DILG tells leftist groups to ‘stop harassing judges’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday warned leftist groups not to intimidate judges or intervene with their judicial mandate, after party-list group Bayan Muna threatened to file cases against judges who recently issued search warrants against the offices of various progressive groups in Negros and Manila.
“Please do not harass our judges and insult their wisdom to decide on the necessity of issuing a search warrant,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
He said that judges should be free from the “improper influence” of other sectors and even of other branches of the government in exercising their mandate.
“Let us allow them to do their jobs without fear of harassment or intimidation. Each branch of the government has its own duty and it is the job of the judiciary to assess the facts and circumstances surrounding the request for a search warrant and issue the corresponding order if deemed necessary,” he pointed out.
Before this, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and chairperson Neri Colmenares said the judges responsible for the search warrants – including Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 89 Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos Villavert and Cebu City RTC Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras – should be made liable, claiming that their actions led to violations of human rights.
Año also said that the police and the military are mandated to protect the public against those who instigate others to bear firearms against the government.
The Interior secretary, likewise, explained that issuing a search warrant is “not done out of the judges’ whim and caprices.”
“As lawyers and officers of the court, they should be the first to respect the acts of the court,” he said.
Edited by JPV
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.