Judicial Marshal service needs initial P2-B funding – Gordon

Published January 23, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mario Casayuran

The proposed creation of a Philippine Judicial Marshal Service to protect the integrity of the Judiciary and its personnel, including justices and judges, needs an initial funding of P2 billion.

Senator Richard Gordon (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Richard Gordon

‘’If we look at the experience of other countries, they protect judges and part of their duties is to gather intelligence,’’ Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee, told Senate reporters after conducting a public hearing on three Senate bills on the Marshal Service proposal.

‘’You can’t threaten judiciary for that matter. once na natakot ang mga pulis at judge, nagbi-blink. When you blink, tatamaan pati taong maliit,’’ he said. (Once judges and policemen are threatened and they blink, those in the lower rung of society are the losers.)

Gordon said membership to the Philippine Judicial Marshal Service should be open to everybody, especially those with experience and integrity.

There are about 2,700 judges throughout the country.

He said the theoretical ratio of one marshal for every judge or justice is a good proposal.

Gordon said his justice committee would conduct one more public hearing before it finalizes its committee report for eventual floor debate.

‘’Siguro P2 billion (probably P2 billion is needed). Ang kwan lang judiciary is P39 biliion.. this is co-equal branch of the govt, ang legislation malaki, ang Presidente malaki. bakit di natin poprotektahan ang mga judges. kung di natin maproteksyunan, talagang mahinang klaseng bayan tayo,’’ he said. (The budget of the Judiciary is P32 billion, a co-equal branch of government. The Legislature’s and the President’s budgets are big. Why can’t we protect our judges? If we can’t, what kind of a country do we have?)

The authors of the Marshal Service bills are Senators Gordon, Panfilo M. Lacson and Ronald ‘’Bato’’ dela Rosa.

Lacson’s bill provides for the “conduct of investigations concerning allegations of irregularities, including graft and corruption, committed by justices, judges court officials, and personnel.’’

‘’Nobody must touch a judge who is doing his job. Any government official, natatakot lang ang mga yan kung mabilis ang aksyon,’’ Gordon said.

He said he does not mind setting aside P5 billion for the Judiciary’s protection.

‘’How much is a judge worth? Kung mapatay ang judge, how much ang nawala sa gobyerno? Matatakot na ang husgado. So, I don’t mind putting money on the judges,’’ he added. (If you kill a judge, how much will the government lose? The judiciary will be threatened, so I don’t mind putting money on the judges.)