MANILA — A letter from Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has prompted the Supreme Court Office of the Court Administrator to remind commercial courts to stick to the deadline for resolving cases.
In a letter dated July 27, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez "strongly reminded" special commercial courts and those handling commercial cases to observe time limit set for deciding cases.
Dominguez had written Marquez to point out the “delay in the resolution of various commercial cases filed in courts such as rehabilitation, insolvency, and liquidation cases, among others,” based on excerpts of the finance secretary’s letter quoted by Marquez.
In particular, Dominguez cited the case of Landbank, a creditor-party in many rehabilitation and insolvency proceedings, where there supposedly appears a "questionable trend" of "unwarranted delay/circumvention" of court proceedings.
He suggested that some of the cases “may have been deliberately delayed” as they went beyond the 1-year limit for resolving rehabilitation cases, counted from the filing of the petition.
In his letter to 147 special commercial courts, Marquez reminded judges to remain in full control of their proceedings and to rule against improvident postponements.
Citing a Supreme Court ruling, he warned judges: "Failure to decide cases and other matters within the reglementary period constitutes gross inefficiency and warrants the imposition of administrative sanctions against the erring magistrate.”
Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, in his first press conference in June, has announced the speedy disposition of cases as one of his short-term goals, recognizing that extensive delays in the resolution of cases have had an adverse effect on the public’s perception of the courts.
He also cited several measures such as continuing procedural reforms, case decongestion and a shift to a technology-driven judiciary.