Acosta thanks Tulfo | The Manila Times

The head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PAO), Persida Rueda-Acosta, on Tuesday thanked Senator Rafael “Raffy” Tulfo for his promise to strengthen the agency by increasing its budget and its pool of lawyers who provide legal assistance to needy parts.

Rueda-Acosta, who paid a courtesy visit to Tulfo last week, welcomed the neophyte senator’s assurance to help PAO serve more Filipinos.

“My office will do its best to increase the budget of the PAO and whatever help my office can give, we will do it,” said the attorney general, quoted by him.

The PAO chief said she and Tulfo agree that public attorneys are overworked.

She said the 2,400 public attorneys nationwide are insufficient due to the growing number of indigent people in need of free legal assistance.

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“Since they are overworked despite the high salaries they receive, they might apply for a prosecutor or a judge after five years. They are transferred because they are exhausted,” Rueda-Acosta said.

“We appreciate his (Tulfo) vision of PAO to make it more effective and accessible in all villages, municipalities and provinces and all prisons in the country,” she said.

Citing records, she said the PAO served 13,544,272 indigent Filipinos in 2019, 6,687,630 in 2020 and 9,707,274 in 2021.

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