In pursuit of speedy trial of cases and of increasing access to the services of the Court of Appeals, including the declogging of court dockets of the CA’s divisions, Rep. Paolo Duterte has filed a bill seeking the establishment of another division in Mindanao, to be stationed in the City of Davao.
House Bill No. 7895 is seeking the establishment of a division of the Court of Appeals in the City of Davao, to be known as the Court of Appeals in Davao City, with jurisdiction over cases originating from the 11th and 12th Judicial Regions.
Duterte noted that despite government initiatives for a speedy disposition of cases, the CA’s court dockets remained unattended, wherein its number of divisions in the country remained to be three – in Manila City, Cebu City, and Cagayan de Oro City.
“The said number of divisions is notwithstanding the unchanging jurisdiction of the said court— appellate jurisdiction on all cases not falling within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court—as the Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 or the Judicial Reorganization Act of 1980 remains operative,” Duterte explained.
Duterte added that given that a multitude of cases is still brought to the CA, access to the said courts becomes another pertinent issue. He pointed out that only one division is allocated in each Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao island group.
“The country is relatively behind in terms of its justice system despite its constitutional mandate to guarantee its citizens speedy disposition of cases before any judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative bodies,” Duterte also said.
According to Duterte, a number of initiatives have been made to de-clog court dockets. The most recent of which is Republic Act No. 11576 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 2021, which expanded the jurisdiction of first-level courts in hopes to eventually de-clog second-level courts, particularly the Regional Trial Courts; however, the efforts were not enough.
The Court of Appeals in Davao City shall be composed of three members, who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council, the proposed measure states.
Office of Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte
Davao City 1st Congressional District
April 27, 2023