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M. G.R. NO. 206379, CECILIA PAGADUAN V.

CSC AND REMA MARTIN SALVADOR,


NOVEMEBER 19, 2014

Facts:

Cecilia (Pagaduan) filed a complaint against Rema (Salvador), the Municipa


Budget Officer of Tuguegarao City, charging the latter for falsification and
misrepresentation when she stated in her Personal Data Sheet (PDS) that she
possesses the necessary budgeting qualification and indicated therein that she
performed bookkeeping and accounting functions for Veterans Woodworks from
1990 to 1992 when she was never employed by the company. In her defense, Rema
averred that that she was employed by Alfonso Tuzon, who was granted full
management, direct supervision and control of Veterans Woodworks logging
operations; her name does not appear on the VVI payroll because Tuzons office was
independent of the original staff. Cecilia also filed a case for falsification of public
documents before the MTCC of Tuguegarao City. On the administrative case, Rema
was found liable for Simple Misconduct only and the CSC approved her qualification
as it was a related field. Cecilia did not appeal this ruling. The MTCC
subsequently convicted Rema for falsification of public documents; she did not
appeal this ruling, instead she applied for probation which was granted by the
MTCC.

Consequently, Cecilia filed a second administrative complaint against Rema,


this time for conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. In her defense, she
alleged res judicata, forum shopping and double jeopardy, but the case proceeded,
and she adopted her defenses in the criminal case. After hearing, the CSC Regional
Office found Rema liable for conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, and
imposed on her the penalty of dismissal from the service. On appeal to the Civil
Service Commission, the latter reversed and set aside the CSC RO ruling. Thus
Cecilia elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, which initially sided with her, and
stated that following precedents, a conviction for falsification of public documents
constitute the offence of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. Rema
moved to reconsider. This time around, the CA reversed itself,ruled in favour of
Rema and agreed with the findings of the CSC that the act of falsification committed
by Salvador did not involve moral turpitude as it was a mere error of judgment on
her part.

Thus Cecilia elevated the case to the Supreme Court via petition for review on
certiorari.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether Rema was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

(2) Whether her conviction and eventual discharge from probation prevent another
administrative case to be filed against her.

HELD: (1) YES. Not every criminal act, however, involves moral turpitude. The crime
of falsification of public document is contrary to justice, honesty and good morals
and therefore, involves moral turpitude.

The court found that she made an untruthful statements in a narration of facts and
perverted the truth with a wrongful intent.

Considering that the principal act punished in the crime of falsification of public
document is the violation of the public faith and the destruction of truth as therein
solemnly proclaimed, the elements of the administrative offense of conviction of a
crime involving moral turpitude clearly exist in this case.

(2) NO. Probation does not erase the effects and fact of conviction, but merely
suspends the penalty imposed.

The purpose of the Probation Law is to save valuable human material, unlike
pardon, probation does not obliterate the crime for which the person under
probation has been convicted.

The reform and rehabilitation of the probation cannot justify her in the government
service. Furthermore, probation only affects the criminal liability of the accused and
not her administrative liabilities, if any.