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ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR THE POOR PROJECT REF: EUROPEAID 123344/D/SER/PH

Towards a Citizen-Driven Justice System:


An Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Rachel S. Aquino For the Local Government Academy Department of the Interior and Local Government I. General Introduction A. Background on the Project and on the Assessment The Access to Justice for the Poor Project has for its goal increasing access to justice by poor and vulnerable groups, especially poor women and children. The project purposes are: a) to enhance the ability of the poor and vulnerable groups, particularly poor women and children) to pursue justice to increase their knowledge about their basic rights and the justice system; and b) to strengthen the Justice System to make it more accessible to poor and vulnerable groups. The project intends to address the issues that hamper access to justice by the poor and vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. The Project focus areas are 36 Municipalities in the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Lanao del Norte and Sultan Kudarat. One of the focus mechanisms for accessing justice for the poor at the lowest levels is the Barangay Justice System (BJS). The BJS or the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) was institutionalized through Presidential Decree 1508, promulgated in 1978, and the Local Government Code of 1991 as a strategy for improving and making the justice system more responsive to the needs of communities. Organized in the villages, the BJS or the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) has since been widely recognized as an alternative system of resolving disputes at the local level. At the forefront of this system is the elected punong barangay who simultaneously acts as its chief executive and presiding officer of the local legislative council. Assisting the punong barangay is the lupong tagapamayapa (conciliation panel) whose members consist of 10-20 persons of known integrity, competence, and fairness who are selected from among those residing or working in the barangay. The lupon tries to amicably settle disputes within a period of sixty (60) days from the date of its submission. Component Two (Community Development and Empowerment of Women and Children) of the Access to Justice for the Poor project expects that by the end of the project: a) the Barangay Justice System in selected barangays is strengthened in accordance with the revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law; b) Legal Information Desks are established in targeted barangays to function in co-ordination with the Municipal
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Court Information Officers (MCIOs)1 and c) poor and vulnerable groups (i.e., women and children) in the barangays know their rights and are aware of the legal procedures. Thus, while the Institutional Assessment is aimed at informing the measures for strengthening of the BJS in accordance with the revised KP Law, the assessment will also attempt to look into the feasibility of establishing Legal Information Desks, either to be lodged at the Lupong Tagapamayapa or created as a separate mechanism at the barangay level. B. Access to Justice and Institutional Assessment Framework The institutional assessment was guided by two key conceptual frameworks: the project framework on access to justice for the poor; and an institutional assessment and development approach in analysing the capacities of institutions. Access to Justice Framework Achieving access to justice requires fundamental elements: that the formal and informal norms of protection are established in law and tradition and are understood in a common way; and that the two key players in the justice system the duty holders and the claim holders have equal capacities, i.e., the duty holders the capacity to provide justice remedies and the claimholders the capacity to demand that remedies are provided. The capacity of the duty holders to provide remedies to provide formal and informal mechanisms is a key element in successfully providing a rights-based access to justice. Capacities involve such factors as institutions and functions (law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and the barangay justice system), their policies and procedures, resources and competencies, their institutional coordinative relationships as well as their integrity and accountability. All these affect the accessibility of the means to obtain remedies and the speed, impartiality and the quality of remedies. They also provide the foundations for effective mechanisms in insulating the system from discrimination and politicisation. Achieving access to justice depends on several factors: INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY, which means that the institutions of justice have the appropriate institutional mechanisms (functions, structures, processes, human competencies, resources and technologies) and are gender- and child-sensitive enough to facilitate access to justice by the poor and to provide fair, just, and speedy resolution of cases. GEOGRAPHICAL ACCESS which means legal remedies and conflict resolution mechanisms are within geographical reach of the poor , particularly women and children, considering their situations and the availability of transport and communications to them.

The Municipal Clerks of Court were designated by the Supreme Court to be the Municipal Court Information Officers at the first level courts. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 2 of 65

FINANCIAL ACCESS which means that availing justice and conflict resolution mechanisms is within the cost that is affordable to the poor, particularly women and children. CITIZEN CAPACITY which means that community members, particularly poor women and children, have sufficient knowledge and understanding of their rights, the systems and procedures in justice institutions that they need to or they can access, and have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the laws relevant to their issues and cases.

Institutional Assessment and Strengthening Framework A tool for institutional assessment and capacity development used for assessing the barangay justice system identifies the core components of a well-functioning organization, regardless of size and functional complexity, to comprise of the following: Conscience units and functions - those involved in the formulation of plans, policies and programs; monitoring and evaluation of organizational performance; research and development, and other units related to strategic planning, policy formulation, design of agency products and services, self-evaluation, and ensuring the establishment of capacity for continuing learning and development. Housekeeping units and functions those involved in the administrative and financial operations, including budgeting and accounting, procurement and physical assets management, human resource management, and other logistical support units and functions. Mission-critical units and functions those that directly deal with production and delivery of the products and services for which the agency is mandated by law to do. The review and recommendations seek to address issues on access, efficiency, relevance, capacity to meet present and future demands, and other relevant considerations.

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FIGURE 1. INSTITUTIONAL ASSESSMENT AND STRENGTHENING FRAMEWORK

EXTERNAL CONTEXT

INTERNAL CONTEXT
EFFICIENCY QUALITY RESPONSIVENESS

EXTERNAL CONTEXT

LEGAL FRAMEWORK CLIENTELE OTHER JUSTICE AGENCIES NAITIONAL GOVERNMENT PLANNING, BUDGETING AND ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS EDUCATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS

INTEGRITY SYSTEMS INTERNAL CONTROL TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY

ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES SYNERGY, SYNCHRONIZATION AND COMPLEMENTATION DISTRIBUTION PHILOSOPHY

STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS FORMAL STRUCTURE INFORMAL STRUCTURE LINKAGES DECISION AND COMMUNICATION LADDERS

PRODUCTION DELIVERY SYSTEMS PROCESS TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES SCOPE OF OPERATIONAL DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY BEHAVIOR SYSTEMS RECRUITMENT REMUNERATION CAREER PATH, INCENTIVES AND REWARDS WORKPLACE QUALITY

ACHIEVEMENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ACHIEVEMENT OF MANDATE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OPERATING TARGETS ENSURED OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL VIABILITY

MANAGEMENT AND DEVT SYSTEMS MANDATE PLAN-PROGRAM-BUDGET POLICIES AND PROCEDURES R & D INNOVATION PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

BASIC RESOURCES FINANCIAL : PHYSICAL : MANPOWER : TECHNOLOGICAL

C. Objectives and Scope of the Institutional Assessment In general, the institutional assessment aimed to identify key external and internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the BJS as a mechanism for accessing justice by the poor and vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. Specifically, the objectives of the institutional assessment were to: 1. Analyse the key operating systems, procedures and practices operating at the BJS in selected target barangays, including the extent that it conforms to or departs from the parameters provided by the KP Law. 2. Determine the roles, institutional arrangements and linkages with other agencies and relevant governmental units, and civil society groups, both local and national, in relation to the implementation of the following laws and their implementing rules and regulations (IRR): 1) Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law; 2) Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (RA9262); 3) Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (RA9344);
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4) Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act ; 5) Child Abuse Act (RA7610). 3. Determine the feasibility of establishing a Legal Information Desk (LID), as a subunit to be lodged at the BJS. The Institutional Assessment was meant to complement and be complemented by a Baseline Study of barangay level local governance mechanisms, to be conducted by personnel of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and a Training Needs Assessment to be jointly conducted by the Local Government Academy and the Local Consultant. The baseline study was a survey research aimed at generating data from primary sources. The objective of the baseline study was to identify functional mechanisms at the barangay level that could serve as the Legal Information Desk or as complementary mechanisms to the Katarungang Pambarangay, among others. The overall framework, methodology and tools of the baseline study were designed by the National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO), in close consultation with the Local Consultant and Project Officers of the AJPP. All 759 barangays covered by the AJPP were surveyed from March through April of 2007. The results of the baseline study were meant to inform the Institutional Assessment, particularly on the feasibility of establishing a Legal Information Desk and on other complementary mechanisms at the barangay level that enhances access to justice by the poor. The Training Needs Assessment (TNA) for the BJS was meant to provide data on the current knowledge, competency and attitudinal levels of members of the Lupon Tagapamayapa. The TNA will serve as input for the design of the training workshops on the KP Law, Mediation and VAWC Laws expected to be conducted at the last quarter of the Access to Justice for the Poor Project (August-October, 2007). The TNA was conducted from March to April, 2007, in conjunction with the Institutional Assessment of the BJS. Five barangays from each of the 36 municipalities were surveyed using the same criteria for sampling as that of the Institutional Assessment. D. Study Outputs The Institutional Assessment was expected to generate the following outputs: a. Assessment of the procedures, practices, systems, performance, and human (competency) and financial resources of the BJS, including the feasibility of establishing a Legal Information Desk as a BJS subunit; b. Proposed strengthening and reform measures that will address issues arising from the assessment; c. Proposed amendments to the KP Law and related implementing procedures d. Implementation Strategy, outlining and organizing the various required actions to put the strengthening measures in place

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E. Assessment Methodology2 1. Secondary Data Research: Review of Related Laws and Literature The objective of the review of past studies was to present the over-all policy environment and legal framework of the Katarungang Pambarangay; and to present recent studies and findings concerning the BJS operations and policy recommendations. Review of the legal issuances creating and organizing the Katarungang Pambarangay Review of the context within which the KP performs its role: national policy environment and justice issues; the role of the different agencies having administrative and oversight functions over the KP Review of previous studies conducted on the BJS Review of the results of the 2007 Baseline Study conducted by the DILGs National Barangay Operations Office

2. Key Informant Interviews of National-Level Experts Seven national-level experts were interviewed for the assessment. The objective of key informant interviews of national level experts was to gather key viewpoints and opinions on the current state of the BJS, issues and concerns and possible recommended measures. National-level key informants included the author of the KP Law, Directors of key units of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, key civil society actors, lawyers, and mediation practitioners. (List of key informants annexed to this report) 3. Key Informant Interviews at the Field Level In addition to national-level experts, over a hundred key informants were interviewed in 13 barangays from five municipalities (one municipality for each of the five AJPP target provinces) over a period of four weeks in March and April (List of key informants annexed to this report). The objective of the key informant interviews at the barangay level was to analyze the key operating systems, procedures and practices operating at the BJS in selected target barangays, including the extent to which those conform to or depart from the parameters provided by the KP Law.

For easier reference, a Matrix of Indicators, Questions and Instruments is presented is Annexed. The design and methodology for this assessment was presented to a Round Table Discussion at the Local Government Academy on February 1, 2007, participated in by Directors and representatives from the LGA, National Barangay Operations Office, DILGs Legal Services, Barangay Local Government Supervision Office, field personnel from Oriental Mindoro, a representative from the Liga ng mga Barangay, and a representative from the Gerry Roxas Foundation. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 6 of 65

Data gathered from key informant interviews at the barangay level included information on the following: a. the internal formal structure and functional configuration How are the lupons constituted in their barangays? What are local practices in selecting lupon members. Do these conform or depart from the KP Law? Term of office: Is its being more or less co-terminus with the PBs term a helping or hindering factor? Is the composition of the lupon reflective of the prevailing values and attitudes of the community on human rights and gender issues ? Are women represented? Are child-rights advocates represented or at least have a voice? Is the composition of the lupon diverse, and representative of political groups and sectors? Or does a particular group dominate the composition? b. service delivery systems- How many cases are filed before the lupon in a month? In a year? What are the nature and types of cases brought before it? Is mediation, conciliation, and arbitration practiced in accordance with the KP Law? Is the process affordable? How are fees set? Is the process speedy? Is the process credible? Do community members trust the process? Is the lupon accessible to community members, especially to women, children and other vulnerable groups (geographical access, language, sensitivity)? If yes, do the community members use it? If it is not used, why? c. Financial Resources -Where do the funds for the Lupons operations come from? Are these enough? Who manages the funds of the lupon? Is this funding level sustainable? Can there be other possible sources not being tapped? d. Policy- are there standard operating procedures?Are all members of the lupon aware of the procedures?Are community members aware of the procedures? e. Planning and performance management systems-is there a planning system in place? how is the planning undertaken? What are the contents of the plan? Who initiates the planning process? Who monitors the lupons performance? How is this performance evaluated? What reporting requirements are there? Are these reporting forms/requirements burdensome? f. What incentives and rewards are offered? g. What are current competency levels (Knowledge, skills and attitudes related to access to justice) - Knowledge on KP Law, laws affecting women and children (violence against women and children, anti sexual harassment, anti-rape, Anti- human trafficking, juvenile justice act, Child Abuse Act; Skills on interviewing, dispute analysis, effective communication, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, counselling, documentation of cases, report-writing; Attitudes about womens and childrens rights h. Perceptions of community members regarding duty-holders
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i. Information needs 4. Selection of Sample Barangays and Respondents: Criteria for selecting sample barangays and municipalities were: 1) high incidence of VAWC cases; 2) cultural/industry mix; and 3) High caseload of KP. From each province, one municipality was selected, for a total of five sample municipalities. From each sample municipality, one barangay nearest the first level courts and the municipal government, one target barangay farthest from the center, and as practicable as possible, one midway barangay were surveyed. The assumption of this methodology is that the barangay nearest to the center of government (i.e, nearest the municipal hall and the hall of justice) with the highest caseload would represent the barangays having the best institutional conditions for access to justice as it has the best access to the mechanisms of government and the formal justice system, while the farthest barangay with the highest caseload would present the most challenging conditions being faced by the katarungang pambarangay. One other justification for the methodology is that the barangay nearest the center were expected to have a higher caseload than a rural barangay, as the opportunities for crime and conflicts are more present in urbanizing areas, whereas the midway barangay would allow for other factors such as cultural mix, industry types, and average socio-economic status of residents. Other considerations in selecting the sample barangays were: socio-cultural mix (eg. Muslim-Christian or Christian-Lumad, representation of coastal and non-coastal areas), and the commitment and capacity of DILG field personnel to arrange the FGDs and interviews quickly and efficiently. Based on the above criteria, selection of sample barangays and municipalities was conducted by the National Barangay Operations Officer, in close coordination with target Municipal Local Government Operations Officers. From these criteria, the following municipalities and barangays were selected:
PROVINCE Oriental Mindoro MUNICIPALITY Puerto Galera BARANGAYS Rural- Tabinay Midway/Coastal- Sabang Urban Poblacion Rural Cuyaoyao Midway - Salvacion Urban-Poblacion Rural- Manhoy Urban- Duyoc Rural /Mixed Muslim- Christian Nangka Urban Ma. Cristina Rural/Mixed IP-Christian Pamantingan Midway /Mixed Muslim-Christian- Ala Urban Brgy. Poblacion, Tacurong City

Camarines Sur

Tigaon

Capiz Lanao del Norte Sultan Kudarat

Dao Baloi Tacurong City and Esperanza

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Informants came from the following sectors: a) either one of the following: barangay captain, secretary of the lupon or at least one active member of the Lupon. When all were available at the time of the field visit, a focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted. FGDs were preferred to that of one-on-one interviews as there is simultaneous validation and checking among respondents. For this set of informants, KII Form No. 1 was used as guide questions (Annexed). b) at least one community member from among those who are not users of the system but influences the practices and views of the community on womens and childrens rights (parish priests, datu, imam, NGOs, POs, rural health worker, day care worker, or head of a local womens group). If more than one of these were available at the time of the field visit, an FGD was conducted For this set of informants, KII Form No. 2 was used as guide questions (Annexed). c) as practicable as possible, at least one recent user of the system. For this, KII Form No. 3 was used (Annexed).

Information generated from the responses on KII Forms No 2 and 3 are the following: a) community awareness on the KP Law; b) community perceptions on the accessibility, effectivity, and integrity of the Lupon Tagapamayapa; c) Issues and Concerns of community members on the accessibility, effectivity and integrity of the Lupon Tagapamayapa) 5. Focus Group Discussions at the Municipal Level Five municipal-level FGDs were conducted (one in each of the five municipalities sampled for this assessment), the objective of which was to determine the roles, institutional arrangements and linkages between key implementers and other agencies and relevant governmental units, and civil society groups, both local and national, in relation to the implementation of the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law, the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (RA9262), the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (RA9344), the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA___ ) and the Anti- Child Abuse Act (RA7610) and their implementing rules and regulations (IRR): Over fifty municipal officials participated at the FGDs, including the following: Local Chief Executive (Municipal Mayor or Vice Mayor), Municipal Local Government Operations Officer, Municipal Social Work and Development Officer, Municipal Health Officer, GAD Committee Representative, Chief of Police or Womens Desk Police Officer, Municipal Health Officer, NGOs/POs working on womens issues, if any. (List of municipal-level FGD participants annexed to this report). Questions posed to the participants were on two areas: their views on the current state and issues faced by the Katarungang Pambarangay, and on
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interagency linkages whether formal or informal- and coordination mechanisms that are operational at the municipal level. Questions on the current state of the KP included the following: What do you think are the pressing issues being faced by the KP? Is mediation and arbitration being practiced in accordance with the KP Law? What are issues and concerns on monitoring and evaluation of performance of lupons? In relation to geographical, financial and cultural access of women and children and of other vulnerable groups, questions included the following: On the average, how many disputes involve women and children? Do the poor, especially women and children find it easy to go to the Lupon? Why or why not? What do you think are the reasons why community members do not use the KP? What are other issues and concerns on accessibility, especially on the part of women and children? Questions posed on interagency coordination and linkages included the following: What is your agencys role in the implementation of the KP law and the four laws on women and children? With which agency/ies do you coordinate in implementing those laws? What are issues and concerns regarding interagency coordination do you encounter? What is/are existing inter-agency mechanism/s that can facilitate better implementation of the above-mentioned laws? 6.0Time Frame of the Assessment The Institutional Assessment was conducted from February through April, 2007. The Local Consultant was assisted by LGA Project Officers for the AJPP, National Barangay Operations Office personnel and the respective Municipal Local Government Operations Officer in all field interviews. Field interviews commenced on March 5 and ended on April 12,2007.

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II. Institutional Framework and External Environment A. General Barangay Organizational Structure Existing literature on the Katarungang Pambarangay largely focuses on the Lupon Tagapamayapa. By legal definition, the Lupong Tagapamayapa is equated with the concept of barangay justice. However, in order to understand barangay justice in its generic sense (i.e., justice as it is obtained in the barangay), it is important to understand the entire barangay structure and examine which actors play a role, either in a primary or adjunct capacity, when citizens attempt to access justice at the lowest level. This paper thus does not limit the concept of barangay justice to the operations and practices of the Lupong Tagapamayapa alone, but to the entire barangay structure itself. The Local Government Code of 1991 Section 324 mandates the barangay with three most basic functions. A) as a basic political unit, the barangay is the smallest political entity used for governance; b) As a primary planning and implementing unit, the barangay is mandated to plan development projects in its territory and to deliver basic services of the government; and c) as a forum, the barangay is the sounding board of the views of the people on various governance topics. In relation to the first and last basic functions, the barangay provides a venue for the amicable settlement of disputes. The Local Government Code mandates each barangay to have a punong barangay, seven sanggunian barangay members, the sanggunian kabataan chairman, a barangay secretary, and a barangay treasurer. The law also mandates the formation of a Lupong Tagapamayapa. The sangguniang barangay may form community brigades and create other positions or offices necessary subject to budgetary limitations. For purposes of the Revised Penal Code, the punong barangay, sangguniang brangay members, and members of the lupong tagapamayapa in each barangay shall be deemed as persons of authority in their jurisdictions, while other barangay officials and members who may be designated by law or ordinance and charged with the maintenance of public order, protection and security of life and property, and any barangay resident who comes to the aid of persons in authority, shall be deemed agents of persons in authority. The term of office of elective barangay officials is three years. They may not serve for more than three consecutive years for the same position. In addition to the above governmental powers, the barangay also has certain corporate powers similar to private businesses and companies. This is relevant in the sense that part of its corporate powers is the power to sue others in a court of law, and to be sued by others. This has often been an ignored and largely unused power that the barangay has, which could play a very significant part in access to justice. There is yet a case filed by a barangay on behalf of women and children victims of violence, a grey area that is worth testing in Philippine jurisprudence.

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FIGURE 2. BARANGAY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE


BARANGAY ASSEMBLY

Lupon Tagapamayapa

Punong Barangay

Sangguniang Kabataan

Sangguniang Barangay

Secretary

Treasurer

Barangay Peace and Order Committee (BPOC)

Barangay Development Council (BDC)

Barangay Disaster Coordinating Committee (BDDC)

Barangay Nutrition Committee (BNC)

Barangay Anti-Drug Action Committee (BADAC)

Barangay Solid Waste Management Committee (BSWMC)

Barangay Physical Fitness Sports Devt. Council (BPFSDC)

TANOD

Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC)

Barangay Human Rights Action Officer (BHRAO)

The punong barangay (village chief, popularly called Kapitan/Kapitana or Barangay Chairman/Chairwoman), an elected official with a term of three years, heads the barangay. He/She simultaneously acts as its chief executive and presiding officer of the local legislative council. His/her peace and order and dispute resolution-related functions include: 1) Enforcement of all laws and ordinances applicable within the barangay; 2) Maintainance of public order in the barangay; 3) administration of the operation of the katarungang pambarangay. (LGC 1991 Sec 389). The Sangguniang Barangay, the legislative body, is composed of the punong barangay as presiding officer, and the seven regular sangguniang barangay members (called kagawads), elected at large, and sangguniang kabataan (Youth Council) chairman as members. In relation to barangay justice and access to justice of women and children, its powers include the provision of administrative needs of the lupong tagapamayapa and the pangkat tagapagkasundo, provision for the organization of barangay tanod or community service units as may be necessary, provision for the proper development and welfare of children in the barangay by promoting and supporting activities for the protection and total development of children (particularly those below seven years old); adoption of measures towards the prevention and eradication of drug abuse, child abuse, and juvenile delinquency, and to act as peace officers in the maintenance of public order and safety (LGC 1991 Sec.390-392).
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B. The Katarungangang Pambarangay (KP) System: Chapter 7, Sections 399-422 of the Local Government Code The Barangay Justice System (BJS) or the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) was institutionalized through Presidential Decree 1508, promulgated in 1978, and the Local Government Code of 1991 as a strategy for improving and making the justice system more responsive to the needs of communities. The creation of the BJS can be considered a significant milestone in making redress of grievances accessible to the poor. Essentially, the BJS seeks to improve the communitys access to justice. Another objective of the BJS is to recognize traditional and indigenous modes of dispute resolution, because even before the BJS was established, time-honored traditions based on kinship, utang na loob (debt of gratitude), padrino (patronage), pakikisama (comradeship), and community mores already define, however informally, how justice should be served. Organized in the villages, the Katarungang Pambarangay or Barangay Justice System is a widely recognized alternative system of resolving disputes at the local level. While there are other existing modes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as those traditionally practiced by local communities and indigenous peoples, the BJS has been accepted and used all over the country. The BJS promotes ways of resolving disputes through the mechanisms of conciliation, mediation, and arbitration, which are perceived to be more aligned with community values geared towards consensus rather than adversarial modes as exemplified by the formal court system. The punong barangay is concurrent Chair of the Katarungang Pambarangay. Assisting the punong barangay is the lupong tagapamayapa (mediation committee) whose members consist of 10-20 persons of known integrity, competence, and fairness who are selected from among those residing or working in the barangay. The lupon, through the pangkat tagapagkasundo (conciliation panel, consisting of three members of the lupon) tries to amicably settle disputes within a period of sixty (60) days from the date of its submission. The barangay secretary acts as custodian of KP records, records the results of the mediation proceedings before the punong barangay, and submits reports to the proper city or municipal courts and relevant agencies. The system is exemplified by informal processes and the prohibition of the presence of lawyers during its proceedings.3 The Local Government Code of 1991, under Section 16, calls on local government units to ensure and support the maintenance of peace and order. The Code sets up local Peace and Order Councils to serve as the implementing arm for peace and order initiatives in the cities and municipalities. Executive Order 366 created the Barangay Peace and Order Committees. The BPOC is responsible for promoting peace and order and ensuring public safety.

The disputing parties are however not prohibited from consulting lawyers prior to or during the mediation process. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 13 of 65

Jurisdiction and Coverage of Cases of the BJS The jurisdiction of the BJS is limited to cases where the applicable penalty is imprisonment of not more than one year or a fine not exceeding five thousand pesos. Crimes committed by government personnel in the performance of official duties as well as crimes having no private offended parties are however outside the system. All agrarian disputes within the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) are likewise outside the application of the BJS and are instead referred to another barangaylevel dispute resolution mechanism, the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committees (BARCs). Disputes cognizable by the BJS are often referred to as minor disputes or offenses including petty thievery, slander, gossip, collection of loans, petty destruction of property and crops, and the like. There are three general categories of types of cases recorded by the BJS in their quarterly reports: criminal, civil and other cases. Upon closer scrutiny, the other cases mentioned refer to those that fall outside its jurisdiction, but are registered as a dispute, are mediated, and either resolved or unresolved by the barangay. In recent years, there had been an increasing number of cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, and rape incidents filed by citizens with the BJS. With the enactment of various legislation on violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as legislation related to children in conflict with the law (CICL), Family Courts were established to hear cases on these4. The BJS still gets involved in VAWC and CICL cases through the issuances of Protection Orders and diversion programs, respectively, with close coordination with Family Courts prosecutors/public defenders, the police, and municipal social workers and health officers. The primary objective of PD1508 was to decongest the courts of its cases. By setting limits on cases that may be filed with the regular courts, the law hopes to give judges ample time to study the cases and prepare good decisions. It further aims to provide conditional access to formal adjudication by giving the disputants a venue to settle their differences with the aid of community mediators and respected elders. C. Other Important Stakeholders at the Barangay What is evident however in this assessment is that while the Katarungang Pambarangay Law is limited to the Lupong Tagapamayapa with the Barangay Captain as its Chair and the Barangay Secretary as its documenter, there are a variety of actual practices on the ground that do not limit mediation, conciliation and even arbitration to these actors alone. Various actors within the barangay and sometimes even the whole barangay structure itself are often involved in dispute resolution. In many provinces, the barangay kagawads and barangay tanods are actively involved in dispute resolution. More often, cases are brought first to Purok leaders (who
4

one bench among the Regional Trial Courts is usually designated as a Family Court. In areas where there is no designated Family Courts, or where they are geographically inaccessible, the nearest Municipal or Circuit Courts may accept family-related cases and VAWC cases. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 14 of 65

are more often the Kagawad assigned in that purok and is a resident of that purok). A purok is a subunit of the barangay composed of a cluster of households. Each barangay can have as many puroks as deemed practicable and necessary, but in many cases, there are as many puroks as there are barangay council representatives, with each one represented at the brgy council by their respective kagawad. On cases where the number of puroks exceed the number of kagawads, purok leaders represent their puroks at barangay meetings. As mentioned above, the barangay kagawads is the village level council members, the legislative arm of the villages. Their mandated function is to enact ordinances and plan for barangay development. In actual practice, however, as they are salaried officials, most barangays maximize their kagawads by assigning them many committee memberships and conferring them with problem-solving mandates, including that of dispute resolution. Along with the barangay kagawad, the barangay tanod also plays an important role in conflict resolution and maintenance of peace and order in the community. The barangay tanod as a whole is a community brigade composed of civilian volunteers appointed by the Punong Barangay upon the recommendation of barangay kagawads acting as Barangay Peace and Order Committee. The Local Government Code provides for a maximum of 20 tanods in each barangay; however, villages may create more as necessary in accordance with the needs of public service, and subject to the budgetary limitations of the barangay. The Punong Barangay can designate a Chief Tanod/Ex -O to head the group. The tanods can also be organized in teams of two to four members in each team headed by a Team Leader. With the advent of progressive women- and children-related laws, the barangay officials, especially the Barangay Captain, plays an increasingly important role in access to justice of vulnerable groups. More than the Lupon Tagapamayapa (who although are considered persons of authority by the Code, are however not salaried members of the barangay structure and are not elected), the barangay captain benefits from the assistance of the barangay kagawads and tanods in dispute resolution. D. Other Important Stakeholders at the Municipal and Provincial Levels For the Department of Interior and Local Government, two front line service providers play very important roles in the barangay justice system and dispute resolution: The Mayors, and the Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs) The Municipal Mayor is the local chief executive at the municipal level. The Mayor (and in some cases, the Vice Mayor, when the latter works closely and is of the same party as the Mayor) in many instances becomes the final mediator/ arbiter of disputes that are unresolved by barangays. Because the Katarungang Pambarangay do not have jurisdiction over disputants belonging to different barangays, Mayors then provide a valuable alternative to the courts. He/She often becomes the default dispute resolution last resort, especially among disputants who are personally known to him or are
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connected to him in any way from the various networks of relationships found in Philippine villages. In Muslim areas such as in Lanao del Norte, where cases of rido (Maranao clan wars) can often become very violent and deadly, and often involve multiple barangays and clans, the Mayors play an important role in dispute resolution. Municipal Local Government Operations Officer An LGOO at the Municipal Level is the front line field personnel for the DILG. They plan, organize, direct/implement, and monitor the DILGs programs and activities in the municipality. They provide technical assistance to the local chief executives at the municipal and barangay levels, and provide secretariat assistance to the Municipal Council and other federations at the municipal level. Perhaps because of their influence in municipal governance, they are often referred to as little mayors. In relation to the Katarungang Pambarangay, the MLGOOs are automatic members of the KP Monitoring Units, and in majority of the cases, is the sole monitoring authority involved in gathering reports and providing supervision over the Katarungang Pambarangay. They are also looked on to provide training and advise to barangay officials and Lupon Tagpamayapa members. In some cases, the MLGOO is sometimes called upon to settle disputes that the barangay is unable to settle, or to mediate in cases where parties involved are barangay officials. Other important stakeholders who invariably find themselves providing services to barangay disputants are: Municipal Social Welfare Officers, Chief of Police and Womens Desk Officers, Municipal Health Officers, Fiscals, Prosecutors and Judges at the MTC, MCTC, NCIP for communities with indigenous peoples, and datus and Ulamas for communities with Moslem populations. The BJS Internal Environment The assessment examines the internal operational mechanisms: basic resources, management systems, including financial and administrative systems, production and delivery systems (tools and techniques), behavior systems (recruitment to the Lupon, incentives and rewards), integrity systems (systems of accountability, transparency, internal control systems), system of organizational values at the five municipalities and 13 barangays surveyed. The portion on Case Studies of Five Municipalities will detail the BJS internal Environment assessment

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III. Results of the Review of Related Literature: A. From DILGs National Barangay Operations Office From January to December 2005, there were a total of 418,247 cases brought before the BJS throughout the country. Of these, 187,725 (45%) were classified by the DILG as criminal cases, 164, 744 (39%) were classified as civil in nature, and the rest (65,776or 16%) were classified as Others. Government estimates savings generated from this caseload represents about PhP2,993,412,000 (computed at PhP9,500/case). B. A survey conducted by the Gerry Roxas Foundation in 2000 entitled A Study on the Efficacy and Efficiency of the Barangay Justice System revealed the following data; In 1999, 42,194 cases were brought to the barangay; 18, 301 of these are criminal case; 19, 378 are civil cases; 4,515 other cases. In 1998, of 64,098 disputes, 34% were settled. In 1999 there was a 65% settlement rate out of 28,689 cases filed. Ninety percent believe that the Lupong Tagapamayapa helped reduce court dockets and promoted harmonious relationships. Concerns of community residents include: a) biased decision/third party meddling/ political interference; b) lack of knowledge of the Katarungang Pambarangay program; c) lack of cooperation among parties involved (non appearance); d) lack of funds for KP operations; e) misunderstanding between Lupon Chairperson and members; Sixty-eight percent of residents would not involve with the BJS since they have no disputes; 79% of respondents perceive that the implementation of the BJS improved peoples access to justice; 98% of implementers believe that LT improved peoples access to justice; Major monitoring problems identified are lack of funding support and inadequate knowledge on the KP monitoring unit; the role of agencies involved in monitoring such as DILG and DOJ also needs to be defined and clarified; The study identified the following areas for improvement: a) development of a system for effective KP implementation; b) information dissemination of the program; c) funding support for KP operations. Twenty-five percent of respondents recommend more training seminars for Lupon members. One of the principal recommendations of the study is to enhance advocacy activities on the KP and intensify information dissemination specially in barangays; 22% of PBs suggested requiring new law graduates to render assistance to the baranagy. Lupon members interviewed also recommended the provision of allowance to LT members The GRF study revealed the following conclusions :
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1) 2)

3) 4) 5)

in areas where BJS is functioning, the citizens look to it as their court, their avenue for their quest for justice There is a need for more information on the KP law itself. There is a lack of budgetary support: while the barangay has the power and authority to provide financial support to the BJS , it does not; Citizens support the BJS because it is accessible, fast and inexpensive; There is a need to review the KP law; and The KP helped declog court dockets

C. The Barangay Justice System Review conducted by The Asia Foundation in 2004 focused on whether the objectives of the BJS had been met, namely: (1) to declog court dockets; (2) as a cost-saving measure of government; (3) preservation of Filipino culture; and (4) speedy dispensation of justice. The study was premised on the conceptual framework that BJS has both its intrinsic and extrinsic values. Its intrinsic value lies in the systems ability to promote community peace among the citizens. Its extrinsic value is its invaluable role in de-clogging court dockets and reducing expenses of the judicial system and the potential court litigants. The study concluded that the Katarungang Pambarangay or barangay justice system has, in general, served its purpose. Ordinary citizens view it as an immediate recourse to justice. While restoring community peace might prove difficult, the BJS admittedly prevents or mitigates potential conflicts. The study also showed that the peoples level of appreciation of the BJS is high and is principally related to disputants satisfaction. Parties are generally satisfied with the BJS by not pursuing cases in courts. For those who were interviewed at the community level, justice is served when the case is brought to the attention of the barangay. Even though the process is informal and substantive issues are not fully discussed, the satisfaction is derived from the feeling of a contracted peace reached by the disputants. Its appropriateness is rooted in its attribute as a community-level mechanism that utilizes an informal and non-litigious process. The high degree of acceptability of the mediators is the common response to the question of why disputants agree to settle at the BJS level. Any sign of partiality, especially from the punong barangay, will make it difficult for the dispute resolution to progress. Although the mechanism is mandatory for both parties, lack of interest stemming from perceptions of bias and partiality can become a major hindrance to any mediation efforts. A party or both parties will just go through the motion of conciliation or mediation before asking for a certification to file cases in court. Regarding the objective of de-clogging court docket, the study shows that there is no direct inference, even by the regular courts, that the BJS has significantly reduced the cases filed in courts. While BJS implementers unanimously consider that the system certainly helps ordinary citizens to seek justice, they do not see any direct relation between such observation and the de-clogging of court dockets.
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It was also strongly opined that there is an urgent need to address problems relating to its implementation. The issue of implementing agreements mediated or arbitrated through the BJS needs to be resolved in favor of the complainants. In that way, the perception that the BJS is just another bureaucratic hurdle prior to filing court cases will be eradicated. Based on the data gathered, the study concludes that the BJS is effective to the extent that the community appreciates its purpose. The implementers are however silent as to whether and how the BJS helps de-clog the courts. One disadvantage that was cited is still the common practice of regarding the BJS as a mere mechanism for the issuance of a certification to file action in court. It is perceived that the issuance of such certification is the only substantial power given to the BJS. Access to justice by the citizenry is still a vision to many barangays and Filipinos in general. However, it was observed in this study that, with an increased awareness of the laws and the legal system, more citizens are taking cognizance of the importance of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Aside from the BJS, other alternative modes of dispute resolution are now being established. These include the barangay human rights action committee, barangay agrarian reform committees, environmental and natural resources councils, and the local development councils. A study of the existing ADR mechanisms will provide an indication of the benefits that these can provide to the Philippine justice system. The presence of such non-BJS mechanisms at the community level had, to a certain extent, indirectly contributed to disposing cases otherwise filed in the regular courts. D. Impact Assessment of BJSS V DKM project conducted by the Gery Roxas Foundation in 2006 : The Barangay Justice Service System V Dalaw sa Kalinaw (Road to Peace) Mindanaw Project implemented by the Gerry Roxas Foundation from 2002-2005, which aimed at reducing violent conflicts as a result of promoting good governance, strengthening rule of law, and sustaining family and community peace was assessed in 2006. The projects cornerstone lies in the training of barangay justice advocates (BJAs) who are supposed to complement the KPs Lupon Tagapamayapa by settling disputes and counseling conflicting parties. It found that after the implementation of the project, access to justice by poor and marginalized groups was improved leading to the promotion of harmony and cooperation among inter-ethnic groups. Among the major findings of the study are: the project has reduced violent conflicts in the target areas; incidence of disputes dropped by 65% and escalation of disputes declined by 38%.
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These were accompanied by 106% increase in community cooperative activities, a 94% increase in attendance in community meetings, an 86% increase in civic organization activities, a 160% increase in participation in community projects, and a 58% increase in school enrollment and attendance. Barangay justice advocates helped prevent disputes from escalating into violent conflicts. Before the projects implementation in the project areas, the KP settled 71.4% of the 1,439 disputes reported during the period, traditional leaders/relatives settled 18.9%of the cases , and government agencies , 5.2%. Only 4.5% were referred to the legal system and appropriate agencies; After the project, the total disputes reported in the sample barangays dropped from 1,439 to 924. The disputes settled by the KP dropped from 71.4% to 25.6%. The barangay justice advocates settled 56% of the total number of disputes. Traditional elders/relatives settled only 8.9%, and cases referred to the legal system dropped from 65 to 25 cases. The project generated positive attitudinal and behavioral changes between and among ethnic groups particularly in the area of inter-ethnic participation in community activities. Participation of ethnic groups in community activities increased by 64%, and in implementation of community projects, by 97%. A 107% increase in respondents perception on inter-marriage between ethnic groups and a 173% increase on intermarriage between members of different religious denominations. The project institutionalized reforms in the community justice system by increasing the number of service providers and community access to justice. Total number of service providers increased from 512 to 1463, attributed to the presence of barangay justice advocates trainers.BJAs. As a whole, the project has produced a strong impact on institutionalizing reforms and promoting individual and family responsibility on the community justice system. The project enhanced womens involvement in mediation and dispute resolution. The impact assessment measured womens involvement in terms of the role of women in settling disputes, number of women trained to settle disputes, number of cases settled by women mediators, number of women volunteering as mediators, involvement of women in BJA training, and involvement of women in resolution of disputes. The role of women in settling disputes has increased by 134%, and the number of women trained to settle disputes increased by 173%. Cases settled by women mediators increased by 400%; women volunteering as mediators by 309% and involvement in dispute resolution, by 536%;

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IV. Issues/Problems Identified from the Review of Related Literature and National Level Key Informant Interviews The Katarungang Pambarangay has been established for more than twenty years now and yet the program is suffering from weak and inadequate institutional support. The enactment of the Local Government Code in 1991 was expected to assist in strengthening the BJS and its institutional network. This still needs to be realized fully. However, in general, the BJS has done its share by providing the venue for justice to be accessible to the community. All literatures, surveys, and researches reviewed for this Institutional Assessment demonstrate the need to review the support given by government and nongovernment institutions to the BJS. While the BJS presently works well, strengthening support for the system through information, training and capacity-building measures, and inter-agency cooperation will definitely solidify its role in improving the publics, especially poor peoples, access to justice. The BJS needs to be interfaced with other laws that aim to protect the rights of indigenous peoples over their ancestral lands and domain. There is a need to review the role of the punong barangay/barangay captain in view of the fact that he is an elective/political official, because much of the literature, survey and interviews reveal that many residents do not use the system because of the lack of credibility on the punong barangay to render judgment or facilitate dispute resolution in an impartial manner. There is a need to review the composition of the Lupon. While one literature suggests that the lupon should be elected, to be able to raise awareness on its existence, interviews and other literature point to the fact that there is a need to depoliticize the whole system and divert cases away from political figures into more credible members of the community. There is a need to increase the prestige of the whole system by providing incentives for law graduates and other professionals to volunteer their services to the community by serving as Lupon members or advocates, or even as paralegals. There is a need to increase the jurisdiction of the BJS to include other barangays in adjacent municipalities and even provinces to resolve the problems relating to access by disputants belonging to different barangays. There is also a need to increase the jurisdiction in the nature of cases, i,.e, increase the amounts covered to be able to include cases such as violation of the bouncing checks law which currently represent a large proportion of the court dockets. There is a need to improve the access to family courts and strengthen its tie-up with the BJS.
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There is a need to put in place a strategic training and capacity-building program that addresses the enormous problem of training 42,00 barangay Lupons, which translates into 400,000-800,000 Lupons with a term of three years. A program that aims to address such a huge human resource training needs should take cognizance of the information, training and capacity-building needs and resource needs of such an undertaking.

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V. Case Studies of Five Municipalities: Results of Barangay Level Key Informant Interviews and Municipal Level Focus Group Discussions

The following pages will detail results of the barangay-level interviews of experts and community residents, and the results of the municipal-level focus group discussions of other key actors in the justice system. 1. Tigaon, Camarines Sur Municipal Profile Tigaon is located in the eastern part of Camarines Sur. It has a total land area of 10,988 hectares. It is 44 kilometers northeast of Naga City and 492 kilometers South of Manila. A large portion of the town is plain or flat; however, six out of 23 barangays are gently sloping to rolling areas located at Mt. Isarog with slopes of 18-30%. A total of 45,500 (2004) persons in 8,650 households are presently inhabiting the town. 4,350 of these are located in the only urban barangay of Poblacion. The town is agricultural with abundant supply of palay, corn, root crops, sugarcane, coconut, citrus, vegetables, marine, livestock and poultry products . Formerly worldrenowned because of its high quality of abaca fibre, Tigaons supply of abaca is now depleted due to massive conversion of abaca plantations into sugarcane and/or corn. Results of the Assessment: Three barangays were surveyed in the Municipality of Tigaon: Poblacion representing a barangay nearest the center, Salvacion, a midway barangay, and Coyaoyao, the barangay farthest from the center. A total of 24 key informants were interviewed; of these, five were community residents and former disputants before the Lupon, while the rest were barangay officials. Ten municipal officials participated in a focus group discussion on inter-agency institutional arrangements on the implementation of the KP and VAWC laws. a. Composition of the Lupon Tagapamayapa- Of the three barangays surveyed, the Lupon Tagapamayapa did not exceed ten members. In Brgy Salvacion, the midway barangay, respondents said the LT had 11 members, but this included the Brgy Captain and the Brgy Secretary. Women are a minority: of the three barangays, only one had women members, and counting only three or one-third of the LT members. When asked what the reason was for not having any women members, informants said there were no women who had enough experience and of mature age. Apparently, age is a significant indicator for selecting LT members. Age of lupon members ranged from 40-75, with majority aging 51-60 years old. The barangay nearest the center had a number of professionals in the Lupon (5 out of 10), while both the midway and farthest barangays had no professionals within its ranks. Most of the Lupon members in the two latter barangays are
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farmers, with one lupon member each listing other occupations such as driver or retail store owner. Religious affiliations of members of the lupon is overwhelmingly Christian, mostly Roman Catholics, with one or two non Roman Catholics (either Mormons or Born Again Christians). The question on political affiliation was found to be an irrelevant one, because barangay officials are mostly non-partisan in nature. In all cases, the lupon members voted differently from each other, and the question of partisan politics during elections is of little relevance in the selection and appointment of Lupon members. Selection of lupon tagapamayapa members vary in practice. Most were selected and appointed by the barangay captain. Brgy Coyaoyao followed the prescribed process of selection: A Council Resolution was passed to constitute the Lupon Tagapamayapa. Members were recommended by the Barangay Captain and submitted to the Council for approval. When approved, the composition of the Lupon was announced in a barangay assembly, together with admonitions on the heavy responsibility assigned to it (mabigat na tungkulin, yung mga maghuhusga sa mga sigalot). Qualifications cited for selecting lupon members in all three barangays were: educational background, respect of the community, willingness to serve, and capacity to solve problems. This was confirmed by community residents interviewed. According to a resident, each prospective Lupon member was approached if they are willing to serve. Priority is given to one who is perceived to have know-how. b. Term of Office of the Lupon - The question on term of office was also found to be irrelevant, as lupons were constituted upon the assumption of the brgy captain, who in all three cases were elected in 2002, and retained more or less the same lupon members. c. Caseload, dispute resolution practices, and constitution of the Pangkat Tagapapagkasundo (Conciliation Panel)- With regard to caseload, the farther the barangay is from the center, the less the number of cases filed before the barangay, and the less frequent the Pangkat Tagapagkasundo is constituted. Poblacion had 93 cases filed before the barangay in 2005, 88 of which were referred to the Pangkat. Salvacion averages 3-4 cases a month, but referred cases to the Pangkat only four times since 2002. Cuyaoyao handled a total of 12 cases in 2006, but only once, in 2003, had a case been referred to the Pangkat. None of the three barangays reported having practiced arbitration. d. Nature of cases filed/encountered Expectedly, the nature of cases filed before the Lupon are petty and minor in nature: public scandal/malicious mischief, loans and other money matters, and chismis (slander). A total of seven VAWC cases for all three barangays were filed: In Poblacion, one case of sexual harassment of a woman and one act of lasciviousness on a child was reported; in Salvacion, two cases of domestic abuse and one child maltreatment case, and in Coyaoyao, a case of marital rape/domestic abuse, and a case of child abuse.
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One case of note encountered by Brgy Coyaoyao was a rape of a minor in 2006. While this was not filed before the Lupon, the barangay was cognizant of the case, and assisted the National Bureau of Investigation when the latter sought its help in prosecuting the case. The Barangay Captain helped in summoning the perpetrator, and assisted in demanding from him the amount of P75,000 as damages. The child has since then been transferred to Manila by her parents to protect her from the perpetrator. There is much evidence of lack of awareness and sensitivity on VAWC cases. In Brgy Coyaoyao, in a domestic dispute between couples which has resulted to violence, the brgy captain counselled the couple to reconcile Mahal mo naman asawa mo, magkasundo na kayo. Also in that barangay, the Captain announces the cases in a blackboard at the door of the barangay hall the names of the disputants, case number, and the nature of the case, as a strategy to make the parties appear and to settle cases, and to discourage repeat offenders, although barangay officials claim that when cases are sensitive in nature, this is not done. e. Length of Resolution of Cases before the Lupon- In all three barangays, cases are settled within 2-3 sessions, with each session averaging 1-2 hours. Length of time of resolution of cases depends on documentary support and the availability of the barangay captain. Typically, a cooling-off period of one week after the first session is recommended, the theory being that after such a period, parties would be more amenable to settlement. f. Venue and time of mediation and conciliation- brgys Poblacion and Salvacion always conduct mediation and conciliation at the barangay hall. In brgy Coyaoyao, a case of domestic abuse was mediated in the house of the couple. Some form of office hours is observed, which is the official hours of the barangay. But barangay officials still contend that it depends on the disputants, implying a great degree of flexibility in the observance of official hours. g. Funds for the Lupon in all cases, the funds for the Lupon is obtained from the overall IRA of the brgy. No support from the Municipal government is obtained specifically for the Lupons operations alone. Brgy Poblacion provides P50 for lupon members for each case handled, whereas Brgys Salvacion and Coyaoyao both devote an amount annually (P4,500 and P4,000 respectively) divided equally as an annual cash gift to lupon members. To some lupon members this level of remuneration is already acceptable, viewing serving in the lupon as a form of community service, while others contend this is not enough, but they express resignation because the barangay internal revenue allotment (IRA) is low. Users pay a very minimal amount, from P20 (Poblacion and Coyaoyao) to P50 (Salavacion). These were supported by barangay ordinances. These fees are then centralized along with other barangay funds, managed by the barangay Treasurer. When asked if this fee is enough, respondents said this is not enough, as even computer ink used in printing letters and agreements already cost P1,000 each.
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h. On Planning, Regular Meetings and Standard Operating Procedures Brgy Coyaoyao officials said they have instituted standard operating procedures in 2002 but this was not used by the Lupon. Brgy Salvacion respondents said that a seminar on KP Law they have once participated in prescribed standard operating procedures, but this is not known nor used by the members. Brgy Poblacion respondents said there are no formal rules; they follow the rule of thumb that there should be no bias, to perform their functions objectively, and that the objective is to settle the dispute. i. On Records the Lupons keep- Kinds of records and files being kept are: on settlements, on complaints, on summons, on Certificates to File Action, Annual Reports, Monthly Accomplishment Reports, attendance in meetings, Minutes of Sessions, logbook of cases/blotter book, case folders, and standard forms (kept in triplicate for DILG, Brgy Secretary, and Pangkat Secretary). These are all kept in filing cabinets in the barangay hall. It was not clear however whether access to these records are limited to the brgy secretary or not. In most cases, confidentiality is compromised by the accessibility of the records to most brgy officials. j. On Monitoring the Lupons Performance- of the three barangays interviewed, only Brgy Salvacion Lupon members was aware of the KP Monitoring Unit. They said it is composed of the MLGOO, the MPDC, and an SB member. Their monthly reports are submitted to the MLGOO, which is in turn submitted to the Province, which in turn submits it to the Region and centralized finally at the Barangay Local Government Supervision. k. Dispute resolution practices operating in the barangays In most cases, residents go to the barangay to file complaints, and the barangay captain attempts to mediate, before referring it to the Lupon, which rarely happens in very rural barangays. In Brgy Salvacion, however, the barangay kagawads attempt to settle disputes as a first step. If no settlement is reached, the Brgy Captain then mediates. Cases reach the Lupon as the third attempt. Community members validate this. The former barangay captain attests that residents think that when cases reach the Lupon, this is viewed as a difficult case (mabigat na), and when no settlement is reached, then the logical step is the issuance of a Certificate to File Action in Court. One recent disputant narrated his experience from filing of a complaint to its resolution in the KP. Vicente, a 70 year old farmer, noticed in October 2005 that his rooster was missing. He noticed that his neighbor is keeping a rooster very similar to his. He strongly suspected that was his rooster, although the neighbour strongly denied it. He filed a complaint before the Lupon Tagapamayapa. Because there are conflicting versions, the lupon investigated the neighbor and gathered testimonies from other neighbors. In the end, other neighbors testified that although the neighbor had a similar rooster, it had already went missing before the dispute. After three sessions covering the span of three months, the neighbor finally conceded that the rooster was of the complainant.
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When asked on his level of satisfaction on the way his case was handled, Vicente said that he was highly satisfied. He said the lupon only sided with the truth (pumanig sa katotohonan). The meetings were closed-door meetings and were not in the open, to protect the reputation of the disputants (iningatan ang pagkatao). A written agreement was executed, outlining agreements on how relationship could be restored (tigilan na ang alitan, huwag nang maulit, at huwag nang makinig sa ibang tao). A pastor of the local Born Again Church in Brgy Salvacion confirms the positive image of the Lupon in their brgy. He says he had been hearing only good feedback from residents. Lupon members are believed to exert all efforts to reconcile parties, that they are objective and fair, and that they counsel parties. l. on Reasons why community members will not use the system or why lupon members would not serve The pastor of the Born Again Church however relates that his church members do not use the lupon tagapamayapa to settle disputes. Members go to their pastors first when they have disputes and the pastor mediates between churchgoers. If one of the disputants is a non-church member, the pastor acts as the go-between between his flock and outsiders. One barangay official cited the lack of a separate office and the lack of face to face meetings of the lupon as the reason why Lupon members have lost motivation for serving in the Lupon. They also cited the effect of local politics; implying that there are lupon members who had a falling out over political differences after the 2004 elections. l. Suggestions for improvement on the KP Operations include: Refresher courses and continuing education, including orientation on new laws even if these are not covered by the KP Better incentives so that the Lupon could be activated Setting of quality standards, including attitudinal levels and educational attainment; Reorganize the lupon, to retire old members and to include women members in the Lupon To improve capacities, members of the lupon observe other lupon members on how they practice mediation, and to reactive monthly meetings to facilitate exchange of ideas Devote a separate office Observe confidentiality; do away with announcements in bulletin board on cases; Conduct information campaign in the community on the KP, because citizens are not aware of the KP

External Environment: Municipal Level Perspectives on the KP: Focus Group Discussion Participants: Municipal Health Officer, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer, Senior Administrative Assistant- Mayors Office,
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Chief of Police, Womens Desk Officer,Municipal Local Government Operations Officer-Tigaon, Municipal Circuit Clerk of Court (Tigaon-Sagnao), Municipal Planning and Development Officer, President of the Liga ng mga Barangay. On the most pressing issues being faced by the Katarungang Pambarangay, the President of the Association of Barangay Captains said that the lack of a legal adviser or legal information officer greatly hamper their ability to analyze cases and thereby determine whether these are within the barangays jurisdiction or not. The first hurdle is on how to label cases, or assign titles to cases. On jurisdiction for instance, if the barangay captain himself/herself or barangay officials are involved in the dispute, the dilemma is on how to delineate offenses in their official or personal capacity. There is lack of or insufficient training for barangay officials on the Katarungang Pambarangay law; there is insufficient knowledge of the KP law both by disputants and Lupon members themselves; Citizens routinely circumvent the process due perhaps on the lack of credibility of the brgy captain and the lupon members, and the perception of lack of impartiality. Citizens do not appear before the lupon and instead choose to get Certificates to File Action in Court Because of the perception of bias, disputants might go to the police even if the case is within the jurisdiction of the katarungang pambarangay. In other cases, the barangay officials themselves refer the disputants to the police; There is still the perception of stronger authority or mandate and protection that the police and the courts have than the barangays; When cases reach the courts, they are dismissed due to technical reasons, most often faulty evidence; A reality that is recognized by many is that disputants agree to settle criminal cases before the KP even if these are beyond the jurisdiction of the KP or even if the law expressly prohibits such settlements; Lupon members feel intimidated when disputants involved are from higher social status.

On the question on whether arbitration and mediation are being practiced in accordance with the KP Law: Arbitration is often being conducted without entering into a written arbitration agreement; There is difficulty in distinguishing between mediation, conciliation and arbitration; Often this distinction is no longer made. There are cases being dismissed outright for lack of interest, without going through the proper process; In general, there is a lack of commitment to implement the KP Law from many actors and agencies concerned. Support from and resources of concerned agencies, for instance, to provide training and information materials on the KP Law, are lacking; On Monitoring and Evaluation, what is evident is self-monitoring, because the KP Monitoring Unit is not functional. Monitoring is left to the MLGOO, who is required to gather KP reports on a quarterly basis.
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On the geographical, financial and cultural access of women, children, and other vulnerable groups, women victims of violence seldom choose to report or file complaints, because of shame and economic pressures.

Interagency Linkages on the implementation of the KP Law, on cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) and children in conflict with the law (CICL): DILG monitors performance and provides procedural advise, DOJ provides legal advise; The police provides procedural coordination with regard to endorsement of cases to concerned barangays; The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer provides counselling referrals. A diversion program for juvenile offenders is in place (for release in recognisance) There is currently an informal network and good interagency coordination between the PNP, the MSWDO and the Municipal Health Officer in Tigaon.

Issues and Concerns Filing of fees being imposed by Family Courts make them less accessible for poor women and children; New procedures in preliminary investigation causes delay in filing of VAWC cases There is a need to conduct training among agencies concerned so that interagency coordination and networking could be implemented; There needs to be skills training in management of cases as expressed by the MSWDO. There has been no formal training yet for current personnel, and this is a problem in so far as the MSW is supposed to be present in investigation of cases involving women and children. There is lack of information on the role of the barangays in the implementation of the VAWC laws; While there was some training for the police on handling of VAWC, this was very short; Regional DSWD is too inaccessible for victims of violence; In the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, proper coordination between MSWO and the Court Social Welfare Officer need to be instituted

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2. Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro


Municipal Profile

Puerto Galera is currently classified as a third class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 21,925 people in 4,424 households. It is the northwesternmost municipality in Oriental Mindoro. Puerto Galera is three and a half hours away from Manila: first by bus to the port of Batangas City and then by motor boats, called fast-crafts. This coastal town is famous for its numerous pocket beaches and snorkeling and diving spots. Recent years has seen a huge reduction in the number of fishermen in the area, as they shift to and gain higher revenue from tourist-related activities. Puerto Galera is home to Sabang Beach and White Beach, favored by foreign and local tourists respectively. These two are extensive beaches with first-class to economy-class accommodations and an active night life in bars and restaurants. Behind the beaches are the huge and generally unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro. Mangyan tribes are scattered over the mountains sides - some of the tribes in the innermost parts of the mountains have no contact with the outside world. Of the eight tribes on Mindoro, the Iraya, living in the Puerto Galera area, is the largest. Although a minority, there is also a significant number of Moslems living in the Poblacion (estimated at 700 people). Findings There were three barangays surveyed in this municipality: Poblacion representing a barangay nearest the center of government and halls of justice, Brgy Sabang, a coastal barangay and highly commercialised area, and Bgry Tabinay, a barangay far from the center but with a high KP caseload. A total of 26 barangay-level key informants were interviewed. Eight municipal officials participated in the focus group discussion on interagency cooperation on the implementation of the KP Law and VAWC laws. a. Composition of the Lupon Tagapamayapa All three barangays listed twelve lupon tagapamayapa members. Of these three barangays, Tabinay had the most active lupon, while Sabang had an inactive lupon, although the 12 receive honorarium as lupon members. Poblacions lupon had four active members out of the listed 12. Tabinay had five women lupon members, Poblacion had six, while Sabang had none. Ages ranged from 50-70 years old. Criteria for selecting lupon members were: had served in various capacity as barangay official, leaders of NGOs and credible and respected members of the community: the President of the Senior Citizen Association, a religious leader, President of the Bantay-Dagat (sea wardens), and former kagawads or barangay health workers.
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Sabang represents an interesting case, as disputes are handled routinely not by Lupon Tagapamayapa members (and seldom by the Barangay Captain), but majorly by the Barangay Tanods (they call themselves barangay police) and the kagawads. This could be largely attributed to the fact that Sabang is a tourist area and most of the complaints reaching the barangay involve transient residents. Thus, a person of authority, usually associated with men of arms, is deemed a better dispute resolver. b. Term of Office of the Lupon Again, the question on whether the term of office of three years met with little relevance in Puerto Galera. Most lupon members in Brgy Tabinay even had started serving as early as 1998, and its newest member has been serving since 2000. c. Caseload and dispute resolution practices Brgy Poblacion handled a total of 57 cases in 2006, 13 of which were referred to the Pangkat. Brgy Tabinay had 28 cases in 2006 handled by the brgy, averaging around four cases in a month. Of these, 25 were reported resolved. Another 20 cases were said to be mediated by Kagawads; these however were no longer reflected in their reports. Only once, in 2002, had the pangkat been constituted. In Sabang, a very thick casefolder representing a total caseload of 148 cases for 2006 was produced; of these 140 were reported settled, while eight were not. Most of the cases were either handled by the Barangay Tanod or Brgy kagawads, with a few being referred to the Barangay Captain if unsettled. None of the three barangays reported having resolved a case through arbitration. However, upon probing for more information, the barangay police in Sabang admitted that he had on occasion made decisions on behalf of the parties. These were on cases involving women sex workers, a very vulnerable group owing to the nature of their profession. He often makes decisions on how sex workers could be compensated, and this is usually computed based on how much was spent for transportation and board and lodging of the women to and from Sabang (many sex workers are not from Sabang but from Manila and outlying provinces. The respondents are often foreigners). He said there is no difficulty in making the parties accept his decisions, first because he tells them there is no law that governs prostitution and that it is in fact illegal, and second, the foreigners usually are afraid of being entangled into legal troubles. Typical cases handled by the barangay include slight physical injuries (brawls), oral defamation (tsismis), theft, loans, and right of way. Brgy Tabinay handled one attempted rape of a minor in 2005, three cases of domestic violence in 2006, and six children-related cases. Two of these are child-support cases, and four children accused of theft related to alcohol abuse. These are truant children who had drinking sessions in the house of a relative of one of the minors while the relative (the complainant) was away, and valuable items were reported missing after such a drinking session. In the case of the attempted rape of a 14 year old by a drug abuser, the brgys role was to issue a Certification to File Action in Court. The accused was
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imprisoned for a few days, but was reported to have been released after a settlement agreement was reached. The barangay captain also reported to have handled around 10 cases of separation since the start of her term. Also in Brgy Tabinay, the barangay captain knew of two cases of incest involving minors, but these were not formally filed nor reported, because the children do not want the burden of having their own fathers jailed. In Sabang, one case of prostitution of a minor (16-17 years old) was handled by the barangay. The minor was pimped by her own mother (it was not clear who the complainant was). This case was not mediated but was directly referred to the DSWD. In Barangay Poblacion, the Brgy Captain said that if cases brought to him were unresolved after 21 days, he endorses it to the Lupon. There has been 13 cases endorsed thus far since 2006. The Lupon resumes the mediation from he left it off. When the dispute involves women, the cases are referred to a woman kagawad. Konsehala Cion, a kagawad active in resolution of cases, says that she has handled more than 10 cases involving VAWC in 2006, one of which was a child abuse case. In these types of cases, she conducts the mediation at her own home. Other community members who get involved in resolving disputes in Brgy Poblacion are the local Pastor of the non-Roman Catholic Christian church, the president of the Muslim Association, and a retired policeman, who said that by virtue of his being a known former police officer, people find him authoritative and knowledgeable enough to conduct mediation. He said his credibility also stems from the fact that he is an active churchgoer. In Brgy Tabinay, the kagawads co-mediate with the Barangay Captain, and provide support by counselling and accompaniment when cases need to be endorsed to the police or social workers. When mediating, the barangay captain cites ground rules: she tells the disputants that the objective of the session is to come up with a settlement (kaya kayo nandito ay para makapag-ayos), and that she does not favor long drawn-out disputes (ayokong magtagal ang pag-uusap). Complainants speak first. When disputes involve physical injuries, she asks for medical certifications. A bargaining process typically ensues. If the parties themselves could not settle on an amount of compensation, the barangay captain herself participates in the bargaining (nakikitawad na din) so as to speed up the process. She tells the disputants that the objective is to avoid the courts because of the expense involved. A recent complainant interviewed for this assessment complained that she felt she was ganged up on (pinagkaisahan) by the brgy captains and the brgy police of Sabang. Merly Billesa, 42 years old, a banana cue vendor, said she filed a complaint before the barangay on behalf of her 15 year old daughter who was punched by a drunk in June 2006. This remains unresolved to date. A confrontation ensued before the Brgy Secretary and one of the Kagawads. There were three sessions on this
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paghaharap. It was not resolved by the barangay officials. It finally took the MLGOO to resolve the case and appease the complainant. The complainant traces this animosity between her and the barangay officials on a 2002 case involving her then 14-year old son who was accused of committing acts of lasciviousness (nanghipo) by another minor, but the mother claims he in fact saved the complainant from drowning. This case is still pending in court. There is certainly a feeling of frustration on the womans part and the palpable sense of not getting justice in both cases. Brgy Poblacion had handled one case of domestic abuse, one case of child abuse, and two cases of theft committed by a minor since 2002. . d. Length of Resolution of Cases before the LuponLength of resolution of cases ranges from one to three sessions of one to two hours each. In Sabang, after the third session and the case remains unsettled, the case is remanded to either the police (municipal) or to the court. e. Venue and time of mediation and conciliation In Poblacion, cases are handled by kagawads in their respective jurisdictions (the purok). Venues for mediation vary in the three barangays: while most are conducted at the barangay hall, some are conducted at the house of the barangay captain, the house of the female kagawad, the house of the pastor, and, in cases involving Muslims, either at the house of the President of the Muslim Association or at the mosque. Poblacion devotes Tuesdays and Thursdays for settlement of cases, thus only eight days in a month is spent for settling disputes. Sabang settles disputes Mondays through Fridays at 8-11 am and 1-4 pm; however, disputes may be settled on weekends by appointment. Brgy Tabinay allots every Fridays at 1-4 pm for settlement of cases, so that the barangay captain can attend to other duties the rest of the week. All three barangays seem to be fairly equipped to handle cases: their offices have enough chairs, tables and even a computer and printer. Brgy Sabang even has a telephone line in its barangay hall. f. Funds for the Lupon Filing fees range from P50 (Poblacion and Tabinay) to P100 (Sabang). These are all supported by barangay revenue codes and ordinances. This is deemed not enough by both Sabang and Tabinay. Sabang kagawads says this is not even enough to buy them their mobile phone loads. In Brgy Tabinay, there is current thinking towards making the respondents pay fees for the settlement as well. Both Tabinay and Poblacion do not pay any honorarium to its lupon members. Sabang on the other hand, pays each kagawads P5,400/month, the Chief of Tanods P900/month and each deputy, P600/month. g. On Planning, Regular Meetings and Standard Operating Procedures
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All three barangays reported that there are no regular meetings, much less planning meetings for the lupon. There are also no standard operating procedures. Instead, brgy level mediators simply operate guided by their own life experiences. h. On Records the Lupons keep Examples of records kept are: logbook of complaints, file on signed agreements, a file on summons/subpoenas, a file on endorsements (to court and to police), minutes of settlements (refered to as a casebook), and a barangay police file.These are all kept at the barangay hall, with the exception of minutes of 2006 settlements of Brgy Tabinay, which is kept at the house of the brgy secretary for lack of space. i. On Monitoring the Lupons Performance and Reporting REquirements For Puerto Galera, it is mainly the Municipal Local Government Operations Officer who monitors the performance of the Lupon. She attends some of the brgy meetings, examines and consolidates their accomplishment reports. Monthly accomplishment reports are prepared, and these are consolidated into Annual Reports. Brgy Poblacion views reporting requirements as unnecessary (di naman kailangan), while Brgy Tabinay officials say these are not burdensome at all because the Brgy Secretary was a former kagawad. j. Suggestions for improvement on the KP Operations: One of the kagawads of Brgy Poblacion suggested that whenever mediation or settlement of cases are being conducted, that a panel consisting of three persons be always constituted instead of the practice of one lupon member or kagawad mediating alone. She thinks this would make for a better administration of justice. Brgy Tabinay officials suggested to provide honorarium for lupon members that will not be from their brgy IRA; that identification cards be issued, and that insurance be also provided as a form of incentive. The barangay captain of Tabinay especially laments the fact that after years of hard work and service, she would not be enjoying any retirement benefits. Brgy Poblacion officials suggest that citizens be also provided seminars and awareness campaigns not only on the KP Law, but more important, on Moral Recovery, on the Codes of Conduct of Public Officials (implying that some officials might be violating the Code and the people might not be taking action)5, orientation on how to maintain peace and order in the community, on the role of the youth, and on updates on duties and responsibilities of barangay officials.

When interviewed separately and in private, this barangay kagawad complained that her barangay captain is a habitual drinker, and that they are often in disagreement over how cases might best be handled. She resents the fact that some cases should be handled by the barangay captain but these are referred to the kagawads. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 34 of 65

External Environment: Municipal Level Perspective on the KP, Mechanisms and Linkages There are only a few barangays with active Lupon Tagapamayapa (around 40%); The LT finds it difficult to summon disputants compared to the police; No honorarium for Lupon members; Partisan aspect of lupon tagapamayapa; even in the manner of questioning, disputants get the perception of bias; which is why cases are elevated immediately to the police; Issuance of Certification (summary of findings) is sometimes not sufficient; when handled by police, police requires medico-legal report; Land disputes used to be elevated to the Mayor/Vice Mayor; disputes in poblacion barangays are sometimes elevated to the Mayor; Mayor is perceived to be more action-oriented; Peace and order related usually are referred to the police Marital problems, domestic abuse; sexual abuse are referred directly to DSWD; In Sabang and White Beach (tourist areas), disputes involving foreigners abusing Filipina partners, cases are usually referred to the DSWD and Police; In San Isidro and Balatero, cases involving women are directly referred to DSWD, especially in sexual-abuse cases; Child Abuse cases is settled at the barangay; when not settled by the PB, referred to Lupon (Dulangan); Phedophilia cases were in the past not given attention; in one case the Mayor arbitrated; No MTC in Puerto Galera; womens and childrens access are hampered by distance and expense of going to MCTC; In two cases, women abused by foreigner partners go to Mayor for settlement; agreement was computed on salary of a housemaid as basis for support; Land disputes (boundary disputes) are ably settled by KP; There is lack of training/briefing on protocols; including value-formation; Secretary be included in training so that systems and procedures are in place; Lupon members are not given enough motivation; Conciliation is rarely conducted; Certificates to file action readily issued in one day in some cases; Indigenous people still practice tigi; pangaw; IP vs non-IP was referred immediately to police (rape); Interagency Linkages on the implementation of the KP Law, on cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) and children in conflict with the law (CICL): The Municipal Health Office issues medico-legal certificates/reports. It coordinated with the MSWDO and the Police in the issuance of such reports The PNPs role is in investigation and filing of cases. It coordinates with the Municipal Health Officer, DSWD, and the Barangay on cases within the jurisdiction of the KP.
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DSWD provides counselling services, and takes temporary custody of victims in its shelters located in Manila, Naujan, and Batangas.

Issues and concerns on coordination include: inconsistent statements by the victims before the MHO, the PNP and the DSWD weakens the cases of VAWC victims. For custody cases, there are many requirements (brgy clearance/blotter; medical certification; police blotter; social case study report; picture). Temporary shelters are too distant; foster families are the alternative, but this is not a sustainable solution. No separate cell for juvenile offenders; hospital sometimes serve as detention cell for women offenders. On Existing Interagency Mechanisms: Task Force Phedophile has been formed in the past, but this is currently inactive.Chaired by the Mayor, Membership included: Liga President, interfaith religious organizations, Department of Education, Municipal Health Office, PNP, DSWD, NGO. Municipal Peace and Order Council (same membership as above) has an active referral system. Stairway Foundation actively works with DSWD and Department of Education on child-abuse cases.

Issues and Concerns on the interagency mechanisms include: Inadequate manpower in certain times. Insufficient funding for support services for poor victims (transportation). The Municipal Peace and Order Council does not include court personnel. Lack of training and knowledge on relevant laws; there is a need for capabilitybuilding programs.

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3. Balo-i, Lanao del Norte Municipal Profile Balo-i is a crossroad of two cities: Iligan City and Marawi City. This Municipality is strategically located in terms of trade development and agricultural growth. Balo-i serves as one of the outlets of the said two cities for commercial and agricultural products. Baloi enjoys a mild climate almost free from the direct effects of tropical typhoons. Excessive weather disturbances are unheard of. Balo-i is still basically an agricultural community with a total effective agricultural land of approximately 11,698.25 hectares representing 83.71% of the total land area. These are distributed to the following major crops: rice, corn, legumes and coconut. Seventy percent of the municipalities approximately 39,000 inhabitants are Moslems. The area is most famous for its waterfalls, springs, lakes and parks, and there is a significant number (10% of population) of fisherfolk. The Tin-aw Spring is located in Barangay Maria Cristina. A popular man-made lake in barangay Nangka covers an area of 220 hectares. A Childrens Park with complete facilities to address the recreational needs of the young population is located in front of the existing Municipal Hall in Barangay West Poblacion, an urban area. Two major industrial undertakings in the municipality are a National Power Corporation power plant and the Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines that are located in the northern portion of the town. Three out of 21 barangays of Balo-i have mixed Christian-Muslim populations. On the Maranao Conception and System of Justice6 Some notes on Maranao culture is worth mentioning here to describe Lanao provinces Muslim populations justice system. The Maranaos are proud of their cultural heritage and values, and understanding these values would lead to a better understanding of Maranao traits and behavior. Maranaos are noted for their maratabat and rido (sometimes spelled ridu) - values that refer to self-esteem, personal dignity, honor and pride, on one hand, and family feuds, conflicts, revenge, and acts of retribution on the other. Maranaos are extremely sensitive people, especially when their maratabat is at stake. The Maranaos honor and dignity are everything to him, so that the wounding of these, whether real or imagined, becomes a challenge to his manhood. Maratabat is the key to Maranao psychology, the single most emotionally charged concept among Maranaos. Derived from an Arab term, maratabat means rank, honor, or status, similar to the Spanish amor proprio meaning selfesteem. It is often equated with the Tagalog hiya (shame) or yabang (pride). It is directly proportional to the Maranaos rank and status; an individuals unusual behavior is a manifestation and a validation of the maratabat of his position in the social hierarchy. In addition to the personal dignity and extreme sensitivity, maratabat is the Maranaos
6

From Bartolome, Claribels Maratabat and Rido: Implications for Peace and National Development Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 37 of 65

expression of social position or rank consciousness, sustained by social coercion. It is also a mechanism for controlling conflict and achieving reconciliation, a sort of welfare and social security system, and a defense mechanism. A Muslim scholar refers to a close relationship between maratabat and the Arabic words tartib and martabah. Tartib is order, arrangement, or sequence, while martabah means rank or grade a person possesses in relation to an order. Maratabat involves and manifests, or is related to shame, anger, aggression, hostility and violence. It is one of the major roots of Maranao conflict and their non-resolution. When an individual transgresses a Maranao adat (custom), the Maranao reacts, and his reaction, whether negative or positive, is what is referred to as maratabat. In maratabat, the Maranao puts the law into his own hands to avenge a personal or family injury. Otherwise, he will be continually insulted by those who knew of the unavenged offense. Until the majority of the Maranaos decide to describe to the legal procedure of administration of justice, rido will always take place. Rido is a Maranao term which can be equated with feud, conflict, discord, and disagreement. The ambit, however, of what can be classified as rido is too wide to discern immediately. Rido could either be petty trouble or a grave conflict; however, it is usally associated with major confrontations. Rido also applies as a generic term for whatever trouble that may ensue out of the conflict. It is vendetta pitting one person, family or clan against another. Findings Two barangay-level interviews were conducted, participated in by 44 key informants: Brgy Nangka, a mixed Christian-Muslim community, urbanizing in nature, and closely governed by the municipal LGU by virtue of its proximity to the center, and Brgy. Ma Cristina, a community with a population of 80%-20% Christian/Muslim ratio. Twelve municipal officials participated in a focus group discussion on inter-agency linkages on the KP and VAWC laws implementation. a. Composition of the Lupon Tagapamayapa and term of office The two barangays both have active lupon members: 10 for Nangka, and 11 for Ma. Cristina. Both have four women members of the lupon; both have three Muslim lupon members. The longest serving lupon member has been serving for 9 and 10 years, respectively. Brgy Nangkas lupon was constituted in 1994. Ages of lupon members range from 40-75years old. Most are farmers, drivers, housewives and retired army or police officers. Except for the latter, no other professionals were enlisted in the Lupon in either of the two barangays. In Brgy Ma Cristina, all purok leaders are automatic lupon members, the 11th being the Lupon Chairman. The three year term limit is not observed since purok leaders do not have term limits prescribed.
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b. Caseload, dispute resolution practices, and constitution of the Pangkat Tagapapagkasundo (Conciliation Panel) In both barangays, there are many actors in the community involved in dispute resolution. Since both have mixed Christian-Muslim populations, datus are invariably involved in dispute resolution in differing degrees if Muslims are disputants. Muslim disputants go to their respective Datus first, and in cases of elopement or other cases that may result to Rido, LGUs provide co-mediation assistance with the Datu. If the respondents are of armed elements (eg Brgy tanod), people go to the nearby Philippine Army battalion detachment. The brgy tanods also mediates especially when community peace and order is at stake. In Nangka, cases are typically resolved within the day. Usually, a lupon member partners with one of the kagawads in handling cases. Cases are mediated at the purok level, where there is a purok center. Each lupon member also conducts mediation at their respective houses. When disputes do reach the barangay, the concerned lupon and kagawad member conduct investigation and fact-finding, then the case is brought before the barangay captain. They then co-mediate the case with her. Cases that are handled in Nangka include family disputes, alcohol abuse, gossip, cases involving fishing rights. It has also handled two cases of double murders. When asked on their involvement to a gravely criminal offense, the reason they cited was that the police do not have enough numbers of investigators. When resources allow, the NBI is called upon to investigate criminal cases. Nangka has mediated 30 cases in 2006. Of these, about 10 were women-related, and six were children-related. In Brgy Ma Cristina, there were seven cases brought before the Punong Barangay, although the Brgy Captain reported that lupon members handle an average of two cases in a month. Disputants go to the Purok leaders first, or to the Datus in the case of Muslim disputants. When these are not settled, the case is brought before the PB while the Lupon Chairman co-mediates with her. Types of cases handled were cases of harassment, damage to property and crops, frustrated murder, and conflicts between Moslems and Christians. The brgy reported four cases of women related cases, and two child-related cases in 2006. Of these, one was an act of lasciviousness, and one was a case of rape. Both of these cases, while blottered at the brgy, were referred to the DSWD. Only one case was issued a Certificate to File Action in Court an administrative case. A case involving slander resulting to physical injury was referred to the police. This case was interesting in that it is still very much reflective of a culture steeped in
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superstition. This was a case of one neighbor calling the other an aswang (paranormal being). The latter punched the neighbor, and the neighbor complained to the police. One of the questions in determining who was at fault was was there evidence that he really was an aswang? . To people, being accused of being an aswang still represents a grave dishonor and slander to ones family. A murder and frustrated murder usually results to payment of blood money. The amount is negotiated, and when agreed, the whole clan of the accused pitches in to reach the settlement amount. Sometimes, even the brgy officials themselves pitch in if the clan does not have the capacity to come up with the preferred amount, just so that negotiation would not result in an impasse. A recent case, for instance, was settled with blood money amounting to P50,000. A ritual of kanduri is then performed; food is prepared by the family of the accused and given to the family of the aggrieved party. The clan of the accused also pays neutrals who witnessed and assisted in the settlement agreement, with amounts ranging from P20 to P50 each witness. Most of the mediation sessions are conducted at the house of the Purok president. When disputants belong to different puroks, these are brought before the barangay, and the brgy captain, the lupon chair and the purok presidents concerned constitute a panel of mediators. Thus, virtually no office hours are observed; they are on call 24/7. There is a great premium placed in performing this function. When asked on this unusual sense of duty, the purok presidents said :kung hindi namin pupuntahan, tatanungin kami: bakit di niyo ako tinulungan? Barangay official pa mandin kayo? (if we do not respond to their requests for intervention, we will be asked: why did you not help us? You are barangay officials). Cases handled by the purok presidents are no longer recorded in the barangay. The purok president keeps her own records at home, and most of the minutes are not recorded -only the complaints, nature of the case and perhaps a copy of the settlement agreement, but these were not turned over to nor consolidated with brgy records. Only cases reaching the barangay and mediated by either the brgy captain or the lupon chair were recorded. Thus, what might be reflected in their monitoring reports to the DILG and elsewhere might not truly be reflective of the number of cases actually resolved at the lowest levels. c. Funds for the Lupon Brgy Nangka do not charge any fees for settling disputes, but accepts donations with no prescribed amount. Brgy. Christina charges P20 if filed before the Purok President and P50 if filed before the Brgy. If complainants could not afford to pay, these fees are waived. The purok sets the fees for themselves (one purok for instance do not accept fees). The fees are then centralized with other brgy funds. The brgy fee was set by a brgy ordinance. d. On Planning, Regular Meetings and Standard Operating Procedures Lupons of both barangay meet regularly; for brgy Nangka, meetings are held every Monday as that is when the brgy meetings are held, while for Ma Cristina, purok
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presidents meet every first Monday of the month. However, the agenda of the lupon is mixed in with other agendas of the purok (eg, of items discussed are: what are current problems in the purok, how can these be solved, how can improvements in the purok be made) and the barangays (eg peace and order issues in the brgy.). e. On Monitoring the Lupons Performance It is only the MLGOO who gathers reports of the lupon, except for cases of Certificates to File Action in Court which are forwarded to the Clerk of Court. f. On training and capacity-building. For Ma Cristina, only the Lupon Chair has obtained training so far, and this was in 1972. This was provided by the Department of Justice under the term of Sec. Drilon. Brgy Nangka was fortunate to have obtained training from the Gerry Roxas Foundations Brgy Justice Advocates training in February 2007. Ten Lupon members and the Brgy Captain participated in the training. Thus, brgy Nangka lupon members are familiar with the VAWC laws. They particularly cited laws they are familiar with the laws on battered wives, and on child abuse. Brgy Cristina lupon members on the other hand learned from Bantay Bata 163, a particular program from a civic organization. They are familiar with the battered wife and child abuse, citing even that abuse does not only refer to physical abuse but also to emotional abuse. g. Suggestions for improvement on the KP Operations: include for the brgy tanod to work closely with the lupon in terms of investigation and intelligence gathering , especially in drug and alcohol-abuse cases. Seminars should be jointly conducted with the tanods. Seminars are needed on how to settle the case. One respondent particularly cited a seminar for A9262 because she feels domestic violence is not adequately addressed. She claims these are not reported nor recorded in the brgys. External Environment: Municipal Level Perspective on the KP, Mechanisms and Linkages Situation and Challenges/Issues Being Faced by the KP: Pre-Philippine Constitution, Maranaos use the Idsma and Taritib, a native system of settlement.; Idsma and Taritib are however not codified. Cases handled by the barangay include destruction of crops. About 70% of cases are settled amicably. Cases that brgy officials are unable to settle, or cases which are sensational in nature, are settled by Mayor or Vice Mayor. Example of cases handled is elopement. In these cases, the intercession of the LGU (Mayor or Vice Mayor) is sought. There is negotiation between the families. A fee of P100,000 is usually asked, but bargaining ensues, and this could be reduced to as low as P50,000. Apologies through Panginsalaan (Taritib) is expressed.
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Violence against women are rare because abusers are punished summarily by the womens clans. However, child punishment is prevalent among Maranao; a system of discipline of children. Maranao culture does not permit meddling in private affairs, including child abuse. Counselling is provided by MSWDO; three out of 21 brgys have mixed populations, dominated by Christians Maratabat, boundary disputes, causes RIDO; Rido is settled by LGU Mayor designated 3 deputies (elders, former officials) to do shuttle mediation Polygamy is practiced and may be treated as psychological abuse but permitted by Maranao culture

Interagency Linkages: Council for the Protection of Women - Chaired by Mayor, and members include: MSWDO, MHO, Chief of Police, MLGOO, Mun. Budget Officer, Municipal Treasurer, NGOs (Imam) Council for the Protection of Children Chaired by Mayor, members are the same as above Activities include Womens Day celebration. Meeting every Thursday (discussing Moral Recovery Program) Brgy Nangka Disputes are settled by Lupon before being brought to the Brgy Captain Public disturbance, gambling, Case of rape brought before the PB not for settlement but for assistance in filing a case in court; Amicable settlement in one case involving homicide (still under the system of Idsma and Taritib); facilitated by PB, LGU and respected elders; Council of elders handles VAWC cases; will not reach government offices but will be resolved immediately or else reach the office of the Mayor It is not part of Maranao culture to report to officials any offense; Council of Elders are preferred mediators; Consensus among elders; eldest son is considered an elder, when reaches sufficient age; If disputants involved are Maranao and Christians, a composite group of Lupon and Elders are constituted

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4. Tacurong City and Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat City and Municipal Profiles Tacurong became the first component city of the Province of Sultan Kudarat in 2000. It has a total land area of 15,340 hectares, small even on municipality standards. The city is composed of mostly Ilonggo settlers from the province of Iloilo; thus Hiligaynon is the predominant language used. Located at the center of Central Mindanao, it is 92 kilometers from General Santos City, 96 kms. from Cotabato City and 178 kms. from Davao City. It is situated at the crossroads of the Davao-Gen. Santos-Cotabato highways, and is the population, financial, commercial, education, and rest and recreation center of the area. It services the needs of 15 neighboring municipalities. People from these areas go to Tacurong to sell their products, purchase their needs, pursue education, avail of medical and health services, and seek recreation. As an important hub of the Mindanao transport grid, Tacurong is visited by numerous passengers and transients on their way to the cities of Davao, Cotabato, General Santos and even Cagayan De Oro. Tacurong City has ten barangays, with Barangay Poblacion serving as the seat of the city government and center of most of the economic, cultural and political activities. The most dominant religion in the city is Roman Catholic with 58,371 believers representing 83.60 percent of the total population. About 5.18 percent or 3,616 are Moslem (90% Maranao, 9% Maguindanao, 1% Tausug) while other denominations account for 11.22 percent. Esperanza is a third class municipality in the province of Sultan Kudarat, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 47,578 people in 9,598 households. Esperanza is politically subdivided into 19 barangays. Brgy Ala, a rice and corn farming community, is located 18 kms from Tacurong City, and could be reached in 30minutes from the City by bus. It has approximately 3,000 population in 525 households. Ala hosts two detachments- one for the Philippine Army, and one for the Police. As of 2006, there are 225 Maguindanaoans residing in Ala. Brgy Pamantingan is about the same size as Ala, with a population of 3,355, 75% of which is Teduray (an indigenous people), while the rest are Ilongo, Cebuano and Manobo. A Note on Maguindanaoans Some notes on Maguindanaoan culture is worth mentioning at this point, as Sultan Kudarats Moslem population is predominantly Maguindanaoan. The Maguindanaon justice system is mostly uncodified, but the current generations still practice the age-old system of administration of justice handed down through verbal history and oral tradition. Such is the case of Maguindanaoans of Brgy Ala in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. A datu is the ruler of the elders of the community, who is always a male. However, women are allowed to participate in decision-making. One becomes a datu by lineage, and among the sons, one is chosen to become a datu by age and experience, and the trust
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and confidence one has earned from the community members. The Maguindanao enforce a system of sanctions and punishment which is in most cases a product of consensus among elders (usually, five elders) in the community. The Maguindanaoans usually enforce punishments through compensation in cash; retribution is not favored. The elders word, when handed down, is final and executory. A Note on the Teduray Indigenous Peoples7 The Teduray (also called Tiruray) indigenous peoples is also noteworthy. There are an estimated 300,000-500,000 Tedurays living in Central Mindanao, scattered among the provinces of Shariff Kabunsuan, Maguindanao, and Sultan Kudarat. Their center of governance is located in South Upi, Maguindanao, the seat of the Teduray Justice and Governance System (TJG). Headed by a Chieftain, the TJG is the equivalent of the Muslim sultanate. The Tedurays have managed to codify their justice system8, composed of three parts: their Ukit (Constitution), Tegudon (Customary Laws), and Dowoy (Penal Code). It is noteworthy that there are women leaders in Teduray communities, and women leaders are organized into a Mintailan, whose influence is equivalent to that of a Timuay. Barangay Pamantingans population is predominantly Teduray. Findings a. Composition of the Lupon Tagapamayapa Of all 13 barangays surveyed, Brgy Poblacion, Tacurong City perhaps represent the best conditions for a widely-used KP. It was awarded best Lupon Tagapamayapa in 2002. The barangay captain is male, relatively young, energetic, and authoritative and confident. He assumed office in 1994, this is his last term. Brgy. Poblacion has 20 Lupon members, eight of whom are women. While all of the Lupon members are Christians, four Moslem leaders (two Maranaos, two Maguindanaoans), are called upon by the barangay captain when at least one of the disputant is a Moslem, and is referred to by the barangay captain as informal lupon members. Heads of purok (7) were automatic members of the Lupon. Other members of the Lupon were selected based on the following criteria: participation in relevant training, recognized women leaders, acceptability in the community, and active in community service. It is a diverse lupon based on occupation: there are day care workers, volunteers, two retired government employees, four businessmen/women, farmers and a driver. Age ranges from 31-70 years old, with majority (11) belonging to the 41-50 age range.
7

Based on interviews with Timuay Melan Ulama, Assistant Director of the Organization of Southern Cultural Communities. 8 For more information on the Teduray Justice System, contact Timuay Santos Unsad at the Organization of Southern Cultural Communities in Cotabato City. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 44 of 65

Brgy. Alas Lupon has 13 members serving its 3,100 inhabitants (525 households). Of these, three are women. Age ranges from 41-75. Professions listed are businesspeople (4), farmer (3) and retired teacher (1). Of the 15 members, five are purok leaders. Ala is headed by a 49-year old woman barangay captain. Brgy Pamantingan has 11 lupon members, 9 of which are Tiruray, and the two others, Ilonggo. There are no women members in the Lupon; in Tiruray culture, civic participation is not expected of women. Ages range from 35-75 years, with majority belonging to the 41-50 age group. Most are farmers. b. Caseload, nature of cases filed, and dispute resolution practices, constitution of the Pangkat Tagapapagkasundo (Conciliation Panel) In Brgy Poblacion, over 254 cases reached the barangay in 2006; of these, 243 were settled while 11 were issued Certifications to File Action in Court. Forty-eight cases were classified as Conferences, a label used for cases that are difficult to classify. A total of 28 cases were referred to the Lupon in 2006. There have been two BPOs issued by the barangay in 2007 alone on behalf of women victims of domestic abuse. All children-related cases were handled by the Lupon so far. Cases of domestic abuse are handled after fivein the afternoon to ensure privacy of disputants. One child-related case was on child support in a case involving pregnancy of a woman by a married man. In another case, an eight year old was punched by a drunk. Perhaps what is telling on how the case was handled was the way the childs mother was viewed negatively by the barangay captain because she is always seen at the house of the rising sun, meaning a loose woman who prostitutes herself. Another woman-related case was of rape of a woman resident of another barangay by a man from Poblacion. The BC of the other brgy sought the help of the Poblacion BC in locating the suspect and having him arrested. In another case in 2006 handled by a lupon member was the case of live-in partners. The man, already married when he lived with his common-law wife, became involved with another woman. The second girlfriend further incurred the ire of the first by spreading rumors on her. The man involved was a classmate of one of the lupon members. The lupon member served as mediator; he managed a confrontation between the three persons involved, and part of the agreement was that the second girlfriend will refrain from saying anything against the first girlfriend to other community members. Two Purok leaders (Puroks 5 and 6) are very active in the settlement of cases. When disputants involved are from these two puroks, the case is normally handled by the purok leader in their respective purok centers. When cases are not settled by the
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purok leaders, they refer the case to the barangay. Aside from these two puroks, disputants normally go to the barangay hall as a matter of practice. A kagawad mediates if the disputants are known to them, or if the case is related to their function as heads of specific committees. When cases do reach the barangay, an officer of the day, a kagawad, handles the case as a sort of intake officer. Each kagawad get to be officer of the day thrice a month. The barangay captain admits that while no arbitration agreements are signed, he has on many occasions done arbitration, in what he terms as Solomonic decisions. For him, it does not matter whether the process is called mediation, conciliation or arbitration; when disputes are resolved, they label it as amicable settlement. The Brgy Captain further narrates that in practice, disputants do not question his word and do not alter his decisions. Some of the agreements are verbal in nature and are no longer put down into writing, but the barangay captain nevertheless is confident that there is a high compliance rate. Minutes of the mediation session are not recorded, perhaps because of the logistical difficulty it poses when a barangay handles such a high caseload. The barangay captain wishes though that sessions are tape-recorded. When one of the disputants is a Moslem, the barangay captain calls one of the Muslim informal lupon members and they act as co-mediators. When the barangay captain senses that disputants merely want a Certificate to File Action in Court, he immediately refers the case to the Lupon (such as what happened to a case of dog bite). In some cases, the barangay captain is called by the police, and he mediates between disputants at the police station itself. However, most cases are handled at the barangay hall, except for cases from Puroks 5 and 6. In Brgy Ala, the Lupon handles 3-4 cases a month. Brgy Alas captain requires disputants to go through their respective purok leaders first before filing cases at the barangay. The purok leader pairs with a kagawad in settling disputes. If disputants are from different puroks, the purok leaders co-mediate. The purok secretary records the proceedings and the case file, and a logbook is kept in each purok. Only when cases are not settled in the purok do they reach the barangay, for the barangay captains intervention. When the case remain unsettled, it is referred to the Lupon. In 2006, about 10 cases were referred to the Lupon Tagapamayapa. Of these, three cases were issued Certificates to File Action in Court, which disputants bring to the police. Common cases that reaches the barangay involve physical injury. One such case was recently mediated at the police station, with Alas brgy captain present. This is a case where one worker of a physician was assaulted which resulted in hospitalisation. The complainant wanted the other party to pay for his medical expenses. The Barangay Captain decided that the cost of hospitalisation be split between the two. In 2005, a rape of a six year old was reported in the barangay. The six year old was asked to fetch wood for fuel. The accused, her 40-year old cousin, a farmworker and
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laborer, was then drunk, and dragged her to the woods and raped her. The childs father, a katiwala (land caretaker) reported the incident at the barangay. Barangay officials requested assistance from the local detachments of the army and the police. Within the same hour, the suspect was arrested and jailed, but was later released after posting bail. The DSWD accompanied the child for medical examinations. Upon leaving the hospital, the parents brought the child to Iloilo. However, when the case was already filed in court and was being heard, the childs parents did not appear after the third hearing, and the DSWD lost contact with them. It was learned that before the case was filed in court, the parents of the child wanted the barangay captain to ask the rapist to leave the barangay (palayasin). The agreement was they will not file a case in court if the accused leaves the community. However, this agreement was not put into writing. The continued presence of the accused in the community was a constant source of dispute, and in the end, the accused decided to leave the community. A recent woman-related case was when a female senior citizen, 60+ years old, was slapped by a 50+ year old man. The woman complained at the house of the brgy captain, and was told by the BC to have the complaint recorded at the brgy. She referred the case to the purok leader and kagawad. The Kagawad presided over the mediation at the brgy, which resulted in a P50,000 compensation to the complainant. c. Funds for the Lupon Brgy Poblacion, by tradition, charges P20 for each complaint filed. P20,000 per year is allocated for Honoraria of lupon members. Brgy Ala also charges P20 but this is paid only if the case is filed at the barangay. The purok leader does not charge any fees when settling cases. The reason cited by the barangay captain was: para may trabaho at makilala ang purok leader. Lupon members are given P200 per case handled. d. On Planning, Regular Meetings and Standard Operating ProceduresWhile the Lupon members in Poblacion tries to follow the KP Law, they nevertheless are confused on procedures, and the implementing rules produce more questions the more they are followed. Indeed, one of the most active purok leaders have very specific questions on how provisions of the law could be interpreted. Alas lupon members obtained training in 2004 after the elections. In 2006, a training on violence against women was provided by the DILG and the police, attended by the brgy chair, secretary, tanod, lupon chair, and the chair of the peace and order committee. Also in 2006, SALIK Cebu and the Commission on Human Rights sponsored a training on human rights, including the rights of women and children. This was participated in by the brgy captain, brgy secretary and lupon chair. One standard operating procedure cited by Brgy Ala officials was on confidentiality.

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e. On Records the Lupons keep and Monitoring Lupon Performance Records that Poblacions lupon keep are: minutes of meetings, agreements, summons. A DILG monthly report is prepared. Only the Secretary has access to records. In implementing agreements, it is left to the complainants themselves to monitor agreements, and if they are not followed, the barangays attention is called. Records that Alas lupon keeps are: summons/notices/subpoena; endorsements to the police and the Courts, minutes of hearing, monthly reports to DILG. f. Suggestions for improvement on the KP Operations: include Simplified standards and procedures; Refresher courses once a year; More knowledge on laws Recommends more than three participants for trainings as has been the past practice; Provision of regular legal advise, either through mass media, through the brgy officials, or through the police and DILG. This should include updates on laws. Books, handouts and training should be readily available to the Lupon Each purok should have a library or center where information could be obtained. Each purok has its own purok center (kubo-kubo lang) Municipal Level Perspective on the KP Law and VAWC Laws Implementation: Some issues and concerns on the KP that emerged during the focus group discussion in Esperanza were: Police are called upon to spend resources for poor litigants; There is lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities among different agencies on who have jurisdiction over specific cases; There is a very slow rate of resolution of cases filed before the courts, and circuit courts overextended; Lack of information on laws, especially new laws affecting women and children; There are indigenous modes of dispute resolution co-existing with the KP: There is insufficient time and resources allocated for training of KP; Lack of reference materials on KP procedures; Medico-legal certification issued by MHO; Complainants who perceive the Brgy Captain as biased in favor of the other party prefer to go to the police; Endorsement procedures need to be clarified and enforced; Complainants who are not satisfied with agreements resort to the police; Close family ties in barangays affect the outcome of cases; Child labor practices rampant in plantations; as of 2003, 63 were reported to the DSWD; Cases of other vulnerable groups such as poor drivers who are victims of corruption are not covered by the KP;
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Battered women still a victim of cyclical violence and poor battered women withdraw cases filed in court for lack of support services; Four cases reported since January 2007 of VAWC; many cases go unreported because of lack or inaccurate knowledge of the laws; teachers and schools need to be oriented on VAWC laws; High incidence of teenage pregnancy reported as rape cases by relatives and girls; Local and national laws protecting minors from patronizing adult establishments are not enforced;

Inter-agency Mechanisms at the Municipal Level facilitating the implementation of VAWC Laws: 1. Local Council for the Protection of Children / Municipal VAWC Council Chaired by the Mayor, and members include: DILG, SB Peace and Order Committee, DSWD, PNP, MHO, Womens Federation, SK, Department of Education representative. Activities include: 1) Information, Education and Communication campaigns on laws affecting children; 2) Temporary Shelter; 3) Planning formulation and implementation of policies affecting women and children; and 4) Monitoring of incidence of violence and abuse. Issues and Concerns: There are no temporary shelter (physical structure) that would house victims of domestic abuse; temporary foster families instead fulfil this function, which is not sustainable; Lack of advocacy campaigns on the programs of the council; Cycle of violence perpetuated by families due to shame and lack of knowledge of the laws; Juvenile Justice Act still has no IRR; there still needs to be more information on this; This results to hesitance on the part of the police in apprehending offenders; Coordination among agencies still insufficient especially when there is inconsistent participation among members; Multitasks of concerned government agencies and personnel result to overwork and insufficient human resources for programs; Local ordinances protecting women and children remain on paper and not implemented; there is a need to better coordinate among agencies concerned; Some of the laws are inadequate (eg no ordinance yet imposing sanctions on adult establishments allowing minors, although there is a national law covering this; but there is an ordinance imposing disciplinary measures on minors); CPC need to provide information on national laws on this; Department of Education and other agencies need to coordinate with law enforcers on the enforcement of laws affecting minors; Police officers are often criticized for enforcing laws affecting women and children by other segments of the project; There are No rehabilitation programs in place for minors who are substance abusers.
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5. Dao, Capiz Municipal Profile Located in central Capiz, Dao (pronounced Da-o) is a fourth class municipality 33 kms from Roxas City, 61 kms from Kalibo and 88 kms from Iloilo. Land area totals 8,640 hectares. It covers 17 rural barangays and three urban barangays. Surrounded by valleys and hills, 5,000 has are devoted to agriculture. A mostly-Hiligaynon-speaking, mostly Christian nation, 87% of whom are Roman Catholic population, with nomadic Aeta tribes in inland pockets. Two barangays were visited in Dao: Brgy Manhuy, and Brgy Duyoc. Of the two, Brgy Duyoc perhaps represent the ideal conditions for access to justice, although it is located at approximately the same distance as Manhuy from the town proper, and although it had a very low KP caseload. Findings g. Composition of the Lupon Tagapamayapa Brgy Duyoc has 14 members, three of whom are women. Age ranges from 35-70 years. They are either farmers, hacienda laborers or carpenters. All of them are Roman Catholics. Brgy Duyoc has a very close-knit political system: all of the brgy officials are of the same political leaning as the Mayor, and political choices are strongly influenced by the Mayor. Thus, the selection of the Lupon Tagapamayapa members is a reflection of this mayorial hegemony. To constitute the Lupon, each of the six sitios 9 nominated one or two candidates, who were then evaluated and approved by the brgy Council. Since the Lupon was first constituted, it had never been changed, except to add three members to the original line-up. Brgy Manhoy has 10 lupon members, with no women. Majority of these are in the 41-50 age range. One is a professional, an employee at the Municipal Engineers Office, while the rest are either farmers or retired policemen. All of them are Catholics. Similar to Duyoc, Brgy Manhoys lupon was constituted by nominations from the sitios and approval of the brgy Council. h. Caseload, dispute resolution practices, and constitution of the Pangkat Tagapapagkasundo (Conciliation Panel) Brgy Duyoc handled only five cases in 2006: a dispute between two kumpadres, a dispute between siblings, a dispute on share of crops, and on inheritance. No case was referred to lupon members by themselves. In all of the cases handled by brgy Duyoc, the Brgy Captain pairs with kagawads and lupon members in mediating (hambal) a case. The barangay tanods assistance is sought in summoning the
9

a sitio is a sub-barangay unit bigger than a purok. A big barangay might be further subdivided into two or more sitios. Not all barangays have sitios, but all have puroks, and the number of puroks vary depending on the size of the barangay. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 50 of 65

disputants. Sessions are conducted either at the brgy hall or at the house of the Kapitan. No office hours are observed in handling of disputes: cases are accepted 24/7. No arbitration was reported. One woman-related case encountered in 2006 was a wife battery case: this was directly handled by the Mayor, who tasked the barangay captain to arrest the husband and who had the husband jailed. The husband was released after imploring the barangay captain to release him and that he has regretted what he has done. The case handling was confirmed by the brgy SK Chairwoman, a 20-year old graduate of Education. She said the Council (not the Lupon) predominantly handled the wife battery case, that the Council took its role in considering this case very seriously, and that it was a very difficult case to resolve. The Council counselled the couple to talk their differences over. She reported that the couple had since then reconciled. She said she believes in the integrity of the barangays dispute resolution process, and that if she herself becomes a victim of abuse, she will go to the barangay and report it. Brgy Manhoy handled a total of 27 cases in 2006; of these, three cases were referred to the Lupon (one so far since the start of 2007). Nature of cases handled were: gossip, slander, damage to property, physical injuries, theft of livestock and machineries. NO arbitration case was ever reported. Two women-related cases and one rape of a child were handled by the brgy in 2006. VAWC cases are blottered at the brgy but immediately referred to the DSWD. Land disputes are referred to the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committees. Complainants from each sitio go to their respective kagawads. If the kagawads fail to settle the dispute, this is referred to the Brgy Captain, and if the latter fails, a Certificate to File Action in Court is issued. Some cases are referred to the Mayor, or the complainants themselves go to the Mayor directly if they are not comfortable with their respective kagawads. This has been the case when disputes involve brgy officials themselves. Cases are handled in the brgy hall on the mornings of Mondays through Fridays. If disputes arise in the afternoon, these are brought to the house of the bgy Captain or the house of the Kagawad. However, the brgy hall blotters cases even after hours. i. Length of Resolution of Cases before the LuponCases in Brgy Manhoy are usually settled within three days of receipt of complaint, more often the case is settled at the same hour and day of receipt. Sometimes, lupon members themselves assist in speeding up the resolution of the case by pitching in the payment of damages (for instance, in compensating for medical expenses incurred), just so that cases are settled (gumagawa na ng paraan para di na tumagal ang alitan). j. Funds for the Lupon
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Brgy Duyocs users do not pay any fees as there is still no barangay tax ordinance drafted. Its lupon does not get any honoraria or incentive, except for token amounts during Christmas season. Brgy Manhoy also do not charge any user fees, although its Lupon members get P50 per husay (case handled). k. On Planning, Regular Meetings and Standard Operating Procedures There were no regular meetings conducted by the Lupon in both barangays. l. On Records the Lupons keep and Monitoring of Lupon Performance. Only minutes of the husay is kept by the Lupon of Brgy Duyoc, which is kept at the house of the brgy secretary. This is not turned over to any monitoring person or body. Every three months, a report is submitted to the MLGOO. While the province encourages the municipalities to participate in an annual national competition on the best lupon, only President Roxas has so far participated for Capiz. In Brgy Manhoy, records kept are: brgy blotter, a file on agreements, and a file on summons. These are kept at the brgy hall, although each individual kagawad keeps his/her own records of cases handled. m. Training/Capacity-Building a two-day training workshop was once conducted by the DILG circa 1999-2000 for Brgy Duyoc, on how to resolve disputes. This has since then been forgotten and no other training was participated in hence after. The Municipal Rural Health Unit has also provided training on VAWC Laws. All of Brgy Manhoys lupon members participated in a training workshop conducted by the DILGs Provincial Office on the KP Law in 2005. n. Suggestions for improvement on the KP Operations and on womens and childrens access to justice: Training on Mediation, because settling of cases is done by playing it by ear To provide reading materials, pamphlets on the KP Law, not only for the lupons and kagawads but also for the tanods, because they help in settling cases. To orient youth community members on value orientation, because mothers of poor children and youth are mostly preoccupied with livelihood activities. To conduct awareness campaigns on how women and children could access justice, on where to go and who to contact when they need assistance.

FGD Dao, Capiz Mostly mediated cases, per report; very low percentage of constitution of pangkat; this is good and bad because cases are settled but the bad part is justice is not fully served; walang mahihita ang member (no incentive) ; sometimes the suspect is kamag anak of kapitan ; There were a total of three BPOs in 2006 for the whole municipality; The lupons lack training on the KP Law Cases: public disturbance (away and nagwawala); alcoholism (lasenggo)
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Police: domestic violence between husband and wife; Punong Barangay do not get involved in domestic violence; before 9262 punong barangay di pwede patawag ang lalaki; No training on the VAWC laws; No or inadequate budget for training; no re-echoing of training for limited participants MHO: VAWC (2006) 2 cases of rape; 1 case of child abuse Police: (2006) 6 cases of domestic violence; (2005) zero cases reported; In 2006, during March and October there is synchronized barangay assemblies (police, dswd, fire dept); Crime prevention month, there are campaigns (symposiums) in schools conducted by police and MHO; MSW; Childrens month Childrens congress

Municipal Level Mechanisms: 1. Local Council for the Protection of Children- Chaired by the Mayor, with members including: DOH; DSWD; PNP; Department of Education; four representatives of Children (Elementary and High School)and the MLGOO. Clerks of Court, public attorneys and fiscals are not members of the council. The Council meets only as the need arises; but was very active in 2006 because of the Local Childrens Code at the Provincial and Municipal levels, for approval of the Sanggunians. The Mayor notes that there are so many municipal level councils; mostly for compliance only. There are womens groups that are aware of womens issues resulting form their being beneficiaries of Reproductive Health activities. There are adolescents group in five Community Based Initiative under the UNFPA and JOICFP started in 1998. These are in barangays Duyoc, Manhoy, Matagnop, Agtanguay and Malunoy. Issues and Concerns: there are cases that were within the jurisdiction of the barangay but were passed on to the police and vice versa; One rape of minor (Matagnop), non appearance of parent and child in cases; they heard this has been settled (poverty and inaccessibility were cited as reasons by MLGOO); In one rape case, the parents of the victim did not want to file a case, there was no sworn statement, because the suspect had more resources than the victim and the victim was a male child. The father stated: walang nawala (nothing was lost); the judge did not want to accept the case because of the lack of a sworn statement from the victim;

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VI. Training and Capacity Needs Assessment: Training Needs Analysis of Lupon members A training needs analysis conducted among 513 respondent lupon tagapamayapa members in all barangays coverd by the assessment revealed the following: A. On Knowledge of Laws and Procedures 80% said they have Poor to Very Poor knowledge of the law. Only 4% said they have Good to Very Good knowledge of the KP Law 71% said they have Poor to Very Poor knowledge of the AntiViolence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 (RA9262). Only 3% said they have Very Good knowledge of this law. 66% said they have Poor to Very Poor knowledge of the Juvenile Justice Act (RA9344). Only 2.7% said they have Good to Very Good knowledge of the Act. 67% said they have Poor to Very Poor knowledge of the AntiTrafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208). Only 5.2% said they have Good to Very Good knowledge of this law. 68% said they have Poor to Very Poor knowledge of the Child Abuse Act (RA7610). Only 4% said they have Good to Very Good knowledge of this Act.

B. Knowledge on Where to Get Information 15,21% said they obtain their onformation from departmental (DILG) memos,14.75% said from Training Seminars; 12.87% said from barangay captains; 11.06% said from mass media; 10.95% said from Lupon Tagapamayapa meetings; 9.24% from barangay operations manual; 1.26% said they get information from email and webpages Thus, majority of respondents rely on from governmental authorities and outside sources to provide them information rather than proactively getting it themselves. C. Work load as Lupon Tagapamayapa members 79% said their workload is just enough; 8% said they were overloaded; 39% said they were underloaded

Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that majority of respondents have fairly enough time to undertake their tasks as Lupon Tagapamayapa members. D. Gender Sensitivity (Self-Rating)

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41% said their gender sensivity was Fair; 35% said theirs were Good; 9.5% said their sensitivity was Poor to Very Poor; 13% said they were Very Good to Excellent.

Thus, majority of respondents view themselves as gender-sensitive, despite lack of knowledge of relevant laws and procedures, the lack of gendersensitivity training, and anecdotal evidence of gender insensitivity. This presents a challenge to the project on how to break gender bias and traditional attitudinal behaviours with regard to viewing women and addressing womens concerns. E. Child Sensitivity (Self Rating) 35% said they were fairly child-sensitive; 22% said they were Very Sensitive to Excellent. Only 7% view themselves as Child-Insensitive. Similar to gender-sensitivity, majority of respondents view themselves as child-sensitive, despite lack of knowledge of relevant laws and procedures, and anecdotal evidence on addressing childrens concerns. F. Skills There seems to be consensus that the following tasks are frequently done by the Lupon: Interviewing (including active listening, probing for more information, and giving feedback), Facilitating Dialogues, Conflict Analysis, Negotiation and Mediation. The less frequently done tasks are the following: technical Report Writing; Conducting Training; using the Computer; Email and Web Surfing. Expectedly, they also rated their skills on this as Poor to Very Poor. Discrepancy in frequency of doing tasks and self-raitng on Competency are greatest in the following areas: Giving Feedback, Negotiaitons and Mediation. G. Previous Related Training Average training days obtained on the KP Law is one day. These were mostly provided by either the DILG, Commission on Human Rights, DSWD (one women and childrens laws) and various non-government organizations. Those who underwent training from the Gerry Roxas Foundation, an NGO largely supported by the USAID based in Capiz, had an average of two days training. The longest trainings obtained from the GRF were 11 days in Capiz.

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VI. Issues Arising from the Assessment and Implications on Access to Justice for Women, Children and Other Vulnerable Groups 1. In general , there is a wide variety of practices and interpretation of the Katarungang Pambarangay Law. It is evident from the assessment that there is a wide variety of practices on the ground. Practices differ from one barangay to another. The KP Law, while generally observed, is ignored when impracticable, and local variations are concocted. Practices are adapted on local conditions, and based on convenience and practical considerations. This is most evident in the process of selecting Lupon Tagapamayapa members: either 1) the Brgy Captain selects from among community members; more often than not these are former barangay officials who lost in the elections, the most oft-repeated reason being that they are already familiar with barangay governance and have obtained trainings (may alam); or 2) puroks/ sitios nominate and brgy. council approves; or 3) Purok leaders become automatic lupon members. Very rarely do people volunteer to become members of the Lupon. However, more often, the composition of the Lupon Tagapamayapa becomes a moot and irrelevant question. There are many other actors involved in dispute resolution. More than the Lupon Tagapamayapa, it is the barangay captain, barangay kagawad, purok leaders and the elders who are the front liners in dispute resolution. Only in urban areas where the Pangkat Tagapagkasundo is constituted, and often, the disputants do not have a say on its composition. 2. On the constitution and composition of Lupong Tagapamayapa. Lupons are largely active in urban areas; the farther one is from the center, the less cases are reported in the barangay, and the less frequent the Lupon is constituted. This is probably because the opportunities for crime are present in urban areas, and less so in areas far from the center. However, in one urbanizing area (Sabang, Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro), the Lupon, although receiving compensation, is inactive, and dispute resolution is practiced by the Brgy tanods (called the barangay police), and the kagawads. This could be explained by the fact that in Sabang, a highly commercialized tourist spot, residents are transient in character. Disputes mostly involve compensation for sex workers, and disputants are more often sex workers from nearby provinces, on one hand, and foreign tourists, on the other. Perhaps the barangay police is deemed a more decisive and authoritative figure, by virtue of their coercive power, rather than the barangay officials. The profile of Lupong Tagapamayapa members surveyed is very telling: on the average there are 10-14 members, but urban areas would most likely have more than that, because of the high caseload. Lupon Tagapamayapa members are mostly males, with barangays even having 100% male LT members. Women are a minority, with only one barangay surveyed having half of its Lupon Tagapamayapa as females. The age of members are also telling: most are middle-aged, with members having as old as 80 years old, with very rare cases of having members in their 30s. Even in mixed communities, Lupon Tagapamayapa members are dominantly Christian. In rural areas, majority of members are farmers; only the urban areas display membership of retired professionals.
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This profile has many implications on access to justice for women and her children. Women will hesitate to bring their cases to a predominantly male tribunal especially if the respondent is a male. On cases involving family matters, women would rather seek out other women to confide in and bring their troubles to. There is also the danger of machismo being a factor in facilitating disputes, with women fearing a lack of kindredship and sympathy among a predominantly male body for resolving disputes. Children and the young disputants may also find little sympathy among people whose ages are far removed from theirs, and who have very little understanding of issues confronting the youth.

3. On Mediation and Arbitratrion. There is little distinction made between mediation, conciliation and arbitration. Disputants hardly have a say on how their cases are to be disposed of. Oftentimes, the barangay captain employs a combination of mediation and arbitration (in Western societies, the practice is commonly referred to as med-arb), while all stakeholders call it settlement. Mediation, conciliation or arbitration are hardly mentioned, if at all. 4. Cases Handled, including VAWC cases. Most common cases handled include: slander (paninirang puri), brawls (suntukan, bugbugan) and public disturbances, collection of money, petty theft, petty destruction of crops, dogbites, and threats. Women and children-related cases include: sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, attempted rape, rape (including marital), spousal and child abuse, child support, and children in conflict with the law. The latter cases involving women and children are interesting because recent legislation, especially the Anti Violence Against Women and their Children Act (RA 9262, often referred to by barangay officials as VAWC) expressly prohibits mediation on domestic violence cases. The barangays may be forgiven for mediating cases because of lack of knowledge with this fairly recent legislation, and therefore has implication on training and capacity-building. However, even in communities where there is awareness of the VAWC law, disputants themselves may prefer to have their cases mediated at the barangays because of the unpredictability and inaccessibility of the court system, and the lack of support services for victims of violence. Women and children rarely report abuse, although community members are aware that there are incidences of abuse. If they do report abuse, women very rarely pursue cases in court, again for lack of support services. Poor people ALWAYS prefer to settle
VAWC cases.

5. On knowledge of Laws, Gender Sensitivity, Availability of Legal Services. There is very little training opportunities available. This may be traced to the lack of inter-agency clarity on which Department is responsible for the training and supervision of the Barangay Justice System. This lack of clarity has been the bone of contention between the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Justice. Because of this lack of clarity, there are no clear, systematic and sustained training
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programs for Lupon Tagapamayapa members from either of these two agencies. It has also created an open access mentality among agencies and non government organizations, exemplified by the phenomenon of employees of the Commission on Audit providing trainings to Lupon Tagapamayapa members. As a result, there is uneven level of knowledge of the laws, especially those relating to women and children, and on the respective roles of barangays and other duty holders in their implementation. VAWC cases are routinely referred to the Municipal Social Workers who are overextended. Lupon Tagapamayapa and other barangay officials lack gender and child sensitivity, lack understanding of Muslim and indigenous culture, and are not sensitive to the needs of indigenous peoples. There is an overwhelming need for availability of legal advise and information. This is especially with regard to the practice of arbitration. Villages have little access to legal knowledge and disputants are therefore on the mercy of barangay officials and Lupon Tagapamayapa members who are in most cases untrained. 6. On Cultural Practices. Moslem and indigenous practices are still very influential. Even in mixed communities, when one or both parties are Moslems, the barangay officials seek the help of datus, imams and Ulamas in resolving disputes, instead of referring the cases to the Lupon Tagapamayapa. In disputes involving indigenous peoples, barangay officials refer the case to the tribal chieftains and councils. This has several implications. Many Moslem and indigenous practices are blatantly anti-women, favour corporal punishment for children, and exact blood money and other forms of retribution not provided for under Philippine laws. While many insiders and even outsiders of these societies justify the practices under the principle of self-determination and respect of various cultures, such practices go against universal human rights laws, and the Convention for the Elimination Against All Forms of of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Such cultural practices also justify the continued practice of rido, which contributes to the problems on peace and order in Moslem areas, to the detriment of economic development in that region. 7. On Confidentiality and Privacy of Proceedings. Confidentiality is rarely protected and observed. The processes are mostly open to the public, unless the parties request closeddoor sessions or unless the barangay captian and lupon tagapamayapa members decide otherwise. This is probably the reason why women rarely report cases of abuse and violence, and why residents who can afford it otherwise resort to filing cases in courts, a more arduous and expensive processes. The culture of shaming, while may be effective against repeat offenders of petty crimes, will also deter any prospective user of the system, particularly those whose cases are sensitive, and for those who value their reputation in the community. 8. On Monitoring and Standardization of Performance. Only the Municipal Local Government Operations Officers monitor the lupon performance, often through collection
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of summary reports. The KP Monitoring Unit is therefore rarely constituted, and monitoring is left to the MLGOOs. 9. On Local Coordination and Inter-Agency Collaboration. There is very little coordinative mechanisms in place. Most are informal networks of municipal actors. There is lack of clarity of roles between barangay and municipal officials. As a result, social workers, the police, barangay officials and prosecutors/public defenders are at odds with each other on specific cases, have unharmonized operating procedures, perform on a piecemeal basis, and generally finger-point when offenders go scot-free. Local Women and Child Protection Councils are variably active. Most are active only during Womens and Childrens Months. Because of the sheer number of Municipal and Barangay Councils mandated by various laws, women- and children Councils are not sustained, and most were established for compliance purposes only. There are no rehabilitative programs for substance abuse. This is significant because much of the domestic violence and juvenile offenses are directly related to, and triggered by, substance abuse. Majority of municipalities have no temporary shelters; if there are at all, these are very inaccessible. VII. Recommendations and Strategy for Implementation I. Designing institutional improvements and infusing institutional capacities that will better enable the KP to pursue its mandate and meet its stated objectives. This portion is closely tied up with the recommendations on revisions to the KP Law. One of the major flaws of the KP Law is that the Katarungang Pambarangay is headed by the Punong Barangay, and mediation is first conducted on the Barangay Captains level, who is mandated to mediate disputes within 15 days, instead of immediately delegating the authority to mediate the Pangkat Tagapagkasundo. This has many weaknesses. First, the barangay captain is an elected official, and thus is a political being. One of the major sources of polarization in Philippine society is elections, with politicians and parties vying for votes of community members. More often, barangays are polarized among loyalties to different candidates. Thus, supporters and relatives of losing candidates often hesitate to use the BJS to resolve disputes, especially if the other party supported the winning candidate. There is always the perception and fear that Punong Barangays could not and would not be impartial in facilitating the resolution of disputes, favoring his supporters and relatives. Based on the preliminary findings, the following proposals for amendments to the KP Law are being considered:10

10

Drafted in close collaboration with Mr. Felipe Ureta, Team Leader for the European Technical Assistance Team of the Access to Justice for the Poor Project. These proposals are currently awaiting Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 59 of 65

a. List of lupon members Proposal The list of Lupon members should include qualified persons representing various sectors of society and should be gender-balanced. Candidates to be included in the list should be selected by a Board which could be called the Barangay Lupon Board (BLB) composed of three persons, who should evaluate applications and interview the candidates. The Board should then recommend the selected candidates to the Barangay Captain. Based on the recommendation from the Board, the Barangay Captain should propose the candidates to the Sangguniang Barangay for appointment. Lupon members should be appointed by the Sangguniang Barangay for a 3-year term, which can be extended successively. The list of Lupon members should be as long as required by the actual number of cases in each Barangay. Membership of the Lupon should be open to persons with experience in court annexed mediation or any kind of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The Barangay Captain could propose the members of the Board for appointment as Lupon members. Also, outstanding persons from the indigenous communities (datus, elders, sultans) could be appointed members of the Lupon. The three members of the Board are to be appointed by the Sangguniang Barangay, upon the proposal of the Barangay Captain, for a 3-year term among qualified persons with experience in justice related fields in the public sector, private sector or civil society organisations. They should serve only one term and should be replaced annually by thirds, in order to encourage participation of qualified citizens on a rotation basis. They should serve without remuneration, but should be paid transport and subsistence allowances. The Board, in addition to selecting candidates to the Lupon, should also monitor and evaluate the performance of Lupon members, and recommend new candidates for appointment every year. As part of its monitoring function, the Board should call monthly meetings with Lupon members. It should also make proposals to the Sangguniang Barangay for improvement of procedures and practices. The Board should report to the Sangguniang Barangay: the Board should thus have consultative and advisory functions, with the decision-making power being exercised by the Sangguniang Barangay. Rationale. The selection of candidates for the Lupon should be done in accordance with clear criteria and transparent procedures. Most importantly, the Lupon composition should be gender-balanced. Creating a Board in charge of the selection of candidates would contribute to the impartiality of the process. While the Barangay Captain would retain the power to propose the candidates, based on the recommendation of the Board, the power to appoint them would be transferred to the Sangguniang Barangay in order to avoid criticisms that the Barangay Captain has appointed the Lupon members on a partisan basis.
comments from the Department of Interior and Local Government s Legal Division. These will also be forwarded to the Department of Justice for their comments. Institutional Assessment of the Philippine Barangay Justice System Final Report Page 60 of 65

Lupon members should be appointed for a 3-year term, with the well-performing ones having the possibility of being re-appointed for successive 3-year terms. The Lupon and the citizens would thus benefit from the continuity and permanency of the best mediators or arbitrators. This would avoid replacing the Lupon members whenever a Barangay election brings a new person to the office of Barangay Captain. The Lupon should thus be a list or pool of selected persons willing to serve the community as mediators or arbitrators. The list should include as many members as required by the number of cases being filed at the Barangay (while the minimum number of 10 lupon members is appropriate, there should not be a maximum number). The Lupon membership could thus be drawn from different and various sectors of society and fields of expertise, including indigenous leaders. By having the Board members appointed for 3-year terms with one new member being appointed every year, it is meant to encourage participation of qualified persons as board members. The prohibition of re-appointment for a successive second term aims at the same goal. Giving the Board the tasks to monitor and evaluate the performance of Lupon members, call monthly meetings of the Lupon, and come up with proposals for improvement of procedures and practices are all intended to guarantee that such tasks are performed impartially and efficiently, with the Sangguniang Barangay retaining the decision-making power. Main articles to be amended : KP Law: SEC 399, 400, 401, 402 KP Rules: Rule II a); Rule III, Section 1 A; Rule IV, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 b. Powers of the Barangay Captain Proposal The Barangay Captain should be responsible for receiving complaints, summoning the respondent (or the witnesses, where applicable), resolving on his/her competency or on objections to the venue, appointing mediators or arbitrators chosen by the parties, setting dates and times for mediation or arbitration sessions, taking oaths, executing settlements agreed by the parties and awards issued by arbitrators, as well as other functions attributed him/her by specific laws, e.g. the issuance of Barangay Protection Orders (BPO); but he/she should not act as a mediator nor an arbitrator. The Barangay Captain could delegate his/her powers to other Kagawads, where required by the number of cases being filed at the Barangay. Rationale. The Barangay Captain should be responsible for those functions which involve the exercise of power (such as the ones enumerated above), but not for those which require impartiality, neutrality and non-partisanship, such as mediation and arbitration.
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This does not go contrary to Filipino traditions of mediation and amicable settlement of disputes, but instead can strongly contribute to strengthening those traditions and ensuring their sustainability in the future. Mediation performed by the Barangay Captain is often perceived by the parties as politically biased from the fact that he/she is the elective executive in the Barangay. Therefore, removing the mediation and arbitration functions from the scope of competencies of the Barangay Captain is intended to enhance his/her authority as an elected official exercising strong powers (such as the ones enumerated above), while at the same time preserving him/her from being blamed for bias and partiality. Main articles to be amended: KP Law: 399, 410 b), 411; KP Rules: Rule III, Section 1 B, C; Rule VII c. Mediation and Arbitration Proposal Mediation and arbitration take place according to the following steps: 1. The Barangay Captain appoints one mediator chosen by the parties by common accord from the Lupon list, who should perform his/her function within the period determined by the law (15 days). 2. If agreement is not reached by the parties, the Barangay Captain could appoint a Pangkat of 3 mediators chosen by the parties from the Lupon list, provided that the parties agree to having a second phase of mediation by a Pangkat. If the Pangkat is constituted, it should perform its function within the period determined by the law (15 days). 3. If mediation fails (either by the aforesaid mediator or by the Pangkat, where this was constituted), arbitration should be compulsory for the parties for all civil cases up to a certain amount, and for all criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Barangay Captain as determined in the law. For civil cases, the Barangay Captain should appoint one arbitrator chosen by the parties from the Lupon list; for criminal cases, the Barangay Captain should appoint 3 arbitrators chosen by the parties from the Lupon list to form a Pangkat. The persons who acted as mediators should not act as arbitrators as well. Arbitration should take place over a period of at least 15 days; certain cases could require longer periods (to be determined). Rationale. Given that the Barangay Captain would no longer mediate, a mediator chosen by the parties should be appointed in his stead. A second stage of mediation by the Pangkat should be optional, given that the parties may not find it worthwhile to go through mediation again, this time by a 3-member Pangkat. The fact that only around a rough estimate of 10% of the cases reach the
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Pangkat mediation stage reveals this reluctance of the parties to a second stage of mediation. Instead, arbitration should be made compulsory in order to favor the resolution of cases at the Barangay level and prevent cases from being filed in court which can be resolved at the Barangay level; this would contribute to de-clogging the court dockets. However, a distinction between civil and criminal cases should be made: given that all civil cases without quantitative limits fall under the authority of the Barangay Captain (except cases where one of the parties is a corporation or between persons living in different municipalities), it seems appropriate to limit compulsory arbitration to cases under a certain amount (to be determined). In criminal matters, however, the Barangay Captains authority is limited by law to cases where the penalty is up to 1 year of imprisonment or a fine of 5,000 pesos; therefore, all criminal cases falling under these limits could be subject to compulsory arbitration. Compulsory arbitration in civil cases could efficiently be done by one arbitrator only, while for criminal cases a 3-member Pangkat should be formed. The current period for arbitration provided for in the law (10 days) seems too short; therefore, it is proposed to extend the arbitration period to at least 15 days, while allowing for longer periods depending on the cases. Main articles to be amended 404, 410 b), 413 a); Rule III, Section 1 C, Section 3, Section 4; Rule VI, Section 9 d. Confidentiality and other principles on mediation sessions Proposal The mediation sessions at the Barangay should not be open to the public (although arbitration sessions can be public) nor should minutes of the mediation proceedings be kept nor submitted to the courts. While appearance of parties in person is a key principle, it should be made clear that parties could be accompanied by persons that can help them, such as friends and relatives (provided that they are not lawyers). The mediator should keep in utmost confidence all information obtained in the course of the mediation process. The mediator should discuss issues of confidentiality with the parties before the beginning of the mediation process including limitations on the scope and extent of the duty of confidentiality provided in any private sessions or caucuses that the mediator holds with a party. Information obtained through mediation proceedings at the Barangay should be subject to the following principles and guidelines: a) Information thus obtained shall be privileged and confidential;
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b) A party, mediator, or non-party participant may refuse to disclose and may prevent any other person from disclosing confidential information; c) Confidential information shall be inadmissible in any adversarial proceedings, whether judicial or quasi-judicial. However, evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by its use in mediation; d) In such an adversarial proceeding, the following persons involved or previously involved in a mediation may not be compelled to disclose confidential information obtained during mediation: i) the parties to the dispute; ii) the mediator or mediators; iii) the non-party participants; v) any person hired or engaged in connection with the mediation, such as the barangay secretary or lupon documenter; e) The parties may, by an agreement in writing, stipulate that the settlement agreement shall be sealed or not disclosed to any party, except in any proceedings to enforce or repudiate the settlement. Rationale. Confidentiality contributes to the success and integrity of the mediation process. Confidentiality is essential to effective mediation because it promotes a candid and informal exchange regarding events in the past. This frank exchange is achieved only if participants know that what is said in the mediation will not be used to their detriment through later court proceedings or other adjudicatory processes. The mediator shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that each party understands the nature and character of the mediation proceedings, including private caucuses, the issues, the available options, the alternatives to non-settlement, and that each party is free and able to make whatever choices they desire regarding participation in mediation generally and regarding specific settlement options. If the mediator believes that a party is unable to understand, or fully participate in, the mediation proceedings for any reason, the mediator may either: a) limit the scope of the mediation proceedings according to the parties ability to participate, and/or recommend that the party obtain appropriate assistance in order to continue with the process; or b) terminate the mediation proceedings. The mediator shall recognize and keep in mind that the primary responsibility of resolving a dispute and shaping of a settlement rests with the parties. Where appropriate, the mediator shall recommend that the parties seek outside professional advise to help them make informed decisions and to understand the implications of any proposals. In the absence of any applicable rules, RA 9285, otherwise known as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations should be a reference for mediators and for mediation processes at the Barangay level.

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Main articles to be amended: KP Law: 404 b), 414; KP Rules: Rule III, Section 4 b) and e); Rule VI, Section 7: KP Law: 415

VIII. The Future: Towards a Citizen-Driven Justice System A core message from the Access to Justice for the Poor project is that the barangay justice system is about citizen participation in the dispensation of justice at the lowest levels. The Philippine barangay justice system is a fusion of folk traditions and Western conceptions of justice, tempered by universal declarations of human rights. The above proposed amendments of the KP Law are meant to embody greater citizen participation, with citizens exercising their right to choose their preferred dispute resolution mode (mediation or arbitration), having a greater voice on who will facilitate the resolution of their disputes, and generally having control over decisions on matters that affect their lives. This is not too far behind the concept of village-level tribunals composed of lay people (not judges and lawyers) acting as lay tribunals that would hear cases similar to the formal court system. In the future, dare we hope to see the transformation of a judicial system that is bureaucratic and inaccessible, to one that is truly a citizen-driven judiciary? Given appropriate national and local government support, given greater citizen awareness of their rights, given a higher level of skills and a sense of civic duty, the barangay justice system may very well be headed to that direction.

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