Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Wednesday (April 8) ordered all courts to remain closed until April 30.
Peralta gave the directive under an administrative circular in response to the government’s decision to extend the enhanced community quarantine up to April 30.
“All courts nationwide shall remain physically closed to all court users until 30 April 2020, and may be reached only through their respective hotline numbers, email addresses and/or Facebook accounts as posted on the website of the Supreme Court. 2,” read his circular.
“All hearings nationwide, except on urgent matters, shall remain suspended until 30 April 2020,” it added.
While the courts shall remain physically closed to all court users, Peralta reminded “the courts shall continue to operate from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday, until 30 April 2020. All electronic communications however must be transmitted by court users from 8:30am to 2:00pm.”
This also means that “filing of criminal complaints and informations, posting of bail, and submission of other urgent pleadings shall continue to be in effect until 30 April 2020.”
With this, Peralta also instructed courts that “scheduling of justices- and judges-on-duty, together with the skeleton-staff, shall continue until 30 April 2020, so that urgent matters may be addressed.”
While the courts remain closed, Peralta asked all magistrates to “continue to draft decisions and orders in their respective residences until 30 April 2020, which decisions and orders shall be promulgated or issued once the courts are fully operational.