“I would say that the acronym ASEAN-ACT is a not a coincidence but rather a reflection of what reality is, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Australian government are one in squarely addressing the issues on trafficking in persons. It may not be amiss to state that the Philippine Supreme Court, for its part, has affirmed convictions in cases involving trafficking in persons,” said Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo earlier today as the ASEAN–Australia Counter Trafficking (ACT) paid a virtual courtesy call on the Chief Justice, the Associate Justices, and other SC officials
During the virtual meeting, the Chief Justice assured the ASEAN–ACT that the Supreme Court and its judicial education arm the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) will continue to support ASEAN-ACT’s projects. He also said that collaborations will continue on the conduct of trafficking-in-persons trainings, in coordination with the other stakeholders of the justice sector in the Philippines.
Joining the Chief Justice online were Associate Justices Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Rodil V. Zalameda, Mario V. Lopez, and Jhosep Y. Lopez; PhilJA Chancellor Arturo D. Brion, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, and Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator Atty. Laura C.H. Del Rosario.
Likewise present online were Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Embassy Development Counsellor Mr. Thanh Le; and ASEAN-ACT Team Leader Dr. Lucia Pietropaoli, Deputy Team Leader Mr. Aaron Rosada, ASEAN Program Director Mr. Archimedes Siguan, Justice Systems Director Atty. Darlene Pajarito, and Country Manager–Philippines Atty. Maria Antonette D. Bucasas-Mangrobang.
Assistant Court Administrator and Chief of the Public Information Office Atty. Brian Keith F. Hosaka, and Chief Judicial Reform Program Officer of the Program Management Office Atty. Reynaline G. Tan-Francisco were present in the Division Hearing Room with the Chief Justice. The ASEAN-ACT, thru its predecessor programs Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (2013-2018) and the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (2006-2013), is a long-standing partner of the PhilJA in capacitating judges, court workers, and allied government agencies handling trafficking in persons cases.