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THIRDDIVISION

[G.R.No.155620.August9,2005]

PRUDENCIO QUIMBO, petitioner, vs. ACTING OMBUDSMAN MARGARITO


GERVACIO and DIRECTRESS MARY SUSAN S. GUILLERMO OF THE
OMBUDSMANOFFICE,respondents.

DECISION
CARPIOMORALES,J.:

Culledfromtherecordsofthecasearethefollowingfacts:
Petitioner, Prudencio C. Quimbo, Provincial Engineer of Samar, was on May 21, 1995
administrativelychargedforharassmentandoppressionbyElmoV.Padaon(Padaon),ageneral
foreman who was detailed to the Motor Pool Division, Provincial Engineering, Barangay Payao,
Catbalogan,SamarbythenProvincialGovernorJoseRoo.
DuringthependencyoftheadministrativecasebeforetheOfficeoftheDeputyOmbudsman,
petitioner, on motion of the complainant Padaon, was by November 28, 1997 Order of the
[1]
Ombudsman placedunderpreventivesuspensionwithoutpaytocommenceuponreceiptofthe
orderanduntilsuchtimethatitisliftedbutinnocasebeyondSix(6)Months.
PetitionerbeganservinghispreventivesuspensiononMarch18,1998.
After petitioner had presented on direct examination his last two witnesses, the Office of the
[2]
Ombudsman, by Order of April 27, 1998, lifted petitioners preventive suspension. He was thus
thereupon ordered, by Memorandum of June 3, 1998 issued by the OIC Provincial Governor, to
[3]
resumeperforminghisdutiesasProvincialEngineer.
[4]
ByDecisionofApril5,2000, theOfficeoftheDeputyOmbudsmanfoundpetitionerguiltyof
oppressionandrecommended thathe be suspended from office for a periodofeight(8)months
[5]
withoutpay,thiscasebeingthesecondcommissionbyhimofthesameoffense.
The Deputy Ombudsmans recommendation was approved by the Ombudsman on April 28,
2000.PetitionersmotionforreconsiderationoftheOmbudsmansdecisionhavingbeendenied,he
elevatedthecasetotheCourtofAppeals.
[6]
The appellate court, by Decision of March 1, 2001, modifying the decision of the
Ombudsman,foundpetitionerguiltyofsimplemisconductonlyandpenalizedhimwithsuspension
fromofficeforaperiodofTwo(2)Monthswithoutpay.
Followingthefinalityoftheappellatecourtsdecision,theOfficeoftheOmbudsman,byOrder
[7]
datedJune24,2002, directedtheProvincialGovernortoimplementitsdecision,asmodifiedby
theappellatecourt.
Petitioner filed, however, before the Office of the Ombudsman a Motion for
[8]
Modification/Reconsideration ofitsJune24,2002Order,callingattentiontothefactthathehad
beenonpreventivesuspensionfromMarch18,1998toJune1,1998andprayingthattheorder
under reconsideration be modified to take into account the period of [his] PREVENTIVE
SUSPENSIONofTWO(2)MONTHSandSEVENTEEN(17)[DAYS]WITHOUTPAYaspartofthe
[9]
finalpenaltyimposed.
[10]
Inasimilarmove,ProvincialGovernorMilagrosaTansentaletter alsodatedJuly23,2002
totheOmbudsmanseekingclarificationonthemeritsofpetitionerscontentionthatheshouldno
longer be required to serve the penalty of Two (2) Months suspension without pay, he having
priorlyservedpreventivesuspensionformorethanTwo(2)Months.
[11]
By letter dated August 21, 2002 addressed to the Provincial Governor, the Office of the
Ombudsman clarified that preventive suspension is not a penalty but a preliminary step in an
investigation [and that] [i]f after such investigation, the charge is established and the person
investigateduponisfoundguilty...warrantingtheimpositionofpenalty,thenheshallaccordingly
bepenalized.Theorderfortheimplementationofitsdecision,asmodifiedbytheappellatecourt,
wasthusreiteratedintheletter.
Unperturbed, petitioner, via certiorari, assailed before the Court of Appeals the Office of the
Ombudsmansdenialofhispleatobeconsideredhavingservedthemodifiedpenalty.
[12]
ByResolutiondatedOctober2,2002, theCourtofAppealsdismissedpetitionerspetitionfor
certiorari,itaffirmingtheOmbudsmansrulingthatpreventivesuspensionpendinginvestigationis
notapenalty.
Hence,thepresentpetitionforreviewoncertiorariraisingassoleissuewhethertheappellate
court committed reversible error when it dismissed his petition. Petitioner contends in the
affirmative,hearguingthatthedismissalofhispetitionisinviolationofthedoctrineenunciatedin
[13]
Gloriav.CourtofAppeals andtheruleonequitythatapersonshouldnotbepunishedtwicenor
be made to suffer the suspension penalty after [he] had [served] the same (although in a
[14]
preventivesuspension).
Thepetitionfails.
[15]
Jurisprudential law establishes a clearcut distinction between suspension as preventive
measure and suspension as penalty. The distinction, by considering the purpose aspect of the
suspensions,isreadilycognizableastheyhavedifferentendssoughttobeachieved.
Preventivesuspensionismerelyapreventivemeasure,apreliminarystepinanadministrative
investigation. The purpose of the suspension order is to prevent the accused from using his
position and the powers and prerogatives of his office to influence potential witnesses or tamper
[16]
with records which may be vital in the prosecution of the case against him. If after such
investigation, the charge is established and the person investigated is found guilty of acts
warranting his suspension or removal, then he is suspended, removed or dismissed. This is the
[17]
penalty.
ThatpreventivesuspensionisnotapenaltyisinfactexplicitlyprovidedbySection24ofRule
XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive
OrderNo.292)andotherPertinentCivilServiceLaws.

SEC.24.Preventivesuspensionisnotapunishmentorpenaltyformisconductinofficebutisconsidered
tobeapreventivemeasure.(Emphasissupplied).

Notbeingapenalty,theperiodwithinwhichoneisunderpreventivesuspensionisnotconsidered
partoftheactualpenaltyofsuspension.SoSection25ofthesameRuleXIVprovides:

SEC.25.Theperiodwithinwhichapublicofficeroremployeechargedisplacedunderpreventive
suspensionshallnotbeconsideredpartoftheactualpenaltyofsuspensionimposedupontheemployee
foundguilty.(Emphasissupplied).

Clearly,serviceofthepreventivesuspensioncannotbecreditedasserviceofpenalty.Torule
otherwiseistodisregardabovequotedSections24and25oftheAdministrativeCodeof1987and
render nugatory the substantial distinction between, and purposes of imposing preventive
suspensionandsuspensionaspenalty.
PetitionersrelianceonGloriafails.Insaidcase,thisCourtrecognizedtwokindsofpreventive
suspension of civil service employees who are charged with offenses punishable by removal or
suspension,towit:(1)preventivesuspensionpendinginvestigation(Section51oftheCivilService
Law[BookV,TitleI,SubtitleAoftheAdministrativeCodeof1987]),and(2)preventivesuspension
pendingappealifthepenaltyimposedbythediscipliningauthorityissuspensionordismissaland,
[18]
afterreview,therespondentisexonerated(Section47(4)ofTheCivilServiceLaw).
The foregoing classification has significant implications in determining the entitlement of the
employee to compensation during the period of suspension, and to credit the preventive
suspensiontothefinalpenaltyofsuspension.
Thus,inGloria,thisCourtheld:

Preventivesuspensionpendinginvestigation,asalreadydiscussed,isnotapenaltybutonlyameansof
enablingthediscipliningauthoritytoconductanunhamperedinvestigation.Ontheotherhand,preventive
suspensionpendingappealisactuallypunitivealthoughitisineffectsubsequentlyconsideredillegalif
respondentisexoneratedandtheadministrativedecisionfindinghimguiltyisreversed.Hence,heshouldbe
reinstatedwithfullpayfortheperiodofthesuspension.Thus,47(4)statesthatrespondentshallbe
consideredasunderpreventivesuspensionduringthependencyoftheappealintheeventhewins.Onthe
otherhand,ifhisconvictionisaffirmed,i.e.,ifheisnotexonerated,theperiodofhissuspensionbecomes
[19]
partofthefinalpenaltyofsuspensionordismissal. (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied).

In fine, as petitioners preventive suspension was carried out pending his investigation, not
whilehisappealfromhisconvictionwaspending,thesamecannotbecreditedtoformpartofthe
finalpenaltyofsuspension.
Enpassant,neither may the concept of crediting, in criminal law, preventive imprisonment in
[20]
the service of a convicts term of imprisonment be applied to preventive suspension during
investigationinadministrativelawintheserviceofarespondentsfinalpenaltyofsuspension.For
notonlyaretheydistinctintheobjectiveorpurpose,orintheirnatureaspreventiveimprisonment
involves restriction of personal liberties which is not the case with preventive suspension the
respectivelawscoveringthemareexplicit.
Finally,asshownabove,sincethelawexplicitlyprescribestherulesoncreditingofpreventive
suspensiontothefinalpenaltyofsuspension,petitionersinvocationofequitymaynotlie.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisherebyDENIED.
Costsagainstpetitioner.
SOORDERED.
Panganiban,(Chairman),SandovalGutierrez,andGarcia,JJ.,concur.
Corona,J.,onleave.

[1]
Rolloat5659.
[2]
Id.at64.
[3]
Id.at63AnnexH.
[4]
Recordsat422426.
[5]
Id.at426.
[6]
Rolloat3547.
[7]
Id.at48.
[8]
Id.at50.
[9]
Id.at24.
[10]
Id.at52.
[11]
Id.at54.
[12]
Id.at31.
[13]
306SCRA287(1999).
[14]
Rolloat5.
[15]
Reyesv.Delim,368SCRA323,333(2001)Yabutv.OfficeoftheOmbudsman, 233 SCRA 310, 316317 (1994)
Beja,Sr.v.CourtofAppeals,207SCRA689,694(1992).
[16]
Pimentelv.Garchitorena,208SCRA122,124(1992).
[17]
VideNerav.Garcia,106Phil.1031,1034(1960)Lastimosav.Vasquez,243SCRA497,507(1995).
[18]
Gloria v. Court of Appeals,supra at 296. VideCaniete v. Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, 333 SCRA
849,854(2000).
[19]
Gloriav.CourtofAppeals,supraat303.VideCanietev.SecretaryofEducation,CultureandSports,supraat854
Acostav.CourtofAppeals,334SCRA486,496(2000).
[20]
Article29oftheRevisedPenalCodeprovides:
ART. 29. Period of preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment. Offenders or accused who have
undergone preventive imprisonment shall be credited in the service of their sentence consisting of
deprivation of liberty, with the full time during which they have undergone preventive imprisonment, if the
detention prisoner agrees voluntarily in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted
prisoners,exceptinthefollowingcases:
(1)Whentheyarerecidivists,orhavebeenconvictedpreviouslytwiceormoretimesofanycrimeand
(2) When upon being summoned for the execution of their sentence they have failed to surrender
voluntarily.
If the detention prisoner does not agree to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, he
shall be credited in the service of his sentence with fourfifths of the time during which he has undergone
preventiveimprisonment.
Wheneveranaccusedhasundergonepreventiveimprisonmentforaperiodequaltoormorethanthepossiblemaximum
imprisonmentoftheoffensechargedtowhichhemaybesentencedandhiscaseisnotyetterminated,heshall
bereleasedimmediatelywithoutprejudicetothecontinuationofthetrialthereofortheproceedingonappeal,if
thesameisunderreview.Incasethemaximumpenaltytowhichtheaccusedmaybesentencedisdestierro,
heshallbereleasedafterthirty(30)daysofpreventiveimprisonment.(Emphasissupplied).