In your editorial of 25 October 2013 entitled A hypocritical Supreme Court decision, you noted that the Court fined Judge Santiago Soriano P40,000 for unreasonable delay in deciding cases. The Court decided Judge Soriano’s case on 11 September 2013. You stated, “The offense was committed in 2006, and that’s what bothers us.” Then you asked, “Who will fine the Supreme Court” for the delay in deciding Judge Soriano’s case?
As stated in the decision, Judge Soriano submitted his report on his undecided cases only after 21 July 2010. After Judge Soriano submitted his report, the Office of the Court Administrator verified the status of the undecided cases. The Office of the Court Administrator submitted its memorandum recommending the imposition of a fine on Judge Soriano on 3 January 2013. Under the Constitution, the Court had two years from 3 January 2013 to decide the case. The Court rendered its decision on 11 September 2013, well within the two-year constitutional deadline.
In short, the Court was not in delay in deciding Judge Soriano’s case. In case you are wondering if the ponente, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, has any backlog in his cases, please be informed that Justice Carpio has a zero backlog: there is no case undecided for two years or more from the date of submission for decision.
ATTY. MARIA TERESA B. SIBULO
Judicial Staff Head
Office of the Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio