Senator Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino is launching the Philippine Legal Justice Center (PLJC), a free legal aid clinic, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception tomorrow, December 8, 2021.
Tolentino, who is the founder of the Center, said it would render free, adequate, and accessible legal assistance to marginalized and indigent litigants, overseas Filipino workers, (OFWs) and indigenous peoples and their communities.
The Center will offer legal services such as legal advice, drafting of legal instruments, and representation and counseling in cases filed before the Office of the Prosecutor, as well as in any court of justice, quasi-judicial bodies, and other administrative bodies.
“The program aims to instill civic consciousness through social engagement among members of the Bar by instituting a legal clinic and serving the community and the country through pro bono legal work,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino stressed that the free legal aid clinic aims to uphold and concretize the people’s rights to speedy disposition of their cases and to be given fair, impartial, and efficient justice.
He emphasized that the initiative is also directed towards legal literacy and nation-building by promoting justice, including environmental justice, across all sectors of society.
The Center will open its first office in Manila and start accepting clients on December 8. It will later open satellite offices in other parts of the country, as embodied by the “three stars” present in the organization’s logo which represents Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo lauded the advocacy spearheaded by Tolentino to provide free legal services to the marginalized and indigents. He said the initiative would help enhance and strengthen the administration of justice in the country.
According to Tolentino, the Center is collaborating with law schools to soon provide practical legal training and internships to law students.