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Ethical Conduct of Public Officers

and Employees

Francine Faith Longid-Dalumpines


Constitutional Basis

Public office is a public trust. Public officers and


employees must at all ;mes be accountable to
the people, serve them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency,
act with patrio;sm and jus;ce, and lead modest
lives. (Ar#cle XI, Sec#on 1, 1987 Cons#tu#on)
CSC vs. Cortes (2004)

A public servant must exhibit at all ;mes the


highest sense of honesty and integrity for no less
than the Cons;tu;on mandates that a public
office is a public trust. This cons;tu;onally-
enshrined principles, oG-repeated in our case
law, are not mere rhetorical flourishes or
idealis;c sen;ments. They should be taken as
working standards by all in the public service.
Laws on Ethical Conduct
q  R.A. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials
and Employees)
q  R.A. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act)
q  Title 7 Book II of the Revised Penal Code
q  R.A. 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act)
q  E.O. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987)
q  P.D. 46 (Giving and Receiving of Gifts on Any Occasion Including
Christmas)
q  Various issuances of the Civil Service Commission
q  Etc.
Republic Act No. 6713

An Act Establishing a Code of Conduct and


Ethical Standards for Public Officials and
Employees, to Uphold the Time-Honored
Principle of Public Office Being a Public Trust,
Gran;ng Incen;ves and Rewards for Exemplary
Service, Enumera;ng prohibited Acts and
Transac;ons and Providing Penal;es for
Viola;on Thereof, and for Other Pursposes.
State Policy

It is the policy of the State to promote a high


standard of ethics in public service. Public officials
and employees must at all ;mes be accountable to
the people and shall discharge their du;es with
utmost responsibility, integrity, competence, and
loyalty, act with patrio;sm and jus;ce, lead modest
lives, and uphold public interest over personal
interest. (Sec#on 2, R.A. 6713)
Norms of Conduct
q  Commitment to public interest
q  Professionalism
q  Justness and sincerity
q  Poli;cal neutrality
q  Responsiveness to the public
q  Na;onalism and patrio;sm
q  Commitment to democracy
q  Simple living
Commitment to Public Interest

 Public officials and employees shall


always uphold the public interest over
and above personal interest. All
government resources and powers of
their respec;ve offices must be
employed and used efficiently,
effec;vely, honestly and economically,
par;cularly to avoid wastage in public
funds and revenues.
Professionalism

 Public officials and employees shall perform


and discharge their du;es with the highest
degree of excellence, professionalism,
intelligence and skill. They shall enter public
service with utmost devo;on and dedica;on
to duty. They shall endeavor to discourage
wrong percep;ons of their roles as
dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage.
Domingo vs. Ombudsman (2009)

Viola;on of Sec;on 4(b) of R.A. 6713 is not a


ground for administra;ve disciplinary ac;on
because the IRR does not provide sanc;ons for
viola;ng this norm.
Justness and Sincerity
 Public officials and employees shall remain true to
the people at all ;mes. They must act with justness
and sincerity and shall not discriminate against
anyone, especially the poor and the underprivileged.
They shall at all ;mes respect the rights of others,
and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law,
good morals, good customs, public policy, public
order, public safety and public interest. They shall
not dispense or extend undue favors on account of
their office to their rela;ves.
Political Neutrality

 Public officials and employees shall


provide service to everyone without
unfair discrimina;on and regardless of
party affilia;on or preference.
Responsiveness to the Public
Ê Public officials and employees shall extend prompt,
courteous, and adequate service to the public. They
shall provide informa;on on their policies and
procedures in clear and understandable language,
ensure openness of informa;on, public
consulta;ons and hearings, encourage sugges;ons,
simplify and systema;ze policy, rules and
procedures, avoid red tape and develop an
apprecia;on of the socio-economic condi;ons,
especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.
Nationalism and Patriotism

Public officials and employees shall at all


;mes be loyal to the Republic and to the
Filipino people, promote the use of locally
produced goods, resources and
technology and encourage apprecia;on
and pride of country and people. They
shall endeavor to maintain and defend
Philippine sovereignty against foreign
intrusion.
Implication of Domingo vs. Ombudsman

Although Domingo vs. Ombudsman implies


that failure to observe any of the 8 norms of
conduct does not result in criminal and/or
administra;ve liability, viola;on of Sec;on
4(d) and 4(f) may give rise to administra;ve
liability being specifically iden;fied as a ground
for disciplinary ac;on under Sec;on 1(h) and
1(i) Rule X of R.A. 6713 IRR.
Commitment to Democracy
 P ublic officials and employees shall commit
themselves to the democra;c way of life and values,
maintain the principle of public accountability, and
manifest by deeds the supremacy of civilian authority
over the military. They shall at all ;mes uphold the
Cons;tu;on and put loyalty to our country above
loyalty to persons or party.
Simple Living

Public officials and employees and


their families shall lead modest
lives appropriate to their posi;ons
and income. They shall not indulge
in extravagant or ostenta;ous
display of wealth in any form.
Meaning of Simple Living

Maintaining a standard of living within the


public official or employee’s visible means
of income as correctly disclosed in his
ITRs, annual SALN, and other documents
rela;ng to financial or business
transac;ons. (Sec#on 8, Rule VI, IRR)
CSC Memorandum Circular 19, s. 2000

Revised Dress Code Prescribed for All


Government Officials and Employees in
t h e W o r k p l a c e p r o h i b i t s t h e
ostenta;ous display of jewelry when
performing official func;ons in the
workplace, except on special occasions
or during official celebra;ons.
Duties of Public Officials and
Employees
q  Act promptly on leders and requests
q  Submit annual performance reports
q  Process documents and papers expedi;ously
q  Act immediately on the public’s personal transac;ons
q  Make documents accessible to the public
Process documents and papers
expeditiously

All official papers and documents must be processed and


completed within a reasonable ;me from the prepara;on
thereof and must contain, as far as prac;cable, not more
than three (3) signatories therein. In the absence of duly
authorized signatories, the official next-in-rank or officer in
charge shall sign for and in their behalf. (Sec. 5(c), R.A. 6713).
Breach of duty as an administrative offense

Failure to perform the du;es under Sec;on 5(a),


(c), and (d) is a ground for administra;ve
disciplinary ac;on against the public official or
employee concerned (Sec. 1(j), (k), and (l), Rule
X, IRR)
Act promptly on leNers and requests (5a)

All public officials and employees shall, within fiGeen (15)


working days from receipt thereof, respond to leders,
telegrams or other means of communica;ons sent by the
public. The reply must contain the ac;on taken on the
request. (Sec. 5(a), R.A. 6713). The period shall be counted from
date of receipt by the department, office, or agency
concerned. (Sec. 3, Rule VI, IRR)
Period to Act on Transactions

q 5 days for simple transac;ons


q 10 days for complex transac;ons
q May be extended under unusual circumstances

(Sec. 8, RA 9485)
Process documents and papers expeditiously
(5C)

Except as otherwise provided by law or regula;on, and as


far as prac;cable, any wriden ac;on or decision must
contain not more than three (3) ini;als or signatures. (Sec. 5,
Rule VI, IRR). However, under R.A. 9485, the number of
signatories in any document shall be limited to a maximum
of five signatures which shall represent officers directly
supervising the office or agency concerned. (Sec. 8(d), ARTA)
Act immediately on the public’s personal
transactions (5d)

All public officials and employees must adend to anyone


who wants to avail himself of the services of their offices
and must, at all ;mes, act promptly and expedi;ously.(Sec.
5(d), R.A. 6713).

Under R.A. 9485, all clients who are within their premises
prior to the end of official working hours should be adended
to and served even during lunch break and aGer regular
working hours.. (Sec. 8(e), ARTA)
Duty to Avoid Conflict of Interest
q  A public official or employee shall avoid conflicts of
interest at all times.
q  There is conflict of interest when a public officer has a
substantial interest in a business and his rights and duties
therein are opposed to or affected by the faithful
performance of official duty.
Sec. 1, Rule IX, R.A. 6713 IRR
Duty to Avoid Conflict of Interest
q There is a duty to resign from his position in the business
within 30 days and/or divest himself of his interest therein
within 60 days from assumption of public office.
q Duty applies even if the conflict of interest arises after
assumption.
q Divestment shall be to a person other than his spouse and
relatives within the 4th degree.
q Failure is a ground for disciplinary action.
Sec. 2, Rule IX; Sec. 1(n), Rule X, R.A. 6713
IRR
Meaning of Substantial Interest
q Substantial stockholder, i.e., owner of shares of stock
sufficient to elect a director in a corporation, or
q Member of the Board of Directors, or
q An officer of the corporation
q Owner or with substantial interest in a business, or
q A partner in a partnership.
Sec. 1, Rule IX, R.A. 6713 IRR
Duty to Make Public Disclosure
q  Public officers have the duty to submit a sworn declaration
called SALN within 30 days from assumption of office or
separation from the service, and on or before April 30.
q  SALN should disclose the following:
q  assets, liabilities and net worth
q  business interests and financial connections including those of spouse and
minor children
q  relatives employed in government
q  Duty to execute a written authority for the Ombudsman to
obtain pertinent documents
Sec. 8(A), R.A. 6713
Pleyto vs. PNP-CIDG (2007)

A public officer can be held administra;vely liable for his


failure to declare all of his assets in his SALN without first
being given the opportunity to correct it based on Sec. 10 of
R.A. 6713. The chance to correct one’s SALN under the law
does not hold true when a complaint has already been filed
with the Ombudsman.
Prohibited Acts and Transactions
q  Having financial and material interest
q  Outside employment and other ac;vi;es related thereto
q  Disclosure and/or misuse of confiden;al informa;on
q  Solicita;on or acceptance of giGs
Financial and Material Interest

Public officials and employees shall not,


directly or indirectly, have any financial
or material interest in any transac;on
requiring the approval of their office.
(Sec#on 7(a), R.A. 6713)
Financial and Material Interest

Financial or material interest is defined as


pecuniary or proprietary interest by which a
person will gain or lose something. (Sec#on
52, Revised Rules on Administra#ve Cases in
the Civil Service, CSC Memorandum Circular
No. 19, s. 1999)
Compare and Contrast
Sec. 3(h), R.A. 3019 Art. 216, revised penal code

•  Directly or indirectly having •  Directly or indirectly, shall become


financial or pecuniary interest in interested in any contract or
any transac;on in connec;on business in which it is his official
with which he intervenes or takes duty to intervene.
part in his official capacity, or in
which he is prohibited by the
Cons;tu;on or by any law from
having any interest.
Distinguished from R.A. 3019 and RPC

Unlike under R.A. 3019 and RPC, it is not


required that the public official intervene
in his official capacity. It is enough that
he has financial or material interest in a
transac;on requiring the approval of the
office where he is an official.
Outside Employment and Related
Activities
1)  Own, control, manage or accept employment as officer,
employee, consultant, counsel, broker, agent, trustee or
nominee in any private enterprise regulated, supervised or
licensed by their office unless expressly allowed by law;
2)  Engage in the private practice of their profession unless
authorized by the Constitution or law, provided, that such
practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official
functions; or
3)  Recommend any person to any position in a private enterprise
which has a regular or pending official transaction with their
office. (Sec. 7(b), R.A. 6713)
Outside Employment and Related
Activities

These prohibi;ons shall con;nue to apply for a


period of one year aGer resigna;on, re;rement, or
separa;on from public office, except in the case of
subparagraph (b) (2) above, but the professional
concerned cannot prac;ce his profession in
connec;on with any mader before the office he
used to be with, in which case the one-year
prohibi;on shall likewise apply.
Prohibitions Against Private Practice
No officer or employee shall engage in any private business, voca;on, or
profession or be concerned with any commercial, credit, agricultural, or
industrial undertaking without a wriden permission from the head of the
Department: Provided, That this prohibi;on will be absolute in the case of
those officers and employees whose du;es and responsibili;es require that
their en;re ;me be at the disposal of the Government: Provided, further,
That if an employee is granted permission to engage in outside ac;vi;es,
the ;me so devoted outside of office hours should be fixed by the chief of
the agency to the end that it will not impair in any way the efficiency of the
officer or employee. (Sec#on 12, Rule XVIII, The Revised Civil Service)
Prohibitions Against Private Practice
Sec;on 35. Certain aUorneys not to prac#ce. — No judge
or other official or employee of the superior courts or of the
Office of the Solicitor General, shall engage in private prac;ce
as a member of the bar or give professional advice to clients.
(Revised Rules of Court, Rule 138)

Prac#ce does not pertain to an isolated court appearance;
rather, it contemplates a succession of acts of the same
nature habitually or customarily holding one’s self to the
public as a lawyer (OCA vs. Ladaga, January 26, 2001)
Prohibitions Against Private Practice
Rule 6.03 - A lawyer shall not, aGer leaving government
service, accept engagement or employment in connec;on
with any mader in which he had intervened while in said
service. (Canon 6, Code of Professional Responsibility)

Applied in PCGG vs. Sandiganbayan, et al. , April 12, 2005
Pollo vs. Karina David, et al. (2011)

If, indeed, a CSC employee was found to be fur;vely


engaged in the prac;ce of "lawyering" for par;es with
pending cases before the Commission would be a highly
repugnant scenario, then such a case would have shadering
repercussions. It would undeniably cast clouds of doubt
upon the ins;tu;onal integrity of the Commission as a quasi-
judicial agency, and in the process, render it less effec;ve in
fulfilling its mandate as an impar;al and objec;ve dispenser
of administra;ve jus;ce.
Ombudsman vs. Santos (2006)
The rule is that all public officers and employees are prohibited from
engaging in the private prac;ce of their profession.
Excep;on when such private prac;ce is authorized by the Cons;tu;on or
law.
However, even if it is allowed, private prac;ce of profession is s;ll
proscribed when such prac;ce will conflict or tends to conflict with the
official func;ons of the employee concerned.
Public servants are expected to devote their undivided aden;on to their
public du;es, to give the tax payers the competent and excellent service that
they deserve. By ac;vely par;cipa;ng in the management of a private
school, while serving as Principal of a public elementary school, respondent
has transgressed the provisions of Sec;on 7 (b) (2) of R.A. 6713.
Sec. 3(d) of R.A. 3019

Accep;ng or having any member of his family


accept employment in a private enterprise
which has pending official business with him
during the pendency thereof or within one
year aGer its termina;on
Valera vs. Ombudsman (2008)

Mere acceptance of employment by the brother-in-law of a customs


official in a private customs brokerage firm which has pending official
business with the Bureau of Customs is considered a corrupt prac;ce,
although the evidence regarding the alleged use of influence by the
pe;;oner to cause the employment of his brother-in-law may be a lidle
tenuous.
Disclosure and/or misuse of confidential
information

Public officials and employees shall not use or


divulge, confiden;al or classified informa;on
officially known to them by reason of their office
and not made available to the public, either:
(1) To further their private interests, or give
undue advantage to anyone; or
(2) To prejudice the public interest.
(Sec. 7(c), R.A. 6713)
Compare and Contrast
Sec. 3(D), R.A. 3019 Art. 229 and 230, revised penal code

•  Divulging valuable informa;on of Ê  Revealing any secret known to him by


a confiden;al character, acquired reason of his official capacity or
by his office or by him on account wrongfully delivering papers or
of his official posi;on to copies of papers of which he may
have charge and which should not be
unauthorized persons, or
published
releasing such informa;on in
advance of its authorized released Ê  Revealing the secrets of any private
individual which became known to
date
him by reason of his office
Solicitation or Acceptance of Gifts

Public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept,


directly or indirectly, any giG, gratuity, favor,
entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from
any person in the course of their official du;es or in
connec;on with any opera;on being regulated by, or any
transac;on which may be affected by the func;ons of their
office. (Sec. 7(d), R.A. 6713)
Definition of Gift

“GiG” refers to a thing or a right disposed


of gratuitously, or any act of liberality, in
favor of another who accepts it, and shall
include a simulated sale or an ostensibly
onerous disposi;on thereof.
Excluded Gifts
(1) Unsolicited giG of nominal or insignificant value not given in an;cipa;on of,
or in exchange for, a favor from a public official or employee or given aGer the
transac;on is completed, or service is rendered. As to what is a giG of nominal
value will depend on the circumstances of each case taking into account the
salary of the official or employee, the frequency or infrequency of the giving,
the expecta;on of benefits, and other similar factors.

(2) A giG from a member of his family or rela;ve as defined in the Code on the
occasion of a family celebra;on, and without any expecta;on of pecuniary gain
or benefit.


Excluded Gifts
(3) Nominal dona;ons from persons with no regular, pending, or expected
transac;ons with the department, office or agency with which the official
or employee is connected, and without any expecta;on of pecuniary gain
or benefit.

(4) Dona;ons coming from private organiza;ons whether local or foreign,
which are considered and accepted as humanitarian and altruis;c in
purpose and mission.

(5) Dona;ons coming from government to government en;;es.
Compare and Contrast
Sec. 3(B), R.A. 3019 Sec. 3(c), R.A. 3019

Ê  Directly or indirectly reques;ng or Ê  Directly or indirectly reques;ng or


receiving any giG, present, share, receiving any giG, present or other
percentage, or benefit, for himself or pecuniary or material benefit, for
for any other person, in connec;on himself or for another, from any
person for whom the public officer, in
with any contract or transac;on any manner or capacity, has secured
between the Government and any or obtained, or will secure or obtain,
other part, wherein the public officer any Government permit or license, in
in his official capacity has to considera;on for the help given or to
intervene under the law be given
Compare and Contrast
ART. 210, REVISED PENAL CODE (Direct Bribery)

q  Agreeing to perform an act cons;tu;ng a crime, in connec;on


with the performance of this official du;es, in considera;on of
any offer, promise, giG or present received by such officer,
personally or through the media;on of another
q  Accep;ng a giG in considera;on of the execu;on of an act which
does not cons;tute a crime, and the officer executed said act
q  Agreeing to refrain from doing something which it was his official
duty to do, in considera;on of a giG or promise
Compare and Contrast
ART. 211, REVISED PENAL CODE Presidential decree no. 46
•  Indirect bribery. —Accep;ng Ê  Receiving, directly or indirectly, and for private persons
to give, or offer to give, any giG, present or other
giGs offered to any public valuable thing on any occasion, including Christmas,
officer by reason of his office when such giG, present or other valuable thing is given
by reason of his official posi;on, regardless of whether
or not the same is for past favor or favors or the giver
hopes or expects to receive a favor or beder treatment
in the future from the public official or employee
concerned in the discharge of his official func;ons.
Included within the prohibi;on is the throwing of
par;es or entertainments in honor of the official or
employee or his immediate rela;ves.
In Re: Judge Ocampo and San Juan (2001)

Solicita;on by a clerk of court of an air-condi;oner from a


department store whose owner had pending cases before the court is
highly improper conduct. That the unit was slightly used and that a
similar dona;on has been previously made do not jus;fy the request
of respondent clerk of court. Like judges, a court employee should be
careful to avoid any ac;on which may reasonably give rise to suspicion
that his rela;ons with others influence the decision of cases in his
court.
Añonuevo et al. vs. C.A. et al. (2003)

Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Ombudsman


suspending from office pe;;oners who are employees of the Bureau
of Customs manning the NAIA customs lanes for receiving money from
passengers handed directly or inserted inside their passports as caught
in a CCTV camera.
Mabini vs. Raga (2006)

Sec;on 7(d) of R.A. 6713 does not dis;nguish between solicited


and unsolicited giGs. The mere receipt of giGs is prohibited, so long as
the value of the giG is neither nominal nor insignificant; or the giG is
given in an;cipa;on of, or in exchange for, a favor.
In other words, the mere fact that the giG received was unsolicited
cannot, by itself, suffice to exonerate the recipient. It would only
suffice to exonerate the recipient if the unsolicited giG is also nominal
in value and not given in an;cipa;on of, or in exchange for, a favor.
Martinez vs. Villanueva (2011)
Sec;on 7 (d) is malum prohibitum. It is the commission of that act as
defined by the law, and not the character or effect thereof, that determines
whether or not the provision has been violated. Therefore, it is immaterial
whether respondent has fully paid her loans since the law prohibits the mere
act of solici;ng a loan. Neither is undue influence on respondent's part
required to be proven. Whether respondent used her posi;on or authority as a
CDA official is of no consequence in the determina;on of her administra;ve
liability. And considering that respondent admided having taken two loans
from a coopera;ve whose opera;ons are directly regulated by respondent's
office, respondent was correctly meted the penalty of suspension for viola;on
of Sec;on 7 (d).
Aguilar vs. Ombudsman (2014)

A ranking customs official who is using two BMW cars, supposedly


lent to her by a friend of her US-based brother, and registered under
the name of two corpora;ons which facilitate the used-car export
business of her brother, veritably admided to receiving benefits from
these corpora;ons in viola;on of Sec. 7(d) of R.A. 6713 and such act is
indica;ve of corrup;on, tending to suggest that she had used her
posi;on in the customs bureau to advance her brother's business
interests as well as that of the two corpora;ons.
REFERENCES
•  Agpalo (1998). The law of public officers. First ed. Rex Bookstore.
•  Escareal and Escareal-Velasco (2012). GraX and corrup#on: The twin
scourges of Philippine society. RME Publica;ons.
•  Gatchalian, et al. (2005). Major Philippine an#-graX and corrup#on laws with
jurisprudence and notes. Central Book Supply.
•  Villaroman (2010). Laws and jurisprudence on graX and corrup#on. 3rd ed.
Central Book Supply.
Norms of Conduct for Government
Lawyers

CANON 6 - THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO


LAWYERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICES IN THE
DISCHARGE OF THEIR TASKS.
Rule 6.01 – The primary duty of a lawyer in public
prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice
is done. The suppression of facts or the
concealment of witnesses capable of establishing
the innocence of the accused is highly
reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action.
Norms of Conduct for Government
Lawyers

CANON 6 - THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO


LAWYERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICES IN THE
DISCHARGE OF THEIR TASKS.

Rule 6.02 - A lawyer in the government service
shall not use his public position to promote or
advance his private interests, nor allow the laNer to
interfere with his public duties. (Code of Professional
Responsibility)
Norms of Conduct for Government
Lawyers

CANON 6 - THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO


LAWYERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICES IN THE
DISCHARGE OF THEIR TASKS.

Rule 6.03 - A lawyer after leaving government
service shall not accept engagement or
employment in connection with any maNer in
which he had intervened while in the service.
Norms of Conduct for Government
Lawyers

CANON 3 – A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN


HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY TRUE,
HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE
INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS
Rule 6.02 - Where a partner accepts public office, he shall
withdraw from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the
firm unless the law allows him to prac;ce law currently.