SC to name new Virac RTC executive judge?
posted 7-Jan-2019  ·  
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The Supreme Court will likely designate a new executive judge for the two branches of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Virac after its recent choice did report for her one-week-a-month duty on the island.

Court sources told the Tribune that the High Court, informed of the situation, asked the court personnel for some more time to resolve the situation, most possibly through the designation of yet another judge from the mainland.

More than a hundred cases filed by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office at the RTC’s Office of the Clerk of Court have yet to be raffled off to the two branches due to the absence of an executive judge.

Also pending are several petitions for renewal of the two-year notarial commission filed by local lawyers that expired Dec. 31, 2018, leaving only two lawyers – Atty. Jocelyn Abines and Atty. Gregorio Sarmiento Jr. – as the only ones authorized by the court to perform notarial acts.

It may be recalled that following the suspension of RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras for an undisclosed offense, the SC designated Legazpi City RTC Branch 10 Presiding Judge Maria Theresa San Juan Loquillano as acting presiding judge of RTC Branch 42 and at the same time the Executive Judge of the two RTC branches in Virac.

Judge Contreras reassumed her post on Dec. 4, 2018 but will handle only RTC Branch 43, with Judge Loquillano yet to act on the 434 pending cases in RTC 42.

Pursuant to the order, the Legazpi-based judge is supposed to appear as acting presiding judge of RTC Branch 42 for about one week each month, from Monday to Saturday.

But she reportedly filed a motion with the Supreme Court asking for the recall of her designation as Virac acting judge as she reportedly handles other cases in some RTC branches.

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