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Courts to get 2 more holidays

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ADDITIONAL non-working holidays have been declared for courts nationwide, the Supreme Court announced on Friday.

In Circular No. 270-105 issued by the Office of the Court Administrator, court personnel in appellate courts and trial courts were notified that Dec. 23 has been declared a non-working holiday by the high court.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said they were also informed that the SC also approved the proposed half-day work the following  Tuesday, December 29.

The additional non-working holiday and half-day work will be on top of the three upcoming regular holidays—Dec. 25,   Dec. 30  and Jan. 1, and two special non-working holidays on Dec. 24  and Dec. 31.

The tribunal approved the additional holidays in its order on Administrative Matter No. 14-10-03.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno earlier said the high court is ready to act on election cases that could need urgent actions during the holiday break.

“In fact, we understand and it is clear to us that this Christmas season will not be a usual season for us. There might be things that we need to set aside because of the urgency of matters that need to be resolved,” Sereno said, in an interview last week.

“So we are keenly aware of all of those and you can see that most of the justices will be making themselves available for any eventuality… We need to work hard because this is the only process by which we can ensure that the right, just outcome will result,” the chief justice added.

Last Wednesday, the justices held a special session and tackled the petition questioning the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruling upholding the eligibility of Senator Grace Poe in the 2013 senatorial elections.

The SC issued an order requiring the nine-member tribunal to comment on the petition filed by Rizalito David questioning the SET ruling that dismissed his disqualification petition against Poe.

Another case involving Poe is expected to reach the high tribunal after the two divisions of the Comelec recently ruled to disqualify her in the presidential poll over failure to meet the 10-year residency requirement under the Constitution.

However, the Comelec has yet to decide in full on the disqualification cases against Poe filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, former Senator Franciso Tatad, De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez.

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