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Retired RTC judge prints new kind of law book on court work

“To reiterate, the constitutional duty to decide all issues involving grave abuse of jurisdiction amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government is imposed on all judges, not just on the justices of the Supreme Court and the appellate courts. As clearly demonstrated in this book and by its very title, the author has seriously taken this duty upon himself as splendidly and clearly demonstrated in his decisions and even in his administrative supervision over his court officers and personnel.


“I have yet to see a trial judge as assertive as Judge Sol in avowing this duty, and I have yet to read activist decisions of any trial judge as many, as deep and as mesmerizing as those of the author. Indeed, though aggregating about 1,000 pages, this book and the decisions it cites and/or reproduces are a thought-provoking and stimulating read.

“Nonetheless, he brought his activism to the judiciary. My only regret is that he did not get to the Supreme Court where his activist decisions could have added wisdom and luster to the Philippine Reports and the Supreme Court Reports Annotated. At any rate, my regret is now partially comforted by this phenomenal and enthralling volume. Needless to say, I recommend a full reading of this book to all the members of, and those aspiring to join, the judiciary (including the Supreme Court and appellate court justices) as well as to professors and students of law, and to all who value the rule of law as the indispensable ingredient of a just and humane society.”


Thus did former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban say in his Foreword “Our Constitution mandates all judges to be activist” to the newly released book of retired RTC of Naga City Judge Soliman M. Santos, Jr. entitled JUDICIAL ACTIVIST: The Work of a Judge in the RTC of Naga City, published by long-time lawbook publisher Central Books in Quezon City. What makes this law book specially different from the usual academic text books is its being based on actual trial court practice and experience, in Judge Santos’ case for almost 7 years from 2016 to 2022 in RTC Naga City Branch 61, and before that for about 6 years from 2010 to 2015 in the 9th MCTC of Nabua-Bato, and the MTC of Balatan, both in Camarines Sur.


This new book on court work is actually the third of a trilogy of court work books by Judge Santos also published by Central Books covering his court work at those first- and second-levels. The first was JUSTICE OF THE PEACE: The Work of a First-Level Judge in the Rinconada District of Camarines Sur (2015) with a Foreword by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and the second was DRUG CASES: A Naga Court’s Practice and Reform Advocacy (2022) with a Foreword by retired Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta.


The new 1,000-page book consists of 15 parts between its Introduction and its concluding part on Retirement and Reflections. Among the subjects covered by actual court issuances are Amicable Settlement, Judicial and Other Alternative Dispute Resolution (with 30 “representative samples” from civil and criminal cases); Land, Inheritance and Execution Disputes (also Legal Ethics); Civil Status and Citizenship; Murder; Rape and Human Trafficking; Robbery, Syndicated Estafa, Libel and Other Criminal Cases; 2016, 2019 and 2022 Election Cases (including for Quo Warranto); Court Work Reports; Staff Work Guidelines; Memos and Letters to the Staff; a photo spread on “Team Spirit, Christmas Spirit;” Dealing with Covid; Miscellaneous (including on certain lawyers) and “Extra-Curricular” matters; Activity Reports and Letters for RTC Naga; and Judicial and Other Reforms (including on Good Conduct Time Allowance and on judicial infrastructure justice for the MTC Balatan Hall of Justice).


JUDICIAL ACTIVIST may be best ordered at the price of P1,500 online from Central Books via its website www.central.com.ph or at its main store in Phoenix Bldg., 927 Quezon Ave., Q.C., with contact Cel. No. 0939-916-6601, inquiries with Ruth Ann B. Octaviano.

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