Friday, March 29, 2013

Judicial Affidavit Rule eyes more foreign investors

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
 DAGUPAN CITY – A legal luminary in Pangasinan said that the implementation of the court of a rule to shorten litigation will encourage more foreign investors to put monies in the country. Attorney Rufino Moreno, Jr. said that the reduction by two-third of the time the presentation of testimonies of witnesses in court cases will make the Philippines an attractive haven for the elusive foreign investors that could provide more jobs to Filipinos.
 “Case congestion and delays plague most courts in the country, given the huge volume of cases filed each year and the slow and cumbersome adversarial system that the judiciary has in place,” he stressed.
Last year, the Philippines snared only a sluggish U.S $1.5 billion foreign direct investment, while fellow South East Asian countries Singapore and Indonesia hosted U.S $54 billion and US $19.2 billion in the same year.
Moreno, who is the chief of the Registry of Deeds in Dagupan City, cited the Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR) could substantially shortened court cases that will be good for the country’s legal system before the eyes of foreigners.
 He said it is the Sub-Committee on the Revision of the Rules on Civil Procedure of the Supreme Court headed by Associate Justice Roberto A. Abad that recommended the implementation of the JAR nationwide. He said the piloting of the rule has been a riveting success in courts in Quezon City last February 21, 2012. Consequently the high tribunal recommended its adoption this year for all courts except the Supreme Court all over the country. “This rule has taken effect last January 1, 2013 following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation”.
Moreover, Moreno expounded how the JAR is practiced in court. He said the conflicting parties shall file with the court and serve on the adverse party personally or by licensed courier service, nor later than five days before pre-trial or preliminary conference or the scheduled hearing with respect to motions.
A memorandum from the Supreme Court issued to courts all over the country given by Moreno to this paper explained that JAR shall be prepared in the language known to the witness and, if not in English or Filipino, accompanied by a translation in English or Filipino and shall include the personal background of the witness, the lawyer, statement of the witness in his answer to the questions ask. Section 4 of the JAR said that it shall contain a sworn attestation at the end, executed by the lawyer who conducted or supervised the examination of the witness.
 Moreno said non-compliance of the party with the JAR shall be deemed to have waived their submission. The court may, however, allow only once the late submission of the same provided the delay is for a valid reason, would not unduly prejudice the opposing party , and the defaulting party pays a fine of not less than P1,000.00 nor more than P5,000.00, at the discretion of the court.

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