Time

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Thee most common error people will commit this January will be in writing the year. For the entire year, we have been accustomed with “2019” but now that the year has changed, writing “2020” will be first things we will have to get used to. Since the beginning of history, humans have been fascinated with the concept of “time” and it has baffled the greatest minds. Several instruments and devices were invented to tell or measure time like the sundial, watch, calendar, and others. Time travel has been an obsession of some who believe that going back or forward in time is possible. Yet our curiosity of what our future will be is perhaps universal. Almost everyone would like to know what may happen in the future so that we may be better prepared for it. I believe that the uncertainty about the future makes us anxious and we undertake all that is necessary so that we will not be caught off-guard by the surprise our future holds. Legally speaking, the computation of time is something every lawyer has to be aware of since it can mean victory or defeat. Cases can be dismissed because of a pleading is filed out of time. Rights can also be lost if the same is not asserted within the time period or time designated by law.


Legal Time

Article 13 of The Civil Code  states: “When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise. If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have.In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included.” In many of our laws and other legal issuances time is usually an essential element specially with respect to the date of effectivity. The effectivity clause usually states: “this law shall take effect after Fifteen (15) days of its publication in a newspaper of general circulation”. It is very important to know when the law takes effect and as the above article states, the day of publication shall be excluded and the law will then take effect the day following the last day. In contracts such as indebtedness, the computation of penalties or interests depend upon the period agreed upon. If the contract says that penalties and interests shall be imposed if the money is not returned after one month from the execution of the contract, it means that interest and penalties will be imposed if the money is not returned after thirty days. If, however, it says “after the month of December 2015” then interest and penalties will accrue after the 31st day of December and not necessarily after 30 days.

Being on Time

Under our laws, rules and jurisprudence, time is very essential. If the court grants a party a period of time within which to submit a pleading, submission of the ordered pleading after the stated period may no longer be considered by the court since it was filed out of time. In counting days non-working holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays will be included but if the last day falls on such days the next working day which follows will be considered as the last day. Obviously no one will be in court to receive the pleading to be filled during non-working holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Reconsiderations, appeals, and other remedies have often been denied because they were not filed on time. A litigant may even be barred from filling a case even if a clear right exists, because the time within which it should have been instituted has expired. This technicality can make a person victorious or a criminal free from any liability even without filing a single case.


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