By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon urged today President Duterte to immediately sign into law a bill seeking to establish a retirement benefit system in the Office of the Ombudsman and augmenting its employee benefits.
Gordon issued the call after strongly condemning the killing of an assistant special prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon city last Monday.
He said that while it would not bring Assistant Special Prosecutor Madonna Joy Tanyag back to life, the enactment into law of the measure would give something for her family.
“I strongly condemn the killing in no uncertain terms. This is a slap once again on the face of justice in this country. I urge the President to sign the enrolled bill of the retirement law of the office of the Ombudsman, the Senate version of which I sponsored as chairman of the justice committee. Nothing but justice will assuage the feelings of the family left behind by Madonna, but this will hopefully cushion her family against the adverse economic effects of her sudden demise,” he said.
Tanyag, who was five-months pregnant was about to return to the office after attending a hearing at the Sandiganbayan when the incident took place. She bought milk tea from a store along Visayas Avenue and was about to board her vehicle when the assailant came and stabbed her three times.
The 33-year old prosecutor was rushed to East Avenue Medical Center but doctors were not able to save her.
Under the measure, with Tanyag being an Assistant Special Prosecutor, her heirs will be entitled to death benefits, or a lump sum of five years’ worth of salary.
Death benefits under the measure are retroactive and shall be granted to the heirs of those who die one year prior to the effectivity of the Law.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee and one of the principal authors of the measure, called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately act on Tanyag’s case and that of other prosecutors and lawyers killed and bring their killer to justice.
Last May 12, Quezon City deputy prosecutor Rogelio Velasco died inside his vehicle after being ambushed near Puregold Jr. in Barangay Holy Spirit around 4:55 p.m. Velasco was with his daughter when the incident happened.
“The PNP must leave no stone unturned to put the murderers of Ombudsman prosecutor Madonna Joy Ednaco Tanyag behind bars. We commiserate and offer our condolences to her family. She was five months pregnant and a new lawyer. Director General Albayalde must act!” Gordon said.
“Security must be especially guaranteed for those who work in our criminal justice system. When these persons suffer crimes committed on account of their duties, the authorities such as the Philippine National Police must react swiftly and the perpetrators must be brought to justice at the soonest possible time. If they are not safe, how can the public feel safe?” he stressed.