Gordon bats for ‘survivorship benefits’ to deceased prosecutors’ families
Senator Richard J. Gordon today pushed for the immediate passage into law of a measure granting benefits to the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children of deceased retired members of the National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Gordon, who chairs the Senate committee on justice and human rights, sponsored Senate Bill 2373, contained in Committee Report 296, recognizes the sacrifices made by the prosecutors who play a very important role in the country’s criminal justice system by risking their personal safety and that of their families.
“Araw-araw po, mayroon tayong prosecuting officers na kung minsan, tinatakot, bina-bribe. Dapat ipakita natin na tayo ay nasa likod nila. Ang sistema ng katarungan natin ay dapat maipagtanggol at maalagaan natin lahat, hindi lang ang mga huwes, kundi maging ang prosecution officials,” he said.
According to human rights groups, at least 110 lawyers, judges, and prosecutors have been killed in the country from 1977 to 2021, more than half of which have occurred under the present administration.
At present, the government provides survivorship benefits to officials and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, members of the Judiciary, and other government officials.
The retirement benefits given to prosecutors are essentially similar to the retirement assistances of the Judiciary, except for the survivorship benefits.
Under the measure, the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children of deceased member of the NPS shall be entitled to receive all the retirement benefits that the deceased prosecutor was receiving or entitled to receive.
Gordon, a lawyer by profession, pointed out that prosecutors should also be granted the same benefits.
“The benefit shall be such as to grant, in respect of the contingency in service, such as unexpected deaths in view of the risks and hazards of the profession, a continuation of the payment of pension of the prosecutors to the surviving spouse and/or qualified dependent children,” he said.
"With the passage of the bill, the State will be able to take care of the dependents of the NPS prosecutors,” he added.
SBN 2373 is a consolidated measure of bills introduced by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, with Senators Emmanuel Pacquiao, Christopher Lawrence Go, Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay, and Sherwin Gatchalian as co-authors.