ABOUT US


We harness each other's strengths in the developmental use of the law and critical engagement of the legal system.

PROJECTS

  • Access to Justice Project

    ALG's Access to Justice project aimed to enable the poor to pursue justice through their increased knowledge about basic rights and the judicial system. Furthermore, we also worked on expanding legal information desks in the barangay and municipal court levels.

  • NAMATI Project

    We are the current Regional Anchor in Southeast Asia for the Legal Empowerment Network - Namati, a community of grassroots justice defenders spread across the world. We are responsible for convening the members in the whole of Southeast Asia.

ARTICLES
PSC Meets with New PNP HRAO Chief

On July 2, 2015, selected representatives of the Project Steering Committee of the “Community-based Dialogue Sessions on Human Rights Promotion and Protection” project gave a courtesy call to the new OIC Philippine National Police Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP HRAO) Chief Police Senior Superintendent Dennis Siervo at the HRAO office in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The PSC members gave an overview of the project, while the OIC Chief expressed support to the project and shared some of his future plans for the HRAO.

EnvironmentalDefense Program (EnDefense)

Launched as part of the agreement between Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) and the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF)1 to facilitate collaboration between them and their partners in areas of mutual interest in the Philippines, and to make available resources for projects that they will co-finance, the EnDefense Program is a funding mechanism for litigation and related legal actions that seek to protect the country's environment and natural resources.  The program supports cases that have a direct link to or impact on environmental conservation and protection.   Specifically, support is given to cases that pursue legal sanctions against environmental law violators, and those that seek to question, or defend, the constitutionality or validity of laws and policy issuance that affect the rights of communities, or that have a significant impact on environmental protection.    As Administrator of the EnDefense Program, the ALG holds the funds, receives and processes proposals for funding support, disburses funds for approved proposals, and monitors project implementation and funds usage.     After the completion of three phases, the EnDefense program has proven its value as a unique and innovative program that has ably supported strategic litigation for the environment.  To date, it remains the only program of its kind that provides funding support for the filing of cases to protect forests, biodiversity areas, environmental defenders, and the country’s natural resources, in general.   Through the EnDefense program, the partners, ALG, FPE and PTFCF, made a significant contribution to the enhancement of accessibility of quality legal assistance and representation to communities that encounter issues concerning environmental destruction, both actual and threatened.    With the funding window for litigation as its main thrust, the EnDefense program has supported more than forty (40) actual cases in three phases.  These cases cover different environmentally critical and biodiversity areas in the Philippines – forests, mangroves, watersheds, rivers, ancestral domains and other natural resources.   The EnDefense program’s litigation support component has proved to be a very valuable element for local communities’ defense of the environment against all sorts of violations and aggressions in different areas of the country.The strategic value of EnDefense goes beyond the actual support for litigation or legal action.   The ability to pursue cases has inspired communities, and strengthened their collective resolve to defend the environment against violators and aggressors.  Even before favorable actions are obtained from the courts and other government agencies through the cases, the community defense of the environment is fortified.   By enabling communities to take legal action, EnDefense has greatly contributed to the empowerment of these communities as they protect their rights and defend the natural resources in their areas.  From its launch in July 2008, the EnDefense program has served as a facilitator that links available legal support to communities that face issues concerning the environment.  The EnDefense program’s popularization component has significantly contributed to the dissemination of information about the Supreme Court’s new rules, in a way that has a bias for the communities’ ability to use the rules to (1) assert the community’s environmental rights; (2) pursue legal sanctions against environmental law violators; (3) protect the community and its members, or government enforcers, from SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) or harassment suits; and (4) remedy violations of human rights related to environmental protection.  The policy component, for its part, was able to achieve the desired goal of making the EnDefense program more strategic and holistic, by complementing its support to litigation with engagement in policy reform work.   In recognition of the reality that environmental case litigation is ultimately affected not only by court procedures and rules, but, more significantly, by the substantive policies that are legislated by the Congress, or issued through the rule-making powers of the Executive, EnDefense has actively supported the engagement of the ALG and its partner organizations and communities in the discourse on policies relevant to environmental protection.  The policy reform component has enabled the EnDefense program to successfully act as catalyst and facilitator in coordinating the key policy advocacies for the environment.

Community-Based Dialogue Sessions on Human Rights Promotion and Protection

The project, Community-Based Dialogue Sessions on Human Rights Between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, and Civil2 Society Organizations and Local Communities, was launched in 2008, at a time when the Philippines got the attention of the international community as a result of the alarming rise in unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the improvement of the Human Rights situation in the Philippines primarily through the enhancement of the relationship between the AFP and PNP, on one hand, and local communities and civil society organizations, on the other hand, in the common effort to promote human rights. The specific objective of the project is to help create venues for the AFP and the PNP on one hand, primarily through their respective human rights offices, and civil society organizations on the other hand, to collectively discuss the issue of human rights promotion and protection, and how cooperative efforts for on-going and future actions toward human rights promotion and protection can be maximized. The project partners are the following:Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP); Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – through the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations (OJ7) and the Human Rights Office (HRO); Philippine National Police (PNP) – through the Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO); Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF); Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA); Alternative Law Groups (ALG); and the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.   The ALG is the overall coordinator of the project, which is now on its seventh (7th) year.The project primarily involves the conduct of a series of dialogue sessions in different areas nationwide.   The dialogue sessions have the main goal of contributing to the improvement of the Human Rights situation in the Philippines primarily through the enhancement of the relationship between the security forces (AFP and PNP), on one hand, and local communities and civil society organizations, on the other hand, in the common effort to promote human rights.  In its first three years, the project had covered all administrative regions of the country through its regional dialogue sessions. In 2012, the project further localized the dialogue sessions by going into provincial-level dialogue sessions.  After these dialogue sessions that formed the core of the project’s major activities, follow through activities were initiated by the participants of the dialogue sessions in their respective areas.  For its current Phase 3(2014-2016), the main objective of the program shall be the Institutionalization of the Human Rights Dialogues at the local level.  The project continues the Top-Level Policy Dialogue Mechanism which was launched on May 5, 2012, as part of the Commission on Human Rights’ 25th Anniversary celebration.  This is a mechanism for scaling up the dialogue process from the grassroots to the policy arena, by involving policy makers of lead government offices,with the objective of translating the issues and recommendations that had been identified in various regions, into policy changes.   The project also organizes a series of Training of Trainers for a training module that is specifically focused on a multi-sector audience composed of both civilians and military/police personnel. The module primarily contains cases and materials that will enable the application of human rights principles to specific situations encountered by the civilians and the military/police officers as they relate with each other.

MEMBERS