Gordon files bill expanding survivorship benefits of families of slain prosecutors

Published January 25, 2022, 8:32 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Richard Gordon has filed a measure seeking to amend the recently passed law that grants benefits to the surviving kin of deceased retired members of the National Prosecution Service (NPS).

Gordon, in filing Senate Bill No. 2487, seeks to expand the survivorship benefits to also cover the families of prosecutors who died while in active service.

“The bill SB 2487) aims to expand the grant of survivorship benefits in case of death of a member of the NPS while in actual service, regardless of his/her age and length of service,” Gordon said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This is to ensure that the families of our prosecutors will be taken care of when unfortunate incidents befall them,” he pointed out.

Last January 17, Gordon rued the unabated culture of impunity in the country, which has already claimed the lives of 115 lawyers, judges and prosecutors since 1972.

Gordon, who is seeking a fresh term in the Senate in the upcoming May 2022 elections, considered filing the bill and expanding the proection for the families of members of the NPS following the murder of Trece Martires, Cavite Assistant City Prosecutor Edilberto Mendoza last Dec. 31, 2021.

“This killings are spitting on the face of justice. Every attack on the lawyers in the performance of their duties is an attack on the rule of law and our justice system. Our prosecutors and judges should not be intimidated,” he said.

The bill primarily seeks to grant a lump sum of five years’ worth of gratuity computed based on the highest monthly salary on top of allowances awarded to the NPS member.

If the deceased member had worked as a prosecutor for at least 15 years in government, the heirs shall be entitled to a 10 years’ worth of gratuity.

Under the bill, if a prosecutor had served at least five years but less than 10, their families will be awarded a decade’s worth of gratuity as well.

Gordon said the measure will also be retroactive or be applied to members who died within one year prior to the possible effectivity of the act.