On 29 April 2015, the COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO), a government agency under the Office of the President and ARELLANO LAW FOUNDATION (ALF) through its Office of the Legal Aid (OLA), entered into an Agreement to help indigent individuals to have an access with legal service and not to be deprived in their course of justice.
The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement was held at the CFO in Manila. Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas and Undersecretary Mary Grace A. Tirona represented the Commission, while Executive Director Atty. Gabriel Dela Peña and Atty. Roberto Rafael Pulido represented the Foundation.
The ALF is an institution dedicated to developing individuals to become committed advocates of the law, making them responsive to the needs of the global community and able to provide specialized legal services. Its mission is to promote respect for the rule of law, attainment of justice, protection of human rights and the environment, and render service to those who need it. Established in 1938, AUL has continued to be true to its mission producing Bar passers and topnotchers alike, and in 2011, it was awarded recognition by the Board of Legal Education as one of the Top Ten Law Schools in the Philippines
To further strengthen the campaign against human trafficking, the CFO collaborates with experts and strong advocates, thus, instituting a partnership with the ALF. Cases received through the 1343 Actionline will be referred to ALF. Through its OLA, they shall assist and provide legal services to survivors of human trafficking and other related cases such as illegal recruitment, mail-order bride scheme, organ and drug trafficking, among others.
This partnership aims to help Filipinos who cannot afford to avail the services of a private lawyer for the speedy disposition of their cases. It is an effort to bring justice closer to needy individuals. Law students and interns shall have an important part in this agreement as they will also be handling the cases referred in preparation for their practice of law. This partnership makes the government services more accessible to the public and likewise strengthens the ties between the government and the academe to fight human trafficking which is primarily in line with the core message of IACAT: “Laban kontra Human Trafficking, Laban nating Lahat!”.