The Supreme Court has reorganized the membership of its three divisions following the assumption last week of Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.
Gesmundo now heads the First Division, which will also be composed of Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa as working chair and Associate Justices Rodil Zalameda, Rosmari Carandang, and Samuel Gaerlan as members.
Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe is the chairman of the Second Division with Associate Justices Amy Lazaro Javier, Mario Lopez, Ricardo Rosario, and Jhosep Lopez as members.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen has been designated as the chair of the Third Division with Associate Justices Ramon Paul Hernando, Jean Paul Inting, Edgardo Delos Santos, and Jhosep Lopez as members.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ordered the physical closure of courts in Abra and Quirino provinces as well as Santiago City in Isabela until April 18 after these areas have been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Gesmundo earlier ordered for the continued physical closure of courts in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal until April 18 even before Malacanang announced that the NCR Plus area would be placed under MECQ until the end of the month.
While all courts in areas under MECQ are physically closed, the SC said they could still be reached through their hotlines and email addresses.
These courts would also continue to operate via videoconferencing.
“Judges may conduct fully remote videoconferencing hearings on pending cases and other matters, whether urgent or not, regardless of their physical location and without prior permission from the Office of the Court Administrator,” Gesmundo said.
During this period, the time for filing and service of pleadings and motions would be suspended and shall resume after seven calendar days, counted from the first day of physical reopening of the court.