International Justice Mission Pays Courtesy Call on Supreme Court
July 6, 2023
The Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, led by Acting Chief Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen (fourth from right), were paid a courtesy call by representatives from the International Justice Mission (IJM) Philippines led by Atty. Samson Inocencio, Jr. (fifth from right), National Director and Regional Vice President, on July 5, 2023 at the En Banc Conference Room of the Supreme Court in Ermita, Manila.
Joining the Acting Chief Justice were (from right) Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, Associate Justice Japar B. Dimaampao, and Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier. Associate Justice Mario V. Lopez was also present during the visit.
The other IJM representatives were (from left) Ms. Maria Isabela P. Mosquera, Senior Assistant, National Prosecution Development; Ms. Marjorie Capina-Lumanog, Coordinator for Child Protection Capacity, National Prosecution Development; Ms. Evelyn Pingul, Director of Brand, Media and Communications; Atty. Mary Marjorie Martin-Chan, Consultant, National Prosecution Development; Atty. Fae Marie Bordey, Senior Lead for Training, National Prosecution Development; Atty. Lawrence Aritao, Director, Prosecution and Aftercare, Center to End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children; and Atty. Nelisa Guevara-Garcia, Director, National Prosecution Development.
The IJM is an organization which aims to protect people in poverty from violence. During the visit, they shared with the Supreme Court Justices their advocacy which focuses on providing support to the government in combating online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC), human trafficking, violence against women and children, and violence on people in poverty.
The IJM representatives then conferred with the Acting Chief Justice and the Associate Justices regarding opportunities for collaboration and partnership with the Judiciary, such as lending to judges their expertise on child protection measures. They also introduced the Video In-Depth Disclosure Interview (VIDI), which aims to shield child victims from being traumatized by having to relive their experiences of abuse in multiple interviews and live testimonies in court.
The Supreme Court Justices commended the IJM for their advocacy in child protection and not to lose their passion for what they do. Acting Chief Justice Leonen stated that the VIDI Framework will be referred to the Committee on Family Courts and Juvenile Concerns, chaired by Associate Justice Lazaro-Javier, and to the Committee on Virtual Hearings and Electronic Testimony, chaired by Justice Marquez, for study and possible adoption in family courts. He said the same will also be shared to the Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters, headed by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa, for possible conduct of workshops for lawyers on the matter.
The Acting Chief Justice added that IJM will also be referred to the Philippine Judicial Academy, the Judiciary’s educational arm which conducts trainings to judges, for possible incorporation of subjects on becoming more sensitive to the sensibilities of children in cases involving OSAEC and abuse. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)