On November 7th and 8th in Manila, IDLO launched its new program in the Philippines with signing ceremonies at the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice. The ceremonies officially marked the opening of two initial projects in the country. The program seeks to enhance the capacity of prosecutors in the Philippines to better handle basic criminal prosecution, as well as conduct preliminary investigations in public officials’ corruption cases. Ted Hill, IDLO Senior Program Development Specialist, and Cathleen Cagaanan, IDLO Philippines Field Program Coordinator, represented IDLO at the ceremonies where two Memoranda of Understanding were signed.
The criminal justice system in the Philippines is characterized by ineffective case management, overburdening of existing prosecutors, and a lack of professional training. This results in long delays and a low conviction rate of less than 25%. To this end, IDLO, will be working with the Office of the Ombudsman and, alongside its implementing partner the American Bar Association, the Department of Justice to support trainings and other capacity building activities to enhance the competency, skills and substantive knowledge of public prosecutors.
IDLO and the Philippines have a history of collaboration beginning with the Philippines’ membership in 1989. IDLO’s former Asia Regional Training Office (ARTO) which provided training and technical assistance for transition economies in southeast and central Asia and the Pacific was based in Manila from 1996 until 2001. The signing ceremonies for the current program build upon an existing partnership, and strengthens IDLO’s participation in the broader Asia-Pacific region.