Justice Sector Coordinating Council Launches Baguio City Justice Zone
June 24, 2022
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo delivers his keynote message as one of the three principals of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) during the launch of the Baguio City Justice Zone at the Baguio Convention Center today, June 24, 2022. Looking on are (from right) Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, JSCC principals Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año and Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, and Regional Trial Court of Baguio City Executive Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera.
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo today led the principals of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) in launching the Baguio City Justice Zone at the Baguio Convention Center, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City.
Joining Chief Justice Gesmundo were the other JSCC principals: Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año. The Supreme Court of the Philippines, the DOJ, and the DILJ comprise the JSCC.
The Baguio City Justice Zone, which is supported by the JSCC and the Baguio City local government, is the ninth to be unveiled in the country, after those in Quezon City, Cebu City, Davao City, Angeles City, Bacolod City, Naga City, Calamba City, and Balanga City. It is also the second to be inaugurated during the term of Chief Justice Gesmundo.
The Justice Zone project adheres to its objective of a swift and fair administration of the criminal justice system. It is established to strengthen the coordination and communication among the principal agencies of the JSCC by serving as a venue and a mechanism for communication, principled
cooperation, and studied coordination with great deference to institutional independence.
In his keynote, Chief Justice Gesmudo shared that it was in the summer of 2014, “right here in Baguio City,” that the idea of establishing a Justice Zone that would deliver justice through a sector approach that will ensure efficiency, transparency, and accountability, but at the same time guarantee mutual assistance and understanding, was born.
“Therefore in a Justice Zone, the delivery of public services is not agency- or actor-driven,” he said. “Rather, in a Justice Zone the efficient and effective delivery of justice services is sector-initiated and sector-propelled,” stressed Chief Justice Gesmundo.
The Chief Justice also emphasized the role of the local government of Baguio City in the success of the Baguio City Justice Zone. “In this task, the local champions will be at the frontlines. In your hands will rest the quality of justice the people will receive in your Justice Zone. Your plans, activities, and programs will be both the test and the proof of your standard of service. Do not let the people of Baguio City down,” he said.
“Baguio City has been acknowledged as one of the trailblazers in the fight against COVID-19 with its very progressive and proactive ways of dealing with the pandemic. Now that it is also a Justice Zone, the people of Baguio City and all who travel to it can be assured not just of their health and medical wellbeing, but also of the safety and security of their rights under all applicable laws,” Chief Justice Gesmundo added.
The JSCC principals Chief Justice Gesmundo, Secretary Guevarra, and Secretary Año, were joined by Baguio City Mayor Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, Baguio City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera, and Justice Zone Convenor Judge Mia Joy C. Oallares-Cawed expressed their commitment “to support the JSCC through the Baguio City Justice Zone and its efforts to improve communication, cooperation and coordination among local justice sector actors” by signing the “Wall of Commitment.”
Also in attendance were Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, Court of Appeals Justice Jose Lorenzo R. Dela Rosa, DOJ Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Nicholas Felix L. Ty, Assistant Court Administrator and Public Information Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka, Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator Laura C.H. Del Rosario, National Telecommunications Commission Deputy Commissioner Jon Paulo V. Salvahan, Baguio City trial court judges and prosecutors, members of the Bar, and other court and Baguio City local officials.