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Jinah Yangyang LLB 4

Narrative Report

This is not the first time that I had the chance to observe in a courtroom.
The first time I did was last semester. I do have some ideas as to what is
happening inside the court when it is in session. But my interest in observing
in a disposition of a case never fades.

The first day of our observation in the Regional Trial Court of Surallah,
the court is full of people so it was hard for all of us to come inside. But I find
my way to enter the court for a few minutes to observe some of the cases, with
the help of the security guard who is very organized and attentive to the vacant
seats that must be occupied to lessen the crowd at the back.

As I entered the court room I sat on the back, where the public sits,
facing the judge bench at the other side of the room. The accused were sitting
at the left side of the court. The lawyers sat at the front row, next to the Judge.

Just like any other court, I observed that most of the cases involves
violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act. Most of the inmates were
males but there are two or more females as well. There were young inmates
who looked innocent but were a violator of the law. You can never tell a
person’s character by the way they look. At that very day, the reason why the
court was full was because one of the case which is about to get into trial was a
case involving a politician. His supporters and relatives were present at the
court.

There is also an alleged crime of rape against a minor at that day. I


caught my attention as it was a very sensitive issue. The girl is very young, she
may be aged 11 or 12, I didn’t see the accused as I was busy staring the girl. I
couldn’t hear much because I was far from them. I just couldn’t imagine kids
going through that kind of experience at a very young age. It would affect her
life and how she would face the future without fear and trauma from what
happened.

Judge Lorenzo Balo appeared to have things well under control in his
courtroom and kept the proceedings moving forward efficiently. He spoke
clearly and distinctly so that everyone in the courtroom could hear. The court
room is not only filled with seriousness, at some point, Judge Lorenzo Balo
cracks jokes on the inmates’ cases. He got a great sense of humor.

Most of the cases during our observation was scheduled for arraignment.
As I have observed it already several times, I have learned that during
arraignment, it must be held in open court by the judge or clerk by furnishing
the accused a copy of the complaint or information, and it must be read in a
language or dialect known to him. In every court, there is an interpreter who
translates it to the accused to make the accused understand the complaint
against him. After that, he will be asked whether he pleads guilty or not guilty.

After the session was finished, one of the staff at the court showed as
around the office where the case was being process. She also introduced us to
the people who work at court. After introducing as to the staff, she showed us
the room where they kept the record of the cases that they have encountered.
There are big books which contains different cases. And was stack on an open
wooden cabinet. The civil cases and criminal cases as well as the
administrative cases are written on separate books. It feels nice to see those
records and be able to personally examine it.

She let us hold and see the records. She also taught us how they write
the information of each cases on the record book. Each cases recorded
contains a brief summarization of the facts, on which date was the scheduled
hearings, and all the essential information needed to be recorded.

For an aspiring law student myself, my visit to the court provided me an


opportunity to directly observe the judicial process in practice. It helps me and
my classmates to fully understand how the process undertakes as we can
witness it. It made it clearer for me the procedures I read in books. Hopefully,
in God’s will and timing, we’ll no longer be a mere observant but as a lawyer
who defends and make sure that justice be serve.