CEBU CITY (27-March-2012/PNA) – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has said she has shown reservations about government prosecutors accepting allowances from local government units (LGUs).
”I feel it’s not an ideal situation. It’s a questionable situation, It’s untenable,” said de Lima, who visited Cebu over the weekend.
While she understands prosecutors’ resources may not be enough, which compels them to ask for local allowances, this situation might create conflicts of interest when they handle cases involving local governments and officials.
De Lima said she is coordinating with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the increase of salaries and allowances for local prosecutors nationwide.
As this developed, the Commission on Audit (COA) suspended the release of P1.34 million allocated by the Mandaue City Government for the monthly allowances of seven prosecutors assigned at the Office of the Regional State prosecutor (ORSP).
The COA said there was no proof shown that the recipients were stationed in Mandaue City.
Talisay City Prosecutor Marshall Rubia said he finds nothing wrong with accepting allowances and financial aid from the LGUs.
According to Article 3, Section 458(1) of the Local Government Code, the local council may provide, “when the finances of the City Government will allow, for additional allowances and other benefits to judges, prosecutors, public elementary and high school teachers, and other national government officials stationed in or assigned in the city.”
But Rubia added he also welcomes Secretary de Lima’s proposal to increase their salaries and allowances.
Regional State prosecutor (RSP) Fernando Gubalane said he appreciates the justice secretary’s concern. (PNA)