Davide barred from entering Palace of Justice
Security guards at the Palace of Justice didn’t recognize him yesterday.
Gov. Hilario Davide III arrived before 7 a.m. for a breakfast meeting with a judge but was barred from entering the building by guards who said that “only employees of the Palace of Justice are allowed to enter before 8 a.m.”
They asked for his ID card.
Davide just smiled and didn’t force the issue. He left and had breakfast instead in the Capitol canteen.
Later on, the governor said he was happy the guards were stricly enforcing security measures especially after a lawyer and a doctor were shot dead in a court room by Canadian John Pope, an angry litigant last Jan. 22.
“Ang mga empleyado sa korte gipasulod, unya sakto man sab sila kay di man ko empleyado sa korte (The employees of the court were allowed to enter and they are right because I’m not an employee of the court),” a smiling Davide said.
The Palace of Justice is located behind the Capitol’s Executive Building where the governor holds office.
Security guard Ronald Jayme, one of the two guards who barred Davide, said Davide didn’t introduce himself and was accompanied by a male aide.
Davide presented a driver’s license but the guard didn’t bother to look at it.
“Ingon siya nga mobalik na lang kuno siya. (Davide told me that he would just come back),” Jayme said.
Told later by reporters who the man was, Jayme kept smiling in disbelief.
“I apologize to the governor for not allowing him to get inside the Palace of Justice,” he said.
“Maayo gyud siya. Dili arogante. Maayo siya nga ehemplo sa tanan. (He’s really a good man. He set a good example.)
Last Monday, Davide received judges of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) who paid a courtesy call and asked him to support their request to donate the province-owned lot occupied by the Palace of Justice.
The Supreme Court (SC) cannot grant funds for the repair and renovation of the building if the lot is owned by the provincial government, he said.
“I told them (judges) that we will take that up with the Provincial Board. For any action we do, there is a need for consultation with the board,” he told reporters yesterday.
Davide said the judges told him that the lot was already donated by the province to the Supreme Cour but the judges cannot find the deed of donation.
“I want to know the terms and nature of the donation, if ever there was one. We will trace if there is a deed of donation or just an agreement for the plain use of the land,” he said. /Correspondent Peter L. Romanillos and Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol
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