By Rey Panaligan
The Supreme Court (SC) has designated 10 trial courts as pilot admiralty courts to hear and decide cases involving maritime laws.
Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said on Wednesday (Feb. 5) the designation of admiralty courts was a result of the adoption of the Rules of Procedures for Admiralty cases.
The admiralty courts will handle shipping, ocean, and sea legal cases such as those involving contracts, injuries, and offenses relating to maritime laws.
The designated courts and their judges are:
For the Port of Manila – Branch 37, Regional Trial Court (RTC) presided by Judge Virgilio V. Macaraig; Branch 4, Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), presided by Judge Eriza P. Pagaling Zapanta.
For San Fernando International Sea Port (Poro Point Freeport Zone) – Branch 66, RTC, San Fernando, La Union, presided by Judge Victor O. Concepcion; Branch 1, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), presided by Judge Imelda P. Cosalan.
For the Port of Subic Bay (Subic Bay Freeport Zone) – Branch 75, RTC, Olongapo City, Zambales, presided by Judge Raymond C. Viray; Branch 4, MTCC, Olongapo City, Zambales, presided by Judge Esmeralda B. David.
For the Port of Cebu – Branch 83, RTC, Mandaue City, presided by Judge Dalisay D. Chavez Ohdate; Branch 3, MTCC, Mandaue City, presided by Judge Amy Rose A. Soller Rellin.
For the Port of Davao – Branch 14, RTC, Davao City, presided by Judge Jill Rose S. Jaugan-Lo; and Branch 2, MTCC, Davao City, presided by Judge Marie Estrellita S. Tolentino Rojas.
With the designation of the pilot admiralty courts, the SC revoked the earlier designation of special commercial courts to hear and decide admiralty cases.
In a full court resolution, the SC said “the application and adherence to the Rules shall also be subject to periodic monitoring through the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA).”
“For this purpose, all designated Admiralty courts shall accomplish and submit a periodic report of data in a form to be generated and distributed by the OCA.”