Press Release
December 10, 2012


Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan throws his support behind Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno's order to reopen a Regional Court Office in the Visayas amid several controversies surrounding it. Pangilinan adds that the Chief Justice is merely implementing measures to ensure the speedy resolutions of cases.

"We support Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno's efforts at decentralization, which I believe is the issue behind the latest controversy regarding the Administrative Order No.175-2012, or the reopening of the Regional Court Administration Office in Cebu City in Region 7. Decentralization is key if we are to speed up the resolution of cases as mandated by Constitution itself. The concentration of powers in the national office has adversely affected the efficiency of our courts."

"My sources in the judiciary have lamented that even the purchase of certain supplies and materials for the regional trial courts all throughout the country need approval in Manila," adds Pangilinan, who is himself a lawyer and a former chair of the Senate Committee on Justice.

Pangilinan also chides those who stir up controversies regarding AO175-2012, saying that the creation of regional court offices was part of judicial reforms implemented by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., and that Chief Justice Sereno is merely following up on what Davide had started. The lawmaker also points out that it was former Chief Justice Renato Corona who suspended the decentralization of courts during his helm.

"I cannot help but ask if this controversy stems from the OCA refusing to give up the powers it had enjoyed under former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Former Chief Justices Hilario Davide. Jr. and Reynato Puno both implemented the decentralization. Why was it right then and wrong now?"

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