The Restorative Justice (RJ) concept in Philippine setting was given emphasis during one of the sessions conducted in the recent 3rd World Congress on Probation held in Tokyo, Japan.
Administrator Manuel G. Co of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA), as one of the resource speakers of Session 4, discussed RJ with a sub-topic of “An Effort to Achieve All Inclusive Justice Outcome.” In his lecture, the Administrator emphasized the benefits of RJ compared to retributive justice. He also expounded on the integration of RJ to the rehabilitation work of the PPA in the Philippines.
To further stress the importance of RJ in the rehabilitation work of the Agency, Administrator Co noted the indigenous practices of RJ in the country, such as the Ifugao Justice System, Manobo Justice System, and the Manobo-Dulangan Justice System. These practices, according to Administrator Co, have proved that the concept is not a new thing in the practice of conciliation and solving disputes in the Philippine Criminal Justice System.
Aside from attending the Congress, the PPA delegation headed by the Administrator and with the Probation and Parole Officers from different regions and Volunteer Probation Assistants visited Ashiage Halfway House and Tokyo Metropolitan Police Station. The visit was in coordination with the Ministry of Japan and Volunteer Probation Officers of Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. A welcome dinner for the PPA delegation was hosted by the Honorable Mayor of Chiyoda.
A study visit to Tokyo Probation Office Rehabilitation Bureau and Fuchu Prison in Tokyo, Japan was also part of their attendance to the 3rd World Congress on Probation.
Another highlight of the Japan trip was the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by the Nagoya-Japan Lions Club, Asia Crime Prevention Foundation of Japan, Bureau of Corrections, PPA and Crime Prevention Practitioners Association of the Philippines. The MOA was in connection with the continued support of Japan to the Philippines-Japan Halfway House located in the prison reservation of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). The said support will be given to prisoners prior to their release to the community.