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Inmates in Basilan receive free legal aid from BARMM-human rights

ISABELA CITY, Basilan, August 09 (PIA) –The Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) at the Provincial Jail in Barangay Sumagdang, Isabela City received free legal aid through the legal aid clinic of the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission last August 2.

The protection division of the Basilan Provincial Office, in collaboration with Muslim Lawyers in ZAMBASULTA had one-on-one discussions with the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) about the nature of the offense they are charged with and their rights under the constitution, including remedies available to them under the rules of court.

The legal aid clinic would like to assure that the PDLs have understood and are fully aware of the alleged crimes they committed and their corresponding rights under the law. The PDLs' access to food, medicine, and recreation, including their COVID-19 vaccinations were also checked by the legal team to ensure their overall well-being during their detention.

Atty. Alman N. Namla, Provincial Director of the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC), Basilan Provincial Office said that they catered a total of 54 PDLs with majority of their cases are drug-related or violation of RA 9165 known as "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002".

This was conducted through the support of ZAMBASULTA lawyers namely Atty. Khalil Lajarato, Atty. Mohammad Hussein Ladjagais,  Atty. Nur-Aiza Gagarra, Atty. Gadzmin Salisa, Atty. Waldemar Johasan,  and  Atty. Alman-Najar L. Namla.

The legal aid clinic is pursuant to the BHRC’s protection mandate under the Bangsamoro Human Rights Act of 2019, whereby the Commission shall extend legal assistance to those who are at risk of being victims of human rights violations.

In addition to legal advice, the Commission provided free hygiene kits and food packs to the PDLs.

Furthermore,  as part of facility monitoring under its human rights protection program, BHRC-Basilan personnel also pay a visit to Warden Nul Asmawil who heads the LGU-funded provincial facility. The facility monitoring program was discussed as part of the programs of the BHRC to assure the principle that individuals who are detained or who are in prison retain all their rights except those that have been lost as a specific consequence of deprivation of liberty.

Atty. Namla said that monitoring is also conducted to inform the government and the general public about the current state of detention facilities such as jails, prisons, and other detention centers. (RVC/NDR-PIA Basilan with report from BHRC-Basilan Provincial Office)

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Nilda Delos Reyes

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Region 9

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