In order to remain true to its oath of protecting the Filipino people against insurgency and other threats to national security, the Philippine Army must not be only well trained but equally armed with the rule of law. This was the goal of the 2-day seminar sponsored by Dr. Jovito R. Salonga Center for Law and Development of Silliman University with the initiative of the 302nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Negros Oriental Philippine National Police on March 28-29, 2011 at Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay entitled “Law Enforcement Seminar for the Philippine Army. Volunteers of the Salonga Center trooped to Tanjay city to train about 40 members of the Philippine Army.
Col. Christopher C. Estella, MNSA (INF) Deputy Brigade Commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine National Army formally opened the said seminar. Col. Manuel Luis M. Ochotorena, INF (GSC) PA, Brigade Commander of the 302 Infantry Brigade of the Philippine National Army and PSupt Roy T. Abella, Deputy Provincial Director for Admin, Negros Oriental Philippine National Police delivered insightful and inspiring messages to the 40 participants and present in the said seminar.
Prosecutor Jose Ramon Nakao of the Dumaguete City Prosecutors’ Office and a Criminal Law lecturer of the Silliman University College of Law commenced the training through lectures on and the basics of the issuance of warrants of arrest and on the lawful way conducting searches and seizures.
Then after, a volunteer lawyer of the Salonga Center who recently just passed the 2010 Bar Exams, Atty. Ma. Zusabel R. Digaum, presented a thorough lecture on R.A 7438 Custodial Investigation. Later in the afternoon, the Director of the Dr. Jovito R. Salonga Center for Law and Development and an a Partner of EDLAW, Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio, lectured on the essentials of the Philippines’ Anti-Torture Act and on the provisions of the international law on genocide and other crimes against humanity.
The second day of the seminar, started with a lecture from Dumaguete City Prosecutor Joseph Arnel Zerna he provided our military personnel with the facts on admissible evidence as provided by the Rules of Court. Atty. Ramon Antonio Ruperto a volunteer lawyer, concluded the seminar with a lecture on Article 125 followed by an interactive affidavit-making activity conducted by Atty. Jason M. Bandal, also a Salonga Center volunteer lawyer and 2010 Bar passer.
The participants were given ample time to clarify questions their minds through an open forum with the speakers after every session. Salonga Center volunteers who were present in the seminar were Zara Dy, Ihra Faith Magno, Ernie Gagno, Gracelyn Bellingan, Dan Tinagan, Ingrid Tinagan, Joanna Rodulfo, Jan Mark Baguio, Kenny Melody Hotingoy, along with the center’s secretary, Ms. Andrea Alviola.
PNP Provincial Director Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, awarded Certificates of Completion and Appreciation to the participants and guest lecturers.