DOJ OKs fund for prosecutors’ building
Prosecutors in Cebu will soon have a building they could call their own.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will release funds for the construction of a building that will house the offices of the regional, provincial and city prosecutors that were displaced following the declaration of the Palace of Justice as “unfit for occupancy”.
The Palace of Justice was among the buildings heavily damaged following the October 15 earthquake.
Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane will meet with Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III to request the provincial government to provide a lot for the new building.
Gubalane refused to give more details, saying he doesn’t want to preempt any possibilities on the construction of a new building for prosecutors.
Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Pepita Jane Petralba, in a separate interview, said the province can provide the lot as long as the Department of Justice can make sure it has sufficient funds to construct a new building.
There’s a possibility that the provincial government will give them a portion of the Department of Agriculture (DA) lot in barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, she said.
The DA lot also houses the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.
Petralba admitted that prosecutors find it hard to perform their responsibilities well while they have no permanent place to stay.
So far, personnel and prosecutors of the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor and the Cebu Provincial Prosecutors’ Office are staying at the Taft Commercial Center along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City since after the earthquake.
Provincial prosecutors conduct inquest proceedings at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines building inside the Capitol compound.
On the other hand, Cebu City prosecutors chose to stay on the ground floor of the Palace of Justice although transactions are done in tents outside the old building.
Petralba said the proposed new building for prosecutors will also house the Public Attorney’s Office and the Parole and Probation Office.
“If there is sufficient money, the new building can be built within 10 months,” she said.
The Cebu City Regional Trial Court and the Municipal Trial Court in Cities have transferred to the Qimonda I.T Center at the North Reclamation Area.
Davide is also set to meet with Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno next week to discuss what to do with the Palace of Justice.
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