THE Supreme Court (SC) on Friday brought “Judgement Day” to Cebu City in an attempt to decongest jails and decrease case load of trial courts.
Judges simultaneously handed down the rulings of cases that were due for promulgation.
Lawyer Mundlyn Misal-Martin, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter, welcomed the High Court’s program, saying all the accused have the right to speedy trial.
“This (Judgement Day) really helps. We respect the prerogative of the court to declog court cases as long as the proper procedures are followed,” Martin said in an interview.
“We want to unclog court dockets and help in decongesting the jails. If we do so, we will be able to lessen the jail expenses of government,” she added.
Martin said a number of inmates had been complaining inside the different jails which had been filled beyond its capacity.
“Some of them claimed that the complainants no longer appear during court proceedings. The court must do something. It’s not fair for these inmates to remain in jail,” she said.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, deputy mayor on police matters, said a total of 244 inmates of the Cebu City Jail were brought to the Qimonda IT Center, the city’s temporary courthouse, for Friday’s Judgement Day.
“Hopefully, they will be released so as to decongest our jail also,” he said.
At present, the Cebu City Jail, which has an ideal capacity of 1,500, has 5,044 inmates.
The jails are filled with those unable to post bail and waiting for trials in court.
Supt. Renante Rubio, warden of the Cebu City Jail, requested the city government for the deployment of buses to transport the inmates to the Cebu City courts.
Cebu Daily News has yet to get the total and official list of convictions and acquittals during the event.
The Judgement Day event was part of the 43rd anniversary of the Clerk of Court.