BAGUIO CITY – The Supreme Court (SC) has enhanced the capabilities of lower courts to deliver speedy, expeditious and inexpensive resolution of all criminal cases thru an Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) circular.
Municipal Trial Courts in Cities executive judge Glenda Ortiz-Soriano said the SC has approved OCA-circular no. 101-2017 or the Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases addressed to all judges and clerks of court of first and second level courts, that aims to protect and advance the constitutional right of persons to a speedy disposition of their criminal cases.
“The circular also reinforces and gives teeth to existing rules on criminal procedure and other special rules prescribing periods for court actions and those that promote speedy disposition of cases, and introduce innovations and practices for the benefit of the parties,” she said.
Soriano added that the circular takes effect on September 1 this year where the first and second level courts will conduct trials from Mondays to Thursdays at exactly 8:30 a.m. and hold afternoon sessions at exactly 2:30.
Hearings on motions, arraignment, pre-trial and promulgation of decisions are conducted on Friday mornings.
“There are other projects being initiated by the SC to further enhance and tweak the efficiency and performance of all lower courts. We look forward to their realization in the near future,” she disclosed.
Soriano acknowledged the continuing support of the city government headed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Congressman Mark Go and Vice-Mayor Edison Bilog towards the efficient delivery of court-related services to litigants and local residents.
She also expressed the MTCC’s appreciation of the “unwavering support, steadfast and crucial role of the city government as the court’s indispensable partner in delivering legally-mandated services of the judiciary for the betterment of the people of Baguio.” –Gaby Keith