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For 5 August 2010

IV. Termination of Official Relations
A. Expiration of Term
RA 6713 RA 7160
y y y

Upon expiration of the officer s term, unless he is authorized by law to hold over, his rights and duties and authority as a public officer must ipso facto cease. Term means ordinarily a fixed and definite time prescribed by law or the Constitutional by which an officer may hold an office; not applicable to appointive offices held at the pleasure of the appointing power Removal v Expiration of term: To REMOVE is to oust him from office before expiration of term

Achacoso v Macaraig (195 SCRA 235 | 1991, Cruz, J.)
Facts: Public office involved: Administrator of POEA - Achacoso complied with Cory s call for courtesy resignation. However, when asked to vacate his seat, he argued that his resignation was not voluntary and under duress. He further contend s that he is a member of the Career Service of the Civil Service and so enjoys security of tenure, which is one of the characteristics of the Career Service as distinguished from the Non-Career Service. - There is a certification that Achacoso did not comply with the Career Executive Service Development Program (CESDP) and is not a CES eligible. Therefore Achacoso was not appointed to a rank in the CES and is not a member of the Career Executive Service. Ratio: - It is settled that a permanent appointment can be issued only "to a person who meets all the requirements for the position to which he is being appointed, including the appropriate eligibility prescribed." Achacoso did not. At best, therefore, his appointment could be regarded only as temporary. And being so, it could be withdrawn at will by the appointing authority and at a moment's notice, conformably to established jurisprudence - The mere fact that a position belongs to the Career Service does not automatically confer security of tenure on its occupant even if he does not possess the required qualifications. Such right will have to depend on the nature of his appointment, which in turn depends on his eligibility or lack of it. A person who does not have the requisite qualifications for the position cannot be appointed to it in the first place or, only as an exception to the rule, may be appointed to it merely in an acting capacity in the absence of appropriate eligibles. The appointment extended to him cannot be regarded as permanent even if it may be so designated. - The purpose of an acting or temporary appointment is to prevent a hiatus in the discharge of official functions by authorizing a person to discharge the same pending the selection of a permanent or another appointee. The person named in an acting capacity accepts the position under the condition that he shall surrender the office once he is called upon to do so by the appointing authority. - The acting appointee is separated by a method of terminating official relations known in the law of public officers as expiration of the term. His term is understood at the outset as without any fixity and enduring at the pleasure of the appointing authority. When required to relinquish his office, he cannot complain that he is being removed in violation of his security of tenure because removal imports the separation of the incumbent before the expiration of his term. This is allowed by the Constitution only when it is for cause as provided by law. The acting appointee is separated precisely because his term has expired. Expiration of the term is not covered by the constitutional provision on security of tenure. - One who holds a temporary appointment has no fixed tenure of office; his employment can be terminated at the pleasure of the appointing power, there being no need the show that the termination is for cause.

Lecaroz v Sandiganbayan (SUPRA| 1999, Bellosillo, J.)
Facts: Public office involved: Member of the Sangguniang Bayan representing the Kabataang Barangays of the municipality in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque; Qualification involved: Oath of office - Lenlie and his father the Mayor Francisco Lecaroz prohibited the appointment of Jowil Red as the representative of SB who was appointed by Pres. Marcos. The initial reason proferred by Mayor was that his appointment had not yet been cleared by the Governor. In the meantime, Lenlie was still receiving the salaries. Issue: WON Mayor Lecaroz erred in not allowing Red to assume his position NO. Ratio: The concept of holdover when applied to a public officer implies that the office has a fixed term and the incumbent is holding onto the succeeding term. It is usually provided by law that officers elected or appointed for a fixed term shall remain in office not only for that term but until their successors have been elected and qualified. Where this provision is found, the office does not become vacant upon

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the expiration of the term if there is no successor elected and qualified to assume it, but the present incumbent will carry over until his successor is elected and qualified, even though it be beyond the term fixed by law. In the instant case, although BP Blg. 51 does not say that a Sanggunian member can continue to occupy his post after the expiration of his term in case his successor fails to qualify, it does not also say that he is proscribed from holding over. Absent an express or implied constitutional or statutory provision to the contrary, an officer is entitled to stay in office until his successor is appointed or chosen and has qualified. The legislative intent of not allowing holdover must be clearly expressed or at least implied in the legislative enactment, otherwise it is reasonable to assume that the law-making body favors the same.

Gloria v De Guzman (SUPRA| 1995, Hermosisima, J.)
Facts: Public office involved: Initially Board Secretary II of PAFCA (PSCA), turned Coordinator for Extension Services - Rosario V. Cerillo was issued a one-year temporary appointment to the position of Board Secretary II of PAFCA. However, her employment was terminated for loss of confidence. Subsequently, however, she was designated as Coordinator for Extension Services. Col. Loleng (PSCA Board of Trustees Chair, on whom the power to make appointments is lodged) informed Cerillo etc. that they shall be deemed separated from the service upon the expiration of their temporary appointments. Issue: WON Cerillo must be reinstated? Held: No. Reappointment is a discretionary act of the appointing power and cannot be the subject of writ of mandamus. Mere designation does not confer upon the designee security of tenure in the position or office which he occupies in an acting capacity only. Ratio: - Although temporarily extended an appointment as Board Secretary II, she was dismissed therefrom because of loss of confidence. This dismissal was neither contested nor appealed from by Ms. Cerillo. The fact is that private respondent's assignment as "Coordinator for Extension Services" was a mere designation. Not being a permanent appointment, the designation to the position cannot be the subject of a case for reinstatement. - Even granting that Ms. Cerillo could be validly reinstated as Coordinator for Extension Services , her reinstatement thereto would not be possible because the position is not provided for in the PSCA plantilla. The PSCA could not have made any valid appointment for this inexistent position. This could very well be the reason why she was merely designated as Coordinator. As a mere designee, she could not have acquired any right to the position even if the position existed. - They were even informed that they should acquire the necessary eligibility within three years as a condition for the conversion of their temporary status to permanent. The fact that Cerillo passed the requisite Civil Service Examination after the termination of her temporary appointment is no reason to compel petitioners to reappoint her. Acquisition of civil service eligibility is not the sole factor for reappointment. Still to be considered by the appointing authority are: performance, degree of education, work experience, training, seniority, and, more importantly, as in this case, whether or not the applicant enjoys the confidence and trust of the appointing power. The choice of an appointee from among those who possessed the required qualifications is a political and administrative decision calling for considerations of wisdom, convenience, utility and the interests of the service which can best be made by the Head of the office concerned. - Reappointment to the position of Board Secretary II is an act which is discretionary on the part of the appointing power. Consequently, it cannot be the subject of an application for a writ of mandamus. Reinstatement is technically issuance of a new appointment which is essentially discretionary, to be performed by the officer in which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. Such exercise of the discretionary power of appointment cannot be controlled, not even by the Court as long as it is exercised properly by the appointing authority.

B. Retirement
y

Compulsory and automatic retirement of a public officer.

C. Death or Permanent disability
y y y

Death of the incumbent necessarily renders the office vacant. Different rule applies when the authority to be exercised is conferred upon two or more officers: The whole office is not vacant. Unless a joint action of all is expressly required, the survivors may execute the office. Permanent disability covers both physical and mental disability.

D. Resignation
y

RESIGNATION by definition is the formal renunciation or relinquishment of a public office. It implies an expression by the incumbent in some form, express or implied of the intention to surrender, renounce and relinquish his right to the office and its acceptance by competent and lawful authority.

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y

Results in the abdication of all present and future rights accorded to an officer or employee and in the severance of all work-related ties between the employer and the employee.

Ortiz v COMELEC (162 SCRA 812| 1988, Fernan, J.)
Facts: - Ortiz was COMELEC commissioner appointed by Marcos who heeded Cory s call for courtesy resignation. Actually, what he said was that he merely placed his position at your disposal COMELEC later on denied his claim for retirement benefits. Issue: WON a constitutional official whose "courtesy resignation" was accepted by the President of the Philippines during the effectivity of the Freedom Constitution may be entitled to retirement benefits under Republic Act No. 1568, as amended. Held: Yes Ratio: - Petitioner's separation from government service as a result of the reorganization ordained by the then nascent Aquino government may not be considered a resignation within the contemplation of the law. Resignation is defined as the act of giving up or the act of an officer by which he declines his office and renounces the further right to use it. To constitute a complete and operative act of resignation, the officer or employee must show a clear intention to relinquish or surrender his position accompanied by the act of relinquishment. Resignation implies an expression of the incumbent in some form, express or implied, of the intention to surrender, renounce and relinquish the office, and its acceptance by competent and lawful authority. - Ortiz resignation lacks the element of clear intention to surrender his position. We cannot presume such intention from his statement in his letter of March 5, 1986 that he was placing his position at the disposal of the President. He did not categorically state therein that he was unconditionally giving up his position. It should be remembered that said letter was actually a response to Proclamation No. 1 which President Aquino issued on February 25, 1986 when she called on all appointive public officials to tender their "courtesy resignation" as a "first step to restore confidence in public administration. - A courtesy resignation cannot properly be interpreted as resignation in the legal sense for it is not necessarily a reflection of a public official's intention to surrender his position. Rather, it manifests his submission to the will of the political authority and the appointing power. A stringent interpretation of courtesy resignations must therefore be observed, particularly in cases involving constitutional officials like the petitioner whose removal from office entails an impeachment proceeding. For even if working for the government is regarded as no more than a privilege, discharge for disloyalty or for doubt about loyalty may involve such legal rights as those in reputation and eligibility for other employment. - The curtailment of his term not being attributable to any voluntary act on the part of the petitioner, equity and justice demand that he should be deemed to have completed his term albeit much ahead of the date stated in his appointment paper. Petitioner's case should be placed in the same category as that of an official holding a primarily confidential position whose tenure ends upon his superior's loss of confidence in him. His cessation from the service entails no removal but an expiration of his term.

Estrada v Arroyo (353 SCRA 452 | 2001, Puno, J.)
Facts: - EDSA 2 events. Issue: Whether Erap resigned as a president or only took a temporary leave of absence due to his inability to govern? Ratio: - The issue brings under the microscope of the meaning of section 8, Article VII of the Constitution which provides: Sec. 8. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the President, the Vice President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of both the President and Vice President, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall then acts as President until President or Vice President shall have been elected and qualified.xxx - The issue then is whether the petitioner resigned as President or should be considered resigned as of January 20, 2001 when respondent took her oath as the 14th President of the Republic. Resignation is not a high level legal abstraction. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond quibble: there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. The validity of a resignation is not governed by any formal requirement as to form. It can be oral. It can be written. It can be express. It can be implied. As long as the resignation is clear, it must be given legal effect. - In the cases at bar, the facts shows that petitioner did not write any formal letter of resignation before he evacuated Malacañang Palace in the Afternoon of January 20, 2001 after the oath-taking of respondent Arroyo. Consequently, whether or not petitioner resigned has to be determined from his acts and omissions before, during and after January 20, 2001 or by the totality of prior, contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the issue. Using this totality test, we hold that petitioner resigned as President. As to Erap s letter: - To say the least, the above letter is wrapped in mystery. The pleadings filed by the petitioner in the cases at bar did not discuss, nay even intimate, the circumstances that led to its preparation. Neither did the counsel of the petitioner reveal to the Court these circumstances during the oral argument. It strikes the Court as strange that the letter, despite its legal value, was never referred to by the petitioner during the week-long crisis. To be sure, there was not the slightest hint of its existence when he issued his final

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press release. It was all too easy for him to tell the Filipino people in his press release that he was temporarily unable to govern and that he was leaving the reins of government to respondent Arroyo for the time being. Under any circumstance, however, the mysterious letter cannot negate the resignation of the petitioner. If it was prepared before the press release of the petitioner clearly showing his resignation from the presidency, then the resignation must prevail as a later act. If, however, it was prepared after the press release, still, it commands scant legal significance. Petitioner s resignation from the presidency cannot be the subject of a changing caprice nor of a whimsical will especially if the resignation is the result of his repudiation by the people. Resignation of a public officer with pending investigation or prosecution against him. - After petitioner contended that as a matter of fact he did not resign, he also argues that he could not resign as a matter of law. He relies on section 12 of RA No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which allegedly prohibits his resignation, viz: Sec. 12. No public officer shall be allowed to resign or retire pending an investigation, criminal or administrative, or pending a prosecution against him, for any offense under this Act or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery. - The intent of the law ought to be obvious. It is to prevent the act of resignation or retirement from being used by a public official as a protective shield to stop the investigation of a pending criminal or administrative case against him and to prevent his prosecution under the Anti-Graft Law or prosecution for bribery under the Revised Penal Code. To be sure, no person can be compelled to render service for that would be a violation of his constitutional right. A public official has the right not to serve if he really wants to retire or resign. Nevertheless, if at the time he resigns or retires, a public official is facing administrative or criminal investigation or prosecution, such resignation or retirement will not cause the dismissal of the criminal or administrative proceedings against him. He cannot use his resignation or retirement to avoid prosecution. - There is another reason why petitioner s contention should be rejected. In the cases at bar, the records show that when petitioner resigned on January 20, 2001, the cases filed against him before the Ombudsman were OMB Case Nos. 0-00-1629, 0-00-1755, 0-001756, 0-00-1757 and 0-00-1758. While these cases have been filed, the respondent Ombudsman refrained from conducting the preliminary investigation of the petitioner for the reason that as the sitting President then, petitioner was immune from suit. Technically, the said cases cannot be considered as pending for the Ombudsman lacked jurisdiction to act on them. Section 12 of RA No. 3019 cannot therefore be invoked by the petitioner for it contemplates of cases whose investigation or prosecution do not suffer from any insuperable legal obstacle like the immunity from suit of a sitting President. - Petitioner contends that the impeachment proceeding is an administrative investigation that, under section 12 of RA 3019, bars him from resigning. We hold otherwise. The exact nature of an impeachment proceeding is debatable. But even assuming arguendo that it is an administrative proceeding, it can not be considered pending at the time petitioner resigned because the process already broke down when a majority of the senator-judges voted against the opening of the second envelope, the public and private prosecutors walked out, the public prosecutors filed their Manifestation of Withdrawal of Appearance, and the proceedings were postponed indefinitely. There was, in effect, no impeachment case pending against petitioner when he resigned. Temporarily unavailable? - What leaps to the eye from these irrefutable facts is that both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary. Congress has clearly rejected petitioner s claim of inability. In fine, even if the petitioner can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court. WON Erap enjoys immunity from suit. Assuming he enjoys immunity, the extent of the immunity - The principle of nonliability, as herein enunciated, does not mean that the judiciary has no authority to touch the acts of the Governor-General; that he may, under cover of his office, do what he will, unimpeded and unrestrained. Such a construction would mean that tyranny, under the guise of the execution of the law, could walk defiantly abroad, destroying rights of person and of property, wholly free from interference of courts or legislatures. This does not mean, either, that a person injured by the executive authority by an act unjustifiable under the law has no remedy, but must submit in silence. On the contrary, it means, simply, that the Governor-General, like the judges of the courts and the members of the Legislature, may not be personally mulcted in civil damages for the consequences of an act executed in the performance of his official duties. The judiciary has full power to, and will, when the matter is properly presented to it and the occasion justly warrants it, declare an act of the Governor-General illegal and void and place as nearly as possible in status quo any person who has been deprived his liberty or his property by such act. This remedy is assured to every person, however humble or of whatever country, when his personal or property rights have been invaded, even by the highest authority of the state. The thing which the judiciary can not do is mulct the Governor-General personally in damages which result from the performance of his official duty, any more that it can a member of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Assembly. Public policy forbids it. - Neither does this principle of nonliability mean that the chief executive may not be personally sued at all in relation to acts which he claims to perform as such official. On the contrary, it clearly appears from the discussion heretofore had, particularly that portion which touched the liability of judges and drew an analogy between such liability and that of the Governor-General, that the latter is liable when he acts in a case so plainly outside of his power and authority that he can not be said to have exercise discretion in determining whether or not he had the right to act. What is held here is that he will be protected from personal liability for damages not only when he acts within his authority, but also when he is without authority, provided he actually used discretion and judgment, that is, the judicial faculty, in determining whether he had authority to act or not. In other words, he is entitled to protection in

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determining the question of his authority. If he decide wrongly, he is still protected provided the question of his authority was one over which two men, reasonably qualified for that position, might honestly differ; but he is not protected if the lack of authority to act is so plain that two such men could not honestly differ over its determination. In such case, he acts, not as Governor-General but as a private individual, and, as such, must answer for the consequences of his act.

E. Acceptance of incompatible office F. Abandonment of office
y y

ABANDONMENT means the voluntary relinquishment of an office by the holder of all right, title, or claim thereto with the intention of not reclaiming it, or terminating his possession and control thereof. In ascertaining abandonment, intention is the first and paramount object of inquiry for there can be no abandonment without the intent to abandon. there abandonment of office? Clear intention to abandon office Acceptance of another office Concurrence of overt acts and intention Failure to discharge duties of office or to claim or resume it Acquiescence by the officer

When is 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Canonizado v Aguirre (351 SCRA 359| 2001, Gonzaga-Reyes, J.)
Facts: President Estrada s appointment of Alexis C. Canonizado to the position of Inspector General of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on 30 June 1998, and of Canonizado s acceptance and of his having qualified for such position by taking his oath on 2 July 1998 before then Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Ronaldo Puno and again, on 7 July 1998, this time before the President, since these partake of official acts of the Executive Department, which are matters of mandatory judicial notice, pursuant to section 1 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court. By accepting such position, respondents contend that Canonizado is deemed to have abandoned his claim for reinstatement to the NAPOLCOM since the offices of NAPOLCOM Commissioner and Inspector General of the IAS are incompatible. Issue: WON Canonizado s appointment to and acceptation of the position of Inspector General should result in an abandonment of his claim for reinstatement to the NAPOLCOM? NO Ratio: - Abandonment of an office is the voluntary relinquishment of an office by the holder, with the intention of terminating his possession and control thereof. In order to constitute abandonment of office, it must be total and under such circumstances as clearly to indicate an absolute relinquishment. There must be a complete abandonment of duties of such continuance that the law will infer a relinquishment. Abandonment of duties is a voluntary act; it springs from and is accompanied by deliberation and freedom of choice. There are, therefore, two essential elements of abandonment: first, an intention to abandon and second, an overt or external act by which the intention is carried into effect. - Generally speaking, a person holding a public office may abandon such office by nonuser or acquiescence. Non-user refers to a neglect to use a right or privilege or to exercise an office. However, nonperformance of the duties of an office does not constitute abandonment where such nonperformance results from temporary disability or from involuntary failure to perform. Abandonment may also result from an acquiescence by the officer in his wrongful removal or discharge, for instance, after a summary removal, an unreasonable delay by an officer illegally removed in taking steps to vindicate his rights may constitute an abandonment of the office. Where, while desiring and intending to hold the office, and with no willful desire or intention to abandon it, the public officer vacates it in deference to the requirements of a statute which is afterwards declared unconstitutional, such a surrender will not be deemed an abandonment and the officer may recover the office. - He who, while occupying one office, accepts another incompatible with the first, ipso facto vacates the first office and his title is thereby terminated without any other act or proceeding. Public policy considerations dictate against allowing the same individual to perform inconsistent and incompatible duties. The incompatibility contemplated is not the mere physical impossibility of one person s performing the duties of the two offices due to a lack of time or the inability to be in two places at the same moment, but that which proceeds from the nature and relations of the two positions to each other as to give rise to contrariety and antagonism should one person attempt to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of one toward the incumbent of the other. - There is no question that the positions of NAPOLCOM Commissioner and Inspector General of the IAS are incompatible with each other. As pointed out by respondents, RA 8551 prohibits any personnel of the IAS from sitting in a committee charged with the task of deliberating on the appointment, promotion, or assignment of any PNP personnel, whereas the NAPOLCOM has the power of control and supervision over the PNP. However, the rule on incompatibility of duties will not apply to the case at bar because at no point did Canonizado discharge the functions of the two offices simultaneously. Canonizado was forced out of his first office by the enactment of Sec. 8 RA 8551. Thus, when Canonizado was appointed as Inspector General, he had ceased to discharge his official functions as

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NAPOLCOM Commissioner. As a matter of fact, it was on this same date that Magahum and Factoran were appointed as NAPOLCOM Commissioners by then President Estrada, to join Cairme and Adiong - who were earlier appointed and given a term extension, respectively, by then President Ramos thereby completing the appointments of the four regular members of the NAPOLCOM, pursuant to section 4 of the amendatory law. Thus, to reiterate, the incompatibility of duties rule never had a chance to come into play for petitioner never occupied the two positions, of Commissioner and Inspector General, nor discharged their respective functions, concurrently.

G. Prescription of right to office H. Removal
Aquino v CSC (SUPRA | 1992, Medialdea, J.)
Facts: Public office involved: Two employees vying for Officer-in-Charge of the Division Supply Office - Aquino (then Clerk II, Division of City Schools of San Pablo City) was designated as Officer-in-Charge of the Division Supply Office by the DECS Regional Director Magturo in view of the retirement of the Supply Officer. Prior to that designation, he was also designated as Property Inspector and In-Charge of the Supply Office i.e. Supply Officer I. - After 2 years, Division Sup promoted Dela Paz as Supply Officer I. Aquino contested this appointment and his protest was sustained by DECS Sec and MPSB. In effect, Dela Paz appointment was revoked in favor of Aquino. - Upon Dela Paz appeal, CSC ruled in her favor. - In the SC, SolGen argues that: wide latitude of discretion given to the appointing authority in the selection and appointment of qualified persons to vacant positions in the civil service which was emphasized by the Court as rationale for the rule laid down in Luego v. Civil Service Commission and CSC has no authority to revoke appointments because someone else is better qualified. Issue: WON CSC has the authority to revoke Aquino s appointment in favor of dela Paz? Held: Yes, the case does not have similar factual circumstances as the Luego case (CSC s encroachment on appointing authority s choice) Ratio: - Luego doctrine does not apply where the CSC revoked the appointment of the successful protestant, Aquino, principally because the right to security of tenure of the prior appointee, Dela Paz, to the contested position had already attached. It must be noted that CSC did not direct the appointment of a substitute of its choice. It merely restored the appointment of Dela Paz who was first appointed to the contested position. - When the appointing power has once acted and the appointee has accepted the office and done what is required of him upon its acceptance, his title to the office becomes complete, and he can then be removed only in the regular way. The appointing power cannot effect his removal indirectly by rescinding or revoking his appointment after it is complete. - Appointment cannot be revoked by the appointing authority on the ground merely that the protestant is more qualified than the first appointee, subject however to the condition that the first appointee should possess the minimum qualifications required by law. Otherwise, the security of tenure guaranteed by Article IX-B, Section 2 par. (3) of the 1987 Constitution would be rendered meaningless if the appointing authority is allowed to flip-flop in exercising its discretionary power of appointment - Even on the assumption that the revocation of Dela Paz's appointment was validly exercised by DECS Secretary Quisumbing, still the appointment extended to Aquino was tainted with irregularity as it was issued before the finality of the decision on the protest in violation of CSC Resolution No. 83-343 which prohibits the issuance of an appointment to protestant (Aquino) if the protest case is not yet finally resolved, since there is no vacancy in the position pending resolution of the protest case. There can be no appointment to a non-vacant position. The incumbent must first be legally removed OR his appointment validly terminated (Costin v. Quimbo). An appointment to an office which is not vacant is null and void ab initio (Morata v. Court of Appeals). - CSC Resolution No. 83-343: An appointment though contested shall take effect immediately upon issuance if the appointee assumes the duties of the position and (the) appointee is entitled to receive the salary attached to the position. Likewise such appointment shall become ineffective in case the protest is finally resolved in favor of the protestant, in which case the protestee shall be reverted to his former position. - While it is true that the appointing authority has a wide latitude of discretion in making his choice in the selection and appointment of qualified persons to vacant positions in the civil service, we cannot, however, give a stamp of approval to such a procedural irregularity in extending appointments, as in the instant case, to the prejudice of the right to security of tenure of the incumbent to the position. - Once an appointment is issued and the moment the appointee assumes a position in the civil service under a completed appointment, he acquires a legal, not merely equitable right (to the position), which is protected not only by statute, but also by the Constitution, and cannot be taken away from him either by revocation of the appointment, or by removal, except for cause, and with previous notice and hearing.

DECS Sec. Fabella v CA (282 SCRA 256 | 1997, Panganiban, J.)
Facts: Public high school teachers who were removed from service without due process vis a vis Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.

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- Teachers were placed on preventive suspension. Administrative hearings were conducted. Petitioners counsel objected to the procedure adopted by the committee and demanded that he be furnished a copy of the guidelines adopted by the committee for the investigation and imposition of penalties. As he received no response from the committee, counsel walked out. Later, however, counsel, was able to obtain a copy of the guidelines. - Both RTC and CA ruled in favor of the teachers. Teachers were denied due process in the administrative proceedings against them. Issue: WON teachers were denied due process of law? Held: Yes Ratio: - The issue is not whether the private respondents engaged in any prohibited activity which may warrant the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against them as a result of administrative proceedings. As already observed, the resolution of this case revolves around the question of due process of law, not on the right of government workers to strike. The issue is not whether private respondents may be punished for engaging in a prohibited action but whether, in the course of the investigation of the alleged proscribed activity, their right to due process has been violated. In short, before they can be investigated and meted out any penalty, due process must first be observed. - In administrative proceedings, due process has been recognized to include the following: (1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of proceedings which may affect a respondent s legal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in one s favor, and to defend one s rights; (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as impartiality; and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing or contained in the records or made known to the parties affected. - The legislature enacted a special law, RA 4670 known as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which specifically covers administrative proceedings involving public school teachers. Section 9 of said law expressly provides that the committee to hear public schoolteachers administrative cases should be composed of the school superintendent of the division as chairman, a representative of the local or any existing provincial or national teachers organization and a supervisor of the division. Sec. 9. Administrative Charges. Administrative charges against a teacher shall be heard initially by a committee composed of the corresponding School Superintendent of the Division or a duly authorized representative who would at least have the rank of a division supervisor, where the teacher belongs, as chairman, a representative of the local or, in its absence, any existing provincial or national teacher s organization and a supervisor of the Division, the last two to be designated by the Director of Public Schools. The committee shall submit its findings, and recommendations to the Director of Public Schools within thirty days from the termination of the hearings: Provided, however, That where the school superintendent is the complainant or an interested party, all the members of the committee shall be appointed by the Secretary of Education. - The foregoing provisions implement the Declaration of Policy of the statute; that is, to promote the terms of employment and career prospects of schoolteachers. - In the present case, the various committees formed by DECS to hear the administrative charges against private respondents did not include a representative of the local or, in its absence, any existing provincial or national teacher s organization as required by Section 9 of RA 4670. Accordingly, these committees were deemed to have no competent jurisdiction. Thus, all proceedings undertaken by them were necessarily void. They could not provide any basis for the suspension or dismissal of private respondents. The inclusion of a representative of a teachers organization in these committees was indispensable to ensure an impartial tribunal. It was this requirement that would have given substance and meaning to the right to be heard. Indeed, in any proceeding, the essence of procedural due process is embodied in the basic requirement of notice and a real opportunity to be heard. Petitioners say: DECS complied with Section 9 of RA 4670, because all the teachers who were members of the various committees are members of either the Quezon City Secondary Teachers Federation or the Quezon City Elementary Teachers Federation and are deemed to be the representatives of a teachers organization as required by Section 9 of RA 4670. - SC says: Mere membership of said teachers in their respective teachers organizations does not ipso facto make them authorized representatives of such organizations as contemplated by Section 9 of RA 4670. Under this section, the teachers organization possesses the right to indicate its choice of representative to be included by the DECS in the investigating committee. Such right to designate cannot be usurped by the secretary of education or the director of public schools or their underlings. In the instant case, there is no dispute that none of the teachers appointed by the DECS as members of its investigating committee was ever designated or authorized by a teachers organization as its representative in said committee. - The aforementioned Section 9 of RA 4670, therefore, reflects the legislative intent to impose a standard and a separate set of procedural requirements in connection with administrative proceedings involving public school teachers. Clearly, private respondents right to due process of law requires compliance with these requirements laid down by RA 4670.

Aguinaldo v Santos (212 SCRA 768 | 1992, Nocon, J.)
Facts: DILG Sec s removal of Cagayan Governor who played an active role during Dec. 1989 coup on grounds of disloyalty.

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- Aguinaldo is Cagayan governor. A sworn complaint for disloyalty to the Republic and culpable violation of the Constitution was filed by Veronico Agatep, Manuel Mamba and Orlino Agatep, respectively the mayors of the municipalities of Gattaran, Tuao and Lasam, all in Cagayan, against him for acts the latter committed during the coup. - In response to DILG s show cause order: In his letter, he denied being privy to the planning of the coup or actively participating in its execution, though he admitted that he was sympathetic to the cause of the rebel soldiers. - DILG Secretary considered Aguinaldo s reply letter as his answer to the complaint of Mayor Veronico Agatep and others. On the basis thereof, respondent Secretary suspended petitioner from office for 60 days from notice, pending the outcome of the formal investigation into the charges against him. - Petitioner s arguments: (1) that the power of respondent Secretary to suspend or remove local government official under Section 60, Chapter IV of B.P. Blg. 337 was repealed by the 1987 Constitution; (2) that since respondent Secretary no longer has power to suspend or remove petitioner, the former could not appoint respondent Melvin Vargas as Governor of Cagayan; and (3) the alleged act of disloyalty committed by petitioner should be proved by proof beyond reasonable doubt, and not be a mere preponderance of evidence, because it is an act punishable as rebellion under the Revised Penal Code. - Petitioner was reelected by majority landslide vote. Ratio: - The rule is that a public official can not be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor. The foregoing rule, however, finds no application to criminal cases pending against petitioner for acts he may have committed during the failed coup. Petitioner says: The power of Secretary to suspend or remove local government officials as alter ego of the President, and as embodied in B.P. Blg. 337 has been repealed by the 1987 Constitution and which is now vested in the courts. - The power of respondent Secretary to remove local government officials is anchored on both the Constitution and a statutory grant from the legislative branch. The constitutional basis is provided by Articles VII (17) and X (4) of the 1987 Constitution which vest in the President the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices and the power of general supervision over local governments, and by the doctrine that the acts of the department head are presumptively the acts of the President unless expressly rejected by him. - Equally without merit is petitioner's claim that before he could be suspended or removed from office, proof beyond reasonable doubt is required inasmuch as he is charged with a penal offense of disloyalty to the Republic which is defined and penalized under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner is not being prosecuted criminally under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, but administratively with the end in view of removing petitioner as the duly elected Governor of Cagayan Province for acts of disloyalty to the Republic where the quantum of proof required is only substantial evidence. - Citing Bagabuyo et al. vs. Davide: That B.P. Blg. 337 remained in force despite the effectivity of the present Constitution, until such time as the proposed Local Government Code of 1991 is approved

Salalima v Guingona (257 SCRA 55 | 1996, Davide, Jr., J.)
Facts: - Tiwi Mayor Coral filed administrative complaint against Albay Gov. Salalima and other provincial officials for malversation and consistent & habitual violation of pars. (c) and (d) of Section 60 of RA 7160. In response, the President issued AO 94 creating an Ad Hoc Investigating Committee (AHIC). The AHIC turn in its report to the President which in turn was approved by the President in AD 153. - Unpaid real estate taxes of NPC in Albay (sp geothermal plants and substation facilities). Province acquired the said properties in an auction sale. NPC through then President Pablo Malixi and the Province represented by Salalima, entered into a MOA whereby the former agreed to settle its tax liabilities, then estimated at P214,845,104.76. Issue: WON the conduct of the proceedings in the administrative cases filed and the series of suspension orders imposed by the respondent-members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Mayor Corral constitute oppression and abuse of authority? Held: Yes Ratio: - A review of the proceedings reveal that the same were marked by haste and arbitrariness. This was evident from the start when Mayor Corral was preventively suspended (in Adm. Case No. 05-92) even before she could file her answer. In the other cases, respondentmembers of Sangguniang Panlalawigan ruled that Mayor Corral had waived her right to adduce evidence in her defense. - Consequently, respondents did not also fully evaluate the evidences presented to support the charges made. As such, all the decisions of respondents suspending Mayor Corral were ordered lifted suspended by the DILG and OP. Thus, even the cases filed with the Office of the Ombudsman, which were based on the same incidents complained of in the said administrative cases, were subsequently dismissed. - This provision sets the limits to the penalty of suspension, viz., it should not exceed six months or the unexpired portion of the term of office of the respondent for every administrative offense. An administrative offense means every act or conduct or omission which

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amounts to, or constitutes, any of the grounds for disciplinary action. The offenses for which suspension may be imposed are enumerated in Section 60 of the Code. - An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated above by order of the proper court. Re: Legality of disciplining an elective municipal official for a wrongful act committed by him during his immediately preceding term of office. - The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people have elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregard or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct to practically overrule the will of the people. - The rule adopted in Pascual, qualified in Aguinaldo insofar as criminal cases are concerned, is still a good law. Such a rule is not only founded on the theory that an official s reelection expresses the sovereign will of the electorate to forgive or condone any act or omission constituting a ground for administrative discipline which was committed during his previous term. We may add that sound public policy dictates it. To rule otherwise would open the floodgates to exacerbating endless partisan contests between the reelected official and his political enemies, who may not stop to hound the former during his new term with administrative cases for acts, alleged to have been committed during his previous term. His second term may thus be devoted to defending himself in the said cases to the detriment of public service. This doctrine of forgiveness or condonation cannot, however, apply to criminal acts which the reelected official may have committed during his previous term.

Gloria v CA (306 SCRA 287 | 1999, Mendoza, J.)
Facts: Public school teachers preventively suspended. - Private respondents are public school teachers. On various dates in September and October 1990, during the teachers strikes, they did not report for work. For this reason, they were administratively charged. - Both MPSB and CSC found them guilty of violation of officer rules and meted out suspension/reprimand. - Private respondents moved for a reconsideration, contending that they should be exonerated of all charges against them and that they be paid salaries during their suspension. In its resolution, dated July 15, 1997, the Court of Appeals, while maintaining its finding that private respondents were guilty of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations for which they should be reprimanded, ruled that private respondents were entitled to the payment of salaries during their suspension beyond ninety (90) days. - DECS Secretary Gloria s arguments: Administrative investigation of respondents was concluded within the 90-day period of preventive suspension, implying that the continued suspension of private respondents is due to their appeal, hence, the government should not be held answerable for payment of their salaries. Moreover, petitioner lays so much store by the fact that, under the law, private respondents are considered under preventive suspension during the period of their appeal and, for this reason, are not entitled to the payment of their salaries during their suspension. Issue: WON teachers who were either dismissed or suspended because they did not report for work but who were eventually ordered reinstated because they had not been shown to have taken part in the strike, although reprimanded for being absent without leave have the right to back salaries Held: Yes Ratio: - There are thus two kinds of preventive suspension of civil service employees who are charged with offenses punishable by removal or suspension: (1) preventive suspension pending investigation (§51) and (2) preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or dismissal and, after review, the respondent is exonerated (§47(4)). - Preventive suspension pending investigation is not a penalty. It is a measure intended to enable the disciplining authority to investigate charges against respondent by preventing the latter from intimidating or in any way influencing witnesses against him. If the investigation is not finished and a decision is not rendered within that period, the suspension will be lifted and the respondent will automatically be reinstated. If after investigation respondent is found innocent of the charges and is exonerated, he should be reinstated. - Is he entitled to the payment of salaries during the period of suspension? As already stated, the CA ordered the DECS to pay private respondents their salaries, allowances, and other benefits beyond the ninety (90) day preventive suspension. In other words, no compensation was due for the period of the preventive suspension pending investigation but only for the period of preventive suspension pending appeal in the event the employee is exonerated. - Preventive suspension of civil service employees charged with dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect of duty is authorized by the Civil Service Law. It cannot be considered unjustified even if later the charges are dismissed so as to justify the payment of salaries to the employee concerned. It is limited to 90 days unless the delay in the conclusion of the investigation is due to the employee concerned. After that period, even if the investigation is not finished, the employee shall be automatically reinstated. However, although employees who are preventively suspended pending investigation are not entitled to the payment of their salaries even if they are exonerated, the Court did not agree with the petitioner that they are not entitled to compensation for the period of their suspension pending appeal if eventually they are found innocent. Because respondent is penalized before his sentence is confirmed that he should be paid his salaries in the event he is exonerated. It would be unjust to deprive him of his pay as a result of the immediate execution of the decision against him and continue to do so even after it is shown that he is innocent of the charges for

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which he was suspended. To sustain the government s theory would be to make the administrative decision not only executory but final and executory. Consequently, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals with modification as to the computation of the salaries awarded to private respondents.

Secretary of Education v CA (342 SCRA 40 | 2000, Purisima, J.)
Facts: Public school teachers involved in mass actions again. - Petitioners are public school teachers from various schools in the National Capital Region who incurred unauthorized absences in connection with or in furtherance of their then on-going "mass action" held sometime in September 1990. Confronted with the strike which threatened to disrupt classes in public schools, former Secretary Isidro Cariño of the DECS issued a Memorandum ordering them (subject public school teachers) to return to work under pain of dismissal. But the said Memorandum was ignored by petitioners, prompting the DECS Secretary to lodge administrative complaints against them for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, violation of the Civil Service law and rules and reasonable office regulations, refusal to perform official duty, gross insubordination, conduct prejudicial to the public interest, and absence without leave. - Thereafter, investigation committees were created to investigate and hear the cases of petitioners, and the school principals concerned were called to shed light on the inquiry. - DECS Secretary Isidro Cariño rendered separate judgments finding petitioners guilty, as charged, and dismissing them from the service "effective immediately". Such decisions were affirmed by the Merit and System Protection Board. Ratio: - Citing Alipat vs. Court of Appeals: The mass actions of September/October 1990 participated in by the public school teachers of Metro Manila constituted a strike in every sense of the term. Re: Whether back wages may be awarded to subject public school teachers who were ordered reinstated in the service after the orders of dismissal issued by the DECS Secretary were commuted by the Civil Service Commission to suspension of 6 months without pay. - When the teachers have given cause for their suspension - i.e., the unjustified abandonment of classes to the prejudice of their students-they were not fully innocent of the charges against them although they were eventually found guilty only of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and not grave misconduct or other offenses warranting their dismissal from service; being found liable for a lesser offense in not equivalent to exoneration. - It is beyond cavil that the public school teachers before the Court participated in the September 1990 mass actions and refused to obey the return to work order of the DECS Secretary. It is equally undisputed that they were not completely exculpated of the charges against them, as they were adjudged guilty of committing acts prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Consequently, with the ground for their suspension duly stated, the denial of their prayer for exoneration and payment of back wages is in order.

Hagad v Gozo-Dadole (251 SCRA 242 | 1995, Vitug, J.)
Facts: - City councilor of Mandaue City filed criminal and admin complaints against Mayor and Sangguniang Member who allegedly altered and/or falsified Ordinance by increasing the allocation from P3.5M to P7M without authority from Sangguniang Panglungsod . - Respondents moved for dismissal on the ground of lack of jurisdiction as Sec. 63 of the LGC of 1991 provides that the power to investigate and impose administrative sanctions against said local officials, as well as to effect their preventive suspension, had now been vested with the Office of the President. - Opposition s reply: LGC of 1991 could not have repealed, abrogated or otherwise modified the pertinent provisions of the Constitution granting to the Ombudsman the power to investigate cases against all public officials and that, in any case, the power of the Ombudsman to investigate local officials under the Ombudsman Act had remained unaffected by the provisions of the LGC of 1991 - Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas denied the respondents motion and placed them under preventive suspension until the administrative case is finally resolved by the ombudsman. - RTC Mandaue issued restraining order on the preventive suspension order. Judge ratiocinated that since Ombudsman Law provides for general and broad investigatory powers of the Ombudsman while LGC is founded on more well-defined grounds, the latter law shall prevail as an exception to the former. Issue: WON Ombudsman under RA 6770 (Ombudsman Law) has been divested of his authority to conduct administrative investigations over local elective officials by virtue of the subsequent enactment of RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991)? NO Ratio: - Constitutional mandate of Ombudsman: Section 13 (1,) Article XI, of the 1987 Constitution - The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties: (1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient; - Statutory mandate of Ombudsman: Section 19 of RA 6770. Administrative complaints. The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating, but not limited, to acts or omissions which: 1. Are contrary to law or regulation; 2. Are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or discriminatory; 3. Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency's functions, though in accordance with law; 4. Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts; 5. Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose; or 6. Are otherwise irregular, immoral or devoid of justification.

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- Officials who could be subject to the disciplinary authority: Section 21 of RA 6770: Officials Subject to Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, governmentowned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. - Section 24 of RA 6770: Preventive Suspension. The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if in his judgment, the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months, without pay, except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. - Respondent officials: Disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman over local officials must be deemed to have been removed by the subsequent enactment of the LGC of 1991 which vests the authority to investigate administrative charges, listed under Section 60 thereof, on various offices. In the case specifically of complaints against elective officials of provinces and highly urbanized cities, the Code: Sec. 61. Form and Filing of Administrative Complaints. A verified complaint against any erring local elective officials shall be prepared as follows: (a) A complaint against any elective official of a province, a highly urbanized city, an independent component city or component city shall be filed before the Office of the President. Section 63 of the Local Government Code, preventive suspension can only be imposed by: ". . . the President if the respondent is an elective official of a province, a highly urbanized or an independent component city; . . . " under sub-paragraph (b) Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issues are joined, when the evidence of guilt is strong, and given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence; Provided, That, any single preventive suspension of local elective officials shall not extend beyond sixty (60) days: Provided, further, That in the event that several administrative cases are filed against an elective official, he cannot be preventively suspended for more than ninety (90) days within a single year on the same ground or grounds existing and known at the time of the first suspension. - SolGen: LGC conferred, but not on an exclusive basis, on the Office of the President (and the various Sanggunians) disciplinary authority over local elective officials. The Code did not withdraw the power of the Ombudsman theretofore vested under R.A. 6770 conformably with a constitutional mandate. In passing, SolGen has also opined that the appropriate remedy that should have been pursued by respondent officials is a petition for certiorari before this Court rather than their petition for prohibition filed with the RTC. - There is nothing in the LGC to indicate that it has repealed, whether expressly or impliedly, the pertinent provisions of the Ombudsman Act. The two statutes on the specific matter in question are not so inconsistent, let alone irreconcilable, as to compel us to only uphold one and strike down the other. Well settled is the rule that repeals of laws by implication are not favored, and that courts must generally assume their congruent application. The two laws must be absolutely incompatible, and a clear finding thereof must surface, before the inference of implied repeal may be drawn. The rule is expressed in the maxim, interpretare et concordare legibus est optimus interpretendi, i.e., every statute must be so interpreted and brought into accord with other laws as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. The fundament is that the legislature should be presumed to have known the existing laws on the subject and not to have enacted conflicting statutes. Hence, all doubts must be resolved against any implied repeal, and all efforts should be exerted in order to harmonize and give effect to all laws on the subject. - Congress would not have intended to do injustice to the very reason that underlies the creation of the Ombudsman in the 1987 Constitution which "is to insulate said office from the long tentacles of officialdom." - In order to justify the preventive suspension of a public official under Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770, the evidence of guilt should be strong, and (a) the charge against the officer or employee should involve dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges should warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office would prejudice the case filed against him. The Ombudsman can impose the 6-month preventive suspension to all public officials, whether elective or appointive, who are under investigation. Upon the other hand, in imposing the shorter period of sixty (60) days of preventive suspension prescribed in the Local Government Code of 1991 on an elective local official (at any time after the issues are joined), it would be enough that (a) there is reasonable ground to believe that the respondent has committed the act or acts complained of, (b) the evidence of culpability is strong, (c) the gravity of the offense so warrants, or (d) the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence. - not being in the nature of a penalty, a preventive suspension can be decreed on an official under investigation after charges are brought and even before the charges are heard. Naturally, such a preventive suspension would occur prior to any finding of guilt or innocence. - Citing Nera v Garcia: In connection with the suspension of petitioner before he could file his answer to the administrative complaint, suffice it to say that the suspension was not a punishment or penalty for the acts of dishonesty and misconduct in office, but only as a preventive measure. Suspension is a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. If after such investigation, the charges are established and the person investigated is found guilty of acts warranting his removal, then he is removed or dismissed. This is the penalty. There is, therefore, nothing improper in suspending an officer pending his investigation and before the charges against him are heard and be given an opportunity to prove his innocence.

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- As to remedy available: Sec. 14. Restrictions. No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman. No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law. - Direct recourse to this Court on matters involving orders arising from administrative disciplinary cases originating from the Office of the Ombudsman: Section 27 Effectivity and Finality of Decisions. . . . In all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives, or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for certiorari within ten (10) days from receipt of the written notice of the order, directive or decision or denial of the motion for reconsideration in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

The Sangguniang Bayan of Bgy. Don Mariano v Martinez (2008, Chico-Nazario, J.)
Facts: - Punong Barangay vs. his Sangguniang Barangay (legislative body). Martinez was administratively charged with Dishonesty and Graft and Corruption by petitioner through the filing of a verified complaint before the Sangguniang Bayan as the disciplining authority over elective barangay officials pursuant to Section 61 of RA 7160. Complaint was later amended to include Misconduct in Office and Violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act - Acts subject of complaint: [1] Failure to submit and fully remit to the Barangay Treasurer the income of their solid waste management project since 2001 particularly the sale of fertilizer derived from composting. [2] Failure to submit/remit to the barangay treasurer the sale of recyclable materials taken from garbage collection. [3] Using the garbage truck for other purposes like hauling sand and gravel for private persons without monetary benefit to the barangay because no income from this source appears in the year end report even if payments were collected x x x. [4] Using/spending barangay funds for repair, gasoline, lubricants, wheels and other spare parts of the garbage truck instead of using the money or income of said truck from the garbage fees collected as income from its Solid Waste Management Project. x x x. [5] Unliquidated traveling expenses for Seminar/Lakbay-Aral in 2003 because although a cash advance was made by the respondent for the said purpose, he, however, did not attend said seminar because on the dates when he was supposed to be on seminar they saw him in the barangay. x x x. [6] That several attempts to discuss said problem during sessions were all in vain because respondent declined to discuss it and would adjourn the session.x x x. - Sangguniang Bayan placed Martinez under preventive suspension and then rendered its Decision which imposed upon Martinez the penalty of removal from office. - Mayor of Bayombong Nueva Ecija said that SB is not empowered to order Martinez s removal from service. However, the Decision remains valid until reversed and must be executed by him. For the meantime, he ordered the indefinite suspension of Martinez since the period of appeal had not yet lapsed. - TC issued an Order declaring the Decision of the Sangguniang Bayan and the Memorandum of Mayor Bagasao void. It maintained that the proper courts, and not the petitioner, are empowered to remove an elective local official from office, in accordance with Section 60 of the Local Government Code. Thus, the Order of the Sangguniang Bayan removing Martinez from service is void. As a consequence, Mayor Bagasao cannot prevent Martinez from assuming his office on the basis of a void order. The trial court further ruled that Martinez properly availed himself of the remedy of Special Civil Action, where the order assailed was a patent nullity. Issue: WON Sangguniang Bayan may remove an elective local official from office Held: NO Ratio: - Martinez s term as Punong Baranggay expired upon the holding of the 29 October 2007 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, thus, rendering this petition moot and academic, the Court will nevertheless settle a legal question that is capable of repetition yet evading review. - Section 60 of the LGC conferred upon the courts the power to remove elective local officials from office Grounds for Disciplinary Actions. An elective local official may be disciplined, suspended, or removed from office on any of the following grounds: xxx An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated above by order of the proper court. - During the deliberations of the Senate on the LGC, the legislative intent to confine to the courts, i.e., regional trial courts, the Sandiganbayan and the appellate courts, jurisdiction over cases involving the removal of elective local officials was evident.
³Senator Saguisag. For as long as that is open for some later disposition, may I just add the following thought: It seems to me that instead of identifying only the proper regional trial court or the Sandiganbayan, and since we know that in the case of a regional trial court, particularly, a case may be appealed or may be the subject of an injunction, in the framing of this later on, I would like to suggest that we consider replacing the phrase PROPER REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OR THE SANDIGANBAYAN simply by ³COURTS´ Kasi po, maaaring sabihin nila na mali iyong regional trial court o ang Sandiganbayan.

- Citing Salalima v. Guingona, Jr.: the Court en banc categorically ruled that the Office of the President is without any power to remove elected officials, since the power is exclusively vested in the proper courts as expressly provided for in the last paragraph of Section 60 of the LGC. It further invalidated Article 125, Rule XIX of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991, which provided that: An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated in paragraph (a) of this Article by order of the proper court or the disciplining authority whichever first acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of the other.

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The Oversight Committee that prepared the Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code exceeded its authority when it granted to the disciplining authority the power to remove elective officials, a power which the law itself granted only to the proper courts. Thus, it is clear that under the law, the Sangguniang Bayan is not vested with the power to remove Martinez. Petitioner says: Administrative cases involving elective barangay officials may be filed with, heard and decided by the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan concerned, which can, thereafter, impose a penalty of removal from office. Courts are merely tasked with issuing the order of removal, after the SP/SB finds that a penalty of removal is warranted. - The aforementioned position would run counter to the rationale for making the removal of elective officials an exclusive judicial prerogative. - Citing Pablico v. Villapando: It is beyond cavil, therefore, that the power to remove erring elective local officials from service is lodged exclusively with the courts. Hence, Article 125 (b), Rule XIX, of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code, insofar as it vests power on the disciplining authority to remove from office erring elective local officials, is void for being repugnant to the last paragraph of Section 60 of the Local Government Code of 1991. The law on suspension or removal of elective public officials must be strictly construed and applied, and the authority in whom such power of suspension or removal is vested must exercise it with utmost good faith, for what is involved is not just an ordinary public official but one chosen by the people through the exercise of their constitutional right of suffrage. Their will must not be put to naught by the caprice or partisanship of the disciplining authority. Where the disciplining authority is given only the power to suspend and not the power to remove, it should not be permitted to manipulate the law by usurping the power to remove. - The rule which confers to the proper courts the power to remove an elective local official from office is intended as a check against any capriciousness or partisan activity by the disciplining authority. Vesting the local legislative body with the power to decide whether or not a local chief executive may be removed from office, and only relegating to the courts a mandatory duty to implement the decision, would still not free the resolution of the case from the capriciousness or partisanship of the disciplining authority. Thus, the petitioner s interpretation would defeat the clear intent of the law. - Such an arrangement clearly demotes the courts to nothing more than an implementing arm of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, or Sangguniang Bayan. This would be an unmistakable breach of the doctrine on separation of powers, thus placing the courts under the orders of the legislative bodies of local governments. The courts would be stripped of their power of review, and their discretion in imposing the extreme penalty of removal from office is thus left to be exercised by political factions which stand to benefit from the removal from office of the local elective official concerned, the very evil which Congress sought to avoid when it enacted Sec 60 LGC. - Congress clearly meant that the removal of an elective local official be done only after a trial before the appropriate court, where court rules of procedure and evidence can ensure impartiality and fairness and protect against political maneuverings. Elevating the removal of an elective local official from office from an administrative case to a court case may be justified by the fact that such removal not only punishes the official concerned but also, in effect, deprives the electorate of the services of the official for whom they voted. - As the law stands, Section 61 of the Local Government Code provides for the procedure for the filing of an administrative case against an erring elective barangay official before the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan. However, the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan cannot order the removal of an erring elective barangay official from office, as the courts are exclusively vested with this power under Section 60 of the Local Government Code. Thus, if the acts allegedly committed by the barangay official are of a grave nature and, if found guilty, would merit the penalty of removal from office, the case should be filed with the regional trial court. Once the court assumes jurisdiction, it retains jurisdiction over the case even if it would be subsequently apparent during the trial that a penalty less than removal from office is appropriate. On the other hand, the most extreme penalty that the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan may impose on the erring elective barangay official is suspension; if it deems that the removal of the official from service is warranted, then it can resolve that the proper charges be filed in court. - As a general rule, no recourse to courts can be had until all administrative remedies have been exhausted. However, this rule is not applicable where the challenged administrative act is patently illegal, amounting to lack of jurisdiction and where the question or questions involved are essentially judicial. In this case, it is apparent that the Sangguniang Bayan acted beyond its jurisdiction when it issued the assailed Order dated 28 July 2005 removing Martinez from office. Such act was patently illegal and, therefore, Martinez was no longer required to avail himself of an administrative appeal in order to annul the said Order of the Sangguniang Bayan. Thus, his direct recourse to regular courts of justice was justified.

I. Impeachment
Francisco v House of Representatives (2003, Carpio-Morales, J.)
Facts: - Text here Issue: WON text here Held: Text here Ratio: - Text here

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J. Abolition of office
Canonizado v Aguirre (SUPRA)
Ratio: - Abandonment of an office is the voluntary relinquishment of an office by the holder, with the intention of terminating his possession and control thereof. In order to constitute abandonment of office, it must be total and under such circumstances as clearly to indicate an absolute relinquishment. There must be a complete abandonment of duties of such continuance that the law will infer a relinquishment. Abandonment of duties is a voluntary act; it springs from and is accompanied by deliberation and freedom of choice. There are, therefore, two essential elements of abandonment: first, an intention to abandon and second, an overt or external act by which the intention is carried into effect. - Generally speaking, a person holding a public office may abandon such office by nonuser or acquiescence. Non-user refers to a neglect to use a right or privilege or to exercise an office. However, nonperformance of the duties of an office does not constitute abandonment where such nonperformance results from temporary disability or from involuntary failure to perform. Abandonment may also result from an acquiescence by the officer in his wrongful removal or discharge, for instance, after a summary removal, an unreasonable delay by an officer illegally removed in taking steps to vindicate his rights may constitute an abandonment of the office. Where, while desiring and intending to hold the office, and with no willful desire or intention to abandon it, the public officer vacates it in deference to the requirements of a statute which is afterwards declared unconstitutional, such a surrender will not be deemed an abandonment and the officer may recover the office. - He who, while occupying one office, accepts another incompatible with the first, ipso facto vacates the first office and his title is thereby terminated without any other act or proceeding. Public policy considerations dictate against allowing the same individual to perform inconsistent and incompatible duties. The incompatibility contemplated is not the mere physical impossibility of one person s performing the duties of the two offices due to a lack of time or the inability to be in two places at the same moment, but that which proceeds from the nature and relations of the two positions to each other as to give rise to contrariety and antagonism should one person attempt to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of one toward the incumbent of the other. - There is no question that the positions of NAPOLCOM Commissioner and Inspector General of the IAS are incompatible with each other. As pointed out by respondents, RA 8551 prohibits any personnel of the IAS from sitting in a committee charged with the task of deliberating on the appointment, promotion, or assignment of any PNP personnel, whereas the NAPOLCOM has the power of control and supervision over the PNP. However, the rule on incompatibility of duties will not apply to the case at bar because at no point did Canonizado discharge the functions of the two offices simultaneously. Canonizado was forced out of his first office by the enactment of Sec. 8 RA 8551. Thus, when Canonizado was appointed as Inspector General, he had ceased to discharge his official functions as NAPOLCOM Commissioner. As a matter of fact, it was on this same date that Magahum and Factoran were appointed as NAPOLCOM Commissioners by then President Estrada, to join Cairme and Adiong - who were earlier appointed and given a term extension, respectively, by then President Ramos thereby completing the appointments of the four regular members of the NAPOLCOM, pursuant to section 4 of the amendatory law. Thus, to reiterate, the incompatibility of duties rule never had a chance to come into play for petitioner never occupied the two positions, of Commissioner and Inspector General, nor discharged their respective functions, concurrently.

K. Conviction of crime
Garcia v Commission on Audit ( SCRA | 1993, Bellosillo, J.)
Facts: - Garcia was a Supervising Lineman in the Region IV Station of the Bureau of Telecommunications in Lucena City. - On 1975, he was summarily dismissed from the service on the ground of dishonesty in accordance with the decision of the then Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications for the loss of several telegraph poles. He did not appeal from the decision. Based on the same facts obtaining in the administrative action, a criminal case for qualified theft was filed against petitioner with the then CFI (now RTC) of Quezon. In 1980, the TC acquitted him of the offense charged. - Consequently, he sought reinstatement to his former position in view of his acquittal in the criminal case. His request to be reinstated was first denied by the Bureau of Telecommunications. Hence, petitioner pleaded to the President of the Philippines for executive clemency and the same was granted. - COA denied Garcia s claim for payment of back wages, after he was reinstated to the service pursuant to an executive clemency, on the ground that the executive clemency granted to him did not provide for the payment of back salaries and that he has not been reinstated in the service. It appears that petitioner was recalled to the service on 1984 but the records do not show whether petitioner's reinstatement was to the same position of Supervising Lineman. - Garcia again tried to claim from COA but still denied the claim stating that the executive clemency was silent on the payment of back wages and that he had not rendered service during the period of his claim.

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- So Garcia proceeded to the OP again until Deputy Executive Secretary denied the appeal "due to legal and constitutional constraint," holding that this Court is the proper forum to take cognizance of the appeal on certiorari from the decision of the COA, citing Art. XII(D), Sec. 2, par. 2, of the 1973 Constitution (now Art. IX-[A], Sec. 7, of the 1987 Constitution). - SolGen: Recommends that the petition be given due course and the petitioner be awarded back wages to be determined in the light of existing laws and jurisprudence. He submits that the award is implicit in the grant of executive clemency, the ultimate objective of which is to accord full justice to petitioner. - COA s position: Deny the petition for the following reasons: (a) petitioner's acquittal in the criminal case did not necessarily free him from administrative liability; (b) petitioner s unexplained failure to appeal the decision in the administrative case was tantamount to a waiver or renunciation of his right to back wages; (c) the executive clemency was granted to petitioner for the purpose of reinstatement only since it was silent on the matter of back wages; (d) the award of back wages is allowed only if the respondent is exonerated from the administrative charge that his suspension or dismissal is declared illegal or unjustified by the court; and, (e) petitioner did not render any service during the period before his reinstatement, hence, he is not entitled to back wages based on the no service, no pay rule. Issue: WON Garcia is entitled to the payment of back wages after having been reinstated pursuant to the grant of executive clemency Held: YES Ratio: - Every civilized country recognizes, and has therefore provided for, the pardoning power to be exercised as an act of grace and humanity, in proper cases. Without such a power of clemency, to be exercised by some department or functionary of a government, a country would be most imperfect and deficient in its political morality and in that attribute of Deity whose judgments are always tempered with money - From among the different acts of executive clemency spelled out above, the clemency granted to petitioner in the instant case partakes of the nature of an executive pardon. - Citing Monsanto v. Factoran: General rule: While a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting out the existence of guilt so that in the eyes of the law the offender is as innocent as though he never committed the offense, it does not operate for all purposes. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt and not forgetfulness. It does not erase the fact of the commission of the crime and the conviction thereof. Pardon frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities and restores to him all his civil rights. Unless expressly grounded on the person's innocence, it cannot bring back lost reputation for honesty, integrity and fair dealing. The pardoned offender regains his eligibility for appointment to public office which was forfeited by reason of the conviction of the offense. But since pardon does not generally result in automatic reinstatement because the offender has to apply for reappointment, he is not entitled to back wages - If the pardon is based on the innocence of the individual, it affirms this innocence and makes him a new man and as innocent; as if he had not been found guilty of the offense charged. When a person is given pardon because he did not truly commit the offense, the pardon relieves the party from all punitive consequences of his criminal act, thereby restoring to him his clean name, good reputation and unstained character prior to the finding of guilt. - Petitioner was found administratively liable for dishonesty and consequently dismissed from the service. However, he was later acquitted by the trial court of the charge of qualified theft based on the very same acts for which he was dismissed. The acquittal of petitioner by the trial court was founded not on lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt but on the fact that petitioner did not commit the offense imputed to him. Aside from finding him innocent of the charge, the trial court commended petitioner for his concern and dedication as a public servant. Verily, petitioner's innocence is the primary reason behind the grant of executive clemency to him, bolstered by the favorable recommendations for his reinstatement by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission. - The bestowal of executive clemency on petitioner in effect completely obliterated the adverse effects of the administrative decision which found him guilty of dishonesty and ordered his separation from the service. This can be inferred from the executive clemency itself exculpating petitioner from the administrative charge and thereby directing his reinstatement, which is rendered automatic by the grant of the pardon. This signifies that petitioner need no longer apply to be reinstated to his former employment; he is restored to his office ipso facto upon the issuance of the clemency. - This automatic reinstatement to the government service entitles him to back wages. It is meant to afford relief to petitioner who is innocent from the start and to make reparation for what he has suffered as a result of his unjust dismissal from the service. To rule otherwise would defeat the very intention of the executive clemency, i.e., to give justice to petitioner. Moreover, the right to back wages is afforded to those with have been illegally dismissed and were thus ordered reinstated or to those otherwise acquitted of the charges against them. No doubt that petitioner's case falls within the situations aforementioned to entitle him to back wages. - It is worthy to note that the dismissal of petitioner was not the result of any criminal conviction that carried with it forfeiture of the right to hold public office, but is the direct consequence of an administrative decision of a branch of the Executive Department over which the President, as its head, has the power of control. The President's control has been defined to mean "the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to the judgment of the former for the latter. In pardoning petitioner and ordering his reinstatement, the Chief Executive exercised his power of control and set aside the decision of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The clemency nullified the dismissal of petitioner and relieved him from administrative liability. The separation of the petitioner from the service being null and void, he is thus entitled to back wages.

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- After having been declared innocent of the crime of qualified theft, which also served as basis for the administrative charge, petitioner should not be considered to have left his office for all legal purposes, so that he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrued to him by virtue of the office held, including back wages.

L. Recall
Garcia v COMELEC (227 SCRA 100 | 1993, Puno, J.)
Facts: - Garcia is Bataan governor. One night, some mayors, vice-mayors and members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the 12 municipalities of the province met at the National Power Corporation compound in Bagac, Bataan. By midnight, they proceeded to the Bagac town plaza where they constituted themselves into a Preparatory Recall Assembly to initiate the recall election of petitioner Garcia. In the assembly, Vice-Mayor of Limay, the Honorable Ruben Roque, was recognized and he moved that a resolution be passed for the recall of the petitioner on the ground of loss of confidence which motion was unanimously seconded. contained in Resolution 1. - 146 names appeared in Resolution No. 1 but only 80 carried the signatures of the members of the PRA. Of the 80 signatures, only seventy-four 74 were found genuine. The PRAC of the province had a membership of 144 and its majority was 73. - Garcia filed with the respondent COMELEC a petition to deny due course to said Resolution No. 1. He alleged that the PRAC failed to comply with the "substantive and procedural requirement" laid down in Section 70 of RA 7160. COMELEC dismissed the petition and scheduled the recall elections for the position of Governor of Bataan. SC granted petition for prohibition with writ of prelim injunction on ground that the sending of selective notices to members of the PRAC violated the due process protection of the Constitution and fatally flawed the enactment. - In accord with this Resolution, PRAC reconvened and this time sent Notice of Session to the members of the PRAC to all parties concerned. 87 of its members once more passed a resolution calling for the recall of petitioner Garcia. Garcia then filed with SC a Supplemental Petition and Reiteration of Extremely Urgent Motion for a resolution of their contention that section 70 of RA 7160 is unconstitutional. Issue: WON Sec. 70 on recall constitutional? Constitutional Ratio: - Recall is a mode of removal of a public officer by the people before the end of his term of office. The people's prerogative to remove a public officer is an incident of their sovereign power and in the absence of constitutional restraint, the power is implied in all governmental operations. Such power has been held to be indispensable for the proper administration of public affairs. Not undeservedly, it is frequently described as a fundamental right of the people in a representative democracy. - Recall is a mode of removal of elective local officials made its maiden appearance in our 1973 Constitution. It was mandated in section 2 of Article XI entitled Local Government. The Batasang Pambansa then enacted BP 337 entitled "The Local Government Code of 1983." Section 54 of its Chapter 3 provided only one mode of initiating the recall elections of local elective officials, i.e., by petition of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the total number of registered voters in the local government unit concerned. - The successful use of people power to remove public officials who have forfeited the trust of the electorate led to its firm institutionalization in the 1987 Constitution. Its Article XIII expressly recognized the Role and Rights of People's Organizations: Sec. 15. The State shall respect the role of independent people's organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. People's organizations are bona fide associations of citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and with identifiable leadership, membership, and structure. AND Sec. 16. The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by laws, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms. - Section 3 of its Article X also reiterated the mandate for Congress to enact a local government code which "shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative and referendum - In response, Congress provided in the LGC for a second mode of initiating the recall process through a preparatory recall assembly which in the provincial level is composed of all mayors, vice-mayors and sanggunian members of the municipalities and component cities. SEE CHAPTER V: SEC. 69-74 - A reading of the legislative history of these recall provisions will reveal that the idea of empowering a preparatory recall assembly to initiate the recall from office of local elective officials originated from the House of Representatives The legislative records reveal there were two (2) principal reasons why this alternative mode of initiating the recall process thru an assembly was adopted, viz: (a) to diminish the difficulty of initiating recall thru the direct action of the people; and (b) to cut down on its expenses. Our lawmakers took note of the undesirable fact that the mechanism initiating recall by direct action of the electorate was utilized only once in the City of Angeles, Pampanga, but even this lone attempt to recall the city mayor failed. Former Congressman Wilfredo Cainglet explained that this initiatory process by direct action of the people was too cumbersome, too expensive and almost impossible to implement. Consequently, our legislators added in a second mode of initiating the recall of local officials thru a preparatory recall assembly. They brushed aside the argument that this second mode may cause instability in the local government units due to its imagined ease.

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Petitioner says: Right to recall does not extend merely to the prerogative of the electorate to reconfirm or withdraw their confidence on the official sought to be recalled at a special election. Such prerogative necessarily includes the sole and exclusive right to decide on whether to initiate a recall proceedings or not. - SC says: There is nothing in the Constitution that will remotely suggest that the people have the sole and exclusive right to decide on whether to initiate a recall proceeding. The Constitution did not provide for any mode, let alone a single mode, of initiating recall elections. Neither did it prohibit the adoption of multiple modes of initiating recall elections. The mandate given by section 3 of Article X of the Constitution is for Congress to enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum . . . By this constitutional mandate, Congress was clearly given the power to choose the effective mechanisms of recall as its discernment dictates. The power given was to select which among the means and methods of initiating recall elections are effective to carry out the judgment of the electorate. Congress was not straightjacketed to one particular mechanism of initiating recall elections. What the Constitution simply required is that the mechanisms of recall, whether one or many, to be chosen by Congress should be effective. Using its constitutionally granted discretion, Congress deemed it wise to enact an alternative mode of initiating recall elections to supplement the former mode of initiation by direct action of the people. Congress has made its choice as called for by the Constitution and it is not the prerogative of this Court to supplant this judgment. The choice may be erroneous but even then, the remedy against a bad law is to seek its amendment or repeal by the legislative. By the principle of separation of powers, it is the legislative that determines the necessity, adequacy, wisdom and expediency of any law. Petitioner says: In passing Resolution 1, the Bataan PRA did not only initiate the process of recall but had de facto recalled petitioner Garcia from office, a power reserved to the people alone. The PRA resolution of recall is the recall itself! The initiation of a recall through the PRA effectively shortens and ends the term of the incumbent local officials. Precisely, in the case of Gov. Garcia, an election was scheduled by the COMELEC to determine who has the right to assume the unexpired portion of his term of office which should have been until June 1995. Having been relegated to the status of a mere candidate for the same position of governor (by operation of law) he has, therefore, been effectively recalled." - SC says: Misconstrued the nature of the initiatory process of recall by the PRAC i.e. initiation by the PRAC is not initiation by the people. This is a misimpression for initiation by the PRAC is also initiation by the people, albeit done indirectly through their representatives. It is not constitutionally impermissible for the people to act through their elected representatives. Nothing less than the paramount task of drafting our Constitution is delegated by the people to their representatives, elected either to act as a constitutional convention or as a congressional constituent assembly. The initiation of a recall process is a lesser act and there is no rhyme or reason why it cannot be entrusted to and exercised by the elected representatives of the people. More far out is petitioners' stance that a PRA resolution of recall is the recall itself. It cannot be seriously doubted that a PRA resolution of recall merely, starts the process. It is part of the process but is not the whole process. This ought to be self evident for a PRA resolution of recall that is not submitted to the COMELEC for validation will not recall its subject official. Likewise, a PRA resolution of recall that is rejected by the people in the election called for the purpose bears no effect whatsoever. The initiatory resolution merely sets the stage for the official concerned to appear before the tribunal of the people so he can justify why he should be allowed to continue in office. Before the people render their sovereign judgment, the official concerned remains in office but his right to continue in office is subject to question. This is clear in Sec. 72 LGC which states that "the recall of an elective local official shall be effective only upon the election and proclamation of a successor in the person of the candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast during the election on recall." - Petitioners' argument does not really assail the law but its possible abuse by the members of the PRAC while exercising their right to initiate recall proceedings. More specifically, the fear is expressed that the members of the PRAC may inject political color in their decision as they may initiate recall proceedings only against their political opponents especially those belonging to the minority. A careful reading of the law, however, will ineluctably show that it does not give an asymmetrical treatment to locally elected officials belonging to the political minority. 1. Politically neutral composition of the preparatory recall assembly. Under the law, all mayors, vice-mayors and sangguniang members of the municipalities and component cities are made members of the preparatory recall assembly at the provincial level. Its membership is not apportioned to political parties. No significance is given to the political affiliation of its members. 2. The preparatory recall assembly, at the provincial level includes all the elected officials in the province concerned. Considering their number, the greater probability is that no one political party can control its majority. 3. Sec. 69 provides that the only ground to recall a locally elected public official is loss of confidence of the people. The members of the PRAC are in the PRAC not in representation of their political parties but as representatives of the people. By necessary implication, loss of confidence cannot be premised on mere differences in political party affiliation. Indeed, our Constitution encourages multi-party system for the existence of opposition parties is indispensable to the growth and nurture of democratic system. - Clearly then, the law as crafted cannot be faulted for discriminating against local officials belonging to the minority. The fear that a preparatory recall assembly may be dominated by a political party and that it may use its power to initiate the recall of officials of opposite political persuasions, especially those belonging to the minority, is not a ground to strike down the law as unconstitutional. To be sure, this argument has long been in disuse for there can be no escape from the reality that all powers are susceptible of abuse. The mere possibility of abuse cannot, however, infirm per se the grant of power to an individual or entity. To deny power simply because it can be abused by the grantee is to render government powerless and no people need an impotent government. There is no democratic government that can operate on the basis of fear and distrust of its officials, especially those elected by the people

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themselves. On the contrary, all our laws assume that officials, whether appointed or elected, will act in good faith and will perform the duties of their office. Such presumption follows the solemn oath that they took after assumption of office, to faithfully execute all our laws. - The law instituted safeguards to assure that the initiation of the recall process by a preparatory recall assembly will not be corrupted by extraneous influences. As explained above, the diverse and distinct composition of the membership of a preparatory recall assembly guarantees that all the sectors of the electorate province shall be heard. It is for this reason that we held that notice to all the members of the recall assembly is a condition sine qua non to the validity of its proceedings. The law also requires a qualified majority of all the preparatory recall assembly members to convene in session and in a public place. It also requires that the recall resolution by the said majority must be adopted during its session called for the purpose. The underscored words carry distinct legal meanings and purvey some of the parameters limiting the power of the members of a preparatory recall assembly to initiate recall proceedings. Needless to state, compliance with these requirements is necessary, otherwise, there will be no valid resolution of recall which can be given due course by the COMELEC. - Citing Evardone vs. COMELEC: Loss of confidence as a ground for recall is a political question WON the electorate of the municipality of Sulat has lost confidence in the incumbent mayor is a political question. Petitioner says: The resolution of the members of the preparatory recall assembly subverted the will of the electorate of the province of Bataan who elected petitioner Garcia with a majority of 12,500 votes. - SC says: The contention proceeds from the erroneous premise that the resolution of recall is the recall itself. It refuses to recognize the reality that the resolution of recall is a mere proposal to the electorate of Bataan to subject petitioner to a new test of faith. The proposal will still be passed upon by the sovereign electorate of Bataan. As this judgment has yet to be expressed, it is premature to conclude that the sovereign will of the electorate of Bataan has been subverted. The electorate of Bataan may or may not recall petitioner Garcia in an appropriate election. If the electorate re-elects petitioner Garcia, then the proposal to recall him made by the preparatory recall assembly is rejected. On the other hand, if the electorate does not re-elect petitioner Garcia, then he has lost the confidence of the people which he once enjoyed. The judgment will write finis to the political controversy. For more than judgments of courts of law, the judgment of the tribunal of the people is final for "sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.

Angobung v COMELEC (269 SCRA 254 | 1997, Hermosisima, J.)
Facts: - Angobung won as the duly elected Mayor of the Municipality of Tumauini, Isabela in the local elections of 1995, garnering 55% of all the votes cast. De Alban was also a candidate in said elections. - De Alban filed with Local Election Registrar a Petition for Recall against Angobung. Acting on the petition, Deputy Executive Director for Operations Pio Jose Joson submitted to the COMELEC En Banc, a Memorandum recommending approval of the petition for recall filed by private respondent and its signing by other qualified voters in order to garner at least 25% of the total number of registered voters as required by Section 69(d) of the Local Government code of 1991. - Angobung now attacks the aforementioned resolution as being unconstitutional and therefore invalid: GROUNDS: [1] that the resolution approved the Petition for Recall albeit same was signed by just one person in violation of the statutory 25% minimum requirement as to the number of signatures supporting and petition for recall; and [2] that the resolution scheduled the recall election within 1 year from the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections - De Alban replied the issue of the one-year bar on recall elections has been resolved in the case of Paras v. COMELEC; and that the procedure prescribed by Resolution No. 96-2951 involving petition signing upon initiation of even just one person, is no different from that provided for in COMELEC Resolution No. 2272 which was upheld as constitutional in the 1991 cases of Sanches, et al. v. COMELEC and Evardone v. COMELEC Issue: WON Sec. 69(d) of LGC is constitutional? Unconstitutional Ratio: - In Sanchez and Evardone, the COMELEC prescribed procedure of (1) allowing the recall petition to be filed by at least one person or by less than 25% of the total number of registered voters and then (2) inviting voters to sign said petition on a date set for that purpose, was never put to issue. As this is the crux of the present constitutional challenge, the proper time has come for this court to issue a definitive ruling on the matter. - Law as it stands: While the initiatory recall petition may not yet contain the signatures of at least 25% of the total number of registered voters, the petition must contain the names of at least 25% of the total number of registered voters in whose behalf only one person may sign the petition in the meantime. - We cannot sanction the procedure of the filing of the recall petition by a number of people less than the foregoing 25% statutory requirement, much less, the filing thereof by just one person, as in the instant case, since this is indubitably violative of clear and categorical provisions of subsisting law. - Our legislators did not peg the voter requirement at 25% out of caprice or in a vacuum. They knew that this is the requirement under a majority of the constitution and recall statutes in various American states to the same extent that they were aware of the rationale therefor. While recall was intended to be an effective and speedy remedy to remove an official who is not giving satisfaction to the electorate regardless of whether or not he is discharging his full duty to the best of his ability and as his conscience dictates, it is a power granted to the people who, in concert, desire to change their leaders for reasons only they, as a collective, can justify. In other

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words, recall must be pursued by the people, not just by one disgruntled loser in the elections or a small percentage of disenchanted electors. Otherwise, its purposes as a direct remedy of the people shall be defeated by the ill motives of a few among them whose selfish resort to recall would destabilize the community and seriously disrupt the running of government. - Court cited several US cases re: rationale underlying the time bar provisions and the percentage of minimum voter requirement in American recall statutes, unmistakably reveals the vigilance of lawmakers against the abuse of the power of recall - In the instant case, this Court is confronted with a procedure that is unabashedly repugnant to the applicable law and no less such to the spirit underlying that law. Private respondent who is a lawyer, knows that Section 69(d) of the Local Government Code plainly provides that recall is validly initiated by a petition of 25% of the total number of registered voters. Notwithstanding such awareness, private respondent proceeded to file the petition for recall with only herself as the filer and initiator. She claims in her petition that she has, together with many others in Tumauini, Isabela, lost confidence in the leadership of petitioner. But the petition does not bear the names of all these other citizens of Tumauini who have reportedly also become anxious to oust petitioner from the post of mayor. There is no doubt that private respondent is truly earnest in her cause, and the very fact that she affixed her name in the petition shows that she claims responsibility for the seeming affront to petitioner s continuance in office. But the same cannot be said of all the other people whom private respondent claims to have sentiments similar to hers. While the people are vested with the power to recall their elected officials, the same power is accompanied by the concomitant responsibility to see through all the consequences of the exercise of such power, including rising above anonymity, confronting the official sought to be recalled, his family, his friends, and his supporters, and seeing the recall election to its ultimate end. The procedure of allowing just one person to file the initiatory recall petition and then setting a date for the signing of the petition, which amounts to inviting and courting the public which may have not, in the first place, even entertained any displeasure in the performance of the official sought to be recalled, is not only violative of statutory law but also tainted with an attempt to go around the law. We can not and must not, under any and all circumstances, countenance a circumvention of the explicit 25% minimum voter requirement in the initiation of the recall process.

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For 24 August 2010
M. Disciplinary Cases
Ombudsman v CA (G.R. No. 168079 | 2007, Carpio, J.)
Facts: Public office involved: Local treasury - Melly Magbanua was Local Treasury Operations Assistant of the City Treasurer s Office in Bacolod City. COA conducted an examination of respondent s cash and account. The examination disclosed a shortage of P265,450. Upon demand, respondent failed to produce the missing amount. - Melly alleged that the shortage was due to the machinations and dishonest acts of Cash Clerk I Monina Baja. She further alleged that Baja, acting as Paymaster, received payroll funds for distribution to specific offices. - Baja was impleaded in the case before the Ombudsman Visayas. Baja denied that respondent designated her as Paymaster. She also denied that she received the payroll funds. Baja alleged that her assigned task was only to take charge of the listing of payrolls and vouchers to be included in the respective cash advances of the disbursing officers. - Ombudsman Visayas: Melly guilty of neglect of duty 6 months suspension without pay; Monina guilty of dishonesty dismissal of service with forfeiture of all benefits and disqualification to hold public office - Ombudsman: Both dismissed from service (Melly guilty of gross neglect of duty) - CA: While Ombudsman s findings were correct, it has no power to impose directly sanctions against government officials and employees who are subject of its investigation. - CA ruled that petitioner s power is limited and it may only recommend, not impose, the appropriate sanctions. Citing Tapiador v. Office of the Ombudsman: Besides, assuming arguendo, that petitioner [was] administratively liable, the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss the petitioner from government service, more particularly from his position in the BID. Under Section 13, subparagraph (3), of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman can only recommend the removal of the public official or employee found to be at fault, to the public official concerned. Issue: WON the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to impose directly administrative penalties on public officials or employees. Held: YES, Ombudsman s authority is not merely recommendatory. The Tapiador case was an obiter dictum which has been clarified in a number of subsequent cases such as Ledesma. Ratio: Basis for the powers of Ombudsman: - Article XI of the 1987 Constitution: exercise such other powers or performs such functions or duties as may be provided by law. - RA 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989) SEC. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions ad duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases; x x x (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith; or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 of this Act: Provided, That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, censure, or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be a ground for disciplinary action against said officer. x x x SEC. 21. Officials Subject to Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. X x x SEC. 25. Penalties. (1) In administrative proceedings under Presidential Decree No. 807, the penalties and rules provided therein shall be applied. (2) In other administrative proceedings, the penalty ranging from suspension without pay for one year to dismissal with forfeiture of benefits or a fine ranging from five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to twice the amount malversed, illegally taken or lost, or both at the discretion of the Ombudsman, taking into consideration circumstances that mitigate or aggravate the liability of the officer or employee found guilty of the complaint or charges. Anent reliance on Ledesma v CA: - The main issue in Tapiador was the failure of the complainant to present substantial evidence to prove the charges in the administrative case. The Court ruled that the reference in Tapiador to the power of the Ombudsman is at best merely an obiter dictum. SC ruled that the statement on the Ombudsman s power was not supported by sufficient explanation and was susceptible to varying interpretations. It categorically stated that the statement cannot be cited as a doctrinal declaration of the Court. SC recognized the authority of the Office of the Ombudsman under Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and RA 6770, thus:

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It has long been settled that the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official is not an exclusive authority but a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged. By stating therefore that the Ombudsman recommends the action to be taken against an erring officer or employee, the provisions in the Constitution and in RA 6770 intended that the implementation of the order be coursed through the proper officer x x x. It is thus clear that the framers of our Constitution intended to create a stronger and more effective Ombudsman, independent and beyond the reach of political influences and vested with powers that are not merely persuasive in character. The Constitutional Commission left to [the] Congress to empower the Ombudsman with prosecutorial functions which it did when RA 6770 was enacted. x x x. - Citing Ombudsman v CA: [The] provisions in RA 6770 taken together reveal the manifest intent of the lawmakers to bestow on the Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary authority. These provisions cover the entire gamut of administrative adjudication which entails the authority to, inter alia, receive complaints, conduct investigations, hold hearings in accordance with its rules of procedure, summon witnesses and require the production of documents, place under preventive suspension public officers and employees pending an investigation, determine the appropriate penalty imposable on erring public officers or employees as warranted by the evidence, and necessarily, impose the said penalty. The lawmakers envisioned the Office of the Ombudsman to be an activist watchman, not merely a passive one. - The Court ruled in Estarija that under RA 6770 and the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman has the constitutional power to directly remove from government service an erring public official, other than a member of Congress and the Judiciary. - Citing Barillo v Gervasio: While Section 15(3) of RA 6770 states that the Ombudsman has the power to recommend x x x removal, suspension, demotion x x x of government officials and employees, the same Section 15(3) also states that the Ombudsman in the alternative may enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 of RA 6770. The word or in Section 15(3) before the phrase enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 grants the Ombudsman this alternative power. DISPOSITIVE: Decision of Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas reinstated.

Marohomsalic v Cole (G.R. No. 169918| 2008, Corona, J.)
Facts: - Marohomsalic was employed as Special Land Investigator I of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of the DENR in Koronadal City. Cole had a pending land dispute case in the PENRO-DENR in Koronadal City. Sometime in February 2001, he went to said office to inquire on the status of his case. He met Marohomsalic and asked him for assistance as he was not from Koronadal but from General Santos City. - Marohomsalic s version: Cole gave him cash purportedly to cover the expenses for photocopying the documents needed in the case. - Cole s version (which Ombudsman affirmed): Marohomsalic demanded P15,000 to secure the reversal of the PENRO-DENR decision against him (Cole). Cole sought the assistance of the NBI to entrap Marohomsalic. On March 8, 2001, Marohomsalic was caught in flagrante delicto receiving bribe money of P2,700 from Cole. - Filed administrative complaint against Marohomsalic in the Office of Ombudsman-Mindanao for grave misconduct. - Ombudsman Mindanao: Guilty, ordered Marohomsalic s immediate dismissal. - Appealed to the CA but dismissed on procedural grounds absence of a written explanation as to why his petition was filed via registered mail instead of personally, and improper verification Issues: 1. WON CA acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it dismissed his petition for review on technical grounds? NO, the Ombudsman has the power to order the dismissal of a public officer. 2. WON his right to due process was violated by both the Ombudsman and the CA when his case was set neither for preliminary investigation nor for preliminary conference? NO Ratio: - The jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over disciplinary cases against government employees is vested by no less than Sec 12, Art XI of the Constitution. Part of such disciplinary authority in administrative cases is the power to investigate and prosecute, in accordance with the requirements laid down by law. One such requirement is that substantial evidence must always support any finding. - One of the grounds for an administrative complaint cognizable by the Ombudsman is an act or omission contrary to law or regulations like grave misconduct. It is characterized by the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of an established rule. Corruption as an element of grave misconduct includes the act of an official who unlawfully or wrongfully uses his station or character to procure some benefit for himself, contrary to the rights of others. - The Ombudsman found that Marohomsalic directly requested and received money from Cole in connection with a transaction in which he was involved in his official capacity. It concluded that Marohomsalic s act constituted grave misconduct. An analysis of the assailed decision of the Ombudsman-Mindanao shows that there was substantial evidence to sustain such finding. - Except in cases when there is grave abuse of discretion [in the exercise of its discretion], which is absent in [this] case, Court has adopted a policy of non-interference in the exercise of the Ombudsman s constitutionally mandated powers on this matter. - Corollary to the Ombudsman s disciplinary authority is his authority to dismiss. RA 6770, which provides for the functional and structural organization of the Office of the Ombudsman, was passed by Congress to deliberately endow the Ombudsman with the power to prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees to make him a more active and effective agent of the people in ensuring accountability in public office. Moreover, Congress granted the Ombudsman broad powers to implement his own actions. Anent denial of due process (i.e. applicability of new rules of procedure AO No. 7, Series of 1990)

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- Section 4 of Administrative Order No. 7, as amended by Administrative Order No. 17, provides: [The rules] shall govern all cases brought after they take effect and to further proceedings in cases then pending, except to the extent that their application would not be feasible OR would cause injustice to any party. - Since the subject of this petition is an administrative complaint, not a criminal complaint, this case is not subject to criminal laws and procedure, or principles applicable only thereto. More importantly, he must not be allowed to hide behind the cloak of liberal construction favoring the accused, if at all this principle finds application in this case. To permit him to do so will be a mockery of public trust and accountability.

Joson v Torres (290 SCRA 279 | 1998, Puno, J.)
Facts: - Nueva Ecija Gov. Joson was suspended from office. Respondents are his VGov and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. - Gov. Joson was charged with grave misconduct and abuse of authority. He allegedly threw tantrums, with his private army backing him, at the capitol while the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was in session. The purported reason was the SP s refusal to approve the Gov s application for P150M loan with the PNB. The following day, SP reported this incident to the Office of the President (Ramos), which then referred the case to DILG Secretary Robert Barbers. - Barbers then tried to reconcile the two parties through a peace agreement but to no avail. - Joson was repeatedly asked to file his answer but he delayed in doing so interposing excuses such as his quest for the (perfect) experienced counsel who could assist him and the busy Christmas season. - After three extensions, Joson was finally declared in default but his counsel moved for reconsideration which was granted. However, Joson continually failed to file his answer, so the order of default was reinstated. Seven months later, he filed a MTD! - On recommendation of Secretary Barbers, Executive Secretary Ruben Torres issued an order, by authority of the President, placing petitioner under preventive suspension for 60 days pending investigation of the charges against him. - The proceedings before the DILG continued however. And in an order dated November 11, 1997, the DILG denied petitioner's "Motion to Conduct Formal Investigation" declaring that the submission of position papers substantially complies with the requirements of procedural due process in administrative proceedings. - Subsequent to the institution of this petition, the Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments rendered a resolution on the case finding him guilty of the offenses charged. His finding was based on the position papers and affidavits of witnesses submitted by the parties. The DILG Secretary found the affidavits of complainants' witnesses to be "more natural, reasonable and probable" than those of herein petitioner Joson's. - On January 8, 1998, the Executive Secretary, by authority of the President, adopted the findings and recommendation of the DILG Secretary. He imposed on petitioner the penalty of suspension from office for 6 months without pay. Then, on January 14, 1998, SC issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of the order of the Executive Secretary. Issue: 1. WON the formal defects in the verification was fatal to the case? NO 2. WON DILG Secretary had jurisdiction and authority over the case? YES 3. WON the preventive suspension was validly imposed? YES 4. WON petitioner had the right to formal investigation? YES Ratio: - Administrative disciplinary proceedings against elective local officials are governed by the LGC of 1991, the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC of 1991, and Administrative Order No. 23 entitled Prescribing the Rules and Procedures on the Investigation of Administrative Disciplinary Cases Against Elective Local Officials of Provinces, Highly Urbanized Cities, Independent Component Cities, and Cities and Municipalities in Metropolitan Manila. In all matters not provided in A.O. No. 23, the Rules of Court and the Administrative Code of 1987 apply in a suppletory character. - Grounds for which an elective local official may be disciplined, suspended or removed from office is enumerated in Section 60 of Chapter 4, Title II, Book I of the LGC. - Section 61 of Chapter 4, Title II, Book I of the LGC: When an elective local official commits an act that falls under the grounds for disciplinary action, the administrative complaint against him must be verified and filed with the proper government office. A complaint against an elective provincial or city official must be filed with the Office of the President. A complaint against an elective municipal official must be filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan while that of a barangay official must be filed before the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan. - In the instant case, Joson is an elective official of the province of Nueva Ecija. The letter-complaint against him was therefore properly filed with the Office of the President. Petitioner argues: The letter-complaint failed to conform with the formal requirements set by the Code: Complaint was not verified by private respondents and was not supported by the joint affidavit of the two witnesses named therein; that private resp later realized these defects and surreptitiously inserted the verification and sworn statement while the complaint was still pending with the OP. - Assuming, nonetheless, that the letter-complaint was unverified when submitted to the OP, the defect was not fatal. The requirement of verification was deemed waived by the President himself when he acted on the complaint. - Verification is a formal, not jurisdictional requisite. Verification is mainly intended to secure an assurance that the allegations therein made are done in good faith or are true and correct and not mere speculation. The lack of verification is a mere formal defect. The

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court may order the correction of the pleading, if not verified, or act on the unverified pleading if the attending circumstances are such that a strict compliance with the rule may be dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may be served. Petitioner argues: Jurisdiction and authority of the DILG Secretary. Under the law, it is the OP that has jurisdiction over the lettercomplaint and that the CA erred in applying the alter-ego principle because the power to discipline elective local officials lies with the President, not with the DILG Secretary. - Jurisdiction over administrative disciplinary actions against elective local officials is lodged in two authorities: the Disciplining Authority and the Investigating Authority. Sec. 2. Disciplining Authority. All administrative complaints, duly verified, against elective local officials mentioned in the preceding Section shall be acted upon by the President. The President, who may act through the Executive Secretary, shall hereinafter be referred to as the Disciplining Authority. Sec. 3. Investigating Authority. The Secretary of the ILG is hereby designated as the Investigating Authority. He may constitute an Investigating Committee in the DILG for the purpose.The Disciplining Authority may, however, in the interest of the service, constitute a Special Investigating Committee in lieu of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. - Disciplining Authority is the President of the Philippines, whether acting by himself or through the Executive Secretary. The Secretary of the ILG is the Investigating Authority, who may act by himself or constitute an Investigating Committee. The Secretary of the DILG, however, is not the exclusive Investigating Authority. In lieu of the DILG Secretary, the Disciplining Authority may designate a Special Investigating Committee. - The power of the President over administrative disciplinary cases against elective local officials is derived from his power of general supervision over local governments. - Constitutional basis: Section 4, Article X of the 1987 Constitution The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to component cities and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. - The power of supervision means overseeing or the authority of an officer to see that the subordinate officers perform their duties. If the subordinate officers fail or neglect to fulfill their duties, the official may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. The President's power of general supervision means no more than the power of ensuring that laws are faithfully executed, OR that subordinate officers act within the law. Supervision is not incompatible with discipline. And the power to discipline and ensure that the laws be faithfully executed must be construed to authorize the President to order an investigation of the act or conduct of local officials when in his opinion the good of the public service so requires. - Citing Villena case: Independently of any statutory provision authorizing the President to conduct an investigation of the nature involved in this proceeding, and in view of the nature and character of the executive authority with which the President of the Philippines is invested, the constitutional grant to him of power to exercise general supervision over all local governments and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed must be construed to authorize him to order an investigation of the act or conduct of the petitioner herein. Supervision is not a meaningless thing. It is an active power. It is certainly not without limitation, but it at least implies authority to inquire into facts and conditions in order to render the power real and effective. If supervision is to be conscientious and rational, and not automatic and brutal, it must be founded upon a knowledge of actual facts and conditions disclosed after careful study and investigation. - The power to discipline evidently includes the power to investigate. As the Disciplining Authority, the President has the power derived from the Constitution itself to investigate complaints against local government officials. A. O. No. 23, however, delegates the power to investigate to the DILG or a Special Investigating Committee, as may be constituted by the Disciplining Authority. This is not undue delegation, contrary to Joson's claim. The President remains the Disciplining Authority. What is delegated is the power to investigate, not the power to discipline - The doctrine of qualified political agency (alter-ego) is corollary to the control power of the President.. - The procedure how the Disciplining and Investigating Authorities should exercise their powers is distinctly set forth in the LGC and A.O. No. 23. When an administrative complaint is therefore filed, the Disciplining Authority shall issue an order requiring the respondent to submit his verified answer within 15 days from notice. Upon filing of the answer, the Disciplining Authority shall refer the case to the Investigating Authority for investigation. - Strictly applying the rules, the Office of the President did not comply with the provisions of A.O. No. 23. The Office should have first required petitioner to file his answer. Thereafter, the complaint and the answer should have been referred to the Investigating Authority for further proceedings. Be that as it may, this procedural lapse is not fatal. The filing of the answer is necessary merely to enable the President to make a preliminary assessment of the case. The President found the complaint sufficient in form and substance to warrant its further investigation. Validity of the preventive suspension - In view of petitioner's inexcusable failure to file answer, the DILG did not err in recommending to the Disciplining Authority his preventive suspension during the investigation. Preventive suspension is authorized under Section 63 of the LGC. - When may preventive suspension be imposed by the Disciplining Authority? At any time (a) after the issues are joined; (b) when the evidence of guilt is strong; and (c) given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that the respondent, who continues to hold office, could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence.

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- Requisites for preventive suspension had been complied with in this case i.e. failure to file an answer = waiver of right to present evidence AND history of violent confrontational politics in the province. Anent right to formal investigation - Validity of the Executive Secretary s Resolution finding petitioner guilty as charged and imposing on him the penalty of suspension from office for 6 months from office without pay. - DILG s basis for denying his Motion To Conduct Formal Investigation : Before there shall be a formal investigation, joinder of issues must already be present or respondent's answer has already been filed. In the case at bar, the admission of respondent's answer after having been declared in default was conditioned on the fact of submission of position papers by the parties, after which, the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. - The rejection of petitioner's right to a formal investigation denied him procedural due process. - Section 5 of A. O. No. 23 - at the preliminary conference, the Investigating Authority shall summon the parties to consider whether they desire a formal investigation. This provision does not give the Investigating Authority the discretion to determine whether a formal investigation would be conducted. - The records show that petitioner filed a motion for formal investigation. As respondent, he is accorded several rights under the law. Sec. 65. Rights of Respondent. -- The respondent shall be accorded full opportunity to appear and defend himself in person or by counsel, to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him, and to require the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence in his favor through compulsory process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. - An erring elective local official has rights akin to the constitutional rights of an accused. These rights are essentially part of procedural due process. The local elective official has the (1) right to appear and defend himself in person or by counsel; (2) the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him; and (3) the right to compulsory attendance of witness and the production of documentary evidence. These rights are reiterated in the Rules Implementing the Local Government Code and in A.O. No. 23. Well to note, Joson formally claimed his right to a formal investigation after his Answer Ad Cautelam has been admitted by Undersecretary. - Petitioner's right to a formal investigation was not satisfied when the complaint against him was decided on the basis of position papers. There is nothing in the Local Government Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations nor in A.O. No. 23 that provide that administrative cases against elective local officials can be decided on the basis of position papers. - The jurisprudence cited by the DILG in its order denying petitioner's motion for a formal investigation applies to appointive officials and employees. Administrative disciplinary proceedings against elective government officials are not exactly similar to those against appointive officials. In fact, the provisions that apply to elective local officials are separate and distinct from appointive government officers and employees. This can be gleaned from the Local Government Code itself. - The grounds for administrative disciplinary action in Book V are much more in number and are specific than those enumerated in the Local Government Code against elective local officials. - The provisions for administrative disciplinary actions against elective local officials are markedly different from appointive officials. The rules on the removal and suspension of elective local officials are more stringent. The procedure of requiring position papers in lieu of a hearing in administrative cases is expressly allowed with respect to appointive officials but not to those elected. An elective official, elected by popular vote, is directly responsible to the community that elected him. The official has a definite term of office fixed by law which is relatively of short duration. Suspension and removal from office definitely affects and shortens this term of office. When an elective official is suspended or removed, the people are deprived of the services of the man they had elected. Implicit in the right of suffrage is that the people are entitled to the services of the elective official of their choice. Suspension and removal are thus imposed only after the elective official is accorded his rights and the evidence against him strongly dictates their imposition. DISPOSITIVE: Resolution of Executive Secretary (Joson s suspension) is declared null and void and is set aside

Socrates v Sandiganbayan (263 SCRA 775 | 1996, Regalado, J.)
Facts: - Socrates is incumbent governor of Palawan. He was replaced by complainant Rodriguez as OIC Gov after 1986 EDSA Revolution. In 1988, they both ran for governor and Rodriguez won. However during the 1992 synchronized elections, in a contest between the two, it was Socrates who won. - At the time Rodriguez was still the OIC Governor, the Provincial Government of Palawan, as represented by Rodriguez and the Provincial Board Members, filed before the Office of the Tanodbayan 2 complaints against petitioner. [1] Violation of Section 3(b) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) [2] Together with several other provincial officers, violation of Sections 3(a) and (g) - Instead of filing a counter-affidavit as directed, Socrates filed a Motion to Suspend Preliminary Investigation on the ground that upon the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, the present Tanodbayan has been transformed into the Office of the Special Prosecutor and has, therefore, lost his power to conduct preliminary investigation. - Several prosecutors inhibited because of their close ties with Socrates. - Before his arraignment could be set, petitioner initially filed an Urgent Motion for Quashal of Information and/or Reinvestigation in the Light of Supervening Facts. However, when the said motion was subsequently called for hearing, petitioner's counsel was made to choose which of the aforesaid 2 conflicting motions he preferred to take up with respondent Court. Both the motions were denied. - With the denial of petitioner's motion to quash the informations, the prosecution filed before respondent court a Motion to Suspend Accused Pendente Lite pursuant to Section 13 of RA 3019.

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- Petitioner opposed said motion on the ground that the validity of the informations filed against him is still pending review before the SC and that Section 13 of RA 3019, on which the motion to suspend is based, is unconstitutional for it constitutes an undue delegation of executive power and is arbitrary and discriminatory. - CA granted the motion to suspend pendente lite and ordered the Socrates suspension as governor for 90 days from notice. Certiorari. Issue: WON the imposition of the preventive suspension was valid? YES Arguments: (1) He may not be suspended while the issue on the validity of the informations filed against him is still pending review before the SC; and (2) Section 13 of RA 3019, which forms the basis of the order of suspension, is unconstitutional on the ground that it constitutes an undue delegation of the authority to suspend which is essentially an executive power Side issue: WON CA lost jurisdiction over the case on the ground that an inordinate delay of 6 years between the conduct of the preliminary investigation and the subsequent filing of the informations against petitioner constitutes a violation of his constitutional rights to a speedy disposition of the case and due process of law pursuant to the Tatad doctrine? NO, the application of the Tatad doctrine should not be made to rely solely on the length of time that has passed but equal concern should likewise be accorded to the factual ambiance and considerations. Ratio: - Sec. 13. Suspension and Loss of Benefits. Any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this [1] Act OR [2] under Title 7, Book II of the RPC OR [3] for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him. - SC has ruled that under Section 13 of the anti-graft law, the suspension of a public officer is mandatory after the validity of the information has been upheld in a pre-suspension hearing conducted for that purpose. This pre-suspension hearing is conducted to determine basically the validity of the information, from which the court can have a basis to either suspend the accused and proceed with the trial on the merits of the case, OR correct any part of the proceeding which impairs its validity. The hearing may be treated in the same manner as a challenge to the validity of the information by way of a motion to quash. - Citing Luciano v Mariano: Guidelines in exercises of power of suspension: (c) By way of broad guidelines for the lower courts in the exercise of the power of suspension from office of public officers charged under a valid information under the provisions of RA 3019 or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery, pursuant to Section 13 of said Act, it may be briefly stated that upon the filing of such information, the TC should issue an order with proper notice requiring the accused officer to show cause at a specific date of hearing why he should not be ordered suspended from office pursuant to the cited mandatory provisions of the Act. Where either the prosecution seasonably files a motion for an order of suspension OR the accused in turn files a motion to quash the information OR challenges the validity thereof, such show-cause order of the trial court would no longer be necessary. What is indispensable is that the trial court duly hear the parties at a hearing held for determining the validity of the information, and thereafter hand down its ruling, issuing the corresponding order or suspension should it uphold the validity of the information or withhold such suspension in the contrary case. (d) No specific rules need be laid down for such pre-suspension hearing. Suffice it to state that the accused should be given a fair and adequate opportunity to challenge the validity of the criminal proceedings against him, e.g., that he has not been afforded the right of due preliminary investigation; that the acts for which he stands charged do not constitute a violation of the provisions of RA 3019 or of the bribery provisions of the RPC which would warrant his mandatory suspension from office under Section 13 of the Act; or he may present a motion to quash the information on any of the grounds provided in Rule 117 of the Rules of Court. The mandatory suspension decreed by the Act upon determination of the pendency in court of a criminal prosecution for violation of the Anti-Graft Act or for bribery under a valid information requires at the same time that the hearing be expeditious, and not unduly protracted such as to thwart the prompt suspension envisioned by the Act. Hence, if the TC, say, finds the ground alleged in the quashal motion not to be indubitable, then it shall be called upon to issue the suspension order upon its upholding the validity of the information and setting the same for trial on the merits. - Upon a proper determination of the validity of the information, it becomes mandatory for the court to immediately issue the suspension order. The rule on the matter is specific and categorical. It leaves no room for interpretation. It is not within the court's discretion to hold in abeyance the suspension of the accused officer on the pretext that the order denying the motion to quash is pending review before the appellate courts. - Its discretion lies only during the pre-suspension hearing where it is required to ascertain whether or not: (1) the accused had been afforded due preliminary investigation prior to the filing of the information against him, (2) the acts for which he was charged constitute a violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3019 or of the provisions of Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, or (3) the informations against him can be quashed, under any of the grounds provided in Section 2, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court. - Once the information is found to be sufficient in form and substance, then the court must issue the order of suspension as a matter of course. There are no ifs and buts about it. This is because a preventive suspension is not a penalty. It is not imposed as a result of judicial proceedings. In fact, if acquitted, the official concerned shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension. In view of this latter provision, the accused elective public officer does not stand to be prejudiced by the immediate enforcement of the suspension order in the event that the information is subsequently declared null and

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void on appeal and the case dismissed as against him. Taking into consideration the public policy involved in preventively suspending a public officer charged under a valid information, the protection of public interest will definitely have to prevail over the private interest of the accused. - To further emphasize the ministerial duty of the court under Section 13 of RA 3019, it is said that the court trying a case has neither discretion nor duty to determine WON a preventive suspension is required to prevent the accused from using his office to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office. The presumption is that unless the accused is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts of malfeasance or do both, in the same way that upon a finding that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof, the law requires the judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused. The law does not require the court to determine whether the accused is likely to escape or evade the jurisdiction of the court. Petitioner s position re: constitutionality of Sec. 13: The power of suspension, which is an incident of the power of removal, is basically administrative and executive in nature. The power of removal vested in the court under Section 9 of RA 3019 is an incident of conviction, that is, it can only be exercised after a conviction has been handed down. Hence, since the power to suspend is merely incidental to the power of removal, the former can only be exercised as an incident to conviction. Also, considering that Section 13 authorizes the court to exercise the power of suspension even prior to conviction of the accused, it cannot be considered as an exercise of judicial power because it is not within the ambit of the court's power of removal. In addition, he avers that Sec. 13 is arbitrary and discriminatory because it serves no purpose at all, in that it does not require a proceeding to determine if there is sufficient ground to suspend, except for the fact that it is required by law. - Court's power of suspension under Section 13 as discussed in Luciano v Mariano: Suspension is not automatic, but who should exercise the mandatory act of suspension under Section 13? Suspensions by virtue of criminal proceedings are separate and distinct from suspensions in administrative cases. An accurate reading of Section 13 yields two methods of investigation, one separate from the other: one criminal before the courts of justice, and the other administrative. This is the plain import of the last sentence of Section 13, which says that if acquitted, defendant in an Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices case shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him. Our interpretation but preserves, as it should, the substantial symmetry between the first part of Section 13 and the last part thereof just quoted. There is in this legal provision a recognition that once a case is filed in court, all other acts connected with the discharge of court functions which here include suspension should be left to the court. - Since removal from office then is within the power of the court, no amount of judicial legerdemain would deprive the court of the power to suspend. Reason for this is that suspension necessarily is included in the greater power of removal. It is without doubt that Congress has power to authorize courts to suspend public officers pending court proceedings for removal and that the congressional grant is not violative of the separation of powers. - Congress did really apprehend danger should the power of suspension in consequence of a criminal case under RA 3019 be lodged in any authority other than the court. Quite apart from the fact that the court has a better grasp of the situation, there is one other factor, and that is, the rights of the person accused. The court could very well serve as a lever to balance in one equation the public interests involved and the interests of the defendant. And then, there is the danger that partisan politics may creep in.

Layus v Sandiganbayan (320 SCRA 233 | 1999, Davide, C.J.)
Facts: - Cecilia Layus, elected mayor of Claveria, Cagayan Valley, was charged with estafa through falsification of public documents. Warrant of arrest served on her, cash bond for her temporary liberty and lifting of the travel ban because of an upcoming trip. - The motion to lift the travel ban was set for hearing on 18 April 1997. On that date, however, the SB required her to enter a plea before lifting the travel restriction. On account of her impending trip, she acceded and entered a plea of not guilty on condition that her plea not be deemed to be a waiver of her right to file a motion for reinvestigation and a motion to quash the information. She claimed that the Sandiganbayan recognized such right until the Ombudsman resolved her pending motion. - SB denied her motion for reinvestigation and motion to quash. - Prosecution filed with the SB a Motion to Suspend Accused Pendente Lite, which Layus opposed. After holding in abeyance in view of Election Code, SB granted motion to suspend and ordered the preventive suspension of Layug. Issues: th 1. WON SB has jurisdiction over mayor of 5 class municipality? YES, Rodrigo v SB doctrine on actual salary received not controlling. 2. WON SB correctly denied her motion for reinvestigation in view of regular COA report? YES 3. WON Layug was validly suspended? YES Ratio: - The contention that a prior COA Report is necessary to determine Layus culpability is without merit. Under RA 6770, the Ombudsman has the power to investigate and prosecute individuals on matters and complaints referred to or filed before it. Such power is plenary. - A COA approval of a government official's disbursement only relates to the administrative aspect of his accountability, but it does not foreclose the Ombudsman's authority to investigate and determine whether there is a crime to be prosecuted for which such official may be answerable. For, while the COA may regard a government official to have substantially complied with it's accounting rules, this fact is not sufficient to dismiss the criminal case. - Sec. 13 of RA 2019 makes it mandatory for the Sandiganbayan to suspend any public officer who has been validly charged with a violation of RA 3019, as amended, or Book II, Title 7 of the Revised Penal Code, or any offense involving fraud upon government or

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public funds or property. This is based on the presumption that unless the public officer is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution OR commit further acts of malfeasance OR both. - The imposition of the suspension, however, is not automatic or self-operative. There must first be a valid information, determined at a pre-suspension hearing, where the court is furnished with the basis to suspend the accused and proceed with the trial on the merits of the case, or refuse suspension of the latter and dismiss the case, or correct any part of the proceedings which impairs its validity. - In the instant case, the records show that Layus was given adequate opportunity to challenge the validity of the criminal proceedings against her. Since the required pre-suspension hearing was complied with and the information was deemed valid, it then becomes the ministerial duty of the Sandiganbayan to forthwith issue the order of preventive suspension which, however, may not be for an indefinite duration or an unreasonable length of time. Thus, in Segovia v. Sandiganbayan, we ruled that preventive suspension may not exceed 90 days in consonance with PD 807 (the Civil Service Decree), now Section 52 of the Admin Code of 1987.

Castro v Gloria (363 SCRA 417 | 2001, Sandoval-Gutierrez, J.)
Facts: - Gualberto Castro is a public school teacher in Guibuangan Central School, Barili, Cebu. - Porfirio Gutang, Jr. filed with the DECS a complaint for disgraceful and immoral conduct against him because he allegedly has an illicit affair with Gutang's wife, Castro's co-teacher at the same school. - After hearing, DECS Regional Office VII, through Assistant Superintendent Concillo held Castro guilty of the offense charged and meted him the penalty of dismissal from the service. DECS Central Office affirmed. - Petitioner filed a MR. Instead of resolving the motion, the DECS Central Office directed the School Division of Cebu to comment on the motion. The School Division Superintendent recommended that the motion be resolved favorably. However, the recommendation was opposed by the DECS Region VII. - Layus filed with CFI petition for mandamus to order proper authority to (1) to reduce his penalty from dismissal to 1 year suspension; 2) to consider the one (1) year suspension as already served considering that he has been out of the service for more than ten (10) years; 3) to reinstate him to his former position; and 4) to pay his back salaries - CFI dismissed his petition for mandamus on ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. It held that it should have repaired to the CSC first. Issue: WON mandamus lies to compel reduction of penalty from dismissal to 1 year? Held: YES, if it only involves legal question e.g. propriety of the penalty imposed. Ratio: - A petition for mandamus is premature if there are administrative remedies available to petitioner. But where the case involves only legal questions, the litigant need not exhaust all administrative remedies before such judicial relief can be sought. - The resolution of this case hinges on whether or not the following is a question of law or a question of fact Is dismissal from the service the proper penalty for the 1st offense of disgraceful and immoral conduct? - Petitioner no longer disputes the administrative finding of his guilt for the offense of disgraceful and immoral conduct. What petitioner only impugns is the correctness of the penalty of dismissal from the service. He is convinced that the proper penalty for the first offense of disgraceful and immoral conduct is only suspension from the service. Undoubtedly, the issue here is a pure question of law. We need only to look at the applicable law or rule and we will be able to determine whether the penalty of dismissal is in order. - Section 23, Rule XIV of the Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292: Administrative offenses with its corresponding penalties are classified into grave, less grave, and light depending on the gravity of its nature and effects of said acts on the government service. The following are grave offenses with its corresponding penalties: X X X (o) Disgraceful and immoral conduct <1st Offense, Suspension for 6 months and 1 day to 1 year; 2nd Offense, Dismissal.> Anent petitioner's prayer for the payment of back salaries without legal basis. - Such payment of salaries corresponding to the period when an employee is not allowed to work may be decreed if he is found innocent of the charges. However, if the employee is not completely exonerated of the charges such as when the penalty of dismissal is reduced to mere suspension, he would not be entitled to the payment of his back salaries. - The general proposition is that a public official is not entitled to any compensation if he has not rendered any service. As he works, he shall earn. Since petitioner did not work during the period for which he is now claiming salaries, there can be no legal or equitable basis to order the payment of such salaries. DISPOSITIVE: Reduce the penalty of dismissal to suspension for a period of one year without pay. Considering that he has been out of the service for quite a long time, we feel he has been sufficiently punished for his offense. We, therefore, order his reinstatement.

Caniete v Secretary of Education (333 SCRA 849 | 2000, Kapunan, J.)
Facts: - Caniete and Rosario are public school teachers who were dismissed from service after being absent for two days. They allegedly participated in mass actions/strike during the said absences. - DECS Secretary found them to be guilty and dismissed them from service. - MSPB reversed and reduced their penalty to 3 months suspension as they were guilty only of Gross Violation of Existing Civil Service Law and Rules. - CSC modified MSPB decision and held that they were only of being absent without leave which only deserved reprimand. - Caniete and Rosario appealed the matter of the denial of the payment of their back salaries. Both CSC and CA denied their motion.

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Issue: WON petitioners, who were earlier dismissed for allegedly participating in mass actions/strikes, are entitled to their back salaries upon their reinstatement after they were found guilty only of violating reasonable office rules and regulations and penalized only with reprimand? Held: YES, employees who are preventively suspended pending investigation are NOT entitled to the payment of their salaries even if they are exonerated, BUT they become entitled to compensation for the period of their suspension pending appeal if eventually they are found innocent. Ratio: - Book V, Title I, Subtitle A of the Administrative Code) on preventive suspension: SEC. 47. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. (2) The Secretaries and heads of agencies and instrumentalities, provinces, cities and municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days salary. In case the decision rendered by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission, the same may be initially appealed to the department and finally to the Commission and pending appeal, the same shall be executory except when the penalty is removal, in which case the same shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned. (4) An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory, and in case the penalty is suspension or removal, the respondent shall be considered as having been under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins an appeal. SEC 51. Preventive Suspension.- The proper disciplining authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or neglect in the performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal from the service. SEC. 52. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation.- When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided, That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. - Two kinds of preventive suspension of civil service employees who are charged with offenses punishable by removal or suspension: (1) preventive suspension pending investigation (§51) and (2) preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or dismissal and, after review, the respondent is exonerated (§47[4]) - Citing Gloria: The employee who is placed under preventive suspension pending investigation is not entitled to compensation because such suspension is not a penalty but only a means of enabling the disciplining authority to conduct an unhampered investigation. Upon the other hand, there is right to compensation for preventive suspension pending appeal if the employee is eventually exonerated. This is because "preventive suspension pending appeal is actually punitive although it is in effect subsequently considered illegal if respondent is exonerated and the administrative decision finding him guilty is reversed. Hence, he should be reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension.

Nalupta, Jr. v Tapec (220 SCRA 505 | 1993, Nocon, J.)
Facts: - Honesto Tapec, a deputy sheriff was suspended for six months and one day for having a relationship with a woman other than his wife by whom he has two children and for discharging the duties of Barangay Captain of Masintoc, Paoay, Ilocos Norte despite holding his present position. The complaint against him filed with the Office of the Court Administrator was initiated by Mariano Nalupta, the Congressman of 2nd District of Ilocos Norte whose wife s relatives are close with Tapec s paramour, Consolacion Inocencio. - Tapec vehemently denied all the charges claiming that the same were malicious and fabricated. He claims that his son Honesto Tapec, Jr. is the father of the two children Marc and Joseph, as shown by the affidavits of Consolacion Inocencio and Atty. Benigno Galacgac. He likewise denied the charge that he is discharging the duties of barangay captain, the truth being that he is merely a barangay consultant. Respondent attributed the filing of the complaint to his refusal to support complainant's candidacy during the 1987 elections, as well as his refusal to accommodate complainant's unreasonable requests in connection with several cases the latter was handling before the Regional Trial Court of Batac. Issue: WON illicit relationship of a public officer subjects him to disciplinary action? YES Ratio: - Complainant had sufficiently established the charge of immorality against respondent. - The act of respondent of having illicit relations with Consolacion Inocencio is considered disgraceful and immoral conduct within the purview of Section 36 (b)(5) of PD 807, for which respondent may be subjected to disciplinary action. - Memorandum Circular No. 30, Series of 1989 of the CSC has categorized disgraceful and immoral conduct as a grave offense for which a penalty of suspension for 6 months and 1 day shall be imposed for the 1st offense, while dismissal is imposed for the 2nd offense. - Inasmuch as the present charge of immorality against respondent constitutes the first charge of this nature, the Court shall at this instance suspend respondent for 6 months and 1 day. While it is true that during the investigation of this case, respondent has absented himself without official leave, the recommendation of his immediate superior, Judge Ariston L. Rubio, for his dismissal on this ground has yet to be received by this Court. The Court hereby reserves the right to impose the appropriate penalty upon respondent for this new offense at the proper time.

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Office of the Court Administrator v Librado (260 SCRA 624 | 1996, Per Curiam, J.)
Facts: - Vicente Librado, deputy sheriff, was convicted for selling and possessing illegal drugs (shabu and MJ). - Office of the Court Administrator filed this administrative complaint against him and was suspended from office. - Respondent admits that he had been convicted of violation of RA 6425 and claims that he is now on probation. - Judge Salazar, Executive Judge of RTC-Iligan City, to whom this case was referred for investigation, report and recommendation, recommends that in view of respondent s probation, a penalty short of dismissal be meted out against respondent to provide him with the incentive and the will to rehabilitate himself and apply his time to his work as a judicial employee. Issue: WON a judicial employee under probation for a crime involving moral turpitude may be readmitted to public service? NO! Ratio: - This case involves a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude as a ground for disciplinary action under the Civil Service Law. Under the rules of the CSC, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude is considered a grave offense punishable, upon first commission, by dismissal. As this Court has held, it alone suffices as a ground for the dismissal of a civil service employee. - There is no doubt that drug-pushing is a crime which involves moral turpitude and implies everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals including acts of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or to society in general, contrary to the accepted rule of right and duty between man and man. Indeed nothing is more depraved than for anyone to be a merchant of death by selling prohibited drugs. - The image of the judiciary is tarnished by conduct, which involves moral turpitude. While indeed the purpose of the Probation Law is to save valuable human material, it must not be forgotten that unlike pardon probation does not obliterate the crime of which the person under probation has been convicted. The reform and rehabilitation of the probationer cannot justify his retention in the government service. He may seek to reenter government service, but only after he has shown that he is fit to serve once again. It cannot be repeated too often that a public office is a public trust, which demands of those in its service the highest degree of morality. DISPOSITIVE: DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all leave credits and retirement benefits and with disqualification for reemployment in the national and local governments, as well as in any governmental instrumentality or agency, including GOCCs.

Office of the Court Administrator v Judge Veneracion (334 SCRA 145 | 2000, Pardo, J.)
Facts: - Administrative complaint against Judge Veneracion for grave misconduct and violation of Canon 3, Rule 3.08 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, and Branch Clerk of Court Rogelio M. Linatoc, for grave misconduct. Sheriff Rogelio Tria implemented a writ of execution in a civil case for support. Merlinia Santos complained to the OCA. - Investigation by the OCA: Sheriff Tria was not an employee of the judiciary at the time he acted as sheriff in Civil Case No. 9784356. He was actually appointed process server of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 47, Manila. However, he was transferred to the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), Department of Finance, as an Intelligence Officer. He was not thereafter reemployed in the judiciary. - Mr. Antonio Velasco was the duly appointed Deputy Sheriff IV of the RTC, Branch 47, Manila. Subsequently, however, Judge Veneracion assigned Deputy Sheriff IV Antonio Velasco to the Office of the Clerk of Court in order that Tria, who was not an employee of the judiciary, could be designated to perform the functions of Acting Deputy Sheriff IV considering the position vacant and authorized to carry out the writ of execution in Civil Case No. 97-84356. Court Administrator concluded that Judge Veneracion and Branch Clerk of Court Rogelio M. Linatoc had knowledge of the irregularity. - Both Judge and Atty. Linatoc denied irregularity and averred good faith in Tria s detail. - Tria was employed with EIIB. However, Tria was detailed with the RTC Branch 47, Manila as Acting Deputy Sheriff IV, upon the request of Judge Veneracion and former Justice Emilio A. Gancayco (on different occasions). When sheriff Tria implemented the writ of execution in Civil Case No. 97-84356, he had no appointment or designation authorizing his assignment as such nor was he a duly bonded official. Issue: WON an employee of EIIB, an agency under the Department of Finance, of the executive branch of the government, may be assigned by that agency on detail with the judiciary, specifically to the RTC as deputy sheriff, upon the request of the presiding judge of the court without the authority of the SC? NO. Ratio: - Judge Veneracion s repeated requests for Tria's detail with the RTC as Acting Deputy Sheriff IV, a position that was not vacant, contravened Article VIII, Section 5 (6) of the Constitution, SC Administrative Circular No. 07 (re: appointments to vacant positions in the judiciary), and Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 12 addressed to all judges and clerks of court of the RTC, prescribing guidelines and procedure in the service and execution of court writs and processes. - Administrative Circular No. 12 provides that "in the absence of deputy sheriff appointed and assigned in his sala" the judge may at any time designate any of the deputy sheriffs in the office of the clerk of court. However, the judge shall not be allowed to designate the deputy sheriff of another branch without first securing the consent of the presiding judge thereof. - Judge Veneracion failed to observe the Constitutional and regulatory prescriptions. Judge Veneracion had no power to assign on temporary detail his duly appointed sheriff to the office of the clerk of court. The authority to detail employees of his branch to the office of the clerk of court is vested in the executive judge. Hence, there was no vacancy even temporarily in the office of branch sheriff of Branch 47, and the judge can not appoint or designate any person of his choice to act as sheriff. His action showed persistent

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disregard of the rule in the designation of acting sheriffs. This act constitutes usurpation of the appointing authority of the SC amounting to grave misconduct in office. - What is required of judges is objectivity. An independent judiciary does not mean that judges can innovate at pleasure, roaming at will in pursuit of their own ideals of beauty or of goodness. They are bound by limitations on their authority, by substantive and procedural rules of law, more importantly by Constitutional precepts and the recognition of their places in the hierarchy of courts. - Judge Veneracion s outright disregard of the well-established separation of powers of the three great departments of government and his exercise of powers beyond his judicial competence and in defiance of directives of the Supreme Court undermined the independence of the judiciary. PROPRIETY OF THE PENALTIES: - Judge Veneracion: tempers the severity of the recommended dismissal of respondent judge considering his long service in the government and the judiciary and his obedience to the order of the Court Administrator directing him to terminate the questioned designation of sheriff Tria, thus, evincing remorse and repentance for his unauthorized acts. - Atty. Linatoc: Dismissal from the service as too harsh a penalty. His fault was in following blindly the orders of the respondent judge, even though these violated the Constitution and circulars of the Supreme Court.

RTC Makati Movement Against Graft and Corruption v Dumlao (247 SCRA 108 | 1995, Kapunan, J.)
Facts: - Atty. Inocencio Dumlao, Branch Clerk of Court of the RTC Makati, Br. 134, was charged by the RTC Makati Movement against Graft & Corruption for allegedly engaging in usurious activities, immorality and violation of the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practices Act. He allegedly withheld the salary checks of all RTC Makati employees to compel them to borrow money from him at usurious rates, as evidenced by Trust Agreements. The amounts loaned are collected through his alleged paramour, Ms. Piedad Cruz, a clerk employed at the Cash Section of the Office of the Clerk of Court, RTC Makati. Additionally, he allegedly demanded money from party litigants and lawyers in exchange for favorable action on their cases. - The complaints were all in letter form addressed to SC, signed collectively by 90 employees. Although the court does not as a rule act on anonymous complaints, cases are excepted in which the charged could be fully borne by public records of indubitable integrity, thus needing no corroboration by evidence to be offered by complainant, whose identity and integrity could hardly be material where the matter involved is of public interest. - Dumlao vehemently denied all the charges and branded the allegations as mere conjectures, hearsay and rumors without legal or factual basis. He revealed that he has been engaged in a confidential mission to help the OCA expose the widespread corruption in the Makati RTC and he surmised that this is the reason for the "anonymous poison letter" against him. - Case was referred to Judge Abad Santos for investigation. However, only Susan Quinto appeared and substantiated her complaint. - Judge Abad Santos findings: 1. Dumlao collected commissions of from P300.00 to P500.00 for the ex-parte reception of evidence 2. Failure to prepare the commissioner's reports notwithstanding his having been paid at the ex-parte reception 3. Dumlao was into usurious activities on government time and resources - Judge Abad Santos recommendation: Dumlao s dismissal from service on grounds of grave misconduct and dishonesty prejudicial to the best interest of the service and acts unbecoming a court officer Issue: WON Dumlao s acts warrant his dismissal? YES Ratio: - Public service requires utmost integrity and strictest discipline. A public servant must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and integrity. The administration of justice is a sacred task. By the very nature of their duties and responsibilities, all those involved in it must faithfully adhere to, hold inviolate, and invigorate the principle solemnly enshrined in the 1987 Constitution that a public office is a public trust; and all public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. The conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. Their conduct, at all times, must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum but, above all else, must be above suspicion. Indeed, every employee of the judiciary should be an example of integrity, uprightness and honesty. - The particular public officer concerned is a Branch Clerk of a court of justice who is described as an essential officer in any judicial system, whose office is the hub of activities, both adjudicative and administrative and who occupy a position of great importance and responsibility in the framework of judicial administration. Clerks of Court are, thus, required to be individuals of competence, honesty and probity specifically mandated to safeguard the integrity of the court and its proceedings, to earn respect therefor, to maintain loyalty thereto and to the judge as the superior officer, to maintain the authenticity and correctness of court records and to uphold the confidence of the public in the administration of justice. - Respondent's ignorance of the existence and contents of the Manual for Clerks of Court clearly demonstrates how grossly remiss he has been in the performance of his duties as Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 134 RTC-Makati. He cannot rely on his thirteen (13) years of experience alone, vast though it may seem, because the law is constantly evolving. As a court officer, he should keep abreast of the various changes and amendments of the law. - The documentary exhibits presented by Complainant leave no doubt as to the existence of Respondent's lending operation, some of which even led to the filing (by Respondent) of criminal charges against borrowers who failed to pay their loans under the so-called trust agreements. Such despicable acts cannot be tolerated by this Court. His reliance on CB Circular No. 905 implementing MB

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Resolution No. 225 which effectively suspended the provisions of the Usury Law is misplaced. Although he may not be criminally or civilly liable, he is still administratively liable under the Civil Service Law where lending money at usurious rates of interests is specifically listed as grounds for disciplinary action. Courts are not lending institutions. By engaging in lending activities, Dumlao has caused dishonor to courts of justice. DISPOSITIVE: DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all benefits, if any, and with prejudice to his reinstatement in government service, including GOCCs.

Nieva v Alvarez-Edad (450 SCRA 45 | 2005, Sandoval-Gutierrez, J.)
Facts: - Maritoni M. Nieva, former legal researcher of the MeTC, Branch 32 QC charged Saturnina Alvarez-Edad, Branch Clerk of Court, also of the same Branch, with the following administrative offenses: 1) Falsification of daily time records; 2) Dishonesty; 3) Demanding or receiving commissioner s fee for reception of evidence ex-parte; 4) Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service; 5) Issuing certified true copies of warrant of arrest without payment of the corresponding fees; and 6) Discourtesy in the conduct of official business. - List of Saturnina s kamalditahan: [1] Harassed complainant and Helen Santiago, stenographer: Saturnina indicated in the logbook that complainant attended office for only one half day; Logbook was closed at 8:30 AM instead of 8:20 AM. [2] Displayed conduct unbecoming of a public servant by publicly humiliating complainant, the lawyers, the accused, and the members of her staff. [3] Unjustly charged Danilo Dela Cruz, a utility worker, with insubordination. As a result, Dela Cruz was dismissed from the service per the Supreme Court en banc Resolution. - Investigating Executive Judge Dayrit: Exonerated her from all the charges, except for dishonesty BUT recommended that respondent be found guilty of 2 counts of dishonesty and be suspended from the service for 1 year without pay and be disqualified for promotion or from receiving any increase in salary during the pendency of the suspension, pursuant to Section 46 (b), Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of EO 292; Section 22, Rule XIV, Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E.O. No. 292; and Section 7 of RA 6713. Issue: WON Edad deserves the penalty?No Ratio: - Court adopted the evaluation and recommendation of Deputy Court Administrator: Records show that complainant failed to prove by substantial evidence to hold respondent administratively liable. As found by the investigating judge, the other charges were not proven. - Respondent did not commit dishonesty when she demanded commissioner s fee from the Unifunds. As shown by the evidence established by the complainant, it shows that respondent is actually guilty of Violation of the Manual for Clerks of Court, specifically under the following provisions: (a) Section B, Chapter II (p. 36), which states that: No Branch Clerk of Court shall demand and/or receive commissioner s fees for reception of evidence ex-parte;' and (b) Section D.7, Chapter IV(p. 74), which states that: The Court shall allow the commissioner, other than an employee of the Court, such reasonable compensation as the circumstances of the case warrant to be taxed as costs against the defeated party, or apportioned, as justice requires. Clearly, the intent or motive to gain out of Cueto s collectibles for the payment of TSN is totally absent. In fact, it was established during the investigation that respondent collected the sum of P500.00 in the presence of the other staff and especially Court Stenographer Judith Cueto. The latter, upon receipt of the P200.00 pesos, did not object or complain. Presumably, respondent and Court Stenographer had a previous understanding or some sort of an agreement to this kind of arrangement, which they call it a package deal when conducting ex-parte hearing. - Citing RTC of Makati v Dumlao re prohibition on Clerk of Courts to collect compensation for services rendered as commissioners in exparte proceedings: The Court shall allow the commissioner, other than an employee of the court, such reasonable compensation as the circumstances of the case warrant. - The administration of justice, by its very nature, is a sacred task, circumscribed with a heavy burden of responsibility. All those involved in its dispensation from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk should live up to the strictest standards of competence, honesty and integrity in the public service. Their conduct, at all times, must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum but, above all else, must be above suspicion. No other office in the government service exacts a greater demand for moral righteousness and uprightness from an employee than in the Judiciary. - Clerks of court, like the respondent herein, are important officers in the judicial system. Their administrative functions are vital to the prompt and sound administration of justice. They cannot be allowed to overstep their powers and responsibilities. Their office is the hub of adjudicative and administrative orders, processes and judicial concerns. They perform a very delicate function as custodian of the court s funds, revenues, records, property and premises. They are specifically imbued with the mandate to safeguard the integrity of the court as well as the efficiency of its proceedings, and to uphold the confidence of the public in the administration of justice. Thus, they are required to be persons of competence, honesty and probity. DISPOSITIVE: GUILTY of demanding/receiving commissioner s fee in violation of Section B, Chapter II and Section D (7), Chapter IV of the Manual for Clerks of Court. SUSPENDED for 2 months without pay and WARNED that a repetition of the same or a similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.

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Civil Service Commission v Dacoycoy ( SUPRA | 1999, Pardo, J.)
Facts: - George P. Suan, Vice-President of Citizens Crime Watch, Allen Chapter, Northern Samar, filed with CSC a complaint against Pedro Dacoycoy, the Vocational School Administrator of Balicuatro College of Arts and Trade, Allen, Northern Samar, for habitual drunkenness, misconduct and nepotism. After investigation, the CSC found Dacoycoy guilty only of nepotism on two counts as a result of the appointment of his two sons as driver and utility worker of the school and their assignment under respondent s immediate supervision and control. Consequently, the CSC dismissed respondent from the service. CA however reversed. Ratio: - CA reversed the decision of the CSC and held respondent not guilty of nepotism. Who now may appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court? Certainly not the respondent, who was declared not guilty of the charge. Nor the complainant George P. Suan, who was merely a witness for the government. Consequently, the CSC has become the party adversely affected by such ruling, which seriously prejudices the civil service system. Hence, as an aggrieved party, it may appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. By this ruling, we now expressly abandon and overrule extant jurisprudence that the phrase party adversely affected by the decision refers to the government employee against whom the administrative case is filed for the purpose of disciplinary action which may take the form of suspension, demotion in rank or salary, transfer, removal or dismissal from office and not included are cases where the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than 30 days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days salary or when the respondent is exonerated of the charges, there is no occasion for appeal. - In other words, we overrule prior decisions holding that the Civil Service Law does not contemplate a review of decisions exonerating officers or employees from administrative charges enunciated in Paredes v. Civil Service Commission etc.

Santos v Macaraig (208 SCRA 74 | 1992, Griño-Aquino, J.)
Facts: - Pres. Cory appointed Rosalinda de Perio-Santos, a career service officer with the rank of Chief of Mission II and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, to the position of Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations with station in Geneva, Switzerland. - Apr 6, 1987: Rosario sought leave of absence from DFA to spend Easter in NY. She bought 2 non-transferable, non-refundable discounted tickets costing SFr. 1,597 for herself and her adopted daughter Pia. - Before they could leave Geneva, she received instructions from the home office directing her to proceed to Havana as a member of the Philippine delegation to the UNCTAD G-77 Preparatory Conference from April 20-26, 1987. For the official trip outside her station, she was entitled, under the Foreign Service Personnel Manual on Travel, Per Diems, and Daily Allowance Abroad, to SFr. 2,996 for the cost of economy roundtrip fare from Geneva-NY-Geneva portion of her Geneva-NY-Havana-NY-Geneva trip. - Instead of buying an economy roundtrip ticket, she used for the Geneva-NY-Geneva portion of her trip the 2 discounted tickets costing only SFr. 1,597 for herself and her daughter Pia. They left Geneva for NY en route to Havana on April 15, 1987. On the same day, the DFA approved her application for a leave of absence with pay from April 27 to May 1, 1987. - After the Havana Conference, she and her daughter spent her vacation leave in New York before returning to Geneva. - Instead of claiming reimbursement for SFr. 2,996, she requested, and received, reimbursement of only SFr. 1,597 which she spent for the Geneva to New York, and New York to Geneva portion of her trip, thereby effecting savings of SFr.1,399 for the Government. - DFA sent her a cable requesting clarification on why Mission paid for plane ticket of infant Pia Geneva-New York-Geneva per CV 216/87 when she was not authorized to accompany her adopting mother at government expense. - Petitioner replied that the air fare tickets were for her only and did not include her daughter whose trip was paid from her personal funds. Instead of refunding only the sum of Sfr. 673 to the Government, petitioner returned the full amount of SFr.1,597. She thereafter claimed payment for one round-trip economy plane ticket (Geneva-New York-Geneva) in the amount of SFr. 2,996 to which she was entitled under the Foreign Service Personnel Manual on Travel, Per Diems and Daily Allowance Abroad. - Deputy Armando Maglaque, and some MISUNPHIL employees filed administrative charges against her for incompetence; inefficient; corrupt and dishonest activities; rude and uncouth manners; abusive and high-handed behavior; irregular and highly illegal transactions involving funds of the mission. - DFA recalled her to Manila for consultation. Board of Foreign Service Administration (BFSA) constituted a new 5-man investigating committee to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties, which eventually found her liable only for misconduct and recommended dismissal of other charges. - Secretary of Foreign Affairs affirmed the BFSA's recommendation declaring Ambassador de Perio-Santos guilty of the lesser offense of misconduct, instead of dishonesty, meted to her the penalty of reprimand, and recalled her to the home office. - Insisting that no formal charge of misconduct had been filed against her, and that hence, there was nothing to investigate Santos refused to attend the hearing. - Santos appealed to President but Cory instead nominated Narcisa L. Escaler as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva in lieu of the petitioner. The nomination was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. President Aquino issued Administrative Order No. 122 finding petitioner guilty of dishonesty (instead of misconduct) and imposed upon her the penalty of reprimand, with recall to the home office. Issue: WON Santos was guilty of dishonesty or misconduct? NEITHER. It was just plain misunderstanding. Ratio:

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- A careful review of the records fails to yield any evidence of dishonesty on the part of the petitioner, or an intent to cheat and defraud the government. Her failure to disclose the fact that her discounted tickets included the fare for her child, was harmless and inconsequential as the 2 discounted Geneva-New York-Geneva tickets for herself and her daughter were in fact inseparable, intransferable, non-cancellable and non-refundable, in effect one whole fare only, for purposes of the discount. The mother and daughter tickets were, in the words of the petitioner, married to each other. One without the other would not have been entitled to the discount. And if she left her daughter behind, it would have made no difference in the fare because the ticket was not refundable. - Using the discounted tickets was beneficial to the Government for they cost 50% less than an economy roundtrip ticket that the petitioner was entitled to purchase for the same trip if she travelled alone. She obviously saved money (SFr.1,399) for the government by using her discounted tickets even if her daughter's fare was included therein. - Since petitioner was moved by the best of motives in using the discounted tickets which she had purchased before she received the order to attend the UNCTAD conference in Havana, her action should be commended instead of condemned. - Petitioner's problems probably would not have arisen if before embarking on the Havana trip she had asked DFA for permission to use the 2 discounted round-trip tickets for the Geneva-NY-Geneva portion of her trip. Her inadvertence was construed by the Government as lack of candor and honesty on her part. The Court believes however that she did not intend to falsify or conceal the truth when she filed a claim for the refund of the total cost of her discounted tickets (SFr.1,597). Her claim for the whole discounted fare was based on the fact that her daughter's ticket was inseparable from her own fare. They had to go together to be entitled to the special discount. Their fare was indivisible, hence, the Government's offer to shoulder only the petitioner's portion of the discounted fare (SFr. 950), excluding her daughter's portion (SFr. 647) was neither fair nor reasonable. - On appeal to the Office of the President, the latter ironically found her guilty of the more serious offense of dishonesty, reprimanded her therefor, and recalled her to Manila. We hold that under the circumstances above narrated, the petitioner's actuation constituted neither dishonesty nor misconduct, hence, the reprimand that was meted to her was unmerited. DISPOSITIVE: Administrative Order No. 122 of the Office of the President, insofar as it finds the petitioner guilty of dishonesty and reprimands her therefor, is hereby set aside. However, the order recalling her to the home office in Manila is affirmed (she was a primarily confidential appointee whose term expires upon lost of confidence/pleasure turns into displeasure).

Garciano v Oyao (102 SCRA 195 | 1981, Makasiar, J.)
Facts: - Wilfredo Oyao was originally Docket Clerk turned Clerk of Court of CFI Cebu. Garciano wanted to collect the P300 due him. - Oyao initially signed a promissory note with special power of attorney authorizing respondent to collect his first quincena salary until his indebtedness is fully paid but, instead, the Oyao collected in advance his salary checks so Garciano was unable to collect a single check by way of payment of the indebtedness. - Oyao employed all sorts of tactics and manipulations to evade payment of his obligations but due to the persistent demands of Garciano, the sum of P268 was paid leaving a balance of P300.00. Issue: WON Oyao's act in wilfully refusing to settle his obligation is a violation of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations which would subject him to punishment? Ratio: - His alleged "obvious financial set-back" about which no proof was submitted cannot justify the unnecessary inconvenience he caused to the complainant. The indebtedness was incurred as early as February, 1968. Oyao executed a promissory note in favor of the Garciano and also a special power of attorney authorizing herein complainant to collect respondent's first quincena salary until the indebtedness was fully paid. But Garciano could not collect the first 15-day salary of respondent, for the latter always collected it ahead of complainant. Oyao s execution of the aforesaid documents in favor of the complainant induced the latter to grant the said loan. Hence, it is clearly unfair to the complainant as well as unethical for Oyao to welch on his promise. - Oyao s personal file betrayed him. He falsely averred that, being the sole bread winner of a big family he cannot pay with his monthly salary of P273.00 Garciano in a lump sum the remaining balance of P300.00. He has only one daughter and for seven years after he incurred the indebtedness he has been receiving a monthly salary of P435.16. - Avoid so far as reasonably possible a situation which would normally tend to arouse any reasonable suspicion that he is utilizing his official position for personal gain or advantage to the prejudice of party litigants or the public in general. There may be occasion then where the needs of the collectivity that is the government may collide with his private interest as an individual. His improper conduct unavoidably stains the image of the judiciary. Court personnel must comply with just contractual obligation, act fairly and adhere to high ethical standards to preserve the court's integrity. Although an ordinary court employee, should not, like judges, incur obligations which will in any way interfere, directly or indirectly, with his function as such. He should be scrupulously careful to avoid such action as may reasonably tend to generate the suspicion that his relations with others constitute an element in the determination of the course of action that the court to which he belongs, will take in a pending case. - To emphasize the warning, Section I of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019, as amended by RA 3047) states: It is the policy of the Philippines (Government in line with the principle that a public office is a public trust, to repress certain acts of public officers, and private persons alike which constitute graft and corrupt practices or which may lead thereto. - Although the actuation of the respondent in the present case may not clearly fall under any of the graft and corrupt practices defined by law, the impropriety of the same is evidently unquestionable for it may lead to any of those prohibited acts. DISPOSITIVE: Oyao hereby admonished to pay his debts when due and is directed to pay to Garciano, the amount of P50 every month until the entire balance of P300 as well as the interest thereon is fully paid.