Trial Court

Trial courts in Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal started operating today, Jan. 5, with at least 30 percent or a maximum of 50 percent of total personnel reporting physically for work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The three provinces, just like the National Capital Region (NCR), have been placed under the more restrictive COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until Jan. 15 due to surge in virus infections.

In a memorandum issued by Deputy Court Administrator Raul Bautista Villanueva, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) of the Supreme Court (SC), Saturday duty in trial courts in the three provinces is suspended.

Villanueva reminded trial court officials and personnel of the safety and health protocols mandated under various resolutions issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

In his circular issued last Jan. 1, Villanueva said that NCR trial courts should maintain a skeleton form of at least 30 percent to at most 50 percent “to enable the courts to sufficiently address matters and concerns, as far as practicable” from Jan. 3 to 15.

“All other directives, such as the conduct of in-court hearings, the filing or service of pleadings, motions, and other court submissions through allowable modes, or the non-suspension of the period to file or serve the same, and the continued operation of night courts… including the safety and health protocols… shall be strictly observed,” the circular also stated.

Also, due to rising cases of infections among personnel, the SC had suspended work for three days until today, Jan. 5. Work will resume on Thursday, Jan. 6, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo said.

Sandiganbayan offices in Quezon City are physically closed until Thursday, Jan. 6, when 12 employees tested positive for COVID-19 infections. Presiding Justice Amparo M.Cabotaje Tang said work will resume on Friday, Jan. 7.

Source: Manila Bulletin (