PAO serves over 31K indigent clients amid Covid-19

The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Tuesday said it has so far served more than 31,000 indigent litigants this year.


“This year, we reached 31,055 clients from March 16, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2020. Even if there is a pandemic, our PAO lawyers continue to work. We thank our donors for their support since we have no special budget for Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic protection for our employees,” Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta said in a Laging Handa briefing.


She added that 7,554 prisoners were given “favorable judgment” from January to June through the help of PAO lawyers.


She also lauded PAO lawyers for their commitment as front-liners in the legal sector.


“We are like soldiers and policemen who cannot just go home and sleep leisurely. We are on duty 24 hours for those arrested and in need of legal services and legal advice,” Rueda-Acosta said.


At present, the PAO is implementing a skeleton workforce for its lawyers as part of precautionary measures against Covid-19.


Field positions for PAO lawyers nationwide have grown to 2,427 from 1,048 under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.


She added that the PAO is set to move to a new building soon.


“We are in an area that is near an illegal settlers’ community where fire incidents are frequent. The new PAO building near the main office of the Commission on Audit along Commonwealth Avenue is under construction by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and the NHA (National Housing Authority). We thank the President for this,” she said.


PAO was established in 1972 and was formerly known as the Citizens Legal Assistance Office. (PNA)


Source: Philippines News Agency


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