A SPECIAL AWARD was given to the Junior Bedan Law Circle’s (JBLC) Lingkod Laya program as one of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology – National Capital Region’s (BJMP-NCR) “dedicated service providers” last August 30, at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City. 

Last March 31, BJMP-NCR was in search of nominees for their special awards in celebration of its 32nd anniversary, with the theme, “Serbisyong Makatao, May Integridad, at Matatag Tungo sa Progresibong Komunidad,” wherein JBLC’s flagship project, Lingkod Laya, was an awardee. 

“With the special award given to JBLC’s Lingkod Laya, it signifies the impact of the spirit of volunteerism that could be seen with all the activities and projects that the organization has for the benefit of the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs),” shared Elyn Faye Malaluan, the previous Lingkod Laya Chairperson. 

Marc Antonino, incumbent Chairperson of Lingkod Laya, says that some of the “most impactful programs” that helped JBLC achieve this special award are the “Paralegal Trainings that we are conducting in various jails around the NCR… second is the case consultation/follow-ups where the student-volunteers conduct jail visits for case consultation.” 

Other Lingkod Laya programs, such as the padaLLove, Rugs to Reach, and Sakramento para sa Preso, also had a significant impact on both PDLs and student-volunteers, shared Malaluan. 

Bhavna Tricia Chandumal, incumbent JBLC President, stressed the relevance of Lingkod Laya’s initiatives in a justice system marred by congestion and inadequate facilities. “PDLs are still people, they are just those that happen to be deprived as consequences of their actions,” she emphasized. 

Moreover, this award marks a deeper partnership between BJMP-NCR and JBLC’s Lingkod Laya, aimed at addressing ongoing challenges within the justice system. The strong alliance seeks to bridge the gaps in our country’s justice system and provide legal management students with a platform to engage with the law and the rehabilitation of PDLs. 

While these accomplishments are notable, JBLC’s Lingkod Laya remains dedicated to advancing its efforts. “To further expand and enhance our efforts to better serve the needs of the PDLs in the future, we need to expand our scope and resources by partnering with other jails and organizations who have the same vision as us,” Antonino added. 

The organization also hopes to recruit more student-volunteers from the Legal Management Department, to provide them with “valuable exposure to real-world legal and societal issues.” The recognition bestowed by the BJMP-NCR for JBLC’s Lingkod Laya’s contributions underscores the ongoing importance of these efforts in “promoting justice and rehabilitation.” 

“As a Bedan student-volunteer, the call for rehabilitative justice for the PDLs, entails prayer and work. Now more than ever, the realities of our justice system calls for us to serve the PDLs because what JBLC Lingkod Laya solves are the systemic problems that we have,” Malaluan added.