Hall of Justice under lockdown after 10 staff test positive for Covid-19

Oct. 19, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Hall of Justice will be closed temporarily until October 30 after ten court employees tested positive for Covid-19.

A memorandum was issued by Deputy Court Administrator Leo Madrazo on October 16 announcing the closure, following a request by RTC Davao Executive Judge Emmanuel Carpio for the “physical closure” of all courts in the building, including the Candelaria Building starting October 19 until October 30.

“To forestall the escalation on the number of contamination and affliction of the unabated fatal virus, and pending the result of the swab tests on affected employees/individuals, the undersigned finds it most prudent to recommend for the physical closure of the entire Hall of Justice,” Carpio’s letter said.

Ten staff of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 3 tested positive for Covid-19, which prompted City Health Office to conduct contact tracing of employees, litigants, and lawyers who may have come in close contact with the infected staff.

Last Saturday, all employees in the Hall of Justice underwent swab testing to prevent the escalation of the virus.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had earlier announced the issue to the public through Disaster Radio DCDR 87.5 FM.

With the ten day quarantine, the City Prosecutors Office (CPO) said they will maintain a work from home system for prosecutors, staff and employees, while scheduled court hearings and proceedings will be made via video conferencing, said Prosecutor Jay Karel Sanchez, spokesperson of CPO.

CPO will continue its inquest proceeding through its electronic system. Preliminary investigation of all complaints will be filed through electronic mail. All complainants are expected to submit their physical copies of complaints on November 3, 2020.

“We have been practicing the electronic proceedings for the entire quarantine period or for seven months already so we will just continue despite the temporary closure,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez added that the filing of counter-affidavits, motion for reconsiderations and other pleadings are also through electronic mails.(davaotoday.com)

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