PLO bares PGNV legal cases, accomplishments
In recent years, the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya (PGNV), along with its component municipal and barangays governments, had been beset with numerous legal issues, most of which were handled by the Provincial Legal Office (PLO), said PLO Chief Atty. Voltaire B. Garcia.
Atty. Garcia, who reported on the mandates and accomplishments of the PLO during the flag hoisting ceremony held on October 10, 2022 at the People’s Stage-Quadrangle, Provincial Capitol, said that during the nine-month period that ended September 30, 2022, they were able to cater to 1,192 clients, as well as requests for legal assistance endorsed to them by the Governor, Vice Governor, and PGNV offices, such as executive and legislative issuances, contracts, and other instruments. They have also acted correspondingly on 3,542 requests for document notarization, and some legal concerns of component municipalities and barangays referred to their office.
He disclosed that the PLO has represented the province in certain civil actions or special proceedings, such as its partially won case with the California Energy Casecnan Water and Energy Company, Inc. (CE Casecnan) which it elevated to the Supreme Court for full relief. “The Office is also working hard vis-a-vis the PGNV’s appeal before courts of competent jurisdiction concerning the large-scale mining operations of OceanaGold Corporation in the province, and the questioned Economic Relief Assistance previously given to PGNV employees”, he added.
As for its legal assistance to component municipalities, Atty. Garcia said that his office has also been helpful to them, citing the case involving certain properties between the Municipal Government of Kayapa and a former local chief executive that was resolved in favor of the former, and the dismissed case filed against the Municipal Government of Quezon.
The office participates in the deliberations of various PGNV committees and also undertakes investigations concerning personnel discipline and compliance with the law.
Under the Local Government Code (LGC), the PLO, being the chief legal counsel of the province, is mandated to render legal advice and related services to all PGNV offices, and the municipal governments of the province, especially since the appointment of a legal officer is optional only for the latter. The LGC also extends its legal services to the 275 component barangays, primarily on matters involving questions of law necessary in the exercise of their functions in the administration of the katarungang pambarangay, among others.
“In view of the large number of clients that we are serving, we have assigned lawyers, along with some support administrative staff, as desk officers and members of legal teams to immediately and appropriately respond to their needs”, he said.
Also highlighting the morning’s activities were the awarding program of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and the recognition of birthday celebrators spearheaded by PSWD Officer Flordelina C. Granada and Provincial Administrator Maybelle Dumlao-Sevillena, respectively. Song and dance numbers were also rendered by the PLO technical and administrative personnel.
In closing, Atty. Garcia extended his appreciation and gratitude to the various PGNV offices that have been helpful in expediting the tasks of their office.