DBM told to issue SARO for retirement claims of 28 CA justices
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has been ordered to issue a special allotment release order (SARO) for the retirement claims of some 28 retired Court of Appeals (CA) justices worth P23 million.
This as the Supreme Court granted the petition for mandamus filed by the Association of Retired Court of Appeals Justices Inc. led by retired Associate
Justice Teodoro Regino.
The retired justices petitioned the SC after the DBM rejected their request for the recomputation of their retirement gratuities including the grant of differentials following series of salary increases due to the implementation of Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 2 and SSL 3 in 2007 to 2011.
The DBM rejected their request as it insisted that their claims should be taken from the Special Allowance for the Judiciary (SAJ), not from the government’s Pension and Gratuity Fund.
The DBM argued that compelling the government to issue SAROs for the SAJ component of the retired CA justices would be violative to Article Vi, Section 29 (1) of the 1987 Constitution.
Said constitutional provision stated that “no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.”
But the SC citing Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, said that a retired SC or CA justice should not receive an amount less than what an incumbent receives as salary and RATA.
“DBM’s position is confined solely to SAJ allowances, but the claim of the petitioners is mainly based on the adjustments to the salaries of justices by reason of SSL and SSL 3 and not from the said SAJ allowances,” the SC pointed out.