CONNER, Apayao – Since its launching in 2011 as one of the 10 point agenda of Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr., the free “Legal Assistance for the Welfare of Yapayaos with Education and Resolution Services” (LAWYERS) program continues to thrive due the commitment of lawyers and judges in extending their services to people who are in need of free legal advice, free notarial services and lectures on relevant legal issues in the community.
On August 3, the Provincial Government of Apayao thru its Provincial Legal Office headed by Atty. Edmar Pascua travelled to the Municipality of Conner and catered the needs of municipal and barangay officials including ordinary members of the community who are in need of free legal services.
In the same Municipality where it was launched six (6) years ago, Conner Mayor Leonardo Dangoy once again conveyed his gratitude for all the lawyers including a judge who spent time to his people without worrying for any legal or lawyer’s fee.
“I express my sincere appreciation to all the members of free LAWYERS for coming here just to give free legal services. Despite your busy schedules, you attended this activity,” Dangoy said.
He encouraged the people to speak up for any questions they want to be answered by “legal minds.” “Pangngaasi yo ta ibaga yo dagiti problema yon tapno masulbar (Please tell your problems so that they can be resolved already),” Dangoy challenged the crowd.
In this one day event, tables were provided for as many lawyers are present or depending on the outpour of clients with the presence and assistance from the Provincial Government of Apayao employees and intern student of the Cagayan State University Law School.
Lawyers Atty. Donnaliza Nicolas-Cipriano and Atty. Marveluna Paranal from the Prosecutors Office lectured and advised about Criminal Law while Atty. Ranvylle Albano head of the Apayao Registry of Deeds tackled about land disputes and land registration. MCTC Judge Greta Mae Gayagay answered questions from the crowd on criminal cases.
Public Attorney’s Office Atty. Frianne Vidad talked about Senior Citizens Act and Persons with Disability law while Atty. Alyssa Joyce Du-Sampaga lectured on Barangay Justice System. Other lawyers such as Atty. Edmar Pascua, Provincial Treasurer Atty. Julaida Caddawan-Pancho, Atty. Chanda Usita-Collado provided legal advises. Meanwhile, Atty. Jane Loretcha offered free notarial services.
Much to the delight of the participants of not spending any amount in seeking legal services, they conveyed their sincere indebtedness to the members of free LAWYERS. They desire that such program of the PGA continues in years to come and even incorporated as basic services offered by the Provincial Government. This is in confirmation with Atty. Pascua’s message who stated that the program is created for the people who can’t afford to pay much in hiring lawyers or even cannot travel from Upper Apayao just to get the services of lawyers in in lower Apayao or in the Capitol.
“Through the initiative of the founding father of Apayao, the late Elias K. Bulut which is being continued by Gov. Bulut, Jr., is the reason why we are here. That is, to bring the services direct and closer to the people. You no longer travel and go with us in the capitol but rather, we come to you,” Atty. Pascua underscored.
He said that the program is aimed of expanding the legal services to municipalities and remote barangays. “As the saying goes, those who are less in life should have more in law,” Atty. Pascua stressed.
The next target areas for the free LAWYERS are the Municipalities of Luna, Pudtol and Sta. Marcela.
BY GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN