Aiming to improve the administration of justice in the country, Senator Dick Gordon sponsored before the plenary the committee report on a proposed measure that would ensure the protection and security of the members of the Bench and the entire judiciary.
“Today, I am sponsoring another breakthrough bill for the judiciary. The killing of 34 judges over the years, and most of the killings have yet to be solved, shows the failure of the country to protect the magistrates of the land. Ito ay malaking sampal sa mukha ni Lady Justice. If our judges are not safe and cannot get justice for themselves, sino pa ang susunod sa batas? There is no rule of law,” Gordon said in sponsoring the substitute bill, Senate Bill No. 1947 or the Judiciary Marshals Act.
SBN 1947 is a consolidated bill composed of Gordon’s SBN 1181; Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s SBN 1255; SBN 1209 by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Leila De Lima; and Senator Bato Dela Rosa’s SBN 1237. Other senators also asked to be made co-author of the bill.
Since 1999, there have been 34 judges killed and only 10% of these killings have been solved.
The measure seeks the creation of the Judiciary Marshals which shall be primarily responsible for the security, safety, and protection of the members, officials, personnel, and property of the Judiciary, including the integrity of the courts and their proceedings.
“This is aimed to protect, defend, safeguard, watch over, provide security and ensure the safety of justices, judges, court officials and personnel, including their families, and halls of justice, courthouses, and other court buildings and properties,” the veteran legislator who chairs the Committee on Justice and Human Rights stressed.
“Judicial Marshals will be tasked to conduct threat assessments and undertake investigations and forensic analysis of crimes.”
The seasoned lawmaker said the marshals will also be tasked to conduct threat assessments and undertake investigations and forensic analysis of crimes and other offenses committed.
It could also conduct investigations concerning allegations of irregularities, including graft and corruption, committed by justices, judges, court officials and personnel, as directed by the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, or the Court Administrator.
“This will send a strong message that you cannot just kill a judge.”
“This will send a strong message that you cannot just kill a judge,” the senator stressed.
“We must work together to ensure that our judicial system operates in a safe environment. Judges, witnesses, court personnel, and law enforcement must not have to face threats of violence when carrying out their duties,” he said.
“These protections are crucial to the preservation of the independence of our Judiciary so that it can continue to serve as a bulwark protecting individual rights and liberty,” Gordon concluded.