Public Attorney's Office and the United Nations Children's Fund Regional Workshop at the Historic Landmark Manila Hotel

Article excerpt

IN keeping with the dictates of Republic Act 9344, the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will convene today at the historic landmark Manila Hotel a three-day regional workshop to equip the public defenders nationwide with the knowledge and skills to effectively and efficiently handle cases involving juvenile delinquents.

The regional workshop, to be attended by key members of the PAO, will refine the manuals that guide the more than 1,000 public defenders nationwide in their handling of cases involving Children In Conflict with the Law (CICL).

CICL are those who are over nine years old up to 15 years of age who committed an offense or a crime whose case is filed in court with the prosecutor or the police. They are considered victims of circumstances beyond their control and should, therefore, be treated as individuals with problems who need help and not as criminals. A study done by an academic institution several years ago revealed that while there are Philippine laws, rules, and regulations, applicable to children in conflict with the law, prosecution and trial procedures in general do not make distinctions between adult and youthful offenders facing charges before the courts. …