Abused women, kids get free legal assistance
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will provide free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, children in conflict with the law and local prospective adoptive parents who are biological parents or step-parents of the prospective adoptees.
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said the DSWD signed an agreement with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), represented by chief Persida Acosta, at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City early this week for this purpose.
Under the agreement, a victim of domestic violence may avail of the service of the PAO in filing an application or petition for the protection order and/or civil action for damages.
The PAO provides legal assistance to children in conflict with the law if they are under detention or otherwise deprived of liberty, and is in immediate need of counsel, and when they are under custodial investigation without the assistance of counsel.
The PAO shall handle adoption cases only if the prospective adopter is the biological parent or step-parent of the prospective adoptee, and the adopter is indigent.
Soliman said this partnership would ensure that the rights of women and children are promoted and upheld at all times even as she vowed that they will “get the justice due them at no cost.”
The DSWD-PAO tie-up project will be in effect for a period of one year starting October 2013.