On the 30th and 31st October 2014, Liceo Legal Aid Center (LiLAC) attended a paralegal seminar and training conducted by TOUCH Foundation and Commission on Human Rights – Region X entitled “Institutionalizing a Gender-ResponsiveLocal Governance Support System for Gender-Based Violence.”This was in partnership with the United States Embassy in Manila. The event was participated by different non-government organization and representatives from all police precincts in Cagayan de Oro City. This was held at Philtown Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City.
Ms. Teresa Fides Cabana of CHR-R10 discussed the gender sensitivity module and emphasized that the issue of violence should not only be advocated by women but also with men. She further stated that aside from ending violence, everyone should also end stereotyping gender roles to attain gender equality for all.
Atty. Jeanne Ivy Abriña, Regional Director of CHR-R10, explained further that the training does not just focus on capacity-building but it is getting the first responders together (the police and other service providers) to block the continuing rise of gender based violence.
Prosecutor Rock April L. Mandawe, an alumnus of Liceo Law and the first president of Liceo Legal Aid Center (before Center for Alternative Lawyering of Liceo) discussed in detail RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act (Anti-VAWC) and RA 9208 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. He was delighted to know that Liceo de Cagayan University continues its support for home grown paralegals that provides legal aid services to those in need.
The event ended with an open forum which led the participants to do conversations with the police officers who were also participants. Everybody agreed that there is still much to do to curb and stop domestic and gender based violence. They also acknowledged the fact that our country is an ailing friend who needs psychologists and parapsychologists to assist those who have been victims of violence. They emphasized that there is a lot to learn from providing paralegal services from universities and more so providing other integrated services that can uplift the spirit of community involvement and social responsibility.