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PIA Press Release
2007/04/13

Court mediators take oath in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY (13 April) -- 38 mediators under the Court-Annexed Mediation program of the Justice Reform Initiatives Support (JURIS) project on Friday, April 13, took their oath before Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez.

The oath taking coincided with the inauguration of the Philippine Mediation Center (PMC) Baguio-Benguet Unit at the 3rd Floor of the Hall of Justice here to be headed by lawyer Rudy Estioco.

Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno said the putting up of a mediation center is to promote the implementation of Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) as an institutionalized alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism in the judicial system which is under the program of the Supreme Court in expanding the role of judges as conciliators in promoting access to justice by court litigants.

Puno hopes that by introducing JDR in Baguio City and Benguet, the process of mediation and conciliation at the level of judge would contribute significantly to the fair resolution of mediatable cases.

“We are hopeful this will result in the increased satisfaction of litigants in the court process as well as in the decongestion of the court dockets which would mean greater access to justice by our people especially by the poor”, Puno said.

With JDR and CAM, an efficient and effective court system is envisioned not only in the five model court sites but in the entire country. It is also considered as an important part of the Supreme Court’s Action Program for Judicial Reform (APJR) to improve the quality and delivery of judicial services to the people, Puno added.

The 38 mediators include 22 lawyers, 5 Gospel Ministers, 3 Tribal NGOs, a Bank Manager, a Housing Cooperative Manager, a Realtor, a Barangay Lupon Tagapamayapa, a Retired Court Employee, a Pre-Charge Officer, a National Training Commissioner and a Marriage Counselor.

The mediators are tasked to bring the party together and to neutrally arrive to settle the case before the case will be tried in court.

Mediatable cases include civil cases, settlement of estates and cases covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, except those which by law may not be compromised; cases cognizable by Lupong Tagapamayapa under the Katarungang Pambarangay Law; the civil aspect of B.P. 22 cases (Bouncing Check Law); theft and the civil aspect of quasi-offenses under Title 14 of the Revised Penal Code (Reckless Imprudence).

JDR and CAM are implemented under the JURIS Project of the Supreme Court supported by the Canadian Institute Development Authority (CIDA).

The activity was attended by the Associate Justices and other officials of the Supreme Court, judges from Bacolod City, Pampanga, Makati City, City of Manila, CIDA officials, Integrated Bar of the Philippines officers, leaders of the Alternative Law Groups and officers of the National Judicial Institute of Canada. (PIA) [top]

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