News & Media
Women helping women; a legal help desk for women deprived of liberty
July 25, 2022
The EU’s Governance in Justice Programme (GOJUST) provided grant funding to the University of the Visayas-Gullas Law School's law clinic to set up a legal help desk in the female dormitory of the Cebu City jail to provide free legal aid services to women deprived of liberty.
Aptly called “Tambag-Baye” – A legal aid for women deprived of liberty – the legal help desk collects relevant data pertaining to the status of the womens’ cases and serves as a medium to provide them with legal advice. Law student practitioners personally visit the women deprived of liberty, follow-up the status of their cases with the courts, and serve as liaisons between them and their lawyers as well as with their families.
“When we went to the jail for the interviews, almost all of the women deprived of liberty I interviewed told me that they wanted to get out of prison already to take care of their children because they are the breadwinners of their families,” said Ms. Glennie Khryss Janayon, a Law Student Practitioner. “After hearing this, it made me want to follow up on their cases with the court or other government agencies assigned for them to be released from the jail as soon as possible,” she said.
“As a Law Student Practitioner, I found it fulfilling to be able to help these women deprived of liberty with their cases and it helped me learn new things on the court process to release a person deprived of liberty from jail,” said Ms. Janayon.
“It was a particularly rewarding experience because one of the women that I was able to interview has already been released from jail. If given the chance to help more women, I would gladly take the challenge,” she said.
The intervention has been particularly effective in no small part due to its coordination among various justice sector actors.
“Tambag Baye and its Law Student Practitioners are very thankful to have organized with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Region 7, the Courts of Cebu City, and the Department of Health Rehabilitation and Treatment Center,” said Ms. Joesil Dianne Sempron, a Law Student Practitioner.
“Armed with legal knowledge, a compassionate heart, and support from the justice community, the Tambag Baye vision that GILAS has had since its conception in Year 2021, is slowly becoming a reality,” she said.