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Notes on Katarungang Pambarangay Law

P.D. 1508, as amended by the Local Government Code of 1991(R.A. 7160)


1. Objectives.
- reduce the number of court litigations and prevent the deterioration
of the quality of justice brought about by the indiscriminate filing
of cases in courts.
- relieve the trial courts of cases among neighbors that hopefully can
be settled through mediation or conciliation on peaceful and
friendly confrontations.
2. Lupon.
- not a barangay court nor its members to be called barangay
justices;
- no power to impose criminal sanctions or to punish for contempt;
- an administrative body vested with conciliatory functions;
- no adjudicative functions.
3. Punong Barangay.
- as Lupon Chairman, he is the central figure in the barangay
system of amicable settlement of dispute;
- in contemplation of the law, he is the barangay official best
qualified to mediate because being in the position of authority, he
is deemed to possess moral influence or ascendancy;
- designating another is violative of the statutory requirement of
personal confrontation before him by the parties.
* Exception: Succession or substitution prescribed by law
*General Rule Seniority, except if the local chief executive
designates in writing as OIC a local official other than the highest
ranking Sangguniang Barangay member, if said local chief
executive is traveling within the country, but outside his territorial
jurisdiction for a period not exceeding three (3) consecutive days.
The authorization shall specify the powers and functions of the
OIC which shall not however include the power to appoint,
suspend, or dismiss employees.
* If succession or substitution is proper the amicable
settlement may be sworn to and attested by the successor or
substitute.
- Punong Barangay can ask the assistance of another provided the
substitution is only physical and that he remains in control of the
proceedings and the discharge of his responsibilities remain with
him. Amicable settlement therefore must be sworn to and attested
before the Punong barangay himself;

- parties may decide to have the mediation before the Lupon


members and not before the Punong Barangay provided that the
amicable settlement is signed, sworn to and attested before the
Punong Barangay.
4. Lupon Chairman.
- ex-officio to the position of Punong Barangay, said position of
Lupon Chairman being not appointive, but by designation by law.
5. Lupon.
- lawyers, whether in private or government service are qualified for
membership. What is not allowed is the appearance of the lawyer
of any of the parties;
- ecclesiastics, soldiers in active service, persons receiving salaries
or compensations from provincial or national funds or contractors
for public works in the municipality may also qualify. Reason:
appointment as Lupon member is appointment to a barangay
office not municipal;
- lupon members while in the performance of their official duties or
in the occasion thereof, shall be deemed as persons in authority.
For purposes of the Revised Penal Code, the Punong Barangay,
Sangguniang Barangay members, and members of the Lupong
Tagapamayapa in each barangay shall be deemed as persons in
authority in their jurisdictions.
6. Pangkat.
- if not chosen by parties, violation;
- PB may be chosen as member and elected as chairman, his position
being concurrent as Lupon Chairman and as such is an automatic
member of the Lupon;
7. In the administration of the Katarungang Pambarangay, and whenever
necessary, the provincial, city legal officer or prosecutor or the municipal
legal officer shall render legal advice on matters involving questions of
law to the Punong Barangay or any Lupon or Pangkat member.
8. Subject matters for Amicable Settlement (Sec. 408), supplemented by
Administrative Circular No. 14-93-issued by the Supreme Court on July
15, 1993.
All disputes are subject to barangay conciliation pursuant to the Revised
Katarungang Pambarangay Law (formerly P.D. 1508, repealed and now
replaced by Sections 399-422, Chapter VII, Title I, Book III, and Section
515, Title I, Book IV, R.A. 7160, otherwise known as the Local
Government Code of 1991), and prior recourse thereto is a pre-condition
before filing a complaint in court or any government offices, except in
the following disputes:

a. Where one party is the government, or any subdivision or


instrumentality thereof;
b. Where one party is a public officer or employee and the dispute
relates to the performance of his official functions;
c. Where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities
and municipalities, unless the parties thereto agree to submit their
difference to amicable settlement by an appropriate Lupon;
d. Any complaint by or against corporations, partnerships or juridical
entities, since only individuals shall be parties to Barangay
conciliation proceedings either as complainants or respondents;
e. Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of
different cities or municipalities, except where such barangay units
adjoin each other and the parties thereto agree to submit their
differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate Lupon;
f. Offenses for which the law prescribes a maximum penalty of
imprisonment exceeding one (1) year or a fine of over five thousand
pesos (P15,000.00)
g. Offenses where there is no private offended party;
h. Disputes where urgent action is necessary to prevent injustice from
being committed or further continued, specifically the following:
1. Criminal cases where accused is under police custody or
detention;
2. Petitioner for habeas corpus by a person illegally deprived of
his rightful custody over another or a person illegally deprived
of or on acting in his behalf;
3. Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary
injunction, attachment, delivery of personal property and
support during the pendency of the action; and
4. Actions which may be barred by the Statute of Limitations.
i. Any class of disputes which the President may determine in the
interest of justice or upon the recommendation of the Secretary of
Justice;
j. Where the dispute arises from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law (CARL);
k. Labor disputes or controversies arising from employer-employee
relations which grants original and exclusive jurisdiction over
conciliation and mediation of disputes, grievances or problems to
certain offices of the Department of Labor and Employment; and

l. Actions to annul judgment upon a compromise which may be filed


directly in court.
9. Actually residing denotes physical presence.
10. Acceptance of a court-referred non-criminal case is a duty of the Punong
Barangay even if beyond Lupons authority.
11. Venue.
- dispute to be settled in the barangay where respondent resides.
Reasons:
1. Lupon members have moral ascendancy or persuasion over
respondent who is a neighbor or co-barangay resident;
2. to avoid harassment.
12. Conciliation before Mediation is irregular.
13. After constitution of Pangkat parties decide to mediate and settle before
Punong Barangay, valid? Yes.
14. A complainant who refused or willfully fails to appear for mediation may
be barred from seeking judicial recourse, provided he is given the
opportunity to explain.
15. Failure of respondent to appear before the Lupon Chairman is not a
ground for the issuance of a certification to file action in court. Said
certificate will be issued if respondent fails to appear before the Pangkat
for conciliation.
16. What is punishable as indirect contempt of court is the refusal or willful
failure of a party or witness to appear or the date set for mediation,
conciliation, or arbitration. Lupon Chairman, Pangkat Chairman, or any
of the parties may file complaint.
17. Arbitration:
-

before Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat;


can be done at any stage of the proceedings;
agreement to arbitrate must be in writing;
agreement may be repudiated within 5 days from date of
agreement to arbitrate;
- arbitration award becomes final after 10 days, unless a judicial
petition is filed to nullify the same within 10 days from receipt of a
copy;
- effect of finality shall have the force and effect of a final court,
judgment, except if the settlement or award is contrary to law,
morals, good customs and public policy.

18. Proceedings for settlement:


- public and formal.
Exception: public is excluded in the interest of privacy, decency, or
public morals;
19. Personal appearance of parties without assistance of counsel or
representation.
Exception: minors and incompetents who may be assisted by their
next of kin who are not lawyers;
20. Execution.
- settlement or arbitration award may be enforced by execution
within 6 months from date the obligation becomes due and
demandable;
21. Repudiation.
- within 10 days from date of settlement;
- in writing and sworn to;
- grounds:
a. consent is vitiated by fraud;
b. violence; and
c. intimidation