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THE COUNTRY’S chief justice has urged judges to adopt technological innovations to improve the Philippine legal system, citing in particular the important role of first-level courts as “frontliners” of the judiciary.

“Technology is very important, with your support, we will be able to achieve these innovations that we want to introduce,” Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo said in a statement on Feb. 18 after leading the oath-taking of the newly appointed officers and directors of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA). 

Mr. Gesmundo noted that he has been pushing for technology-driven court processes such as online filings and hearings since his appointment last year. 

“We might say that the ambition of the Court is hard to reach but if we decide and we have the will, we can do it,” he said.

The Supreme Court chief stressed that municipal and metropolitan trial courts are the first stop of litigation and their performance reflects the entire judicial system. 

“As frontliners, ideally and under normal circumstances, you are the first contact persons of the litigants, especially the first level courts,” Mr. Gesmundo said. “For that reason, we must assure that people transacting with the court involving cases must be satisfied with the way you are doing things at the trial court, because if they are frustrated it reflects on the entire Judiciary.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez