Supreme Court Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta underscores that the implementation of The Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases has expedited the resolution of criminal cases in trial courts.
“Due to the implementation of the Revised Guidelines, criminal cases in trial courts are now being resolved much faster compared to previous years,” says Justice Peralta in his lecture titled “The Significance of Recent Developments in Criminal Law, Procedure and Jurisprudence to the Philippine Judicial System” during the 16th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture held on October 2, 2019 at the SC En Banc Session Hall in Padre Faura Street, Manila.
Citing court data, Justice Peralta says that from September 1, 2017 to September 1, 2019, an average of 26.83% of first- and second-level trial courts successfully complied with the 180-day period for trial provided by law and the Rules of Court. Prior to the effectivity of the Revised Guidelines, the compliance rate was at only 1.76%. He adds that cases are also being decided more swiftly, with 71.1% of judgments promulgated within the 90-day period required under the Constitution. Prior to its implementation, only 36.91 percent rate prior to the adoption of the Rules on Continuous Trial. The Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases, an innovative measure by the Court that simplifies the processes and expedites compliance within timeframes required in criminal proceedings began implementation on September 1, 2017. The Continuous Trial System has the following salient features: the mandatory observance of existing rules pertaining to trial dates, which should be held from Mondays to Thursdays, morning and afternoon, with Fridays as motion days; and the significant provisions on how courts can strictly observe the reglementary period on arraignment and pre-trial, trial, and promulgation provided for under the Rules of Court, statutes, and the Constitution as these reinforce the rights of persons to speedy disposition of criminal cases, Justice Peralta said. (Caption by Annie Rose A. Laborte; Photo by Jordan H. Carinan)