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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
February-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 99039 February 3, 1997 - FORD PHIL., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100748 February 3, 1997 - JOSE BARITUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108547 February 3, 1997 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE CABRERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112761-65 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PORFERIO M. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 114183 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS BORJA

  • G.R. No. 119310 February 3, 1997 - JULIETA V. ESGUERRA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119935 February 3, 1997 - UNITED SOUTH DOCKHANDLERS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 - MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123332 February 3, 1997 - AUGUSTO GATMAYTAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118915 February 4, 1997 - CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER-ACE-UFSW v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110 February 6, 1997 - MELENCIO S. SY v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1203 February 6, 1997 - ERNESTO A. REYES v. NORBERTO R. ANOSA

  • G.R. No. 110668 February 6, 1997 ccc zz

    SMITH, BELL & CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111682 February 6, 1997 - ZENAIDA REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117982 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118843 February 6, 1997 - ERIKS PTE. LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118950-54 February 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUCRECIA GABRES

  • G.R. No. 119322 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98252 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE JANUARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110391 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOLORES DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 112191 February 7, 1997 - FORTUNE MOTORS (PHILS.) CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112714-15 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAGARAL

  • G.R. No. 117472 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO ECHEGARAY

  • G.R. No. 119657 February 7, 1997 - UNIMASTERS CONGLOMERATION, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 119772-73 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIGEL RICHARD GATWARD

  • G.R. No. 125249 February 7, 1997 - JIMMY S. DE CASTRO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1161 February 10, 1997 - JESUS N. BANDONG v. BELLA R. CHING

  • G.R. No. 108894 February 10, 1997 - TECNOGAS PHIL. MFG. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109887 February 10, 1997 - CECILIA CARLOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117702 February 10, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN YPARRAGUIRRE

  • G.R. No. 124553 February 10, 1997 - ROSARIO R. TUASON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1070 February 12, 1997 - MARIA APIAG, ET AL. v. ESMERALDO G. CANTERO

  • Adm. Matter No. P-87-100 February 12, 1997 - FELISA ELIC VDA. DE ABELLERA v. NEMESIO N. DALISAY

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1231 February 12, 1997 - ISAIAS P. DICDICAN v. RUSSO FERNAN, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 68166 February 12, 1997 - HEIRS OF EMILIANO NAVARRO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104666 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BIENVENIDO OMBROG

  • G.R. No. 115129 February 12, 1997 - IGNACIO BARZAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116511 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. COLOMA TABAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118025 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REBECCO SATOR

  • G.R. No. 120769 February 12, 1997 - STANLEY J. FORTICH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125531 February 12, 1997 - JOVAN LAND v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126013 February 12, 1997 - HEINZRICH THEIS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107554 February 13, 1997 - CEBU INT’L. FINANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112968 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARSENIO LETIGIO

  • G.R. No. 114144 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO ABAD

  • G.R. Nos. 114711 & 115889 February 13, 1997 - GARMENTS and TEXTILE EXPORT BOARD v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 February 13, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-217 February 17, 1997 - MANUEL F. CONCEPCION v. JESUS V. AGANA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ 97-1369 February 17, 1997 - OCTAVIO DEL CALLAR v. IGNACIO L. SALVADOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 103501-03 & 103507 February 17, 1997 - LUIS A. TABUENA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119247 February 17, 1997 - CESAR SULIT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119536 February 17, 1997 - GLORIA S. DELA CRUZ v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121017 February 17, 1997 - OLIVIA B. CAMANAG v. JESUS F. GUERRERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122165 February 17, 1997 - ALA MODE GARMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123823 February 17, 1997 - MODESTO G. ESPAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96249 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALIPIO QUIAMCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114396 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM ROBERT BURTON

  • G.R. No. 118140 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE PIANDIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121084 February 19, 1997 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. LABOR UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107916 February 20, 1997 - PERCIVAL MODAY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112288 February 20, 1997 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1034 February 21, 1997 - LEWELYN S. ESTRELLER v. SOFRONIO MANATAD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 73399 February 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON ABEDES

  • G.R. No. 117394 February 21, 1997 - HINATUAN MINING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SDC-97-2-P February 24, 1997 - SOPHIA ALAWI v. ASHARY M. ALAUYA

  • G.R. No. 110427 February 24, 1997 - CARMEN CAÑIZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1195 February 26, 1997 - ROMEO NAZARENO, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. ALMARIO

  • G.R. No. 94237 February 26, 1997 - BUILDING CARE CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105294 February 26, 1997 - PACITA DAVID-CHAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107671 February 26, 1997 - REMMAN ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109849 February 26, 1997 - MAXIMINO FUENTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110098 February 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUENAFE AZUGUE

  • G.R. No. 111538 February 26, 1997 - PARAÑAQUE KINGS ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116033 February 26, 1997 - ALFREDO L. AZARCON v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123404 February 26, 1997 - AURELIO SUMALPONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1368 February 27, 1997 - ERNESTO RIEGO, ET AL. v. EMILIO LEACHON, JR.

  •  





     
     

    Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110   February 6, 1997 - MELENCIO S. SY v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110. February 6, 1997.]

    MELENCIO S. SY, Provincial Auditor, Tawi-Tawi, Complainant, v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA, Steno Clerk III, OIC, RTC, Branch 5, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; ADMINISTRATIVE CASE FOR MALVERSATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS; ESTABLISHED IN CASE AT BAR. — Given the opportunity to rebut the overwhelming evidence of her malversation of public funds respondent Mongcupa chose to admit the shortage in the court funds in her custody and pleaded for time to pay the amount that she has failed to account for. As such, the recommendation of dismissal and forfeiture of benefits by the Office of the Court Administrator is not without formidable basis: "Based on the foregoing, there is no doubt respondent committed serious misconduct in the handling of funds. The abovestated letter, coupled with the uncontroverted audit findings of the Provincial Auditor serves as clear and convincing evidence to expose respondent’s misdeed. Despite a Letter of Demand from the Provincial Auditor, requiring respondent to submit a letter of explanation on the shortage within seventy-two (72) [hours], we noted respondent’s failure to comply with the same. In effect, this would constitute as prima facie evidence of malversation, as held in the last par. of Art. 217 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 1060, which provides: ‘The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public fund or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing fund or property to personal uses.’In De Guzman v. People, it was held: ‘In malversation, all that is necessary to prove is that the defendant received in his possession public funds, that he could not account for them and did not have them in his possession and that he could not give a reasonable excuse for the disappearance of the same. An accountable officer may be convicted of Malversation even if there is no direct evidence of misappropriation and the only evidence is that there is a shortage in his accounts which he has not been able to explain satisfactorily.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR IN CASE AT BAR. — The evidence against respondent Mongcupa, according to the Office of the Court Administrator, so eloquently speaks of her criminal misdeed as to justify the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur: ‘. . . [F]or several years now, ‘the Supreme Court applies the res ipsa loquitur [sic] principle in removing judicial officers and personnel from office . . . .’ As can be gathered from the cases decided in this jurisdiction, res ipsa loquitor [sic] has been defined as the [sic] ‘the thing speaks for itself’ and ‘the fact speaks for itself’ (People v. Valenzuela, 135 SCRA 712 and Padilla v. Dizon, 158 SCRA 127). It is even asserted that in cases like the one at bar, there is no more need for any further investigation."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; STERN WARNING AND GRIM REMINDER TO ACCOUNTABLE OFFICERS. — We rule that, as the Office of the Court Administrator recommended, respondent Mongcupa’s request that her unreleased salaries and benefits be applied to her shortage, ought to be denied. "To rule otherwise would be tantamount to awarding her benefits which should have been forfeited in the first place, in view of her misdeed. The disciplinary action taken in the case at bar should be swift and devised in such a way as to give a STERN WARNING and GRIM REMINDER to accountable officers of the horrible consequences and repercussions of respondent’s actions."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; THE ULTIMATE POWER OF THE COURT LIES IN ITS INCORRUPTIBILITY. — The court is concerned about the propensity of accountable officers in the judiciary to yield to the temptation to use public funds for personal interests. But, as it tries to devise the appropriate action to strengthen the moral fiber and strength of character of the employees and officers that constitute the judiciary, this Court shall never be less strict in applying only the highest standards of propriety, decorum, integrity, uprightness and honesty from the highest judicial officer of the land to the humblest court employee, for the ultimate power of this court lies in its incorruptibility.


    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    This court is both alarmed and saddened by the increasing frequency in its exercise of its supervisory power over employees of the judiciary who fail to meet the exacting standards of honesty, integrity and uprightness. This is another such case.

    In a letter dated November 18, 1994 1 addressed to the Chief Justice, the Honorable Carlito A. Eisma, who is the Acting Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 5, Bongao, Tawi-tawi, complained of certain anomalies in the handling of court funds by the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Office of the Clerk of Court in the person of one Carmelita S. Mongcupa.

    On September 6, 1994, Judge Eisma wrote to Mr. Abduladi Y. Usman, the Provincial Auditor of the Province of Tawi-tawi, requesting that he formally conduct an audit of the accountabilities of Mongcupa from the time that she was appointed as OIC in March, 1991 to August 3, 1994 when she was relieved by one Samuel A. Avestruz, Jr. The latter took over Mongcupa’s duties in accordance with Administrative Order No. 01-94 which was issued by Judge Eisma as Acting Executive Judge.

    The request was granted, and Mongcupa was audited. The audit team was headed by one Melecio S. Sy, the Assistant Provincial Auditor of Tawi-tawi.

    In a Certification dated October 17, 1994, prepared and signed by Assistant Provincial Auditor Sy, there was found a shortage in the amount of P237,084.99 which had remained unaccounted for and unrestituted. 2 Consequently, in a letter of even date, 3 Sy demanded that Mongcupa immediately produce the missing funds and submit a written explanation within seventy two (72) hours, as to why the shortage occurred.

    We treated the report of Sy as an administrative complaint against Mongcupa and required Mongcupa to file her answer thereto within a ten-day period. At the same time, we placed Mongcupa under preventive suspension. 4

    On February 23, 1995, Mongcupa requested for an extension of thirty (30) days for her to file her answer to the complaint. The extension was granted in our Resolution dated March 29, 1995. 5

    In a letter dated April 10, 1995 6 addressed to the Clerk of Court of the Second Division, Mongcupa expressed willingness "to replenish the shortage of the funds, placed in her possession or control, which occurred during her term as the Officer-in-Charge/Acting Clerk of Court, Regional Trial Court, Br. 5, Bongao, Tawi-tawi." She also requested that her unreleased salaries and other benefits be applied on and considered partial payment of, her obligation.chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    In a resolution dated October 14, 1996, 7 we suspended Mongcupa, effective immediately, pending the completion of the investigation and submission of report by the Office of the Court Administrator.

    On November 14, 1996, the Office of the Court Administrator completed its report.

    To date, no comment or answer has been filed by Mongcupa.

    We cannot wait indefinitely for Mongcupa’s answer. Significantly, in her letter, dated April 10, 1995, Mongcupa admitted the shortage and expressed willingness to return the missing court funds.

    In its report, the Office of the Court Administrator recommended that Mongcupa be dismissed from the service with the corresponding forfeiture of all retirement benefits and accrued leave credits, if any, and disqualification from any future government employment.

    We agree.

    The foregoing are facts. Given the opportunity to rebut the overwhelming evidence of her malversation of public funds, Mongcupa chose to admit the shortage in the court funds in her custody and pleaded for time to pay the amount that she has failed to account for. As such, the recommendation of dismissal and forfeiture of benefits by the Office of the Court Administrator is not without formidable basis:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Based on the foregoing, there is no doubt respondent committed serious misconduct in the handling of funds. The above-stated letter, coupled with the uncontroverted audit findings of the Provincial Auditor serves as clear and convincing evidence to expose respondent’s misdeed. Despite a letter of Demand from the Provincial Auditor, requiring respondent to submit a letter of explanation on the shortage within seventy-two (72) [hours], we noted respondent’s failure to comply with the same. In effect, this would constitute as prima facie evidence of malversation, as held in the last par. of Art. 217 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 1060, which provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public fund or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing fund or property to personal uses.’

    In De Guzman v. People, it was held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘In malversation, all that is necessary to prove is that the defendant received in his possession public funds, that he could not account for them and did not have them in his possession and that he could not give a reasonable excuse for the disappearance of the same. An accountable officer may be convicted of Malversation even if there is no direct evidence of misappropriation and the only evidence is that there is a shortage in his accounts which he has not been able to explain satisfactorily." ‘ 8

    The evidence against Mongcupa, according to the Office of the Court Administrator, so eloquently speaks of her criminal misdeed as to justify the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . [F]or several years now, ‘the Supreme Court applies the res ipsa loquitor [sic] principle in removing judicial officers and personnel from office . . .’ As can be gathered from the cases decided in this jurisdiction, res ipsa loquitor [sic] has been defined as the [sic] ‘the thing speaks for itself’ and ‘the fact speaks for itself’ (People v. Valenzuela, 135 SCRA 712 and Padilla v. Dizon, 158 SCRA 127). It is even asserted that in cases like the one at bar, there is no more need for any further investigation." 9

    Finally, we rule that, as the Office of the Court Administrator recommended, Mongcupa’s request that her unreleased salaries and benefits, be applied to her shortage, ought to be denied.

    "To rule otherwise would be tantamount to awarding her benefits which should have been forfeited in the first place, in view of her misdeed. The disciplinary action taken in the case at bar should be swift and devised in such a way as to give a STERN WARNING and GRIM REMINDER to accountable officers of the horrible consequences and repercussions of respondent’s actions." 10

    The court is concerned about the propensity of accountable officers in the judiciary to yield to the temptation to use public funds for personal interests. But, as it tries to devise the appropriate action to strengthen the moral fiber and strength of character of the employees and officers that constitute the judiciary, this court shall never be less strict in applying only the highest standards of propriety, decorum, integrity, uprightness and honesty from the highest judicial officer of the land to the humblest court employee, for the ultimate power of this court lies in its incorruptibility.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, respondent CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA is hereby DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits and accrued leave credits, if any, with disqualification for re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations, without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate criminal and/or civil charges against her that may be warranted under the circumstances.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Francisco, Hermosisima, Jr., Panganiban and Torres, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 1-2.

    2. Rollo, p. 3.

    3. Rollo, p. 4.

    4. Resolution of the Second Division dated January 23, 1995, Rollo, pp. 19-20.

    5. Rollo, p. 23.

    6. Rollo, p. 35.

    7. Rollo, p. 37.

    8. Memorandum dated September 4, 1996, pp. 4-5, Rollo, pp. 32-33.

    9. Memorandum dated November 14, 1996, p. 4, Rollo, p. 41.

    10. Memorandum dated September 4, 1996, p. 5, Rollo, p. 33.

    Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110   February 6, 1997 - MELENCIO S. SY v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA


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