VPSD lauds PAO for surpassing target cases handled

VPSD lauds PAO for surpassing target cases handled

By Rjhay E. Laurea

PASAY CITY — Vice President Sara Duterte commended the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Thursday for successfully delivering free legal assistance to at least 9.7 million indigent Filipinos, surpassing their target cases handled in the previous year.

Duterte was the guest speaker during the 7th Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Convention for Public Attorneys held at the Philippine International Convention Center in the above-mentioned city.

“I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone for their accomplishments in 2021. You surpassed your target cases handled, including appealed cases that were favorably disposed of and served 9.7 million Filipinos,” Duterte said.

She added, it was not an easy feat in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) conducting home visits to clients with special needs and further expanding their reach through online legal counseling broadcasted live on social media.

The Vice President also commended Public Attorney in the Philippines chief in Dr. Persida Rueda-Acosta for always “standing tall and dignified in all her public appearances.”

“One look at her, and you know she is proud to lead an organization providing accessible, efficient, high-quality, and effective legal services to indigents and other qualified persons,” Duterte emphasized.

Duterte said the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has started receiving requests from fellow Filipinos, who are currently facing incarceration, for free legal assistance and support for expeditious hearings of their cases.

Recognizing the substantial role that PAO lawyers play, Duterte said the OVP has already conducted initial talks with Acosta for assistance and partnership.

“Thank you very much, ma’am, for your support to the Office of the Vice President,” Duterte said, referring to Acosta. “We do not and cannot afford to cease learning as legal professionals and guardians of justice. It is a noble opportunity to take as we help ensure the integrity of the law and continue to uphold, despite challenges and disruptions, the inherent democratic rights enshrined in our Constitution and the laws of the land,” she added.

Duterte ended her message with hopes “for the best in our role of championing the rights of our marginalized and underrepresented citizens.” (ai/mtvn)

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