RETIRED lawyers of the Public Attorneys Office filed a damage suit Monday against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and another official of the Department of Budget and Management for blocking their retirement benefits. In a petition before a Quezon City regional trial court, the retirees also sought the immediate and full implementation of the PAO law.
Represented by PAO chief attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta, the retirees questioned the Budget Department’s legal opinion, which they said contradicted the PAO law. PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta explained that the computation of these retirement benefits is based on the PAO Law, which states that a public lawyer should have the same retirement privileges given to a public prosecutor. The petitioners—Amelia Garchitorena, Bonifacio Guyot, Cynthia Vargas, Gaudencia Fineza Jr., Romeo Sunga, Teresita De Guzman, Jesus Garrucha Jr., Marcelo Cabana, Reynaldo Casas, Carmelito Sumile, Renato Cabrido, Florencio Diloy, Macapangcat Mama, Elidio Bacuyag, Oscar Melad and Arnulfo Singson—also named DBM chief legal Rowena Cadiz Ruiz as a respondent.