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Chief Justice urges judges, court personnel to observe proper ‘cyber hygiene’

/ 06:22 PM May 13, 2020

FILE – New Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta appears before members of the media for his first press conference as the 26th Chief executive officer of the judiciary of the Philippines. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta encouraged judges and court personnel to observe proper “cyber hygiene” as the country’s courts gear up for the “new normal.”

Peralta made the call in his opening speech during the first webinar entitled “The New Normal: Cybersecurity in a COVID-free, malware-free Judiciary” where more than 6,000 trial court judges and court personnel participated.

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The event was organized by the  Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) in coordination with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA). The webinar, hosted on the Judiciary 365 platform, focused on the current cyber threats and trends, red flag indicators, and security and safety—the dos and don’ts—especially when working from home.

It came after the high court started pilot testing of videoconferencing or “tele-hearing” nationwide in order to protect court officials, personnel, and parties from COVID-19. Pilot stations include courts in from Baguio City up north to Dagupan City in Pangasinan to the courts in Metro Manila to Cebu down south in the Visayas and to Cagayan de Oro farther down south in Mindanao.

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“This webinar is very timely as we recently rolled out the Philippine Judiciary 365 which has enabled all court stations nationwide to receive pleadings electronically and select courts in key cities to conduct video conferencing hearings,” the Chief Justice said.

The Chief Justice also stressed the importance of improving cybersecurity posture.

“Protecting information communication technology is a shared responsibility by all of us in the Judiciary. Everyone has a role to play, cyberthreats change quickly and we need to adapt to them quickly as well,” Peralta said.

“While we continue to heed the advice of our health professionals to observe good personal hygiene to protect ourselves from this virulent virus, I likewise encourage everyone to practice proper cyber hygiene to protect ourselves from being infected with computer viruses, worms, and other malware,” Peralta said.

Incorporating technology in hearings and trials in both the judicative and administrative processes of the court is part of Peralta’s 10-point goals that he intends to achieve during his stint as the country’s top magistrate.

Using technology, was, however, fast-tracked to ensure the fast delivery of justice despite strict quarantine rules imposed by the government.

Aside from videoconferencing, the high court also allowed the e-filing of complaints, petitions for bail as well as the submission of requirements for bail in order to minimize physical contact.

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Since Metro Manila will remain under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), high court’s Public Information Chief Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka said appropriate circulars and guidelines are being formulated.

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TAGS: Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, Supreme Court, technology, Tele-hearing, videoconferencing, webinar
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