The Supreme Court building in Ermita, Manila. INQUIRER file photo / EDWIN BACASMAS
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has revised its rules to avoid unresolved cases from gathering dust in its dockets by shortening the period for justices of the high court to submit their written comments during their deliberations.
In a court notice released on Friday, the high tribunal said it approved on May 4 the changes in its internal rules that also limited the nature of administrative cases against judges, lawyers and members of the judiciary that can be elevated to the full court.
From the previous period of one week, it said, magistrates tasked to write the majority decision on a particular case were now given three working days to furnish copies of their ruling to their colleagues prior to their deliberations.
The justices also cut short from three months to one month the period for them to submit their written "reflections," comments and opinions on cases they were discussing.
"The majority opinion, together with the other opinions, shall be simultaneously submitted to the Chief Justice or the division chair for promulgation and release as official court actions in the case," read a portion of the notice signed by clerk of court Marife Lomibao Cuevas.
Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo shared the changes in the tribunal's rules when he spoke before members of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) on Friday.
Gesmundo earlier told reporters that clearing the court dockets of pending cases was one of his short-term projects as head of the judiciary.
"The Supreme Court embarked [on] a case decongestion program and, toward this end, amended its internal rules … to be able to comply with the constitutional mandate of two years for the resolution of cases," the Chief Justice said at the oath-taking ceremony of the PBA board members.
"We are contemplating to integrate the use by the police of body-worn cameras in the implementation of warrants," Gesmundo added. INQ
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