By Macon Araneta
Sen. Richard Gordon stressed that the proposed creation of a Philippine Marshal Service to protect members of the Bench would also enhance the country’s judicial system.
Gordon, who chairs the Committee on Justice and Human Rights which is conducting a hearing on the proposed bills, said the marshals will also be tasked to go after fugitives from justice.
“In other words, the Bill makes it a primary responsibility of our marshals to protect judges,” he said.
“But at the same time, it should be also a bill that would enhance the judicial system. You know, matatakot sa inyo iyan dahil maaaresto ninyo sila, mahuhuli ninyo iyan. Hindinamantakot lang ang hinahabol natinit’s justice,” he added.
Gordon further said that marshals would help in serving warrants of arrest issued by the courts and in collaring persons who jumped bail.
The bills being heard by the committee include Gordon’s Senate Bill No. 118, Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s SBN 1209 and Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa’s 1237. The next hearing is set for January 22.
In his bill, Gordon proposes the creation of a Philippine Marshal Service (PMS) under the Supreme Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator.
The PMS shall be tasked, to protect, defend, safeguard, watch over, provide security and ensure the safety of justice, judges, court officials and personnel and halls of justice, courthouses and other court buildings and properties; conduct threat assessments and undertake investigations of crimes and other offenses committed, including potential security threats, against the same.
The marshals will also assist in the execution and implementation of court orders and assist in the protection of witnesses.
They will also help in the security in the transporting the accused or witnesses necessary in the continuation of court proceedings; seize, freeze, manage and dispose of assets seized, frozen or forfeited by the Courts nationwide; and make arrests of fugitives, searches and seizures in accordance with the Constitution, existing laws, jurisprudence and rules, among others.