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TRINIDAD GAMBOA-ROCES vs.

JUDGE and that "Judge Perez be found GUILTY of


RANHEL A. PEREZ undue delay in rendering a decision or order
A.M. No. MTJ-16-1887; January 9, 2017 and be admonished to be more mindful in the
performance of his duties particularly in the
FACTS: Trinidad Gamboa-Roces filed an prompt disposition of cases pending and/or
administrative complaint against Judge Ranhel submitted for decision/resolution before his
A. Perez charging the latter with gross court.
ignorance of the law for his failure to render
judgment on the consolidated ejectment cases
within the reglementary period as prescribed Issue:
by law.
Whether or not the Respondent as the
In her complaint, complainant claimed that she Presiding Judge is guilty of undue delay of
was one of the plaintiffs of an unlawful rendering a decision within the reglementary
detainer cases. After the mediation period as prescribed by law.
proceedings and the Judicial Dispute
Resolution proceedings failed, it was referred
back to the MCTC for trial and was set for Ruling:
preliminary conference. As a new judge was
soon to be assigned in the MCTC, the Yes, the Respondent as the Presiding Judge is
preliminary conference was reset, by Judge guilty of undue delay of rendering a decision
Evelyn D. Arsenio, the then acting Presiding within the reglementary period as prescribed
Judge. by law..The Supreme Court cited Section 15,
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution which
Complainant stated that when Judge Perez was requires the lower courts to decide or resolve
appointed and assumed office, her counsel cases or matters for decision or final resolution
filed two (2) separate motions for his inhibition within three (3) months from date of
in the two cases on the ground that she was submission. In complaints for forcible entry
previously involved in a legal confrontation and unlawful detainer as in this case, Section
with Judge Perez himself when he was 10 of the Rules on Summary Procedure
representing his parents. Her motions, specifically requires that the complaint be
however, were denied in separate orders. resolved within thirty (30) days from receipt of
Thereafter, Civil Case Nos. 451- M and 452-M the last affidavits and position papers. Without
were consolidated in the Order, dated March any order of extension granted by this Court,
11, 2014. After the preliminary conference for failure to decide even a single case within the
the two cases was held, the parties were then required period constitutes gross inefficiency.
required to file their respective position papers. Moreover, Sections 2 and 5 of Canon 6 of the
Thereafter, Judge Perez issued the Order, New Code of Judicial Conduct enjoin the
dated November 21, 2014, submitting the judges to devote their professional activity to
cases for resolution. With this, complainant judicial duties and to perform them, including
claimed that despite the lapse of more than the delivery of reserved decisions, efficiently,
ten (10) months, Judge Perez failed to decide fairly, and with reasonable promptness. This
the cases in violation of the 30-day obligation to render decision promptly is
reglementary period within which to decide an further emphasized in Administrative Circular
ejectment case. No. 3-99 which reminds all judges to
meticulously observe the periods prescribed by
Judge Perez on the other hand, admitted that the Constitution for deciding cases because
Civil Case Nos. 451-M and 452-M were decided failure to comply with the prescribed period
beyond the prescribed 30-day period and transgresses the parties' constitutional right to
offered his deepest apologies, explaining that speedy disposition of their cases.
the delay was inadvertent and not intended to
prejudice the plaintiffs. He explained that he The Court has always reminded the judges to
was able to finish the final draft of his decision attend promptly to the business of the court
on December 1, 2014, but in his desire to have and to decide cases within the required periods
"a perfect decision," he did not immediately for the honor and integrity of the Judiciary is
forward the draft to his Clerk of Court as he measured not only by the fairness and
would still polish its decision. He, however, got correctness of the decisions rendered, but also
distracted with other issues and matters in the by the efficiency with which disputes are
office. resolved. Any delay in the disposition of cases
erodes the public's faith and confidence in the
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) Judiciary. Thus, judges should give full
through its Report, dated September 7, 2016, dedication to their primary and fundamental
recommended that the complaint be re- task of administering justice efficiently, in order
docketed as a regular administrative matter
to restore and maintain the people's
confidence in the courts.

The explanation given by Judge Perez of his


being inexperienced as a newly appointed
judge was too flimsy. The excuses only show
his lack of diligence in discharging
administrative responsibilities and professional
competence in court management wherein a
judge is expected to keep his own listing of
cases and to note therein the status of each
case so that they may be acted upon
accordingly and without delay and must adopt
a system of record management and organize
his docket in order to monitor the flow of cases
for a prompt and effective dispatch of
business.