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Duterte releases guidelines for complaints filed before OP during coronavirus lockdown

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued guidelines to govern the administrative disciplinary cases, appeals to or petitions for review filed with the Office of the President during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

Administrative Order (AO) 29, signed on April 7, suspended the filing of cases, appeals, petitions for review and other pleadings during the whole duration of the ECQ period. The Luzon-wide quarantine will end on April 30.

“Since the implementation of the ECQ, the mobility of people over Luzon, and even in certain jurisdictions in Visayas and Mindanao has been heavily restricted, and lawyers, law firms, and postal services have not been included in the list of exempted individuals, entities, and services from the ECQ,” said Duterte.

Under his latest directive, the guidelines shall be applicable to cases filed against governors and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; mayors, vice mayors, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of highly urbanized cities, independent component cities, and component cities; mayors, vice mayors, and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Bayan, of cities or municipalities in Metro Manila; and all presidential appointees.

Section 3 of AO 29 provides that, the proceedings during the quarantine period will be canceled and rescheduled once the ECQ is lifted.

Exceptions to the order include “urgent cases which are necessary to enable the government to act expeditiously on matters affected the current public health emergency.”

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