MANILA, June 25 (PIA) — Good news to parishioners of Quiapo Church. The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) recently launched its Ministry for Legal Assistance Office to provide free legal services to underprivileged parishioners.
According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the said launching was done during the birthday celebration of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle last June 21.
Minor Basilica Rector Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio said, Archbishop Tagle requested for the setting up of said office as the Church’s response to the needs of the poor who cannot afford the cost of legal services.
Tagle expressed his gratitude to Quiapo Church officials and also to the San Beda College of Law for its commitment to offer free legal services.
SBC rector, Fr. Aloysius Maranan, OSB, has committed free legal assistance from its law student interns and law faculty alumni to the devotees of the Nazarene and poor parishioners.
Also present during the launching is Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rene Sarmiento who is a member of the Faculty of Law of San Beda College. Sarmiento also committed his free services to the ministry.
Likewise, he promised to rally other lawyers to contribute time and services to the ministry.
Sarmiento, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1987, was instrumental for the provision in the new constitution that states that free legal assistance is a right of citizens who could not afford to pay for lawyers to defend their rights.
Joining Sarmiento are the top 45 graduating students of the San Beda College of Law as well as the staff and volunteers of the Restorative Justice Ministry of Caritas Manila.
Meanwhile, the Ministry for Legal Assistance also called on good hearted lawyers to volunteer their time and services for the poor who need legal representation.
The ministry’s office is located on the third floor of the newly constructed Benedict XVI Building at the Quiapo Church Compound, Manila. Telephone numbers are 733-4945 loc. 318 or 319. (RJB/JEG-PIA NCR/CBCP)