Judges ask SC to reconsider Qimonda transfer
JUDGES in Cebu City asked the Supreme Court (SC) to reconsider its decision to relocate court workers to Qimonda IT Center at the North Reclamation Area.
In a letter addressed to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, the judges said they oppose the transfer, citing fears of staying inside a building that sustained cracks caused by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15.
Regional Trial Court Judge Sylvia Aguirre-Paderanga of Branch 16 drafted the letter which is being circulated among Cebu City judges for signatures.
“The building is likewise peppered with cracks on the walls and posts, even bigger and more threatening than the cracks in the Palace of Justice,” the letter dated December 11, 2013 read.
Paderanga said judges prefer to stay under makeshift tents while their concerns against Qimonda building are not resolved.
Judges of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court and the Municipal Trial Court in Cities met last Wednesday to discuss about their concerns about their transfer to Qimonda building.
In a Dec. 9 memorandum, Marquez mandated all court workers to “immediately transfer” to the Qimonda IT center.
But court workers and judges fear for their safety since there is no official statement from the Office of the Building Official (OBO) on the structural stability of the Qimonda building.
They said the ongoing repairs of the building is “very hazardous” to the health of its occupants.
“There is apparent lack of ventilation and that there is lack of toilets to accommodate judges, court personnel, lawyers, litigants, police officers, and the accused,” Judge Paderanga said.
Also, court workers noticed that Qimonda building is not accessible since only a few jeepneys pass by the area and that they feel unsafe due to incidents of robbery and theft at the North Reclamation Area.
“These factors, we believe, are good and compelling reasons for your honor to reconsider the memorandum,” the letter to Court Administrator Marquez stated.
Clerk of Court Consolacion Lape of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16 explained that they are not completely against moving to the Qimonda building.
“We’re soldiers of justice. If the Supreme Court mandates us to transfer, then we don’t have any choice. It’s not that we don’t want to transfer. We just want them to address our concerns first. We just relayed our fears to the High Court,” she said.
Bon Villaester, administrator of Qimonda building, earlier explained that the contractor and the firm’s own structural engineers inspected the building after the earthquake and declared that it is safe for occupancy.
He told reporters that the cracks on the walls are normal and that the building’s structure is safe.
The Qimonda building owned by Danny Go was completed in 2008 and had two tenants, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and Foton Cars.
The car company moved out, leaving the Marina and the Supreme Court as the only occupants of Qimonda IT Center building.
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