Public attorney dismissed from service for demanding payment from indigent clients

  • A Public attorney has been ordered dismissed for grave misconduct while performing legal duties
  • Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered the dismissal of District Public Attorney Jennifer Garcia-Laudencia of PAO in Occidental Mindoro
  • Laudencia demanded payments from her indigent clients when the law states that PAO lawyers shall render legal services for free

A public attorney from Occidental Mindoro has been dismissed from service for grave misconduct while performing legal duties.

The Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of District Public Attorney Jennifer Garcia-Laudencia of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro after she was found to have demanded payment from her clients.

As mentioned in a GMA News  article dated February 2, 2017, Rodolfo Abrea and his wife Maira, said Atty. Laudencia demanded from them P6,000 and P3,000 for their  counter-affidavit and rejoinder when her legal services should be free of charge, as stated by  law.

According to its official website, “The PAO shall independently discharge its mandate to render, free of charge, legal representation, assistance, and counseling to indigent persons in criminal, civil, labor, administrative and other quasi-judicial cases.”

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said in her decision that the statements of the Abrea couple clearly “constitute substantial evidence of the demand by, and payment to, respondent of the sums of P6,000 and P3,000 for the preparation of the spouses’ counter-affidavit and rejoinder.”

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