Retired prosecutor pleads for pension after 36 yrs in gov’t

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BACOLOD CITY—He served the government for 36 years until his retirement in 2011.

But retired Cadiz City prosecutor Marcelo B. del Pilar has yet to receive his lump sum pension despite a letter of appeal to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Now, Del Pilar, 66, is asking President Benigno Aquino to help him avail himself of his pension because he needs the money for his heart bypass operation.

Del Pilar was acting city prosecutor of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental when he retired on July 15, 2011 when he reached the retirement age of 65, capping almost 36 years of government service.

According to Del Pilar, he suffered heart attacks in 2007 and 2010. His cardiologist Dr. Jose Joel Yap, recommended that he undergo a heart bypass operation to prolong his life.

He had hoped to use his lump sum pension to pay for his operation. But like the more than 100 other prosecutors nationwide who retired in 2011 he, too, didn’t get the lump sum pension that he was hoping to get upon retirement.

“The Department of Justice has not explained to the retirees what is causing the delay,” he said.

Del Pilar said he has been following up the release of his pension fund. He even wrote to De Lima and Vice President Jejomar Binay to seek their help but he has not received any reply.

“I wrote to the Vice President first because I heard that he helped Kabang, the Filipino hero dog who lost her snout, go to the United States for treatment,” Del Pilar said.

“I thought if he could help a dog, maybe he could help me but I did not get any reply from the vice president,” he said.

Del Pilar said it was also difficult for him after his retirement because he could not practice law since prosecutors are barred from engaging in private practice a year after retirement.

For a year, he added he had to live on money borrowed from his children. It was only this year that he started earning when he resumed his private practice.

But on March 16, Del Pilar had another heart attack and he is now confined at the Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital in Bacolod City.

Del Pilar said he was hoping that President Aquino would learn about his plight and help him.

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