Supreme Court suspends all court hearings March 13–18


THE SUPREME Court has ordered the suspension of hearings nationwide on March 13-18. Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta on Thursday directed all justices and judges to reset hearings, inform the parties of the new schedule, organize the disinfection of court premises, pen orders and decisions, and act on pending matters in their jurisdiction. Court personnel will also continue to report for work, said Public Information Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

Bill expanding RITM filed

A MEASURE institutionalizing the Research Institute for Tropical Medicines (RITM) and expand it to other regions for better response to infectious diseases has been filed in the Senate. Senate Bill No. 1407, or the proposed “RITM Act,” will institutionalize RITM, which was created in 1981 to conduct research in the diagnosis, control and prevention of tropical diseases. Senator Imee R. Marcos, who authored the bill, said on Wednesday that she is proposing to have at least three to five RITM regional branches. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

House ready to hold special sessions for COVID-19 response

THE HOUSE of Representatives is willing to hold special sessions during its coming nearly two-month break, amid growing concerns over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a speech Wednesday evening. After discussing several preventive measures against COVID-19, Mr. Cayetano said lawmakers agreed that “it’s better to continue talking to the Executive, to the health experts, to look into the budget…rather than do constituency work (during the break).” Congress will go on recess March 14–May 3. — Genshen L. Espedido