Does PAO’s Acosta know what her job is?

When I was still working for radio 18 years ago, I got to host a weekly program to provide legal advice to listeners in partnership with the Public Attorney’s Office. That experience gave me enough understanding of the mandate of the PAO in giving free legal assistance to indigents. The poor can hardly afford to eat three times a day, and certainly, they wouldn’t be able to afford the services of a lawyer. This mandate for free legal assistance to poor litigants is important because they are the most vulnerable in our justice system. Most individuals accused of crimes belong to the poor.
Hence, I’m quite at a loss in trying to understand the involvement of PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta in the Vizconde masscre case which took centerstage last week when the Supreme Court acquitted the accused, Hubert Webb et al. Acosta hogged the headlines when she announced the Vizconde legal panel would be filing a motion for reconsideration. She even boldly postulated that the double jeopardy rule isn’t applicable to the case of Webb et al.
It is certainly the right of Lauro Vizconde to seek redress over what he perceives to be an injustice. But I find it hard how Acosta got to be involved in his legal team. Vizconde isn’t an indigent. The presence of many lawyers on his team shows he doesn’t lack legal representation. And the way Acosta is behaving, she has appointed the entire PAO to help him. That’s because she’s talking as PAO head, not as Persida Rueda-Acosta, attorney-at-law.
So far, nobody seems to have raised this question. I can’t get it off my mind, so I will. Acosta should restudy her mandate. If she wants to help Vizconde, then she should leave her present job first.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

3 Responses to Does PAO’s Acosta know what her job is?

  1. Webb laywers: Public Attorney’s Office has no legal authority to represent Mr. Vizconde (via @sophiadedace) @GMAnews on Twitter. – This is what I’ve been saying all along. She has no business getting involved int he case.


  2. Atty. Bonifacio Alentajan hits PAO chief Persida Acost’s intervention as “contemptuous”:


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