Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo has decided to extend up to the end of the month the physical closure of all courts in Metro Manila and other areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“Considering that the National Capital Region, and the provinces of Abra, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Quirino and Rizal, and Santiago City are under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until 30 April 2021, the physical closure of courts in the said areas is likewise extended to 30 April 2021,” read the administrative circular issued by Gesmundo dated April 14.
Gesmundo earlier issued a circular ordering the courts in these areas physically closed until April 18.
“The courts in other localized Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and MECQ shall likewise be physically closed for the duration of such ECQ or MECQ,” he added.
During this period, Gesmundo the courts in areas under MECQ and ECQ shall “continue to operate through videoconferencing as far as practicable.”
“Judges may conduct fully remote videoconferencing hearings on pending cases and other matters, whether urgent or not, regardless of their physical location and without prior permission from the Office of the Court Administrator,” the chief justice said.
“The time for filing and service of pleadings and motions during this period is suspended and shall resume seven calendar days counter from the first day of physical reopening of the relevant court,” he added.