IBP supports SC’s commitment to resolve cases within 2 years

Published June 15, 2021, 6:47 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has expressed its support to the Supreme Court’s (SC) commitment to resolve within two years, from date of submission for decision, all cases filed before the High Tribunal.

“The Integrated Bar of the Philippines welcomes the public commitment of Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo that the Supreme Court will observe the constitutional deadline of twenty-four months within which it should decide cases submitted for resolution,” IBP President Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa said in a statement.

In his first media conference last June 11, Chief Justice Gesmundo, who was appointed by President Duterte last April 5 and assumed office on the same day, said his tenure will focus on case decongestion and a technology-driven judiciary. He will serve as Chief Justice until Nov. 6, 2026, his 70th birthday.

On case decongestion, Gesmundo said that he and his colleagues have agreed to prioritize the resolution of aging cases in the next 24 months.

He also said:

“My fellow justices and I have resolved to decide all petitions, cases, or matters that have been filed before the Supreme Court after April 5, 2021 strictly within the said 24-month period from date of submission pursuant to Section 15 (1), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, and to strictly observe requirements for the proper exercise of its power of judicial review.”

“We strongly support the significant shift for timely disposition of cases brought to the highest court of the land,” Cayosa said.

“The proactive announcement from the head of the Judiciary will inspire and rally the trial and other appellate courts which are subjected to shorter constitutional deadlines,” he said.

He pointed out that “adherence to set deadlines by all is one way of achieving justice bilis (fast justice).”

To support the expeditious resolution of cases, Chief Justice Gesmundo said that the SC has approved several amendments to its Internal Rules.

Among these amendments, he said, are: prescribing a period of one month within which the members of the Court should submit reflection, comments, or suggestions, and a period of two weeks to resolve thereafter; shortening the period for distribution to the other members of the Court of the Member-in-Charge’s report on a case prior to its scheduled agenda date to at least three working days; and imposing a limit on the nature of administrative cases that can be elevated to the Court en banc (full court).

Gesmundo also said the SC is already considering the hiring of more law clerks for the offices of the justices to help eliminate aging cases or those already beyond the 24-month period to resolve.