MANILA, Philippines – There is only one lawyer for every 1,400 police officers, according to Brig. Gen. Matthew Baccay, Chief of Personnel and Records Management Branch of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Baccay made the revelation during Wednesday’s House Justice Committee hearing on a bill to provide free legal assistance to officers and personnel of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, from the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Prisons Management and Penology, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
Baccay said there were only 146 lawyers within the PNP’s legal department who could meet the legal needs of 228,685 police officers nationwide.
Clearly, the PNP should create more incentives to attract more attorneys, said Cavite 4th District Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr.
From now on, lawyers who choose to work for the police will automatically earn the rank of captain with a 21st year salary of P56,000, according to Iloilo 5th District Representative Raul Tupas.
Speaking Tupas, Barzaga said the relatively meager salary was the reason lawyers were not attracted to work for the PNP.
“No lawyer would come in because a lawyer will say to us, ‘It’s only the value of my two weeks of notarization for me. It’s a small amount, and it’s the truth,” Barzaga said in Filipino.
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