By Billy Begas
The House of Representantes on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the measure establishing Judiciary Marshal, an independent, professional, and organized security force under the control and supervision of the Supreme Court.
No one objected to the passage of the proposed Philippine Judiciary Marshals Service Act (House Bill 9086), which received 182 affirmative votes.
HB 9086 is aimed at ensuring that the performance of the duties and functions of members of the Judiciary and judicial personnel are free from external factors that may affect the proper and effective administration of justices.
The judiciary marshal shall conduct threat assessments and undertake investigations, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, over crimes and other offenses committed against, including potential actionable security threats to justices, judges, court officials, and personnel, halls of justice, courthouses, court buildings, and other court properties.
It can also investigate, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies and the Ombudsman allegations of irregularities, including graft and corrupt practices, committed by justices, judges, court officials and personnel.
The measure grants the Chief Marshal authority to issue permits to carry duly licensed and registered firearms for its personnel.
The Marshals Service will be headed by a Chief Marshal who shall have a rank of an Associate Justice and three Deputy Marshals who shall be assigned in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and shall have the rank of a Regional Trial Court judge.
The Chief Marshal and his Deputies must be members of the Philippine Bar and must have held the rank of at least full Colonel in the Armed Forces, the National Police, or an Assistant Director of the National Bureau of Investigation.