• PAO chief wants retired lawyers’ benefits released

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    The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO)  seeks finality of its victory against the Department of Budget and Management (DBM),  which has withheld the release of the benefits of the office’s retired lawyers.

    In an omnibus reply with prayer for the issuance of entry of judgment, PAO chief Persida Acosta on Wednesday asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to put an end to the suffering of the PAO retirees from the hands of the Budget department.

    The office had won its case before the regular court against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who ordered the blocking of the retirement benefits of the retired government lawyers in the country.

    The decision was penned by Quezon City RTC Judge Maria Gilda Loja-Pangilinan, dated February 14, but was released only recently.

    The office pointed out that a motion for reconsideration filed by the DBM must be junked in violation of Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Court and the Guidelines for Litigation under Administrative Matter 11-6-10-SC and their appeal is only considered as a mere “scrap of paper.”

    It said the DBM has failed to conform with the requirement that the notice and hearing shall be set within 10 calendar days.

    The Budget department set a March 31  hearing instead of March 24.

    The PAO retirees have pleaded for the full implementation of the PAO Law under Republic Act 9406.

    The office is questioning the DBM’s legal opinion, which contradicted the PAO Law.

    JOMAR CANLAS

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