SC @ 121: CJ Gesmundo Speaks on Public Trust and Accountability
June 10, 2022
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo reminded Supreme Court officials and employees to remain accountable while performing their sworn duties as public servants as he bared the SC’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 in the message he delivered earlier today during the 121st founding anniversary of the Supreme Court at the Old Supreme Court compound in Ermita, Manila.
“From the lowest ranking employee of the Court up to the Chief Justice, we are accountable to the nation under the solemn mandate we call ‘public trust,’” underscored the Chief Justice. “It is this trust that we are sworn not to break, not to betray, and not to diminish. This duty is what we, in turn, call accountability.”
He disclosed that the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022- 2027 is founded on four Guiding Principles–“the Judiciary’s delivery of justice will be Timely and Fair, Transparent and Accountable, Equal and Inclusive, and Technology Adaptive.” Based on these, he said there are three target outcomes: “efficiency, innovation, and access.”
Chief Justice Gesmundo said that the first outcome, “efficiency,” entails organizational review and restructuring in the Judiciary. He also announced plans to establish programs focusing on the physical and mental wellbeing of officials and employees and a campaign on the reinforcement of ethical responsibility.
Under the second outcome, “innovation,” the Chief Justice highlighted the projects spearheaded by the Associate Justices. He mentioned that Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen serves as the Chairperson of the technical working group that will review the writs
of kalikasan and continuing mandamus, and the writs of amparo and habeas data. He also cited the success of the 2020/2021 Bar Examinations, the first-ever regionalized and digitalized Bar Examinations in Philippine history. Chief Justice Gesmundo likewise recognized the Benchbook for Family Courts and the Benchbook for Commercial Courts spearheaded by retired Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, which were both launched before her retirement last month.
Regarding the third outcome, “access,” the chief magistrate highlighted the Court’s initiatives towards bring judicial services closer to the public.
Chief Justice Gesmundo further recognized the contributions of each Associate Justice of the Court, citing the summits on legal education and the Enhanced Justice on Wheels project led by Senior Associate Justice Leonen; the enhancement of Shari’ah justice and legal education system headed by Justice Japar B. Dimaampao; the promotion of gender sensitivity and fairness led by Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, with the adoption of the Guidelines on the Use of Gender Fair Language and Courtroom Etiquette for the Judiciary; the E-Notarization Committee headed by Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa; the promulgation of the Rule on Facilitated Naturalization of Refugees and Stateless Persons under the leadership of Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando; and the promulgation of the Rules on Expedited Procedures through the efforts of Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan, Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, and Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh, who was then still a Justice of the Court of Appeals.
In addition, the Chief Justice mentioned that Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez and Justice Marquez will also be working on the construction of various halls of justice and court buildings. He likewise cited the amended Rules of Procedure for Municipal Election Contests under the leadership of Justice Antonio T. Kho, Jr.; the preparation of the module for the implementation of the Rules on the Use of Body-Worn Cameras which Justice Mario V. Lopez is currently working on in coordination with the Philippine Judicial Academy; the establishment and operation of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals led by Justice Rodil V. Zalameda; and the important role of Justice Ricardo R. Rosario in the review of reports on the killing of lawyers.
In closing, Chief Justice Gesmundo assured everyone that “our Justices are doing their best to be able to deliver what we are promising” as he rallied all officials and employees to play their roles and support the Court’s undertakings.
Themed “Korte Suprema ng Makabagong Panahon: Nagbabalik Tanaw sa Kahapon,” this year’s celebration kicked off with “One Community,” a community pantry for court personnel held at the Old SC Compound Grounds yesterday, June 9, 2022.
Per tradition, today’s festivities started with a Thanksgiving Mass, followed by a short program which included a raffle and a music video contest participated in by court employees.
For everyone’s safety, the Court held its celebration virtually. Monitors were set up in the various areas of the SC compound where other employees can watch, while others joined via the videoconferencing platform Zoom. (Courtesy of the SC Public Information Office)