SC shuts down Metro Manila courts amid surge in COVID cases
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has ordered the closure of all courts in areas under the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble until Friday amid rising cases of COVID-19.
In a statement on Thursday, the Supreme Court’s Public Information Office (PIO) said the high court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, Sandiganbayan and regional trial courts in NCR and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal would be physically closed starting 2 p.m. on Thursday until Friday.
During the closure, the Supreme Court PIO said offices must remain accessible to the public and court users through their hotlines and email addresses.
67 COVID cases
Hearings are suspended during the period, except on urgent matters such as motions and pleadings in relation to bail and habeas corpus, promulgation of judgments of acquittals, reliefs for those who may be arrested and detained, and other related actions, it added.
The Supreme Court has logged some 67 active COVID-19 cases among its personnel as of Thursday.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said another employee of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has died due to COVID-19.
He said the 54-year-old male employee of the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) was one of the 17 WPP personnel who tested positive for the virus.
Another DOJ employee died after getting infected with COVID-19 last month.
A total of 50 DOJ employees have tested positive for COVID-19 this year, he added.
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