INGENUITY is the order of the day, at least for the provincial office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Abra, at this time when the Novel Coronavirus 19 continues to plague the country.
Instead of just sitting down and relax, DAR-Abra provincial agrarian reform adjudicator (PARAD) Atty. Leilani Carmelita R. Magbanua, came up with an ingenious way of hearing agrarian cases without exposing herself, her staff and the parties concerned to the Covid (Coronavirus disease) 19.
The PARAD office serves as the judicial body set up by the DAR in every province to hear agrarian and agrarian-related cases. The office is under the RARAD in every region and the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) at the central office.
Dubbed as “Virtual Court Hearing,” Magbanua said it would be the “new normal” set up in judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings while waiting for the cure to the virulent virus.
Magbanua explained that the DAR-Abra has been exploring the current advanced information technology to serve justice promptly to their clients.
“We cannot afford to wait until when the antidote against Covid 19 will be discovered. As the saying goes, ‘justice delayed, justice denied,'” she stressed.
Magbanua said the virtual court hearing works like the usual court that hears cases where counsels of the two or more contending parties are made to appear through online video conference, unless the court finds the presence of their respective clients unnecessary.
She said the DAR-Abra created official electronic mail (email) account where all parties concerned could submit their electronic filing of petitions, manifestations, evidence, and other legal documents
A messenger group chat account was also created where the virtual court hearings would be conducted through online video conference, she added.
“We already put the virtual court hearing to a test last May 20, 2020 and it proved successful,” Magbanua said.
(dargovph/ SRNY/ RSP)