LEGAL AID TO COPS CHARGED FOR PERFORMING DUTY STEPPED UP
The Philippine National Police Eastern Visayas regional office.
PALO, Leyte — The Police Regional Office 8 (Eastern Visayas) has assured support for its personnel facing charges for enforcing the law.
Supt. Mario Abrenzosa of the PRO-8 legal service unit said Tuesday they are committed to provide free legal assistance and counseling to police officers facing harassment charges for performing their duties.
In 2018, at least 557 policemen availed of free legal services and counseling in various legal clinics conducted in Leyte and Samar provinces.
The initiative is in partnership with lawyer-representatives of the Public Attorney’s Office, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the National Police Commission.
Some of the service-connected cases, assisted by the regional legal service last year are as follows: nine administrative cases, three criminal cases and one civil case. The legal office is currently handling 10 cases.
“The extent of direct legal representation for qualified applicants will continue until the decision on the case becomes final and executory,” Abrenzosa said in an interview.
Republic Act No. 8551 directs the Secretary of Justice, the chairman of the National Police Commission or the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief to “authorize lawyers of their respective agencies to provide legal assistance to any member of the PNP who is facing before the prosecutor’s office, the court or any competent body, a charge or charges arising from any incident, which is related to the performance of his official duty.”
He urged policemen facing service-connected cases to directly seek help from the regional legal office. (PNA)