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ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 22-95.
ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 22-95

TO:  COURT OF APPEALS, SANDIGANBAYAN, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, SHARI’A DISTRICT COURTS, SHARI’A CIRCUIT COURTS AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

SUBJECT:  AMENDMENT OF SECTIONS 1 AND 6, RULE 71 OF THE RULES OF COURT.

Rule 71 of the present Rules of Court provides the penalties for direct and indirect contempt against superior and inferior courts, to wit:chanrobles virtual law library

[1] In direct contempt, a fine not exceeding P200.00 or imprisonment not exceeding 10 days, or both, if it be a superior court, and a fine not exceeding P10.00 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 day, or both, if it be an inferior court [Section 1]; and   [2] In indirect contempt, a fine not exceeding P1,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both, if against a superior court, and a fine not exceeding P1,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than 1 month, or both, if against an inferior court [Section 6]. The Court takes judicial notice that these were the same penalties for direct and indirect contempt which were imposed by Sections 1 and 6, Rule 64 of the old Rules of Court which took effect on July 1, 1940, or more than 55 years ago.

The Court also takes cognizance of the fact that the amount of the fine, whether imposed as a complementary or an alternative penalty, was intended to be financial equivalent of the term of imprisonment for the offense, from the standpoint of severity, taking into account the nature of the offensive acts and the courts against which they were commited.cralaw

In view of the present value of our currency under either the prevailing international rates of exchange or the consumer price index which, however, are subject to variant factors, and considering that the minimum daily wage has often been adopted as the basis for determining the amount of the fine in our penal laws, the aforestated provisions of Rule 71 have to be amended to keep the same abreast with monetary changes by increasing the amount of the imposable fine, with the average national minimum wage as the approximate basis therefor.cralaw

Accordingly, the Court Resolved to amend the provisions of Sections 1 and 6, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court to read as follows:chanrobles virtual law library

"SECTION 1.  Direct Contempt Punished Summarily. – A person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same, including disrespect toward the court or judge, offensive personalities toward others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as witness, or to subscribe an affidavit or disposition when lawfully required to do so, may be summarily adjudged in contempt by such court or judge and punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand pesos or imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) days, or both, if it be a superior court, or a judge thereof, or by a fine not exceeding two hundred pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) day, or both, if it be an inferior court."   "SECTION 6. – Punishment if Found Guilty. – If the accused is thereupon adjudged guilty of contempt committed against a superior court or judge, he may be fined not exceeding thirty thousand pesos or imprisoned not more than six (6) months, or both; if adjudged guilty of contempt committed against an inferior court or judge, he may be fined not exceeding five thousand pesos or imprisoned not more than one (1) month, or both, and if the contempt consists in the violation of an injunction, he may also be ordered to make complete restitution to the party injured by such violation." This Administrative Circular No. 22-95 shall be published in two [2] newspapers of general circulation and shall take effect on November 16, 1995.


October 11, 1995. 


 

[Sgd.] ANDRES R. NARVASA
Chief Justice
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