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Peralta prefers judicial reforms

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Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Tuesday said he was more concerned with implementing reforms in the judiciary to effectively administer justice than obtaining high public-awareness ratings.

Nonetheless, Peralta says he is still happy because he received a positive approval rating in the latest Pulse Asia Survey conducted on Sept. 14 to 20.

“More than anything, the Chief Justice is concentrated on providing the necessary reforms in the Judiciary to assure the public that Justice will be better served. That is the thrust of the Peralta Court,” Supreme Court spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said in a text message.

“The Chief Justice is more concerned with the effectiveness of the rules and circulars that were issued and implemented during his first year as Chief Justice, which includes those issued during the COVID-19 pandemic in order for the public to have continuous access to our Courts.”

The latest Pulse Asia Survey showed that Peralta received the lowest rating for public awareness and performance ratings and for awareness and trust ratings among the five highest officials in government, compared to President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

The survey showed that only 44 percent of the Filipinos polled approved of the performance of the Chief Magistrate, who also obtained a trust rating of 39 percent.

According to Chief Justice Peralta, “he is happy that despite a relatively lower awareness by the public, he still had a positive approval rating.”

“The Chief Justice noted that he and the other magistrates of the Judiciary are all appointed officials. Hence, they will logically have lower awareness by the public,” Hosaka said.

However, Pulse Asia was unable to release comparative data for Peralta since it was his first time to be included in the Ulat ng Bayan survey.

Since being appointed as Chief Justice last Oct. 23, 2019, the 68-year-old Peralta has been focused on implementing reforms in the Judiciary and making the courts adapt to the restrictions being implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Oct. 23, as he marks his first year as head of the high court, Peralta announced he intended to hold a press conference wherein he would discuss the strides he had made with his 10-point program.

Included in his 10-point program are the removal of case backlogs, the weeding out of misfits from the Judiciary and adapting a system where the court may initiate on its own the investigation of cases being handled by members of the Judiciary even in the absence of complaints.

He had also proposed the creation of a security team patterned after the United States Marshal Service to protect justices and judges amid the killings.

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