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137,645 PDLs,children in conflict with law released

A TOTAL of 137,645 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and children in conflict with the law (CICL) have been released through videoconferencing which was implemented by the Supreme Court following the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, courts all over the country have conducted a total of 234,540 videoconferencing hearings in civil and criminal cases from May 5, 2020 to April 9, 2021.

In a report to newly-appointed Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, Marquez also noted that videoconferencing has a success rate of 87.75 %.

Videoconferencing hearings ensure cases are heard in a timely manner, and comply with the government’s social distancing and remote work guidelines because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Videoconferencing for court hearings was approved by the SC in June last year. It was pilot tested in Davao City courts.

On March 16, 2020, then chief justice Diosdado Peralta, in response to the exponential spread of COVID-19 cases in the country, issued A.C. 31-2020, and ordered that “all courts nationwide shall drastically reduce operations” and maintain only the necessary skeleton-staff to immediately act on urgent matters brought before them.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years