SC closes courts due to rising COVID-19 cases

January 13, 2022 Hector Lawas 146 views

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the physical closure of courts in 28 more areas now under Alert Level 3 due to a surge in COVID-19 infections caused by the wildly contagious Omicron variant.

In Supplemental Memorandum Order No. 10-2022-A, courts in the following areas will be physically closed to users:

Areas in Luzon: Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region; La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Ilocos; Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino in Cagayan Valley; Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Central Luzon; Quezon in CALABARZON; Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in MIMAROPA; and Camarines Sur and Albay in Bicol.

Areas in the Visayas: Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz and Antique in Western Visayas; Cebu City and Mandaue City in Central Visayas; and Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas.

Mindanao areas: Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao; Davao City in Davao region; Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in CARAGA; and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Likewise, the presiding justice of the Court of Appeals was authorized to issue appropriate orders for the operation of Cebu and Cagayan de Oro CA stations.

On Wednesday, the SC ordered that courts in the National Capital Region and 14 other areas will be physically closed starting January 13 until January 31, 2022.

The 14 other areas are the following: Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and 14 other areas in the country placed under Alert Level 3 (Baguio City, Dagupan City, City of Santiago and Cagayan in Region 2, Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, Batangas, Lucena City, Naga City, Iloilo City, and Lapu-Lapu City.

All in-court proceedings are suspended but videoconferencing may proceed on important matters such as inquest, bail hearings, the promulgation of acquittals and dismissals in criminal cases, habeas corpus petitions, among other seriously important matters.

Also, the filing periods of any and all pleadings and other court submissions that will fall due this month are extended until February 1, 2022.