Judiciary marshals to look into unsolved killings of judges | Inquirer News

Judiciary marshals to look into unsolved killings of judges

/ 06:09 PM October 26, 2022

Jose Midas Marquez,

Associate Justice Jose Midas Marquez (File photo by NOY MORCOSO / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — Once the Office of the Judiciary Marshals (OJM) is established, it will look into the unsolved killings of over 30 judges since 1999.

“Once we are able to create, even at the initial creation of the Office of the Judiciary Marshals and once we already have investigators, we will have these killings looked into. Right now, I think we have around 33 or 34 judges killed while in service,” Associate Justice Jose Midas Marquez said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum.


Marquez, who is supervising the formation of the OJM, said the body is likely to be activated within the first quarter of 2023. It will have the power to conduct an investigation.

“We will request the judiciary marshals to review all the cases of these judges because we cannot just let this go unresolved,” Marquez added.

The country has more than 2,600 courts nationwide. Thirty-one judges were killed from 1999 to 2017. From 2016 to 2021, five judges and one associate justice of the Court of Appeals were killed.

Marquez said that of these cases, only less than 10 percent were resolved and in some of these cases the masterminds remain unidentified.

Last April, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11691, or the Judiciary Marshals (OJM) Act.

Marquez said they are currently in the process of creating the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Once put in place, they can start vetting for the qualified Chief Marshal and three deputies for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as well as establishing the Judicial Marshal Academy.


Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo stressed that judiciary marshals are basically intended to provide security and to ensure the safety and protection of the members, officials, personnel, and property of the judiciary, including the integrity of the courts of its proceedings.

The creation of the OJM, which was patterned after the US Marshal system, was the brainchild of retired Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

Under the law, the Office of the Judiciary Marshals shall conduct threat assessments, investigations, and forensic analyses of crimes and threats committed against judiciary members and court properties.

The judiciary marshals will also investigate alleged corruption committed by justices, judges and other court officials as directed by the Supreme Court.

It shall have concurrent jurisdiction with other law enforcement agencies to undertake investigations of crimes and other offenses committed against justices, judges, court officials and personnel, halls of justice, courthouses, and other court properties.

The Supreme Court has allotted P50 million for the OJM’s operations.

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Duterte signs law creating Office of Judiciary Marshals

TAGS: judges, Killings, Supreme Court

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