SC slaps Cebu judge with P5K fine for delay in issuing injunction

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The Supreme Court (SC) has imposed a P5,000 fine on Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11 Judge Ramon Daomilas, Jr., after finding him guilty of “undue delay in rendering an order.”

In a recent 11-page decision, the SC 2nd Division said Daomilas “demonstrated inefficiency” by issuing a November 6, 2015 writ of preliminary injunction in a corporate case more than two years from the filing of the last pleading.

This was contrary to the 90-day period set by Section 15, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution.

“Respondent Judge Daomilas, Jr.’s cavalier treatment of the pending matters in his court betrays the kind of management he instituted in his courtroom,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

“A judge must at all times remain in full control of the proceedings in his court and strictly observe the interdictions against unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases and pending incidents in order to avoid a miscarriage of justice,” it added.

But, the SC did not impose a harsh penalty on Daomilas as it recognized his “struggle” in managing two court stations with a limited number of personnel.

On the other hand, the SC found no merit in the plea of complainant Makilito Mahinay to hold Daomilas liable for gross ignorance of the law.

Mahinay was the legal counsel of PJH Lending Corporation, which filed a complaint for nullity of shareholdings and sought the injunction that Daomilas issued two years too late.

He accused Daomilas of erring in allowing the defendants to post a counter-bond that negated the injunction and setting their motion for reconsideration for hearing on a shorter notice.

The SC, however, said these issues were “beyond the ambit of an administrative proceeding as it will involve the evaluation of factual matters and the interpretation of applicable laws.”

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