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Consolacion vs.

Gambito
A.M. No. P-06-2186 & P-12-3026 | July 3, 2012
Facts:
This involves two administrative cases against respondent Lydia Gambito, a court
stenographer at MCTC Binalonan, Pangasinan. In the first case, in order to induce
Filomena Consolacion to loan money to Gambito, the latter misrepresented that the
tricycle provided as security was unencumbered when in fact it was already foreclosed.
In the second case, Judge Emma Parajas alleged some misdeeds by Gambito, among
which are the faulty transactions she facilitated with Billamanca and Erum involving the
use of court fees/bail money for personal use. OCA found her guilty of three counts of
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
Issue:
Is Gambito administratively liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service?
Ruling:
Yes. Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service refers to acts or omissions
that violate the norm of public accountability and diminish or tend to diminish
the peoples faith in the Judiciary. If an employees questioned conduct tarnished the
image and integrity of his public office, he is liable for conduct prejudicial to the best
interest of service. Public officials and employees shall at all times respect the rights of
others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to public safety and public interest
(Sec. 4(c), R.a. 6173).
Doubtless, Gambitos unethical transactions and lack of fortrightness affected the
Judiciary of which she was a part. As a court employee, she was expected to act in
conformity with the strict standard required of all public officers and employees. The
conduct of every court personnel must be beyond reproach and free from
suspicion that may cause to sully the image of the Judiciary. They must totally
avoid any impression of impropriety, misdeed or misdemeanor not only in the
performance of their official duties but also in conducting themselves outside or beyond
the duties and functions of their office. Court personnel are enjoined to conduct
themselves toward maintaining the prestige and integrity of the Judiciary.
Hence, Gambito was dismissed with prejudice to re-employment in the government, and
all her retirement benefits forfeited.