Judges, clerks of courts required to report for work as barangay polls open

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The Supreme Court has ordered that judges and clerks of court are required to report on duty in order to resolve election related cases during the barangay elections on Monday.

Court Administrator Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, in a two-page circular, directed the judges to report for duty on election day by ordering the executive judges nationwide to assign their men and attend to the possible cases that might reach the court on election day.

Being the head of the Office of the Court Administrator, Marquez has administrative supervision over all judges nationwide and the office investigates and disciplines judges.

“In the interest of the efficient administration of justice and to ensure the speedy disposition of election related cases, you are hereby Directed to report to your respective court on 28 October 2013 to act on all election matters within your jurisdiction and to resolve the same with utmost caution and dispatch,” he said.

Likewise, Marquez also ordered that “in the multiple sala of RTCs, the Executive Judge shall assign another Presiding Judge of a branch to report for duty on 28 October 2013.”

“In the multiple sala first level courts, Presiding Judges of the designated special courts to try and decide election contests involving elective barangay officials pursuant to AO 184-2013 dated 11 October 2013, shall likewise report for duty. Should the Executive Judge in a station and the Presiding Judge of the designated special court be the same person, or if there are two or more special courts in a station, the Executive Judge shall assign by raffle the other Presiding Judge who shall report for duty. In case the Executive Judge of a multiple sala station would not be able to report for duty on 28 October 2013, the Vice Executive Judge or any of the Judges in the station may be designated on his/her stead,” he added.

In case of far-flung areas, Marquez noted that any urgent election matter can be brought to the nearest court or station.

“In vacant or single sala RTCs where the court of the Acting Presiding Judge is very far from the court concerned, any urgent election matter shall be referred for appropriate action by the Clerk of Court to the Executive Judge of the nearest court or station,” he said.

“In case of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, to the Presiding Judge of the nearest court or to the Executive judge, whichever is nearer,” he added.

The Clerks of Court are also tapped to have a skeletal force during the election day.

“The Clerk of Court of the Office of the Clerk of Court shall maintain a skeletal force in the office to attend to the collection of court fees and to receive cash bonds or any other bonds that may be posted for any election offense,” Marquez added. (PNA)

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