LEGAL COUNSELING FOR INDIVIDUAL CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS
- Children and their families receive education regarding rights as well as the procedures of the criminal justice system.
- The justice system in the Philippines is such that during the preliminary Investigation, the prosecutor acts like a judge in deciding whether there is probable cause to file the complaint in court. It is during this stage that the child victim has the most need for a private lawyer to help her.
LEGAL EXPERTISE AT CASE CONFERENCES
- Monthly multi-disciplinary case conference with the Manila Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO)
- Case conferences with government agencies and NGO’s
- Conduct of family legal case conference
PREPARATION OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS
supplemental-affidavits, reply-affidavits, supporting affidavits of witnesses, affidavit revoking affidavit of desistance, motion to reopen case, motion to inhibit investigating prosecutor, pre-trial brief, manifestations, and formal notice of protective custody
ASSISTANCE TO PARENT VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Referral of domestic violence-related cases to women legal NGO’s and the Public Attorney’s Office for legal assistance
MENTORING OF POLICE
- strategizing with police regarding filing of cases at Prosecutor’s Office and Preliminary Conferences
- legal mentoring of police trainees
Since 2004, a policewoman from the Philippine National Police has been detailed at the PGH CPU. Her jurisdiction is nationwide, giving her the authority to investigate cases from anywhere in the country. With her presence, the CPU has become more of a one-stop-shop in offering services for abused children. In addition to forensic services, the policewoman’s functions include the following:
ON-SITE CASE FILING
The Police at CPU conducts forensic interviews and submits the “Sinumpaang Salaysay” (Sworn Statement) to the prosecutor.
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION HEARINGS
The Police officer attends preliminary investigation hearings and testifies in court.
SUBMISSION OF POLICE REPORTS FOR BOARD OF CLAIMS
The CPU police officer submits the report requirements of the Department of Justice Board of Claims for victim assistance.
TRAINING OF OTHER POLICE OFFICERS
The Police officer stationed at CPU serves as the trainor for police trainees who are part of multidisciplinary teams.
Kids in Court was introduced in 2003. It aims to prepare children who need to testify in court by educating them on their rights, orienting them and their parents/ caregivers on basic court proceedings, and helping normalize their feelings, experiences, and struggles before going to court. Activities include an interactive Powerpoint presentation on Children’s Rights, Feelings, and What Children Expect to See in the Courtroom; a small group discussion about feelings and experiences; and a tour of a Family Court where they meet the Judge and the court staff.