Supreme Court reminds courts of 1-year deadline in resolving commercial cases

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The Supreme Court (SC) has reminded the courts handling crucial commercial cases to avoid inordinate delays by following the deadline set by the law, which is one year, for the resolution of rehabilitation, insolvency and liquidation cases.

In a circular dated July 27, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez reminded the courts of the deadline for the resolution of said cases.

“All judges of the Special Commercial Courts and those handling commercial cases are hereby strongly reminded that pursuant to Section 72 of Republic Act No. 10142, known as Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act of 2010, courts shall have a maximum period of one year from the date of the filing of the petition to confirm a rehabilitation plan,” Marquez said.

The high court issued the reminder following a letter from Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, urging the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) to ensure that courts comply with their mandate considering the delay in resolution of various commercial cases filed in courts such as rehabilitation, insolvency, and liquidation cases.

Dominguez cited a particular case involving the government-run Land Bank of the Philippines as a creditor party where there had been “a questionable trend of unwarranted delay and circumvention of court proceedings”, suggesting that some case “proceedings may have been deliberately delayed and have remained pending for more than one year without any approved rehabilitation plans.”

Marquez also urged judges “to remain in full control of the proceedings in their sala and should adopt a firm policy against improvident postponements.”

He said 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.

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