..ang blog ni Yeyen.

If I Had A Favorite Court


If I had to name a favorite court, I would never hesitate to name the Regional Trial Court – Branch 6 of Agusan del Sur as “it”.

In almost seven years of practice across the courts in the neighboring cities and municipalities of Butuan City, this court is the b-e-s-t.  By far, I thought the City Courts in Surigao City were the courts to beat, but, that was before I appeared in RTC-6 .

I had heard fellow kompanyeros sing praises for this court but when I opened the door and stepped inside, I was not prepared for the majesty that stood in front of me.

Outside this prestigious court, two security guards are posted at its doors where they perform security procedures for those who wish to go in.  These guards also let them register in the logbook and get their basic information (lawyers exempted).

The court was immensely huge.  If I compare it with the average court I have been to, its size is approximately times four of the latter (er, times 2 of Surigao’s).  I took the picture above at the entrance – notice how far the bench (or the judge’s chair) is?  That’s how big it is (gosh, you can barely see the bench, huh?).

The court was elegant.  Since this was Agusan del Sur, every furniture in the court uniformly boasts of fully varnished high caliber hard wood – from the bench, down the bar then to the gallery.

The entire room was carpeted and very well ventilated by a floor-stand-type air conditioner.  If you should know, our courts in the Philippines are not air-conditioned – so just imagine how roasted the lawyers feel in their suits.  In this area alone, I felt heaven, especially that I was dressed in black which is known to absorb heat.

This court had sufficient room for the witness stand, and individual desks for the stenographer, the court interpreter and the clerk of court.  There’s even one for the bailiff who actually sat down at his place during the whole session (doesn’t happen here).

The bar was quite impressive too – not just make-shift or an imaginary barrier (like some courts I know) but one which is actually very definitely visible and gets the message across that the area is off limits for the general public.  The “bar” is actually the barrier, dividing the entire court into two.  Only lawyers get to enter the bar (rier), and up further is the bench (where the judge sits).

Sitting in the bar was comfortable.  In some courts, I have to sit on defective chairs which could collapse by my tiniest movement.  Since the average courts are small, members of the bar had to sit at the gallery and mix with the spectators and the many accused until there’s a vacant seat up front.  Here, there was a very lonnngggg table with sturdy chairs enough to accomodate all lawyers present.

Disregarding its physical aspect, I also like this court because of the presiding judge.  There are judges who don’t even know what the lawyers are arguing about, but this judge studies before he enters the courtroom.  He is intelligent and he knows his law (believe me, there are also “dumb” judges!).  He knows the case like the back of his hand.  In fact, he is well recognized to be hardworking and straight.  He cannot be maneuvered by the delaying tactics of the parties.  He takes active control in the proceedings of the case.  I was sickish on my second appearance at his court, but since I know his reputation, I proceeded and attended the trial because I was afraid he might admonish me for not filing the proper motion (which should be at least three days before schedule – I got sick the day before).  Well, he is coincidentally the father-in-law of a close friend, but this makes it harder for me because he might think I’m abusing him when I don’t comply with the rules.

It’s not everyday that I get to appear in this kind of court.  I actually felt like I was out of the country in there (oh yes, it looked like the courts in the Western TV Dramas).  I hope other courts eventually transform like this in the future (hmph, there was already a plan to expand our city courts here but since we changed congressmen, the complete plan vanished into thin air, pfft!).


Comments on: "If I Had A Favorite Court" (20)

  1. Wow Yen! I was actually imagining a “TV court” while reading your description. I have been inside a court only once in my entire life. That was when I attended a cousin’s civil wedding in Butuan. It was indeed very crampy! How I wish our Butuan courts are like that one in Agusan Sur. Maybe Joeboy will find the heart to continue the previous project? Kulang lang siguro sa tuklod.

    • the previous congressman is a lawyer who also appeared in court from time to time so he knew the plight of our buildings here. Kumbaga, duol sa iyang kasingkasing, hahaha.

      I also think Joe Boy will support and continue the plan if the IBP would request him ( in fact, I hear one court in the city is now air conditioned because of his donation).

      in fairness though, our courts here are much much better than the ones in CDO (and Manila daw as relayed by ruth)

  2. hong butuan said:

    haha…is it now congressman edelmiro amante? the man is quitely getting old dis-gracefully. will it be his team against the plazas this 2010? his daughter might come back with some pinch of vengeance. she might use a different maneuver this time since her vote buying didn’t budge the butuanons when she ran for mayor. tips from tawi tawi might help…

    • ^ ___ ^ no, congressman edelmiro’s district is not our district.

    • Most likely to run for Mayor in Butuan are Daisy Plaza, Ching Plaza, and Dr. Jun Amante. Dr. Amante is Edel’s nephew but I believe that he is the better choice among the three. He is a different branch of Amante and hopefully, a different “flavor”? He is currently the Barangay Captain of Ampayon.

  3. kinsay judge yen? judge Moleta is my friend. asa mana cya?

    • judge via crucis markv (dad in law ni clavel).
      nakadungog nako ana niya nga judge pero wa pa ko ka appear…

  4. a former judge sa sur, c judge perez is also my ninang. buotan kayo

  5. Yen, ok ra man siguro siya. Mang-hearing pa ko kay taga-lain nga barrio na baya ko. He is known to be a good man, active kaayo sa church unya matulungin, even before he became a politician. So far, wala koy nadunggan nga bad sa iya. Sa Silliman siya nag-graduate unya sa UP PGH man yata nag-specialize.

    • actually, wa pod bitaw koy nadunggan batok sa iya.
      bibo karon nga election ang local, excited na ko.

  6. hong butuan said:

    how are these 2 plazas related? bxu is too plazaful. maybe a neophyte won’t harm the city. that’s right, this amante is possibly a different “flavor” than that of edelmiro. he sounds to be the ideal chap for bxu, a decent man (most doctors are).i bet the wife will make an excellent first lady too.

  7. Daisy Plaza is the wife of the current Mayor, Boy Daku Plaza. Ching Plaza is the wife of late former Mayor Figurado Plaza, who was also Boy Daku’s uncle. So, Daisy Plaza is Ching Plaza’s niece-in-law. I agree that Butuan has become too “Plazaful”. There are even talks that Daisy’s son, current councilor Randolph Plaza, will run for Vice Mayor, as his Mother’s running mate. These Plazas (Boy Daku branch) have been in power since 1992 (?). I can’t think of anything significant that they have contributed to the city.

    Supporters of the Plazas might say Diosdado Macapagal Bridge. That is a national project which has been in the planning stages since the 1970’s. They can’t really claim that it’s their idea.

  8. eyes to the board jen, ^ ____ ^ principal sponsors/ninong-ninang. gesh. unsa na man ni, tigulang na ko.

    • Hahaha! I’m so loopy! 2nd blooper of the day. Gesh! Somehow “sponsors” ra akong na-read, murag na-delete ang word nga “principal”! I’m going blind!

      Is this your 2nd time to be a principal sponsor at a wedding? I dread the day when one of my inaanaks will ask me to be the ninang at their wedding. I told them ako sila i-disown when that happens. Hahaha! Maybe when I hit 50 ok na. 😀

      • huhuhu, 3rd time jen.
        i don’t even know the bride and groom, my gesh. the parents of the bride are my clients. this was also the case the second time i stood as principal sponsor.
        kalami mo decline but murag brutal man ug ang rason ‘wa man ko kaila sa kaslon’, hahaha.

  9. hong butuan said:

    thanks for the info re: plazas.

    boy daku team have a very significant contribution to the city. i guess you forgot to mention this… it’s “balding” the timber city of the south. haha!

    about the “ninang” issue, it’s an old belief that it won’t be a good karma to refuse such invitation. ditto for ninang/ninong during baptism. so, good luck;)

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