THE Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) will not defend the 10 Mandaluyong policemen and barangay watchmen
implicated in the fatal shooting last week.
PAO Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said her office would instead provide legal assistance to one
of the two injured civilians during the incident on Shaw Blvd. last Dec. 28.
In usual cases, the PAO would defend policemen in criminal cases. The office, however, also
has mandate to provide free legal services to indigent citizens.
Acosta quickly clarified that it was not a matter of choice by her office to defend the
victim instead of the policemen in the latest controversy against the Philippine National Police.
“It was the survivor in the shooting who was first to seek our assistance. Mr. Eliseo Aluad
was referred to us by members of the media,” she said in an interview yesterday.
The PAO chief said she would meet Aluad tomorrow to discuss the case against the policemen
Aluad is among the two civilians injured during the shooting incident. The other one was
identified as Danilo Santiago Jr.
Acosta explained that in cases of opposing parties both seeking assistance from her office,
it would be whoever was first to make the request that will be given PAO assistance.
“We cannot represent both parties in the same case because that would be conflict of interest
on our part,” she pointed out.