EDITORIAL: Forsaken



Aside from being eyebrow raising, the very bold burglary right inside the Regional Trial Court (RTC) located within the supposed to be strictly guarded capitol grounds is sending a very strong prompter.


Capitol has long created an impression of having the strictest Civil Security Unit (CSU). How come those robbers found it relatively easy to penetrate and ransack the courts right under the very nose of CSU forces? Or are the security guards under the payroll of the judiciary in talking terms with CSU personnel or not?


Reports about the robbery being too sketchy deserve scant consideration and the information that a certain volume of shabu has been carted away by the burglars is subject to suspicions of diversionary tactics that need extra caution. A more in- depth inquiry is in order and a more detailed inventory by competent authorities is a must.


To make published reports more believable and authentic, they should be based on the official inventory report submitted to the Supreme Court, particularly through the Office of the Court Administrator.


In the meantime, the more circumspect and urgent action is to hasten the transfer of the RTC Pili branches to the new Hall of Justice right within the neighborhood of the school building type of buildings that had been utilized as temporary courts. Occupancy of the new building is long overdue.


The transfer could have made the courts less prone to burglary. The robbery might as well serve as a wake-up call to all the parties concerned.


Administration of justice in the province has reached the state of being taken for granted or even forsaken. A classic case of putting the cart ahead of the horse, given the hasty filling up of vacant positions of judges, without an office and a site to conduct proceedings, to the extent of designating “assisting judges”. Worse, the staff for the new branches have not even been organized.


In some jurisdictions the situation is more disturbing, as in the case of RTC branches in the Partido area with the volume of cases continuously piling up and yet with two branches only.


One remains vacant and judge designates conduct proceedings on and off. The court personnel are not duly organized, given that vacant positions are occupied by people in temporary status.


In terms of security, the unsafe sight RTC Partido and RTC Calabanga is attractive to criminals. Calabanga RTC occupies a rented space, which apparently used to be a bodega.


The provincial leadership boasts of a supposed soon-to-rise “iconic capitol building”. Shall the dilapidated buildings housing the RTC branches remain iconic also for neglect to the sad plight of the administration of justice?