This End Ushers in a New beginning.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

(Closing Remarks of Senior Associate Justice JOSUE N. BELLOSILLO, as Acting Chief Justice, on the occasion of the 101st Founding Anniversary and Closing Ceremonies of the Supreme Court Centenary Celebrations held at the SC Session Hall on 11 June 2002 at 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon)

THEY say that the most welcome number in a program is the Closing Remarks because by then everybody is already either drowsy or thinking of catching the bus home. I shall, therefore, endeavor to make my remarks brief and crisp; so, just bear with me for the next full hour. I assure you I will not go beyond that!

One-hundred and one years (101) years ago today or on 11 June 1901, through the first Judiciary Law (Act No. 136), the Second Philippine Commission breathed life to an institution that would exemplify the principles of equal justice and infuse vigor and vitality to a nation's protracted struggle for democracy and self-determination. It is, therefore, no historical happenstance that the birth of this Court in 1901 brought forth the first step at Filipinizing the judiciary with the immediate appointment of the first Filipino legal scholar to head the Philippine Judiciary, Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano. A century later, with twenty (20) Filipino Chief Justices appointed in succession, the Philippine Supreme Court not only withstood its storied and turbulent past, but emerged to become the stalwart of social and political stability, balustrading against anarchy and lawlessness, and buttressing our democratic principles and institutions.

The matter of the Court effectively responding to its mandate over the past one hundred (100) years may best be left for chroniclers and all to examine, measure and evaluate. The Court can only rely in selfassurance on its legacies to jurisprudence - the acts of fortitude, independence of mind, and the indefatigable toils of the illustrious and courageous men and women who graced its august halls - they who indulged in selfsacrifice, and generously poured in their genius and dedication in the pursuit of justice and the majestic equality of the law.

We ring down today the final curtain to our Centenary Celebrations which span two (2) years, not necessarily by choice but by the sheer volume of the more than fifty (50) activities and project lined up by the Executive Committee to celebrate this historic event. For two (2) years, we reminisced over the Philippine Judiciary, savored its glorious past and took a glimpse of its future. It was indeed a happy marriage of what was and what would be. We should not really forget the past as the foundation of our judicial institution, and the future, although already shaped by Divinity, is still to be roughhewn by this and future generations.

Thus in the Centenary Celebrations, we tried to convey with proud resonance the inspiring, albeit poignant message that this young Republic has not only taken great strides towards the attainment of a Judiciary that is worthy of the people's trust, but is also ready to confront all the swells, or even squalls, that lay ahead.

The exhaustive Report of the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Mr. Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, clearly shows that our Centenary Celebrations have been a great success! As may be gathered from the Report, on 9 June 2000 the Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court chaired by Mr. Justice Reynato S. Puno presented to the Court En Banc, as a kickoff activity, the full draft of the Proposed Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. This was followed by the approval of the Court of certain Rules of Procedure, specifically, the Rule on Examination of Child Witnesses (approved 21 November 2000); the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-corporate Controversies (approved on 13 March 2001); the Rules on Electronic Evidence, which was adopted with the passage of the Electronic Evidence Act (RA 8792), and promulgated (on 22 January 2002) the Rule on Search and Seizure in Civil Actions for Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, an offshoot of the Intellectual Property Code (RA 8293), and the WTO Agreement on Trade Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. …