A breathing room for overloaded dockets has been created after President Rodrigo Duterte appointed 20 additional municipal trial court (MTC) judges as judges-at-large or roving judges.
They (roving judges) can be assigned by the Supreme Court (SC) anywhere in the country to speed up resolution of cases in courts.
The Office of Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo received the appointment papers of the 20 MTC roving judges last 14 July in a transmittal letter sent by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
This brings to 40 roving trial court judges as Mr. Duterte had earlier appointed 20 regional trial court (RTC) roving judges who have been fielded by the SC in various judicial regions.
Appointed MTC judges-at-large were Eduardo Eric F. Adversario, Jason B. Alquiroz, Joy B. Bolivar, Marilex L. Cabading, Maria Celina S. Carungay Servillano, Charisma Naida S. Castillo Martin, Ruel H. Espaldon, Eric O. Labuguen, Carolyn Delos Reyes Lorenzo Tanudtanud, Maria Rhodoro A. Malabag Peralta,
Charlene Clara G. Mendoza, Maria Monette F. Mesa, Ruben F. Mission V, Ma. Victoria Y. Patinio, Anthony Prince M. Tominez, Jesus G. Torres, Lady Ivy Vanity D. Velasco, Geronimo I. Ventura III, Michael Hanz D. Villaster, and Mark Louie L. Zabala.
The appointment of judges-at-large, who have no permanent stations, is provided for under Republic Act 11459 or the Judges-at-Large Act of 2019, which was signed into law by the President in August last year.
The creation of 100 new positions for RTC and 50 new posts for MTC judges-at large is mandated under RA 11459.
The partial implementation of RA 11459 was recommended by Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez “since only 50 of the 150 positions were funded by Congress in the judiciary’s 2020 budget.”
The other 100 positions according to Marquez are expected to be funded in 2021. They will be open for application when the funds are ready.