I ranted about the inefficiency of the Philippine Justice system in a post I wrote 2 years ago entitled “Inefficiency, the mother of all injustice.” Now, I have something to write again about the sad state of the Philippine Justice system.
I received an order in November of last year that one of our cases which was originally set for November 26 was moved to January 28, 2010. Let me state verbatim the reason why the case was postponed (I found myself snickering when I received the order)
“. . . In view of the attendance of the undersigned relative to the seminar on Speedy Trial and Disposition of Cases for Selected Regional Trial Court and Municipal Trial Court Judges in the Visayas on November 26, 2009 at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, the hearing for November 26, 2009 is hereby CANCELLED and RESET to January 28, 2010 at 8:30 oclock in the morning. . . ”
Ha ? They scheduled the reset for 2 months because they are attending a seminar on “SPEEDY” trial and disposition of cases? Now isn’t that ironic!!!
Ok. Delays delays delays. The Philippine Justice system sucks. So what ? I’m stuck with it. Well, I told myself I’ll just wait until January 28. Besides, what’s the rush ? The case is a simple sum of money claim which was filed way back in 2006. It’s more than 4 years now so what’s the rush.
Surprisingly, I received another order of resetting on December of 2009. The words written in the order is basically the same except that the date was January 29, 2010. I figured out that probably the one who made the order mistakenly mailed a new one with an erroneous date. I deduced that most likely the proper date was January 28, 2010. I told myself that I will probably call the court the day before January 28 to confirm.
On January 27, I forgot to call the court to clarify the January 28/29 fiasco. So that left me with no choice. We have to appear in court on January 28.
So on January 28 we were there. We waited for almost 3 hours before the case was called. The defendants were not around. (They must have thought that the hearing was on the 29th and not the 28th considering that a second notice was sent) The judge said that the correct schedule was the 28th and not the 29th considering that the 29th is a Friday and she has a judges meeting she has to attend to.
With that, our case was moved (Again !) to a very convenient date, April 2010. (5 months after the original reset and 6 months after the last hearing. I thought to myself that I consider myself lucky because I heard that in some courts, they are very lucky if they get one hearing a year for a case. Makes me really wonder what they teach the judges in the seminar on Speedy disposition of cases)
Mind you that in this case, the defendant has just begun presenting their evidences. We even only presented one witness to expedite the case. How much more if we presented more witnesses?
With the way things are going, the case will probably be decided in the next 2, 3 or even 4 years ? (No way!) Either way, if whosoever wins or loose decided to appeal the case, it will take another 3 to 5 years for the court of appeals to resolve it. If it goes all the way to the Supreme court then it will probably take another 3 to 5 years, all in all that will be somewhere from 15 to 20 years. All this delay for a very simple collection case which could have been resolved in less than a week or even a day if you consider the facts and evidences.
This is the sad state of the Philippine Justice system. The glamor of the law profession has been tarnished by this inefficiency. Had I known of this when I was still a student, I would not have taken up law.
Don’t get me wrong. I have not lost respect for our courts. There are courts that are efficient and speedy in their disposition of cases. There are truly exceptional judges and court personnel. The Supreme Court has even recently introduced some very innovative, ground breaking and excellent “planned” improvements into our Justice system. I salute the Supreme Court for their efforts.
But the sad state of the Philippine Justice system is that there are more rotten eggs than good ones in the judiciary. The changes that have been implemented are as slow grinding as the wheels of justice itself. (Sorry it really seems that way to me)
I am really sick and frustrated of law practice. I”m getting lots of acne because of this, I might as well get some acne medication heheehhe. I am probably going to hang up my gloves from law practice soon.
Anyway, am just ranting about the harsh realities of law practice. As I tell my students, in this life and in this earth there is no such thing as perfect justice as only God can give perfect justice. The justice system that we have, the Philippine Justice system is the best one that we’ve got and I guess we’re stuck with it.
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