AN incumbent Court of Appeals (CA) justice was fined by the Supreme Court the equivalent of one year of her salary after she failed to decide 160 cases within the required period while she was still a regional trial court judge.
In a decision, the high court found CA Justice Marilyn B. Lagura-Yap guilty of gross inefficiency when she failed to resolve the cases and submit the required certification of caseload before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). According to the SC, this happened when she applied for a CA post in 2011.
The decision is immediately executory.
Lagura-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 justice.
The Court stressed that the Constitution expressly provides that all lower courts should decide or resolve cases or matters within three months from the date of submission.
Section 5, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct likewise provides that judges shall perform all judicial duties, including the delivery of reserved decision, efficiently, fairly and with reasonable promptness.
The sanction against Lagura-Yap is a testament that Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta is serious about reforming the judiciary.
Shortly after his appointment as the 26th Chief Justice in 2019, Peralta came out with his 10-Point Program which has four core areas ─ efficiency, integrity, security, and service.