Gatchalian: Survivorship benefits for deceased prosecutors a well-deserved grant

Published January 16, 2022, 2:14 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday welcomed the signing into law of the bill granting survivorship benefits to the legitimate spouse and dependent children of the members of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) describing it as a well-deserved grant.

Gatchalian said this modest entitlement is long overdue especially to those who have dedicated their lives to be instruments in the dispensation of justice in the country.

“No amount of monetary compensation can compare to the dedication and service given by our public prosecutors so it’s only appropriate to grant them some benefits and recognize how they sacrificed their lives for public service,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Many of them were tasked to handle serious cases filed against influential and powerful persons,” the senator noted.

President Duterte earlier signed into law Republic Act No. 11643, otherwise known as “An Act Granting Survivorship Benefits to the Surviving Legitimate Spouse and Dependent Children of a Deceased Retired Member of the National Prosecution Service.

Gatchalian, a co-author of the law, said the law would help boost the morale of prosecutors who are saddled with heavy caseloads and face a myriad of challenges that can influence their decision-making and performance.

The law primarily allows the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children of a deceased member of the NPS, who is eligible to optionally retire at the time of death, to be entitled to the retirement benefits that the deceased was receiving or entitled to receive.

“While they have the option to practice law profession in private firms or be self-employed, they opted to become public prosecutors and be gatekeepers of criminal justice in the country,” noted Gatchalian, who is seeking re-election in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

“It’s a small token considering the serious predicaments and perils that they face every day in the performance of their duties,” said the senator.

The newly-signed law also provides for a retroactive application for prosecutors who died one year prior to its effectivity.

Under the Duterte administration, 66 lawyers have been killed in the past five years and 14 of them were former or current prosecutors.

Assistant City Prosecutor Edilberto Mendoza was the 66th lawyer from Trece Martires, Cavite who was gunned down at close range in front of his home on New Year’s Eve.