During the budget hearing, de Lima & PAO Acosta engaged in a verbal tussle when the former confronted Acosta for giving legal assistance to Bilibid inmates.
It can be recalled that PAO Persida Acosta sat beside Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre during the congressional probe on the illegal drug trade in the National Bilibid Penitentiary.
The reason being, the PAO Chief extended legal assistance to two Bilibid inmates who were invited as resource persons in the said congressional probe dragging the name of Senator de Lima via Ronnie Dayan.
Who are you suppose to represent in that particular proceedings? I just want you to know…Gusto ko lang maniguro na hindi tama ang nakakarating sa akin na impormasyon na kayo daw po mismo an nag-iinterview at nagrerehearse nung mga witnesses na yun bago po sila hinaharap doon sa house hearing.
PAO Chief Persida Acosta came prepared to clash swords with the flamboyant senator and emerged with flying colors.
I was (indistinguishable) do not prepare any witness because I am not their counsel…and PAO Office is a, made by law by congress so that vacuum can be filled up whenever there is a need for a person, especially a witness testifying does not have a counsel at that moment. So we are just filling up the vacuum whenever the witness wants to subscribe his affidavit. That is part of the law.
Senator de Lima made a follow-up question why the poor are being prioritized.
PAO Chief Persida Acosta replied and read:
Preso po yung dalawa kaya walang trabaho po yun. Kapag nakakulong ang isang tao, wala kang income. Our indigency test is based on the income, net income your honor. If you are a prisoner, you can be assisted by the Public Attorney’s Office without…(interrupted by de Lima).
“Was there an honest to goodness assessment of that indigency test,” de Lima asked Acosta.
“Yes, Maam,” Acosta replied.
“But I thought these are the drug lords, these are the drug convicts,” de Lima asked.
“I think they are no longer operating your honor, they are already, that’s why they are qualified. They have no money now. In fact, the honorable secretary transferred them to the NBI,” Acosta reasoned out.
At this point, de Lima decided to end her questioning, perhaps to avoid further humiliation at the hands of PAO Chief.
Video courtesy of News 5 Everywhere:
Papel ng PAO sa pagdinig sa Bilibid drug trade, kinuwestyon ni Sen. De Lima
Watch full video: http://bit.ly/2cZkPX2
Posted by News5 Everywhere on Friday, October 7, 2016
What can you say about this post? Please share your comment below.