AMAS, Kidapawan City (Dec. 7, 2018) – A total of 332 detainees in the Province of Cotabato were released from different district jails after the conduct of Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW) here on Dec.6, 2018.

Most of the released detainees were from the North Cotabato District Jail (NCDJ), the largest jail facility in the province and were all facing different cases but terminated through the Supreme Court’s EJOW .

Two buses of the Supreme Court were converted into mobile courts where hearings and mobile court-annexed mediations were done as well as the Provincial Gymnasium with a total of 17 courts (RTC, MTCC, and MCTC) keenly participated.

SC Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez personally supervised the proceedings for the termination of cases while Deputy Court Administrator for Mindanao Leo Tolentino Madrazo and Raul B. Villanueva also looked into the simultaneous hearings and speedy resolution of various cases.

This was the fourth time EJOW was conducted in the Province of Cotabato which benefits poor detainees whose cases include petty and domestic problems to serious cases.

Marquez personally thanked Governor Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. John Haye Deluvio, and Provincial Focal Person for Legal Matters Jessie Enid for supporting the program which aims to poor prisoners give greater access to justice, address the filing up of cases in different courts, and decongest jails.

He also lauded the Provincial Government of Cotabato for its determination and sincerity to bring justice especially to the poor and deprived prisoners.

Aside from speedy disposition of cases and court-annexed mediations, EJOW also brings with it free legal aid to detainees with the help of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-North Cotabato Chapter and Public Attorney’s Office (PAO); information dissemination and lectures for barangay officials conducted by the Philippine Judicial Academy (PJA); dialogue with the SC officials; and free medical dental services from the Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).

Meanwhile, apart from the release of 322 detainees, the EJOW also paved the way for the following: 670 cases heard and tried (509 decisions promulgated and 161 dismissed); 5 civil cases decided; 163 criminal cases decided resulting to conviction or imprisonment; 42 criminal cases decided resulting to acquittal; 36 cases referred to mediation (8 cases successfully mediated, 10 cases forfurther mediation, 18 cases back to court). Furthermore, the EJOW also catered a total of 385 detainees who availed of the free medical and dental service (medical – 209 and dental – 176); 182 availed of free legal service; 468 barangay officials registered and participated in information dissemination, and some 100 individuals actively participated in the dialogue conducted at the Provincial Capitol Rooftop. (Photo by Roville Ann Sotto – PGO IDCD)

Source: Cotabato Province