CA, CTA, Sandiganbayan can still hold in-court hearings until Nov. 5 – SC

Published October 28, 2021, 2:53 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

Supreme Court

The Court of Appeals (CA), Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) in the National Capital Region (NCR) are still allowed to conduct in-court hearings and other proceedings on important and urgent cases until Nov. 5, the Supreme Court (SC) announced on Thursday, Oct. 28.

The importance and urgency of the cases for in-court proceedings should be determined by the court’s presiding justices or the justice who heads his or her particular division.

But the SC, in a circular issued by Acting Chief Justice Estela M. Perlas Bernabe (Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo is on wellness leave) reminded that only lawyers, parties, and witnesses should be allowed during in-court proceedings.

Just like the SC, the appellate collegiate courts – CA, CTA and Sandiganbayan – should maintain 30 percent of their total workforce reporting physically in their offices.

Trial courts in NCR – regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal court – have also been allowed to conduct in-court proceedings.

The workforce in the trial courts is limited to 50 per cent of the total number of officials and employees.

The SC adjusted court operations in NCR after the area was placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.