Forum on Children in Conflict with the Law: Creative Partnership Among the Pillars of Justice and NGOs
The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), Association Compassion Asian Youth (ACAY), Virlanie Foundation, Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA), the Embassy of France in the Philippines and Rotary Club of San Francisco Del Monte, came in full force during the recently conducted Forum on Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) on December 3, 2009, at the Court of Appeals Auditorium, Manila.
This one-day forum was designed to increase awareness of the presence and services of non-government organizations (NGOs) in handling CICL cases, thus strengthening the partnership between the pillars of justice and NGOs towards their common goal to improve the lives of children in conflict with the law.
In keeping with the Constitutional mandate that the best interests of the child shall always be the primordial consideration of the State, the above mentioned NGOs proudly presented their programs and services to help the CICL.
Retired Judge Rosalina Pison, a well-known child-advocate, shared her experiences, while incumbent, in dealing with the different NGOs and CICL. She spoke on available rules and laws which directly or indirectly protect the rights of children. She told the participants, especially the judges, that “there is no reason to escape your responsibilities in handling properly children brought before your court.” Her stories inspired many of the participants. DCA Nimfa Vilches, member of the SC Subcommittee on Family Courts, also updated the participants on the salient features of RA 9344 and the New SC Rule on CICL which became effective on December 1, 2009.
Among the distinguished guests were Ambassador Thierry Borja de Mozota of France, Justice Delilah Magtolis, then Court Administrator Jose Perez, and other officials from different agencies of the government and NGOs. Two hundred three (203) participants comprising judges, prosecutors, PAO lawyers, court personnel and NGOs from the National Capital Judicial Region also attended. Court Administrator Jose P. Perez concluded his speech by reminding the participants that as key players, they are the “engineers and architects” in uplifting the lives of children in conflict with the law.