Senator Win Gatchalian lauded 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) saying that the modest entitlement is long overdue especially to those who have dedicated their lives to be instruments in the dispensation of justice in the country.
“Hindi kailanman matutumbasan ng monetary compensation ang dedikasyon at serbisyo ng public prosecutors ngunit nararapat lamang na bigyan natin ng pagpapahalaga ang mga nagbuwis ng kanilang buhay para sa serbisyo publiko. Marami sa kanila ay inatasan na humawak ng mabibigat na kaso laban sa mga makapangyarihang tao,” the senator said.
Gatchalian, co-author of 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,” said the law could 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 President has recently signed into law RA 11643 which 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. It’s a small token considering the serious predicaments and perils that they face every day in the performance of their duties,” Gatchalian stressed.
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. The 66th lawyer was Assistant City Prosecutor Edilberto Mendoza from Trece Martires, Cavite who was gunned down at close range in front of his home on New Year’s Eve.