Carpio: 8th Groundbreaking of Manila Hall of Justice will be the last

August 22, 2012 10:40 pm 

By Perfecto Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, Aug. 22 — Supreme Court Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio gave assurances Wednesday's groundbreaking for the Manila Hall of Justice will be the 8th and the last.

Carpio said they are targeting to finish the construction of the P1.865-billion building within two to three years.

"I assure you, as the sun will rise tomorrow, the Manila Hall of Justice will rise on this site," Carpio said in a speech at the old Government Service Insurance System building at the corner of Gat. Antonio Villegas and Concepcion Aguila Streets in Manila.

He noted the delays in the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice is either there was no land or no money or both.

"During the last groundbreaking in 2005, there was a land but there was no money," he said.

The site of the Manila Hall of Justice was moved several times from the old Jai-Alai building to the old GSIS building.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said he is hopeful that the construction will finally push through.

Lim lauded Carpio for pushing for the project.

Lim said many Chief Justices made the promise but only an Acting Chief Justice would make it a reality.

"Many Chief Justices tried to build our dream but to no avail. Salamat lang dumating si Acting Chief Justice Carpio. With him around, we believe that there will be no glitches," Lim said.

Lim added they are hoping that Carpio will become the Chief Justice.

The SC has allocated P1.865 billion for the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice composed of 120 Regional and Metropolitan Trial Courts.

The construction of the Manila Hall of Justice has been a plan since early 2000 but was shelved for lack of budget.

The SC has been requesting a P3-billion budget from the Dept. of Budget and Management since 2010 but has been turned down.

Former President and now Pampanga (2nd District) Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo transferred the old GSIS building consisting of 10,818.10-square-meter property to the SC in 2005.

The Halls of Justice are buildings constructed under the Justice System Infrastructure Program, an offshoot of Administrative Order No. 99 issued in 1988 by then President Corazon Aquino, the mother of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Under the JUSIP, courthouses shall be rehabilitated or constructed for the use or occupancy of the lower courts, the National Prosecution Service, the Parole and Probation Administration, the Public Attorney's Office and the Register of Deeds.

The Committee on Halls of Justice was created in November 1999 to assist the SC in the administration and maintenance of the halls located all over the Philippines. (PNA)

<P>HBC/PTR

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