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How FREE is our FREE ACCESS to COURTS?

In department stores, we opt for SALE and DISCOUNTS.

This

trait is not exclusive to Pinoys, in general we all want something to be SULIT, and if possible free. So how do Filipinos react to the word FREE? Especially when it involves the lawful exercise of her/his rights? How does then, an ordinary Juan de la Cruz understands his FREE access to courts? The equal protection of the law intends that the law be enforced and be applied equally. and artificial. This intends to protect all persons, natural

The economic protection is one of the subjects of the

equal protection of the law. More specifically, the free access to courts is a manifestation of the equal protection of the law. governments duty to act in the inevitable inequality of men. Indeed not all men are created equal, thus the government has to act in this to somehow mete out balance and equality to all his constituents. In my profession, I have the standing to say that I have seen all faces of poverty. The very reason why any call for equality will greatly interest me. It is the

As of November 11, 2006, legal fees are as follows:


Court) Civil Action/Proceeding JDF 1. Not more than P20,000.00 2. P20,000.00 to P100,000.00 3. P100,000.00 to P200,000.00 4. P200,000.00 to P300,000.00 5. P300,000.00 to P400,000.00 P 300.00 1,000.00 2,500.00 3,500 5,000.00 90.00 300.00 893.00 1,230.00 1,850.00

(Source: Lower

SAJJ 210.00 700.00 1,607.00 2,270.00 3,150.00

Allowance of wills, letters of administration & settlement of estates of small value: 1. Not more than P20,000.00 2. P20,000.00 to P100,000.00 3. P100,000.00 to P200,000.00 4. Small value other than above Estafa and Batas Pambansa Blg 22: 1. P100,000.00 and below 2. P100,000.00 to P150,000.00 3. P150,000.00 to P200,000.00 4. P200,000.00 to P250,000.00 5. P250,000.00 to P300,000.00 6. P300,000.00 to P350,000.00 7. P350,000.00 to P400,000.00 8. Each P1,000 in excess of P400,000.00 Forcible entry=Unlawful Detainer Cases No DAMAGE Claim With damages claim add P500 plus refer to SEC. (a) For filing motion or asking in the prayer for issuance of TRO, WRIT OR PRELIMINARY INJ,/ATTACHMENT ADD P250.00 (SAJ) 140.00 360.00 500.00 1,000.00 1,600.00 2,000.00 3,000.00 3,500.00 4,000.00 4,700.00 20.00 500.00 800.00 1,000.00 1,500.00 1,750.00 2,000.00 2,250.00 10.00 500.00 800.00 1,000.00 1,500.00 1,750.00 2,000.00 2,450.00 10.00 500.00 2,700.00 4,000.00 400.00 190.00 810.00 1,320.00 200.00 310.00 1,890.00 2,697.50 200.00

Appeal Fee/Plus Mediation (500.00) Marriage Clearance Summons Fee-Per Person Serving Subpoenas Victims Compensation Fund Sheriffs-Deposit Mediation Fee

1,000.00 300.00 50.00 200.00 100.00 5.00 1,000.00 500.00

180.00 2.00 9.60 56.00 23.60

820.00 298.00 40.40 144.00 76.40

Base on the above table, access to court for legal actions is quite costly; contrary as to what has been provided under our constitution hence, FREE access to our courts is the mere access alone. pursuing litigation is another story as above provided. The presence of poverty has substantive effect to the effective and efficient service of justice. Unjust and wrongful conviction cannot be tolerated plainly because the accused cannot pay for a competent lawyer and exploitation of human rights cannot be ignored simply because one cannot meet the expense of litigation. The government acted on this present quandary of the grassroots, indeed those who have less in life, will have more on law. All men, regardless of financial capacity cannot be barred from bringing their legal actions to courts. Pursuant to REPUBLIC ACT While

NO. 9999, AN ACT PROVIDING A MECHANISM FOR FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, otherwise known as the 3

Legal Assistance to the Poor Act of 2010, authored by Senator ManueL Lito Lapid, provides for legal assistance to the poor and giving lawyers tax credits for legal services rendered to poor clients. RA 9999 encourage more lawyers and law firms to render pro bono services to poor clients who could not afford legal services by giving them tax credits in exchange for free assistance. In return of such services, the law grants an allowable tax deduction of up to ten percent (10%) of the total gross income of lawyers or law firms accredited by the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice to render. The bill grants an allowable tax deduction of up to 10 percent of the gross income of lawyers or law firms accredited by the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice to render service to the poor in exchange for tax deductions. According to Sen. Lapid this law

encourages more private lawyers to do pro bono work for the poor, thus, lessens the burden of the Public Attorneys Office (PAO). This

law is said to further prevent wrongful conviction of suspects for reasons that they are poor and that they could not afford the services of private lawyers. Indigent litigants can now pursue their cases availing the privilege of this law through the PAO, DOJ or any accredited legal aid clinic which will issue a certification for the services rendered by the

lawyer or professional partnership under the aforesaid law and the actual services given. The mode of deduction of the lawyer or professional partnership shall be by presentation of the certificate to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), for the amount to be deducted to their annual taxable income, the total cost of services rendered as manifested in the certificate/s or ten percent (10%) of the annual gross income from the actual practice of the profession, whichever is lower. As per query as to how does the government respond to the inequalities of men? How does the government augment to the inadequacies of its constituents individual resources? Prior to the passage of RA 9999, there was once a difference between access to courts and pursuing litigation. Now we can access the court and push our legal actions for free. In conclusion, citing the Miranda Doctrine which states, You have the right to a counsel of your choice Indeed, a typical Juan de la Cruz can now pick an attorney of his choice, a de campanilla who is way beyond his budget.