The Supreme Court (SC) expanded its closure order to courts in more areas amid the soaring coronavirus infections.
Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo made the order in supplemental Memorandum 10-2022A, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) placed 28 more areas under Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31.
Named in the SC order were courts in Luzon, particularly Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Region 1 (Ilocos); Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley); Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Region 3 (Central Luzon); Quezon Province in Region 4-A (Calabarzon); Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in Region 4-B (Mimaropa); and Camarines Sur and Albay in Region 5 (Bicol).
In the Visayas, the memorandum covers Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz, and Antique in Region 6 (Western Visayas); Cebu City and Mandaue City in Region 7 (Central Visayas); and Tacloban City in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas).
In Mindanao, the order also includes Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); Davao City in Region 11 (Davao); Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in Caraga; and Cotabato City in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The memorandum also authorized the Office of the Court Administrator to address urgent concerns in the courts and likewise authorized the Court of Appeals (CA) to issue appropriate office orders for the operation of its Cebu and Cagayan de Oro stations. (PNA)