Philippine Bar Association asked to support SC’s 5-year reform program for judiciary

CJ Alexander G. Gesmundo administers oaths of office to 2023 officers of Philippine Bar Association on Feb. 6, 2023.

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo rallied the officers and members of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the country’s oldest voluntary organization of lawyers, to support the Supreme Court’s (SC) five-year reform program for the judiciary.

During the oath-taking of PBA officers, and members of the board of trustees and council of advisers, Gesmundo reiterated that the reform program under the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations (SPJI) is aimed at dispensing justice “efficiently, effectively, and timely.”

Gesmundo said the SPJI for 2022 to 2027 “is anchored on four guiding principles: Timely and Fair Justice, Transparent and Accountable Justice, Equal and Inclusive Justice, and Technologically Adaptive Management.”

“These principles will propel the Court towards achieving three outcomes: Efficiency, Innovation, and Access,” he stressed.

Gesmundo administered the oaths of office to the new members of the PBA leadership at the SC’s session hall last Monday, Feb. 6.

The 2023 PBA officers are Ernestine C.J.D. Villareal-Fernando, president; Joel Raymond R. Ayson, 1st vice president; Peter Irving C. Corvera, 2nd vice president; Joseph Manalo R. Rebano, 3rd vice president; Rodolfo A. Gamboa, vice president for administration and finance; Chrysilla Carissa P. Bautista, treasurer; Victor E.M. Pangilinan, assistant treasurer; Arnel Victor C. Valeña, corporate secretary; and Israfel D. Fagela, assistant corporate secretary.

The board of trustees is composed of Jose Luis V. Agcaoili, Joel Raymond R. Ayson, Chrysilla Carissa P. Bautista, Rodelle B. Bolante, Rico V. Domingo, Israfel D. Fagela, Abdiel Dan Elijah S. Fajardo, Ernestine C.J.D. Villareal-Fernando, Alfredo B. Molo III, Miguel Luis H. Orosa, Victor E.M. Pangilinan, Joseph Manolo R. Rebano, Maria Teresita Geraldine C. Sison-Go, and Arnel Victor C. Valeña; while the council of advisers are Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., Rodel A. Cruz, Ruben O. Fruto, Llewellyn L. Llanillo, and Fina Bernadette Dela Cuesta-Tantuico.

The SC’s public information office (PIO) said that Chief Justice Gesmundo, in his message, said: “We are thankful that we can count on the PBA to support us in our endeavors. I know that together we can make sure that our people can reap the fruits of these reforms sooner rather than later, and that together, we can usher in the new standard of justice—and in doing so, cultivate a wider, deeper, fuller adherence to the rule of law in our country.”

The PIO said that the Chief Justice “looks forward to the PBA’s more diverse program of activities in complement to the Court’s reform program, the SPJI.”

The PBA was founded in 1891.

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