PAO Chief Expresses Gratitude for Public Trust

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta
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PERSIDA Rueda-Acosta, the dedicated chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), continues to inspire confidence among millions of Filipinos, particularly the underprivileged and indigent individuals who rely on PAO for free legal services. With 23 years of leadership under her belt, Rueda-Acosta expresses her gratitude for the overwhelming trust bestowed upon the agency.

Appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2000, Rueda-Acosta acknowledges the support of publishers, media practitioners, and social media platforms in helping PAO reach those in need of legal assistance. She emphasizes the importance of empowering the needy, oppressed, and downtrodden through law and justice.

In a 2021 survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations, PAO received the highest net trust rating among institutions in the justice sector. Commissioned by the Justice Sector Reform: Governance in Justice II through the United Nations Office for Project Services, the poll revealed that 57 percent of the 3,900 respondents expressed trust in PAO.

Within the justice sector, PAO lawyers were regarded as the most trustworthy at 58 percent, surpassing private lawyers (43 percent) and judges (37 percent). Rueda-Acosta attributes this recognition to the dedication of agency officials and personnel, particularly the public attorneys who tirelessly assist indigent individuals.

Expressing her gratitude, Rueda-Acosta shares, “It was truly heartwarming and a source of relief from the fatigue and challenges we face. Despite the intrigues and the overwhelming workload of our public lawyers, the ultimate judges are the people who believe in the sincerity and genuineness of PAO in providing much-needed legal support and assistance to millions of indigent and underprivileged Filipinos.”

Looking towards the future, Rueda-Acosta vows to ensure the completion and operation of the new and modern PAO building along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City before her departure from the agency. Despite emerging as one of the top picks in the Senate race in 2025, according to a December 2023 SWS survey, Rueda-Acosta remains focused on serving the people as the chief public attorney, with politics far from her mind.

She humbly states, “Let us see where my destiny will take me, but for now, I must prioritize my role as the chief public attorney. There is still much work to be done, especially for our indigent kababayan (fellowmen).”

Rueda-Acosta’s unwavering commitment to the underprivileged and her tireless efforts in leading PAO have solidified the agency’s reputation as a trusted institution. With the support of the public and the dedicated personnel of PAO, countless indigent Filipinos have been empowered through access to legal services. As Rueda-Acosta continues to serve, her legacy of justice and compassion will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the lives of those she has helped uplift.

Source: The Manila Times

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