SC orders RTCs: Speed up cases on government infra projects
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has responded to the call of President Aquino to look into judicial processes hampering the speedy implementation of the government’s infrastructure projects.

The SC, through its Office of Court Administrator (OCA), has ordered regional trial courts (RTCs) to expedite the resolution of cases involving government expropriations and issuances of writ of possession.

In a two-page circular dated Oct. 15, which was obtained by The STAR, the OCA cited the lower courts’ delay in the issuance of writs of possession in expropriation proceedings involving infrastructure projects implemented by the government.

SC Administrator Jose Midas Marquez reminded judges under his administrative supervision of Section 4 of Republic Act 8974 or the law on acquisition of right-of-way, which provides for immediate action on expropriation cases.

Marquez cited the SC ruling on Republic of the Philippines vs. spouses Agustin and Imelda Cancio, which held that it is “ministerial duty of the trial court to issue the writ of possession upon compliance with the requirements of RA 8974.”

“All courts are hereby enjoined to avoid delay and strictly comply with the law,” read the OCA order.

The high court issued the order after President Aquino questioned the delay in the issuance of writ of possession by trial courts during the groundbreaking of the SC complex in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig on Oct. 2.

Aquino also asked the SC to review the law requiring government deposit for infrastructure projects.

Under the law, once the deposit was made, the court must issue a writ of possession stating that the government has the authority to use the property and proceed with the project.

Aquino explained that local government units usually file cases before the courts to determine just compensation, effectively stopping the project.

He said Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson mentioned this as one of the factors delaying the implementation of government projects.

Aquino said infrastructure projects should not be subject of a temporary restraining order so as not to delay the benefits these would provide the people.

He added expenditures for the delayed projects would increase when the funds could have been used for other services.

 

ADMINISTRATOR JOSE MIDAS MARQUEZ AGUSTIN AND IMELDA CANCIO AQUINO FORT BONIFACIO GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATOR PRESIDENT AQUINO PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS SECRETARY ROGELIO SINGSON REPUBLIC ACT REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES SUPREME COURT
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