By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the closure of all prosecution offices nationwide starting Monday, March 23.
The Secretary gave the directive after Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Friday, March 20, ordered all courts nationwide to physically shutdown starting Monday due to continued rise of case of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Upon the directive of the Secretary, all prosecution offices nationwide shall be physically closed effective 23 March 2020 and for the duration of the public health emergency,” said Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay in a notice.
“Everyone is directed to stay in their respective residences,” instructed Sugay who has supervision over the National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Sugay said prosecutors and support staff will only go to their respective offices “for very urgent matters.”
“Please ensure the availability at all times of inquest prosecutors who shall be on-call,” he reminded.
“No travel or leave applications shall be allowed/granted during the period of the public health emergency,” he added
With this, the Undersecretary directed all prosecution offices “to coordinate immediately with the local PNP (Philippine National Police) and other law enforcement units and to make available the names of our designated contact/point persons and/or all contact details for purposes of inquest and very urgent court duty where and when necessary.”