Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo is paid a virtual courtesy call by the Supreme Court’s development partner Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI), led by Chair Ms. Sherisa P. Nuesa and President Mr. Jose Jerome R. Pascual III on June 7, 2021.
Joining the Chief Justice virtually are Justices Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa, Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Rodil V. Zalameda, Mario V. Lopez, Edgardo L. Delos Santos, Samuel H. Gaerlan, Ricardo R. Rosario, and Jhosep Y. Lopez, Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) Chancellor Arturo D. Brion, Judicial Integrity Board (JIB) Chairperson Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez.
Chief Justice Gesmundo was joined in person by Assistant Court Administrator and Public Information Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka and Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator Laura C.H. Del Rosario.
In his message to the JRI, the Chief Justice discussed the Supreme Court’s initiatives to address the need for speedy disposition of cases such as the revision of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court and the adoption of measures to ensure the safety of
judges and court personnel while making sure that justice is continuously rendered amid the ongoing pandemic.
He also presented the Court’s short-term goals which include the review and assessment of the organization structure and administration of the Philippine Judiciary, as well as long-term goals such as the development and establishment of an Information and Communication Technology infrastructure for the Philippine Judiciary and strengthening judicial recruitment.
Ms. Nuesa, in behalf of the JRI, lauded the various initiatives by the SC such as the creation of JIB, the decongestion of jails with the release of thousands of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) during the pandemic, and the digital processes implemented, and the extension of the validity of notarial commission, among others. According to her, these highlight the Court’s commitment to uphold judicial independence, the Rule of Law, and fundamental rights.
For his part, Mr. Pascual proposed the holding of a Justice Summit to be scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2022, for which pre-summit consultative workshops or web conferences on different components of the justice system will be held over a period of several months.
The Chief Justice expressed gratitude to the members of the JRI for their continuous support in behalf of the Judiciary and requested for further support and assistance in terms of budget augmentation especially for the JIB and PHILJA, fast- tracking the passage of the bills creating the Judiciary Marshals Service, and the increase of the jurisdiction of the first and second level courts.
During the courtesy call, the JRI expressed its full support to the SC in its programs and activities on justice reform, addressing budgetary gaps in the Judiciary, reform initiatives that require legislation, and programs to champion integrity and accountability reforms while working with the PHILJA, JIB, and the Philippine Association of Law Schools, among others.
The JRI is a private sector umbrella group composed of leading business organizations, judicial advocacy groups, and foreign chambers of commerce in the Philippines which serves as the voice of the business community in pushing for reforms in the administration of justice. (Courtesy of the SC-Public Information Office)