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Business

SC reminds commercial courts of mandatory period to resolve disputes

Philstar.com
SC reminds commercial courts of mandatory period to resolve disputes
This file photo shows the Supreme Court.
Philstar.com / Erwin Cagadas

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has reminded commercial court judges of the mandatory period of one year when resolving pending cases, after Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III complained about “questionable trend of unwarranted delay” in deciding commercial disputes.

Court Administrator Midas Marquez issued OCA Circular 105-2021 “strongly reminding” special commercial courts and courts hearing commercial cases of the one year period, from the date of filing of petition, to confirm a rehabilitation plan.

Judges are reminded that failure to decide cases within the set time period may result into administrative sanctions.

Marquez cited Section 72 of Republic Act 10142 or the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act of 2010, which also states that “[i]f no Rehabilitation Plan is confirmed within the said period, the proceedings may upon motion or motu propio, be converted into one for the liquidation of the debtor.”

The law defines rehabilitation plan as process by “which the financial well-being and viability of an insolvent debtor can be restored.”

There are 147 designated special commercial courts.

The court administrator said Dominguez wrote to the 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, among others.”

Marquez also noted that Dominguez in particular cited the case of Land Bank of the Philippines, “a creditor-party in numerous rehabilitation and insolvency proceedings where there appears to be a questionable delay and/or circumvention of court proceedings.”

There were also indications that “some case proceedings may have been deliberately delayed” and “have remained pending for more than one year without any approved rehabilitation plans.”

Marquez then enjoined judges to “remain in full control of the proceedings in (their) sala and should adopt a firm policy against improvident postponements.” — Kristine Joy Patag

CARLOS DOMINGUEZ

MIDAS MARQUEZ

OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR

SUPREME COURT

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