Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
Ambassador De La Vega Welcomes Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and Philippine Judiciary Delegates to the Legal Counter-Terrorism Technical Assistance Study Visit
21 JUNE 2023, CANBERRA - Philippine Ambassador to Australia H.E. Ma. Hellen De La Vega welcomed on 20 June 2023 the visiting Philippine Judiciary delegation led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo who are participating in a study visit organized under the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) “Enhancing Proactive and Collaborative Rule of Law-based Criminal Justice Responses to Violent Extremism in the Philippines” (2021-2024) project, with funding from the Government of Australia and support of The Asia Foundation.
The delegation included esteemed members of the Philippine judiciary, namely Senior Associate Justice Mario Victor F. Leonen, Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, Justice Antonio T. Kho Jr., Justice Maria Filomena Singh, Retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) Chancellor Rosmari Carandang, Court of Appeals Justice Eduardo B. Peralta Jr., Court of Appeals Associate Justice Raymond R. Lauigan, as well as Judge Ferdinand C. Baylon of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Judge Shaldilyn B. Bangsaja of the Zamboanga City RTC, and Judge Georgina Uy Perez of the Tacloban City RTC. The Ambassador briefed the delegation on the robust cooperation of the Philippines and Australia including in addressing violent extremism and counterterrorism.
The study visit aims to enhance the capacities of the Philippine courts in the comprehensive understanding of the full criminal justice cycle as it relates to addressing terrorism and violent extremism offenses and in the performance of the crucial roles of the courts under the Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 by learning from the best practices and experiences on the treatment of terrorism and terrorism financing cases by Australia’s judicial system and court processes.
During the study visit to Canberra and Melbourne, the Philippine Judiciary members will engage in meetings with their Australian counterparts at the federal and state levels. They will also interact with criminal justice officials and agencies, including the Attorney General's Department, the Federal Court of Australia, the Counter-Terrorism Coordination Center, and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, among others. The study visit will take place in Canberra and Melbourne.
The partnership between the Philippines and Australia in countering terrorism is a pillar of the defense, security, and law and justice cooperation between the two countries. In 2003, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed to strengthen their joint efforts against international terrorism. – END