MANILA - Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will testify in favor of retirees of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) who took on a legal battle the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) over their withheld retirement pay.
PAO chief Persida Acosta bared that Enrile will testify before the sala of Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Hilda Loja-Pangilinan on Friday, along with former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, one of the authors of the PAO law.
The PAO retirees who filed the case are Amelia Garchitorena, Bonifacio Guyot, Cynthia Vargas, Gaudencia Fineza Jr., Romeo Sunga, Teresita De Guzman, Jesus Garrucha Jr., Marcelo Cabana, Reynaldo Casas, Carmelito Sumile, Renato Cabrido, Florencio Diloy, Macapangcat Mama, Elidio Bacuyag, Oscar Melad and Arnulfo Singson.
The case is against Budget Secretary Butch Abad and DBM chief legal Atty. Rowena Candice Ruiz for reportedly blocking the grant of the retirees' benefits.
Petitioners insist that under the PAO law, they are supposed to receive benefits equal to that of prosecutors of the Department of Justice's National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Petitioners urged the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction against respondents.
The damage suit urges the court to order Abad and Ruiz to pay the amount of P400,000.00 by way of exemplary damages, and P400,000.00 by way of moral damages to the petitioners herein and, to pay the costs of suit.