Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where is the PAO?

The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) has once again shown the dark side of the Philippine justice system when PAO chief Persida Acosta has extended her immediate help over the resolution of the death of Ted Failon's wife. I don't know what Acosta was thinking when she extended such help to Ted Failon. I guess, she was thinking that when the case subsides, she will become popular as Ted Failon would start mentioning her name on air during his program in DZMM.

Why did I react on such news? As far as my knowledge would set me right, PAO is established in order to help those people who could not afford to pay for an attorney when seeking for justice. We know justice system in the Philippines, aside from being so slow, is very expensive that the poor Juan dela Cruz would prefer to sit down and let go his horrible past without even tasting a bit of justice. PAO is there but how dependable is PAO? Could this department really help those helpless people or its just another government propaganda trying to choke the voiceless mass in the realm of politically-ill legislators?

There have been so many killings happened in almost every corner of the Philippines wherein justice is apparently ingnored. There have been so many helpless women who were victims of rape by high-ranking officials in the country. I know plenty of individuals who have appealed to PAO for assistance but to their dismay, they get nothing but discouragement. They have been repeatedly discouraged saying that due process is time-consuming and expensive. Instead of being helped, indigent litigants who are oftentimes ignorant of the law and its proceedings became intimidated and decided not to file the case or worse, call off the case. Up-to-date, many cases in Hacienda Luisita still remain to be mystery and justice has never been served to those who deserve it.

And now, Pao's chief Persida Acosta is extending her help to Ted Failon? Is Ted Failon a serious victim of the global recession that from being a congressman and broadcaster he turned indigent? If it's true, then I could hardly bear the effect of the global economic downturn to the Philippine economy. If Ted Failon turned indigent, then saying that indigents turned into ashes is not an exaggeration.

When ordered by the DOJ chief justice to steer herself from the case, she was even proud to defend that she's just extending temporary assistance and that PAO though under DOJ is still an independent agency. Now I know that Acosta needs to review the mandates of PAO. If Acosta has heart for service then she has to show that she is dedicated in her service as chief of PAO and not just defend this big-time indigent Ted Failon. That's the problem in the Philippines - we are fond of exercising favoritism to those who are in the position. I do not know if PAO could still defend the indigent Filipino people right now. Anyway, if PAO doesn't, PAU does... Pau d Arco na lang ang katapat sa mga sakit natin because of the injustices among the poors which have never been resolved by PAO.

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