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Welcome to the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Welcome to the Supreme Court of the Philippines
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Chief Justice Gesmundo Highlights Judiciary’s Role in Nation-Building, Discusses Reform Initiatives under SPJI

February 2, 2024

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, as keynote speaker at the Supreme Court-Justice Reform Initiative (SC-JRI) 2024 Justice Summit: Freedom through Justice Reform held on February 1, 2024 at the Makati Diamond Residences, Legazpi St., Makati City, highlights the Judiciary’s role in nation-building as he discussed the ongoing judicial reform initiatives under the Supreme Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI). (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo has highlighted the Judiciary’s role in nation-building as he discussed the ongoing judicial reform initiatives under the Supreme Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI).

In his keynote speech at the Supreme Court-Justice Reform Initiative (SC-JRI) 2024 Justice Summit: Freedom through Justice Reform held at the Makati Diamond Residences, Legazpi St., Makati City on February 1, 2024, Chief Justice Gesmundo expressed hope that the Court’s efforts under the SPJI will reassure the business sector that the Judiciary is not only mindful of its areas for improvement, but that the Court is actually doing something about it. He said:  “We are serious in our commitment to the reform and betterment of our institution and the people who comprise it. And we are grateful to the JRI for having been our partner since 2015 in these common aspirations.”

The Chief Justice expressed satisfaction over the result of the survey conducted by the JRI on the public’s perception on the integrity of the Judiciary, which was presented during the Justice Summit.

The survey, which was approved by the Supreme Court’s education and training arm, the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), was conducted by JRI in 2023 among the key stakeholders with focus on the business sector. The JRI also held focus group discussions (FGDs) which centered on “Integrity and Decorum,” as well as “Competencies, Court Processes, Technology, and Reforms Awareness.” The JRI is a private sector umbrella organization composed of leading business organizations, judicial advocacy groups and foreign chambers of commerce in the Philippines.

On the survey results for Integrity, 75% of the respondents said that the Supreme Court “independently acts and decides cases based on the facts and the law, and is not influenced by any other factor outside the merits of the case.” The Court of Tax Appeals got 73%, the Court of Appeals 70%, and the trial courts 62%. The survey also showed that a high 82% of respondents said that when the Supreme Court issues decisions, “the parties can easily understand the legal bases and rationale.” Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals got 81%, the Court of Tax Appeals 79%, and the trial courts and 73% when asked if their decisions are easily understood by the parties.

“Coming from the business community, this result is a solid affirmation that the majority of our courts are viewed as independent and trustworthy. This is also validation of our premise that it is the lack of awareness and understanding that drives public distrust, because people who understand the court processes and procedures find the system reliable,” the Chief Justice said.

With regard to Decorum, court personnel (from the Branch Clerk down) were reported to be “very accommodating and respond immediately to requests and clarifications from the litigants,” 82% for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Court of Tax Appeals, and 69% for the trial courts.

On Court Processes, the Supreme Court was rated by 55% as “hear[ing] and decid[ing] assigned cases efficiently and without unnecessary delay;” the Court of Appeals 48%; the Court of Tax Appeals 45%; and the trial courts 35%. On the enforcement of decisions, the Supreme Court fared at 73%, the Court of Appeals at 69%, the Court of Tax Appeals at 63%, and the trial courts at 46%.

On Competencies, 38% of respondents replied that they have encountered an incompetent judge, while 52% have encountered incompetent court personnel.

On Awareness of Reform Initiatives, 89% agreed that Small Claims “provides a simplified and less costly way.”

On Technology, 96% of the respondents said that the Court should adopt technology in the conduct of hearings, in the filing of pleadings and motions, and in the service of court notices to the parties.

Chief Justice Gesmundo gave an update on the ongoing initiatives by the Court under the SPJI to show what the Judiciary is already doing or plans to do in each of the focus areas identified by the JRI, to reassure them of the Court’s commitment to nation-building.

He took pride in saying that the Court is pursuing a Campaign for Ethical Responsibility. Last year, the Court launched the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA), which is the code of ethical conduct for all lawyers. He added that the Code of Judicial Conduct is also undergoing revision.

He stressed that as a co-equal branch of government, the Judiciary can only truly be effective by working together with the Executive and the Legislative Departments, which does not necessitate sacrificing its institutional independence. He cited the creation nationwide of Justice Zones, which showcase the sector approach to delivering justice services through communication, cooperation, and collaboration among the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and all agencies and offices attached to them. 

The Chief Justice further said PHILJA is continuously conducting ethics programs for judges and court personnel. Likewise, he said that the Court is presently undertaking an organizational restructuring of the Judicial Integrity Board (JIB) to make it more efficient by streamlining the process for the filing of and disposition of administrative cases. 

To complement this, the organizational work for the establishment of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals (OJM) has commenced with the opening for vacancy of the top positions in the OJM.

The Chief Justice said that the Court, to foster transparency and accountability, is digitizing adjudicative and administrative systems which will allow the public, in general, and the court users, in particular, to pinpoint responsibility at any given phase of a court litigation or administrative transaction. Such will also provide real-time access to the status of their cases/transactions and the next steps.

Furthermore, the Chief Justice said that the Court is currently reviewing rules of procedure to adopt a simplified and unified procedure for the faster and less costly hearing and disposition of cases.  The Court, in March 2022, adopted the Expedited Rules of Procedure in all First Level Courts, which includes the Rule on Summary Procedure as well as the Rule on Small Claims. Likewise, the Court has increased the threshold for Small Claims to P1Million. 

The Court is also updating the Rules on Video Conference Hearings (VCH), to permanently include VCH in every trial judge’s toolkit, meaning, it may be resorted to whenever it will help facilitate a speedier and less expensive resolution of the dispute. 

The Court has also published the Book of Judicial Forms, now available on the Supreme Court website, which will help both judges and litigants alike through the introduction of ready-made forms and templates of the most commonly-used court forms.

The reorganization of the Office of the Court Administrator is also being undertaken to decentralize its functions by downstreaming them to Regional Court Managers, who will be closer to the courts they will service.

The Court has also continued promoting the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, and its Court-Annexed Mediation program.

Likewise, the Chief Justice mentioned the Judiciary Enterprise ICT Governance Framework, the eCourts Version 2.0, and the Judiciary Electronic Payment Solution (JePS), and eFiling of pleadings and other court-bound papers.

The Court also completed the Digitalized Benchbook for Philippine Trial Courts. He also cited the Court’s use of social media platforms to disseminate information about Court decisions and reform activities, complemented by informational videos, printed materials, including comic strips.

The Chief Justice concluded by saying that although much remains to be done, the Court will reach its goal with the support of organizations such as the JRI.

Joining the Chief Justice were Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Associate Justice Rodil V. Zalameda, Associate Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez, Associate Justice Antonio T. Kho, Jr., and Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh.

Also present was Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva.

The Justice Summit was aimed at addressing long-standing issues in the judiciary, with a particular focus on bolstering public trust. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and (seated, from left) Associate Justice Antonio T. Kho, Jr., Associate Justice Rodil V. Zalameda, Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Associate Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez, and Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh pose for posterity with officials of the Justice Reform Initiative (JRI) at the SC-JRI 2024 Justice Summit: Freedom through Justice Reform held on February 1, 2024 at Makati Diamond Residences, Legazpi St., Makati City. (Standing, from left) Atty. Teodoro Kalaw, IV – Vice President, JRI; Mr. Jose Jerome Pascual III – President, JRI; Atty. Francisco Ed. Lim – Chair, JRI; Ms. Sherisa P. Nuesa – Board Adviser, JRI; and Atty. Alexander B. Cabrera – Vice Chair, JRI. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo receives a token of appreciation from Atty. Francisco Ed. Lim, Justice Reform Initiative (JRI) Chair at the SC-JRI 2024 Justice Summit: Freedom through Justice Reform held on February 1, 2024 at Makati Diamond Residences, Legazpi St., Makati City. Looking on are (left) Mr. Jose Jerome Pascual III, JRI President and (right) Atty. Cesar Villanueva, JRI Justice Summit Committee Chair, Trustee and Compliance Chair. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh receives a token of appreciation from (left) Atty. Cesar Villanueva, Justice Reform Initiative (JRI) Justice Summit Committee Chair, Trustee and Compliance Chair and (right) Mr. Jose Jerome Pascual III, JRI President during the SC-JRI 2024 Justice Summit: Freedom through Justice Reform held on February 1, 2024 at Makati Diamond Residences, Legazpi St., Makati City. Justice Singh, according to JRI, has “actively participated and relayed Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo’s review of the survey results, highlighting the strong points of performance, and what needs to be improved.”(Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

Privacy Notice for the Supreme Court website

Statement of Commitment to Data Privacy and Security

The Supreme Court of the Philippines respects your privacy and your data privacy rights, as well as employs reasonable measures to protect your personal data in accordance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA), its Implementing Rules and Regulations, and the various issuances of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) (collectively, the Data Privacy Regulations).

Brief Service Description and Its General Purpose

Use of the Supreme Court Website

The Supreme Court website serves as the online repository of Supreme Court information, references, and resources accessible to the public. By agreeing to use the Supreme Court website, you agree to the collection, use, disclosure, processing, and storage of your non-personal identification information to enable the Supreme Court to monitor the website’s engagement.

What personal data do we collect?

The Supreme Court website, other than the Email Form (see separate Privacy Notice – Email Form), does not collect personal data or cookies. The following non-personal identification information, however, are collected and stored by WordPress Statistics, a third-party service, to enable the Supreme Court to monitor the website’s performance through its engagement with visitors:

(a) Browser;

(b) Device; and

(c) Internet Protocol address.

The information collected by WordPress Statistics are limited to the foregoing.

For further understanding, please see the brief discussion on WordPress Statistics below.

Why do we collect your non-personal identification information?

The information collected through WordPress Statistics shall be processed to enable the Supreme Court, not only to effectively manage its website, but also to efficiently disseminate information to the public.

How do we process your non-personal identification information?

Where you have provided us with your non-personal identification information, you agree to our collection, use, disclosure, storage, and other processing for the purposes and in the manner set forth in this Privacy Notice.

WordPress Statistics

The Supreme Court website uses a third-party website, WordPress Statistics, to gather anonymous statistical information from site visitors and analyze the web traffic data. Such data is not shared with any other party. WordPress Statistics collects the following:

  • Browser;
  • Device; and
  • Internet Protocol address.

For more information, you may visit: https://wp-statistics.com/2018/08/16/wp-statistics-gdpr/

How do we protect your non-personal identification information?

The foregoing information, which are encrypted, shall be captured, stored, and retrieved by the Supreme Court through the third-party server, WordPress Statistics, solely for the specific purposes stated in this Privacy Notice, i.e., for reference in helping the Supreme Court in effectively managing its website. The data shall be processed and stored with utmost security and confidentiality.

Only authorized website administrators of the Supreme Court have access to the collected data stored and reported in WordPress Statistics as installed in the Supreme Court website, which in turn are subject to strict security protocols.

How long will we keep your non-personal identification information?

The collected information shall be stored in the Supreme Court website database. The Public Information Office (PIO) directly administers and maintains the database and the Supreme Court website. Only the PIO website administrators and authorized personnel shall be granted access to the database of the Supreme Court website. Sharing of any information that are contained in the said database with unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited.

The non-personal identification information collected by WordPress Statistics is stored in its database and is accessible to the Supreme Court at any time via statistics reports until WordPress Statistics is uninstalled.

In all cases, the information will be stored in a secure manner to ensure its confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Upon expiration of the period of retention, the information collected through the Supreme Court website shall be disposed of and discarded in a secure manner that would prevent further processing, unauthorized access, or disclosure of your data.

Changes to our Privacy Notice:

The Privacy Notice may be updated from time to time. If material changes are required, any revisions shall be published on the Supreme Court website under the News and Announcements page for your immediate guidance. Therefore, we encourage you to review this Privacy Notice periodically so that you are up to date on our most current policies and practices.

This Privacy Notice was last updated on February 20, 2024.

How do you contact us?

If you have any privacy concerns or questions about your data privacy rights or our Privacy Notice, please contact us through:

Supreme Court of the Philippines
Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila
Philippines 1000
+63 3 8552 9566


The Supreme Court Under
the 1987 Constitution

As in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, the 1987 Constitution provides that “[t]he judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.” (Art. VII, Sec. 1). The exercise of judicial power is shared by the Supreme Court with all lower courts, but it is only the Supreme Court’s decisions that are vested with precedential value or doctrinal authority, as its interpretations of the Constitution and the laws are final and beyond review by any other branch of government.

Unlike the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, however, the 1987 Constitution defines the concept of judicial power. Under paragraph 2 of Section 1, Article VIII, “judicial power” includes not only the “duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable” but also “to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.” This latter provision dilutes the effectivity of the “political question” doctrine which places specific questions best submitted to the political wisdom of the people beyond the review of the courts.

Building on previous experiences under former Constitutions, the 1987 Constitution provides for specific safeguards to ensure the independence of the Judiciary. These are found in the following provisions:

    • The grant to the Judiciary of fiscal autonomy. “Appropriations for the Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year, and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released.” (Art. VIII, Sec. 3).
    • The grant to the Chief Justice of authority to augment any item in the general appropriation law for the Judiciary from savings in other items of said appropriation as authorized by law. (Art. VI, Sec. 25[5])
    • The removal from Congress of the power to deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 of Article VIII.
    • The grant to the Court of the power to appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service Law (Art. VIII, Sec. 5 [6])
    • The removal from the Commission of Appointments of the power to confirm appointments of justices and judges (Art. VIII, Sec. 8)
    • The removal from Congress of the power to reduce the compensation or salaries of the Justices and judges during their continuance in office. (Art. VIII, Sec. 10)
    • The prohibition against the removal of judges through legislative reorganization by providing that “(n)o law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its members. (Art. VIII, Sec. 2)
    • The grant of sole authority to the Supreme Court to order the temporary detail of judges. (Art. VIII, Sec. 5[3])
    • The grant of sole authority to the Supreme Court to promulgate rules of procedure for the courts. (Art. VIII, Sec. 5[5])
    • The prohibition against designating members of the Judiciary to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative function. (Art. VIII, Sec. 12)
    • The grant of administrative supervision over the lower courts and its personnel in the Supreme Court. (Art. VIII, Sec. 6)

The Supreme Court under the present Constitution is composed of a Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices. The members of the Court are appointed by the President from a list, prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council, of at least three nominees for every vacancy. This new process is intended to “de-politicize” the courts of justice, ensure the choice of competent judges, and fill existing vacancies without undue delay.


The Supreme Court Under
the Revolutionary Government

Shortly after assuming office as the seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines after the successful People Power Revolution, then President Corazon C. Aquino declared the existence of a revolutionary government under Proclamation No. 1 dated February 25, 1986. Among the more significant portions of this Proclamation was an instruction for “all appointive officials to submit their courtesy resignations beginning with the members of the Supreme Court.” The call was unprecedented, considering the separation of powers that the previous Constitutions had always ordained, but understandable considering the revolutionary nature of the post-People Power government. Heeding the call, the members of the Judiciary—from the Supreme Court to the Municipal Circuit Courts—placed their offices at the disposal of the President and submitted their resignations. President Corazon C, Aquino proceeded to reorganize the entire Court, appointing all 15 members.

On March 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino, through Proclamation No. 3, also abolished the 1973 Constitution and put in place a Provisional “Freedom” Constitution. Under Article I, Section 2 of the Freedom Constitution, the provisions of the 1973 Constitution on the judiciary were adopted insofar as they were not inconsistent with Proclamation No. 3.

Article V of Proclamation No. 3 provided for the convening of a Constitutional Commission composed of 50 appointive members to draft a new constitution; this would be implemented by Proclamation No. 9. Under the leadership of retired SC Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma as its President, the Constitutional Commission of 1986 submitted its output of to the people for ratification.

By a vote of 76.30%, the Filipino people then ratified the Constitution submitted to them in a national plebiscite on February 2, 1987.

President Aquino, other civilian officials, and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, upon the announcement of the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, swore allegiance to the new charter on February 11, 1987 thereby putting an end to the revolutionary government.


The Supreme Court Under
the 1973 Constitution

The declaration of Martial Law through Proclamation No. 1081 by former President Ferdinand E, Marcos in 1972 brought about the transition from the 1935 Constitution to the 1973 Constitution. This transition had implications on the Court’s composition and functions.

This period also brought in many legal issues of transcendental importance and consequence. Among these were the legality of the ratification of a new Constitution, the assumption of the totality of government authority by President Marcos, and the power to review the factual basis for a declaration of Martial Law by the Chief Executive, among others. Also writ large during this period was the relationship between the Court and the Chief Executive who, under Amendment No. 6 to the 1973 Constitution, had assumed legislative powers even while an elected legislative body continued to function.

The 1973 Constitution increased the number of the members of the Supreme Court from 11 to 15, with a Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices. The Justices of the Court were appointed by the President alone, without the consent, approval, or recommendation of any other body or officials.


The Supreme Court of
the Second Republic

Following liberation from the Japanese occupation at the end of the Second World War and the Philippines’ subsequent independence from the United States, Republic Act No. 296 or the Judiciary Act of 1948 was enacted. This law grouped together the cases over which the Supreme Court could exercise exclusive jurisdiction for review on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error.


The Supreme Court During
the Commonwealth

Following the ratification of the 1935 Philippine Constitution in a plebiscite, the principle of separation of powers was adopted, not by express and specific provision to that effect, but by actual division of powers of the government—executive, legislative, and judicial—in different articles of the 1935 Constitution.

As in the United States, the judicial power was vested by the 1935 Constitution “in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law.” It devolved on the Judiciary to determine whether the acts of the other two departments were in harmony with the fundamental law.

The Court during the Commonwealth was composed of “a Chief Justice and ten Associate Justices, and may sit en banc or in two divisions, unless otherwise provided by law.”


The Establishment of
the Supreme Court of the Philippines

On June 11, 1901, the Second Philippine Commission passed Act No. 136 entitled “An Act Providing for the Organization of Courts in the Philippine Islands” formally establishing the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands and creating Courts of First Instance and Justices of the Peace Courts throughout the land. The judicial organization established by the Act was conceived by the American lawyers in the Philippine Commission, with its basic structures patterned after similar organizations in the United States.

The Supreme Court created under the Act was composed of a Chief Justice and six Judges. Five members of the Court could form a quorum, and the concurrence of at least four members was necessary to pronounce a judgment.

Act No. 136 abolished the Audiencia established under General Order No. 20 and declared that the Supreme Court created by the Act be substituted in its place. This effectively severed any nexus between the present Supreme Court and the Audiencia.

The Anglo-American legal system under which the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands was expected to operate was entirely different from the old Spanish system that Filipinos were familiar with. Adjustments had to be made; hence, the decisions of the Supreme Court during its early years reflected a blend of both the Anglo-American and Spanish systems. The jurisprudence was a gentle transition from the old order to the new.


The Judicial System During
the American Occupation

After Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War in the late 1890s, The subsequent occupation by the Americans of the Philippine Islands paved the way for considerable changes in the control, disposition, and governance of the Islands.

The judicial system established during the regime of the military government functioned as an instrument of the executive—not of the judiciary—as an independent and separate branch of government. Secretary of State John Hay, on May 12, 1899, proposed a plan for a colonial government of the Philippine Islands which would give Filipinos the largest measure of self-government. The plan contemplated an independent judiciary manned by judges chosen from qualified locals and Americans.

On May 29, 1899, General Elwell Stephen Otis, Military Governor for the Philippines, issued General Order No. 20, reestablishing the Audiencia Teritorial de Manila which was to apply Spanish laws and jurisprudence recognized by the American military governor as continuing in force.

The Audiencia was composed of a presiding officer and eight members organized into two divisions: the sala de lo civil or the civil branch, and the sala de lo criminal or the criminal branch.

It was General Otis himself who personally selected the first appointees to the Audiencia. Cayetano L. Arellano was appointed President (equivalent to Chief Justice) of the Court, with Manuel Araullo as president of the sala de lo civil and Raymundo Melliza as president of the salo de lo criminal. Gregorio Araneta and Lt. Col. E.H. Crowder were appointed associate justices of the civil branch while Ambrosio Rianzares, Julio Llorente, Major R.W. Young, and Captain W.E. Brikhimer were designated associate justices of the criminal branch. Thus, the reestablished Audiencia became the first agency of the new insular government where Filipinos were appointed side by side with Americans.


The Judicial System Under
the Spanish Regime

During the early Spanish occupation, King Philip II established the Real Audiencia de Manila which was given not only judicial but legislative, executive, advisory, and administrative functions as well. Composed of the incumbent governor general as the presidente (presiding officer), four oidores (equivalent to associate justices), an asesor (legal adviser), an alguacil mayor (chief constable), among other officials, the Real Audiencia de Manila was both a trial and appellate court. It had exclusive original, concurrent original, and exclusive appellate jurisdictions.

Initially, the Audiencia was given a non-judicial role in the colonial administration, to deal with unforeseen problems within the territory that arose from time to time—it was given the power to supervise certain phases of ecclesiastical affairs as well as regulatory functions, such as fixing of prices at which merchants could sell their commodities. Likewise, the Audiencia had executive functions, like the allotment of lands to the settlers of newly established pueblos. However, by 1861, the Audiencia had ceased to perform these executive and administrative functions and had been restricted to the administration of justice.

When the Audiencia Territorial de Cebu was established in 1886, the name of the Real Audiencia de Manila was changed to Audiencia Territorial de Manila.


The Judicial System of the
Pre-Colonization Filipinos

When the Spanish colonizers first arrived in the Philippine archipelago, they found the indigenous Filipinos without any written laws. The laws enforced were mainly derived from customs, usages, and tradition. These laws were believed to be God-given and were orally transmitted from generation to generation.

A remarkable feature of these customs and traditions was that they were found to be very similar to one another notwithstanding that they were observed in widely dispersed islands of the archipelago. There were no judges and lawyers who were trained formally in the law, although there were elders who devoted time to the study of the customs, usages, and traditions of their tribes to qualify them as consultants or advisers on these matters.

The unit of government of the indigenous Filipinos was the barangay, which was a family-based community of 30 to 100 families, occupying a pook (“locality” or “area”) headed by a chieftain called datu who exercised all functions of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—a barangay was not only a political but a social and an economic organization. In the exercise of his judicial authority, the datu acted as a judge (hukom) in settling disputes and deciding cases in his barangay.

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