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SC allows skeleton force in courts

THE Supreme Court (SC) has authorized first and second level courts to, subject to the discretion of the presiding judge, maintain a 50 percent skeleton workforce from March 15 to March 24, 2021.

This as coronavirus cases in the country rose, with 4,889 new infections as of Sunday. The Department of Health said the new cases pushed the total active cases in the country to 48,157.

Earlier, the OCTA Research group said daily new cases of COVID-19 in the country may reach 7,000 by the end of March.

In OCA (Office of the Court Administrator) Circular No. 40-2021, those who will not be allowed to work in-court are required to work from home. Judges and court personnel are required to observe safety health protocols.

Meanwhile, the SC came up with an advisory announcing the resumption of oral arguments on petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 on March 23, 2021, Tuesday.

The oral arguments was supposed to resume today, but the SC extended cancellation of work to give way for sanitation and disinfection operations.

The SC was hearing oral arguments on multitude of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the controversial legislation which President Duterte signed last July 3.

Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism bill, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.

The President has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years