Senate approves 7 more courts in Cebu

A BILL creating seven more trial courts in Cebu was approved by the Senate on Monday, over a year after the House of Representatives gave nod to the same measure.

Of the seven courts, one branch will be located in Naga City while another will be created in Carcar City. The five remaining branches will be in Bogo City, said Senator Francis Escudero, chairperson of the Senate justice and human rights committee.

The bill now has to go through the bicameral conference committee, the plenary of both houses of Congress and the President for it to become a law.

House Bill 4492 was sponsored by Cebu Representative Eduardo Gullas, Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas, Cavite Representative Joseph Abaya and Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada. The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration on May 31, 2011.

Voting 19-0, the senators who approved the proposed legislation were Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Escudero, Teofisto Guingona Jr, Gregorio Honasan II, Panfilo Lacson, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Sergio Osmeña III, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla Jr., Antonio Trillanes IV and Manny Villar.

The same senators also approved the creation of four additional regional trial courts (RTC) and three municipal trial courts (MTC) in Valenzuela City. Five RTCs shall be created in Calamba City and in the municipalities of Los Baños and Cabuyao in Laguna.

The bills were approved on second reading without amendments last July 31.

Enrile said the passage of the measure into law will lessen the backlog of cases in the Philippines, especially those in the provinces.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)