By Jeffrey Damicog
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) boasted of having secured favorable dispositions in 82.77 percent of the cases it handled in 2019.
“Despite its limited resources and manpower, the criticisms from detractors, and malicious imputations from oppositors, the PAO rose above the challenges and fulfilled its mandate to provide its clients the adequate legal services they desperately need and equally deserve,” read the PAO’s 2019 Accomplishment Report dated Jan. 14.
In its report, the PAO cited that it “achieved 82.77 percent favorable disposition rate for its cases and 92.29 percent alternative dispute (ADR) success rate, surpassing both its target for the year 2019 and last year’s performance.”
In 2018, the PAO had a success rate of 81.34 percent which is equivalent to 369,455 cases of the 454,232 total cases.
Though its target had been to achieve a 76.50 percent success rate for its cases, PAO secured in 2019 favorable dispositions in 350,944 cases out of the 424,023 cases it handled.
“This translates to a greater percentage of PAO clients being acquitted of the charges filed against them, or at the very least securing probation, reduced penalties, or other favorable dispositions,” the report said.
In 2019, the PAO secured 295,951 cases with favorable dispositions from the 347,937 terminated criminal cases including 22,471 acquittals.
The percentage of favorable dispositions is greater than in 2018 when the PAO secured 295,254 favorable dispositions from the 351,227 terminated criminal cases.
The PAO attributed its improved performance in 2019 to “the firm management of the PAO in ensuring that its personnel are consistently in line with the goals and objectives of the office.”
“As always, the PAO has never failed to improve and innovate despite its minimal workforce of three thousand three hundred and thirty,” it stated.
“Rest assured, the PAO will maintain its commitment to assist in the government’s objective of pusuing swift, effective and fair administration of justice,” it added.