MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has designated eleven courts to handle expropriation proceedings involving the government’s infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
In a Memorandum Circular 08-20-20 released on Monday, the SC said the designation of the special courts comes following a letter on June 19 from Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar seeking assistance in expropriation proceedings for the acquisition of right-of-way for priority national infrastructure projects.
The court cited that at least two projects, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) project and the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project involve a total of 308 filed expropriation cases with the DPWH expected to file an estimated 902 expropriation cases before the regional trial courts (RTCs) in the cities of Imus, Trece Martires, Dasmarinas, Tagaytay, Caloocan and Manila in the coming months.
The designation of the courts, according to SC, aims “to address the impending volume of expropriation cases to be filed before the courts.”
A total of 11 RTCs were initially designated as “special expropriation courts” for public roads to hear, try, and decide expropriation cases but the number may be increased upon the recommendation of the DPWH of key cities with priority infrastructure projects.
“The designated special expropriation courts for public roads shall have jurisdiction over newly filed expropriation cases involving national government infrastructure projects in their respective jurisdiction,” the court said.
In Imus City, two designated courts were RTC Branch 20 under Judge Amabel Robles-Buenaluz and RTC Branch 22 presided by Judge Mary Charlene V. Hernandez-Azura.
Likewise, designated were Trece Martires City RTC Branch 23 under Judge Purification A. Baring-Tuvera and RTC Brach 131 under Judge Jean Susan-Desuado-Gill; Dasmarinas City RTC Branch 90 under Judge Victor L. Collado Jr.; Tagaytay RTC Brach 133 under Judge Gian C. Navarro and RTC Branch 134 under Judge Michael C. Maranan.
In the National Capital Region, designated were Caloocan City RTC Branch 232 under Judge Rosalia I. Hipolito-Bunagan; and Manila RTC Branch 22 under Judge Tammy Ann C. Reyes Medrillo, RTC Brach 18 under Judge Carolina I. Sison, and RTC Branch 49 presided by Judge James T. Sy. (PNA)