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Some lower court judges don’t want to avail of COVID-19 rapid testing — Leonen

/ 08:17 PM June 03, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court lamented that there are lower court judges who do not want to take advantage of an offer to take the rapid testing for COVID-19.

Speaking in a webinar arranged by the Court Appointments Watch (CAW) on the topic Challenges to Rendering Justice During and After the Pandemic, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said that aside from the Supreme Court, he believed that the Court of Appeals and even the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals are doing their own mass testing.

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“We have offered mass testing too to our trial courts, but it seems they do not want to avail of it and that to me is very strange because of the very risk of your duties to your people as well as your personnel and litigants and to your families, is to make sure that you have, you get tested in order that you can take the proper precautions,” Leonen said.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said the free rapid testing was offered only to National Capital Judicial Region (NCJR) because NCR is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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“It was voluntary so there were a number of judges who availed. Others maybe did not see the need because they had no symptoms,” Marquez said.

Currently, he said there are around 400 lower court judges in the NCR.

On the part of the Supreme Court, a total of 1,696 of its personnel and five justices got tested and were negative for COVID-19.

Rapid testing will continue until all of the 2,700 officials and employees have been tested as part of the SC’s complementary efforts to the government’s drive against COVID-19.

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TAGS: Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, COVID-19, rapid test, Supreme Court
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