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Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno lamented the lack of prosecutors as one of the reasons for the delay of cases.
The Chief Justice made this revelation during the recent launching of the Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW) Program in Mandaluyong City, wherein 19 inmates have been released after a day’s activity of the mobile court.
Chief Justice Sereno said that she already shared sentiments with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima in one of the meetings of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC), where they are both members. She said she had discussed this also with fellow JCSS member Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas.
“All concerned agencies in the criminal justice system should coordinate. We all should communicate,” the Chief Justice underscored.
Chief Justice Sereno requested the public “to bear with the Judiciary” as its works to further uplift status by professionalizing its system. Sharing her vision of a technology-savvy Judiciary, Chief Justice Sereno shares that she foresees that the Judiciary will soon serve electronic subpoenas and notices to the parties. The Chief Justice is on the second year of her 20-year tenure as the top magistrate of the High Tribunal.
Aside from the release of the 19 inmates, the EJOW activity also resulted in the promulgation of 19 cases and dismissal of 67 others. Of the 27 cases referred for mediation, four were successfully mediated, while the rest were reset or sent back to the court. Furthermore, 180 received medical and dental assistance, as well as 288 participated in the information legal lectures among barangay leaders, while 150 participated in the dialogue among the stakeholders in the criminal justice system.
Also present during the launching were Supreme Court Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva, Deputy Court Administrator Thelma C. Bahia, Assistant Court Administrator and Public Information Office Chief Theodore O. Te, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr., and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” M. Gonzales II. Likewise, the judges, officers and employees of the Mandaluyong trial courts were present.
After the EJOW activity, Chief Justice Sereno proceeded to the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City to keynote CIW’s 83rd Foundation Anniversary and personally inspect the facilities of the penitentiary.
Chief Justice Sereno assured the CIW and its inmates them that the Judiciary is coordinating with the other justice sectors to administer justice. Speaking in vernacular, Chief Justice told the inmates to accept the Judiciary’s love. “I leave committing you to the care of God. We care for you and we will not forget,” the Chief Justice said.During her visit to the cells, Chief Justice gave the CIW inmates this advice: “Keep busy. Exercise. Always put a smile on your face. Regain your dignity.” ###