Legal Terms



RESTRAINING ORDER/INJUNCTION – is a preservative remedy aimed at protecting substantial rights and interests, and it is not designed to protect contingent or future rights.


RENDITION OF JUDGMENT – the pronouncement of judgment in open court and the filing of the decision signed by the judge with the Clerk of Court (Mondala v. Mariano, A.M. No. RTJ-06-2010, Jan. 25, 2007)


GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION – capricious, oppressive, despotic, oppressive or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse must be of such degree as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and capricious manner by reason of passion and hostility. The word “capricious”, usually used in tandem with the term “arbitrary”, conveys the notion of willful and unreasoning action. (Torres v. Abundo, Sr. G.R. No. 174263, Jan. 24, 2007)


LACHES – is the failure or negligence to assert a right within a reasonable time, giving rise to a presumption that a party has abandoned it declined to assert it. It is not a mere question of lapse or passage of time but is principally a question of the inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be asserted. The doctrine of laches is based upon grounds of public policy and equity. It is invoked to discourage stale claims but is entirely addressed to the sound discretion of the court. Since it is an equitable doctrine, its application is likewise controlled by reasonable considerations. Thus, the better rule is that courts, under the principle of equity, should not be bound by the doctrine of laches if wrong or injustice will result.




PERJURY – is the willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority of law on a material matter. (Monforth III v. Salvatierra G.R. no. 168301, March 5, 2007)


The elements of perjury are as follows:

  1. That the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter.
  2. That the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and administer oath.
  3. That in the statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.
  4. That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal purpose.




GOOD MORAL CHARACTER –  what a person really is, as distinguished from good reputation, or from the opinion generally entertained of him, or the estimate in which he is held by the public in the place where he is known. (Bar Matter No. 1154)


IMMORAL CONDUCT – such conduct which is so willful, flagrant, or shameless as to show indifference to the opinion of good and respectable members of the community. (Zaguirre v. Castillo, 446 Phil. 867 (2003) )



PRE-PROCLAMATION CASES – refer to any question pertaining to or affecting the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of political parties before the board or directly with the Commission, or any matter raised under Section 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipts, cutody and appreciation of election returns. Defects and irregularities are apparent from a physical inspection of the election returns (Jainal v. Comm. On elections G. R. No. 174551, March 7, 2007)



DUE PROCESS- means a party has been given the opportunity to be heard. When a party has been afforded a chance to present his or her own side, he cannot feign denial of due process.



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