"x x x.
Judges have the sworn duty to administer justice without undue delay, for justice delayed is justice denied. They have always been exhorted to observe strict adherence to the rule on speedy disposition of cases, as delay in case disposition is a major culprit in the erosion of public faith and confidence in the judicial system.
Under the 1987 Constitution, trial judges are mandated to decide and resolve cases within 90 days from submission. Corollary to this constitutional mandate, Section 5, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary requires judges to perform all judicial duties efficiently, fairly, and with reasonable promptness.
In Office of the Court Administrator v. Javellana, the Court held that a judge cannot choose his deadline for deciding cases pending before him. Without an extension granted by the Court, the failure to decide even a single case within the required period constitutes gross inefficiency that merits administrative sanction. If a judge is unable to comply with the period for deciding cases or matters, he can, for good reasons, ask for an extension.
An inexcusable failure to decide a case within the prescribed 90-day period constitutes gross inefficiency, warranting the imposition of administrative sanctions such as suspension from office without pay or fine on the defaulting judge. The fines imposed vary in each case, depending chiefly on the number of cases not decided within the reglementary period and other factors, such as the presence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the damage suffered by the parties as a result of the delay, the health and age of the judge, and other analogous circumstances.
In this case, records are bereft of showing that Judge Buenavista sought for an extension of time to decide and resolve most of the cases pending before him, save only for one instance. Having therefore failed to decide cases and resolve incidents within the required period constituted gross inefficiency, warranting the imposition of a fine of P10,000.00 which the Court finds reasonable under the circumstances.
x x x."