NCMF's Community Legal Education Program Launched

“Now we know we have rights.”

This was the prevailing sentiment of many residents of the Muslim Compound in Barangay Culiat, Quezon City. Led by their Purok Chairman and Community Leader, Hadji Nur Hassan, around one hundred (100) residents representing the more than three thousand (3,000) families of the community attended the launching of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Community Legal Education Program (CLEP) last August 6, 2010. The event was attended by Culiat Barangay Chairman Jaime Garcia, Station 3 Quezon City Police District Commander PSUPT. Alex Botes Sintin, NAMLI President PO3 Hassan Adi, Police Community Precinct-2 Commander Senior Inspector Jose Parinas, NCMF Commissioner Edilwasif T. Baddiri, NCMF legal services director Dalomilang N. Parahiman, NCMF-NCR Legal Division Chief Atty. Antonio M. Fallarme III.

Entitled “Ano Ang Mga Karapatan Mo Bilang Tao?”, the basic human rights lecture/seminar was opened by Commissioner Atty. Edilwasif T. Baddiri with the full support of NCMF Secretary Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman. According to Baddiri, “As the primary government agency through which Muslim Filipinos can seek government assistance and redress, NCMF is here with the Muslim community to work for the upholding of our legal rights and the reminding of our responsibilities as Filipino citizens.” Comm. Baddiri was with the full staff of NCMF Bureau of Legal Affairs headed by Chief Malo B Manggiring, Director Rex Macud, Director Forouk Batugan, Rakimah Solaiman and Atty. Antonio M. Fallarme III.

Chairman Jaime Garcia expressed his gratitude to the NCMF for conducting the lecture. “We have been facing complaints of illegal searches and arrest.  We are glad that the NCMF has this legal education program for the people of our community to know and assert their rights”.

Superintendent Alex Botas Sintin expressed his support for the legal education program and his sincerity in helping the NCMF. “We look forward to working with the Muslim community in achieving peace and order in Barangay Culiat.”  While community leaders Hadji Nur Hassan and PO3 Hassan Adi called upon the residents to be responsible parents and help in policing their community. ”Let us make sure that we supervise well our children so that they will not engage in criminal activities,” Hassan added.

Atty. Fallarme finished his lecture with an announcement that the NCMF will be training paralegals from the community. This will help the NCMF in ensuring the rights of the residents. “The success of this program will lessen the number of detainees in our jail system. There are many of them who should have not been there in there first place if they were just knowledgeable of their rights”.

The CLEP is an addition to the Legal Support for Detainees Program (LSDP) of the NCMF. To date, the NCMF has visited women detainees in Camp Karingal Quezon City and the Manila City Jail. NCMF is in the process of reviewing the cases filed against the detainees. (NCMF)