ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
November-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137968 November 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRE DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 123138-39 November 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. HONESTO LLANDELAR

  • A.M. MTJ-01-1375 November 13, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT IN THE MTCs of CALASIAO. BINMALEY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 November 13, 2001 - ELIEZER A. SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN v. ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA

  • G.R. No. 104629 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIUS KINOK

  • G.R. No. 134498 November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. Nos. 135454-56 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODERICK SANTOS

  • A.M. No. CA-01-10-P November 14, 2001 - ALDA C. FLORIA v. CURIE F. SUNGA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1518 November 14, 2001 - ANTONIO A. ARROYO v. SANCHO L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 122736 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FROILAN PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT

  • G.R. No. 133877 November 14, 2001 - RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. ALFA RTW MANUFACTURING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 133910 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE VIRREY y DEHITO

  • G.R. No. 135511-13 November 14, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENTICO MARIANO y EXCONDE

  • G.R. No. 137613 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSALITO CABOQUIN

  • G.R. No. 138914 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN MANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142870 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO F. PAJOTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143513 & 143590 November 14, 2001 - POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRESTONE CERAMICS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599 November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 123213 November 15, 2001 - NEPOMUCENA BRUTAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126584 November 15, 2001 - VALLEY LAND RESOURCES, INC., ET AL. v. VALLEY GOLF CLUB INC.

  • G.R. No. 127897 November 15, 2001 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129018 November 15, 2001 - CARMELITA LEAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136017 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY BANTILING

  • G.R. No. 136143 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGAPITO CABOTE a.k.a. "PITO"

  • G.R. No. 137255 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL MAMALAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137369 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIAS KOBEN VISTA

  • G.R. No. 141811 November 15, 2001 - FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORPORATION v. ESTE DEL SOL MOUNTAIN RESERVE

  • G.R. No. 145275 November 15, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA CAMPANA FABRICA DE TABACOS

  • G.R. No. 148326 November 15, 2001 - PABLO C. VILLABER Petitioner v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. DOUGLAS R. CAGAS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1382 November 16, 2001 - MARIO W. CHILAGAN v. EMELINA L. CATTILING

  • A.M. No. P-00-1411 November 16, 2001 - FELICIDAD JACOB v. JUDITH T. TAMBO

  • G.R. No. 120274 November 16, 2001 - SPOUSES FRANCISCO A. PADILLA and GERALDINE S. PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES CLAUDIO AÑONUEVO and CARMELITA AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 127003 November 16, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FAUSTINO GABON

  • G.R. Nos. 132875-76 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS

  • G.R. No. 132916 November 16, 2001 - RUFINA TANCINCO v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133437 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RONALD SAMSON

  • G.R. No. 134486 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DAYNA

  • G.R. No. 135038 November 16, 2001 - ROLANDO Y. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142654 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROLANDO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 143802 November 16, 2001 - REYNOLAN T. SALES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129175 November 19, 2001 - RUBEN N. BARRAMEDA, ET AL. v. ROMEO ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130945 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CONDINO

  • G.R. No. 132724 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENIEL SANAHON

  • G.R. Nos. 138358-59 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO B. DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 138661 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERSON E. ACOJEDO

  • G.R. No. 140920 November 19, 2001 - JUAN LORENZO B. BORDALLO, ET AL. v. THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF MARINE DECK OFFICERS

  • G.R. No. 148560 November 19, 2001 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 91486 November 20, 2001 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001 - RODRIGO ALMUETE ET AL., v. MARCELO ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126204 November 20, 2001 - NAPOCOR v. PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC

  • G.R. Nos. 126538-39 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODELIO MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 129234 November 20, 2001 - THERMPHIL v. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140032 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANGEL C. BALDOZ and MARY GRACE NEBRE

  • G.R. No. 140692 November 20, 2001 - ROGELIO C. DAYAN v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144401 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL GALISIM

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1207 November 21, 2001 - NBI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. P- 01-1520 November 21, 2001 - MARILOU A. CABANATAN v. CRISOSTOMO T. MOLINA

  • A.M. Nos. RTJ-00-1561 & RTJ-01-1659 November 21, 2001 - CARINA AGARAO v. Judge JOSE J. PARENTELA

  • G.R. No. 125356 November 21, 2001 - SUPREME TRANSLINER INC. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132839 November 21, 2001 - ERIC C. ONG v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133879 November 21, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136748 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137457 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSAURO SIA

  • G.R. No. 141881 November 21, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VIRGILIO BERNABE y RAFOL

  • A.M. No RTJ-01-1664 November 22, 2001 - ALFREDO CAÑADA v. VICTORINO MONTECILLO

  • G.R. No. 109648 November 22, 2001 - PH CREDIT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS M. FARRALES

  • G.R. Nos. 111502-04 November 22, 2001 - REYNALDO H. JAYLO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 113218 November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113541 November 22, 2001 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118462 November 22, 2001 - LEOPOLDO GARRIDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123893 November 22, 2001 - LUISITO PADILLA , ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129660 November 22, 2001 - BIENVENIDO P. JABAN and LYDIA B. JABAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130628 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO LEONAR

  • G.R. No. 132743 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL CAÑARES Y ORBES

  • G.R. No. 133861 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO SO

  • G.R. Nos. 135853-54 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OPENIANO LACISTE

  • G.R. No. 135863 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VlRGILIO LORICA

  • G.R. Nos. 136317-18 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO YAOTO

  • G.R. No. 136586 November 22, 2001 - JON AND MARISSA DE YSASI v. ARTURO AND ESTELA ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 139563 November 22, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.. v. AMADOR BISMONTE y BERINGUELA

  • G.R. Nos. 139959-60 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOGRACIAS BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 141602 November 22, 2001 - PACSPORTS PHILS. v. NICCOLO SPORTS, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142316 November 22, 2001 - FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143939 November 22, 2001 - HEIRS OF ROSARIO POSADAS REALTY v. ROSENDO.BANTUG

  • G.R. No. 145475 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO PUNSALAN

  • G.R. No. 145851 November 22, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001 - CIRILA ARCABA v. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1562 November 23, 2001 - CAVITE CRUSADE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT v. JUDGE NOVATO CAJIGAL

  • G.R. No. 126334 November 23, 2001 - EMILIO EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128886 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS JULIANDA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142044 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TOBECHUKWU NICHOLAS

  • G.R. No. 144309 November 23, 2001 - SOLID TRIANGLE SALES CORPORATION and ROBERT SITCHON v. THE SHERIFF OF RTC QC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1662 November 26, 2001 - VICTOR TUZON v. LORETO CLORIBEL-PURUGGANAN

  • G.R. No. 138303 November 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELROSWELL MANZANO

  • G.R. Nos. 100940-41 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128285 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ANTONIO PLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130409-10 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSUE B. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 130907 November 27, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. HON. CESAR A MANGROBANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130963 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 133381 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMULO VILLAVER, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 140858 November 27, 2001 - SPOUSES PAPA and LOLITA MANALILI v. SPOUSES ARSENIO and GLICERIA DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 142523 November 27, 2001 - MARIANO L. GUMABON, ET AL. v. AQUILINO T. LARIN

  • G.R. No. 144464 November 27, 2001 - GILDA G. CRUZ and ZENAIDA C. PAITIM v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • A.M. No. 00-8-05-SC November 28, 2001 - RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 128516 November 28, 2001 - DULOS REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1485 November 29, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MARIE YVETTE GO, ET AL

  • A.M. No. P-01-1522 November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1665 November 29, 2001 - ROSAURO M. MIRANDA v. JUDGE CESAR A MANGROBANG

  • G.R. No. 119707 November 29, 2001 - VERONICA PADILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 121703 November 29, 2001 - NATIVIDAD T. TANGALIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126524 November 29, 2001 - BPI INVESTMENT CORP. v. D.G. CARREON COMMERCIAL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129282 November 29, 2001 - DMPI EMPLOYEES CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129609 & 135537 November 29, 2001 - RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130326 & 137868 November 29, 2001 - COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS AND MANILA TOBACCO TRADING v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 132066-67 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALAS MEDIOS

  • G.R. No. 132133 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLIAM ALPE y CUATRO

  • G.R. No. 136848 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 137815 November 29, 2001 - JUANITA T. SERING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138489 November 29, 2001 - ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 139470 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SPO2 ANTONIO B. BENOZA

  • G.R. No. 140386 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 141386 November 29, 2001 - COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU v. PROVINCE OF CEBU

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 November 29, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC and MARTHA Z. SINGSON

  • G.R. No. 142606 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NESTOR MUNTA

  • G.R. No. 143127 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL RUBARES Y CAROLINO

  • G.R. No. 143703 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JOSE V. MUSA

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599   November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599. November 15, 2001.]

    TRANQUILINO F. MERIS, Complainant, v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Las Piñas City, Branch 255, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    Before us is a complaint 1 filed by a lawyer, Tranquilino F. Meris, charging Hon. Florentino M. Alumbres, presiding judge of Branch 255 of the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City, with inefficiency for failure to decide on time Civil Case No. 96-0256.

    Complainant was counsel for the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 4533, entitled Joel Brillantes represented by his attorney-in-fact Tranquilino F. Meris v. Spouses Ponciano and Minerva Deang, an action for unlawful detainer originally filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Las Piñas City, Branch 79. On October l, 1996, the MeTC rendered a decision adverse to the plaintiff on the ground that herein complainant was not a duly appointed attorney-in-fact, there being no special power of attorney for this purpose appearing on record. 2 Said decision was appealed to the Regional Trial Court, and was raffled to respondent judge’s sala where it was docketed as Civil Case No. 96-0256.

    After the parties had filed their memoranda, complainant filed an ex parte motion to submit the case for decision. Respondent granted this motion per its order dated March 11, 1997. 3

    However, months passed without any decision being rendered by Respondent. Thus, complainant filed another ex parte motion on July 1, 1997, 4 this time for early resolution of the case. Since no decision appeared to be forthcoming, complainant subsequently filed two more motions: (1) an ex parte manifestation and motion dated August 21, 1997, and received on August 26, 1997; and (2) an ex parte third manifestation and motion dated October 21, 1997, and received on October 29, 1997. 5 Apart from said motions, complainant repeatedly followed up the status of his case with respondent’s clerk of court. Still, no decision was rendered by respondent up to the time this complaint was filed with the Office of the Court Administrator on November 12, 1998.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Complainant points out that due to respondent’s failure to act on his appeal, the defendants in the unlawful detainer case continue to occupy the subject premises without paying any rent, to the prejudice of the plaintiffs, his clients. Moreover, complainant alleges that his competence to pursue the case is now being doubted by his clients. He prays that this Court impose the appropriate sanction for respondent’s delay.

    In his comment dated March 3, 1999, respondent gave this explanation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    2. While the case was pending decision, a party made a follow-up also within that month of March 1997, and a court personnel, to enable her to apprise the party of the actual status of the case, pulled out the record and brought it to the courtroom and examined it in the presence of the party following-up. After which, the record was placed by her on top of the courtroom table, together with the records of other cases being heard during that day. Later that day, however, when she was about to keep the records in the cabinets, she noticed that the particular folder of the case (Civil Case No. 96-0256) was missing. So she looked for it, but the same could nowhere to be found . . .

    When the clerk-in-charge of civil cases, Miss Julita M. Magpantay, learned about the loss of the record, she, together with Miss Nahid, tried to reconstruct the record by securing copies of the same from the files of Atty. Teresita Carandang-Pantua, the PAO lawyer of the defendants. While working for the reconstruction of the record, these two (2) court personnel did not inform the officer-in-charge, nor the undersigned respondent, about the loss of the record. It was only in the middle part of February 1999, that they placed the reconstructed record on the desk of the herein respondent and that was only the time respondent came to know about the case which was already long submitted for decision;

    x       x       x 6

    Respondent asserts that it is unfair for him to be charged with inefficiency, considering his good record as a trial judge. He points out that in 1998, he was able to dispose of 482 cases, the best record among the four RTC salas in Las Piñas.

    Respondent’s decision on the case subject of the complaint was promulgated on February 24, 1999. Respondent submits that he could have promptly attended to the case had it not been for the loss of the case records. He assures this Court that this incident will no longer be repeated.

    Respondent points out that the complaint for unlawful detainer filed with the MeTC was not signed by either the parties or their counsel, herein complainant, and was subsequently dismissed. This administrative complaint should similarly be dismissed, according to Respondent.

    Attached to respondent’s comment is the affidavit of Aida P. Nahid, court interpreter of Branch 255, attesting to the fact that she was the last person who was in possession of the records of Civil Case No. 96-0256 before they got lost.

    In a manifestation dated September 25, 2000, respondent stated that the original records of Civil Case No. 96-0256 were recovered a month after he submitted his comment to this Court. He also informed the Court that complainant appealed the dismissal of the unlawful detainer case to the Court of Appeals, which likewise dismissed the case, therein docketed as CA G.R. No. SP-53087, in a resolution dated July 12, 1999.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    After evaluating the merits of this administrative case, the Office of the Court Administrator recommends that respondent be fined in the amount of P5,000 for inefficiency, and warned that a repetition of the same or a similar offense would be dealt with more severely.

    We find that inefficiency caused the delay in the disposition of Civil Case No. 96-0256. That inefficiency was highlighted by the loss of court records. The loss was not immediately reported to respondent until much later. Although the branch court interpreter admitted her part in the loss of said records, her admission, however, does not exonerate respondent from his administrative liability.

    Judges are responsible not only for dispensing justice but also for managing their courts efficiently to ensure the prompt delivery of court services.

    The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Rule 3.08. A judge should diligently discharge administrative responsibilities, maintain professional competence in court management, and facilitate the performance of the administrative functions of other judges and court personnel.

    Rule 3.09. A judge should organize and supervise the court personnel to ensure the prompt and efficient dispatch of business, and require at all times the observance of high standards of public service and fidelity.

    Due diligence in the exercise of respondent’s administrative supervision over his court would have readily disclosed the fact that the records of Civil Case No. 96-0256 were missing. Corrective measures could have been taken early on. Obviously, respondent neglected to observe the standard of diligence required for efficient court management.

    Respondent is not excused by pointing to the inefficiency of his staff member, for the latter is not the guardian of the former’s responsibility. 7 His explanation that he was not informed of the loss of case records reveals a flaw in his system of records keeping and tracking within the court. It is his responsibility to properly and efficiently manage his court records and any glitch that appears in his court’s administrative system properly falls on his shoulders.

    Respondent’s failure to decide the appealed case on time, however, may not simply be explained away by the loss of the records. A proper record of cases submitted for decision and the dates when the decisions were due would have revealed that the case was already due for decision but could not be decided on time due to loss of its records. Respondent could have promptly asked this Court for an extension of time to decide the case, but he did not.

    Note that complainant had filed his motion on July 1, 1997, for early resolution of his case. He made repeated follow-up manifestations and motions dated August 21 and October 21, 1997. But respondent said it was only in mid-February 1999 when the reconstructed records were placed on his desk that he came to know that the case was already long submitted for decision.

    The 90-day period for deciding cases is mandated by no less than the Constitution, which provides in Article VIII, Section 15(1):chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other lower courts.

    Timely disposition of cases should not be compromised by faulty records management. Otherwise, said mandate of the fundamental law would be set at naught.

    The OCA recommends that respondent be fined in the amount of P5,000. Considering that the incident took place before A.M. No. 01-8-10-S.C. 8 took effect, and the admission of his court’s interpreter, Miss Aida P. Nahid, regarding her role in the loss of the records, which were later found, we are constrained to agree with this recommendation.

    We took note, however, that the case subject of this complaint was considered submitted for resolution on March 11, 1997. It was finally decided only on February 24, 1999, or after a lapse of almost two years, when the period allowed for decision is only 90 days.

    Respondent calls this Court’s attention to his good performance in 1998. At the same time we are hard put to understand why it took almost two years for respondent to decide complainant’s case. Even with the loss of the records, there was the possibility that records could be reconstructed. In fact, this was done by respondent’s staff before the original records were reportedly found. That patent inefficiency caused undue delay in the disposition of complainant’s case is undeniable.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, respondent Hon. Florentino M. Alumbres, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City, Branch 255, is found liable for inefficiency and undue delay for failing to decide complainant’s case on time. He is ordered to pay a FINE of P5,000, as recommended by the Office of the Court Administrator, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely.

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 1-5.

    2. Rollo, p. 9.

    3. Id. at 11.

    4. Id. at 12-13.

    5. Id. at 14-17.

    6. Comment, pp. 1-2.

    7. Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court, Branches 87 and 98, Quezon City, A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC, 338 SCRA 141, 149 (2000); Lagatic v. Peñas Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-97-1383, 276 SCRA 46, 53 (1997).

    8. See Rule 140 as amended by A.M. No. 01-8-10-S.C., Sec. 9 and Sec. 11-B, effective October 1, 2001, imposing a fine of more than P10,000 but not exceeding P20,000 as a penalty for less serious charges such as undue delay in rendering a decision or order.

    A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599   November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED