All courts in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) are open starting Monday, May 17, with 50 per cent of total personnel reporting physically for work.
But courts in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ) are still physically closed and may be reached through their hotlines and email addresses listed in the Supreme Court’s (SC) website – sc.judiciary.gov.ph.
Trial court judges in GCQ areas “may conduct fully remote video conferencing hearings with notice to the Office of the Court Administrator provided they will be within their respective judicial territorial region,” the circular issued by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo stated.
“All justices, judges, court personnel, and court users are reminded to continue to strictly observe safety protocols,” it also stated.
Aside from the National Capital Region and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal, other areas under GCQ until May 31 are Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Puerto Princesa City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.
Areas under MECQ are Santiago City in Isabela, Quirino, Ifugao, and Zamboanga City. There are also areas under ECQ declared by local government units.
The offices of the Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals and the Sandiganbayan in NCR are also open.
The SC will conduct online oral arguments on 37 petitions against the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act on Monday, May 17.
Once the arguments are terminated, the SC will go into a month-long decision-writing period.