Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SC to bring its mobile court project in Cagayan de Oro City

CAGAYAN de Oro City—To help expedite the disposition of cases of inmates at the overcrowded Cagayan de Oro City Jail, the Supreme Court’s “Justice on Wheels” project will be brought to the city late this year.

This was revealed by Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Constantino “Tinnex” Jaraula after he was informed by Supreme Court spokesman Atty. Jose Midas P. Marquez when the Mayor welcomed guests and delegates in the 11th National Convention-Seminar of the Municipal Trial Court and City Judges held on September 21-25, 2009 at the Pearlmont Inn, this city.

“We are very happy with that (jail decongestion mission) because our City Jail could ideally accommodate to about 300 to 400 prisoners, but we are presently serving more than 900. So, there is really a need to dispose of cases earlier,” Mayor Jaraula pointed out.

“Any delay in the justice system translates to disenchantment, disappointment and hopelessness. Justice delayed is justice denied,” Jaraula, who is also a lawyer, noted.

While he thanked the Supreme Court’s plans to bring in to Cagayan de Oro City the mobile court project, Mayor Jaraula batted for the filling-up of vacancies of judges at the Regional Trial Court.

“How can you dispose of cases as fast as the people deserve to have justice when you are burden with so many cases?,” the City Chief Executive asked, citing that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) has seven vacancies out of the 14 positions.

With the holding of the convention, Mayor Jaraula hopes that…”these things (lack of judges, overpopulated detention facilities, etc.) are brought to the attention of the Supreme Court, and solutions are found.

The “Justice on Wheels” project usually calls for the deployment of a mobile court room (a passenger bus converted into a mobile court room) in congested jail facilities.

The inmates whose cases are no longer actively being pursued by the complainants are provisionally ordered released by the judges staffing the mobile court room.

Mobile court hearings also give litigants an additional hearing day -– a “special” hearing day –- of their cases, thereby contributing to speedy disposition of cases.

Justice on Wheels is part of the Supreme Court’s “Increasing Access to Justice by the Poor Program” which aims to close in the gaps and roadblocks under the justice system that limit the poor from seeking redress from the courts


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