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SARAH P. AMPONG v.

CIVIL SLRVICL COMMISSION
G.R. No. J679J6, 26 August 2008, LN BANC, (Reyes, R.1., J.)

.avivi.tratire ;vri.aictiov orer a covrt ev¡to,ee betovg. to tbe ´v¡reve Covrt, regarate.. of rbetber tbe offev.e
ra. covvittea before or after ev¡to,vevt iv tbe ;vaiciar,.

During the Proíessional Board Lxamination íor 1eachers ,PBL1, a certain L·elyn Junio-Decir
applied íor and took the examination. She passed with a rating oí ¯4.2¯°.

At the time oí the PBL1 examinations, petitioner Sarah P. Ampong and Decir were public
school teachers under the super·ision oí the Department oí Lducation, Culture and Sports ,DLCS,.
Later, Ampong transíerred to the Regional 1rial Court ,R1C, in Alabel, Sarangani Pro·ince, where she
was appointed as Court Interpreter III.

On July 5, 1994, a woman representing herselí as L·elyn Decir went to the Ci·il Ser·ice
Regional Oííice ,CSRO, No. XI, Da·ao City, to claim a copy oí her PBL1 Certiíicate oí Lligibility.
During the course oí the transaction, the CSRO personnel noticed that the woman did not resemble the
picture oí the examinee in the Picture Seat Plan ,PSP,. Upon íurther probing, it was coníirmed that the
person claiming the eligibility was diííerent írom the one who took the examination. It was petitioner
Ampong who took and passed the examinations under the name L·elyn Decir.

1he CSRO conducted a preliminary in·estigation and determined the existence oí a ¡riva facie
case against Decir and Ampong íor Dishonesty, Gra·e Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best
Interest oí the Ser·ice.

1he Ci·il Ser·ice Commission ,CSC, íound petitioner Ampong and Decir guilty oí dishonesty
and ordered their dismissal írom the ser·ice.

Ampong mo·ed íor reconsideration, raising íor the íirst time the issue oí jurisdiction. CSC
denied the motion. Petitioner Ampong appealed to the Court oí Appeals which also denied the petition.
lence, this petition.

ISSUL:

\hether or not the CSC has administrati·e jurisdiction o·er an employee oí the Judiciary íor
acts committed while said employee was still with the Lxecuti·e or Lducation Department

HLLD:

Petition DLNILD.

1he answer to the question at the outset is in the negati·e but the Court rules against the petition
on the ground oí estoppel.

It is true that the CSC has administrati·e jurisdiction o·er the ci·il ser·ice. As deíined under the
Constitution and the Administrati·e Code, the ci·il ser·ice embraces e·ery branch, agency, subdi·ision,
and instrumentality oí the go·ernment, and go·ernment-owned or controlled corporations. Pursuant to
its administrati·e authority, the CSC is granted the power to control, super·ise, and coordinate the Ci·il
Ser·ice examinations.` 1his authority grants to the CSC the right to take cognizance oí any irregularity
or anomaly connected with the examinations.

However, the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court is given exclusive
administrative supervision over all courts and judicial personnel. By ·irtue oí this power, it is only
the Supreme Court that can o·ersee the judges` and court personnel`s compliance with all laws, rules and
regulations. It may take the proper administrati·e action against them ií they commit any ·iolation. No
other branch oí go·ernment may intrude into this power, without running aíoul oí the doctrine oí
separation oí powers. 1hus, the Court ruled that the Ombudsman cannot justiíy its in·estigation oí a
judge on the powers granted to it by the Constitution. It ·iolates the speciíic mandate oí the
Constitution granting to the Supreme Court super·isory powers o·er all courts and their personnel, it
undermines the independence oí the judiciary.

Compared to ´ta. .va and ßartotata, the present case in·ol·es a similar ·iolation oí the Ci·il
Ser·ice Law by a judicial employee. But this case is slightly diííerent in that Ampong committed the
oííense before her appointment to the judicial branch. At the time oí commission, Ampong was a
public school teacher under the administrati·e super·ision oí the DLCS and, in taking the ci·il ser·ice
examinations, under the CSC. Ampong surreptitiously took the CSC-super·ised PBL1 exam in place oí
another person. \hen she did that, she became a party to cheating or dishonesty in a ci·il ser·ice-
super·ised examination.

1hat she committed the dishonest act beíore she joined the R1C does not take her case out oí
the administrati·e reach oí the Supreme Court.

1he bottom line is administrative jurisdiction over a court employee belongs to the
Supreme Court, regardless of whether the offense was committed before or after employment in
the judiciary.

Indeed, the standard procedure is íor the CSC to bring its complaint against a judicial employee
beíore the OCA. Records show that the CSC did not adhere to this procedure in the present case.

lowe·er, the Court is constrained to uphold the ruling oí the CSC based on the principle oí
estoppel. 1he pre·ious actions oí Ampong ha·e estopped her írom attacking the jurisdiction oí the
CSC. A party who has aííirmed and in·oked the jurisdiction oí a court or tribunal exercising quasi-
judicial íunctions to secure an aííirmati·e relieí may not aíterwards deny that same jurisdiction to escape
a penalty.

Ampong`s dishonest act as a ci·il ser·ant renders her uníit to be a judicial employee. Indeed, the
Court takes note that petitioner should not ha·e been appointed as a judicial employee had this Court
been made aware oí the cheating that she committed in the ci·il ser·ice examinations. Be that as it may,
Ampong`s present status as a judicial employee is not a hindrance to her getting the penalty she deser·es.

1he conduct and beha·ior oí e·eryone connected with an oííice charged with the dispensation
oí justice is circumscribed with a hea·y burden or responsibility. 1he image oí a court, as a true temple
oí justice, is mirrored in the conduct, oííicial or otherwise, oí the men and women who work thereat,
írom the judge to the least and lowest oí its personnel. 1he Court will not tolerate dishonesty íor the
Judiciary expects the best írom all its employees.