Courts in Metro Manila, ECQ, MECQ areas 'physically closed' until August 14
This file photo shows the Supreme Court compound in Padre Faura, Manila. Cagadas
Courts in Metro Manila, ECQ, MECQ areas 'physically closed' until August 14
Kristine Joy Patag ( - August 3, 2020 - 10:10am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court ordered the physical closure of courts in Metro Manila and other localities under stricter quarantine protocols from August 3 to 14 amid rising COVID-19 infections.

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Sunday night directed courts under the National Capital Judicial Region as well as those in areas under enhanced community Quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) "physically closed to all court users" until August 14.

Courts covered by the order can be reached through their respective hotlines, email addresses and/or Facebook accounts. Inquiries on transactions and requests for documents may also be coursed through these channels.

The announcement came prior to Malacañang’s move to revert Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite to MECQ status from August 4 to 18, following the recommendation of the inter-agency task force on COVID-19.

This was after medical professionals and frontliners over the weekend urged the national government to reform and recalibrate its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, slamming what they called the administration's militarist approach.

Higher courts operations

The SC’s essential offices and services shall continue in-court with a skeleton staff during the period.

Sessions by the tribunal as a full court and its three divisions meanwhile will be held through videoconferencing.

The Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeals shall continue to receive petitions and pleadings electronically, and resolve cases pending before them. Hearings will be held through videoconferencing.

Regional trial courts, family courts and first level courts

All pleadings for civil and criminal cases shall be filed electronically to the branch where the case is pending.

Courts are also authorized to hear the cases through videoconferencing. “In-court hearings may be conducted should the judge find them to be necessary,” Peralta said.

A skeleton staff, assigned by the executive judge, will attend to concerns that may not be addressed online.

Night courts and Saturday courts shall also remain suspended until August 14.

In the past four days, the Department of Health reported record high tallies for single-day new coronavirus. On Sunday, it logged 5,032 new infections, pushing the national tally to 103,185.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 18, 2020 - 4:47pm

Metro Manila and other “highrisk” areas were placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine last May 16, which is more relaxed than ECQ, but has more restrictions compared with the general community quarantine (GCQ). Bookmark this page for updates. Photo by The STAR/Michael Varcas

August 18, 2020 - 4:47pm

Sen. Bong Revilla, who earlier tested positive for COVID-19, was rushed to the hospital, according to his wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado.

"He is being rushed to the hospital. His latest X-ray shows that he has developed pneumonia and isolation in a regular facility is no longer ideal," Mercado says in a Facebook post Tuesday.

August 18, 2020 - 4:23pm

The Department of Health reports 4,836 additional COVID-19 cases in the country, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 169,213.

The DOH also logs 182 new recoveries, bringing the total of recovered patients to 112,861. The national death toll is now at 2,687 with the addition of 7 new reported deaths.

Total active cases (net of COVID-19 deaths and recoveries) in the Philippines is now at 53,665.

August 17, 2020 - 4:27pm

The Department of Health reports 3,314 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, bringing the total cases on the country to 164,474.

The health department also announced 237 new recoveries, pushing the total of recovered patients to 112,759. The national death toll is now at 2,681 following 18 new reported deaths.

The total active COVID-19 cases (net of deaths and recoveries) in the Philippines is now at 49,034.

August 17, 2020 - 2:52pm

President Rodrigo Duterte is under "perpetual isolation" as a precaution against COVID-19, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says.

According to Roque, there is a velvet rope keeping people six feet away from the president.

In August, Duterte had a meeting with DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano, who later on tested positive for the virus once again.

August 6, 2020 - 4:15pm

The Department of Health on Thursday reports 3,561 additional COVID-19 cases in the country based on tests from 89 out of 98 operational labs. This pushes the national tally of coronavirus cases in the Philippines to 119,460.

The health department also announcs 569 new recoveries, raising the total number of recoveries to 66,867. The national death toll is now at 2,150 with 28 additional fatalities.

The country's total active cases (net of COVID-19 deaths and recoveries) is now at 50,473.

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