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Brgy officials, workers undergo legal clinic in Consolacion

| by: Kelvin Cañizares

It was the turn of Consolacion town in northern Cebu to get a lesson in law from the Cebu Provincial Legal Office last Friday, June 17.

Considered as frontliners in dealing with common problems affecting the community, officials and personnel from the town’s 21 barangays underwent a one-day seminar dubbed as the Barangay Legal Outreach Program.

“This activity is aimed at empowering our barangay officials and personnel. We wanted them to widen up their knowledge and become more effective in dispensing their work,” said Orvi Ortega, head of the province’s legal office.

Among the common responsibilities of barangay officials and personnel, which they have to carry out almost on a daily basis, involve resolving petty quarrels, maintaining peace and order and assisting the police in capturing criminals.

Consolacion is the 14th town to undergo a legal clinic since the province started the program last year.  Village chiefs, secretaries, tanods and members of the Lupong Tagapamayapa attended the event.

Before the start of the seminar, Jose Chenny Portigo, the Capitol’s medical coordinator at the Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, briefed barangay officials on how to avail of free hospitalization and burial assistance of the Cebu Provincial Government for indigent families.

According to Portigo, many indigent families are less aware of the Capitol’s healthcare program, adding that parts of the coverage include expenses of laboratory examinations and medicines.

Moreover, topics covered by the seminar are the guidelines in conducting search and seizure, warrantless arrest, rules of parliamentary procedures, mediation techniques and proper ways in drafting resolutions and ordinances.

The law on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) as well as the correct procedures in crime scene investigation were also discussed.

“I find the legal clinic very helpful for a tanod like me especially in crime scene investigation and effecting arrest,” said Cirilo Bulaw, who has been in the job for nearly 15 years.

Lawyer Rey Dollison led members of the Philippine Alternative Dispute Resolution Inc. (PADRI) in giving lectures for settling petty squabbles at the barangay level.

In the afternoon, Senior Inspector Oliver Lariosa and Senior Police Officer 2 Rosaldo Jenny of the PNP Crime Laboratory 7 demonstrated to tanods the correct procedures in protecting forensic evidence from kibitzers through a mock crime scene investigation.