BUCL, SAC Legazpi launch human rights help deskĀ 

Monday July 4,2022


The Bicol University College of Law (BUCL) and the Social Action Center (SAC) of the Diocese of Legazpi opened to the public on June 28 a protection desk for victims of violence against women and their children and of human rights abuses in Albay province. 

Eleven Juris Doctor students who are enrolled in the summer apprenticeship program took part in the launch and crafted various information, education and campaign materials translated in the Bicolano language, which seek to educate the public on the forms of violence against women and children, sexual abuse and women’s rights. 

Their professor and supervising lawyer, Atty. Antonio C. Bron, gave a three-hour interactive lecture on the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act and the Magna Carta of Women to representatives and volunteers from various parishes around Albay province. 

Atty. Bron provided the volunteers basic knowledge on the forms of violence against women and their children, the criminal procedure observed in these cases, and the remedies available under the law, with the goal of equipping the volunteers with the capacity to properly handle cases of abuse reported to the church.

Rev. Fr. Eric Martillano, SAC Executive Director said that there are several cases of abuse that the public does not know of because many victims are either too afraid to report, ashamed of even coming forward, unaware of what to do, and faced with a “very indifferent” community. 

He acknowledged the need for the church to step in to help address such a very pressing problem. “How can the church in doing its social mission be the voice of the voiceless?” he asked. 

The establishment of the parish protection desks to which victims can report their harrowing experiences, Fr. Martillano said, will “shorten the mode of emergency” that is the exploitation, abuse and other forms of violence against women and children. 

Managed by the SAC Legazpi, the Diocesan Protection Desk is situated at the SAC office within the compound of the St. Gregory the Great Cathedral in Legazpi City. 

The conduct of the event is in implementation of an existing agreement between the BUCL and the SAC to extend legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses to achieve its common goal of a society free from violence and abuse. | written by: Suzene Cajegas and Maria Feona Imperial