PAO declines assistance to NBI security officers tagged in detainee's 'sneak out' | Inquirer News

PAO declines assistance to NBI security officers tagged in detainee’s ‘sneak out’

/ 07:29 PM June 22, 2023

The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) has reminded the police of the agency's mandate to provide legal assistance to indigent persons be it in criminal, civil, administrative and other quasi-judicial cases after the Surigao Police orders the profiling of one of its lawyers who is representing a suspected member of the communist movement.

MANILA, Philippines – The Public Attorneys Office (PAO) has declined to assist the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) security officers accused of helping detainee Jad Dera sneak out of prison in executing extrajudicial confessions, Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano said Thursday.

“We were having difficulty getting the statements dahil dun sa ginawang order ng PAO na bawal na magassist ang mga public attorneys dahil magkakaron daw ng conflict of interest (because of a PAO order prohibiting public lawyers from assisting in such cases due to conflict of interest),” Clavano told reporters.


On May 22, Deputy Chief Public Attorney Silvestre A. Mosing signed a memorandum circular stating that PAO lawyers will no longer assist in the extrajudicial confession of arrested persons or persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

The order came after PAO lawyers were dragged into the controversy of government witnesses recanting their testimonies, such as Rafael Ragos, the government witness against detained former senator Leila de Lima.

He withdrew his testimony saying he was only coerced to sign ready-made statement.

Ragos said a PAO lawyer was also present when he was threatened to sign the affidavit.

The more recent recantations were made by the ten accused in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, who claimed they were only tortured into admitting their participation.

They were assisted by lawyers from PAO when they issued their recanted affidavit.


The six NBI security officers accompanied Dera Tuesday evening out of detention and went back to the facility Wednesday midnight, where they were arrested.

Dera is a co-accused of former senator de Lima in the drug case before the Muntinlupa Court. But Clavano said Dera has another pending criminal case.

Clavano said they then sought the help of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The IBP, however, said they still need a certification from PAO stating that they cannot assist the NBI security officers.

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“I am looking to reach out to PAO to seek their help again in this case. We hope that they can reconsider this order so that this case can move on,” he said.

The six NBI security officers were temporarily assisted by Atty. Mark Anthony Te, counsel for Dera during Thursday’s inquest.

A preliminary investigation is set on July 29.


Raps filed vs detainee, 6 security officers for ‘sneaking out’ of NBI jail

TAGS: Detainee, Lawyer, NBI, PAO

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