SC forms special courts for election cases

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THE Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday created special courts that will resolve election cases resulting from the May 2016 polls.

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In a 10-page administrative order promulgated last September 24, the SC tapped 112 Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) in 12 judicial regions in the entire country.

The document was signed by the three most senior justices of the High Court, namely, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr.

Their job is to “exclusively and speedily hear, try and decide election protests and petitions for quo warranto [for disqualification]involving elective municipal officials within their respective territorial jurisdictions during local and national elections.”

The local courts shall handle the election protests arising from the local polls, from the mayoralty contests down.

“For purposes of this administrative order, the cases referred herein shall be limited to election protests and petitions for quo warranto involving elective municipal officials. All other election-related cases shall be raffled [off]among the regular courts in the station,” the document stated.

Case loads of the special election courts shall be excluded from the raffle of new cases “whenever the case loads of these courts will prevent them from conducting the continuous trial of the election contests.”

Further, the only special election court in Metro Manila shall be Pasig City RTC Branch 262.

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