Who may avail of the services of PAO?

Posted by Admin | Posted in Lawyers | Posted on 21-06-2010

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  • 1.   Indigent* persons in criminal, civil, labor, administrative and other quasi-judicial cases, which are considered meritorious

A case is meritorious, that is, when an assessment of the law and evidence on hand discloses that the legal services of the office will assist or be in aid of or in the furtherance of justice, taking into consideration the interests of the party and those of the society.

Cases of defendants in criminal actions are considered meritorious because of the constitutional presumption of innocence.

A Public Attorney may represent an indigent client even if his cause of action is adverse to a public officer, government office, agency or instrumentality provided the case is meritorious.

*He or she must pass the indigency test.

  • 2)      Other persons, when in the exigency of the service, the PAO is called upon by proper government authorities to render such service, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations
  • 3)      Under the following circumstances, provisional assistance of the PAO may be availed of:

a)  When a warrant of arrest has been issued and assistance is needed in filing a Motion to Post Bail Bond or Reduction thereof for his/her provisional liberty

b)  When a person is arrested and/or detained, and appropriate immediate legal action is necessary to protect his/her rights

c)  When a pleading has to be filed immediately to avoid adverse effects to the applicant

d)  When an appeal or petition for certiorari or prohibition has to be perfected or filed immediately

e)  When the PAO lawyer is appointed by the court as counsel de oficio to represent the defendant during the trial of the case, provided, however, that if a subsequent investigation discloses that the client is not an indigent, the lawyer should respectfully request the court to relieve him/her by filing a Motion for Withdrawal of Appearance from the case

f)  When the PAO lawyer is designated on the spot as counsel de oficio for the purpose only of arraignment, pre-trial or promulgation of decision

g) In cases involving violence against women and their children under Republic Act No. 9262, where immediate preparation and filing of pleading/s is necessary to avoid adverse effects to the victims, except when there is conflict of interest

h)   In cases involving Children In Conflict with the Law (CICLs), where there is an immediate need of counsel

i)  In cases involving credit card holder/s considered as “delinquent” by the credit card company, and immediate action is necessary

j)  Other similar urgent cases.

  • drugs no prescription “text-align: justify;”>4)      Department of Agrarian Reform lawyers against whom criminal and administrative complaints have been filed for acts in connection with the performance of their official duties
  • 5)      Farmer-beneficiaries of the Agrarian Reform Law in agrarian-related civil or criminal cases pending before the courts
  • 6)      Farmer-beneficiaries in cases against fellow beneficiaries pending before the courts or the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) where one of the parties is already represented by a lawyer from the Department of Agrarian Reform
  • 7)      Indigent laborers in meritorious labor cases
  • 8)      Indigent aliens
  • 9)      Qualified overseas contract workers in all cases within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration
  • 10)   Barangay Health Workers
  • 11)   Department of Social Welfare and Development in the filing of petitions for the involuntary commitment of minors, as well as the filing of petitions for the declaration that a child is abandoned or neglected
  • 12)   Members of the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines, Incorporated (ALSWDOPI) in criminal and administrative complaints/cases related to or in connection with the exercise of their profession or performance of duties, unless there is a conflict of interest or when a member does not qualify under the PAO’s Indigency Test, in which case, a provisional assistance shall be afforded to him/her
  • 13)   Qualified Print and Broadcast Media Practitioners, as well as their staff and crew, who are harassed into incarceration
  • 14)   Dangerous Drugs Board, its authorized representatives and drug offenders, in the filing of petitions for voluntary confinement, except when there is conflict of interest
  • 15)   Filipino complainants against foreigners for violations of immigration, alien registration and other local laws
  • 16)   Respondent foreigners in deportation cases
  • 17)   Bureau of Immigration clients in the notarization of applications
  • 18)   Other cases assigned by the Commissioner of Immigration
  • 19)   Members of the Press Photographers of the Philippines (PPP) under investigation for a complaint or on trial for a case, including cases under inquest proceedings, related to or in connection with the exercise of profession or performance of duties, and to the families of PPP members who are victims of media killings
  • 20)   Officials of the Philippine National Police holding the ranks of Police Officer I (POI) to Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) when sued in the performance of their police duties
  • 21)   Immediate members of the family and relatives within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of Public Attorneys may avail of the latter’s services, even if they do not qualify under the indigency test, but under the following conditions:

a)  It must be with the approval of the Regional Public Attorney, if the case is within his region or the Chief Public Attorney, if the case is outside of his region; and

b)  The said lawyer files a leave of absence on the day of the hearing.

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