Covid causes Hall of Justice closure

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BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

The Bacolod Hall of Justice will be closed until Sunday due to exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 individual, Executive Judge Edgar Tupas said in a notice released yesterday.

Those who came in contact with the COVID-positive male employee have already quarantined themselves, a source said.

Pursuant to the authority granted by the Office of the Court Administrator as well as the request of the Bacolod City government, all branches of the Bacolod City Regional Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, and the Offices of the Clerk and the Philippine Mediation Center Bacolod City Unit at the Bacolod Hall of Justice were closed starting yesterday, Tupas said.

The Bacolod Hall of Justice will undergo disinfection during the period of physical closure, he added.

However, he said court operations will continue and the offices affected may be contacted through their respective hotline numbers and judiciary email addresses.

The courts concerned may also conduct video conference hearings and accept pleadings through electronic filing pursuant to existing circulars issued by the Supreme Court, he added.

Non-judiciary occupants of the Hall of Justice were instructed to complete preparations for the disinfection of their offices not later than 5 p.m. yesterday.

Arrangements for the continuation of the inquests of the city and provincial prosecutors’ offices during the period of the Hall of Justice’s physical closure for disinfection will be made, Tupas said.

Meanwhile, several banks in Bacolod City have also closed for disinfection.*

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