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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [Adm. Matter No. 95-6-55-MTC. July 28, 1997.]

    RE: REPORT ON AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY OF THE RECORDS OF CASES IN THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA.

    [Adm. Matter No. P-96-1173. July 28, 1997.]

    (Formerly OCA I.P.I. 95-28-P)

    TERESITA ASTILLAZO, Complainant, v. ROLANDO JAMLID, Clerk of Court, MTC-Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija, Respondent.

    SYNOPSIS


    These two consolidated administrative cases originated from an audit and physical inventory of the pending cases in the Municipal Trial Court of Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija conducted by a team from the Office of the Court Administrator. The Supreme Court found respondent Judge Rodolfo de Gunman administratively liable for failing to decide Criminal Case No. 33-94 within the 30-day reglementary period and for irregular termination of criminal cases through amicable settlement. Respondent Rolando Jamlid, the Branch Clerk of Court, was also found guilty by the Court of gross negligence in the performance of duty, dishonesty and gross misconduct for his failure to remit cash deposit amounting to P30,000.00 covered by OR No. 6625649M issued by Jamlid himself.

    Judge Rodolfo de Guzman was fined in the sum of Ten Thousand pesos to be deducted from whatever retirement benefits he may be entitled to receive. Respondent Rolando Jamlid was dismissed from the service, with forfeiture of all benefits and with prejudice to re-employment in any government agency including government owned and controlled corporation.


    SYLLABUS


    1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; PUBLIC OFFICE; CONDUCT OF EVERYONE CONNECTED WITH AN OFFICE CHARGED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AND DISPOSITION OF JUSTICE SHOULD BE CIRCUMSCRIBED WITH THE HEAVY BURDEN OF RESPONSIBILITY. — The conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the administration and disposition of justice — from the presiding Judge to the lowliest clerk — should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility as to let them be free from any suspicion that may taint the well-guarded image of the judiciary (Gano v. Leonen, 232 SCRA 98 [1994]). It has always been emphasized that the conduct of judges and court personnel must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum at all times. but must also be above suspicion. Verily, the image of a court of justice is necessarily mirrored in the conduct, official or otherwise, of the men and women, from the judge to the least and lowest of its personnel, hence, it becomes the imperative sacred duty of each and everyone in the court to maintain its good name and standing as a true temple of justice (Miro v. Tan, 235 SCRA 400 [1994], citing Recto v. Raulis, 70 SCRA 438 [1976]). Thus, every employee of the court should be an exemplar of integrity, uprightness, and honesty.

    2. JUDICIAL ETHICS; JUDGES; MUST DECIDE CASES PROMPTLY AND EXPEDITIOUSLY. — The Court has consistently impressed upon members of the judiciary the need to decide cases promptly and expeditiously under the time-honored precept that justice delayed is justice denied (Re: Judge Luis B. Bello, Jr., 247 SCRA 519 [1995]). Every judge should decide cases with dispatch (Castro v. Malazo, 99 SCRA 164 [1980]) and should be careful, punctual, and observant in the performance of his functions (Secretary of Justice v. Bidin, 41 SCRA 742 [1971]; Escabillas v. Martinez, 78 SCRA 367

    3. ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO DECIDE A CASE WITHIN THE REGLEMENTARY PERIOD CONSTITUTES GROSS INEFFICIENCY. — Failure to decide a case within the reglementary period is not excusable and constitutes gross inefficiency warranting the imposition of administrative sanction on the defaulting judge (Celino v. Abrogar, 245 SCRA 304 [1995]; Re: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court Branches 61, 134 and 147, Makati, Metro Manila, 248 SCRA [1995]).

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. — Respondent Judge de Guzman claims that Criminal Case No. 23-94 was not submitted for decision as he can not decide the case on mere position papers, and the accused has not presented any evidence yet. The reasons given are not compelling. As correctly observed by the Office the Court Administrator, it is quite logical to presume that the parties filed their position papers upon respondent Judge de Guzman’s direction for his own consideration and the subsequent lack of setting of the case for hearing for a considerable length of time after the submission of the position papers clearly and strongly indicates that there was nothing more to be done in the case except to resolve the same. In fact, respondent Judge de Guzman’s contention is belied by respondent Jamlid’s admission in his reply-letter dated July 31, 1995 that the reason why the case was not decided by respondent Judge de Guzman within the prescribed period was that it was forgotten by respondent Judge de Guzman despite the necessary reminders. The accused’s non-presentation of evidence does not exculpate respondent Judge de Guzman for his inaction. On the contrary, it even shows and bolsters respondent Judge de Guzman’s inefficiency and negligence in managing the cases assigned to his sala. Based on the records, a trial was conducted on September 20, 1994 where the prosecution presented its evidence and rested its case. Thereafter, no more trial was scheduled and held. What respondent Judge de Guzman should have done was to immediately set the case for the reception of the evidence of the accused. But for unknown reasons, respondent Judge de Guzman did not, Further, what makes respondent Judge de Guzman’s inaction more censurable is that Criminal Case No. 23-94 is a malicious mischief case, subject to the Rule on Summary Procedure.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; TERMINATION OF CRIMINAL CASE BASED ON AMICABLE SETTLEMENT, IRREGULAR; CASE AT BAR; PENALTY. — Anent the charge of irregular termination of criminal cases through amicable settlements, such charge has not been rebutted by respondent judged de Guzman. On the contrary, the charge was admitted by him in his letter dated August 9, 1995. Every judge is mandated to be prompt in disposing all cases pending in his sala, but he must do so in accordance with the prescribed laws and rules. Here, respondent Judge de Guzman was on the right path in trying to resolve or to terminate promptly the criminal cases assigned to him. But the manner he chose and pursued in furtherance thereof — amicable settlement — is not generally acceptable in criminal cases. Under Articles 89 and 94 of the Revised Penal Code, amicable settlement is not one of the modes of extinguishing criminal liability, for crimes are transgressions against the State and are not subject to determination of the parties, save in cases of private crimes. Going over the criminal cases resolved by respondent Judge de Guzman through amicable settlement, they did not involve private crimes. Since respondent Judge de Guzman has already resigned from the office, the Court finds the imposition of fine in the amount of Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos to be deducted from his retirement benefits proper. ACCORDINGLY, for gross inefficiency and for irregular termination of cases through amicable settlements, respondent Judge Rodolfo de Guzman is hereby FINED in the sum of TEN THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS to be deducted from whatever retirement benefits he may be entitled to receive.

    6. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; SUPREME COURT; ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION OVER COURT PERSONNEL; CLERK OF COURT; FAILURE TO REMIT P30,000.00 COVERED BY OFFICIAL RECEIPT CONSTITUTES GROSS NEGLIGENCE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AND GROSS DISHONESTY AND EVEN MALVERSATION OF FUNDS. — During its examination, the audit team called the attention of respondent Jamlid concerning the unremitted cash amount of P30,000.00 covered by OR No. 6625649M dated November 11, 1994 which he admitted to be in his possession. In his letter-reply dated July 31, 1995. respondent Jamlid merely stated that he had already talked to Teresita Astillazo and requested that he be given up to August 30, 1995 to settle the said obligation. As the cash amount was covered by OR No. 6625649M dated November 11, 1994 issued by respondent Jamlid himself, it became part of public funds which have to be immediately and necessarily remitted to the Court. Thus, said cash, being part of public funds, is not a personal obligation of respondent Jamlid to Teresita Astillazo, and will only be returned to the latter upon proper court order. If only respondent Jamlid proper remitted said cash amount, there would have been no obstacle in its immediate release to Teresita Astillazo. But for unknown reasons, respondent Jamlid has not remitted to the Court said cash amount up to the present. Due to such failure, respondent Jamlid transgressed the trust reposed in him as cashier and disbursement officer of the Court (see Chapter VII, Sec. B, Manual for Clerks of Court, July 1991, p. 123). It likewise amounts to violation of the standing circulars of the Supreme Court. Moreover, respondent Jamlid’s failure to turn over the cash not only constitutes gross negligence in the performance of his duty, but likewise gross dishonesty and even malversation of funds which cannot be countenanced by the Court for they diminish the faith of the people in the judiciary (see Lirios v. Oliveros, 253 SCRA 258 [1996]). Pursuant to Section 23, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules implementing Book V of Executive Order 292, gross negligence in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct are classified as grave offenses for which the penalty of dismissal is imposed. Section 9 of the said Rule likewise provides that "the penalty of dismissal shall carry with it cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits and the disqualification for re-employment in the government service. Further, it may be imposed without prejudice to criminal liability." Respondent Rolando Jamlid is hereby DISMISSED from the service, with forfeiture of all leave credits and retirement benefits and with prejudice to re-employment in any government agency including government-owned or controlled corporations. He is further DIRECTED to remit the sum of Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00) Pesos to the Revenue Collection Section of the Accounting Division of the Court within thirty (30) days from notice.

    7. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; PUBLIC OFFICE; PUBLIC SERVICE REQUIRES THE UTMOST INTEGRITY AND STRICTEST DISCIPLINE. — In JDF Anomaly in the RTC of Ligao, Albay (255 SCRA 221 [1996]), the Court re-echoed its pronouncement in Gano v. Leonen (supra) that public service requires the utmost integrity and strictest discipline. Thus, a public servant must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and integrity. No less than the Constitution sanctifies the principle that public office is a public trust and enjoins all public officers and employees to serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees additionally provides that every public servant shall at all times uphold public interest over his or her personal interest.


    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    Before the Court are the two consolidated administrative matters which originated from an audit and physical inventory of the pending cases in the Municipal Trial Court of Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija conducted by a team from the Office of the Court Administrator composed of Valeriano P. Pobre, Digna C. Palafox, and Samuel R. Ruñez, Jr.

    On May 10, 1995, the said audit team submitted its report with the following findings:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The docket of the said Court disclosed the following number of cases:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Civil Cases 16

    Election Case 1

    Criminal Cases 71

    Of the 16 Civil Cases, Civil Cases Nos. 08-94, 09-94, 10-94, 11-94, 12-94 and of the 71 Criminal Cases, Criminal Cases Nos. 46-94, 47-94, 48-94, 49-94, 51-94, 59-94, 60-94, 61-94, 62-94, and 63-94, will be remanded to the Regional Trial Court for they were inadvertently transferred to the Municipal Trial Court before the effectivity of the expanded jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court.

    No initial action was taken on the following criminal cases:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    No. Nature Date Filed

    05-95 Viol. of PD 1602 1-17-95

    07-95 Mal. Mischief 1-30-95

    66-94 Viol. of BP 22 8-10-94

    95-94 Viol. of PD 1602 12-27-94

    90-94 Viol. of PD 1602 11-22-94

    59-94 Assault upon an agent

    of a person in authority 7-19-94

    01-95 Oral Defamation 1-16-95

    No further action was taken on the following criminal cases after the issuance of Warrant of Arrest:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    No Nature Date Filed Date of W/A

    51-93 Grave Threats 12-14-94 6-28-94

    44-93 Estafa 10-21-93 6-7-94

    31-92 Grave Threats 7-23-93 6-28-94

    05-93 Estafa 3-2-93 6-28-94

    18-93 Acts of Lasciviousness 5-18-93 6-28-94

    32-93 Grave Threats 7-8-93 9-8-94

    68-94 Tax Evasion 8-24-94 8-25-94

    44-94 Estafa 7-12-94 8-4-94

    79-94 Frust. Homicide 10-11-94 10-13-94

    30-94 Q. Trespass to Dwel. 10-13-94 10-13-94

    76-94 Assault Upon an Agent of

    a Person in Authority 9-28-94 10-11-94

    14-94 Estafa 3-17-94 3-22-94

    37-94 Q. Theft 6-7-94 3-14-94

    40-94 Estafa 6-9-94 7-9-94

    81-94 Acts of Lasc. 10-13-94 11-8-94

    92-94 Mal. Mischief 12-15-94 1-17-95

    Criminal Case No. 23-94 filed on April 4, 1994 is deemed submitted for decision upon the filing of the last position paper of the litigants on July 27, 1994 and up to now no decision was ever made.

    All the other criminal and civil cases are still pending either in the Preliminary Investigation stage or under trial.

    It was also discovered during the audit in Criminal Case No. 78-94 for Homicide under Preliminary Investigation was Provisionally Dismissed per Order dated January 2, 1995 based on an Affidavit of Desistance executed by the complaining witness after being partially paid the amount of P35,000.00 receipt of which is reflected at the back of the minute of the Order of dismissal. The team came into possession of official receipt with No. 6625649 M dated November 11, 1994 issued by the Clerk of Court. Showing the amount of P30,000.00 purporting to be a cash deposit which was part of the consideration to be paid to complainant for the Provisional Dismissal of the case. Said deposit was never reported to our Revenue Collection Section of the Accounting Division, this Office nor with the local Office of the Treasurer. When confronted with this problem, the Clerk of Court of the court under audit, admitted that said amount is in his possession and promised to return the same to the depositor.

    Verification made with the Statistics Division of this Office shows that the Quarterly Report ending March 31, 1994 was certified correct by an illegible signature above the printed Presiding Judge. A comparison of the signature of Judge Rodolfo de Guzman from previous reports with that of the illegible signature shows that these signatures are totally different and made by different persons.

    Considering that Judge De Guzman has resigned upon filing his certificate of candidacy for Mayor in the town of Jaen, Nueva Ecija on March 21, 1995 it is impossible that he could have certified to the correctness of the Quarterly Report of the Court under audit which report was received by the Statistics Division of this Office on May 4, 1995.

    (pp. 1-2, Rollo.)

    Based on said findings, the Office of the Court Administrator, in its Memorandum dated May 10, 1995, made the following recommendations:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Judge Rodolfo R. De Guzman has been in the government service, exclusively as Judge since June 1, 1971 more than 23 years and being more than 60 years of age, born on November 25, 1934, is qualified to the benefits of RA 910, as amended, should he apply for retirement under said law. To date no such application was ever received by this office.

    It is also worth mentioning that Judge Rodolfo R. De Guzman has five (5) pending administrative cases against him, viz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. R-73 MJT — Falsification of Records;

    2. R-91 MJT — Ignorance of the Law;

    3. R-328 MJT — Ignorance of the Law;

    4. MJT-89-288 — Corrupt Practices;

    5. MJT-93-850 — Gross Ignorance of the Law.

    Recommendation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In view of the above findings, it is respectfully recommended that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Whatever retirement benefits due Judge Rodolfo De Guzman be withheld to answer for any penalty that may be imposed by the Court for:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) Not deciding Criminal Case No. 23-94 which has been deemed submitted beyond the 90 day period;

    b) No initial action was ever taken on Criminal Cases Nos. 05-95, 07-95, 66-94, 95-94, 90-94, and 59-94; and

    c) No further action was taken on the Criminal Cases after Warrants of Arrest were issued against the accused, and after service of which were returned unserved.

    2. The Clerk of Court, Rolando R. Jamlid be made to explain his undue interference in the Provisional Dismissal of Criminal Case No. 78-94 for promised monetary consideration to the complainant and the latter’s failure to report to our Revenue Collection Section of the Accounting Division of the cash deposit in the amount of P30,000.00 covered by official receipt No. 6625649 dated November 11, 1994, purporting to be part of the monetary consideration to be paid to the to the complainant for the dismissal of the above case;

    3. Judge GEMINIANO A. EDUARDO, Presiding Judge of Municipal Trial Court of Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija having the least number of cases in its docket and the nearest Municipal Trial Court, be designated to act as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija in addition to his present duties. These Courts are under the same territorial administrative jurisdiction of RTC, Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

    4. The Clerk of Court, Rolando R. Jamlid be made to explain the forged signature of Presiding Judge who certified to the correctness of the Quarterly Report of the Court under audit for the period ending March 31, 1995.

    (pp. III-IV, Rollo.)

    In a Resolution dated June 27, 1995, the Court resolved to: 1) DIRECT the Fiscal Management and Budget Officer to WITHHOLD the retirement benefits of respondent Judge De Guzman to answer for any penalty that may be imposed for: (a) not deciding Criminal Case No. 23-94 which was deemed submitted beyond the 90-day period; (b) not taking any initial action on Criminal Cases No. 05-95, 07-95, 66-94, 95-94, 90-94 and 59-94; and (c) not taking further action on the criminal cases after warrants of arrest were issued against the accused, after service of which were returned unserved; 2) DIRECT respondent Jamlid to EXPLAIN his undue interference in the provisional dismissal of Criminal Case No. 78-94 for promised monetary consideration to the complainant and his failure to report to the Revenue Collection of the Accounting Division of the cash deposit in the amount of P30,000.00 covered by Official Receipt No. 6625649M, dated November 11, 1994, purporting to be part of the monetary consideration to be paid to the complainant for the dismissal of the aforesaid criminal case; 3) DESIGNATE Presiding Judge Geminiano A. Eduardo, Municipal Trial Court, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, having the least number of cases in its docket and the nearest Municipal Trial Court, to act as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court, Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija, in addition to his present duties; and 4) DIRECT respondent Jamlid EXPLAIN, within ten days from notice, the forged signature of the Presiding Judge who certified to the correctness of the Quarterly Report of the court for the period ending March 31, 1994 (p. 4, Rollo).

    The Office of the Court Administrator was then furnished a copy of an undated letter of Ms. Teresita Astillazo, demanding from respondent Jamlid the release of the cash deposit made in Criminal Case No. 78-94 in the sum of P30,000.00 covered by OR No. 6625649M issued on November 11, 1994. The demand was made in view of the dismissal of the case and the cancellation of bailbond in an order dated January 2, 1995.

    Acting thereon, the Office of the Court Administrator referred the matter to respondent Jamlid for comment. However, despite due notice, respondent Jamlid failed to file his comment which prompted this Court’s Third Division to issue a Resolution dated August 28, 1995 suspending him from the office for a period of one month and ordering him to file his comment within ten days from notice, with warning that failure to do so will be dealt with more severely.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In the meantime, by way of compliance with Resolution of June 27, 1995, respondent Jamlid filed a reply-letter dated July 31, 1995 stating that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Criminal Case No. 23-94, this case was not decided by then former Presiding Judge Rodolfo R. de Guzman within the prescribed 90-day period due to the fact that it was forgotten despite our reminder to him.

    2. Criminal Cases Nos. 05-95, 95-94, 90-94, these cases were not acted upon by Judge Rodolfo de Guzman despite subpoena was issued against the accused and per return of service of the Process Server, all the accused were not contacted.

    3. Criminal Case No. 7-95, this case was being settled by Judge Eduardo and the parties have agreed for an amicable settlement when this case was set for hearing last June 13, 1995.

    4. Criminal Case No. 66-94, this case was dismissed last April 20, 1995.

    5. Criminal Case No. 59-94, the records of this case was already forwarded to the RTC, Gapan, Nueva Ecija last March 14, 1995.

    6. With regards to the cash deposits of P30,000.00 intended to be given to the complainant in Crim. Case No. 78-94 which was deposited by one Teresita Astillazo, I have already talked to her that I be given up to August 30, 1995 to settle the said obligation.

    7. With regards to the alleged forged signature of Judge Geminiano A. Eduardo in our quarterly report cases ending March 31, 1995, the said signature was not forged but it was the true signature of Judge Geminiano Eduardo as attested by our Court Interpreter, a copy of her certification is hereto attached.

    (p. 6, Rollo.)

    On the other hand, respondent Judge de Guzman, in his letter dated August 9, 1995, sought reconsideration of the June 27, 1995 Resolution insofar as it withheld his retirement benefits, citing the following grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Criminal Case No. 23-94 was never deemed submitted for decision on the merits: (a) because the defense has not presented any evidence yet; (b) the court cannot decide the case on mere position paper; (c) while admittedly the court a quo did not resolve the move, no formal or unwritten motion to resolve was ever filed; (d) it is clear under the law that the procedure in the MTC should be the same as with the RTC;

    2. Criminal Cases Nos. 05-95, 90-94 and 95-94, subpoena were issued but they were not served as it is likely that the accused gave fictitious names. Under the premises, the cases should be archived;

    3. Criminal Case No. 66-94 is related to Criminal Cases Nos. 41-94, 42-94 and 43-94 which he disposed by amicable settlement. The dismissal of the said cases were realized only on April 20, 1990, for which account, the parties did not appear anymore when the case was set for hearing;

    4. Criminal Case No. 07-95 was likewise amicably settled. The settlement was, however, not realized because of his separation from the service on March 21, 1995;

    5. Criminal Case No. 59-94 was elevated to the RTC as it falls under the latter’s jurisdiction; and

    6. On the cases where no further action were taken after the service of notice were returned unserved, the Court should await the "number of months need (sic) to order the cases archived;

    (p. 60, Rollo.)

    To buttress his contention, respondent Judge de Guzman adopted in toto the letter dated August 9, 1995 of respondent Jamlid to Assistant Clerk of Court Ma. Luisa D. Villarama, likewise seeking reconsideration on the matter of withholding respondent Judge de Guzman’s retirement benefits. Said letter states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Criminal Case No. 23-94 is not submitted for decision because the accused has not presented any evidence yet. The Court cannot decide the case on mere position paper and although the Court did not resolve the move of counsel for the accused that the case be resolved on the basis of his position paper no formal or written motion to resolve was ever filed and it is clear that under the law the procedure in the MTC should be the same in the RTC. So the case was never deemed submitted or ripe for decision on the merits. (See Annex "A" xerox copy of the proceedings).

    2. In Criminal Case Nos. 05-94, 95-94 and 90-94, which cases are all for Illegal Gambling, it seems that the accused are fictitious because when this Court issued subpoena they can not be located and the witnesses for the prosecution did not appear on the scheduled hearing that is why the Acting Presiding Judge waited for these cases to be archived; Criminal Case No. 66-94 should be treated with Criminal Case Nos. 41-94, 42-94 and 43-94 of which the latter cases were amicably settled by the then Presiding Judge but their dismissals were only realize on April 20, 1995, that is why when Criminal Case No. 66-94 were being tried the parties did not appear anymore. Xerox copy of the Order of Dismissal is hereto attached as Annex "B" .

    3. Criminal Case No. 7-94, this case was also amicably settled by the Presiding Judge but due to his untimely discontinuance to be the Judge on March 21, 1995, he was not able to finish it.

    4. Criminal Case No. 54-95 is not within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court that is why it was forwarded to the Regional Trial Court at Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

    (p. 43, Rollo.)

    The Court, in a Resolution dated September 12, 1995, noted the separate letters of respondent Jamlid and Judge de Guzman and at the same time referred the matter to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report, and recommendation (p. 58, Rollo).

    Due to the failure of respondent Jamlid to comply with the August 28, 1995 Resolution of the Third Division, the Office of the Court Administrator, in its Memorandum dated December 26, 1995, recommended that the Informal Preliminary Inquiry (OCA I.P.I. 95-28-P) be converted into an administrative matter and that it be consolidated with A.M. No. 95-6-55 MTC and that respondent Jamlid be directed to explain and show cause within ten days why he should not be held liable for gross insubordination and gross dishonesty and be meted the penalty of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of all government benefits, if any, with prejudice to re-employment in any government office or government owned or controlled corporation. Said recommendation were adopted by the Third Division in a Resolution dated August 12, 1996.

    The Court, in a Resolution dated September 24, 1996, resolved to consolidate A.M. No. P-96-1173 (formerly OCA I.P.I. 95-28-P) with A.M. No. 95-6-55 MTC.

    In compliance with the Resolution of September 12, 1995, the Office of the Court Administrator submitted a Memorandum dated February 9, 1996 with the following recommendations:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ACCORDINGLY, in view of all the foregoing, we respectfully recommend to this Honorable Court that: a) Items Nos. 1(b) and 1(c) of the Resolution of the Court En Banc, dated June 27, 1995 in the instant matter, be referred to Honorable Executive Judge Arturo Bernardo of the Regional Trial Court, Gapan, Nueva Ecija, for investigation, report and recommendation to be submitted within sixty (60) days from receipt of the records; b) another judicial audit team be sent to the Municipal Trial Court, Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija for the purpose of examining the nature of the disposal of cases thereat for years 1993 to 1995, both in the exercise of its regular and preliminary investigation of criminal cases; c) Judge de Guzman should be FINED in the sum of Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos to be remitted to this Court within thirty days from notice, for irregular termination of criminal cases through amicable settlement and for his failure to decide Criminal Case No. 23-94, a case under summary procedure, within the thirty (30) day reglementary period; d) the charge of forgery against Clerk of Court II Jamlid should be dismissed for lack merit; e) Clerk of Court Jamlid be DIRECTED to remit the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) to the Revenue Collection Section of the Accounting Division of the Court within thirty (30) days from notice; f) he should further be DISMISSED from the service with all its ancillary consequences for violation of Administrative Circular No. 32-93 (Re: Collection of Legal Fees and Submission of Monthly Report of Collections, gross dishonesty and malversation and/or illegal exactions and transactions (Articles 217; 213, paragraph 2 (a); 215, Revised Penal Code); and g) the instant case should be referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for the filing of appropriate criminal complaint.

    (pp. 63-64, Rollo.)

    The Court has said time and time again that the conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the administration and disposition of justice — from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk — should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility as to let them be free from any suspicion that may taint the well-guarded image of the judiciary (Gano v. Leonen, 232 SCRA 98 [1994]). It has always been emphasized that the conduct of judges and court personnel must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum at all times, but must also be above suspicion. Verily the image of a court of justice is necessarily mirrored in the conduct, official or otherwise, of the men and women, from the judge to the least and lowest of its personnel, hence, it becomes the imperative sacred duty of each and everyone in the court to maintain its good name and standing as a true temple of justice (Miro v. Tan, 235 SCRA 400 [1994], citing Recto v. Raulis, 70 SCRA 438 [1976]. Thus, every employee of the court should be an exemplar of integrity, uprightness, and honesty.

    Upon careful scrutiny of the records, the Court finds respondent Judge de Guzman administratively liable for failing to decide Criminal Case No. 23-94 within the 30-day reglementary period and for irregular termination of criminal cases through amicable settlements.

    The Court has consistently impressed upon members of the judiciary the need to decide cases promptly and expeditiously under the time-honored precept that justice delayed is justice denied (Re: Judge Luis B. Bello, Jr., 247 SCRA 519 [1995]. Every judge should decide cases with dispatch (Castro v. Malazo, 99 SCRA 164 [1980]) and should be careful, punctual, and observant in the performance of his functions (Secretary of Justice v. Bidin, 41 SCRA 742 [1971]; Escabillas v. Martinez, 78 SCRA 367 [1977]). Failure to decide a case within the reglementary period is not excusable and constitutes gross inefficiently warranting the imposition of administrative sanction on the defaulting judge (Celino v. Abrogar, 245 SCRA 304 [1995]; Re: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court Branches 61, 134 and 147, Makati, Metro Manila, 248 SCRA [1995]).

    Respondent de Guzman claims that Criminal Case No. 23-94 was not submitted for decision as he can not decide the case on mere position papers, and the accused has not presented any evidence yet. The reasons given are not compelling. As correctly observed by the Office of the Court Administrator, it is quite logical to presume that the parties filed their position papers upon respondent Judge de Guzman’s direction for his own consideration and the subsequent lack of setting of the case for hearing for a considerable length of time after the submission of the position papers clearly and strongly indicates that there was nothing more to be done in the case except to resolve the same. In fact, respondent Judge de Guzman’s contention is belied by respondent Jamlid’s admission in his reply-letter dated July 31, 1995 that the reason why the case was not decided by respondent Judge de Guzman within the prescribed period was that it was forgotten by respondent Judge de Guzman despite the necessary reminders. The accused’s non-presentation of evidence does not exculpate respondent Judge de Guzman for his inaction. On the contrary, it even shows and bolsters respondent Judge de Guzman’s inefficiency and negligence in managing the cases assigned to his sala. Based on the records, a trial was conducted on September 20, 1994 where the prosecution presented and rested its case. Thereafter, no more trial was scheduled and held. What respondent Judge de Guzman should have done was to immediately set the case for the reception of the evidence of the accused. But for unknown reasons, respondent Judge De Guzman did not. Further, what makes respondent Judge de Guzman’s inaction more censurable is that the Criminal Case No. 23-94 is a malicious mischief case, subject to the Rule on Summary Procedure.

    Anent the charge of irregular termination of criminal cases through amicable settlements, such charge has not been rebutted by respondent Judge de Guzman. On the contrary, the charge was admitted by him in his letter dated August 9, 1995.

    Every judge is mandated to be prompt in disposing all cases pending in his sala, but he must do so in accordance with the prescribed laws and rules. Here, respondent Judge de Guzman was on the right path in trying to resolve or to terminate promptly the criminal cases assigned to him. But the manner he chose and pursued in furtherance thereof — amicable settlement — is not generally acceptable in criminal cases. Under Article 89 and 94 of the Revised Penal Code, amicable settlement is not one of the modes of extinguishing criminal liability, for crimes are transgressions against the State and are not subject to determination of the parties, save in cases of private crimes. Going over the criminal cases resolved by respondent Judge de Guzman through amicable settlement, they did not involve private crimes.

    Since respondent Judge de Guzman has already resigned from the office, the Court finds the imposition of the fine in the amount of Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos to be deducted from his retirement benefits proper.

    The Court now shifts its attention to the charges against respondent Jamlid.

    During its examination, the audit team called the attention of respondent Jamlid concerning the unremitted cash amount of P30,000.00 covered by OR No. 6625649M dated November 11, 1994 which he admitted to be in his possession. In his letter-reply dated July 31, 1995, respondent Jamlid merely stated that he had already talked to Teresita Astillazo and requested that he be given up to August 30, 1995 to settle the said obligation. The reason advanced by respondent Jamlid is likewise not compelling. On the contrary, it even reveals his liability. As the cash amount was covered by OR. No. 6625649M dated November 11, 1994 issued by respondent Jamlid himself, it became part of public funds which have to be immediately and necessarily remitted to the Court. Thus, said cash, being part of public funds, is not a personal obligation of respondent Jamlid to Teresita Astillazo, and will only be returned to latter upon proper court order. In fact, when made to explain regarding the undated letter of Teresita Astillazo demanding the release of said cash amount, respondent Jamlid failed to file any answer or comment, despite the necessary caveat that failure to do so will be dealt with more severely. Such failure strengthens, and worse, aggravates his liability. If only respondent Jamlid properly remitted said cash amount, there would have been no obstacle in its immediate release to Teresita Astillazo,. But, for unknown reasons, respondent Jamlid has not remitted to the Court said cash amount up to the present.

    Due to such failure, respondent Jamlid transgressed the trust reposed in him as cashier and disbursement officer of the Court (See Chapter VII, Sec. B, Manual for Clerks of Court, July 1991, p. 123). It likewise amounts to violation of the standing circulars of the Supreme Court.

    Administrative Circular No. 13-92, in this regard, pertinently provides that all collections for bailbonds, rental deposits, and other fiduciary collections shall be deposited immediately by the Clerk of Court concerned, upon receipt thereof, with the authorized government depository bank (Land Bank of the Philippines). Should there be no Land Bank of the Philippines branch in the locality, the Clerk of Court shall deposit all collections with any rural bank area, furnishing the Accounting Division of the Supreme Court such information.

    On the other hand, Administrative Circular No. 32-93 provides that all Clerks of Court and Accountable Officers are enjoined to follow strictly the following guidelines:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) Submission of monthly report of collections for all funds should be sent to this Court not later than the 10th day of each succeeding month and should include the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) Original copy of the Report of the Clerk of Court’s Account indicating the current debit and credit (Judicial Form No. 20); duplicate official receipts issued; and the corresponding remittance advice slips duly validated by the Bank where collection was deposited (amount of collections per report should equal amount per remittance.)

    b) Duplicate copy of Sheriff’s Report of Collections and Account (Judicial Form No. 38-A); validated duplicate copy of official receipts and the corresponding remittance advice slips (amount of collections per report should equal amount per remittance).

    (For General Fund for Ex-Officio Sheriff of RTC and SDC)

    c) Original copy of report of deposits and withdrawals and validated duplicate copy of official receipts and deposits slips; and in cases of withdrawals, a copy of the order of the Court duly authenticated with Court’s seal and a copy of the acknowledgment receipt.

    (For Fiduciary Fund of RTC and SDC)

    d) Original copy of report of deposits and withdrawals; duplicates of official receipts issued, and in case of withdrawals, copy of Sheriffs cash payment receipts.

    (For Sheriff Trust Fund of RTC and SDC)

    e) Original copy of Report of Collections and Deposits; duplicate official receipts issued and a copy of the validated deposit slip or the postal money order stub if remittance is by PMO.

    (For Judiciary Development Fund of RTC, SDC, Metro TC, MTCC, MTC MCTC and SCC)

    Moreover, respondent Jamlid’s failure to turn over the cash not only constitutes gross negligence in the performance of his duty, but likewise gross dishonesty and even malversation of funds which cannot be countenanced by the Court for they diminish the faith of the people in the judiciary (see Lirios v. Oliveros, 253 SCRA 258 [1996]).

    In JDF Anomaly in the RTC of Ligao, Albay (255 SCRA 221 [1996]), the Court re-echoed its pronouncement in Gano v. Leonen (supra), that public service requires the utmost integrity and strictest discipline. Thus, a public servant must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and integrity. No less than the Constitution sanctifies the principle that public office is a public trust and enjoins all public officers and employees to serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees additionally provides that every public servant shall at all times uphold public interest over his or her personal interest."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Pursuant to Section 23, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules implementing Book V of Executive Order 292, gross negligence in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct are classified as grave offenses for which the penalty of dismissal is imposed. Section 9 of the said Rule likewise provides that "the penalty of dismissal shall carry with it cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits and the disqualification for re-employment in the government service. Further, it may be imposed without prejudice to criminal liability."cralaw virtua1aw library

    ACCORDINGLY, for gross inefficiency and for irregular termination of cases through amicable settlements, respondent Judge Rodolfo de Guzman is hereby FINED in the sum of TEN THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS to be deducted from whatever retirement benefits he may be entitled to receive.

    Respondent Rolando Jamlid is hereby DISMISSED from the service, with forfeiture of all leave credits and retirement benefits and with prejudice to re-employment in any government agency including government-owned or controlled corporations. He is further DIRECTED to remit the sum of Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00) Pesos to the Revenue Collection Section of the Accounting Division within thirty (30) days from notice.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Judge Geminiano A. Eduardo, Presiding Judge of Municipal Trial Court of Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija, who has been designated to act as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija is hereby DIRECTED to take the necessary and appropriate action concerning those criminal cases where no initial action has been taken and those where no further action was taken after the issuance of the warrants of arrest.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

    Narvasa, C.J., Hermosisima, Jr. and Torres, Jr., JJ., are on leave.

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


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