Press Release
February 6, 2016

Pimentel endorses creation of new courts to declog dockets;
speed up administration of justice

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III underscored the urgency to establish the correct and sustainable infrastructure to guarantee that the people are able to obtain redress in a speedy and efficient manner when he recently endorsed the creation of additional courts in various parts of the country.

He said the new courts will help declog court dockets and speed up the administration of justice in these areas where the overload of cases had become more than double of the manageable caseload in first and second level courts of the country.

Pimentel, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, endorsed the passage of five House measures on the creation of new courts, not to "serve as mere ornaments or political accommodations but as tangible solutions to the pressing issues confronting our justice system."

Senate's approval of House Bill Nos. 1374, 3145, 5620, 5621 and 5632 would pave the way for the creation of additional branches in the first and second level courts in the cities of Malabon, Calapan and Calamba and the province of Leyte, said Pimentel.

"With the passage of these bills, it is my hope that soon, no Filipino will be denied justice simply due to the delay in the disposition of their cases," Pimentel said in his sponsorship speech.

He said the great American civil rights advocate Martin Luther King, while incarcerated in Birmingham jail decades ago, famously decried the phrase that never gets hackneyed, "justice delayed is justice denied."

"Sadly, Mr. King's words, which were probably a critique on the administration of justice during his time, still very much resonate to this day, with the plight of many Filipinos whose cases have long languished or are still languishing in our courts or in jails," he said.

Pimentel said the incontrovertible reality is that the country's courts are inundated with cases, regardless of merit.

"In fact, it is common to see stacks of case files finding their way into the corridors of our courts simply because they could not keep up with the volume of cases that are brought for their disposition," he said.

With rapid development and increasing human activity, he said it is almost certain that the number of legal conflicts would only steadily increase in the coming years.

He said the judiciary boasts of brilliant professionals and diligent luminaries in the legal community, but the sheer volume of their caseload sometimes rendered it impossible for them to resolve cases judiciously and with dispatch.

He cited the case of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro where the two branches had a total combined caseload of 1,620 cases as of December 2014.

"This equates to a caseload of 810 per branch per year which is 510 cases over the manageable caseload for second level courts which Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said to be 300 cases per branch," he said.

The same is true with the RTC in Ormoc City which has a total combined caseload of 1,637 for two branches as of Feb. 2015; the RTC in Iba, Zambales which has a total combined caseload of 1,700 for three branches; and the RTC in Calamba City which has a total combined caseload of 4,380 for five branches as of March 2015.

The Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) in Malabon City has a total combined caseload of 2,031 for two branches as of March 2015, or an average caseload of 1,015 per branch per year, exceeding the manageable caseload of 500 for first level courts by a staggering 515 cases per branch.

Pimentel said that the creation of the new courts took into consideration not only the present case volume of existing branches but also the geographical situation of the areas to link the courts with the public to make the judicial process more accessible.

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