(dpa) - The Philippine Supreme Court has set aside 10 million pesos (240,963 dollars) for loans to judges who want to buy guns amid attacks on local magistrates, court records showed Saturday
The high tribunal, in a four-page resolution, will allow magistrates each to get a 50,000-peso handgun loan, payable in 36 monthly instalments, to bolster their security.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno has called for the arming of judges amid increasing attacks on magistrates, especially in the provinces.
Aside from arming the judges, Puno has also issued a circular which outlines measures to improve the security of the judges who are facing threats.
Since 1999, a total of 15 judges have been killed in the country.
The latest casualty was Regional Trial Court Judge Roberto Natividad who was gunned down in January by a lone assailant while boarding his car in Calbayog City in the eastern province of Samar, 480 kilometres south of Manila.
Natividad had reportedly received death threats since last year before he was felled by an assassin's bullets.