Protect Your Protectors!

THE “P” TALKS!

BY: Pilar Mateo

TRULY, A FRIEND OF THE MEDIA, when she asked for an audience with them, especially the PMPC (Philippine Movie Press Club), which has been consistent in recognizing all her valuable efforts at the PAO (Public Attorney’s Office), the Chief Atty. Persida Rueda Acosta, her invitation didn’t fall on deaf ears.

What was the “talk” about?

The Public Attorney’s Office handed us this:

Senator Franklin Drilon and Senator Sonny Angara inserted A PROHIBITION in the 2021 general Appropriations Act (GAA) Bill for 2021 and transmitted by the Senate to the House of Representatives an ILLEGAL, DESPOTIC, WHIMSICAL, VINDICTIVE, and UNCONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION in the PAO budget, to quote:

“Forensic Laboratory Division:

“Nothing in the appropriation provided in this act shall be used for the salaries or compensation of personnel, travel alliwance, meetings and maintenance and other operating expenses of the PAO Firensic Laboratory Division.”

This insertion is illegal, an UNCONSTITUTIONAL RUDER, a violation of Civil Service Commission (CSC) rules for permanent government employees, and contrary to law. The INSERTION by OPPOSITION SENATORS should be VETOED by PRRD if it prevails in the BUCAM, to maintain rule of law, human rights, access to justice by the poor.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Forensics and medico-legal service budget was increased to 320 MILLION for GAA 2020 by Senators Drilo, Angara, et. al.”

Together with Dr. Erwin Erfe, Certified Forensic Physician, Atty. Persida presented to the media the reasons why they are resenting such act of the two Senators to de-fund, abolish the PAO Forensic Laboratory and more.

From Dr. Erfe, “This is history unfolding. As two senators (Drilon and Angara) closely linked with AccraLaw, lawyers for Sanofi, maker of the Dengvaxia vaccine, insert a provision in the 2021 Budget practically abolishing the PAO Forensic Laboratory who is at the forefront in the investigation of hundreds of deaths of Dengvaxia vaccinees.

“More than two hundred criminal and civil cases are now before the courts and the justice department as a result of the efforts of the PAO Forensics in collecting evidence from 159 bodies of dead Dengvaxia vaccinees. We will resist all efforts to hide and tamper with the evidence we have collected in the bodies of 159 Dengvaxia Deaths.

“We will fight, even if this is the last thing we can do.”

As agreed on by Atty. Persida, they are waiting for the answer of President Rodrigo Duterte to the letter they sent to Malacañang to have it vetoed.

As she would put it, “Ang PAO FORENSIC LABORATORY ang siyang forensic team na nakatuon sa mga mahihirap na akusado na ipinagtatanggol ng #PublicAttorneysOffice. Hindi katulad ng SOCO o NBI na para naman sa prosekyusyon. Nais tanggalan ng badyet at sahod ang mga doktor at tauhan ng PAO ni Senator Drilon at Angara (samantalang dinagdagan pa nila ang badyet ng CHR).”

The Regional Public Attorneys showed their support to call on the good President about the said insertion.

Atty. Marlon Buan, PAO National Capital Region, Atty. Jan Steven Dunuan, PAO Region 3 Central Luzon,
Attorney Gezel Garcia ng PAO Region 5 Bicol Region, Attorney Honorio Sagsago PAO Region 1 Ilocos Region,
Attorney Servillano Santiago Lorenzo III PAO Region 12 SOCCSKSARGEN, Atty. Jefferson Caro PAO Region 2 Cagayan Valley, Attorney Vivien Mostrales, Officer-In-Charge PAO Region 10 NORTHERN MINDANAO, Attorney Howard Areza PAO REGION IV-B MIMAROPA, Attorney Revelyn Ramos-Dacpano PAO Region IV-A CALABARZON REGION, Attorney Edgardo Gonzales PAO Region 9A ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA, Attorney Jose Edmund Guillen ng PAO Region 6 WESTERN VISAYAS, Attorney Vevelyn Monsanto PAO Region 8 EASTERN VISAYAS REGION, Attorney Maria G-ree Calinawan ng PAO Region 7 Central Visayas, Attorney Ingrid Trixia Rullon-Nastor PAO Region 13 CARAGA, Attorney Suseyline Bakino-Abtarul ng PAO Region 11 DAVAO REGION are just some of the so many lawyers showing their support and sent their manifesto of support to the PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.

A lot of people are supporting PAO Chief and the people who constinuously seek justice to said issue.

With this, an online concert to support PAO FORENSIC LABORATORY which solved the monumental issues amd denounced the EJK cases hurled at the President, as well as the issue on Dengvaxia.

PEOPLE continue to ask. Why such actions? Who is behind all these? What’s in it for them.

Atty. Persida assured everyone in that room that she has no plans of acquiring a position in the government in the future.

She just made a reminder to those making such noises against them, that they better shut up!

Many things have been cleared as well by Dr. Erfe, as well regarding the Dengvaxia! The irresponsibilities that came with the vaccine itself. And more.

To discontinue their services will definitely be a bane to the millions of peole who are in most need of their help in times like these.

Knock on the doors of Malacañang!

May we be reminded on Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6656 (AN ACT TO PROTECT THE SECURITY OF TENURE OF CIVIL SERVICE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION THAT:

“NO officer or employee in the career service shall be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing. A valid cause for removal exists when pursuant to a bona fide reorganization, a position has been abolished or rendered redundant or there is a need to merge, divide or consolidate positions in order to meet the exigencies of the service, or other lawful causes allowed by the Civil Service Law. The existence of any or some of the following circumstances may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removals made as a result of reorganization, giving rise to a claim for reinstatement or reappointment by an aggrieved party.”

#WeStandWithPAO

Suportahan natin sina #ChiefPersidaAcosta at PAO na winakasan ang #TanimBALA!

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