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12 prisoners undergo paralegal training under ‘Legal Aid Program’

At least 12 detainees from Valenzuela City Jail underwent the first paralegal training as part of the third batch of Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian’s legal aid program last December 12.

The program, which is conducted quarterly, provides free legal advice and consultation to inmates languishing in prison even after serving their sentence.

The “Legal Aid Program” also trains overstaying inmates in hopes they can help fellow detainees to follow up their cases to the court.

Eight lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office or PAO of the Valenzuela Regional Trial Court or RTC and nine paralegal experts from the Bulacan State University or BSU helped make the training as well as free legal consultation to the inmates possible.

Ma. Nena Santos, an executive judge at the Valenzuela City RTC, lauded legal aid program.

“Some of the former inmates (helped by the legal aid program) were reunited with their families. I am hoping that we will continue this project so that we can help (more of) them,” Santos said.

The program gives hope that more than 90 inmates at the Valenzuela City Jail may regain their freedom sooner than they expect.

As of December, the program has released 17 inmates, which further encourage other overstaying inmates to follow up their release order on courts and to avoid congestion in Valenzuela City Jail.(Camille Nepomuceno)