Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano have floated the idea of crafting a law that will allow the barangays’ Lupon Tagapamayapa to rule on simple civil cases, such as debt-related charges, for a faster administration of justice.
Under the Barangay Justice System, the Lupon Tagapamayapa — headed by the barangay chairman — can only act as an intermediary that will aid disputing parties in coming up with a mutually acceptable solution. It is only when the parties agree to undergo arbitration can the Lupon Tagapamayapa rule on certain cases.
“Bakit nga ba iaakyat pa sa korte ang simple cases kung pwede namang pag-aralan [ng mga mambabatas] at [gawan ng] legislation para barangay na ang magdedesisyon?” Senator Alan said in a recent episode of the public service program Cayetano in Action with Boy Abunda.
The sibling-senators were tackling a dispute between a landlady and two tenants whose unpaid electricity bills had accumulated to P11,300.
The landlady said she was not willing to let the tenants stay unless they settle the unpaid bill.
Stressing how due process in the country often takes months, Senator Alan said mandating the Lupon Tagapamayapa to decide on civil cases that do not require the expertise of a judge will spare everyone the “hassle” of waiting for the court’s decision, which can be costly and entail an “emotional burden.”
“Sa ibang bansa po na very, very efficient ang korte at pagsasampa ng kaso, mabilis po ang ejectment,” Senator Alan said.
“Eh sa atin, it takes months para matapos ang procedure samantalang ang hinihingi lang [na extension ng umuupa] ay tatlong linggo,” he continued.
Senator Pia demonstrated how having a body that judges and imposes a solution can speed up the delivery of justice when the landlady agreed to the Senator’s suggestion that she allow the tenants to pay the P11,300 in installments and the tenants publicly committed to paying it.
“Ang hirap talaga ng buhay ngayon. Masisipag naman, tinamaan lang talaga ng pandemic,” he said, pertaining to disputes related to indigent Filipinos’ unpaid obligations.