Garcia optimistic demolition of Palace of Justice building pushes through

·2 min read

CEBU Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed optimism that the demolition of the Palace of Justice building inside the Capitol compound that was rendered unsafe after being destroyed by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on October 15, 2013 would now push through.

This after Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen paid a courtesy visit to Governor Garcia in her office at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

During his visit, Leonen, who was in Cebu to attend the Roll of Attorneys for new lawyers in the Visayas, promised to endorse the demolition request of the governor to the office of Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.

"He said he would bring it up to Chief Justice Gesmundo and we hope that we can move forward from there. He is aware that it (Palace of Justice) is really an eyesore. As a matter of fact it presents a stark contrast to our Capitol building so we hope that this issue will finally be resolved," said Garcia on Tuesday.

Garcia had already suggested in 2020 to have the building that formerly housed 30 trial court branches demolished.

According to her that the Capitol had already sent a letter to the Supreme Court but until now they haven't received a response.

"Because as I informed him (Leonen) I've already wrote a letter to the Department of Justice as well as the Supreme Court regarding this Palace of Justice issue at the start of my fourth term," Garcia added.

The building had already been vacated by its occupants since after the earthquake due to its weak foundation.

"Well, first of all, I don't think it will be structurally safe anymore for this to be retrofitted and to be reused. Taking into consideration the expert opinion of structural engineers as well as our building officials we deemed it best to tear this down actually so as not to expose occupants to risk," the governor said.

Garcia said she was planning to develop the area in partnership with the private sector once the Palace of Justice is demolished.

"And once this area is cleared then we should be planning for possible development of that area. My choice is the provincial government shall do it on its own or perhaps partner with the private sector," Garcia concluded. (ANV, TPT)

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