People v Gines; G.R. No. 83463; 27 May 1991; 197 SCRA 481

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Private respondents were charged with libel. After hearings had been reset several times mostly on the instance of the private complainant who had to undergo eye surgery, respondent judge dismissed the case against the two accused due to the failure of private complainant to appear.

Whether or not the right of the accused to a speedy trial had been violated.

NO. The right to a speedy trial is relative, subject to reasonable delays and postponements arising from illness, medical attention, body operations, etc. Private complainant’s absences at the hearings of the case were in good faith and he had justifiable and meritorious reasons therefor. Said absences were evidently not capricious, oppressive nor vexatious to the two accused who had waived their appearance at the trial of the case.

Petition is GRANTED. Orders of respondent judge are SET ASIDE.

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