The provincial government is interested to take over the Marcelo Fernan Palace of Justice building if the Supreme Court en banc decides to abandon it.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III said the province also offered the Capitol lot previously occupied by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as the trial court’s new location. He also revealed that there is a deed of donation executed between the province and the Supreme Court on the land inside the DA compound.
The lot, where the Palace of Justice building was erected, continues to be owned by the province. Davide said the Capitol has no record that reflects real agreement on the use of the property and the judicial branch.
He said there are other executive offices in the Capitol that expressed interest to occupy the building.
When the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Cebu and Bohol on October 15, the Palace of Justice Hall and the Capitol-owned Baex and legislative buildings incurred damage.
These building also hosted offices of the national government agencies such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Commission of Elections.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, the provincial secretary, and some board members also transferred their offices to the executive building as the 3rd and 4th floors of the legislative building requires rehabilitation.
Earlier findings on the palace building told its occupants to vacate their offices. However, a subsequent opinion of the Cebu City Office of the Buildings Officials stated that only the 3rd and 4th floors were unsafe.
Whatever the decision of the SC en banc on the matter, Davide said it should be reduced in writing. Xerxes Alkuino