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The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed a regional trial court (RTC) in Jolo, Sulu to temporarily close until November after a staff caught the COVID-19 virus.

In a memorandum, Deputy Court Administrator Leo Madrazo said the SC’s Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) has granted the request of Jolo RTC Branch 25 Presiding Judge Shaldilyn Bangsaja for the temporary closure.

Madrazo said the judge had cited that “a court employee of RTC Branch 25, Jolo, Sulu tested positive for Covid-19 on 17 October 2020.”

Because of this, Madrazo said “this Office grants your request for the physical work suspension of RTC Branch 25, Jolo, Sulu from 20 October 2020 to 03 November 2020.”

“Court operations for RTC Branch 25, Jolo, Sulu shall continue to be covered by a work-from-home arrangement and the conduct of videoconferencing hearings shall be allowed for said duration of time,” advised the deputy court administrator.

“Relative thereto, strict observance of the relevant provisions on the use of videoconferencing technology and the significant provisions on the Rules on Electronic Evidence is advised,” he added.

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