The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in Kidapawan City is asking its clients for understanding as it cannot fully serve them due to a lack of electricity.
“Please bear with us, for more than a week we have no electricity at the Hall of Justice due to unpaid electric bills,” said the PAO-Kidapawan in an advisory on Thursday.
“This is being addressed and in due time power will be restored,” it added.
In the meantime, no court hearing has taken place since January 3 when government work resumed.
However, the PAO said that it still renders services like legal counseling and notarization of ready-made legal documents like Personal Data Sheet (PDS) and Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for notarization that no longer need printing or photo-copying.
The Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) shut off power lines to the Kidapawan justice hall building that houses regional trial courts and the PAO after it failed to settle its electric bill amounting to more than PHP300,000.
“We have no choice but to cut the power supply,” Engr. Godofredo Homez, Cotelco general manager, said in a radio interview Thursday.
“We considered previous delays in payment due to the pandemic but the time has come that we need to cut off power in compliance to cooperative policy,” he added.
Asking anonymity, a lawyer said all scheduled hearings had to be reset and suspended due to the lack of power.
Another court employee said fund requests for MOOE have been forwarded to the Supreme Court but the tribunal has yet to send in the funds.
He said the PAO and court judges will seek the help of the city and provincial governments to shoulder the electric bill so power will be restored, with the amount set for reimbursement later.
Source: Philippines News Agency