OLONGAPO-Mobile court proceedings under the Enhanced Justice on Wheels (E-JOW) led to the resolution of 37 cases and the release of 30 detainees from Olongapo city jails.
Moreover, out of 11 cases referred for mediation, two cases were successfully mediated while nine cases were reset or referred back to the appropriate courts.
It can be recalled that the E-JOW buses recently parked in Olongapo City and not only offered an on-site resolution of cases but also brought gratis services to inmates.
Six municipal trial courts and seven regional trial courts from Olongapo and Zambales participated in the said program.
According to Supreme Court Administrator Midas Marquez, court dockets have been cleared of around 15,000 civil and criminal cases since the Supreme Court started E-JOW.
Marquez also explained that whenever they bring the program to various municipalities and provinces in the country, E-JOW’s success not only depends on the effective and efficient mobile court hearings and mediation but also on the cooperation and support of the LGUs involved.
Two hundred forty one (241) detainees availed of E-JOW’s legal services while 638 inmates benefitted from the medical and dental mission conducted at the Olongapo City Jail and the Bureau of Jail Management and Phenology through the support of the City Health Office.
EJOW was officially launched by the Supreme Court in 2004 and offered on-site resolution of cases involving poor prisoners. Patterned after an experiment in Guatemala of bringing justice to the grassroots, it became one of the SC’s projects under the Action Program for Judicial Reform (APJR).
In July 2008, the program was re-launched with six components: docket and jail decongestion through mobile court hearings, mobile court-annexed mediation (MCAM), free legal aid, information dissemination about the rights of marginalized sectors, medical and dental mission, and dialogue with judges and court personnel.