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on January 2, 1951, an information for malversation of public funds thru reckless negligence was
filed, with the Court of First Instance of Bukidnon, against petitioner Rodrigo Acosta for having
allegedly made, as Provincial Treasurer of Bukidnon, "irregular and excessive purchases of supplies,
materials, equipment and printed forms from private dealers for the use of the province". After the
information was amended twice, it was finally set for trial. However, the trial Judge, Hon. Jose P.
Veluz, retired from the service without having decided the case. Unable to decide the case due to
problems in accuracy with the notes made by stenographer Celestino Suarez, Judge Abad Santos
had resigned leaving the case undecided. He was succeeded in office by Hon. Abudio Arrieta,
Judge, who, on October 27, 1958, rendered a decision convicting the defendants as charged. On
appeal, Acosta alleged that he was deprived of the right to a speedy trial as the decision of the lower
court was rendered over six (6) years later. CA remanded the case to the trial court.

No general principle fixes the exact time within which a trial must be had to satisfy the requirement of
a speedy trial. The right to a speedy trial is necessarily relative; it is consistent with delays, and
whether such a trial is afforded must be determined in the light of the circumstances of each
particular case as a matter of judicial discretion. One accused of crime is not entitled to a trial
immediately on his arrest or accusation, he must wait a regular term of the court until an indictment
is found and presented if the case is one wherein the trial is on indictment, and until the prosecution
has had reasonable time to prepare for the trial. Moreover, the delay in the rendition of the decision
of the court of first instance was due to circumstances beyond the control of the judges who presided
the same.


On August 11, 1964, petitioner filed in the Court of First Instance of

Misamis Oriental a petition for certiorari and prohibition with
preliminary injunction against respondents' 1 to set aside decision of
respondent Abelardo Subido dismissing him from the position of
Municipal Treasurer of Mambajao, Camiguin. It was his contention
that the charges against him for neglect of duty, grave misconduct
and oppression in office were not duly proved, there being a denial
of a motion for postponement on his part, thus infecting the
proceedings with grave infirmity. CFI dismissed the case. On
appeal, CA elevated the case to the SC as it consists of purely legal
questions. One contention of the petitioner is that: the notice as to
the hearing scheduled for October 14 should specify that it was for a
No merit attaches to the contention of petitioner that the notice as
to the hearing scheduled for October 14 should specify that it was
for a pre-trial. A hearing as known to the law is not confined to a
trial but embraces the several stages of litigation. It does not
preclude pre-trial. A hearing "does not necessarily mean
presentation of evidence." 3It could cover the determination of
whether an accused is entitled to bail 4 or the submission for the
court's determination of a motion to dismiss, 5 or any motion for
that matter. 6 further such a purely technical objection on the part of
petitioner raised at the last moment should not be taken too
seriously. Much less does it lay any basis for an asserted denial of
procedural due process.8


Plaintiff-appellee Marciano Principe filed an action against Antonio
Eria to collect a sum of money plus interest based on a promissory
note or document signed by Eria and his son-in-law, Leoncio
Maningas, stating that anyone of them may be made to pay the
whole amount. On November 19, 1949, the Clerk of the Court
issued a notice setting the case for hearing on December 13, 1949.
plaintiff Principe did not object to the petition, the trial court
granted it and admitted the third party complaint, at the same time
giving third party defendant Maningas the reglementary period
within which to answer the same. In spite of the admission of the
third party complaint and the giving of notice to third party
defendant Maningas to answer within the time prescribed by law.
the case was tried and the plaintiff was allowed to present his

the case was not yet ready for trial. Rule 31, Section 1, of the Rules of
Court, provides:

SECTION 1. When issue joined. - Upon the filling of the

last pleading, the case shall be included in the trial
calendar of the court.
Under said section, Chief Justice Moran makes the following comment:

The case may be said to be ready for trial and, therefore,

should be included in the trial calendar when the issue is
joined. And the issue is joined when all the parties have
pleaded their respective theories and the terms of the
dispute are plain before the court.


on 14 October 1988, the Republic of the Philippines instituted a civil case against retired Brig.
Gen. Pedro R. Balbanero alleging that the latter acquired funds, real properties and assets
manifestly out of proportion to his total salary and emoluments as an Army Officer.
With thr denial by the court of the admisssion of the testimony of the SG, private respondent
elevated the matter to this Court. In view of the pendency of his petition, private respondent moved
that the hearings on 18, 19, and 20 October 1995 be canceled and that no further schedule be
set. Public respondent denied the cancellation, requiring it to just formally offer its evidence within
fifteen (15) days from notice.

It is well-settled that motions for continuance or deferment of hearings are granted only upon
meritorious grounds[3]and that the grant or denial thereof is addressed to the sound discretion of
the court[4]the exercise of which will not be disturbed except on a showing of a patent and grave
abuse of discretion.
Petitioner failed to show such patent and grave abuse of discretion on the part of public
respondent in denying its oral motion for postponement.
Under the circumstances, it cannot rightly be said that the OSG was not guilty of inexcusable
carelessness, presumptiousness, indifference to and neglect of duty in assuming that public respondent
would grant its oral motion for postponement, coming to court unprepared and without a
witness. Hence public respondent was well within its authority to deny the Republics oral motion for
postponement of the hearings set on 19 and 20 October 1995 and require it, instead, to just formally
offer its evidence within fifteen (15) days from notice. Petitioner is not guilty of abuse of discretion,
much less grave, nor can it be charged by petitioner with denial of due process.


In a Letter of Authority,[3] dated July 17, 1998, public respondent Commissioner of

Internal Revenue (CIR) notified Milwaukee of its intent to examine their books of
account and other accounting records for all internal revenue taxes for 1997 and
other unverified prior years. Milwaukee complied with the directive and submitted
its documents to CIR. Milwaukee manifested its intention to present documentary
rebuttal evidence, and also moved for resetting on the scheduled hearings,
particularly on September 5, 2005 and October 26, 2005, which were both granted.
On February 27, 2006, during the scheduled hearing, the CIR waived its right to cross-
examine Milwaukees witness.[12] The CTA then asked Milwaukee to continue its
presentation of rebuttal evidence. Not prepared, Milwaukee moved for the
postponement of the pre-marking and presentation of its rebuttal evidence, but
was denied by the CTA.
Milwaukee was given more than ample time to collate and gather its evidence. It should have been
prepared for the continuance of the trial. True, the incident on said date was for the cross-examination
of Milwaukees witness but it could be short; it could be lengthy.Milwaukee should have prepared for
any eventuality. It is discretionary on the part of the court to allow a piece-meal presentation of
evidence. If it decides not to allow it, it cannot be considered an abuse of discretion. As defined,
discretion is a faculty of a court or an official by which he may decide a question either way, and still be

appellant therein had filed suit to recover from defendant Emilio Mapayo the sum of P2,800,
representing the unpaid balance of the purchase price of a Gray Marine Engine sold by the plaintiff
to the defendant, plus attorney's fees. The City Court, after trial, disallowed the defenses and
ordered the defendant to pay plaintiff P2,500.00 and costs. Court ordered the plaintiff to present his
evidence. Plaintiff's counsel refused to comply with said order. Instead of calling his witnesses, he
moved the Court to present them after the defendant had presented their evidence. The court asked
said counsel twice whether he would present his evidence for the plaintiff, but said counsel refused
to do so and sticked to his demand that he would introduce his witnesses only in rebuttal. Therefore
the court ruled against plaintiff, holding that such action was a dictation to the Court to disregard its
lawful command and a violation of the order of trial provided in the Rules of Court.

While this appeal is not a complaint against the presiding judge, We can not refrain from observing
that the trial judge's despotic and outrageous insistence that plaintiff should present proof in support
of allegations that were not denied but admitted by the adverse party was totally unwarranted, and
was made worse by the trial judge's continual interrupting of the explanations of counsel, in violation
of the rules of Judicial Ethics. Defendant not having supported his special defenses, the dismissal of
the case was manifestly untenable and contrary to law.