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Duterte suspends proceedings vs. gov’t officials due to COVID-19

President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended the disciplinary proceedings against government officials due to travel restrictions as a result of the imposition of community quarantines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Excluded from the directive are urgent cases which are necessary to enable the government to act expeditiously on matters concerning the public health emergency, Duterte said in his Administrative Order 29 issued on Tuesday.

"Since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, the mobility of people over Luzon, and even in certain jurisdictions in Visayas and Mindanao has been heavily restricted," the order stated.

“[L]awyers, law firms and postal services have not been included in the list of exempted individuals, entities and services from the enhanced community quarantine.”

Covered by the interruption are disciplinary cases filed against governors, provincial board members, mayors, vice mayors, city or town councilors and presidential appointees as well as other matters mandated by law, rules and regulations to be filed with the Office of the President (OP).

The order also applied to the reglementary periods for the commencement of appeals, petitions for review, and administrative disciplinary cases, filing of pleadings, appearances, motions, notices and other matters.

The proceedings scheduled to take place during the enhanced community quarantine were deemed canceled and will be rescheduled upon the lifting of the quarantine by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or the OP.

The suspension had a retroactive application beginning March 17 when Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine. The tough quarantine measure will last until April 30. -NB, GMA News