THE Manila Regional Trial Court-National Capital Judicial Region directed the Department of Budget and Management, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Police Commission to enforce an earlier Court of Appeals (CA) decision granting the full benefits of retired and deceased policemen.
In a three-page order, Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of Branch 32 said the court finds the motion of petitioner –Manila’s Finest Retirees’ Association, Inc. (MFRAI) to be ‘well-taken and thus hereby grants the same.’ The MFRAI, in its ‘motion to effectuate the behest in the decision of the Court of Appeals,’ has asked the court through its legal counsel Atty. Renato dela Cruz, for the ‘fulfillment, implementation and full satisfaction of the decision of the CA dated April 29, 2016’.
Judge Medina wrote in part: “… this court, after a protracted hearing and tedious process, was able to extract from the PNP the amounts ought to be received by the INP (Integrated National Police, now PNP) retirees who have not gotten yet their full retirement benefits under existing laws, without which data this court cannot effectively implement its decision sought to be enforced.’
The court noted that the amounts involved were indicated in the respondents’ partial compliance dated May 16, 2017 and full compliance dated June 14, 2017, which they submitted in compliance with the court’s directive.
The respondents -in what the court described as yet another bid to delay the excution of the final and executory judgement of the court- argued that the amounts indicated are not yet the final amounts since petitioners have already received pensions from the GSIS as a result of their retirement as members of the INP, noting that the pension should be deducted from the total amount found opposite one’s name in the initial computation to avoid double compensation. In behalf of the petitioners, however, Atty. Dela Cruz argued that the GSIS had nothing to do with the pension differential being claimed by the petitioners.
“When the INP personnel retired, their names were counter-checked with the GSIS records and upon verification of their pemium payments, these were returned to them. Petitioners have already retired and have been receiving their retirement benefits or pensions and it is only the pension differential that they were asking… the premium refund is separate and distinct privilege granted by R.A. 1616. Hence, respondent PNP, being the employer of petitioners, is the one obligated to compute and give their pension differentials and not to make the GSIS validation and payment of premium refunds as a condition precedent thereto,” the court said, noting the petitioners’ argument.
The court also said that the stance of the petitioner and the GSIS is the ‘situation obtaining in the case at hand’, adding that to hold otherwise will subject the petitioners’ claims at the mercy of their former employer, the PNP, which, upon admission of its counsel, has no records of the amounts given to the INP pensioners.
“This scenario will be a great injustice to the petitioners who have long been unduly deprived of what are due them pursuant to this court’s decision which has attained finality years back,” the decision added.