By II Samuel R. Galope
MANILA –The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) launches its new website (www.set.gov.ph) on September 12, 2013. The website contains Tribunal information such as its mandate, history, organizational structure, and members, among others. It also features a comprehensive archive of Supreme Court rulings on election cases from 1901 to 2001.
The new Tribunal website goes beyond the realm of a basic web portal.
The site is a topic-specific electronic library, as it contains an extensive archive of election laws, Supreme Court decisions on election cases, SET rules and issuances, and accomplishment reports. The interactive timeline provides a chronological and spatial visual representation of the Tribunal’s history.
The site is a highly effective research tool. A search and retrieval facility is built-in to aid researchers in accessing the site’s comprehensive archives. The site’s taxonomy-based cross-referencing algorithm provides researchers an in-depth view of the intersections and connections of subjects or topics among documents.
The site is responsive. Font sizes, images, and layouts are designed to automatically adjust to fit multiple screen sizes on different handheld devices.
The site is user-centric. The site features a font enlarger that magnifies specific chunks of text, making it easier to read for vision impaired users. An interactive table of contents is available to aid users in navigating very long documents by informing the user where he or she is in the document, as well as by quickly moving to a desired section of the document.
The redevelopment of the website is spearheaded by Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, the current Chairperson of the Tribunal. In 2012, the old Tribunal website was defaced; thus the need to design a newly-enhanced website.
The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) is constituted under Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualification of members of the Senate of the Philippines. It is an independent, impartial and non-partisan tribunal composed of nine (9) members – three (3) members are Justices of the Supreme Court designated by the Chief Justice and six (6) Senator members. As envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, the Supreme Court Justices serve to neutralize the partisanship that may arise from political affiliation. The Tribunal is chaired by the most senior Justice-Member.