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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
 

   
July-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158   July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158. July 14, 1997.]

    EUFEMIA BERCASIO, Complainant, v. HERBERTO BENITO, SHERIFF, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, NAGA CITY, Respondent.

    Public Attorney’s Office for Respondent.

    SYNOPSIS


    Eufemia Bercasio, through counsel Pastor Bravo, filed a complaint against Sheriff Herberto Benito in connection with his failure to implement a second alias writ of demolition issued in favor of Bercasio. In the conduct of his investigation, Judge Naval reported that an amount of P8,000.00 was paid to Benito for the enforcement of the writ of demolition, however, said writ was quashed without having been implemented. Bravo demanded the return of the unspent amount but Benito failed to comply with the demand. Benito was able to adduce evidence to support his expenses of P7,880.00 out of the subject P8,000.00. Based on the facts presented, Judge Naval found no evidence to prove that the money was spent on matters other than the execution of the writ. However, he recommended that Sheriff Benito be held administratively liable and submitted a "Report Recommendation" to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), imposing upon him a 15-day suspension. OCA agreed with the recommendation of the investigating judge that the sheriff cannot be compelled to return the amount of P8,000.00, but recommend that he be held administratively for irregularities in the performance of his duties particularly for violating Sec. 2 of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court and Section 113 of Art. III, Chapter V of the National Accounting and Auditing Manual for failure to issue official receipt for money collected. For these infractions, the OCA recommended suspension for one month without pay.

    The Supreme Court agreed with both findings of Judge Naval and the OCA, but imposed a heavier penalty of three (3) months suspension without pay with a stern warning that any further infraction of the Rules of Court shall be dealt with severely.


    SYLLABUS


    1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; COURT EMPLOYEES; SHERIFF; OBLIGATION WHEN EXECUTING WRITS; VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR. — The rule on the revised second paragraph of Section 9 of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court requires the sheriff executing the writs or processes to estimate the expenses to be incurred and upon the approval of the estimated expenses the interested party has to deposit the amount with the Clerk of Court and Ex-officio Sheriff. These expenses shall then be disbursed to the executing Sheriff subject to his liquidation within the same period for rendering a return on the process or writ. Any unspent amount shall be refunded to the party who made the deposit. In this case, respondent sheriff failed to deposit with the court the amount received from complainant. Respondent sheriff acted irregularly when he submitted his undated Sheriff’s Partial Report and Sheriff’s Return without liquidating the amounts previously received. In fact, he only submitted an accounting of his expenses when it was already formally requested. Persons involved in the administration of justice, like the herein respondent sheriff, ought to live up to the strictest standard of honesty and integrity in the public service and must at all times be circumspect to preserve the integrity and dignity of our courts of justice.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; OBLIGATION TO ISSUE AN OFFICIAL RECEIPT FOR PAYMENT RECEIVED; VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR. — With respect to respondent’s violation of Section 113 of Article 111, Chapter V of the National Accounting and Auditing Manual, we find the same to be well founded. Evidence on record shows that respondent received the total of P8,000.00 from the complainant but he merely issued receipts which were handwritten on scraps of paper. The rule provides "that no payment of any nature shall be received by a collecting officer without immediately issuing an official receipt in acknowledgment thereof."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT THE SECOND ALIAS WRIT OF DEMOLITION; NO LIABILITY HERE. —Anent the failure of respondent sheriff to implement the second alias writ of demolition, the same was brought about by circumstances beyond his control. The enforcement of the writ was held in abeyance since there was an attempt to settle the case. And when respondent sheriff, together with the hired laborers, went to enforce the alias writ, the municipal mayor stopped them due to an encounter between the NPA’s and the military which then resulted in "mopping operations" by the military in Barangay San Jose.


    R E S O L U T I O N


    FRANCISCO, J.:


    On October 11, 1993, complainant Eufemia Bercasio through her attorney-in-fact, Pastor Bravo, filed a complaint before the Office of Executive Judge David C. Naval of Regional Trial Court (RTC), Naga City against Herberto Benito, Sheriff IV, RTC, Branch 27, Naga City, for irregularities in connection with his failure to implement the Second Alias Writ of Demolition issued in Civil Case No. 34, Branch 22 of the RTC, Naga City.

    Judge Naval conducted an investigation on the matter. The relevant facts as culled from his report and which are substantially undisputed are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "On October 6, 1992 there was issued in Civil Case No. 34 a 2nd alias writ of demolition. Complainant Bravo, as Attorney-in-fact of the prevailing party Eufemia Bercasio, paid Respondent Benito a total amount of P8,000.00 on the dates hereunder indicated:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    October 4, 1992 P2,000.00

    December 4, 1992 1,000.00

    December 29, 1992 1,000.00

    January 25, 1993 4,000.00

    ————

    Total P8,000.00

    for the expenses of the latter in the enforcement of the said writ of demolition. The writ of demolition was, however, quashed by the Order dated July 2, 1993 (Exh. 3-F, pages 201-206), without Respondent Benito having implemented the writ of demolition. Subsequently, Complainant Bravo demanded that Respondent Benito account for the P8,000.00 he received and return the unspent amount, but the latter failed to comply with the demand. Thereafter, Complainant Bravo reported the matter to Atty. Rosario B. Torrecampo, RTC Clerk of Court IV and Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff who, by a letter dated June 17, 1993, directed Respondent Benito to account for the P8,000.00 and deposit the balance thereof, if any. Complying with the directive, Respondent Benito submitted a written accounting (Exh. 3-E, page 199-200) showing that he spent P7,880.00, and deposited the amount of P120.00 with the Office of the Clerk of Court under O.R. No. 2504858 (page 197). Not satisfied with the accounting made by Respondent Benito, Atty. Rosario B. Torrecampo filed in Civil Case No. 34 a "Report With Prayer to Direct Deputy Sheriff Herbert Benito To Justify Expenses" (pages 33-34), copy of which was furnished the undersigned, as Executive Judge (page 37). In a letter dated July 17, 1993 (page 40), Counsel for Complainant Bravo requested the undersigned to order Respondent Sheriff Benito to justify his expenses. On July 20, 1993, undersigned issued a Memorandum Order . . .

    x       x       x


    "Respondent Benito complied with the . . . Memorandum Order, by way of a letter dated July 26, 1993 (page 30) where he alleged that he could no longer carry out the writ of demolition because it was already quashed on July 2, 1993, and that he had already submitted his report of his expenditure to the Provincial Sheriff.

    "Not satisfied with the explanation of Respondent Benito, Complainant Bravo filed the present Letter-Complaint (page 191-193). Respondent Benito filed his Answer to the Letter-Complaint by way of a verified letter dated November 18, 1993 (pages 212-213) where he reiterated his claim that he spent P7,880.00, and he named the witnesses who would corroborate his claim.

    "Parties were allowed to adduce their respective evidence. Complainant Bravo adduced in evidence his verified complaint and its annexes. Respondent Benito admitted having received the P8,000.00 and having failed to implement the writ of demolition, and adduced oral and documentary evidence to support his expenses of P7,880.00, as itemized in his report to the Provincial Sheriff (Exh. 3-E, page 199-200), to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    November 8, 1992 —

    Hiring of Jeepney P1,000.00

    per diems of securities 300.00

    meals 200.00

    ————

    Total P1,500.00

    November 14, 1992 —

    Hiring of jeepney P1,000.00

    per diems of securities 300.00

    meals 150.00

    ————

    Total P1,450.00

    December 4, 1992 —

    Hiring of Motorcycle P200.00

    Meals 150.00

    ————

    Total P350.00

    February 1, 1993 —

    Hiring of Jeepney P1,000.00

    Wages of laborers 1,050.00

    Meals 350.00

    ————

    Total P2,400.00

    February 9, 1993 —

    Hiring of Jeepney P1,000.00

    Meals 80.00

    ————

    Total P1,080.00

    March 3, 1993 —

    Hiring of Jeepney P1,000.00

    Meals 100.00

    ————

    Total P1,100.00

    ————

    Grant Total P7,880.00

    "Above itemized expenses were substantiated by the affidavits of Respondent Benito himself (Exh. 3, pages 235-236); of Rodolfo Valenciano (Exh. 1, page 223); of Gonzalo Brioso (Exh. 2, page 228); of Rodolfo Segovia (Exh. 4, page 234); and of Jaime Imperial (Exh. 5, p. 227). Said affidavits of the witnesses were adopted as their respective direct testimonies, and were made the bases of their cross-examination. Above-named witnesses identified the "Reimbursement Expense Receipts" (Exhs. 1-B to 1-D, pages 220-222, Exhs. 3-M to 3-Q, pages 229-233; and Exh. 3-R, page 226). These "Reimbursement Expense Receipts" were adduced in evidence to prove that Respondent Benito hired the Jeepney driven by Rodolfo Segovia for five (5) round trips from Naga City to Tinambac, Camarines Sur and back for P1,000.00 per trip; and the motorcycle of Jaime Imperial for one round trip from Naga City to Tinambac, Camarines Sur, and back for P200.00; and that he (Respondent Benito) paid Rodolfo Valenciano for the services of "securities" and laborers in the total amount of P1,030.00 is not supported by receipts." 1

    Based on the facts presented, Judge Naval found no evidence to prove that the money given was spent on matters other than the execution of the writ. However, he recommended respondent sheriff to be held administratively liable. The dispositive portion reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, it is hereby respectfully recommended that Respondent Sheriff IV Herberto Benito be held administratively liable for violation of Rule 141, Sec. 7 of the Rules of Court by imposing upon him the penalty of SUSPENSION without pay for a period of fifteen (15) days, with a warning that similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely." 2

    The "Report-Recommendation" of Judge Naval was referred to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) for evaluation. In its Evaluation and Recommendation dated August 7, 1995, the OCA agreed with the observation of the investigating judge that although the amount spent by respondent sheriff was unreasonably extravagant, such amount was duly accounted for and was even uncontroverted. Thus, it opined that respondent sheriff cannot be compelled to return the amount of P8,000.00. However, the OCA recommended that respondent sheriff be held administratively liable for irregularities in the performance of his duties which consist of violation of Section 9 (instead of Section 7 as referred to in the Report-Recommendation of the Investigating Judge) Rule 141 (as amended) of the Rules of Court pertaining to sheriffs and other persons serving processes, and violation of Section 113 of Article III, Chapter V of the National Accounting and Auditing Manual for failure to issue official receipts for money collected. For these infractions, the OCA recommended suspension for one (1) month without pay. 3

    We agree with both the findings of Judge Naval and the OCA, but We find their respective recommended suspensions of 15 days and 30 days respectively without pay too light a penalty for the violations he has committed.

    The revised second paragraph of Section 9 of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court 4 provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "In addition to the fees hereinabove fixed, the party requesting the process of any court, preliminary, incidental, or final, shall pay the sheriff’s expenses in serving or executing the process, or safeguarding the property levied upon, attached or seized, including kilometrage for each kilometer of travel, guards’ fees, warehousing and similar charges, in an amount estimated by the sheriff, subject to the approval of the court. Upon approval of said estimated expenses the interested party shall deposit such amount with the clerk of court and ex-officio sheriff, who shall disburse the same to the deputy sheriff assigned to effect the process, subject to liquidation within the same period for rendering a return on the process. Any unspent amount shall be refunded to the party making the deposit. A full report shall be submitted by the deputy sheriff assigned with his return, and the sheriff’s expenses shall be taxed as costs against the judgment debtor." (7a)

    The rule requires the sheriff executing the writs or processes to estimate the expenses to be incurred and upon the approval of the estimated expenses the interested party has to deposit the amount with the Clerk of Court and Ex-officio Sheriff. These expenses shall then be disbursed to the executing Sheriff subject to his liquidation within the same period for rendering a return on the process or writ. Any unspent amount shall be refunded to the party who made the deposit. In this case, respondent sheriff failed to deposit with the court the amount received from complainant.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    It appears to this Court that respondent sheriff acted irregularly when he submitted his undated Sheriff’s Partial Report 5 and Sheriff’s Return 6 without liquidating the amounts previously received. In fact, he only submitted an accounting of his expenses when it was already formally requested. Persons involved in the administration of justice, like the herein respondent sheriff, ought to live up to the strictest standard of honesty and integrity in the public service and must at all times be circumspect to preserve the integrity and dignity of our courts of justice.

    In Ong v. Meregildo 7 it is worthy to note:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Respondent Sheriff’s unilaterally and repeatedly demanding sums of money from a party-litigant purportedly to defray expenses of execution, without obtaining the approval of the trial court for such purported expense and without rendering that court an accounting thereof, in effect constituted dishonesty and extortion. That conduct therefore, fell too far short of the required standards of public service. Such conduct is threatening to the very existence of the system of administration of justice."cralaw virtua1aw library

    With respect to respondent’s violation of Section 113 of Article III Chapter V of the National Accounting and Auditing Manual We find the same to be well founded. Evidence on record shows that respondent received the total of P8,000.00 from the complainant but he merely issued receipts which were handwritten on scraps of paper, 8 in clear violation of Section 113 of Article III, Chapter V of the National Accounting and Auditing Manual which provides "that no payment of any nature shall be received by a collecting officer without immediately issuing an official receipt in acknowledgment thereof" .

    However, anent the failure of respondent sheriff to implement the second alias writ of demolition, We find no liability. His failure to implement the writ was brought about by circumstances beyond his control. Evidence shows that upon agreement of the parties, the enforcement of the writ was held in abeyance since there was an attempt to settle the case. When respondent sheriff together with the hired laborers went to Tinambac Camarines Sur to enforce the alias writ, the municipal mayor stopped them due to an encounter between the NPA’s and the military which then resulted in "mopping operations" by the military in Barangay San Jose.

    WHEREFORE, respondent Deputy Sheriff IV Herberto Benito is hereby SUSPENDED for a period of three (3) months without pay with a stern warning that any further infraction of the Rules of Court shall be dealt with severely.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Davide, Jr., Melo and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Report-Recommendation, pp. 1-3; Rollo, pp. 4-6.

    2. Ibid., p. 5; Rollo, p. 8.

    3. OCA Report, pp. 1-5.

    4. Effective November 2, 1990.

    5. Rollo, p. 316.

    6. Rollo, p. 317.

    7. 233 SCRA 632, 644.

    8. Annex "A", Records, p. 228.

    Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158   July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.


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