By Marie A. Peque and Kristine Joy N. Puracan
2008 is a remarkable year for the Court of Appeals-Cebu Station where not only is it
emerging victorious amidst challenges, but it also is strengthening its core values of moral and legal
justice, efficient public service, solid teamwork and camaraderie among employees.
Though the revelry of 2007 was almost difficult to top off especially with the
unimaginable success and picture perfect moments of the year that was, the start of 2008 rejuvenated
the desire of the court to pursue greater goals that turning a new leaf and moving forward was the best
option. For the New Year, the new executive Justice Antonio L. Villamor created a vision for a stronger
and well-rounded Cebu Station where justice and fun do not remain a stigmatic oxymoron. Such vision
made the Cebu Station abuzz with a kaleidoscope of activities such as the Court’s Palarong Pinoy, 2nd
Teambuilding Activity, Sports Fest, CACEMPCO Day and the CAVEA Board of Directors’ and Officers’
Induction-all of which happened in just the first half of the year.
The inner child of CA employees was unleashed and their patriotic spirits were
rekindled as the Court held Pinoy Games at the CA Grounds last June 6, 2008. As a prelude to the
planned Teambuilding Activity, CA-Cebu Station frolicked in the midday sun. Kicking off with the
cheering from the Blue, White and Red Teams, the festivities climaxed with the Palayok
hitting contest, “The Singing Me” where torotots were used in lieu of buzzers, the CA-Cebu’s
version of Hep Hep Hooray, the Ola Chico Chicka! Where participants became
instant cross dressers, and the gravity defying Pabitin.
With summer almost over, CA-Cebu caught up with the summer fever by
celebrating the annual Teambuilding Activity at the paradise-like Alegrado Island, Maribago Blue
Water Beach Resort in Mactan Island, Cebu. The event was all about unadulterated fun under the
summer sun with a “no holds barred” friendly competition, hearty laughter, sumptuous luncheon,
exhilarating boat rides and a seemingly endless karaoke session made even more worthwhile by the
island’s panoramic view of the famous Cebu shores – a perfect set back from the monotony of the
four corners of the CA offices. Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier declared the teambuilding activity, “ a
day of equals” where there were no justices, no lawyers and no ordinary employees. She asserted
that she was to be call Amy, Executive Justice Villamor as Tony, Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla as
Precy, and Justice Florito Macalino as Flong. Precy opened the teambuilding activity. Amy in her
inspirational talk, encouraged every employee to create a more united Court of Appeals and to
have fun while being in the public service. Flong in his apt for fun and laid back get-up, added flair
to the affair while Trix (Clerk of Court Atty. Teresita R. Marigomen) elicited smiles from the crowd by
her surprise appearance at the said activity.
Another cheering competition raged among teams. The White team wowed the
crowd with their pompoms and dance moves; the Blue team sent ripple of oohhs and aahhs with
their choreography and ala Stomp the Yard rendition; and the Red team was in battle mode with
their “awuh!” chant. Just before lunch, an It’s a Date contest was held where Ms. Searcher Marichu
Agura (from the 18th DCC) chose her date among five secret male searchers by asking thought-
provoking questions and consequences. Carrying a bouquet of red roses, Mr. Kenneth Gareza won
only the heart of Ms. Agura but also the approval of the crowd.
Laughter, sand, water and sun filled the afternoon, where game masters Atty.
Lloyd Vergara and Atty. Adeth Bisoc led the crowd into a frenzy of games and friendly rivalry.
Teamwork and unity were tested in the 10-man sack race. Perseverance and strategy were poked
in the Kerring Carry game. Communication and patience were tried in the Blind Adventures where
contestants had to go through a maze of obstacles while blindfolded. And physical prowess and
agility were showcased in the Chicken Chase.
The event ended with the awarding of the winners of the games and the winners of
Sports fest which was held weeks before the Teambuilding Activity where, with the leadership of
Acting Assistant Clerk of Court Atty. Joseph Stephen A. Ygnacio and Mr. Ariel Atibula, Court
employees met Friday afternoons prior to the Teambuilding Day to compete in Chess, Darts,
Badminton and Basketball.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON SPORTS
Motivated by the outstanding success of the Sports fest activity, Executive Justice
Villamor, with the desire to foster even more the bond and the holistic development of CA-Cebu’s
personnel, declared it a tradition to hold sports activities at the CA premises every Friday afternoon
including a belly dancing class for non-sport enthusiast to be held as an alternative physical activity,
for women. The Friday sports tradition had its opening salvo last August 8, 2008 where the newly
formed dance troupe, the “CA All Stars” danced to the tune of “Low” and special guest, Honey, gave
out a mesmerizing belly dance number to encourage everyone to participate in the said activities.
An addition to the laurels of the Court of Appeals Cebu is the establishment of
employee organizations such as the Court of Appeals Employees’ Multipurpose Cooperative
(CACEMPCO) and the Court of Appeals Visayas Employees Association (CAVEA), which is under the
umbrella of Manila based Association of Court of Appeals Employees (ACAE). These organizations
are manifestations that indeed the Court of Appeals Cebu Station is an employee oriented institution.
The CACEMPCO has over 100 members and its number is growing. Its First Coop Day last April 12,
2008 at the Portofino Beach Resort was a celebration of its humble yet successful beginnings.
CAVEA, on the other hand, was formally established last April 30, 2008 upon the ratification of
majority of bona fide Court of Appeals Cebu employees of the proposed CAVEA By-Laws. Executive
Justice Villamor formally inducted the officers led by elected President Mr. Amiel C. De Vera and the
Board of Directors last May 15, 2008 at the CA Hearing Room.
Another quarter is yet to be conquered before 2008 ends but the Court of
Appeals-Cebu Station is continuously surpassing conventions and is preparing for another set
of events – its Anniversary this October, its annual year ender Christmas Party and other
employee development activities. Unscathed by the unsuccessful and gauche attempts to poison
the station and the whole of the judiciary, the Cebu station is bent on nurturing and adding to its
time acquired strengths of integrity, unity and industry which have all worked out to overcome past
trials by holding more employee empowering seminars. Talks on etiquette, decorum, customer
service, wellness and finances will be held before the year ends in concurrence with the recent
program on Moral Recovery of the Judiciary affirmed by all Justices in the Covenant they signed
into and supported by all employees of the Court of Appeals.
DISPOSITION OF CASES
From the day of its inception, the Court of Appeals-Cebu Station had never looked
back and has progressed into an above-par justice dispensing Appellate Court. From October 4,
2004 to July 2008, the station has disposed of a total of 8,133 cases and as of July 2008, there
were only 480 cases submitted for decision. The considerable reduction of backlog of cases
submitted for decision proves the station’s commitment to the expeditious dispensation of justice
concretized by unwavering hardwork and dedication. Truly, the decentralization of the operations
of the Court of Appeals which consequently created the CA-Cebu Station has not only resulted in
greater accessibility of justice but also the exemplification of quality and selfless service by a
greater number of public servants.
Indeed, the Court of Appeals-Cebu Station has stood the test of time and it shall
continually overcome storms while conquering miles. Guided by the ardent desire to serve with
honor and dignity, it shall transcend the mires of intrigues and come out victorious by keeping
focused on its mission to dispense justice swift and real. It shall continue to improve its already
distinguished track record and enhance its courageous and honest disposal of duties and
responsibilities ordained by legal and moral laws. Surely, Appellate Court justice is on its way to
greater heights with the stronger and united effort of the whole Court of Appeals, spearheaded by
CA Manila and the equal passion and dedication of CA-Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.