WHILE there wasn’t a long line of visitors at the Palace of Justice in Cebu City yesterday, the visitors who were at the building were inconvenienced over the long wait to claim their ID cards.
“I feel inconvenienced. The system for claiming our IDs is not well-organized,” an angry 75-year-old Elsa Jumao-as said.
A fellow senior named Conception Mapa felt the same.
“I’m hungry. It took a long time before they found my ID. They should have placed the IDs of senior citizens in a separate place,” she said.
On entering, court visitors had to leave their ID cards to a table manned by criminology interns.
Court visitors had to wear Visitors Passes issued to them while inside the building.
Those with no ID cards have to register their names on a logbook.
The long wait to claim the ID cards caused a small commotion at 10 a.m yesterday.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul, chairperson of the committee on security of the Palace of Justice, admitted there were glitches in the enforcement of security policies.
“The first time is really hard. Judges aren’t experts on security. It’s sad to think that the creation of security policies fall on our shoulders. Nevertheless, we are doing our best,” Hadjirasul told reporters.
He said he and RTC Executive Judge Silvestre Maamo Jr. had to use their own money to buy 500 pieces of Visitor’s Pass.
Security was raised at the Palace of Justice in the wake of a shooting incident last Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Canadian John Pope managed to bring two firearms inside the Palace of Justice building which he used to shoot down lawyer Juvian Achas and Dr. Rene Rafols inside the courtroom of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 6.
He also shot Asst. City Prosecutor Ma. Theresa Casiño on the nape. Casiño is confined at Chong Hua Hospital.
Pope was shot by a policeman near the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.
Police said Pope committed suicide by shooting himself on the head after he was shot by the police.
Along with stringent security measures, Hadjirasul urged the public to be vigilant at all times.
Only two entrance and exit doors are used at the building.
Litigants, lawyers, and prisoners have to use the door infront of the Palace of Justice. Judges and prosecutors pass through the building’s back door.
Court employees and Persons With Disabilities (PWD) can use either of the doors.
Hadjirasul said they decided to let the prisoners use the entrance door in front of the Palace of Justice instead of the back door. “It’s more dangerous if detainees use the same doors with judges and fiscals,” he said. /Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol