August 8 , 2010---One of the most successful, innovative solutions to declog the court dockets is the Supreme Court’s Justice on Wheels program.
Yesterday, Justice on Wheels rolled in Dumaguete and conducted hearings at the premises of the Hall of Justice.
Yesterday, there were thirteen promulgation of cases, and nine mediated cases.
A total of twenty two cases were immediately acted upon, under the Justice on Wheels program.
This is according to Atty. Cory Perez, branch 41 clerk, and acting assistant clerk of court.
The Justice on Wheels program was supervised no less than by the project’s chief implementer Senior Deputy Court Administrator Nimfa Cuesta--Vilches.
Vilches was Vice Chair of the committee on Justice on Wheels of the Supreme Court.
She is also a former judge having been first appointed at age 32 in Leyte.
She graduated law from the Ateneo de Manila in 1982.
Also on hand to facilitate the conduct of Justice on Wheels was Dumaguetena judge who is now assistant court administrator Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino.
Jenny Lind, a former judge in Dumaguete and Makati City, graduated from Silliman University.
The Justice on Wheels came from Ilo-ilo, Bacolod and will proceed to Cebu.
Under the Justice on Wheels program, court hearings can now be held in busses that move from one place to another.
These moving court salas will conduct court proceedings specially on those areas where movement of cases are dragging for one reason or another.
There are places where there are not enough judges, prosecutors, public defenders.
There are places where cases actually need only to be mediated to be resolved, including problems about domestic relations.
There are places where many of the people need basic information on their rights.
This is where the Justice on Wheels can fill the gap, and bring justice closer to the people and the marginalized.
The Justice on Wheels program, implemented during the stewardship of retired Chief Justice Renato S. Puno, fulfills a constitutional guarantee that “adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.”
The main components of the Justice on wheels are: (1) docket and jail decongestion through mobile court hearings; (2) mobile court-annexed mediation; (3) free legal aid; (4) information dissemination about the rights of the marginalized.
Believe it or not, the Justice on Wheels also offers medical and dental missions, aside from dispensing justice.
I’ve been to these busses before.
They are air conditioned. The interior resembles a court sala.
The Justice on Wheels program was adopted after it was showcased in Guatemala.
There was a big bus, partitioned into an office of the judge, a room for clerical staff, and rooms for prosecution and mediation.
It was seen as a practical solution to speed up case disposition.
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