BJMP-NCR takes part in HLAF’s JPO Kamustahan


In partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) - Jail Decongestion Program organized the Jail Paralegal Officers (JPO) Kamustahan at BJMP National Capital Region Office, July 1.

The JPO Kamustahan was participated by HLAF Jail Decongestion Team and BJMP NCR Jail Paralegal Officers. The Kamustahan was conducted in order to provide an update about the BJMP reports and for HLAF to give a session about stress management and a simple lesson on meditating.

BJMP Reports

In the first part of the program, the Deputy Hearing and Legal Officer of BJMP NCR, Senior Inspector Patricia Amigo-Vidamo, gave updates on the memos given by the National Head Quarters (NHQ). It focused on intensifying decongestion efforts through paralegal services for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL). It also required regular monitoring, mentoring, and supervisory visits by the NHQ.

 Atty. Vidamo mentioned the Memorandum of Agreement between the BJMP and the Public Attorney’s Office to intensify efforts of releasing detainees. She also discussed the intensification of Paralegal Officer Awards Nationwide which will have regional, city, district, and municipal awardees.

Another memo mentioned in the discussion was the Memo on Mittimuses of National or Insular Prisoners Immediately after Conviction. The memo was shown together with the Office of the Court Administrator Circular requiring trial court judges to issue mittimuses and commitment orders when no appeal or MR is filed.

According to the Deputy Hearing and Legal Officer of BJMP NCR, there is a strong need of orientation to newly committed PDL on the rights, modes of early release, punishable acts and welfare development programs available to them.

In concluding the updates portion, she reminded the JPO that inspections start this month (July 2016).

Stress Management

HLAF Senior Community Organizer, ,Ms. Claudette Almadin,RSW, started the workshop on stress management by distributing stress tests to the participants and asked them to answer it.

After the participants determined their scores, she discussed the different levels of stress. If the score is 76 and higher, the stress level is high. If it is 51 to 75, the stress level is moderate to high. If it is 26 to 50, the stress level is low to moderate. If it is 25 and lower, the stress level is low.

Ms. Almadin emphasized that high stress levels should be addressed by taking time to de-stress. She discussed that stress is pressure and the different signs of stress are worrying, tense, easily tired, frightened, elated, depressed, and anxious.

She proceeded discussing that there are two kinds of stressors – external and internal. External stressors are those which people have no control over. These are the kind that people should be able to adjust to. The internal stressors are usually lifestyle choices like cigarette smoking, negative self-talk, mind traps like automatic biases, and personality traits.

HLAF Senior Community Organizer provided the steps on how to cope with stress. First, recognize the problem. Second, do the ABC strategy which stands for awareness, balance, and control. Next is to change one’s thinking to positive thinking and change one’s behavior to become more assertive and to get more organized.

To conclude, Ms. Almadin stated that ventilation, distraction, diversion, and good humor are factors that help improve one’s behavior. She closed the discussion by advising on how improve one’s lifestyle by having a balanced diet, avoiding smoking and alcohol, exercising, sleeping, and relaxing.


Mr. Andy Cuevas started the session by asking if the participants believed in the presence of energy. He then showed the audience how to feel the energy between palms. The energy is the magnetic feeling between palms. He showed the audience that they can see the energy around their fingers when they put their hands against a white background.

He also discussed the Meditation on Twin Hearts. He explained that this was created as service to fellow Filipinos. It was made to build harmony and peace and it enables the practitioners to transfer divine energy.

According to Mr. Cuevas, there were two kind of Chakra. One is the Crown Chakra and the other is the Heart Chakra. The Crown Chakra is located above the head. It is the center of divine love, has 972 petals, and is for strangers. The Heart Chakra is located at the center of the chest. It is the center of human love, has 12 petals, and is for the family.

Afterwards, he led the meditation. Physical exercise was necessary to begin the meditation so a few physical exercises were done. The participants of the event participated in the meditation proper. To end, another physical exercise was done to shake off the excess energy.

Mr. Cuevas then, gave his final word and thanked the audience for participating.


HLAF Program Officer, Atty. Kristoffer Claudio, asked for feedback from the audience about the recent concluded event. Most participants of the event replied that stress management and the meditation part of the program were very helpful. He then asked what they would like to do for the 3rd Quarter Kamustahan. A few of the participants suggested having paralegal training seminar aside from JPO Kamustahan, additional pranic healing sessions, more sharing of the practices from different BJMP officers and team building.


Atty. Patricia Amigo-Vidamo thanked HLAF for the event and reminded the participants that the Kamustahan is a quarterly program and that they should always attend the said event.