serve for a five-year term until 2019.
PHILJA Curriculum Review
On August 14, 2014, PHILJA convened the most brilliant minds in judicial education for a PHILJA Curriculum Review, in response to the directive of the PHILJA Board of Trustees, to re-visit the training curricula and ensure that the substance of PHILJA programs meet the needs of the judiciary and current trends in judicial education. The activity was designed: to develop a strategic training plan based on needs assessment, including skills training, professional development and personal growth; to learn, develop, and adopt new methods in judicial education in relation to emerging trends and technological advances; and to formulate programs which address distinct educational needs and enhance specific skills of judges and court personnel who work in highly specialized areas of law.
PHILJA Chief of Office for Academic Affairs Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis presented the PHILJA Highlights from 2012-2013 which provided: the current state of PHILJA activities; statistics on the core programs completed and their profitability ratings; trends in PHILJA courses; and issues and concerns in the delivery of curricula.By way of introduction to the curriculum review proper, Justice Hilarion L. Aquino, Department of Ethics and Judicial Conduct Chair, and Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino, Department of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy Chair, presented The Problem of Integrity and Teaching of Judicial Ethics and Current Trends and Developments in Judicial Education, respectively.
The PHILJA Curriculum Review was carried out in two discussion sessions: the first was a presentation addressing what judicial training should be, considering the comments and suggestions previously gathered from the Chief Justice and Supreme Court justices; the second was a re-examination of PHILJA programs with department chairpersons/member-representatives presenting their respective comments and suggestions.
Prior to the forum, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno provided PHILJA her observations and recommendations for the activity through her paper A Thought Piece on the Philippine Judicial Academy Curriculum Review. SC Associate Justices Martin S. Villarama, Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, Mario Victor F. Leonen, and Lucas P. Bersamin were also interviewed for their thoughts and comments on enhancing judicial education. The Justices responded to the discussion points given them earlier; Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes addressed the points in a letter. The Justices’ common comments and suggestions placed emphasis on the following: how to conduct pre-trial; skills-based modules, e.g., management, decision writing, strong oral and written skills, court governance to include challenges and developments in judicial processes; apprising judges on latest developments in law, recent legislative acts and SC decisions, rules and procedures; maximizing the benefits of PJP and accreditation from other law schools; ethics; and use of mock trial and interactive case-based simulations to apply critical thinking skills in decision making. The Chief Justice’s thoughtpiece as well as the inputs from the associate justices interviewed proved substantial in the discussions on what judicial training should be and served as the roadmap during the PHILJA Curriculum Review.
Professor Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Head of the Research, Publications and Linkages Office, summarized the comments and recommendations towards the end of the program, which included a proposal to convene another forum to study and approve the new curriculum.
All PHILJA executive officials; 22 department chairpersons, vice chairpersons, and members of the 14 academic departments attended the activity, with 13 PHILJA lawyers and staff assisting.
4th Plenary Assembly of the PHILJA Corps of Professors
and Conferment Ceremony of the Posthumous Award to Dr. Purificacion V. Quisumbing
Following through the recently conducted Review of PHILJA Curriculum and acting upon the proposal of the members of the Corps of Professors, PHILJA held a Plenary Assembly of the PHILJA Corps of Professors on August 29, 2014, to apprise the participants on the outcome and output of the Review of PHILJA Curriculum and gather their professorial commitment to PHILJA. One hundred eight members of the Corps of Professors, comprising Supreme Court and PHILJA officials, incumbent and retired justices and judges, professors of law, the academe, including the SC and PHILJA staff, attended the activity.
The program’s morning session began with a conferment ceremony for the Posthumous Award to Dr. Purificacion V. Quisumbing, Chair of the PHILJA Department of International and Human Rights Law. The award was presented to Justice Leonardo Quisumbing (ret.) and the rest of the family in honor of Dr. Quisumbing’s significant contributions to the Academy and to the Supreme Court. Justice Quisumbing responded with a message of appreciation. The plenary assembly proper immediately followed the conferment.
PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna presented the Review’s outputs and summary of recommendations. The afternoon session was devoted to workshop-focus group sessions by academic departments where key guide questions were provided to facilitate their discussions. In the same session, participants who were not yet members of any department were given the opportunity to sign up for membership in the department of their choice or interest. Afterwards, the present members of the Corps of Professors took their Oath of Professorial Commitment to solidify their dedication to the task of judicial development and education led by Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis, Dean of the Academy. Justice Hilarion L. Aquino culminated the activity by his delivery of the closing remarks.
Bangladesh Supreme Court Delegation Visits PHILJA
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh delegation, led by Mr. Chief Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain, accompanied by H.E. John Gomez, Ambassador of Bangladesh in the Philippines, paid a courtesy visit to the Philippine Judicial Academy on August 25, 2014 at the PHILJA Training Center, Tagaytay City. They were welcomed by Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, Executive Secretary Marina L. Buzon, Chief of Office for Academic Affairs Delilah Vidallon Magtolis, Head of the Research, Publications and Linkages Office Sedfrey M. Candelaria and PHILJA Professor Thelma A. Ponferrada. The delegation of eight is composed of Mr. Chief Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain; Honorable Judges of the Appellate Divisions Najmum Ara Sultana and Syed Mahmud Hossain; Honorable Judges of the High Court Division A.H.M. Shamsuddin Choudhury, Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, and Naima Haider; Senior District Judge S M Kuddus Zaman; and Mr. Jakhongir Khayderov, Chief Technical Adviser of Judicial Strengthening Project. During the visit, the PHILJA officials gave a tour of the PTC facilities and a brief overview on PHILJA, focusing on its composition, programs offered, publications produced and mediation activities.
Citizen's Handbook on Environmental Justice for ARMM Launched
The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), in coordination with the Program Management Office (PMO) of the Supreme Court, launched the publication entitled Citizen’s Handbook on Environmental Justice for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on October 1, 2014, at the Mamitua Saber Research and Technology Center (MSRTC), Mindanao State University, Marawi City. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), Tanggol Kalikasan (TK), Regional Human Rights Commission-ARMM (RHRC), and Mindanao State University (MSU) provided valuable support for the project.
The Citizen’s Handbook on Environmental Justice for ARMM (Handbook for ARMM, for brevity) is a follow-up publication to Access to Justice: A Sourcebook on Environmental Rights and Legal Remedies and the Citizen’s Handbook on Environmental Justice produced by the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) and the Program Management Office (PMO) of the Supreme Court, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Sourcebook is a resource material for environmental advocates and a guide to understand the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases promulgated by the Supreme Court.
Like the Citizen’s Handbook on Environmental Justice, the Handbook for ARMM is a citizen-friendly material designed to help ordinary people or laypersons understand the key role citizens play in the protection and promotion of the environment and to encourage citizen participation in the enforcement of environmental laws. Aside from introducing the reader to several important concepts in environmental law to better understand and appreciate environmental law enforcement, the Handbook for ARMM presented Islamic principles and imperatives to show the sacred teachings related to the protection of land and natural resources from abuse and misuse. Since this was tailor-made for the ARMM, the National laws are supplemented by relevant local laws passed by the ARMM Regional Assembly and their implementing rules and regulations, in the hope that the Handbook for the ARMM will contribute towards enforcing environmental laws to protect and preserve our fragile environment.