• SC designates cybercrime courts

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) has assigned special courts for cases involving cyber­crimes, among others.

    In a full-court ruling, the SC designated certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) to try and decide cybercrime cases under Republic Act (RA) 10715 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

    According to the high tribunal, the RTC branches assigned as “special commercial courts in its administrative matter on June 17, 2003 are hereby further designated as cybercrime courts to try and decide cybercrime cases covered under RA 10175, in addition to their designation as special commercial courts.”

    “The cybercrime courts in the judicial regions shall have territorial authority over the entire region where the RTC is located for purposes of exercising the special jurisdiction granted herein,” the SC said.

    “Accordingly, cybercrime cases shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the proper cybercrime courts,” it added.

    Section 1 of the cybercrime law provides that “three (3) additional branches of the Regional Trial Court to be stationed in the City of Bacolod, situated in the Province of Negros Occidental, are hereby created in the Sixth Judicial Region.”

    “The Supreme Court shall assign the branch numbers of the newly created Regional Trial Court branches in the Sixth Judicial Region,” RA 10175’s Section 2 said.

    Another provision of the same law, Section 3, explains that “the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in coordination with the Secretary of the Department of Justice, shall immediately include in the court’s program the operationalization of the additional Regional Trial Court branches to be stationed in the City of Bacolod, Province of Negros Occidental, the funding of which shall be included in the Annual General Appropriations Act. The funds necessary for the operation of the courts herein created shall be appropriated and released only upon the actual organization of the courts and the appointment of its personnel.”

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