SC Justices, Court Officials Take Part in Study Visit on Judiciary Marshals
May 15, 2023
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, Justice Rodil V. Zalameda, Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan, Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, and Justice Antonio T. Kho, Jr. led the Philippine Judiciary delegation which took part in a study tour on the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) from May 8 to May 12, 2023.
The study tour was conducted in connection with the forthcoming organization of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals created under Republic Act No. 11691, or the Judiciary Marshals Act. The delegation from the Philippine Judiciary was invited to participate in a study tour on the USMS by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (DOJ OPDAT).
Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva; Judge Jaime B. Santiago of Branch 3, Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila; Judge Jeaneth C. Gaminde-San Joaquin of Branch 56, RTC, Camarines Sur; Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Technology Officer Jed Sherwin G. Uy; and Atty. Antonio Ceasar R. Manila of the Office of the Chief Justice completed the Philippine Judiciary delegation.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation (Delegation) was met by George Huber, Justice and Legal Adviser of the US DOJ-OPDAT) on May 8, 2023 to start the five-day U.S. Study Visit on the creation of the Office of Judiciary Marshals in the Philippines.
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo emphasized that the Office of the Judiciary Marshals that will be implemented by the Supreme Court shall provide protection to Justices, Judges, and court employees, perform investigative work, secure the property assets of the judiciary, and conduct assessment of threats against members of the judiciary.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation also visited the US Department of State on the first day of the U.S. Study Visit, and was welcomed by James Applegate, Program Director for Europe and Asia at the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Chief Justice Gesmundo discussed with the INL the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI), the five-year reform agenda of the Philippine judiciary. He emphasized that the SPJI addresses the judicial administrative operations of the court which, among others, aim to speed up the disposition of cases, improve the access to the courts, and to utilize technology to increase the efficiency of the delivery of justice.
In turn, Mr. Applegate lauded the strong reform agenda of the Philippine judiciary and reinforced the commitment of the INL to support the development projects of the Supreme Court.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation also visit the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on May 8, 2023, where John Rockenbach, US Supreme Court Fellow from the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice, briefed the members of the delegation on the background, policies, and procedures in the SCOTUS.
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, Justices Rodil V. Zalameda, Samuel G. Gaerlan, Jose Midas P. Marquez and Antonio T. Kho, Jr., Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva, and the rest of the Philippine Judiciary delegation visit the headquarters of the U.S. Marshals Sevice on May 9, 2023, the second day of their U.S. Study Visit.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation is given an overview of the different structures, functions, and offices of the USMS on May 9, 2023, at the USMS headquarters. The lecture on the training requirements of the judiciary marshals is delivered by the USMS Training Division, while the lectures on policy development and compliance are provided by the USMS Office of Professional Responsibility.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation is met by Ronald Davis, Director of the US Marshals Service (USMS), on the third day of the U.S. Study Visit on May 10, 2023.
During their meeting, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo stresses the importance of properly organizing the Office of the Judiciary Marshals in the Philippines, to protect the Justices, judges, staff and assets of the judiciary. He also acknowledges the support of the USMS in this endeavor.
Director Davis, who is joined by USMS Deputy Director Roberto I. Robinson, responds that the USMS is committed to delivering continuous support, training, and assistance in connection with the Office of the Judiciary Marshals.
The delegation from the Philippine Judiciary pose for posterity outside the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia on May 10, 2023, where they went to observe the actual processes and operations of the U.S. Marshals inside a federal courtroom.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation visit the National Center for State Courts on May 11, 2023, the fourth day of the study tour, and are met by Jeffrey Apperson, Vice President for International Relations. The delegation is then given a Judicial Security Presentation by John Muffler to assist in the judicial protection services of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals.
The Philippine Judiciary delegation pose with D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, after visiting the D.C. Superior Court and Court of Appeals, where they were briefed on the ADR Programs and IT systems of the D.C. Courts.
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby engage in a discussion during the visit of the Philippine Judiciary delegation on the D.C. Superior Court and Court of Appeals on May 11, 2023.
In the evening of the fourth day of the U.S. Study Visit, Philippine Ambassador to the Unites States Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez hosts a dinner for the Philippine Judiciary delegation at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., and expresses his support on strengthening judicial security.
On May 12, 2023, the last day of the U.S. Study Visit, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and the Philippine Judiciary delegation visit the Cybercrime Lab of the U.S. Department of Justice, where Ovie Caroll, Director of the Cybercrime Lab, shared with the delegation the means through which technology can be utilized in the processes and operations of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals in the Philippines.