CA justice fined over undecided cases

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — For failing to decide on 160 cases when she was regional trial court judge in Mandaue City in Cebu, Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Marilyn Lagura-Yap has been ordered to pay a fine equivalent to her salary for one year.

The Supreme Court (SC) said Yap was found guilty of gross inefficiency after she failed to decide on the cases within the 90-day reglementary period, adding that she did not submit the required certification of caseload before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

The submission of a certification of caseload is a requirement set by the JBC when Yap applied for a CA post in 2011, according to the SC.

The high court said it imposed the fine in consideration of the number of undecided cases and lack of plausible explanation for not acting on them.

“The fine is payable within 30 days from the receipt of notice. Justice Yap was further admonished to be more diligent in the performance of her sworn duty as a dispenser of justice, especially that she is now a CA associate justice,” the SC said.

The high tribunal said Yap admitted her failure to decide cases promptly and comply with the JBC requirement, citing “heavy caseload, voluminous records, death of family members and being understaffed.”

However, the SC said Yap’s justifications are not sufficient to exonerate her from liability.

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