COURTS FOR DINAGAT. Dinagat Lone District Rep. Alan 1 Ecleo is pushing for the establishment of a Regional Trial Court in the town of San Jose and two Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in San Jose and Basilisa. In an interview Thursday (Sept. 8, 2022), the lawmaker says the measure aims to alleviate the legal situation in the island province and promote justice and peace among its residents. (Photo grabbed from House of Representatives Website)

BUTUAN CITY – Dinagat Islands Lone District Rep. Alan 1 Ecleo is pushing to establish three courts in the island province for swift litigation of cases.

“My proposed measure is set to be deliberated in the House Committee on Justice on Sept. 12,” Ecleo told the Philippine News Agency here Thursday.

During the opening of the 19th Congress in July this year, the lawmaker filed House Bill
325, seeking the establishment of a Regional Trial Court (RTC) sala in San Jose town, and two branches of Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (MCTCs), also for San Jose, and another for Basilisa municipality.

In his explanatory note for HB No. 325, Ecleo cited the increase in the number of legal cases, both civil and criminal, in the island province.

“In 2019, the Province of Dinagat Islands recorded a notable surge in index crimes which posted 15.38 percent,” he said.

He added that the nearest court where these cases are filed and tried is situated 50 kilometers from the island, or in mainland Surigao City.

“The travel takes a long time and requires several changes of transportation type which hampers the supposedly speedy disposition of cases as mandated under the Constitution,” Ecleo said.

He said Sec. 16, Art. 3 of the Constitution does not only entail the speedy disposition of cases based on the length of time, but also the cost of the litigation.

“It will take a minimum of three changes of transportation type to reach the mainland Surigao City, not to mention its costly fare, exclusive meals, and other litigation expenses,” Ecleo explained.

He said the creation of the new courts will alleviate the island province's legal situation, including the swift disposition of cases, and the promotion of justice and peaceful legal relations. (PNA)