The judiciary will be able to hasten the adjudication of several pending court cases with the support provided by Congress under the 2021 national budget for the appointment of judges-at-large, Senator Sonny Angara said on Sunday.

Increase in 2021 judiciary budget to help judges resolve cases quickly – Angara

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The judiciary will be able to hasten the adjudication of several pending court cases with the support provided by Congress under the 2021 national budget for the appointment of judges-at-large, Senator Sonny Angara said on Sunday.

Angara, who steered the early approval of the 2021 General Appropriations Act as chairman of the Senate’s committee on finance, said a total of P244.988 million was included in the budget of the judiciary for the implementation of Republic Act 11459 or the Judges-at-Large Act.

Enacted on August 13, 2019, RA 11459 mandates the creation of judges-at-large posts for the regional and municipal trial courts in order to decongest the courts of its dockets.

These appointed judges-at-large will have no permanent salas and may be assigned by the Supreme Court as acting or assisting judges to any RTC or MTC in the country “as public interest may require.”

They are entitled to salaries, privileges, allowances, emoluments, benefits, rank and title of regular RTC and MTC judges.

The funds allocated for the judiciary will pave the way for the appointment of 100 judges-at-large posts for 2021.

Angara noted that the National Expenditure Program submitted by Malacañang to Congress last year did not contain a provision for the appointment of judges-at-large.

“For 2020, the first year of implementation of the law, we provided funding to cover for the creation of 50 judges-at-large posts. For 2021, we will double the number of posts to 100 as requested by our Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta,” he said.

“We want to sustain the implementation of the Judges-at-Large Act to help ensure the delivery of speedy justice in the country. With the appointment of more judges, we can expect to see the resolution of more cases and eventually free up the courts of its backlog,” Angara added.

The principal authors of RA 11459 are Angara in the Senate and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco in the House of Representatives.

Also included in the budget of the judiciary for 2021 is an augmentation of P50 million to cover for the deployment of judiciary marshals to secure the justices, judges and other court officials.

Angara said the the inclusion of this funding was prompted by the appeals of the judiciary for the creation of a judicial marshal service as the threats and attacks against judges and other court officials continue to take place in the country.

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POLITIKO / Latest News

Duterte explains why he prefers Sinopharm over Western vaccines

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will take China’s Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease.

“Ang akin is Sinopharm [from] China. Hindi masyado ako maano diyan sa mga produkto ng puti,” Duterte said in a speech at the inauguration of school buildings at the Canumay East National High School and Lawang Bato National High School in Valenzuela City.

Prior to this, Duterte said he does not mind some doctors’ decision to wait for other vaccine brands.

“I have to fly to Villamor because the AstraZeneca, about 478,000 darating. For those of you… who would opt to take that vaccine, fine with me,” the Chief Executive said.

“Wala sa akin yan. Others might prefer other brands. The doctors are very discriminating. They are waiting for Pfizer,” he added.

China to donate 400,000 more Covid-19 vaccine doses to Philippines – Duterte

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said China will donate 400,000 more doses of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines.

Duterte made the announcement in his speech during the inauguration of school buildings at the Canumay East National High School and Lawang Bato National High School in Valenzuela City.

“China would give us another [400,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses], making their donation to this country [at] 1 million [doses],” according to him.

The East Asian country previously donated 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac that arrived in Manila last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Duterte reiterated that he will lift the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions once the country achieve widespread vaccination.

“If I see most of the citizens can avail of the vaccine in any of the health centers [or] hospitals, that is the standard, then I will reopen everything sa ating ekonomiya. For now, pigil ako sa, lalo na mga bata,” he said.

Duterte says gov’t going ‘full-throttle’ on vaccine drive to ensure student safety

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed that the government will go “full- throttle” in its mass coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination program to ensure safe return to schools.

Duterte made the statement during the simultaneous inauguration of school buildings at the Gen. Gregorio H. Del Pilar Integrated School and Virginia Ramirez-Cruz High School in Bulakan, Bulacan.

“I assure you that the government is exerting all efforts to go full-throttle in this Covid-19 vaccination program to ensure the safety of students before the resumption of the face-to face-learning,” the Chief Executive said.

In his speech, Duterte also underscored the need for timely completion of government structures and projects and directed all concerned agencies to ensure the least inconvenience to the public during construction and maintain the highest ethical standards.

“Our investment in education infrastructure affirms our continuing commitment to promote the right of the people to quality and accessible education at all levels,” according to him.

“A good education is a valuable gift we can proudly pass on to succeeding generations of Filipinos. Let us join hands in developing the full potential of your youth as bearers of our nation’s sustainable future,” he concluded.

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