You are on page 1of 8

Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual

Review Material for PAO Exam

This material, is not intended to cover all the coverage of the PAO Law and
Operations Manual, and other sources required to be read for the PAO
examinations. This is composed of several sources, no copyright is intended.


The Public Attorney's Office Exist to provide the indigent litigants, the oppressed,
marginalized, and under privileged members of the society free access to courts, judicial and
quasi-judicial agencies, by rendering legal services, counselling and assistance in consonance
with the Constitutional mandate that "free access to courts shall not be denied to any person by
reason of poverty" in order to ensure the rule of law, truth, and social justice as components of
the country's sustainable development.


A government agency that is God-centered and dynamic bureaucracy that is responsible

to the ever-growing legal needs of the indigents and oppressed led by highly competent, world-
class, development-oriented, honest dedicated and nationalistic leaders and lawyers.

Page 1 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam

By: Atty. Adriano P. Damalerio

Let us join the happy crowd;

We will march together hand in hand;
Forward to work we are proud;
Justice for all in all the land;
Public Attorney's so dear,
Justice and Reason must prevail
For the needy and the poor
Justice for all - our mission in the fore.

Public Attorneys legal defenders,
We are the guiding stars
We will fight and defend for your name
Support our cause and give you fame;
Ever true to you, ever true to you
So all the people will know,
Everybody shouts Mabuhay!
Uphold the PAO with justice up so high!

(Repeat Refrain)
Everybody shouts Mabuhay!
Uphold the PAO with justice up s high!

Page 2 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam

What is the Public Attorney's Office?

 It is an INDEPENDENT and Are there instances where the PAO may
AUTONOMUS office, BUT be called to render service to non indigent
attached to the DOJ for purposes of clients?
POLICY and PROGRAM  Yes. In exigency of the service, the
CORDINATION. PAO may be called upon by proper
 It is the principal law office of the government authorities.7
Government that extends free legal
assistance to indigent persons in Who are Indigents?8
CRIMINAL, CIVIL, LABOR,  The clients whose net income does
ADMINISTRATIVE, and other not exceed the following:
QUASI-JUDICIAL cases.1 a. 14,000 - Metro Manila
b. 13,000 - Other Cities
What are its Powers and Functions? c. 12,000 - Other Places.
 Render free of charge: (LAC)
• Legal Representation Note: The word INCOME does not include
• Assistance the pension received by retirees.
• Counselling
to indigent persons.2 How do we compute the NET INCOME?9
 Gross Income LESS, (Statutory
What are the Services rendered by the Deductions, and Authorized
PAO? Deductions)
 Non- Judicial What are Statutory Deductions?10
In what cases may the PAO render it  SSS
services for free?  PAGIBIG
 Criminal;  PhilHealth
 Civil;  Insurance Premiums
 Labor;  Other Loan Amortizations
 Administrative; and
 other Quasi-Judicial Cases.3 What are Authorized Deductions?11
 Those that are found on the PAY
What are non Judicial Services of the SLIP
 Instant Services (LAD) Note: Ownership of land SHALL NOT, per
• Legal Counselling se, constitute a ground for disqualification.12
• Administering oath
• Documentation What are needed to be presented to
 Out Reach activities determine if they qualify as indigents?13
 Affidavit of Indigence; and
• Assistance to persons
 Any of the following:
undergoing police
a. Latest ITR/ Pay Slip or Proof
interrogations/ inquest
of income
• Jail Visitations5
• Barangay Outreach
Sec. 3, R.A. 9406.
1 8
Sec. 2, R.A. 9406. Art. 3, PAO Manual
2 9
Sec. 3, R.A. 9406. Id.
3 10
Id. Id.
4 11
Sec.1, Art. 3, Chapter XI, PAO Manual. Id.
5 12
Art. 4, Chapter XI, PAO Manual. Id.
6 13
Art. 5, Chapter XI, PAO Manual. Id.

Page 3 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam

b. Certificate of Indigency from ALREADY FILLED in court of

the DSWD, CSW, MSW, or quasi-judicial agency, the PAO will
Purong Barangay. still represent him/her.19
What are the Instances where Cases can  PROVISIONALLY ACCEPTED
be accepted without applying the
Indigency Test? What is the purpose of such
 Exigency of Service 14 representation?
• Entail National Interest and  Protect the RIGHTS of the client.
• Urgent Cases that entails Note: In Criminal Cases, the case is
Immediate Actions.15 ALWAYS considered meritorious.20
 Provisionally Accepted Cases16
• Bail - reduction/ application Why is it always meritorious?
• Arrested and Immediate  Because the accused enjoys the
action is needed presumption of innocence.
• Avoid Adverse effect of
applicant. Who are the persons not qualified for
• Counsel de officio legal assistance?21
 Juridical Persons and Private stock
• Children in Conflict of the
• Exemption: Non-stock non
Law (CICL)
profit whose individual
• Delinquent Credit Card and
members pass the indigency
Immediate action is
 Fails the Indigency Test.
• Exemption: Provisionally
Discus the MERIT TEST?
accepted cases
 It is used to determine if the PAO
 Represented by de parte counsel.
will accept the case of not.
 A case is considered meritorious if • Counsel has withdrawn.
base on the assessment and evidence  Land Lords.
on hand, the legal service of the PAO  Political Candidates and parties in all
will assist, be and aid of, or be in election related matters.
furtherance of justice taking into
consideration the interest of the party What are cases that should not be
and society. 17 handled by the PA?22 (CBPA)
 Conflict of Interest.
What does Contrario mean?  BP 22
 It is when a case is deemed  Prosecution of criminal cases.
unmeritorious , if it appears that it  Adoption Cases
has no chance of success.18
If the case is found to be unmeritorious Is there an exemption for the prohibition
does it mean that the PAO will not in the Prosecution of Criminal Cases?
represent the indigent anymore?  Yes.
 No. If the client is the defendant or Requirements:
respondent in a CIVIL or a. No conflict of Interest.
ADMINISTRATIVE case b. Accused is not the client of PAO.
c. PAO Assisted the offended party
during PI.
Sec. 4, PAO Law.
15 19
Cases under RA 9262. Id.
16 20
Art. 4, PAO Manual. Id.
17 21
Art. 2. PAO Manual. Art. 7, PAO Manual.
18 22
Id. Art. 8, PAO Manual.

Page 4 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam

d. Directive from the Secretary of

e. Complaint for BP 22 cases arising
from an existing case for money
claims being handled by the PAO
where the check payment was made
but bounced or insufficient to satisfy
the money claim.23


Page 5 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam




 Administrative  Special Appealed Cases

 Financial Planning and  Legal Research
management  Field Service and
 Executive Division Statistics






Sec. 4, PAO Law.

Page 6 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam

What are the Qualification of the Chief the start of the succeeding
Public Attorney? semester.
 Same as the prosecutor General, PJ • Year-End Report and
of the CA, and SC Justice Inventory of Cases - within
• Natural-Born Filipino Citizen the first ten (10) days of the
• At least 40 years on upon succeeding year.
appointment  Process documents and papers
• At least 15 years practice of expeditiously.
law or Judge of the lower  Act Immediately to the public's
courts. personal transactions.
 Makes documents accessible to the
Who appoints the Chief Public Attorney, public.
Deputy Chief Attorney, and Regional  Attend Jail visitations.
Public Attorney?  Secure Permission on OB
 President  Observe, follow and uphold the Law,
Rules and Regulations.
What is the additional Requirement for a  Observe, follow, and uphold all
DCPA and RPA to be appointed? office issuances, especially the PAO
 Recommendation from the CPA. Manual.

What are the powers of the Chief Public What are the Qualities of a PAO Lawyer
Attorney? and Employee?
a. Plenary  Respects the rule of law, human
Responsibility to exercise rights and dignity of all human
the mandate of the PAO. beings.
b. Recommending  Public Service oriented.
Recommends to the  Public Interest over personal interest.
President the DCPA and  Honest
RPA.  A person with Integrity
c. Appointing  Competence
Appoints the Administrative  Courteous and sincere
and support personnel  Prompt in delivering service
d. Disciplinary "Prompt Service with a smile"
imposes sanctions and  Does not discriminate
penalties on PAO officials  Responsible in the usage of
and employees. Government resources.
 Keep abreast of the latest
 Observe Fidelity in the custody of
What are the duties of the Public
Attorney and its Employees? NOTE: Acceptance of PASALUBONG from
 Act promptly on letters and request clients is punishable under R.A. No. 6713.
(comply with the 15 day working
period from receipt of such letter) What are administrative Sanctions that
 Submit Performance Reports are considered Penalties?
• Monthly Report - within the  Fine
first three (3) days of the  Reprimand
succeeding month.25  Suspension
• Performance Evaluation  Demotion
report - within 15 days from  Dismissal
Chapter XV, PAO Manual.
25 27
Art. 2, Chapter XII, PAO Manual. Id.

Page 7 of 8
Dissecting the PAO Law and PAO Operations Manual
Review Material for PAO Exam

 Removal from the Roll

What are sanction not considered


What are the acts that are grounds for

administrative sanctions?28
 Handles cases of persons not
 Handles cases outside his/her
jurisdiction w/o approval
 Failure to file monthly or year-end
 Fails to secure travel permit when
 Fails to transmit record to
 Handles appealed cases who is a
field lawyer.
 Fails to perfect and appeal
 Fails to attend inquest duty without
valid reason.

Why are the PAO lawyers and employees

required to enter the attendance in the
RDA and biometrics?
 To ensure enforcement and strict
observance of office hours.

What is Tardiness?
 It is the failure to arrive on time

Why do we submit monthly and annual

 In order to monitor and evaluate the
rendition of judicial and non-judicial
services to PAO clients.

Why is there a need to wear uniforms?

 Maintain modest and Proper

Art. 1, Chapter XVI, PAO Manual.
R.A. 6713.

Page 8 of 8