Taking cue from Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has directed all prosecution offices in the country to close starting Monday (March 23).
“Upon the directive of the Secretary, all prosecution offices nationwide shall be physically closed effective 23 March 2020 and for the duration of the public health emergency,” read a notice from Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay who oversees the operations of the National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Though they are directed “to stay in their residences, Sugay reminded that prosecutors and their staff will remain on call.
“Please ensure the availability at all times of inquest prosecutors who shall be on-call,” he said.
Because of this, Sugay told prosecutors to coordinate with police and law enforcement units “for purposes of inquest and very urgent court duty where and when necessary.”
“No travel or leave applications shall be allowed/granted during the period of the public health emergency,” stressed Sugay.
Guevarra gave the closure orders after Peralta on Friday (March 20) that “all courts nationwide, from the Supreme Court down to the first level courts, shall be physically closed to all court users and may be reached only through their respective hotlines and email addresses and Facebook accounts, if available, effective 23 March 2020, Monday.”