Pleadings, judgments on administrative matters before Office of the President interrupted due to ECQ
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the interruption of the period to file pleadings and render judgments on administrative cases under his office due to the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, including Metro Manila.
Administrative Order No. 29, whichDuterte signed on April 7, prescribes the guidelines on the interruption of periods for filing of cases, appeals, petitions for review, and other pleadings with the Office of the President of the Philippines during the ECQ.
"Since the implementation of the ECQ, the mobility of people over Luzon and even in certain jurisdictions in Visayas and Mindanao has been heavily restricted, and lawyers, law firms, and postal services have not been included in the list of exempted individuals, entities, and services from the ECQ," the AO read.
With this, the AO said, "The reglamentary periods for the commencement of appeals, petitions for review, and administrative disciplinary cases, filing pleadings, appearances, motions, notices, and all other papers shall be deemed interrupted during the entire duration of the ECQ until the lifting thereof by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) or the Office of the President."
"It is likewise understood that the reglamentary periods for the rendition of judgments, resolutions, and orders shall also be deemed interrupted during said period," it added.
The guidelines shall be applicable to all appeals, petitions for review, and administrative disciplinary cases filed against the governors and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; mayors, vice mayors, and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of highly urbanized cities, independent component cities, and component cities; mayors, vice mayors, and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Bayan, of cities or municipalities in Metro Manila; and all presidential appointees, and other matters mandated by law, rules and regulations to be filed with the OP.
The Order said that the proceedings scheduled to take place during the covered period under the ECQ shall be deemed cancelled and shall be rescheduled upon the lifting of the ECQ by the IATF or the OP.
Duterte has extended the Luzon-wide lockdown until April 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, the AO said "urgent cases," which are necessary to enable the government to act expeditiously on matters affecting the current public health emergency is exempted from the AO.
The guidelines set under the AO shall also be without prejudice to any relevant future directive of the IATF or the OP.
The order has retroactive application, with the suspension of the periods effective beginning March 17, when the ECQ started.
The AO shall take effect immediately following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. Celerina Monte/DMS