Bukidnon judges, lawyers choose dialogue over differences

MALAYBALAY CITY –The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Bukidnon
chapter decided to bridge the gaps between local judges and lawyers in
Bukidnon.

Isidro Caracol, IBP-Bukidnon president, told Bukidnon News on Tuesday that they have initiated a dialogue between the local bench and bar professionals amid their growing animosity over several issues.

The issues reported are inconsistency of requirements and schedules of
hearings, among others.As part of IBP’s Law Week celebration, the Bukidnon chapter
gathered the judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police officers and other
stakeholders in the justice system to allow them to express their
sentiments and to address these right away.

“This is to promote open communication between the two sectors
especially with growing inhibition among them,” Caracol added.

One of the issues raised is the inconsistency of court procedures. Some courts require different procedures such as the submission of pre-trial briefs while others do not. Both sectors agreed to require it and to make it very brief if the situation requires.

Caracol said that during the dialogue the judges welcomed the complaints
against them as long as it is expressed appropriately.

During the dialogue, said a source who requested anonymity, one of the
officials who felt that one issue raised alluded to her stood up
and explained her side.

Another official reminded policemen accompanying case respondents to
come to court ahead of time, in clean and proper uniform, with proper haircut, and shined shoes.

Caracol said with the dialogue they wanted to prevent loss of trust
between the two sectors and eventually the public’s trust on the
judiciary.

He said with the dialogue they foresee a more effective administration
of justice.

Caracol said they initiated the dialogue by asking all members of the
IBP chapter to express their sentiments in writing. A committee, he
added, screened the questions, before it was raised in the assembly.
But Caracol said the bottom line of the problems is still the lack
court salas, judges, and prosecutors in Bukidnon.

“This is the main issue here. This has to be corrected,” he added.

Bukidnon, he said, needs additional five judges for the municipal
circuit trial courts, at least one additional regional trial court (RTC) each in Malaybalay and Valencia
cities, and five other RTCs in the rest of Bukidnon.

Presently, there are four RTCs in Bukidnon, 3 are in Malaybalay and one in Manolo Fortich.

Caracol said the Supreme Court decided to fill in only recently two
vacant positions at the RTCs vacated by retiring
judges earlier this year. (Walter I. Balane)

 

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