Designation of Cybercrime Courts in the Philippines (A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC)

A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC 



WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 10175 provides that “[t]here shall be designated special cybercrime courts manned by specially trained judges to handle cybercrime cases”; 

WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 23 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, the Supreme Court has designated certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts as special courts to handle cases involving juvenile and family relations, dangerous drugs, environment and ecology, intra- corporate disputes, financial rehabilitation and liquidation, and intellectual property rights; 

WHEREAS, a further special designation of another set of Regional Trial Court branches for cybercrime cases will concomitantly reduce the current total number of regular Regional Trial Court branches that handle regular cases country-wide, thereby creating distortions on case distribution, and raise issues on the over-all competence of handling judges who are expected to be generalists; 

WHEREAS, the current number of Regional Trial Court branches designated as Special Commercial Courts dedicated to intra-corporate disputes, financial rehabilitation and liquidation, and intellectual property rights enforcement have generally low caseloads and are sufficiently spread geographically all over the country, thus rendering practicable their further designation as cybercrime courts in the interest of a speedy and efficient administration of justice; 

NOW, THEREFORE, the Court resolves as follows: 

1. The Regional Trial Court branches designated as Special Commercial Courts in A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC dated June 17, 2003. are hereby further DESIGNATED as “Cybercrime Courts” to try and decide cybercrime cases covered under Republic Act No. 10175, in addition to their designation as Special Commercial Courts; 

2. The Cybercrime Courts in the judicial regions shall have territorial authority over the entire region where the Regional Trial Court is located for purposes of exercising the special jurisdiction granted herein. Accordingly, cybercrime cases shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the proper Cybercrime Court; 

3. To ensure a fair and equitable distribution of cases, and pending determination of the actual volume of cybercrime cases that may be filed, the Cybercrime Courts shall continue to be included in the raffle of other cases and toward this end, the Executive Judge concerned shall adopt a procedure whereby every case assigned to Cybercrime Court is considered as a case raffled and duly credited to such court; 

4. The Office of the Court Administrator shall monitor the volume of cases filed with the Cybercrime Courts and report to the Supreme Court its findings within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Resolution; 

5.  Cybercrime Courts in Quezon City, Manila, Makati, and Pasig shall have authority to act op applications for the issuance of search warrants involving violations of Republic Act No. 10175, which search warrants shall be enforceable nationwide. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, the Cybercrime Courts in the judicial regions where the violation of Republic Act No. 10175 occurred shall have jurisdiction to issue search warrants. 

This Resolution shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of national circulation. 

November 15, 2016.

P&L Law

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