A lawmaker said President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for Congress to pass a law providing free legal assistance to the military and police will soon be realized.
Davao Oriental 2nd District Representative Mayo Almario said it would be possible through House of Representatives Bill 3141, which effectively grants free legal assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) members facing charges arising from the performance of their official duty.
“By providing free legal assistance to defend their innocence and protect their rights, our men in uniform will be able to perform their duties more effectively without fear of unwarranted cases being filed against them,” Almario said.
House Bill 3141 or “An Act Providing Free Legal Assistance to Any Member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police Facing Charges before the Prosecutor’s Office, Court, or any Competent Administrative or Quasi-Judicial Body, Arising from an Incident Related to the Performance of Official Duty” is now with the House Committee on National Defense and Security.
“Members of our military and police forces are sacrificing their lives for the preservation of peace and order in our country.”
“Members of our military and police forces are sacrificing their lives for the preservation of peace and order in our country. Their duties require them to be in dangerous places and perform tasks that put their lives on the line to protect our people, freedom, and institutions,” the legislator stressed.
The measure, the lawmaker said, aims to provide legal support to police and military personnel when charged or prosecuted in a court or other quasi-judicial body for an offense arising from an incident related to the performance of their duties.
“I am hopeful Pres. Duterte will certify the bill as urgent.”
He is hopeful that Duterte would certify the bill as urgent, considering that the 18th Congress is about to end.
Duterte, in his last State of the Nation Address asked Congress to pass a Unified System for Separation, Retirement, and Pension of Military and Uniformed Personnel to maintain government fiscal flexibility and provide adequate benefits and remuneration to our men and women in uniform, and a law providing free legal assistance to AFP and PNP officers and Enlisted Personnel to help defend them from charges arising from incidents related to the performance of official duty.