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Courts nationwide resumes full operation on June 1

File photos shows the Supreme Court office in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines — All courts across the country will resume full operations starting June 1, the Supreme Court announced Friday.

“All courts and offices of the courts nationwide beginning June 1, 2020 shall be in full operation from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the National Capital Judicial Region,” Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said in Administrative Circular No. 41-2020.

Peralta said that courts outside NCR will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Night and Saturday courts, however, remain suspended.

Courts may function with only skeleton staff, Peralta said, noting that mass transportation has yet to resume in full operation.

Requests for documents and services shall still be coursed initially through hotline numbers and e-mail addresses. Walk-in requests shall not be entertained.

Pleadings may be filed either manually or electronically.

In-court trials resume

Following the easing of health protocols across the country, Peralta ordered that case hearings be done “in-court.”

“All the courts shall resolve and decide all the cases pending before them. The hearings of cases, regardless of the stage of the trial, shall all be in-court, except in cases involving Persons Deprived of Liberty who shall continue to appear remotely from the detention facility,” the circular read.

PDLs may also be excused from being physically present in the trial “in cases with extraordinary circumstances as may be determined by the justices and judges.”

In these instances, cases shall be heard through videoconferencing where the justices or judges shall preside from courtrooms or chambers.

Accused already granted bail and has therefore secured provisional liberty need not appear in court, “unless the court has special reasons to require his or her in-court presence.”

In all in-court hearings, Peralta stressed that strict health hygiene protocols shall be enforced.

The chief justice also said the SC will no longer allow extensions in filing of petitions, appeals, complaints, motions, pleadings and other court submissions that may fall on June 1.

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