3548 September 3, 1998 5 months Parties failed to
4038 August 17, 1998 6 months Prosecution
failed to offer
June 24, 1998
Order to do so.
4042 Consolidated with 4038 -do- -do-
3803 July 24, 1998 7 months Prosecution
failed to submit
while the TSN
Case No Date Submitted Delay Explanation
1932 July 24, 1998 7 months Parties were
required to file
but have not
1610 September 18, 1997 1 yr. 5 mos. Court giving
1611 Consolidated with 1610 -do- -do-
1823 October 10, 1997 1 yr. 4 mos. Judge Arinday
On February 9, 2001, Judge Arinday filed a petition for the release of his retirement benefits the soonest possible time. 2
Canon 3, Rule 3.05 of the Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to dispose of their business promptly and decide cases within the required periods. Under Article VIII, Section 15 of the Constitution, lower courts have three months within which to decide cases submitted to them for resolution.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
The Court has constantly stressed upon judges — may it not be said without success — the need to decide cases promptly and expeditiously, for it cannot be gainsaid that justice delayed is justice denied. Delay in the disposition of cases undermines the people’s faith and confidence in the judiciary. Hence, judges are enjoined to decide cases with dispatch. Their failure to do so constitutes gross inefficiency and warrants the imposition of administrative sanction on them. 3
In this case, Judge Arinday admitted the delay in disposing of cases assigned to him and explained that it was due to unavailability of the transcripts of stenographic notes. Judges are required to take down notes and to proceed in the preparation of decisions even without the transcripts. The Court has held that the three month reglementary period continues to run, with or without the transcripts or memoranda, if required. Thus, their absence or the delay in their transcription cannot excuse respondent judge’s failure to decide the cases within the prescribed period. 4
As to Civil Cases Nos. 1610 and 1611, Judge Arinday was too liberal in granting the parties more than one (1) year to settle their dispute. It is noted that the proceedings were already terminated in those cases and all that was left for Judge Arinday was to render his decision.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
WHEREFORE, the Court finds retired Judge Graciano H. Arinday, Jr., Regional Trial Court, Branch 69, Silay City, Negros Occidental guilty of gross inefficiency and orders him to pay a fine of TWENTY THOUSAND (P20,000.00) PESOS. His retirement benefits may now be released, less the amount of fine herein imposed.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Gonzaga-Reyes and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.
Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., are on leave.
Ynares-Santiago, J., on official travel abroad.
1. Compliance and Manifestations, Rollo, pp. 14-16.
2. Petition, Rollo, pp. 23-26.
3. Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Butalid; Request for the Expeditious Resolution of Civil Case No. 92-07-117 Pending at RTC, Branch 9, Tacloban City, 355 Phil. 337, 349.
4. Arnulfo B. Tauro v. Judge Angel V. Colet, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 8, 306 SCRA 340, 341.