Solon eyes more Davao courts

Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP)


September 13, 2022

Noting that among the pertinent problems in our country is the slow justice system due to clogged court dockets, Davao City First District Representative Paolo Duterte is pushing for the immediate approval of his bill seeking to create three more Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Davao City to ensure the swift administration of justice for every case filed.

House Bill No. 3272, which aims to create three additional branches of MTCCs in the 11th Judicial Region to be stationed in Davao City, has already been approved at the committee level of the Lower House.

Duterte said that several attempts have been made to declog court dockets, the most significant of which is Republic Act No. 11576 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 2021, which expanded the jurisdiction of first-level courts.

“The said piece of legislation will eventually declog second-level courts, particularly the Regional Trial Courts. In response to this judicial innovation, there is an immediate need to increase the number of first-level courts – the Metropolitan Trial Court, MTCC, Municipal Trial Courts and the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts,” Duterte said.

In Davao City, there are only seven existing MTCC branches. But among these branches, only four are being regularly raffled with cases since one branch is functioning as an Environmental Court, another is with a presiding judge functioning as Executive Judge with additional administrative duties and obligations and one branch is temporarily held in abeyance as its caseload had reached 1,500.

Halfway through 2022, approximately 6,693 cases are designated to the existing branches, excluding two which are on lockdown.

“The number of cases is expected to increase considering the expansion in the threshold amount of small cases to P1,000,000. Hence, this bill seeks to create three additional branches of MTCC for Davao City in order to decrease the pending cases before the city’s judicial bodies and to ensure the swift administration of justice for every case filed. Thus, the immediate approval of this bill is earnestly sought,” said Duterte.

Once approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in coordination with the Secretary of the Department of Justice, would immediately include in the Court’s program the immediate implementation of the Act.

“The Constitution grants that all persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies,” Duterte said.

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