PUBLIC ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

Regional Office 10 Cagayan de Oro City

 

 

Landmark Accomplishments

OF THE PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
FROM JANUARY 2001 TO AUGUST 2003


1. PAO Legal assistant to MILF leaders in securing an order granting their Motion for Re-investigation and to Suspend/lift Warrants of Arrest on July 15 – 18, 2003.

2. PAO Legal assistance to PO1 Ronald Palmares, the neophyte jail guard, in connection with the Al Ghozi escape.

3. The Chief Public Attorney was awarded and selected by the Nippon Foundation Asian Public Intellectuals (API) Fellowship as API Senior Fellow re: “Comparative Study of the Free Legal Aid Systems of Japan, Thailand and the Philippines: A Review of their Responsiveness towards Prevailing Human Rights Issues” (June 1-30, 2003 in Thailand; September 1-30, 2003 in Japan)

.4. The Chief Public Attorney was awarded a Plaque of Appreciation as Resource Speaker on “Child’s Rights” during the 3rd National Convention of Solemnizing Officers held on August 5 – 7, 2003 at the Tagaytay International Convention Center, Tagaytay City.

5. The Chief Public Attorney was awarded by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Manila I (J.B.L. Reyes) Chapter an Award of Recognition in acknowledgment and recognition of her outstanding achievements as member of the bar that merited her appointment as the Chief Public Attorney that brought honors to the ranks of the IBP Chapter I – Manila on July 11, 2003 at the Manila Hotel.

6. The Chief Public Attorney was awarded a Plaque of Appreciation by the Integrated Legal Assistance Organization (ILAO) Foundation, Inc. in appreciation of her support and cooperation in the launching of the Integrated Legal Assistance Organization and for having pledged her willingness and readiness to be of assistance to the goals and aspiration of ILAO in its endeavor to assist the less fortunate countrymen to have more in law and in its related fields on April 5, 2003 at the New Era University Auditorium, Quezon City.

7. The Chief Public Attorney was awarded a Plaque of Appreciation in sharing her knowledge, experience and expertise as Resource Speaker in the “Orientation on Sexual Harassment” held on February 27, 2003 at the Supreme Court, Manila.

8. The Chief Public Attorney was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the University of the East College Law in recognition of her outstanding performance as Chief, Public Attorney’s Office on the occasion of Paskuhan 2002 held on December 16, 2002 in Manila.

9. Free legal assistance in the preparation of Motions for Release on Recognizance and counter-affidavits extended to the 147 Pro-Erap supporters who were accused of rebellion during the May 1, 2001 siege of Malacañang.

10. PAO legal assistance in the immediate release of the 147 Pro-Erap supporters to the custody of Governor Lito Lapid and the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the subsequent immediate dismissal of rebellion charges against them.1

1. Participation of the PAO in the KALAHI (Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan) program of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

12. Presentation of the country paper entitled, “The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO): At the forefront of Philippine Legal Aid” by the Chief Public Attorney during the “Pan-Pacific Conference on Legal Aid”, held in Tokyo, Japan last December 7, 2001, where she served as a speaker/parrticipant upon the invitation of the Japan Legal Aid Association.

13. The PAO field lawyers have won 2,694 case before the lower courts and other quasi-judicial and administrative bodies by way of acquittal and favorable judgment/decision in civil cases [ the data does not include ARMM (Region 9-A)].

14. The PAO was able to extend free legal services which include judicial and non-judicial services, mediation and counseling, jail visitation, inquest assistance, documentation, legal advice and on-air counseling and other services to a total of 5,400,637 clients nationwide for the whole year of 2001.

15. Participation by the Chief Attorney in the 2002 U.S. International Visitors Program entitled, “U.S. Judicial and Legal Systems, “held from February 12 thru March 12, 2002, upon the invitation of the U.S. Department of State. This included various conferences in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida and California.

16. Participation by the Chief Public Attorney in the Justice Without Borders: An Inaugural Summit held on May 3-5, 2002, in Racine State of Wisconsin, U.S.A. participated in by Public Defenders from various countries, upon the invitation of the Johnsons Foundation and the Justice Without Borders Association.

17. The PAO was appointed as counsel de oficio of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada from March to May 2002, after the latter dismissed the services of all his private lawyers.

18. Facilitated the immediate processing of vouchers and claims thru the combined efforts of the Regional Public Attorney’s, the Financial Management Division (FMD) and the Administrative Division.

19. Implemented the continuous sending of advice of action taken to NGOs, PAO partners, media sector, government entities and private individuals on their referrals of indigent clients for legal assistance.

20. Effective delivery of supplies secured from the Procurement Services of the DBM to the different PAO offices in Luzon through effective centralization of the same.

21. Updating of the payment of mandatory expenses of the office as well as disbursement in accordance with COA and DBM rules and regulations.

22. Recruitment of 159 lawyers to ensure adequate delivery of free legal services.

23. Wholehearted support from media in recognizing accomplishments of the PAO which resulted in the elimination of unsubstantiated remarks against the PAO given by some sectors.

24. The participation of the Public Attorney’s office in the KAIBIGAN Program of the Honorable Secretary of Justice Hernando B. perez.

25. Attendance of PAO representatives at various committee hearings of House Bill No. 178 reorganizing and strengthening of the PAO, introduced by Hon. Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr.

26. PAO lawyer’s immediate assistance to juveniles in conflict with the law.

27. The exterior painting of the DOJ Agencies Building and Installation of fire escape in the same.

28. Revision of the monthly monitoring forms and monthly reports of PAO lawyers nationwide to reflect the extensive assistance being extended by PAO to different individuals, and to comply with the requirements of UNDP for possible grants and support for training of PAO lawyers.

29. Prompt action on pending complaints/ administrative actions filed against PAO lawyers and staff.

30. Recognition of the World Bank through its Legal Counsel, Atty. Rowena Gorospe on the vital role of the PAO in the administration of justice in the Philippines by proposing to sponsor trainings and seminars for PAO lawyers and possible financial assistance and donations of equipment.

31. Initiation of series of meetings of the District Public Attorneys of the different regions nationwide with the Chief Public Attorney, and attended by the Regional Directors, Division Chiefs and the officials of the PAO.

32. Regular weekly meeting with the PAO Central Office Division Chiefs and employees for camaraderie and effective governance.

33. The Special and Appealed Cases Division (SACD) lawyers were able to obtain 107 reduction of penalty from death to life from January 2001 to July 2002.

34. The Special and Appealed Cases Division (SACD) was able to obtain 14 acquittals in the appealed cases those accused who were sentenced to death by the lower courts.

35. Conduct of workshops on the prevention of torture between judges, prosecutorss, and PAO lawyers, held in SBMA Zambales (Luzon), Cebu (Visayas), and Davao (Mindanao), sponsored by the British Embassy. This was the result of the commitment of Mr. Daniel Painter of the British Embassy to the Chief Public Attorney during their meeting/round-table discussion on the prevention of torture in September 2001.

36. Rendition of free legal assistance by the Chief Public Attorney, Regional Directors and PAO lawyers to the Filipino deportees from Sabah, Malaysia.

37. Introduction of Honorable Sergio Osmeña III of Senate Bill No. 2169 entitled, “An Act Reorganizing and Strengthening the Public attorney’s Office (PAO), Amending For The Purpose Pertinent Provisions Of The Administrative Code Of 1987” on June 4, 2002, to serve as a counterpart Senate version of House Bill No. 178.

38. The formulation of a manual on handling of cases of juveniles in conflict with the law as an outcome of a workshop sponsored by the UNICEF held on September 4-6, 2002, and attended by Regional Directors nationwide.

39. PAO accreditation as MCLE provider as of August 5, 2002 issued by the Supreme Court and PHILJA and MCLE Committee.

40. Hosting of regional trainings and seminars funded by the office and UNICEF to promote professional skills and competency of PAO lawyers together with the Jail Wardens of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), DILG.

41. Prompt issuance of notices to PAO retirees on the release of cash allocation for their terminal leave benefits.

42. Legal assistance to “Angelica”, the alleged 13 year-old Filipina rape victim who was deported from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.

43. Continuous compliance with the MOA with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Parole and Probation administration (PPA), Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP), and National Prosecution Service (NPS) regarding the jail Decongestion Program of DOJ through regular jail visitation and immediate release of detainees after favorable action by the court/agencies involved.

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