The Department has clarified the circumstances attendant to the issue of a former prosecutor who died without receiving his retirement pay.
Undersecretary Leah Armamento, the Chairperson of the Technical Working Group (TWG), Retirement Committee created pursuant to RA 10071, stressed that the Department was not amiss in attending to the application for retirement pay of former Acting Cadiz City Prosecutor Marcelo del Pilar, who died of heart attack last April 4, 2013.
"His situation represents an area of concern and the Department is doing everything to convince the DBM and GSIS to release the retirement benefits of retired Prosecutors," Usec Armamento said. As she expressed utmost condolences to the bereaved family of Prosecutor Del Pilar, she also urged for the immediate signing by the DBM and GSIS of the Joint Circular that will address the issue on the retirement benefits of prosecutors under RA 10071.
Armamento disclosed that on 3 April 2013, DBM Dir. Tina Rose Marie Canda informed the Department that the Joint Circular between DBM and GSIS is set to be signed on April 15, 2013. Canda added that DBM's Request for Issuance of Special Allotment Release Order in the amount of Php397,384,560.0O to cover payment of the retirement gratuity for prosecutor's covering the year 2010 to 2012 was resubmitted to the DBM.
On April 4, the Department sent a letter to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Laçierda regarding the query of former Prosecutor Del Pilar regarding his lump sum pension. However, he passed away on the same day Malacanang was updated of his benefits.
On April 5, an on-line and a broadsheet ran a story of retired Prosecutor Del Pilar who "dies without his pension" after serving the government for 36 years. Reports had it that he bowed out of service after reaching the mandatory retirement age on July 15, 2011 and had undergone several heart attacks in 2007 and 2010, the last seizure was on last March 16, 2013. Members of his family claimed his condition may have been aggravated by stress because their property was up for foreclosure and he had been delayed in paying his auto loan due to mounting hospital bills.
In March, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda wrote the Office of Usec Armamento about Del Pilar's retirement pay. In behalf of Usec Armamento, SASP Aileen Marie Gutierrez, member of the Technical Working Group of RA 10071, Retirement Committee, in her memorandum through Secretary Leila De Lima on April 4, also sent a letter to the Office of Lacierda On the status of the prosecutor's retirement pay. The said letter belied insinuation of a newspaper that made a follow up with the staff of Lacierda that Usec Armamento has not acted on the query over Del Pilar's retirement pension.
RA 10071 (An Act Strengthening and Rationalizing the National Prosecution Service) is a special law for prosecutors enacted on April 8, 2010. Section 21 of the said law provides updated schemes in terms of retirement benefits for prosecutors.