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Monday, June 24, 2024

Justice served sloppily has catastrophic effects—CJ

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SUPREME Court (SC) Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo has warned of “catastrophic consequences” if justice was not served “efficiently and effectively.”

Gesmundo served the warning in his speech at the inauguration of the Hall of Justice in Sta. Rita, Pampanga last July 26 where he told stakeholders that the judiciary has embarked on a five-year reform program aimed at “addressing the longstanding problem of making justice not only accessible but also speedy and inexpensive.”

The Chief Justice earlier said the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations (SPJI) 2022-2027 “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 Supreme Court towards achieving three outcomes: Efficiency, Innovation, and Access,” he said.

During the inauguration of the Hall of Justice, Gesmundo told government officials and employees that “justice forms the heart of our society, binds us together, provides stability to allow us to coexist as a community and as a country, and serves as the foundation of our shared pursuit of progress.”

“This day is proof that if all public personnel and officials are united, especially with the support of local governments, everything can be accomplished. This is not a miracle.  We did this.  In unity and cooperation everything is possible,” the chief magistrate said.

On the judiciary’s SPJI, Gesmundo said: “I know I have discussed the SPJI and its target outcomes and corresponding activities at length on previous occasions with judges and court employees.”

“But I mention it again to emphasize: building the justice system we envision involves so much more than brick and mortar. It calls on us
to innovate and improve not just our physical structures but our processes and systems as well, in order to make them more responsive
and accessible to the people we serve,” he added.

The top magistrate then expressed the judiciary’s gratitude to all the agencies, offices, and individuals who were instrumental in the
construction of the Sta. Rita Hall of Justice.

He acknowledged the local government of Sta. Rita which donated the land for the facility. He also paid tribute to Vice Gov. Lilia Pineda whom he
described as “the Mother of Pampanga.”

In his opening remarks, SC Court Administrator Raul Villanueva underscored that “having a presentable and reputable hall of justice
emphasizes the lofty place that our justice system has in our democratic order.”

He expressed hopes that “the new Sta. Rita building would serve as a constant reminder to all its users that they all have a huge role to
play in the judicial system.”

“We in the judiciary should not fail the expectations of the people in Sta. Rita…. Instead, we should serve them well with utmost passion and
dedication,” he said.

Sta. Rita Municipal Trial Court Judge Maria Zenaida Ferrer Alejandre said; “For us judges, a separate HOJ building provides us
with an additional sense of pride, dignity, and security.”

Among those who were also present during the inauguration were Sta. Rita Mayor Arthur Salalila, Associate SC Justice Jose Midas Marquez,
Assistant Court administrator and public information office chief Brian Keith Hosaka, and OCA-Office on the Halls of Justice Chief
Atty. Raquel Ladrillano.

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