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Court Profile
History
Vision
Mission
The Seal of the Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Hymn
Martsa ng Court of Appeals
The Philippine Judiciary Hymn
Functions of Organizational Units


History

The Court of Appeals, second highest tribunal of the land, was created on February 1, 1936 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 3 promulgated on December 31, 1935 with its eleven (11) Judges with Pedro Concepcion as the first Presiding Judge.

With the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 259 dated April 7, 1938, the appellate judges were named justices and the composition of the Court of Appeals was increased to fifteen (15) justices. Executive Order No. 4 (1942) was issued by the Executive Commission on February 5, 1942, again increasing the number of justices to seventeen (17). In the latter part of 1944, it was regionalized into five (5) Districts -- Court Appeals for Northern, Central and Southern Luzon; for Manila and for Visayas and Mindanao.

With the abnormal conditions prevailing during the Japanese Occupation, the Court was abolished in 1945 when Pres. Sergio Osmeña Sr. issued E.O. 37.

After the Japanese Occupation and with the passage of R.A. 52 sponsored by Sen. Vicente Francisco on October 4, 1946, the Court of Appeals was recreated consisting of a presiding justice and fourteen (14) associate justices. Marceliano Montemayor was the first post-war presiding justice. The first post -war legislation on the judiciary was R.A. No. 926, otherwise known as the Judiciary Act of 1948. The composition of the Court was increased to eighteen (18) by R.A. 1605; then to twenty-four (24) justices by R.A. 5204 on June 16, 1968. The number of CA justices was increased again to thirty-six (36) in 1973 and to forty-five (45) in 1978.

In 1983, there was a thorough judicial reorganization under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. E.O. 864 was issued wherein the Court of Appeals was renamed Intermediate Appellate Court and its membership enlarged to fifty (50) associate justices and a presiding justice. However, only thirty-seven (37) justices were appointed.

With the change of government in 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino issued E.O. 33 on July 28, 1986, in which the name Court of Appeals was restored with a Presiding Justice and fifty (50) Associate Justices.

On February 23, 1995, R.A. No. 7902 was passed expanding the jurisdiction of the Court effective March 18, 1995.

On December 30, 1996, R.A. No. 8246 created six (6) more divisions in the Court, there by increasing its membership from fifty-one (51) to sixty-nine (69) justices. The number of divisions was increased from seventeen (17) to twenty-three (23) and its membership from fifty-one (51) to sixty-nine (69). The first seventeen (17) divisions were to be stationed in Manila for cases coming from the 1st to the 5th Judicial Regions, the 18th to 20th divisions in Cebu City for cases from the 6th to 8th Judicial Regions and the 21st to 23rd divisions for cases from the 6th to 8th Judicial Regions and the 21st to 23rd divisions in Cagayan de Oro City for cases from the 9th to 12th Judicial Regions.

However, this law was fully implemented only in 2004, with the appointment of eighteen (18) new justices for the Visayas and Mindanao stations and the opening of the Cebu and Cagayan de Oro offices.

The Court of Appeals reviews the decisions and final orders of all the Regional Trial Courts. Also, the Court of Appeals reviews decisions and resolutions in administrative cases of the Ombudsman, and those of the Department of Justice and other agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions, including the Office of the President. The decisions and resolutions of the National Labor Relations Commission are now initially reviewable by the Court of Appeals, instead of a direct recourse to the Supreme Court, via petition for certiorari under Rule 65 (St. Martin Funeral Home v. NLRC, 295 SCRA 414).

On July 7, 2004, the Supreme Court, in People vs. Efren Mateo (433 SCRA 640), allowed the Court of Appeals to conduct an intermediate review before the case is elevated to the Supreme Court in criminal cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or death.

On December 15, 2005, the Supreme Court issued A.M. No. 05-11-04-SC promulgating the rules of procedure in Anti-Money Laundering cases under R.A. No. 9160 as amended, wherein the Court of Appeals was granted jurisdiction over petitions for freeze orders on any monetary instrument, property or proceeds involving an unlawful activity under said Republic Act. On October 24, 2007, the Court of Appeals was also granted jurisdiction over petitions for Writs of Amparo, pursuant to A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC. Likewise, effective February 2, 2008, the Court was granted jurisdiction over petitions for Writs of Habeas Data, pursuant to A.M. No. 08-1-16 -SC.

The recent appointees to the Supreme Court are Justices Estella M. Perlas Bernabe and Bienvenido L. Reyes. Currently, the Court of Appeals under Presiding Justice Andres B. Reyes, Jr. has embarked on several projects to make the Court more responsive to the demands of the times.

With the cooperation of the Justices, the Presiding Justice launched a Zero Backlog Project 2010 and instituted the new and improved Court of Appeals Management Information System to provide real time monitoring and tracking of cases. This includes monitoring and tracking of cases in Cebu and Cagayan De Oro Stations, wherein a similar system was launched on September 20, 2010 and on October 26, 2010 respectively, thus making the Court of Appeals fully computerized. The system is designed such that litigants from any corner of the country can access information regarding the status of their cases from their computers. The court is likewise making preparations for the electronic filing of cases, thus making the court truly accessible. The total computerization of the court as well as some changes in the processing of court documents has tremendously added to the court's capacity to make court decisions even faster. The launching of these records management systems was accompanied with employee morale and training programs, thus making the employees of the court a true partner in the dispensation of justice.

This complements the earlier opening of the Court's One-Stop Processing Center on September 15, 2008, wherein basic public front line functions were consolidated in one place.

The Court's main building, which was the pre-war College of Engineering Building of the University of the Philippines, was partially, razed by fire in 2007 has been repaired, renovated and modernized in keeping with the dignity befitting its stature.

Being the second highest court of the land, the Court of Appeals handles around 90% of all cases elevated to the third level courts which cases often involve complicated issues and voluminous records, thus sharpening the skills and enhancing the proficiency of Court of Appeals Justices in almost all fields of law.



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Vision

A Court where JUDICIAL EXCELLENCE is a Daily Reality.

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Mission

(1) To enhance the public trust by disposing of cases justly, speedily, and impartially.

(2) To employ computerized and automated innovations and re-engineer administrative and operational systems.

(3) To uplift the professional and moral standards of Court officials and employees.

(4) To provide magistrates an environment conducive to the faithful discharge of their judicial tasks.

(5) To uphold the Rule of Law by fairly and fearlessly defending the Constitution and the rights of the people.



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The Seal of the Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals - Logo

The seal of the Court of Appeals is composed of two ovals with the following elements: at the center of the inner oval, the 1946 coat of arms of the Republic in its center, the scales of justice and sword on the upper background; and a branch of laurel on each side of the foot of the coat of arms; whereas, the garlands "Republic of the Philippines" surround the upper arch of the outer oval and "Court of Appeals" on the lower arch. Below the oval is the Court's motto, justitia per legem.

Each element of the seal symbolizes the Court's ideals and patriotism. Symbolically, the 1946 coat of arms of the Republic depicts the country's history. The upper portion of the coat of arms represents the independence of the Republic from colonization, the eight-rayed sun representing the eight provinces placed under martial law by Governor General Ramon Blanco during the Philippine Revolution and the five-pointed stars presenting the three geographic regions of the country, i.e. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. To emphasize the independence of the Republic, the sun and stars have a white background symbolizing peace and purity. In contrast, the lower portion of the coat of arms represents the colonial history of the Republic, symbolized by Lion-Rampant of Spain on the right against red background representing courage and bravery and the Bald-Eagle of the United States on the left against blue background for noble ideas. The scales of justice, adopted form the scales carried by the Roman goddess of justice, Justitia, represents the Court's idealism of fair and equal administration of the law without influence. The sword, on the other hand, also adopted and carried by Justitia, personifies the Court's power to punish offenders of the law. With the branches of laurel, representing joy, the scales and sword of justice emphasize the Court's victory in the battle against the offenders of the law and the swift administration of justice without corruption, greed, prejudice or avarice. To guide the Court's action towards such idealism, justitia per legem, literally translated as "justice through law," has been adopted as its motto.

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Court of Appeals Hymn

Words and Music
by
Justice Jesus M. Elbinias
(December 01, 1998)

The Court of Appeals
So stately its seal
Proclaims justice is for all.
The Court of Appeals
With courage and zeal
Fulfills its judicial call.

We rule conscience free
With sound equity
Dispense justice swift and real.
The law will prevail
In this citadel
So Steadfast the Court of Appeals.

Refrain:

Ring out the bells for justice
Beat drums and trumpet peals
Let all the world take notice
We hail the Court of Appeals.

Our sight set afar
At justice -- our star
To guide us in our ideals.
If God so commands
We march flag in hand
For country and Court of Appeals.
(Repeat the Refrain and last stanza)

If God so commands
We march flag in hand
For country and Court of Appeals.

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Martsa ng Court of Appeals

Titik at Musika
ni
Justice Magdangal M. de Leon
(February 01, 2011)

Sa bansa nating minamahal
Sagisag ka ng pag-asa.
Pantay-pantay bawa't mamamayan
Katarunga'y umiiral.

Koro:

Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals
May dakilang simulain.
Batas ang siyang naghahari
Sa pagtupad sa tungkulin.
Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals
Ang katwiran ay laging gabay.
Paglilingkod na wagas kailanman
Kabalikat sa ating kaunlaran.

(Ulitin ang Koro)

Paglilingkod na wagas kailanman
Kabalikat sa ating kaunlaran.


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The Philippine Judiciary Hymn

Words and Music
by
Justice Jesus M. Elbinias

The Philippine Judiciary was born of liberty
A bulwark of democracy enshrined in history
The annals of the nation trace our rightful lofty place
Our institution is ablaze with glory, light and praise.

We pledge our all, our heart and soul
To seal our loyalty
We march as one, our task be done in constant unity.

The Philippine Judiciary endowed with majesty
With justice, law and equity pursues its destiny
Our voices rise in harmony to hail triumphantly
The honor, faith and legacy of our judiciary.

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Functions of Organizational Units

THE COURT EN BANC
      The Court of Appeals En Banc is composed of the Presiding Justice and sixty-nine (69) Associate Justices.

The Office of the Presiding Justice implements policies, executes the resolutions and enforces the orders of the Court of Appeals En Banc. It performs the functions specifically vested upon him by the law, rules and regulations or those implied therefrom and performs all other functions and duties inherent in his position. The offices of the Associate Justices assist the Presiding Justice in his adjudicative and administrative functions.
CLERK OF COURT
      The Office of the Clerk of Court acts as the administrative officer of the Court. He/She exercises general supervision over personnel and administrative matters; recommends courses of action to be taken on various matters ranging from personnel action to non-judicial concerns; disseminate information concerning court activities of public interest; answers queries from litigants, counsel and interested parties pertaining to the status of cases pending in the Court and perform other functions as may, from time to time be assigned to him/her by the Presiding Justice or the Court. In all official matters, and in relation with other government agencies, the Clerk of Court Is usually the liaison officer.
ASST. CLERKS OF COURT (MANILA, CEBU, and CAGAYAN DE ORO)
      The Office of the Assistant Clerk of Court shall assist the Clerk of Court in the performance of his/her duties and functions; performs such other duties and functions as maybe assigned to him/her by the Presiding Justice or the Clerk of Court and in case of vacancy in the position of the Clerk of Court, the Assistant Clerk of Court shall act as Acting Clerk of Court, until his/her successor shall have been appointed and qualified; in case of absence or incapacity of the Clerk of Court, the Assistant Clerk of Court shall perform the duties of the Clerk of Court, until the latter reports for duty.
DIVISION CLERKS OF COURT (MANILA, CEBU, and CAGAYAN DE ORO)
      The Office of the Division Clerks of Court is under the direct control and supervision of the Chairman of the Division. It takes charge of the pre and post adjudicative matters relative to cases brought to the Court.
ACCOUNTING DIVISION
      The Accounting Division takes charge of accounting and monitoring of all court financial transactions, revenues, collections and remittance. Its functions include general supervision and administrative control of activities in financing. budgeting, accounting, collections, and other related matters including processing and control of staff salaries and other financial concerns.
CASH DIVISION
      The Cash Division takes charge of cash disbursements, reports and collections, payment of salaries and wages of justices, officials and employees of the court to include casual and contractual employees; supervises the preparation of collection reports and daily deposits to Land Bank of the Philippines of all monies, checks, money orders for the court; checks preparation, issuance of official receipts for various funds and check releasing, records of miscellaneous matters and transactions.
FISCAL MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIVISION
      The Fiscal Management and Budget Division prepares and executes the annual budget of the Court, initiates plans and budget preparation for better utilization of Court funds, fiscalizes the Court’s financial interest to cover budget deficiencies and corrective measures needed. It prepares reports as required by the Department of Budget and Management, Commission Audit and other government agencies. It is in charge of budget allotment and control for the Court and provides advise and assistance to the Court on the status of appropriations, allotment and such other financial matters as maybe needed.
GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION
      The General Services Division is in charge of Court buildings, grounds and facilities, supervises the janitorial agency maintaining the court premises, coordinates with other government agencies and private entities on needed major repairs and services in the Court, sends out by mail or personal deliveries, official court notices and processes.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DIVISION
      The Human Resources Management Division provides essential support services to the Court through personnel administration and management, human resource training and development, administration of leave matters, employees’ welfare and benefits, retirement and personnel discipline. It also attends to personnel actions such as appointment, recruitment, promotion, transfer, re-employment, detail, demotion, retirement and separation and is also in charge of Court plantilla, notice of salary adjustment and step increments.
INFORMATION AND STATISTICAL DATA DIVISION
      The Information and Statistical Data Division serves as the center for systematic exchange or dissemination of information about the Court and renders prompt, sincere and accurate case information service assistance to the public; collates from the offices of the Justices, and submits to the Office of the Court Administrator and other requesting government agencies monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual statistical reports on case accomplishments, case load and case disposal
JUDICIAL RECORDS DIVISION
      The Judicial Records Division takes charge of case docketing activities like receiving, compiling, processing, reporting all pleadings necessary for the proper adjudication of appealed judicial cases whether civil or criminal in nature and also original actions falling under the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals. It administers records keeping policies, procedures and techniques, implements and evaluates programs for the systematic management of judicial records; prepares entries of judgment; maintains systematic filing and records keeping. It is also in charge of remanding decided cases to the court of origin, and acts as case records custodian for the Court.
LIBRARY SERVICES DIVISION
      The Library Services Division assists the Presiding Justice, Associate Justices, officials and lawyers of the Court, including private practicing attorneys, in their legal research tasks; is in charge of acquisition, inventory and distribution of all law book collections, law journals and the like to the Presiding Justice, Associate Justices.
MANAGEMENT AUDIT DIVISION
      The Management Audit Division performs performance audit of the different offices of the Court, pre-audits payrolls, vouchers and performs actual inspection of all purchased supplies. It acts as adviser for the court’s financial management program.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS DIVISION
      The Management and Information Systems Division is in charge of all information and communications technology needs of the Court; provides technical services related to the planning, development, maintenance and implementation of information systems; supports and guides the Court in its computerization efforts or implementation of new technology, and performs systems update and enhancements of existing systems in the Court. It maintains and regularly updates the electronic information bureau in the Court of Appeals intranet to include court information and downloadable forms for all Justices, officials and employees alike.
MEDICAL AND DENTAL DIVISION
      The Medical and Dental Services Division attends to the health needs of all justices, officials and employees of the Court through free medical and dental consultation and treatment, pre-employment physical examinations, laboratory tests including electrocardiogram (ECG) and certain modalities of physical therapy. Medications for commonly occurring ailments are dispensed free to sick employees. It is also in charge of the CA Health and Welfare Plan available to all Justices, court officials and employees alike.
PROPERTY & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT DIVISION
      The Property and Supply Management Division is in charge of procurement, inventory, budget projections, and maintenance of all Court properties, equipments, and supplies. It is also in charge of the cleanliness, peace and order, maintenance, repairs of the Court of Appeals cottages and administration building located at Baguio City.
REPORTER'S DIVISION
      The Reporter’s Division keeps custody of the originals of decisions and final resolutions in binded form, cause its publication in the Court of Appeals Reports Annotated (CARA) and in the Official Gazette decisions and final resolutions; prepares and publishes with each reported decision and final resolution a concise synopsis of the facts necessary for a clear understanding of the case, the names of counsel, the material and controverted points involved, the authorities cited therein and a syllabus which shall be confined to points of law; and calls the attention of the Presiding Justice to conflicting decisions, in which case the Presiding Justice shall convoke the Divisions concerned to resolve the same.
RAFFLE COMMITTEE (UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING JUSTICE)
      The Raffle Committe is in charge of assignment of cases by raffle to the different justices, ensures its proper and equitable distribution and keeps a general record of such assignment. Actual process of raffling through a lotto-like device is carried out by a Raffle Committee of three Court of Appeals Justices assisted by the Raffle Staff. The results of the daily raffle are disseminated to the appropriate offices. It guarantees the transparency of the whole process which requires utmost honesty and efficiency, initiative judgements and discretion based on established principles and policy.
SECURITY SERVICES (UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING JUSTICE)
      In charge of formulation, evaluation and management of security systems for the Court of Appeals premises, property and Justices, officials and employees; Maintains peace and order, safeguards the properties of the court and performs other related functions as maybe assigned by the Presiding Justice.


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