CJ Bersamin to launch Justice Zone in Davao City

By Rey Panaligan

DAVAO CITY – Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin will launch here Thursday morning (March 14) the Supreme Court’s (SC) Justice Zone project that is aimed at enhancing the full cooperation among workers in the criminal justice system for swift and fair administration of justice.

Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin says Davao City is the most significant of the three Justice Zones “because it is the first Justice Zone launched during [his] watch as the Chief Justice] during its launch this morning at the Benigno S. Aquino Hall of Justice in Ecoland, Matina, Davao City, Davao del Sur. The first Justice Zone was established in Quezon City in 2014, while the second in Cebu City in 2018. “Each of these Justice Zones enhances the coordinative capabilities of the pillars of justice in order to render their vital services more effective and more potent,” says the Chief Justice. Also in photo are (seated, from left) European Union to the Philippines Ambassador Franz Jessen, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Gueverra, (PHOTO COURTESY OF SC PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin says Davao City is the most significant of the three Justice Zones “because it is the first Justice Zone launched during [his] watch as the Chief Justice] during its launch this morning at the Benigno S. Aquino Hall of Justice in Ecoland, Matina, Davao City, Davao del Sur. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SC PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Immediately after the launching, Bersamin is expected to conduct a dialogue with trial court judges, prosecutors and representatives of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Justice Zone is one of the projects of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) which is supported by the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice (GOJUST) under a financial grant by the European Union (EU).

Aside from expediting resolution of cases filed in courts, GOJUST also aims to decongest jails. It also implements other services like drug testing in coordination with concerned government agencies.

Bersamin was in Cebu City last January and met with all stakeholders of the Justice Zone project that was first launched in Quezon City.

Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez said that in Cebu City, GOJUST has supported the joint training between the Department of Health and concerned agencies, such as the BJMP and the Cebu Provincial jail personnel, on drug testing for inmates involved in drug cases and for those who have availed themselves of the plea-bargaining program for drug dependents.

In one of his earlier speeches, Bersamin said the “under the Philippine Development Plan of 2017 until 2022, the Philippine government declared it a goal to pursue the Swift and Far Administration of Justice.”

He said that “sector-wide efforts have been made increasing communication and collaboration between the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to provide the timely delivery of justice in all areas of the law – civil, criminal, commercial, and administrative.”

He also said:
“The Justice Sector Coordinating Council has been reconvened. The principals there are the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and Local Government. This Council has approved the additional Justice Zones and Technical Working Groups. But the work of judicial reform continues.

“The whole Court, the whole Supreme Court, is committed to pursue the swift and fair administration of justice, and we are willing to work with whoever supports this objective.”

 
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