IRR NG FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE LAW ILABAS SC, BIR KINALAMPAG NI NOGRALES

KINALAMPAG ni Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles ang Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) at maging ang Korte Suprema dahil sampung taon na simula nang maging batas ang Republic Act (RA) 9999 o Free Legal Assistance, ay wala pang inilalabas na Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

Sa kanyang privilege speech sa plenaryo ng Kamara, sinabi ni Nograles na napakaganda ng nasabing batas para matulungan ng mga private lawyer ang mahihirap na mamamayan na may kinakaharap na kaso sa korte ngunit hindi naiimplementa dahil sa kawalan ng IRR.

“Ten years ago, Congress passed a landmark legislation providing free legal assistance for the poor. Supposedly,” ani Nograles subalit sa hindi maipaliwanag na dahilan ay hindi pa naglalabas ang Korte Suprema at BIR ng IRR.

Base sa nasabing batas, lahat ng mga private lawyer na magbibigay ng serbisyong legal sa mahihirap ay mababawasan ang binabayarang buwis.

“While all lawyers were required to render a minimum number of hours per month of pro bono service, they were given a benefit of tax deduction for any legal assistance rendered over and above the minimum. Supposedly.

Why supposedly? Because it appears that it is not enough for Congress to pass a legislative measure: RA 9999 or the Free Legal Assistance Act,” ayon pa kay Nograles.

Malaking tulong sana aniya sa mahihirap na akusado o may kaso sa korte ang batas na ito pero hindi napakikinabangan dahil wala pang IRR kahit 10 taon na ang nakalipas mula nang mapirmahan ito.

Sa ngayon kasi aniya ay hindi sapat ang puwersa ng mga abogado sa Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) para matulungan ang mahihirap sa kanilang legal na problema kaya kung maipatupad ang batas na ito ay napakalaking bagay sa mamamayan na walang kakayahang magbayad ng abogado.

“Is it because of incompetence? They are incapable of formulating the rules and regulations because they lack the technical expertise?

Is it because of contempt? They simply refuse to follow because they disagree with the provisions of the law?

Is it because of laziness? They are just taking their sweet time because they think that ten years of waiting is acceptable,” ani Nograles.

“Mr Speaker, my fellow representatives of the people, this is totally unacceptable.

We should not allow the judicial branch or the executive branch to render meaningless any law that we pass just by not formulating the rules and regulations necessary to implement the law.

Otherwise, we become powerless, and inutile, and laughable,” dagdag pa nito.

Kailangan aniyang magawa ng BIR at SC ang kanilang trabaho dahil ito na lamang ang pag-asa ng mahihirap na mamamayan na laging dehado sa korte dahil walang nagtatanggol sa kanila.

“We need to provide hope for our people, especially the poor, that the law will protect them when they are in the right, that the law will defend them when they are wrongfully attacked, that the law will serve them even if they do not have money to pay. We need to make this Free Legal Assistance Act work even if it is ten years late,” pahayag pa ni Nograles. BERNARD TAGUINOD

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