More courts physically closed until end-January amid COVID-19 surge

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2022 01:25 PM

MANILA- More courts will be physically closed starting Friday until the end of the month, after the government placed more areas in the country under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and Level 4, the Supreme Court said. 

In a new circular, Supreme Court Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva said the judges, court personnel, and court users are directed to heed the guidelines in line with the temporary closure. 

The Supreme Court already ordered the closure of courts in 27 other areas last week. 

The courts in the following areas will be physically closed: 

  •  Apayao
  •  Puerto Princesa City 
  •  Masbate
  •  Siquijor 
  •  Zamboanga Del Norte
  •  Zamboanga Sibugay 
  •  Lanao Del Norte 
  •  Davao De Oro 
  •  Davao Oriental 
  •  North Cotabato 
  •  Sarangani 
  •  Sultan Kudarat 
  •  Surigao Del Norte 
  •  Maguindanao 
  •  Basilan 

The courts in Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar — now in Alert Level 4 — were already physically closed until the end of the month after their areas were placed under Alert Level 3 last week. 

Villanueva said the courts' operations are still covered by the guidelines on the matter. 

"In the event that there are specific matters that may apply only to areas declared under Alert Level 4 by the IATF during the subject period... the same should be brought to the attention of the OCA by the concerned Executive Judge and Presiding Judge for appropriate action," it read. 

The Philippines is currently experiencing a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases most likely driven by the omicron variant. 

On Thursday, the country confirmed more than 31,000 new infections, pushing the total number of active cases to over 275,000. 

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