Launch of the NCMF Paralegal Trainining Manual December 17, 2015

The Muslim Filipino Community Paralegal Program is aimed at creating a frontline legal team for Muslim Filipinos Communities that can immediately respond to legal issues and problems. The program is envisioned to improve the access to justice of Muslim Filipino communities and advance the cause of human rights.

NCIP Commission Enhancement Training


The NCIP’s Commission en banc (CEB) exercises original and excusive jurisdiction over petitions for cancellation of registered CADTs and CALTs alleged to have been fraudulently acquired and actions for cancellation of Certification Precondition, Certificate of Non-Overlap issues by the NCIP and rescissions of FPIC-MOA. It also has appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the regional hearing officers. Given the complex subject matter of cases before the CEB, much of these critical to the life and welfare of IP communities, training support for the commissioners in relevant substantive and procedural matters would have immeasurable value. Thus it was that EPJUST II supported the first ever initiative to provide capacity building for the commissioners with the end in view of enhancing their competence in performing key aspects of their quasi-judicial functions. A series of 10 customised lectures were delivered by short-term expert Dean Sedfrey Candelaria of the Ateneo Law School and Philja over a period of 5 months. After the training, the commissioners felt that the training would enable each of them to participate more confidently in the deliberation and resolution of every case that comes before them. This training will now be made a standard requirement for all new commissioners henceforth. 


Demonstration of Case Management System – NCIP – December 8, 2015, Quezon City

Mr. Myke Cantero, a software development expert, was hired to create a case management system for the NCIP.  He began work on the CMS in September and on December 8, 2015 presented a demonstration of the system.  The CMS will now be “critiqued” by the users with testing scheduled to end the first week of January 2016.  A Launch of the CMS will take place the third week of January.  The CMS will assist the NCIP Regional Hearing Officers to efficiently and effectively manage their cases thereby reducing delays for litigants. 

JSCC Anti-Illegal Drugs Forum, 29-30 October 2015, Manila

Troubled by the extent and impact of the illegal drugs problem in the Philippines, on 14 November 2011, the Judiciary spearheaded an Anti-Illegal Drugs Forum, with the goal of establishing a coordinated approach in policy making planning and operations in the administration of justice, as well as recognition of the functional interdependence of the justice sector agencies. The forum’s methodology involved convening representatives from the different justice sector agencies and clustering them according to the various stages in handling drugs cases, namely: enforcement, trial, judgment, execution of penalty or corrections, and rehabilitation or prevention. Each cluster group discussed cross-cutting issues on policies, operations, budge and legislation. These issues were consolidated in a Matrix of Issues in Handling Illegal Drugs Cases, which was utilized by the break-out groups to define strategies and action plans to address the concerns previously presented.


Apart from these action plans, the Forum also served as a venue for the signing of the Joint Declaration (Joint Declaration) of the Justice Sector Agencies in Support of the Campaign Despite the signing of the Joint Declaration, however, the signatories did not follow through with implementation of the Declaration.  Picking up where the first Forum left off, the 2015 Anti-Illegal Drugs Forum: 


1. Examined the commitments made in the 2011 Forum and assessed their current viability;

2. Identified issues and challenges in handling illegal drugs cases, particularly in case build-up;

3. Formulated strategies and action plans among key agencies to address standing issues from the 2011 and the 2011 Forum action plans and 2015 Summit;

4. Established monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for the action plans developed; and

5. Initiated long-term commitments among key agencies towards the implementation of strategies and action plans.


Attending the Forum were representatives from the Judiciary, the Department of Justice, the National Prosecution Services, PAO, NBI, BuCor, DILG and the PNP, BJM, PDEA, DDB, DSWD and other interested stakeholders.  

Family Court Summit


The First Family Court Summit was successfully held from September 16-17, 2015 at the Crimson Hotel in Muntinlupa.  The Summit sought to review and assess the implementation of the “Family Courts Act of 1997” 17 years after its passage. The objective of the Summit, where family court judges from around the country were gathered, was to generate recommendations to ensure that the system is in a better position to address legal issues affecting families in the 21st century. Attention was paid particularly to issues affecting women (e.g. trafficking, domestic abuse and violence against women in all its forms) and to children (e.g. children in conflict with the law, cybercrime that includes child pornography, trafficking, stricter rules on adoption, etc.) and to the family in the modern world. Recommendations from the Summit were submitted to the Supreme Court for proper action.