SC starts dialogue with frontliners in administration of justice in PH

Published September 15, 2022, 11:20 AM

by Rey Panaligan 

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo with other SC Justices during the Justice Zone dialogue series that started in Cebu City.

Judiciary members, government prosecutors, law enforcers, and representatives of local government units (LGUs) started in Cebu City last Wednesday, Sept. 14, their justice zone (JZ) dialogue for coordination and cooperation in the administration of justice.

JZs are projects of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) which is composed of the Supreme Court (SC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

They serve as venues “where key programs relating to the delivery of justice are in place to maximize coordination among the different agency actors to address the perennial issue of delay and the greater problem of accountability.”

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo led the JSCC’s justice zone dialogue in Cebu City.

The SC’s public information office (PIO) said the Cebu City dialogue “was the first of a series of face-to-face dialogues among the justice sector stakeholders that will be held to ensure that the existing Justice Zones will be able to maximize their potential and continue to be effective mechanisms for coordination and cooperation.”

Chief Justice Gesmundo said the JZ’s dialogue series will help the JSCC hear directly from the frontliners of the justice sector the activities that are happening on the ground, as well as their accomplishments and the issues they are facing.

Gesmundo underscored the value of their dialogue as the JSCC formulates and adopts policies and programs that will be more focused and truly responsive.

He then asked all those involved in the JZs to take part in the SC’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI) aimed primarily at dispensing “real-time justice.”

He said: “I urge you to study the Strategic Plan of the Supreme Court to see how your activities can align with the activities planned for the next five years. In doing this, I believe that the Cebu City Justice Zone will be able to lead all the other Justice Zones in achieving 100 percent delivery of responsive and real-time justice within the next two years.”

Aside from that in Cebu City, the eight other JZs are in Quezon City, Davao City, Angeles City, Bacolod City, Naga City,Calamba City, Balanga City, and Baguio City. The JZs in Balanga City and Baguio City were inaugurated after Gesmundo took over the top post in the judiciary in April 2021.

Gesmundo was joined in the Cebu City dialogue by Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez and Interior Undersecretary Oscar Valenzuela.

Also present were SC Justices Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Rodil V. Zalameda, Samuel H. Gaerlan, Jhosep Y. Lopez, Jose Midas P. Marquez, and Maria Filomena D. Singh; Court of Appeals Justices Jennifer Ong and Michael Ong; Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva; Deputy Court Administrator Jenny Lind R. Aldecoa-Delorino; Assistant Court Administrator and PIO Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka; Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator Laura C.H. Del Rosario; European Union Governance in Justice Programme (GOJUST Programme) Team Leader Christian Eldon; and trial court judges, prosecutors, representatives of local governments in Cebu.