Case Digest on Re: Cases Left Undecided by Judge Narciso M. Bumanlag, Jr. (306 SCRA 50)
Facts: Upon retirement, B left 7 criminal and 3 civil cases undecided within the 90-day period required by section 15, Article VIII of the Constitution. He said his failure was due to a serious illness.
Held: FINED. Members of the bench have a duty to administer justice without undue delay. Failure to do so within the reglementary period constitutes a neglect of duty warranting administrative penalties. If hindered by illness, a judge should inform the Office of Court Administrator and ask for additional time to decide in order to avoid the sanctions. However, if there is no malice or bad faith, and the judge is prevented by factors beyond his control, the penalty will be mitigated.
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