New home found for court hear­ings, le­gal pa­pers in flood-prone Mal­abon

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - METRO - By Bev­erly T. Na­tivi­dad

THE MAL­ABON-NAVOTAS RE­GIONAL Trial Court (RTC) is sched­uled to move out of its old lo­ca­tion in peren­ni­ally-flooded Barangay Cat­mon, Mal­abon, to a new drier lo­ca­tion also in the city by next week.

The RTC’s vo­lu­mi­nous court records as well as its le­gal ref­er­ence books were dam­aged af­ter be­ing sub­merged in about 7-10 feet of flood­wa­ters un­leashed by Trop­i­cal Storm “On­doy.”

The Supreme Court will be trans­fer­ring its court branches in Mal­abon-Navotas to a rented prop­erty in­side Golden Vale Subdi- vi­sion in Barangay Tene­jeros.

Mal­abon-Navotas City Pros­e­cu­tor Jorge Cata­lan Jr. told INQUIRER that the court offices are due to trans­fer on Jan. 15.

“Since the new lo­ca­tion will be on higher grounds, the Mal­abon-Navotas courts will no longer be in a flooded area,” he added.

The Mal­abon-Navotas RTC—used to the re­cur­rent floods in low-ly­ing Mal­abon— have long raised their shelves and fil­ing cab­i­nets and placed them on top of benches to keep reg­u­lar flood­wa­ters away from court records.

But the heavy rain­fall caused by On­doy

caused wa­ter lev­els to rise higher even than the raised fil­ing cab­i­nets, soak­ing all of its con­tents.

Branch 170 of the Mal­abon-RTC, for ex­am­ple, only man­aged to save a few court doc­u­ments be­fore the storm hit Metro Manila, like the doc­u­ments on the con­tro­ver­sial Ruby Rose Bar­rameda-Jimenez mur­der case.

In fact, the par­ties in the Bar­ramedaJimenez case had al­ready ear­lier pe­ti­tioned the Supreme Court for a change of the trial venue, cit­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties of hear­ing the case in the di­lap­i­dated and flooded courts of theMal­abon-Navotas RTC.

The re­quest is still pend­ing, but there may no longer be a need to seek a a new venue be­cause of the sched­uled trans­fer of the RTC offices.

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