Gov't defers proceedings on pending administrative cases vs officials

Published April 8, 2020, 7:16 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has deferred the proceedings on pending administrative disciplinary cases against officials, appeals, and petitions for review before the Office of the President (OP) until after the Luzon-wide quarantine is lifted.

Exempted are urgent cases necessary to enable the government to act fast on matters related to the coronavirus emergency.

The latest Palace decision is included in the new guidelines on the interruption for the filing of cases, appeals, petitions for review, and other pleadings with the OP during the quarantine period. The guidelines are listed in Administrative Order No. 29 signed by President Duterte last March 7.

“The reglementary periods for the commencement of appeals, petitions for review, and administrative disciplinary cases, filing of pleadings, appearances, motions, notices, and all other papers shall be deemed interrupted during the entire duration of the ECQ until the lifting thereof by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) or the Office of the President,” the order read.

The rendition of judgment, resolutions, and orders shall also be deemed interrupted during the period, according to Medialdea.

“The proceedings scheduled to take place during the covered period under the ECQ shall be deemed cancelled and shall be rescheduled upon the lifting of the ECQ by the IATF or the Office of the President,” the order added.

The new administrative order was issue due to the impact of the Luzon-wide quarantine on the movement of people.

“Since the implementation of the ECQ, the mobility of people over Luzon and even in certain jurisdictions in Visayas and Mindanao has been heavily restricted, and lawyers, law firms, and postal services have not been included in the list of exempted individuals, entities, and services from the ECQ,” the order read.

The guidelines of AO 29 will be applicable to all appeals, petitions for review, and administrative disciplinary cases filed against governors, members of the Sangguniang Panlalalawigan, mayors, vice mayors,members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, and all presidential appointees.

The suspension of the periods will be retroactively applied beginning March 17.

“The foregoing provisions shall not be applicable to urgent cases which are necessary to enable the government to act expeditiously on matters affecting the current public health emergency,” the order said.

The AO noted that under Republic Act No. 11469, the Bayanihan law, the President is empowered to move statutory deadline and timelines for the filing and submission of any document, the payment of taxes, fees, and other charges required by law to ease the burden of the people during the community quarantine.

The enhanced community quarantine, implemented since March 17, has been extended until April 30.

It was supposed to last until April 12 but President Duterte decided to extend it to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus as well as give the government ample time to enhance the country’s health facilities and resources.