Duterte to defy De Lima order vs prosecutors allowance from LGUs
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has said he would defy Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s order against the local government unit’s move giving allowance to government prosecutors.
“I will not adhere to her order,” Duterte said on Wednesday during the 27th National Convention of Prosecutors at SMX Convention Center here, adding that the granting of allowances and other benefits is “provided by law.”
De Lima last month said, during the 15th Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Convention in Cebu City, that she would issue a directive prohibiting all prosecutors and employees of prosecution services nationwide from receiving allowances and other forms of benefits from local government units.
De Lima said it is to ensure that the prosecutors will not feel beholden to local politicians.
READ: No more prosecutors’ allowances from LGUs
But Duterte, in his keynote speech during the convention of the Prosecutors League of the Philippines (PLP), said De Lima was wrong since there were laws allowing LGUs to give allowances to prosecutors.
“If I may ask, why? What is the reason you came up with this silly thing?” Duterte said, addressing De Lima.
Regional state prosecutor Antonio Arellano said the state prosecutors were “with her in her desire to really come up with higher standards of governance, but we are saying, considering the situation of the prosecution on the field in the regional areas in the regional offices and in the cities and provincial offices, the resources from the national government is very inadequate.”
The Office of the City Prosecutor has an allocation of P359,937 in the proposed Supplemental Budget No. 2 of the city government of Davao. Prosecutors in Davao City receive a uniform allowance of P8,000 a month from the Davao City local government.
Arellano said there are three legal bases in which prosecutors are allowed to accept allowances from the LGU.
Arellano first cited Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1275 or the Creation of the National Prosecution Service which provides that LGUs will provide allowances to the prosecutors and employees “including even the rental for buildings and other requirements on the administration of criminal justice.”
Under section 14 of PD 1257, “the salaries of provincial and city fiscals and their assistants shall be paid entirely out of national funds and included in the annual appropriations of the DOJ. This is without prejudice to the grant of allowances to the above-mentioned fiscals by their respective local governments, in amounts not exceeding 25 percent of their basic salaries.” It also stated that the salaries of clerks, stenographers and other subordinate employees in the offices of the provincial and city fiscals shall be paid by the province or city.
Arellano also quoted the Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 which allows LGUs to provide assistance to the prosecutor offices in the country.
“The third is the new law which was enacted several years ago that is Republic Act No. 10071 (“Prosecution Service Act of 2010”) which also allows local government units to grant allowances to prosecutors provided that the allowance will not go beyond 50 percent of their basic salary,” he said. RC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.