THE Philippine National Police yesterday announced the filing of criminal charges against the wife of a retired policeman accused of failing to report the death of the latter in 2019 in order to claim his monthly pension which amounted to more than P500,000.
Charged before the court was Lucila de Mesa, the woman who was found to have continued to receive her husband’s monthly pension although he had died on February 18, 2019. By intentionally not reporting the death of her husband, the woman managed to claim her pension totaling P535,355.93 from the time of his death until the fiasco was discovered by the Police Retirement and Benefits Administration Service or PNP-PRBS headed by Colonel Arthur V. Bisnar.
PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said following the discovery of the anomaly, he wants stiffer penalties imposed on fake pensioners and claimants for overpayment as part of the national monitoring and accounting of pensioners program of the PNP leadership.
According to Bisnar, suspect de Mesa is still at-large although she would be placed on jail once the court issues a warrant for her arrest.
Bisnar said they filed the criminal charges against de Mesa before the Q.C. Prosecutor’s Office after their investigation showed that she continued to claim and receive monthly pensions for her husband, the late Sergeant Fortunate Gomez de Mesa who compulsorily retired from the police service on September 19, 1989.
The official said that after nearly three decades as a PNP pensioner, the monthly pension of the retired policeman was supposed to stop in March 2019 because of his death. However, his wife failed to report her husband’s demise.
“From the time the pension should have stopped until May 2020, the suspect had withdrawn a total amount of P535,355.93 conferring to the certificate issued by the PNP Finance Service,” Bisnar said.
Gen. Gamboa has instructed the PNP-PRBS and PNP Finance Service to recover the overpayments claimed by de Mesa and to monitor the case as it is a significant step in the PNP’s effort to uncover similar acts and to penalize unaccounted pension claimants.