Continuous Trial System
- Trial once commenced shall continue from day to day as far as
practicable until terminated; but it may be postponed for a
reasonable period of time for good cause.
Trial shall in no case exceed 180 days from the first day of trial,
except as otherwise provided by the Supreme Court.
The SC adopted the continuous trial system as a mode of judicial
fact-finding and adjudication conducted with speed and dispatch so
that trials are held on the scheduled dates without postponement,
the factual issues for trial well-defined at pre-trial and the whole
proceedings terminated and ready for judgment within 90 days from the
date of initial hearing, unless for meritorious reasons an extension
The non-appearance of the prosecution at the trial, despite due notice,
justified a provisional dismissal or an absolute dismissal depending
upon the circumstances.
Cases Where Time Limitation Is Inapplicable:
1. Criminal cases covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure or those
where the penalty does not exceed 6 months imprisonment or a fine
of P1,000 as governed by the Rules on Summary Procedure
2. When the offended party is about to depart with no definite date
3. Child abuse cases
4. Violations of Dangerous Drugs Law
5. Kidnapping, robbing in a band, robbery against banking or financial
institution, Violation of Carnapping Act and other heinous crimes.
Requisites Before A Trial Can Be Put On Account Of The Absence
1. That the witness is material and appears to the court to be so;
2. That the party who applies has been guilty of no neglect;
3. That the witnesses can be had at the time to which the trial is
deferred and incidentally that no similar evidence could be obtained;
4. That an affidavit showing the existence of the above circumstances
must be filed.
Remedies Of Accused Where A Prosecuting Officer Without Good Cause
Secure Postponements Of The Trial Of A Defendant Against His Protest
Beyond A Reasonable Period Of Time:
1. Mandamus to compel
2. If he is restrained of his liberty, by habeas corpus to obtain
Duties Of Presiding Judge Under The Continuous Trial System:
1. Adhere faithfully to the session hours prescribed by laws;
2. Maintain full control of the proceedings;
3. Efficiently allocate and use time and court resources to avoid