Nelisa Guevara-Garcia

Director of National Prosecution Development

Lisa joined IJM in 2006 and currently serves as the Director of National Prosecution Development for IJM Philippines. In this role, Lisa is responsible for delivering the IJM Philippines’ Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) Program’s Prosecution Outcomes. In the performance of these functions, she must ensure the five domains of sustainability (Infrastructure, Staffing, Financial Sustainability, Performance, Policies) in the prosecution pillar are functional by the end of the program. She is also tasked to ensure alignment between IJM Philippines’ national program and regional-local programs in coordination with the Directors of the program offices.

Prior to this role, she served as the Executive Head of Prosecution Development in the Manila Field Office. She led a team of lawyers who prosecute cases of OSEC alongside public prosecutors through collaborative casework. Together they develop innovative prosecution strategies by testing legal principles and existing case law while building the capacity of government partners toward system reform. Throughout her time with IJM, Lisa has actively prosecuted both child sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation cases in her own capacity as private prosecutor, resulting in 52 case convictions of 45 perpetrators within 7 years as Special Counsel for Intervention and Senior Special Counsel (Anti-Human Trafficking Specialist) for the Manila Legal Interventions Department. Three of these case convictions were further affirmed in the Supreme Court adding to the growing jurisprudence on Human Trafficking in the Philippines. To date, the Manila Prosecution Development Team has achieved 120 perpetrator convictions, 52 of which are OSEC convictions under her leadership since 2016. Lisa also serves as a resource person for various trainings, conferences and other speaking engagements both locally and internationally.

In 2020, Lisa led her team in the conceptualization and publication of the Compendium of Legal Resources for the Prosecution of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) in the Philippines. It is the first of its kind in the realm of OSEC Prosecution in the Philippines. The said publication was officially endorsed by Undersecretary Atty. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar of the DOJ Inter-Agency Council Task Force (IACAT) for the use of government prosecutors in the prosecution of this crime.

Before IJM, she worked as an attorney for the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines for 3 years. Lisa has been with IJM for more than 15 years and in the practice of law for almost 20 years. Lisa obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Santo Tomas. She is married to Joey who is also a lawyer and a private practitioner. They have a son, Elijah, who is currently earning his JD degree at the Ateneo De Manila University School of Law. Lisa loves to cook and travel with her family for leisure.