Justices, judges told to submit copies of TROs, SQAs, and WPIs they issued

Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta has required all justices of the Court of Appeals (CA), Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), as well as trial court judges, to submit copies of temporary restraining orders (TROs), status quo ante orders (SQAs), and writs of preliminary injunction (WPIs), and orders of voluntary inhibition which they have issued.

In Administrative Order No. 63-2020, Peralta required the justices and judges to submit to the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) starting March 1 copies of the TROs, SQAs, and writs of preliminary injunction WPIs they issued.

Furthermore, justices and judges were also required to copy furnish the Office of the the Court Administraror of all the TROs, SQA, and WPIs they issued.

The copies may either be emailed or sent through postal mail addressed to the (OCJ).

Citing Fortune Life Insurance Co., Inc. v. Luczon, Jr. (538 PHIL 561-570 [2006]), Peralta stressed that “[i]njunction is an extraordinary remedy to be resorted to when there is a pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences that cannot be remedied under any standard compensation. A court may issue an injunction only if it is fully convinced of its extreme necessity and after it has complied with the procedural requirements set by law.”

The Chief also reiterated its ruling in BPI v. Hontanosas, Jr. (737 PHIL 38-60 [2014]) that “[e]very court should remember that an injunction should not be granted lightly or precipitately because it is a limitation upon the freedom of the defendant’s action. It should be granted only when the court is fully satisfied that the law permits it and the emergency demands it, for no power exists whose exercise is more delicate, which requires greater caution and deliberation, or is more dangerous in a doubtful case, than the issuance of an injunction.”

In a separate issuance, Peralta issued Administrative Order No. 62-2020 requiring the justices of the third level courts and the second- and first-level courts judges to specifically address “persistent reports that some Justices and Judges have been voluntarily inhibiting from cases assigned or raffled to them on grounds that are neither just nor valid.”

He reminded them of their duties “to perform their judicial duties without favor, bias or prejudice” as mandated by Section 1, Canon 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary and to “carry out judicial duties with appropriate consideration for all persons, such as the parties, witnesses, lawyers, court staff and judicial colleagues, without differentiation on any irrelevant ground, immaterial to the proper performance of such duties under Section 3, Canon 5 of the same Code.

All copies of orders of voluntary inhibition should be submitted to the OCJ, copy furnished the OCA, within five days from issuance of such orders. These may either be emailed or sent through postal mail addressed to the OCJ.

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