City Hall to reinspect Palace of Justice
A Cebu City councilor yesterday said that some judges would like to go back to the Palace of Justice rather than conduct hearings in tents.
“Judges already wanted to go back to the Palace of Justice. They have expressed worry on the security of their evidence and their safety in holding hearings outside of their courtrooms and at the city jail for criminal cases,” Councilor Sisinio Andales said.
Andales, a lawyer, mentioned of the need to start repairs on the Palace of Justice which was damaged during the Oct. 15 earthquake.
Andales made the manifestation during the City Council hearing on City Hall’s budget for the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).
Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez, head of DEPW, told the City Council that they are set to re-inspect the Palace of Justice.
Enriquez clarified that what was declared unsafe for occupancy are the 3rd and 4th floors. “The first and second floors of the palace remains fit for occupancy,” he said.
The re-inspection, Enriquez said will determine the needed rehabilitation works especially on the building’s third and fourth floors. The walls in the third and fourth floors were damaged by the earthquake.
“Justice is now delayed because of the use of tents in holding hearings. It is not also a conducive venue for the hearing of cases. Not even BBRC (Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center),” Andales said.
Councilor Alvin Dizon proposed in last week’s budget hearing that the city government give financial assistance in the rehabilitation of the Palace of Justice, instead of giving monthly allowances to members of the judiciary ranging from P15,000 to P45,000 a month and amounting to a total of P25 million.
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