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Integrated Bar of the Philippines Makati Chapter

Comments on the Draft Revised Rules of Civil Procedure

Submitted to the Supreme Court 27 August 2013

The recent efforts of the Honorable Supreme Court to ensure the speedy and equitable administration of justice in this country by addressing issues relative to court delays in litigation deserve no less than the highest commendation from courts and legal practitioners alike. Indeed, the constitution of the National Conference for the Revision of the Rules of Procedure underscores the magnitude of this undertaking, as it requires insights and contributions from all areas of the legal community. We most respectfully take exception, however, to the introduction of drastic amendments to the present Rules of Court which, at their core, amount to a complete overhaul of trial practice in the Philippines as we know it today.

These amendments, while seemingly simplistic in application, will essentially be counter-intuitive and cumbersome for most practitioners since these are not in keeping with how the law is presently taught, studied and, more importantly, practiced. Even worse, some of the amendments completely negate the role of the legal practitioner in ensuring a genuine resolution of issues under litigation in that counsel is relegated to the role of an observer or facilitator rather than an advocate. While the questionable propensity of some lawyers to foster delay cannot be entirely discounted in the process of reviewing the Rules of Court, the nature of the legal profession remains the same for every generation, in that lawyers are called upon to pursue a learned art with the main purpose of “aid[ing] in the doing of justice according to law between the state and the individual, and between man and man.”

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