Acting Chief Justice promises early reforms for the court-A A +A
Saturday, June 30, 2012
CLARK FREEPORT -- Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio urged the Judicial and Bar Council to ensure that only those that possess integrity and independence get into the list of nominees for the chief magistrate post.
"The gatekeeper of integrity and independence of the court is the Judicial Bar Council (JBC),” he said, as he addressed the second day of the Regional Convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Central Luzon at the Mimosa Convention Hall here Friday.
The IBP regional convention, which runs from June 28 to 30, carried the theme: “The IBP, Promoting Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in the Judicial System.”
Addressing about 300 participants from different provinces of Central Luzon and some nearby provinces of Northern Luzon, Carpio in his speech said the country’s judiciary must keep on building on the past initiatives to address what he termed as intractable problems as well as emerging ones.
Top among the reforms he intends to set in motion is decongesting the clogged Judiciary dockets, as “the problem impairs social justice and economic development and erodes public confidence in the justice system and ultimately the entire government.”
Carpio said that “at present, 21 percent of trials take more than two to five years to finish, and 13 percent take more than five years to finish.
Thus, he said “cases should be decided as prescribed by the Constitution, not more than two months for the Supreme Court, not more than 12 months for appellate courts and not more than three months for all other lower courts.”
He said a high vacancy rate in the position of judges in the trial courts naturally contributes to clogged dockets.
At present, the overall vacancy rate is the first and second level of court is 25.6 percent. The vacancy rate for the position judges is very high with 25.6 percent in the first and second level courts, and 22.4 percent on existing trial courts.
The acting top chief magistrate said judges and justices must have integrity and independence, aside from confidence.
Sixty-three have so far been submitted as nominees for the position of Chief Justice of the country’s highest court, not to count all the members of the Supreme Court who are all deemed qualified for the position. (Wilfredo A. Villareal)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 01, 2012.