SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has urged the members of the Public Attorney’s Office to continue championing the rights of the “little guys.”
He was referring to the farmers, workers, squatters and other exploited sectors who could not afford the services of private lawyers.
“These ‘little guys’—the lowly farmers, the underpaid and oppressed laborers, the homeless and informal settler families threatened by eviction are all your clientele,” Marcos told the PAO-National Capital Region Convention led by PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta held at the Bayview Hotel on Tuesday night.
He said PAO lawyers should fight oppressive landowners who grab farm lots from small farmers and free laborers from the exploitation of greedy capitalists.
He said throughout the country, the underpayment of wages and other monetary benefits under the law is prevalent, as well as the non-payment of the workers’ contributions to the Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.
Workers under greedy employers are being subjected to the oppressive employment scheme like the “5-5-5,” popularly known as the end of contract after five months of work.
The poor and the squatters are evicted from their homes through violence and intimidation.
“Protect them from the scourge of unbridled capitalism and urbanization and uphold their rights under the Constitution and our laws,” Marcos said. He said there is a need for forensic training to be given to PAO lawyers as he noted that the FBI itself has admitted that 90 percent of the evidence “contained erroneous statements” and these faulty evidence had been the basis of criminal convictions.