Acting Chief Justice Caguioa Meets with Minnesota Chief Judge Barnette
June 22, 2023
Acting Chief Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa (center) meets with (third from left) Chief Judge Toddrick S. Barnette of the Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin County), Minnesota, United States of America on June 22, 2023 at the En Banc Conference Room of the Supreme Court (SC) in Ermita, Manila.
Joining them were (from left) Atty. Lowell Fredrick A. Madrileño, Clerk of Court V, Branch 104, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Quezon City; Presiding Judge Tshaine B. Taguinod-Maggay, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, City of Tabuk, Kalinga; Atty. Reynaline G. Tan-Francisco, Chief Judicial Reform Program Officer, SC Program Management Office; Atty. Jose Lemuel S. Arenas, Deputy Judicial Staff Head, Office of Acting Chief Justice Caguioa; and Atty. Muviel Justine C. Martinez, also from the Office of Acting Chief Justice Caguioa.
Acting Chief Justice Caguioa discussed key issues in the criminal justice sector in the Philippines, such as law enforcement and the implementation of the chain of custody rule in drugs cases under Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, among others.
The two principals also conversed about problems encountered by judges when dealing with cases involving drugs, such as concerns about their safety and security, especially in the current age of social media.
Chief Judge Barnette is visiting the Philippines as part of the reciprocity component of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders’ Initiative, a program of the United States government which aims to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Judge Taguinod-Maggay and Atty. Madrileño were among the fellows of the said program. He also met with Manila and Quezon City RTC judges and observed court proceedings.
Elected in May 2020, Chief Judge Barnette made history as the first Chief Judge of color in the state of Minnesota. He currently oversees 63 judges in the state’s largest judicial district. He also supervised the implementation of safety and security measures during the 2021 trial over the death of George Floyd, wherein former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for murder. Floyd’s death sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)