The House of Representatives approved on second reading the proposed measure creating two additional regional trial courts in the municipality of Tubigon.
First district Rep. Rene L. Relampagos said that the approval is a much welcome move to ensure faster delivery of justice in the province.
“Requiring the parties, litigants and witnesses to travel 50 kilometers or so from Tubigon to Tagbilaran City is already an injustice in itself,” he said. “Not only is justice delayed, but it is also very inconvenient and inaccessible.”
When passed, the jurisdiction of regional trial courts will change in the province and municipalities near and around Tubigon will be ensured that courts of general jurisdiction will be near to them.
According to the Supreme Court, the existing seven (7) regional trial courts in Tagbilaran City handle 3,746 cases as of December 2017 which translates to around 535 cases per RTC branch. The ideal manageable case load is 300 cases per court.
“Clearly, not only are our constituents suffer injustice with the lack of courts in the province, even judges, court personnel and all those involved in the delivery of justice such as the prosecutors, public attorneys and law enforcement are also overworked due to the overwhelming case load per court. We also need to help them,” he added.
“In creating additional courts and bringing the courts closer to the people, justice is within reach”.
In an earlier move, Rep. Relampagos made representation with the Department of Justice for the creation of a hall of justice to be stationed at Tagbilaran City. He said that the sorry condition of the courts in the capital city of the province does not speak well of the ‘dignity’ due the courts and to justice.
“We need to strengthen our institutions. But we also need to give proper infrastructure,” Relampagos said. “A regional trial court behind a cemetery is not a joke. Court renting out their place for eternity is not a joke. Where is the dignity in that?”