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January 03, 2022

ABA ROLI and IBP hold Legal Aid Caravan in South Cotabato for Indigenous Peoples

Through its USAID-supported Access to Justice and Support for the Rule of Law program, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) held a legal aid caravan (LAC) for indigenous peoples on February 17, 2022, at The Farm at Carpenter Hill in Koronadal City.  

The LAC was in partnership with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) South Cotabato and General Santos City (SOCGEN) Chapter and the IBP National Center for Legal Aid. This LAC event was the third in a series of activities intended to bring access to justice closer to the underserved sector of indigenous peoples and to provide opportunities for members of the Philippine bar to offer pro bono services to the public.

 Peter Mackenzie, ABA ROLI's Country Director in the Philippines

Peter Mackenzie, ABA ROLI's Country Director in the Philippines

ABA ROLI’s new Country Director, Mr. Peter Mackenzie, spoke at the LAC. In his remarks, Mr. Mackenzie conveyed ABA ROLI’s appreciation of the continuing and strong partnership between the IBP and ABA ROLI through its current President Atty. Burt Estrada.

“This legal aid caravan, under the ACCESS Project, is one of the fruits of our continued partnership. The LAC aims to provide access to legal aid services to those underserved in various areas of the country. We focus on marginalized groups who may not have access to legal services due to their location, financial capabilities, or other mitigating circumstances.”

The LAC in South Cotabato was a “kick-off” activity for IBP’s year of commemorations leading up its 50th anniversary in 2023. Atty. Burt M. Estrada, IBP’s 25th National President, was present throughout the legal aid event, joined by IBP SOCGEN Chapter President Atty. Remigio Rojas and Chapter Vice President Josemar Albano. More than 30 Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) participated in the activity and recieved legal consultations and advisory services by IBP.

Learn more about ABA ROLI’s work across Asia & the Pacific.