PH, US Justice Departments conduct virtual workshop vs terrorism
DAVAO CITY- Seventeen (17) prosecutors from Region XI, led by Regional Prosecutor Janet Grace B. Dalisay-Fabrero joined other prosecutors all over the Philippines in a virtual workshop on counterterrorism hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (DOJ-OPDAT) in the Philippines on 11 May 2020.
The aim of this virtual workshop is to increase bilateral collaboration and coordination on terrorism investigations, prosecutions, and strengthen working relationships among prosecutors during the coronavirus pandemic. It is part of DOJ-OPDAT’s ongoing program series, including conferences, trainings, workshops, and other activities focused on strengthening ties between U.S. and Philippine law enforcement officials working on terrorism cases
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, who delivered the opening remarks, stated that, “[t]errorists view a global crisis as an opportunity. So public officials must be vigilant against this threat, even in the midst of a public health crisis.” He also said that he is “confident that the initiatives like this workshop will continue to strengthen our shared fight against terrorism.”
In response, Prosecutor-General of the DOJ-National Prosecution Service Benedicto Malcontento expressed his appreciation of the said workshop, saying that “[i]t is imperative for us to collaborate with our citizens, law enforcement agencies, and other important partners in combating these terrorist groups and their activities.” He also commented that whatever learnings his prosecutors shall gain from the workshop will be helpful, especially in the role of the DOJ as member of Joint National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
During the said activity, officials from the US-DOJ, as well as a Philippine judge, shared to the participants their expertise and knowledge on the effective investigation and prosecutions of terrorism cases.
Discussion topics included police-prosecutor cooperation, proper handling of explosives and other battlefield evidence, training police and military on chain of custody issues, and the use of digital evidence. The workshop also featured a panel discussion on counterterrorism investigations with an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Philippine experts. (PR)