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The Speed of Due Process

It has been said repeatedly that justice delayed is justice denied. But justice haphazardly administered could result to injustice too.

Hence, the so-called “Due process of Law” has been established to ensure justice for all.

Recently, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 44, of the 10th Judicial Region, based in Initao, Misamis Oriental, issued an Order transferring the detained Mayor of Iligan from the Iligan City Jail to the Provincial Jail of Misamis Oriental in Cagayan de Oro.

The Order was premised on the fact that Iligan City Jail belongs to the 12th Judicial Region and is not under the Jurisdiction of RTC Branch 44.

Apparently, RTC Branch 44 wants to set things right before proceeding to the other steps of due process in the Multiple Murder and Multiple Frustrated Murder cases against the accused.

It may be recalled that the offenses charged were allegedly committed in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental which is under the jurisdiction of RTC Branch 44, in the 10th Judicial Region.

However, due process deviated from the normal course when the accused surrendered to the Acting Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 6, in the 12th Judicial Region and instead of turning over the accused to the Court that issued the Warrant of Arrest, the latter issued a Commitment Order to the Warden of the Iligan City Jail to detain the accused.

As a matter of course, the Prosecutor moved for the transfer of the accused to the Jail in Initao, Misamis Oriental. The Court asked the accused to comment on the Motion and the latter through Counsel objected on the ground that Initao Jail cannot provide the security and accommodation to the accused. Hence, the Court resolved to transfer the accused to the Provincial Jail in Cagayan de Oro which is under its supervision.

Unless the Order of the Court is implemented, the accused will continue to be detained outside of the Court’s jurisdiction.

Normally, the Commitment Order for the detention of an accused must issue from the Court that warranted his arrest. Hence, it is the considered opinion of this paper that the issuance of the Commitment Order by another judge for the accused to be detained outside of the jurisdiction of the Court handling the case is irregular.

The Judge handling the case may have observed a violation of her authority. However, she appears to be just decent enough not to quarrel with a wayward peer.

This is a matter that may invite the attention of the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court. Already, the Judge concerned have issued Orders in Iligan that raised the eyebrows of many. But this is another matter.

Now, the Court of competent jurisdiction is doing its duty pursuant to its authority. For due process to move, all must act accordingly. Otherwise, justice will suffer undue daily.
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