1st woman JAGO vows speedy justiceBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Expect a speedier disposition of cases filed against military personnel and a faster resolution of claims, procurement contracts and matters involving real estate in the armed forces, vowed the newly appointed head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAGO).
Colonel Marian Aleido, who became the first woman to head the military’s highest legal office, stressed the need to improve the quality of legal services in the AFP’s Professional and Legal Service Division which handles cases filed against military officers.
“We can only assure that in resolving cases, we will be guided first by our conscience, the law and the evidence. We will keep a blind eye to the personalities involved, but the primacy of the best interest of the service (becomes our main) consideration,” Aleido said, adding that she would immediately institute organizational and structural reforms in the JAGO.
The new JAGO chief also underscored the importance of recruiting more military lawyers to speed up the adjudication of claims, procurement contracts and other matters involving personnel, real estate and the disposition of military justice.
“We need to put lawyers in a position where they can best utilize their experience and skills,” she said.
Last week, Aleido was officially designated to head JAGO by AFP Chief of Staff General Jessie Dellosa, replacing Brigadier General Gilberto Roa who was assigned to the AFP peace panel.
“I am thankful, overwhelmed and overjoyed. Not in my wildest imagination did I ever think that I would be able to (reach) this position,” Aleido said.
Aleido earned the distinction of being the first female lawyer in the military when she joined the uniformed service in 1984. She joined the military a few years after obtaining a law degree from the University of the East in 1979, and serving as the Army’s Judge Advocate for three years before being appointed officer in charge of the Office of the Provost Marshall General.
In 1993, Aleido was named chief legal officer in the Office of the Inspector General while concurrently serving as deputy chief of the AFP’s Office of Ethical Standards and Public Accountability.