CASE SC-2021-0001: LETTER OF MRS. MA. CRISTINA ROCO CORONA REQUESTING THE GRANT OF RETIREMENT AND OTHER BENEFITS TO THE LATE FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO C. CORONAAND HER CLAIM FOR SURVIVORSHIP PENSION AS HIS WIFE UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9946 (A.M. No. 20-07-10-SC, JANUARY 12, 2021 HERNANDO, J.)

DISPOSITIVE:

“WHEREFORE, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is hereby DECLARED entitled to retirement benefits and other allowances under Republic Act No. 9946 equivalent to a five-year lump sum of the salary and other allowances he was receiving at the time of his removal by impeachment on May 29, 2012. The claim of survivorship benefits of Ma. Cristina Roco Corona is hereby GRANTED reckoned from the lapse of the five-year period on the lump sum. All benefits granted herein are ordered immediately RELEASED to his widow and beneficiary, Ma. Cristina Roco Corona, subject to usual clearances.

So Ordered.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

Mere eligibility for optional retirement at the time of death, not actual retirement, suffices to grant survivorship benefits upon the bereaved surviving spouse of a deceased magistrate. Even if so declared ineligible for said optional retirement, there is established ground to deem the former Chief Justice as involuntarily retired due to the events immediately following his ouster by impeachment. As Chief Justice Corona had met the qualifications for an optional retirement, his widow, who likewise possesses none of the disqualifications under AC No. 81-2010 for entitlement, must be consoled by the grant of the benefits that are legally accorded to her as a surviving legitimate spouse of a magistrate under RA 9946.

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