The Supreme Court has ordered trial courts in many other provinces and cities, including the Court of Appeals’ stations in the Visayas and Mindanao, physically closed starting yesterday until Jan. 31.
The order covers the trial courts in Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region; La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Region I; Nueva Ecija, Isabela and Quirino in Region II; Tarlac in Region III; Quezon in Region IV-A; Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in Region IV-B; and Camarines Sur and Albay in Region V.
In the Visayas, physically-closed courts are those in Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz, and Antique in Region VI; Cebu City and Mandaue City in Region VII; and Tacloban City in Region VIII.
In Mindanao, affected courts are those in Cagayan de Oro City in Region IX; Davao City in Region X; Butuan City, Agusan del Sur in Region XIII; and Cotabato City in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The directive is contained in a supplemental memorandum issued by Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.
CA Presiding Justice Remedios Salazar Fernando was authorized to issue office orders on the operation of the appellate court’s stations in Cebu City and Cagayan de Oro City.
Deputy Court Administrator Raul Bautista Villanueva – officer-in-charge of the SC’s Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) – was also ordered to issue appropriate circulars to address the concerns of executive and presiding judges of trial courts in implementing the physical closure of courts.
Last Jan. 12, Chief Justice Gesmundo declared physically closed all courts in the National Capital Region, including the SC, the CA in Manila, Court of Tax Appeals, and the Sandiganbayan until Jan. 31.
Also declared physically closed are trial courts in the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan and Rizal, and in 14 other areas in the country under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
The 14 other areas under Alert Level 3 are Baguio City in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); Dagupan City in Region 1; City of Santiago and Cagayan in Region 2; Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga and Zambales in Region 3; Batangas and Lucena City in Region 4-A; Naga City in Region 5; Iloilo City in Region 6; and Lapu-lapu City in Region 7.
Gesmundo said physically-closed courts may be contacted through their hotlines and email addresses posted in the SC website – sc.judiciary.gov.ph.