Quantcast
Latest Stories

SC: ‘Affidavit rule’ not suspended but up for deliberation

By

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court clarified that the implementation of the Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR) was not suspended.

In a statement, the high court’s Public Information Office said Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has submitted to the court en banc (full court) for deliberation the request of the Prosecutors League of the Philippines (PLP) to defer its implementation for a year.

“Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, responding to a request from the PLP for the deferment of the implementation of the JAR for at least a year in criminal cases, has directed that the request be included in the agenda of the Supreme Court’s First En Banc session of the year on Jan. 8, 2013,” the high court said Thursday.

The JAR requires submission of judicial affidavits in lieu of direct testimony of witnesses in criminal cases. The rule took effect on January 1 .

The high court statement, however, did not mention Circular No. 146 which was issued by the Office of the Court Administrator to all Justices of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, Judges of trial courts, Investigating Officers authorized by the Supreme Court to receive evidence including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, arbiters of Special Courts and Quasi-Judicial bodies which mentions that it would be more prudent, as recommended by Associate Justice Roberto Abadn to suspend implementation pending decision of the Court en banc.

Abad, together with Associate Justices Diosdado M. Peralta and Lucas Bersamin, met with members of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines on December 21. Abad made the recommendation to suspend the implementation of the rule.

The new rule, which was approved by the high court unanimously last
September, provides that “when a party [whether plaintiff or defendant] questions his own witness, he no longer needs to place the witness on the witness stand.” As a substitute, the party or his lawyer merely submits the written sworn statement of his witness in a question-and-answer format.

It also requires each party to the case to attach all his documentary evidence to the judicial affidavit, which, in turn, must be submitted at least five days before the “pre-trial” or “preliminary conference” in the case.

The JAR was said to be effective in reducing the time used for presenting the testimonies of witnesses by about two-thirds after a pilot program was conducted in the Quezon City courts.

However, the PLP said they have limited time to prepare judicial affidavits because they were saddled with heavy workloads.

In their letter to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, they said preparation for judicial affidavits was also more time consuming than conducting direct examination of witnesses.

It added that while it has been successful in Quezon City or would be successful in Metro Manila areas, this was so because there were sufficient number of prosecutors in the area unlike in the provinces with too few prosecutors.

“The prosecutors in the regional, provincial and city prosecution offices have limited time to prepare judicial affidavits because they are already saddled with heavy workloads, such as trial, including criminal and special proceedings cases; preliminary investigation, inquest proceedings and summary investigation (direct filing),” the PLP said. It said the SC’s successful experiment in Quezon City on the JAR “cannot apply to prosecution offices with lesser number of prosecutors.”

“Moreover, while litigants in Quezon City usually reside within the city, those in regions and provinces reside in inaccessible and far flung areas. Thus, they will spend additional expenses in going to prosecution offices to execute their judicial affidavits,” the PLP said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Affidavit rule , JAR , judicial affidavit rule , Politics , Supreme Court




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Massive infra spending set
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  8. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Captain not at helm of capsized Korean ferry–probers
  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Iraqi guilty of beating wife to death in US
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement