Kiko, Leila push for hazard pay for at risk prosecutors

Senators Leila de Lima and Kiko Pangilinan are pushing to grant government prosecutors a hazard pay of between 10 percent and 25 percent of their monthly salary amid the wave of killings of abogados.

De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 624 or “Hazard Pay for Justice Sector Officials Act of 2019,” granting hazard

pay to first level and second level court officials, such as judges, clerks of court, public prosecutors and public attorneys.

Based on her proposal, 15 percent hazard pay will for Risk-adjacent Courts are those declared as such by the Supreme Court by reason of their geographical location or proximity to prolonged armed conflicts or disaster-prone areas; and 10 percent Second Level Courts who handle criminal cases, including regional trial courts and Shari’a District Courts.

Pangilinan’s Senate Bill No. 637 would grant a flat 25 percent hazard pay to all public prosecutors, including associate prosecution attorneys and prosecution attorneys of the National Prosecution Service (NPS).

Both senators want the hazard pay tax exempt.

Pangilinan said at least 10 prosecutors have been killed since 2016 and their deaths remain unresolved: Mati City Prosecutor Rolando Acido (October 2016); Quezon City Prosecutor Johanne Noel Mingoa (January 2017); Caloocan Assistant Prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon (May 2017); Assistant Prosecutor Maria Ronatay 0uly 2017); Former Prosecutor Pablito Gahol (September 2017); Quezon Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Reymund Luna (September 2017); Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco (May 2018); Retired Prosecutor Geronimo Marabe, Jr. (May 2018); Prosecutor Madonna Joy Ednaco Tanyag (June 2018); and Former Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro (January 2019).

Del Lima said: “These senseless killings and attacks [against justice workers] sow fear among our administrators of justice and thus have a chilling effect in the discharge of their functions,” she said.

“We need to enact an incentive system that is commensurate to the dangers faced by our public officials. This will encourage our brave countrymen to take up posts in otherwise less than ideal public offices,” she added.

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