Published by the Bohol Sunday Post
A retired first class officer of the then Integrated National (INP) Police of Tubigon seeks to claim due pension based on the rationalized retirement benefits following the May 9, 2007 Supreme Court decision which explains that INP retirees are entitled to the same retirement benefits accorded upon retirees of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under Republic Act 6975, as amended by RA 8551.
The same SC decision also ordered the Department of Budget and Management, PNP, National Police Commission, and Civil Service Commission to implement the proper adjustments on INP retirees' benefits.
A memorandum was issued on September 12 this year to implement the adjustment.
Since his retirement on March 20, 1986, 76-year-old retired police first class officer Zosimo Ricafort Muga of Pooc Occidental, Tubigon had been receiving a pension of almost P3,000 only, while based on RA 6975, Police retirees are entitled to even more or less P10,000.
The last pension that Muga received was in September yet.
The High Tribunal discussed in its decision that on February 25, 1998, RA 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 was issued to amend RA 6975 entitled "An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government, and for other Purposes" or the PNP Law issued on December 13, 1990.
The amendatory law includes the reengineering of the retirement scheme in the police organization, imposing more retirement benefits for PNP personnel than what INP members of equivalent rank, who had retired under the INP Law, received.
Comparing the INP retirees' and PNP retirees' benefits, the difference ranges from P8,000 to P10,000.
It is for this reason that on June 3, 2002, the Manila's Finest Retirees Association, Inc. (MFRAI), representing the INP retirees, filed a petition before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila to seek for a declaratory judgment that INP retirees were equally situated as the PNP and that INP retirees are truly absorbed and equally considered as PNP retirees and eventually for immediate adjustment on their retirement benefits.
The RTC of Manila granted the petition of the INP retirees, which the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto in its decision dated July 7, 2005, declaring that the INP retirees are entitled to the same retirement or identical benefits accorded upon PNP retirees, and ordering the implementation of proper adjustments.
The DBM, PNP, Napolcom, and CSC contested it with a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied it in its resolution dated August 24, 2005.
The SC affirmed the two CA rulings.
The decision became a topic during the reunion of the Pozon clan on October 28 at the Batausa residence in Tubigon.
Muga lives with his 74-year-old wife, Luz, under the care of their daughter, Josephine, who is a tax consultant of Tubigon and Clarin.
With his age, Muga had to ask the assistance of five of his eight children who are in the country, to facilitate his claim.
Three of his children are now abroad. His eldest, Felix, a doctor of Philosophy teaching Mathematics at Ateneo de Manila, is now on a study leave in France. His fifth and eighth children, Salustiano and Zosimo Jr. are working abroad as seafarers.
Left by their parents' side are Josephine, who serves as the immediate caretaker; Architect Teodorico, the second child; the fourth, Imelda, who is working at the President's Office of the University of Southern Philippines in Cebu; the sixth, Mildred Muga-Gicos, a high school teacher also at USP-Cebu; and the seventh child, Marian Muga-Nasio, a nurse at the Community Hospital in Tubigon. (ACLB)