P1B set for judicial complex at SRP
Supreme Court also working on guidelines for continous trial mechanism
The national government will allocate funds to build a billion-peso judiciary complex that will house all courts in Cebu under one roof at the South Road Properties (SRP) of Cebu City, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said yesterday.
In her speech before participants of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Business Summit yesterday, Sereno described the P1-billion judiciary complex as a “dream building” for the judiciary.
The new judiciary building will house all trial courts under the Cebu City Division including the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Appeals (CA), she said.
The Supreme Court first considered building the complex after the Cebu City Hall of Justice was severely damaged during the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol province and affected Cebu and other parts of the Visayas on October 15, 2013.
The plan was put on hold after the High Tribunal chose to rent office space at the Qimonda building for Cebu’s trial courts. Cebu City Hall donated a site at the SRP to the Court of Appeals.
Construction of the Cebu Judicial Complex is part of the Supreme Court’s judiciary infrastructure programs for the lower courts.
Sereno said the complex will help facilitate speedy proceedings.
Sereno also said they are working to implement the guidelines for the conduct of continuous trials to expedite the judicial process in the country.
“We want to change the mind-set for our litigators that the Philippine justice system cannot implement the continuous trial mechanism, because it is feasible,” Sereno said.
Sereno said the guidelines for the continuous trial mechanism will take effect for all courts nationwide on September. 1 this year.
Sereno also urged prosecutors and defense counsels to help the judiciary expedite trial proceedings.
She said the Supreme Court is also organizing a group of lawyers to analyze pending cases in courts and to develop a management plan for the judges to speedily release decisions for the cases.
About 81 out of 635 personnel assigned to analyzing pending cases are deployed in Cebu’s court houses.
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