MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – For the past eight years, IJM Manila has been walking a long road with Edwin.* When Edwin was 9 years old, his abusive father beat him with a piece of wood and broke the little boy's arm. At the hospital, Edwin's father refused to pay for the surgery. It was clear he was not fit to provide for his son, and soon Edwin and his sister moved into a children's shelter.
IJM received Edwin's case back in 2005, and IJM Manila attorney Liw Agbayani has pursued justice for Edwin in court. Edwin bravely chose to participate in the trial, taking the stand to testify in January 2007 so he could share about the violence he had endured at the hands of his own father. The trial took years, but on February 27, 2013, the judge made a just ruling: Edwin's father was convicted.
Edwin, now 17 years old and a student, has received support from IJM's aftercare team of social workers over the years. IJM attorney Liw said she celebrated the conviction because of what it means for Edwin – and children like him. "The opportunities we have to help children like Edwin should cause us to keep fighting and striving in doing well," Liw said, adding that the just ruling spurs her on in her work as a lawyer defending innocent children.
*A pseudonym has been used for the protection of this IJM client.