Judge Ralph S. Lee, Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Philippines

December 23, 2009

Official Newsletter of the Philippine Judges Association
Special Convention Edition
October 2009

A Hero from the Bench

In the 29 September 2009 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3 days after typhoon Ondoy flooded and devastated a great part of Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, a story came out about the heroic deeds of Judge RALPH LEE, Presiding Judge, Branch 83, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. As it turned out, he was one of those unsung heroes who risked his life to save many victims of the storm in Sta. Monica, Novaliches, Quezon City with the use of his jet ski or personal water craft.

As reported in the said newspaper, “from 4 p.m. to midnight, Judge Lee combed the neighborhood 10 feet under water for trapped residents, each time loading at least three people on his machine taking them to a bakery on high ground at the Palmera 4 Subdivision, where his rescue effort was centered.” According to Judge Lee, “it probably took (him) around 20 plus trips to do that.”

Mayor Feliciano Belmonte took note of the heroic deed of Judge Lee. He referred to him as “a hero in his own right” as he “really sprang into action and got the residents moving to save their neighbors.”

The PJA is truly proud of Judge Lee for what he did. It can be said that, single-handedly, he brought honor and respect now being accorded Members of the Bench. Indeed, he has placed the Judiciary in high esteem. May the likes of Judge Lee increase whether they come from the Judiciary or from whatever station in life they may belong to.


Judge Ralph S. Lee: Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Philippines

December 23, 2009


By: Judge Ralph S. Lee

Small claims courts are courts of limited jurisdiction that expeditiously hear civil cases between private litigants without the assistance of lawyers. The amount of money claims is not more than P100,000.00. The nature of cases that can be filed in small claims court vary, but the claim must seek money only. More so, if the cause of action is the enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or arbitration award pursuant to Sec. 1417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the “Local Government Code of 1991”.

To commence an action for the enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or arbitration award, the following requirements must be complied with, namely;
a.) Statement of Claim (verified)
b.) Certified copy of the Barangay Amicable Settlement or Arbitration Award
c.) Six months has already elapsed from the date of the settlement or arbitration award
d.) The barangay settlement or award involves purely money claim of not more than P100,000.00 exclusive of interests and costs
e.) Payment of the prescribed filing fees unless allowed to litigate as an indigent.