SC creates special courts for local election cases

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has created special courts nationwide to resolve local election cases in the upcoming 2016 elections.

In a 10-page administrative order, dated September 24, 2015, the high court assigned 112 regional trial courts (RTCs) in 12 judicial regions for the purpose.

These courts are tasked to "exclusively and speedily hear, try and decide election protests and petitions for quo warranto (for disqualification) involving elective municipal officials within their respective territorial jurisdictions during local and national elections."

These courts shall handle municipal election protests, from the mayoralty post down.

In Metro Manila, the only special election court is Pasig City RTC Branch 262.

"For purpose of this Administrative Order, the cases referred herein shall be limited to election protests and petitions for quo warranto involving elective municipal officials. All other election-related cases shall be raffled among the regular courts in the station," the order read.

These special courts shall be excluded in the raffle of new cases "whenever the caseloads of these courts will prevent them from conducting the continuous trial of the elections contests."

As to the caseloads of the special election courts, they shall be excluded in raffle of new cases "whenever the caseloads of these courts will prevent them from conducting the continuous trial of the election contests."