New U.S. Embassy INL Official Pays Courtesy Visit on Supreme Court Justices
October 23, 2023
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court were paid a courtesy visit by United States (U.S.) Embassy Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Country Director Kate Riche today, October 23, 2023, at the Supreme Court Session Hall in Ermita, Manila.
With Chief Justice Gesmundo were Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando and Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez. Also joining them were Deputy Clerk of Court and Judicial Reform Program Administrator Atty. Laura C.H. del Rosario and Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Technology Officer Atty. Jed Sherwin G. Uy.
INL Director Riche was joined by INL Deputy Director Luke Bruns and INL Legal Specialist Atty. Chudney Ngo.
During the meeting, Chief Justice Gesmundo expressed the Supreme Court’s gratitude to the U.S. government and the INL for their continued support to the reform programs under the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI). He specifically cited the operationalization of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals (OJM), under the SPJI’s target outcome of Efficiency.
Created by virtue of Republic Act No. 11691 or The Judiciary Marshals Act, the OJM will secure, protect and safeguard the members, officials, personnel, and property of the Philippine Judiciary, including the integrity of the courts and its proceedings. The Act also mandates the establishment of a Judiciary Marshals Academy, which will be in-charge of recruitment and training of the marshals and personnel. The OJM will be headed by a Chief Marshal and three Deputy Marshals.
During the meeting, Chief Justice Gesmundo communicated to INL Director Riche possible opportunities for partnership, saying that the Court will be grateful to receive support in the evaluation and assessment of the OJM’s potential marshals and personnel, and in their trainings and development. He stressed that the Court would like to make sure that the Judiciary Marshalls are well-rounded and trained properly.
Chief Justice Gesmundo also mentioned the study tour he attended with Associate Justices and the rest of the Philippine Judiciary delegation at the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in May 2023, where they were given an overview of the structures, functions, and offices of the USMS and other matters including policy development, judicial protection services, strengthening judicial security, and utilizing technology in processes and operations.
In response, INL Director Riche expressed eagerness to work with the Philippine Judiciary and reaffirmed the INL’s commitment to future collaborations. She also congratulated the Court for its accomplishments under the SPJI. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo gives United States Embassy Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Country Director Kate Riche a token during the latter’s courtesy visit on the Supreme Court of the Philippines on October 23, 2023 at the En Banc Session Hall in Ermita, Manila. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)