Retired prosecutor dies without his pension

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BACOLOD CITY—It’s too late now.

The retired government prosecutor who had been pleading for his pension after 36 years in service is dead.

Marcelo del Pilar, 66, died of a heart attack at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the house of his daughter in Barangay Villamonte here, where he had been staying after his release from the hospital during Holy Week.

His wife, Teresa, said Marcelo died without getting his retirement fund, which could have saved his life.

She said her husband’s condition may have been aggravated by stress because their property in Bacolod was up for foreclosure and he had been delayed in paying his auto loan due to his mounting medical expenses.

Teresa said they had hoped his retirement fund could pay their mounting bills and save their property.

Marcelo was also hoping that the money would be able to pay for his much-needed heart bypass. The money never came.

Hour of need

“It is very sad that the government he served for so long failed him in his hour of need,” Teresa said.

Marcelo was acting prosecutor of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental when he retired on July 15, 2011, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65, capping 36 years of government service.

In an interview with the Inquirer last month, Marcelo said he had hoped that his lump sum retirement fund would be enough for his bypass, which his cardiologist recommended after he suffered heart attacks in 2007 and 2010.

But just like more than 100 prosecutors nationwide who had retired since 2011, Marcelo didn’t receive his lump sum benefits. They were never told why.

For a year, Marcelo had to live on money borrowed from his children because of the rule that bars prosecutors from practicing law for a year after retirement.

He started private practice last year but on March 16, he had another heart attack.

After his release from the hospital on Holy Week, Teresa said she thought her husband’s health had improved.

His remains are now in his daughter’s home in Barangay Villamonte.

In March, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda wrote the office of Justice Undersecretary Leah Tanodra Armamento to inquire about the delay in the release of prosecutors’ retirement pay when the Inquirer informed Lacierda’s staff about Marcelo’s plight.

Kristine Joanne Basa, executive assistant of Lacierda, quoted Armamento’s office as saying Marcelo’s case would be looked into and updates given.

When the Inquirer made a follow-up on Thursday, Basa said she has not received any reply from Armamento’s office.

Lacierda’s office offered to help Marcelo with his medical expenses through the Presidential Management Staff and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Marcelo, however, was not interested.

Teresa said her husband did not want the government to give him a dole out for his operation. “He wanted what was due him so he could pay for it himself,” she said.

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  • http://pedestrianobserver.blogspot.com/ Political Jaywalker

    When the no work no pay was floated around some candidates for the position of senatongs are outraged by the very idea and yet people at the ground level like prosecutors are denied their retirement fund. Crumbs compared to these greedy politicians with hundreds of millions in PDAF alone. While a retired prosecutor barred from private practice for one year after retirement is denied his retirement lump sum. Funds that are badly needed for his heart by-pass operation and pay his debts to avoid foreclosure of his properties.

    No wonder people in the government steal. They’ll be dead by the time or if even their retirement fund ever reach them on time. What a shame, while the politicians entrench themselves in power treating politics as if it was a family profit entrepreneurial venture by forming their own family political dynasties lowly government employees are denied what is due them.

  • boybakal

    Teresa said her husband did not want the government to give him a dole out for his operation.

    A model gov’t employee but neglected.

    • kanoy

      >> Kristine Joanne Basa, executive assistant of Lacierda, quoted
      Armamento’s office as saying Marcelo’s case would be looked into and
      updates given.
      CASE? what case? the man works 36 yrs, retires, gets pension,,,there is no CASE since there is no doubt the man worked 36 yrs for the government and no doubt that SC justices and Generals receive their pay immediately
      this is like our schools who graduate kids same time every yr but never hand them their much deserved diploma till weeks sometimes months after they graduate and then CHARGE them for it,,,how do you EARN something you PAY for?

  • Benigno the Turd

    We don’t need half the positions for election. These are political with little actual contribution since they would just pass on implementation to the rank and file anyway. They don’t even time in like regular employees. Why not abolish these useless elective positions and use them to upgrade benefits and compensation to the real public servants, the rank and file?

  • vince_bugaboo

    Well, I suggested you follow up the first story you’ve written about him and his difficulty of getting his pension so that the proper authorities would notice and extend help, but you did not do it. And now that he’s dead, dakdak ka na naman. Ano pang saysay ng dakdak mo ngayon? Palpak ka rin pala!

  • rouelcalzita

    What noo..kie people at the GSIS.
    Mr. Marcelo is not only alone the victim.
    So many retiree stayed until their death while at queue in some regional offices followed up their retirement benefits.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Plunderers, looters and smugglers abound in this miserable country of ours while loyal government workers who paid his dues has been treated like dirt? This is injustice looking at our faces crying for pity.

  • maceren

    I’m Dutch citizen and in year 2001 the Dr. in Holland advised also a urgent double heart-bypass to avoid deadly heartattack and within 2 weeks bypass was done and my Insurance Company paid the huge hospital bill. I’m many times pitty with Filipino’s which dying caused by shortage of money to buy medicines or undergoing necessary operation in hospital. WHEN THIS SHALL CHANGE IN PHILIPPINES ????

    • maceren

      sometimes I paid medicines for a poor Filipino
      here in Cebu-City (as last resort) from my modest Dutch monthly pension.

      • maceren

        I’m 74 years old and many times I was applying in City Hall for the 20% or 25% discount on medicines as granted for the Filipino eldery. But always denied, despite I have lifetime visa to stay in the Philippines. In my homecountry Holland the Filipino’s (and all other nationalities) have the same rights as Dutch citizen. I spent every month more as 10,000 piso for medicines (here in Cebu-City) and I like to remark that prices for medicines here in the Philippines are double in price as in Europe !

      • maceren

        YES i know, some readers from this nice Newspaper are asking why let that Dutch guy not send his medicines by airmail from Holland to the Philippines ????
        But please note; I need every month 10 pcs Human Isophane Insulin pens and those pens need a storage temperature between 0 and 6 Grade Celsius ! This temperature is never granted in a parcel sent from Holland to the Philippines !

      • stjohnofthevatican

        Try visit the Barangay Chairman in your locality. He maybe able to help you.

  • Joseph St John

    I languished at the thought that this loyal and respected prosecutor who gave years of his life is denied his pension at the time he need it most . I wonder how many more people like him has to suffer because of the government’s red tape.

  • Loggnat

    There had to be something criminal in the inaction and delay of those government officials that denied this individual the pension that he is rightfully entitled to. The family of this individual should look for a good lawyer to bring the fight to those uncaring and disgusting bureaucratic officials that caused all this individuals problem. They should hit them where it will hurt. Their bank book and their credibility as a human beings who are capable of compassion and good deed. Prison time will be appropriate too, if found guilty.

    • kanoy

      the mobey is not there????? hummmmmmm good point

  • M C

    Isn’t it that there is a law that punishes a bureacrat that sits on a citizen’s request or assistance for help?

    • coladu

      There is a law. It is RA 6713.

  • GMMTC11

    Akalain mo ba namang pati palang mga husgado damay din pala sa ganitong mga pangyayari, itong mga bagay na ito’y talamak sa gobyerno at ang iba sinasamantala para umuutang ka sa five six. Yong iba paiba iba ang mga hinihinging mga papeles hanggang dumugo ka.

  • boybakal

    His name is Marcelo del Pilar….a namesake of our hero Marcelo H.del Pilar.
    What a shame….a gov’t that parades its anti graft corruption image on large scale is inefficient, incompetent in treating its own people on a few thousand pensions.
    Shame on you…..government, good only in propaganda of clean gov’t.

  • $14334231

    aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo!!!!…..heartless president balut-penoy will instruct his equally heartless DOJ people to work on it asap and release what is due to the late atty. del pilar…may pondo pa ba kayong natitira, o ubos na sa kabubulsa ninyo, mga mandarambong?…..

  • opps33

    Kunin ka sana in Lord justice usec…mga wanghiya kayo!

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