Supreme Court suspends Judiciary work, hearings nationwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 16) - The Supreme Court suspended Judiciary work as well as hearings throughout the country during the month-long travel restriction amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision was made after Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta met today with the Supreme Court task force, the team that addresses judiciary concerns on the COVID-19.

Peralta issued Administrative Circular 31-2020 which requires all courts nationwide to substantially reduce operations. This is effective beginning March 16 until April 15.

Work in all courts, court offices, divisions, sections, and units, including in the Supreme Court are suspended, except in courts and court offices concerned with the resolution of urgent matters and cases, the payments of salaries in the Judiciary, the release of the 2019 Bar Examination results, medical services, and security of the courts.

Meanwhile, all hearings nationwide are also suspended. However, those of urgent matters, such as petitions, motions, and pleadings in relation to bail and habeas corpus, promulgation of judgements of acquittals, reliefs for those who may be arrested and detained during this period, and othe related actions that may be filed in relation to measures imposed at the local or national levels to address the declared health emergency. cannot be heard in the suspension period.

Filing of petitions and appeals, complaints, motions, pleadings, and other court submission that fall from March 15 to April 15 is extended for 30 days after April 16.