COURT of Appeals Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. has ordered the closure of the CA office in Cebu following the 7.2-magnitude quake that hit the province.
In a one-page memorandum to CA Visayas head Executive Justice Pampio Abarintos, Reyes ordered the closure of the CA Cebu office effective October 22 for safety reasons.
“Considering the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Cebu City, the Cebu station of the Court of Appeals is hereby closed effective today, October 22, 2013, for safety reasons until further orders by the undersigned upon receipt that the building has been inspected and certified safe to be occupied by the proper government authorities,” Reyes stated. In the meantime, the receiving of the docket cases and cash sections shall maintain a skeletal force to receive pleadings and the corresponding fees.
The CA has 69 justices led by Reyes—51 including the presiding justice are in Manila, while 18 are in Cebu and in Cagayan de Oro.
Reyes said that after inspection, the court engineers found that the Cebu office is also a “fire hazard” and must be rehabilitated.
“Aside from the earthquake threat, it was also discovered that it is fire hazard. So I ordered the immediate closure of the building for safety reasons,” Reyes told The Manila Times.
At present, the CA does not have its own building due to the fued between the Cebu provincial capitol and the Cebu City local government as to who shall provide the lot for the CA.
The national government also failed to provide the CA in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro lot and building as permanent office.