This constitutional right is not limited to the

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This constitutional right is not limited to the accused in criminal proceedings but extends to all parties in all cases, be it civil or administrative in nature, as well as all proceedings, either judicial or quasi-judicial. In this accord, any party to a case may demand expeditious action to all officials who are tasked with the administration of justice. Jurisprudence dictates that the right is deemed violated only when the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and secured; or even without cause or justifiable motive, a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried. Hence, in the determination of whether the defendant has been denied his right to a speedy disposition of a case, the following factors may be considered and balanced: (1) the length of delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and (4) the prejudice caused by the delay. DIGEST: The sole issue raised for the Court’s resolution is whether the SB gravely abused its discretion in finding that petitioners’ right to speedy disposition of cases was not violated. The petitions are meritorious. A person’s right to the speedy disposition of his case is guaranteed under Section 16, Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution (Constitution) which provides: SEC. 16. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. This constitutional right is not limited to the accused in criminal proceedings but extends to all parties in all cases, be it civil or administrative in nature, as well as all proceedings, either judicial or quasi-judicial. In this accord, any party to a case may demand expeditious action to all officials who are tasked with the administration of justice. It must be noted, however, that the right to speedy disposition of cases should be understood to be a relative or flexible concept such that a mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved would not be sufficient.22 Jurisprudence dictates that the right is deemed violated only when the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and secured; or even without cause or justifiable motive, a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried. Hence, in the determination of whether the defendant has been denied his right to a speedy disposition of a case, the following factors may be considered and balanced: (1) the length of delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and (4) the prejudice caused by the delay.
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