MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) continues with its work to dispense justice and has resolved 825 cases since the start of community quarantine measures in the country, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said on Friday.
Peralta said there have been 67,481 hearings through video conferencing on criminal cases involving 45,336 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) since the start of quarantine restrictions in mid-March.
“The wheels of justice continue grinding despite the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic”, Peralta told reporters.
He added that based on latest data as of August 21, around 60,532 PDLs have been released.
“This is a most-welcome development considering that our jails are congested and that stricter measures are being implemented especially with the present health crisis This is also proof that the Judiciary never wavered even during the almost six-month government lockdown in dispensing its constitutional duty to adjudicate cases,” he added.
There were 821 new cases filed before the High Court from March 16 to August 7, increasing the number of pending cases in the high court to 9,492.
He explained that the rules provide that “all decisions and actions in Court en banc cases shall be made upon the concurrence of the majority of the members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberations on the issue or issues involved and voted on them.”
“While the health crisis admittedly has adversely affected Court operations, this did not deter the Judiciary from administering its adjudicative functions. I and the other members of the High Court have imposed on ourselves to learn and adapt to technological advances so that we can continue working despite the lockdowns brought about by the pandemic,” Peralta said. (PNA)