THE Supreme Court has ordered all trial courts nationwide to be opened during the May 9 general elections.
In Circular No. 17-2016, the SC has required all executive judges and clerks of all regional trial courts, metropolitan trial courts and municipal trial courts in cities as well as judges and clerks of all single-sala trial courts to report for duty on election day, a special non-working holiday.
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez also mandated judges “to act on all election matters within your jurisdiction and to resolve the same with utmost caution and dispatch.”
“In case the executive judge would not be able to report for duty, he or she may designate the vice-executive judge or any of the judges in the station,” the circular stated.
The offices of the clerks of court were likewise told to maintain skeletal force to attend to the collection of fees and receive cash bonds needed in some election cases.
Marquez explained that the measure is again implemented just as in previous national elections “in the interest of the efficient administration of justice and to speedy disposition of election-related cases.”
Earlier, the Supreme Court and its employees honored former chief justice Renato Corona, who died of cardiac arrest last week, and honored him for fighting for judicial independence.
Court employees paid their last respect when the remains of the 23rd chief justice arrived at the SC on Wednesday.
Corona is remembered for fighting for judicial independence, which had been threatened when he was impeached and subsequently removed by allies of President Benigno Aquino III in Congress.
They wore white clothes and black armbands”•reminiscent of the silent protest held by court employees during Corona’s impeachment.
Corona’s wife Cristina thanked former colleagues of her husband in the high court, calling them their “extended family.”