Criminal Complaints and Information may be filed electronically or by email to the proper court.
How to Contact Courts during ECQ
All courts nationwide are physically closed to all court users and may only be reached through their respective hotlines, email addresses, or Facebook accounts, if any.
- While the courts shall remain physically closed, these will continue to operate from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday, until 30 April 2020.
- Court users are advised to first call the proper court to determine if the matter being raised is urgent. If deemed urgent, only then will the Judge-on-Duty (JOD) and skeleton staff go to the court to receive and act on the urgent matter.
- All calls and messages shall only be entertained from 8:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Local courts’ contact details may be found on the Supreme Court website. For general concerns about the Judiciary, the following may be used to get in touch with the Supreme Court:
Hotline Numbers: (02) 8526-6185; (02) 8552-9644; (02)8552-9646; (0908)8500919
Email Address: email@example.com
JPAS Portal (Online Form): scservicedesk.atlassian.net/servicedesk/customer/portals
Suspension and Rescheduling of Hearings
All hearings nationwide, except on urgent matters, are suspended until 30 April 2020. Hearings will be reset and parties involved will be informed of the new schedule.
Postponement and Cancellation of Judiciary Activities
- All official functions in the Judiciary are postponed until after 30 April 2020, except those authorized by the Chief Justice or by the Judiciary Task Force on COVID-19.
- All programs and activities of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) from 16 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 are cancelled until further notice.
Filing of Criminal Complaints
Criminal Complaints and Informations may be filed electronically or by email to the proper court. Once received, the documents will be evaluated by the Judge within three days of filing.
- The Judge may immediately dismiss the case if probable cause is not found. Otherwise, the Judge will issue a warrant of arrest or commitment order. If necessary, the Judge may also ask the prosecutor to submit additional evidence electronically.
- All submissions to the courts must be in PDF form. It must contain the case number, case title, and the caption, title, or heading of the pleading (e.g. Crim. Case No. 12345, People v. Juan Dela Cruz, Motion for Reduction of Bail.)
Filing of Bail Applications and Posting of Bail
- The Judge shall make a decision on whether or not the accused should be allowed to post bail. If so, once all the documents in relation to posting bail is completed and verified, the Judge shall sign the approval of bail and the subsequent release order, working with the jail warden or law enforcer handling the case.
- Payment of all court fees may be done through any branch of the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP). Posting of bail may also be done through LBP.
Extension of Deadline of Court Submissions
Court submissions that are due from 15 March 2020 until 30 April 2020 will be given a thirty (30) calendar day extension counted from 01 May 2020.
- Those who prefer to file pleadings within the established period without the need for extension may do so by transmitting them through electronic means.
Release of Qualified Persons Deprived of Liberty
Judges are urged to speedily act on the release of qualified persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) with pending criminal cases before the courts. This shall apply to PDLs who have served the minimum imposable penalty of their charge and/or those who have experienced delays in their case because of the absence of an essential witness. This is to aid jail decongestion and uphold the accused’s right to bail.
Restriction on Personal Follow-ups
Personal follow ups on cases are temporarily restricted. All matters for follow up must be sent to the Judiciary Public Assistance Section (JPAS).