Manila court judges, personnel told to isolate due to COVID-19 threat
This undated photo shows Manila City Hall at night.
CC BY-SA 3.0/Corteco8/Wikimedia
Manila court judges, personnel told to isolate due to COVID-19 threat
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - June 18, 2020 - 2:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — Manila court judges and personnel were told to isolate themselves until the end of the month after two employees were confirmed to have been in close contact with COVID-19 infected persons.

Manila Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Virgilio Macaraig issued a memorandum on Thursday directing all RTC judges and court personnel to undergo self-quarantine “considering that two court employees were in contact with close relatives who were found positive of COVID-19.”

Should judges and personnel develop symptoms, they are ordered to immediately report to a barangay health worker and to the executive judge.

Macaraig did not identify from the court branch that the personnel are from.

Earlier this week, local and international media personnel went to the Manila court building to cover the promulgation of the cyber libel case against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher Reynaldo Santos.

Manila RTC Branch 46 allowed only three media representatives into the court room.

A press conference was set up at the Manila City Hall’s Rodriguez Hall after the promulgation.

Videoconferencing

Macaraig left the discretion of proceeding with in-court hearings to the judges.

Meanwhile “affected courts may conduct hearings through video conferencing away from home and accept pleadings, motions filed electronically during the period of self-quarantine pursuant to circulars issued by the Supreme Court,” the memorandum further read.

He also reminded all court personnel and judges to monitor their hotlines and email for urgent queries.

Disinfection and sanitation in the court premises will be scheduled later. “One staff member for each branch may be assigned to admit city hall personnel inside their offices to supervise the sanitation,” the memorandum further read.

Earlier this week, Mandaluyong  Acting Executive Judge Ofelia Calo said that the city’s New Hall of Justice will be closed from June 15 to 29 after a public prosecutor in its Office of the City Prosecutor tested positive for COVID-19.

The Old Ombudsman Building that houses trial courts for Manila will also be on lockdown in the same period.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MANILA CITY HALL NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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