Sunday 24 March, 2019
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PJA proposes ‘marshal system’ to protect them from work-related violence

The influential Philippine Judges Association (PJA) on Thursday sought the creation of a so-called “marshal system” that would protect them from physical violence, the most recent was the murder of a trial court judge in Ozamiz City.

In a proposal, the PJA suggested a law creating the Philippine Marshal System that would provide security for justices and judges, and to handle cases of attacks against them.

PJA president and Marikina regional trial court Judge Felix Reyes underscored the need for the creation of the system in light of the death of Ozamis City RTC Judge Edmundo Pintac, last Monday.

“This Philippine Marshal System will address the security concerns facing our justices and judges,” he told reporters.

“The Philippine Marshal will be placed under the authority of the Supreme Court. We’re considering hiring retired police and military personnel to serve as marshals to justices and judges. Police and military personnel retire at age 56 while marshals can retire at 65,” Reyes explained.

Reyes disclosed that PJA is now drafting a bill to be submitted to Congress for its consideration.

He added that the proposed system would be clothed with investigative powers, even prosecutorial, that will go after perpetrators of violence against them.

Meanwhile, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez welcomed the PJA’s proposal, saying security provided to judges nationwide “may be not enough.”

“Currently, there’s only one staff who can accompany a judge to and from work. They can also request for police escorts in case of death threats. But there are currently about 2,500 judges nationwide,” Marquez said.

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