Not even the Covid-19 pandemic can stop the Judiciary under the Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta from further educating its members of the Bench.
The Supreme Court successfully held this afternoon a one-hour webinar for more than 6,000 participants including trial judges and court personnel titled The New Normal: Cybersecurity in a Covid-free, Malware-free Judiciary.
Organized by the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) in coordination with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), the webinar, hosted on the Judiciary 365 platform, focused on the current cyber threats and trends, red flag indicators, and security and safety – the do’s and don’ts – especially when working from home.
The speakers included key people from TrendMicro, one of the global leaders in cybersecurity, which has global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
In his message, Chief Justice Peralta hailed the webinar being “the first event of its kind that focuses on ushering the cyber security culture in the Philippine Judiciary” during this time of pandemic.
“This webinar is very timely as we recently rolled out the Philippine Judiciary 365 which has enabled all court stations nationwide to receive pleadings electronically and select courts in key cities to conduct video conferencing hearings,” said the Chief Justice said.
He took pride in saying that the video-conferencing hearings in select pilot court stations nationwide“ are in full swing from Baguio City up north to Dagupan City in Pangasinan to the courts in Metro Manila to Cebu down south in the Visayas and to Cagayan de Oro farther down south in Mindanao” and had resulted in the release of more persons deprived of liberty.
“Data from the Office of the Court Administrator show that in one week alone, from April 30 to May 8, 2020, some 4,683 [persons deprived of liberty] PDLs not only from the [Bureau of Jail Management and Penology] BJMP but also from the provincial jails and lock up cells and custodial centers of the [Philippine National Police] PNP have been released compared to the initial data gathered over a period of six weeks from March 17 to April 29, 2020, which tallied 9,731,” said Chief Justice Peralta who has been closely and personally monitoring the trial courts nationwide especially when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) started in March. He stressed that he is confident that more PDLs will be released on reduced bail on recognizance as small courts conduct video conferencing hearings.
Keeping up with the times as the Judiciary incorporates top technologies “to improve the administration of justice especially during these challenging times,” Chief Justice Peralta underscored the need to improve our cyber security posture, stressing that protecting information communication technology is “a shared responsibility by all of us in the Judiciary.” He said: “Everyone has a role to play, cyber threats change quickly and we need to adapt to them quickly as well.”
“While we continue to heed the advice of our health professionals to observe good personal hygiene to protect ourselves from this virulent virus, I likewise encourage everyone to practice proper cyber hygiene to protect ourselves from being infected with computer viruses, worms, and other malwares. Just like our health professionals, our frontliners during the Covid-19 crisis, we are also frontliners in the defense against cyber threat,” he said.