The Supreme Court (SC) has awarded two judges and two clerks as winners of the 2015 Search for Outstanding Judges and Clerks of Court.
The Society for Judicial Excellence (SJE) is the screening body for the awardees in this year’s event held in Manila.
This annual activity, which began in 1991 was initially conducted by the Foundation for Judicial Excellence.
The two outstanding judges are Judge Rafael Crescencio Tan of Dumaguete City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 30, recipient of the Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Award (Second-Level Court Judges category);and Judge Juris Dilinila-Callanta, of Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 42, recipient of Don Antonio Madrigal Award (First-Level Court Judges category).
Tan joined the Philippine Army in 1974, after graduating from the Officer Cadet School in Portsea, Victoria, Australia. He took law from 1984 to 1988 while serving as commandant of the Reserved Officers Training Corps at Silliman University.
Resigning from military service when he became a lawyer in 1989, he joined the judiciary on June 1, 1999.
Tan resolved 100 criminal cases and 23 civil cases, out of the 296 criminal cases and 39 civil cases he had inherited when he was appointed Regional Trial Court Judge on June 22, 2005.
Through effective implementation of the one-day examination of witness rule, continuous trial of cases and pre-trial techniques, he managed his case load efficiently, such that as of December 31, 2013, he only had 81 pending cases.
His sala, Branch 30, RTC of Dumaguete City, is a Special Court for Drug Cases.
Callanta’s sala has a high disposal rate in a city with one of the largest caseloads.
Since her appointment, the number of active cases in the docket of her sala has been significantly reduced from 1,489 to 592.
She has disposed of 4,696 cases from June 2010 to July 2015, a figure which is significantly higher than the 3,765 total number of cases raffled to her sala during the same period.
Callanta graduated from the San Beda College of Law in 1997.
She joined the judiciary as Court Attorney V in the Court of Appeals from 1998 until 2003, when she transferred to the SC as Court Attorney VI.
Callanta was appointed as second vice executive judge in 2012, as first vice executive judge the next year, as acting executive judge in 2014 and as executive judge of Metropolitan Trial Courts in Quezon City in May 2015.
For Clerks of Court, the awardees are lawyer Mischelle Maulion-Jocson, Angeles City RTC, Branch 59, and Rowena Solomon, San Fernando City, La Union, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Branch 2, in the Clerk of Court (Single Sala) /Branch Clerk of Court (Multi-Sala) Second-Level Courts and First-Level Courts categories, respectively.
Jocson graduated with cum laude honors from the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law in 2007.
Solomon has “integrated future technologies, including computer proficiency, in both the filing and reporting and retrieval systems,” the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-La Union Chapter said in its nomination letter.
In 2002, the SC commended her “exceptional sense of leadership and responsibility in threshing out the mismanaged records of cases in the MTCC, Branch 2, San Fernando City, La Union, and for painstakingly undertaking, with the assistance of the clerks, the time-consuming and laborious task of examining the records of pending, archived and disposed cases in order to determine the true and accurate status of each and every case thereat.”