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Executive Judge Formaran’s Closing Remarks on the EU Ambassador’s Visit to Naga

Executive Judge Formaran’s Closing Remarks on the EU Ambassador’s Visit to Naga: An Understanding of EU’s Support to ADNU School of Law’s Clinical Legal Education Program and the Naga City Justice Zone (NCJZ) through its EU-Governance in Justice Programme (GOJUST)

His Excellency, Ambassador Luc Veron; the members of his delegation, Father Roberto Exequiel N. Rivera, President of the Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU), Mr. Christian Eldon, Team Leader of GOJUST II, Judge Melita Pilar Briñas-Agbayani, Presiding Judge, Branch 22 of RTC, Naga City and the Chairperson of NCJZ’s Secretariat, Atty. Hector Soliman, Prosecutor Alex Terejero, Former Deputy City Prosecutor Bong Dela Cruz, now representing the IBP, CamSur Chapter, Atty. Carmela Peña, Project Director of Project Magis, Atty. Rai Dimaano, the law student practitioners present, ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, good morning.

As we come to the close of the visit of his Excellency Ambassador of the European Union, I would like to express our deepest gratitude for gracing us with your presence and for engaging in such insightful discussions regarding the involvement of our law student practitioners, particularly the law students of ADNU School of Law, in the barangay justice system through their Project Magis and on how the Naga City Justice Zone provide a groundwork for a uniform and integrated intervention by the different stakeholders to further improve, broaden and strengthen our barangay justice service system through the Project BILIS or Barangay Integrated Legal Information Service, as fully and clearly explained by Honorable Judge Agbayani.

Your invaluable perspectives and encouragement have truly inspired us to continue our efforts in strengthening the justice system at the grassroots level, which is certainly a big help to decongest our cases in the prosecution’s offices and the courts. The active collaboration between the ADNU law student practitioners and the Naga City Justice Zone, as we continue to engage, will serve as a testament to the power of partnerships in effecting positive change in the twenty-seven (27) barangays of Naga City and that of the many barangays of nearby municipalities of CamSur within the administrative jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Naga City.

By working hand in hand with all justice sector actors in the Justice Zone, I am confident that we can amplify our impact and bring about meaningful reforms and improvements to the barangay justice system. This includes ensuring the effective enforcement of the Katarungang Pambarangay Law, which is deserving of trust and confidence from the public, along with special laws safeguarding the rights of women and children, among others. Additionally, we aim to improve access to justice right at the doorstep of every barangay, particularly for the disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals in our community, as a vital component of the Naga City Justice Zone’s Project BILIS.

As we move forward, let us continue to build on the momentum generated by this visit and strive towards even greater collaboration and innovation in strengthening the barangay justice service system, which is one of the thematic areas provided by GOJUST that the Naga City Justice Zone is working hard to achieve. We sincerely thank the European Union and GOJUST for their technical and logistical assistance with the Naga City Justice Zone’s projects, including Project Magis. Together, we can create a more just and equitable society where every individual has access to fair and timely resolution of their disputes whether they are baragayable cases or not.

Once again, thank you, His Excellency, Ambassador Veron, for your support and guidance. Your visit has been a source of inspiration for all of us, and we look forward to continuing our work together towards a more just and inclusive future.

Thank you. Mabuhay tayong lahat! Dios Mabalos!

- Executive Judge Formaran, Convenor, Naga Justice Zone


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