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Researcher: So maam, ano po it role hit PAO hit kanan rehabilitation hit self-confessed drug victims?

PAO: Siguro the best question to ask na la if you are to ask PAO and its involvement to this recent mga
confessed victims. What is the role of PAO for self-confessed victims of substance abuse. Because in so
far as rehabilitation is concerned, waray kami hito involvement. Because rehabilitation I believe
nasasakop na ito hiya hin iba nga agencies ngan offices like DSWD,LGUs, DOH. It amon kasi our
mandate is on legal assistance, that is what Public Attorneys Office is for. So kun ano it amon role, not so
much on the rehabilitation but on the process siguro han on how these self-confessed victims of substance
abuse go through this kay asya ini it natatabo. In fact, when President Duterte initiated pag-jump off gud
hini pagstart hini nga iya program, PAO was one of the offices nga nagin very busy on this kay it first
step hiton is may nira list there were list from PNP, verified list who are allegedly involved in drug abuse.
Mayda nira gincaclassify na user, may pusher, may retailer, may distributor like that. They have a
bargain to help these victims of drug abuse, they are encouraging these concerned na mag-amin or mag
confess nala and the only way to do this is kun mag execute hira hin affidavit of undertaking. So it
involvement gud namon hini is on the execution han ira affidavit of undertaking. I can give you later a
copy of this affidavit of undertaking, this is what makes their confession or self-confession legal kay
waray man iba nga private lawyers to do this. It public attorneys it ginkukuha nga lawyers or council
hini nga mga self-confessed victims in their execution, preparation, notarization ngan submission an
affidavit of undertaking. This affidavit of undertaking, kuan gad la ini hiya parang undertaking or
commitment on part of the concerned, mga suspects nga mag commit to cooperate to help the government
in its fight against or war against drugs and they further commit not to engage in same violation again.
Lawyers do this through our office and then ineexplain namon ha mga self-confessed victims, we explain
also to them the consequences ini nga ira execution and everything. Pag okay hira, they sign it in our
presence after that we also notarize it. Gin aadminister namon an oath ha ira so these affidavits of
undertaking we submit it na, they submit it to the Philippine National Police. Iton it amon dida it main
involvement in the self-confessed victims of substance abuse but on the rehabilitation, diri kami it main
player on that. It amon la is support because it amon man gud concerned are our inmates, detainees. Ini
nga self-confessed victims hira it aton these are self-confessed drug dependents who have not yet most of
them have not yet or are not yet facing criminal charges in court so kun waray pa ito hira kaso waray
hira pending nga case waray kami hito involvement kay it PAO na-come in man iton hiya ha legal
matters like asya na ito execution and undertaking. The event ngani nga diri hira magtuman hiton ira
undertaking and then they still continue with their vices asya na ito nakakaface hira hin charges thats the
time that we come in na. So diri ito hiya nga icocontemplate nga victims nga for rehabilitation kay ini
waray ini hira pagkakarehabilitate so na-come in na liwat kami hito dida like gindadakop hira. Tapos we
assist we give them legal representation kun nadedetain hira pero hangtod waray pa hira cases diri pa
hira nadadakop our assistance ceases after the submission of that affidavit of undertaking with respect to
this self-confessed victims then naabot na liwat kami if unfortunately waray magtuman hit ira
undertaking or commitment in the form nga it amon involvement in legal assistance ha ira in court ngada
hit ira katapos hit karesult hit cases asya it dida it amon goal.

R: Ano po it ira mga documents nga kinahanglan dad-on para pagkuha nira hin affidavit?

P: Ha affidavit of undertaking an natabo kasi yana if you will ask about the procedure ba nagkamayda
kasi kita mass self-confession diri la ini hiya an usual namon nga usa nadaop ngan napa-assist. Ini hiya
masyado ka-crowd ba hiya, it natabo hiton the others nawalk in naderetso nala hira ha opisina tapos
napa-assist. We have indigency requirement but we have it set aside anay for purposes of this program
diri na ito hira namon hinahassle for now hin pagproduce hin certificate of indigency thats our usual
policy. Before kasi we accept clients, we make sure anay nga he is qualified indigent. By qualified
indigent meaning mayda hiya certificate of indigency from barangay or it iya sweldo dapat diri
magexceed hin 13000 net income but for purposes of this by the nature liwat hini nga program gin set
aside na namon an indigency requirement so ngatanan we accommodate anybody usually crowd nakadi
hiya ha amon district offices, hira mismo naaro hin assistance kay ma-amin hira or masurrender thats
their term masurrender hira. Tas right there and then hihimuan namon that is one but most of what
happened is kami mismo nga mga PAO lawyers nakadto nala ha lugar like for example ha MacArthur
there were 100 surrenderees so it amon I sent two lawyers nala from Tacloban district on a specified time,
date and venue amon na la hira ginkakadto individually gin aassist namon iton nga ira self-confession.
Mayda liwat mga island, towns ginkakadto na la liwat namon kasi we have to do this in person di man it
hiya pwede nga ipadara kailangan gud mayda close interaction between our lawyer ngan the confessed
drug dependent kasi this has to be done voluntarily lang if in the event hit am pag istorya hit self-
confessed drug dependent mag withdraw or magretract hiya magchange mind hiya we cannot force them
even the police cannot force them so diri naton hira mapepwersa pagpirma asya iton nga kailangan gud
mayda personal interaction with each tapos dapat we make sure kun ano it ira didto pipirmahan
naiintindihan each and every content and detail hito nga affidavit so we set aside the indigency
requirement we opened our district offices for any walk-in self-confessed drug dependents who would
come hihimuan namon right there and then hin affidavits gin aappraise namon gin oorient namon it
consequences and rights about it. For those nga mass gud hiya which would be impractical for them to
be going to our district offices we are the ones who go. So for the whole region in the wall, we have 25
photos under me theyre our district offices so mayda kita 25 each photo represents the district head han
kada district head namon. So we have 25 district offices strategically situated ini hira all throughout
Region 8 so kun an self-confessed victim nearest resident hiya han nearest district didto hiya mak adto or
an amon district asya it makadto ha nearest town liwat where the self-confessed victims are residents so
amo ito kun ma-ask kamo about procedures.

R: Maam pira po it budget allocation hit government para hito ha ira nga mga masurrender?

P: For PAO, waray kay the legal assistance kasi that we extend its already for free because all our public
attorneys they are well paid already by them by everyone by the government so nareceive hira hin
fixed relatively significant dako na nga amount every month of course from our taxes. Part of our
mandate iton nga amon sweldo nga kinakarawat out of the buwis, we extend legal assistance practically
for free. We are not allowed to receive, solicit or ask or request any amount of money so far waray pero it
amon pag nakadto kami we even do it na lang in our amon personal iton we do not get any separate
budget from the office. Anyway we are also paid regular representation and travelling allowance RATA
that is relatively dako na para hit amon gasulina and fare so practically no extra fund in so far as PAO is
concerned.

R: If before hira nakadi ha iyo office, kinahanglan po ba nay hira kumadto ha PNP or PDEA?

P: Yes actually that is usually asya ito it nahihitabo but there are also those nga naderetso nala ha amon
ngan kami nakikigcoordinate ha PNP but most cases ha PNP anay ito hira or PDEA ngan after their
coordination with PNP kay mayda man iton hinohold an PNP nga baga hin nagmemeeting through hit
mga kapitan so after hiton thats the time nga gintatap kami pero as what I said there are also instances
nga naderetso hira kami na liwat natap han PNP o kaya barangay officials o kaya PDEA.

R: Pira po kadays it pagkuan hit process?

P: It preparation ngan execution hit affidavits on the same day. We are not allowed to set another dates
for that except hadto nga damo nga nagseset talaga hira hin date pero right there and then pagkadto
namon magnonotarize kami mag aadminister hin oath mag eexplain ha ira mag appraise han ira rights
all on the same day so for walk-in right there and then. For scheduled cases, on that scheduled day.

R: Maam pira po it number hit pinakadamo nga nagkadi ha iyo?

P: It has yet to be verified but in so far as I know yana, raw info ko mayda kami somewhere in Leyte
around a hundred thousand, around two hundred or two-fifty nga it tawag ha ira na-Tokhang it naghulat
ha amon didto. I think in Sta. Fe pero I have yet to check on the record, damo kasi it aton coverage kay
thats the whole region so it akon la nahihibaruan nga immediately is Leyte pero plenty others ha Samar
and a part in the Southern Leyte pero we were able to get data ha PNP kun hain it pinakadamo amo liwat
it amon naserbehan because talaga integral part man kami han execution waray man iba nga private
lawyers nga naperform hit the same assistance that we extend to them so kay kun hini nga LGU an
surrenderee nira 200 iton liwat 200 liwat it amon it naassist

R: So pareho gihap ngadi ha Tacloban sugad gihap kun pira gihap?

P: Yes.

R: Maam, an facility han PAO enough iton nga mga pagcater hiton nga mga self-confessed?

P: Actually it amon kasi ano district offices is not as huge as iba nga regular agencies kay it bakbakan ha
PAO is actually in court we go to courts regularly o kaya we go to different jail facilities adto ha gawas
not so much didi ha sulod ini yana hit kadamo that explains kay ano we find it more wise and practical
for us na la to go out and magreach out na la hit LGUs concerned kay kun i-aaccommodate hit aton
office baga diri sugad kaadequate mahitungod kay it pagdudrungan ngan it kadamo

R: Maam pano po ginmamanage it iyo office it nagtitikadamo nga number hit nasurrender?

P: Actually yana not anymore as many as the first time han nag ano una ini hiya nga nag gin initiate pero
there was a point nga nagpeak hiya ito nala it aton nala ginhimo nag we have duty officers for each
district offices kun hino it duty lawyer asya it main nga nag aattend on cases like this while the others
hira nala an mag aattend han amon regular nga services like nagmemediate liwat kami nagnonotarize so
mayda na la kami ginset nala nga duty officer to attend on these cases especially that time nga it throws
at its peak but yana not anymore as many.

R: Maam nasupport ba it local government hit iyo kuan ha iyo office?

P: Oo, we commend man assistance from local government units especially hit amon field an kuan kasi it
amon ada gud ha field or district offices so the mayor is supporting them along with the local elected
officials in fact may ada iba nga asya nagfafacilitate hiton venue an LGU iton tapos iton snacks tapos it
nagpoprovide liwat hin sarakyan, LGU. So the support was really there.
R: Maam ano pot problema nga iyo naencounter kay diba damo it nasurrender?Ano pot mga problema
ha iyo kuan?

P: Actually ha pagtikang pala hini medyo nagkaproblema na kami kay for us public attorneys ano most
of our cases our with the accused thats why we are called kuan public defenders or legal defenders it
amon most of our cases our criminal in nature cases involving violation of revised penal code, drug
cases, murder cases tapos it amon ginaassisteran are the accused so kanan akusado mostly kami kay iton
complainant government of the Philippines, fiscal iton it nag assist ha ira, prosecutor while for accused,
PAO or public attorneys an nag assist so what Im trying to drive is that first and foremost an amon gud
ginproprotektahan are the accused it amon kliyente. Paggawas hini nga ira program mayda nira
prepared nga affidavit of undertaking and its pure confession from the first paragraph down and it was
prepared by PNP. Syempre mag aalarma kami because that would talaga mean waiver hit tanan nga
katungod hit amon accused parang hiya na mismo nakukuha na igbaralbag it iya ulo that would also that
will giving all our PAO lawyers a hard time na defending them in the event nga may charges na mafile
against them kay adto man ha ira ginprepare nga affidavits nga ako drug user ako ako nagpupush ako
han drugs so that can actually be taken against them in court so umalma kami we cannot do that kay kun
simbako umabot an panahon nga magkakakihaan ini nga nagkukumpisal puydi ini nga ira ginprepare
nga affidavit gagamiton as the only evidence against them so nagrefuse kami hiton. An amon ginhimo
nakigcompromiso kami gin lighter ba namon iton affidavit. In fact, nag ano kami nga diri gud ngadto
ibutang nga user ako di gud ibutang nga pusher ako kun di amon nala ginbalyo ginsiring nala namon
nga I am suspected based on their list pero waray admission nga nasuspetyahan la hiya. Tapos I
undertake I commit or promise nga susuportahan it ira program in war against drugs sugad hiton la
waray admission. Kaya lang there were some LGUs nga nakagexecute nga nakapirma nga nagkumpisal
mismo an amon mga clients ngan nahisubmit gihap iton pero to correct these nagpatapod man an PNP
nga waray nira gagamiton nga evidence any I mean nagpatapod hira nga adto nga mga affidavits nga
pinanmirmahan han tanan nga surrenderee will never be used against them. It amon na gud la kay tapod
na gud la kami hit ira commitment ngan through indeed ngada yana waray man kasi kun ira man filean
hin case they will use other evidence and not affidavit nga ginpirmahan which they did ginhimo nira.
Magpaplant nala hira hin shabu o kaya ginbabuy bust kuntaloy nira tapos asya ito it ira ginagamit nga
evidence pagkiha pero they have never used the affidavit and infairness to PNP in the cases against our
clients.

R: Maam ano pa it imo personal recommendations para hit future plans hit PAO? Para pagcater hini
nga self-confessed victims.

P: Kasi masyado kasi it speed ba niya it kapaspas hit nahitabo waray ito namon kaanticipate nakita
namon nga there was no strong coordination between and among district offices labi na nga higrayo gud
kami from each other. Waray baga nagkamayada hin synchronization, uniformity hit amon forms there
were others nga nag assist nala there were other naglugaring nala hira kay if they still have to wait
directive from the regional office or ngadto central office waray na diri na hira mahahabol so siguro if
ever magkuan ini utro we need to meet mag coordinate closely with each other, agree on a uniform form
tapos an procedure para maprotektahan namon liwat it amon mga clients kay example mayda mga LGUs
mayda mga district offices nga nagpatakas hira hin pamirma. An usa nga akon nakita nga problema may
ada kita may mga self-confessed victims nga may pending cases nga daan na ha court so meaning they
already have drug cases already being tried in court tapos nag amin na liwat hira dida so waray nira
kaforesee iton kun iton magamit in that pending case only to strengthen o kaya pag convince han judge
bisan diri on paper at least pagkita hit huwes tinuod gad ini nga pusher hini nga una nga kaso nga
nahiabot na ha court kay nagsurrender na ngani nagtokhang nagpirma so dapat naavoid iton kun ha una
pala nagsarabot kami na for those who have pending cases dapat waray na namon ginpaexecute hin
confession kay mayda na kasi hira previous cases nga already kuan being tried in court so pwede hiya
maapektuhan bisan it pagkuan hin court hit huwes makakaapekto ito hit resolution it iya coming up with
the decision hiton nga iya pending nga case.Tapos nagkaporblema gihap kami with PNP kay mayda kami
natawagan nga district offices to hold anay the execution the rendition of assistance while gintutuhay pa
namon from didi from a higher act unta. They took it as parang an ira pagkita is we were not
cooperating we were not helping them on presidents passion ba unta to fight against drugs asya it iba
nagpaugop pa ngadi it ira regional office mayda kuno mga PAO lawyers who are refusing assistance pero
waray la hira waray la magklaro ba ha ira nga level. We were not refusing we were just making sure nga
it amon assistance nga marerender is in a way nga mapoprotektahan pa namon it amon clients so
nakigkompromiso pa kami hadto ha region, PNP.

R: Maam pagkita mo ready na ba it iyo office kanan president war on drugs?

P: PAO is always ready man. Yana nagdamo na nag increase it amon drug cases it amon public attorneys
are experienced naman in cases like this kay most of drug cases are being handled na by our office. Iton
private lawyers diri na iton nakapot labi na kun kinukurian. So mga experience na tested na PAO
lawyers. For info an aton kasi drug law RA 9165 Dangerous Drugs Act naton diri inaallow an aton
tinatawag nga play bargaining iton play bargaining that is from the term itself bargaining compromising.
Ginhihimo iton an mga defense lawyers instead of going through the full blown trial nga magkaso kaso
pa gud ba nakikigkompomiso ha korte nga mag amin nala ha huruhamubo na offense. For example
charge kamo ha murder case magsiring ngani nga magpleplay bargaining kami ha amon client accused
maamin nala hiya ha homicide case ha case na huruhamubo na charge ha iya tapos pag nag aagree
ngani an complainant represented by the prosecutor or fiscal right there and then gindedesisyunan ni
judge hin homicide case out of play bargaining. Example, rape mayda ginfile na case ha akon rape, mag
play bargaining ngani ako karugsigngon masiring ako ha court nga your honor nga an akon client
willing to admit willing to confess on a lesser offense on acts of lasciviousness mas magaan gaan ini
pangahang la ba pandukot la iton iton lang instead of rape. Kun maruyag it complainant right there and
then dedesisyunan iton han court ha drug cases play bargaining is never allowed. Meaning kun charge
ka hin pushing, diri ka makakaamin makikigkompromiso ka ba ha court nga maamin ka nalang ha using
because using lang is lighter than pushing, diri kasi iton allowed. So what we did in the part of the public
attorneys we filed a case in the Supreme Court that is already pending now nagre kami nga ig allow it
play bargaining ha drug cases para ha pagprotect gihap ha amon clients ngan pagexpedite han kaso. To
be resolved pa ito yana kay an iba kun gusto mag amin charged to pushing, gusto nira mag amin as user
nala or possession nala mas madurudali it kaso ngan mas madedesisyunan pa ngan lighter pa it penalty
so pending iton ha Supreme Court yana because that is one of the ways nga amon nakikita nga maupay
makakabenefit for everybody. Unang una makakasave hin resources han government di na mag iiniha
pagbinista pagkinaso kaso tapos matatagan pa namon chance it amon client nga masentensyahan hiya
hinhuruhamubo nga offense like other regular crimes pwede ka man magplay bargain pero unfortunately
ha drug cases diri naallow so nag file kami na ireconsider it. The petitioner is the Public Attorneys
Office.
R: Maam maface ba hin criminal charges iton nga mga self-confessed?

P: Oo, asya na ito an akon what I earlier said they have standing commitment na they will not use that
self-confession as an evidence to file charges against the self-confessed. They seem to stand on their
words man. Kun mayda man nafafilean nga self-confessed drug dependents, it is not on the basis on what
they have executed na gin assist namon but on the basis on a separate ano na like may nakuha ha iya or a
later incident nga nadakpan hiya in possession of shabu or talaga nag kuan gud hiya nabuybust hiya
tapos nagbaligya hiya ha asset. Ito nahihimo na hiya nga basis on filing charges against the self-
confessed drug dependents but not on the affidavit nga amon ginexecute ha ira.

R: Maam ngatanan ba nga self-confessed kinahanglan umagi ha iyo office?

P: Yes, kasi they will not be considered as self-confessed drug dependents kun waray hiton nira nga
sworn statement nga legal document nga containing their confession although ha amon diri confession it
pagplastar I hope I can get it ireretrieve ko hiya parang nagkuan la hiya nga listed hiya ha ira suspected
drug dependents tas naguundertake hiya nga diri na hiya magcocommit hiton nga ano.

R: Maam ano po it mananabo han mga nagconfess pero bumalik?

P: Asya na kun magself confess hira tapos bumalik, most of these are killed man. Amon initial on these
nagkumpisal nagbalik nagpasige bagan extraducially they are killed pero signgon pa naton waray hira
pataya they will be filed or they will be charged on drug cases pero as what I said not on the basis han
ira pinirmahan pero an ginhihimo an PNP nagkecase building hira ira in although they are the most
competent to do this but this what they supposed to do legally pag bumalik la gihapon ginsusurvey man
ito nira ginmomonitor nagkoconduct hira hin buybust operation. Iton nga may asset nira ngan
papapaliton so on the basis on that is gindadakop nira, ginfafilean nira hin charges for those nga waray
magkuan tindog hit ira pinirmahan. Nagkecase build up hira ngan nagooperate hira separately.