Gesmundo orders Metro Manila courts: Suspend work on Jan 6-7

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Courts in Metro Manila have been ordered to suspend work this Jan. 6 and 7 due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In a circular issued Wednesday, Deputy Court Administrator Raul Bautista Villanueva gave the directive, upon clearance from Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, so that the two days will be used “for further disinfection of court premises, a more comprehensive contact tracing and an exhaustive antigen and/or RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing of Judges and court personnel.

He explained the move was made due to increasing number of judges and court personnel who tested positive with COVID-19 after undergoing antigen and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

Villanueva added that in the past few days Metro Manila is “becoming a ‘critical risk’ area for COVID-19.”

“Due to the above work suspension, the periods for filing any and all pleadings and other court submissions that would fall due on said days are hereby extended and will become due on 10 January 2022,” he instructed.

“Judges may still conduct fully-remote videoconferencing hearings, regardless of their physical location, and as far as practicable, for cases that must be urgently heard or litigated only on the above days,” he added.