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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113918 June 6, 2001 - MARCELINA G. TRINIDAD, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121272 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYDERICK LAGO

  • G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE DANAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129534 & 141169 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MACANDOG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 139034 June 6, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139323 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLO ELLASOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140128 June 6, 2001 - ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB

  • G.R. No. 140277 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GUILLERMO BALDAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141529 June 6, 2001 - FRANCISCO YAP, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142888 June 6, 2001 - EVELIO P. BARATA v. BENJAMIN ABALOS JR.

  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC   June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC. June 20, 2001.]

    RE: ABSENCE WITHOUT OFFICIAL LEAVE (AWOL) OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG, COURT STENOGRAPHER III, RTC, BRANCH 168, PASIG CITY

    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    This Decision refers to an administrative case against Ms. Lilian B. Bantog, Court Stenographer III, of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City, Branch 168. The case stems from the habitual absence from office of Ms. Bantog since January 4, 1999. 1 After several reminders and warnings, the RTC Branch Clerk of Court, Atty. Peter Paul Matabang, finally issued a Memorandum 2 dated July 19, 2000, directing the respondent to report for work within five (5) days from receipt thereof and to explain in writing why she should not be dropped from the rolls.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Although she reported for work on July 25, 2000, respondent failed to explain within the prescribed period why she should not be dropped from the rolls. Worse, she failed to report for work again on July 27 and 28, 2000. The last time she reported for work was on July 31, 2000. Since then, she has gone on absence without official leave.

    On September 8, 2000, the branch clerk of court recommended to the Court Administrator 3 her summary dismissal from the service and that her position be declared vacant in order that a new court stenographer may be appointed to the position to prevent the disruption of the flow of work in the said court branch.

    On the same date, acting Presiding Judge Florito S. Macalino, indorsed to the Court Administrator the letter of Atty. Matabang, likewise recommending the dismissal from the service of Ms. Bantog for repeated violation of Civil Service Rules and Regulations. On November 21, 2000, the Supreme Court en banc directed the Financial Management Office to withhold the salaries and benefits of Ms. Bantog, upon the recommendation of the Leave Division of the Office of the Court Administrator. 4

    It must be noted that on April 17, 2000, Ms. Bantog, replying to an earlier Memorandum warning her of summary dismissal due to her repeated absences, wrote a letter to the Court Administrator in which she openly admitted her habitual absenteeism. She explained that her marital woes, the matriculation problems of her three children, the lack of job of her husband all contributed to her habitual absenteeism. She pleaded for understanding and to be given another chance. She promised to reform her work habits. Nevertheless, as shown by the records, her promised reform was not fulfilled.

    A thorough review of the records shows that Ms. Bantog has been absent for the following periods.

    For the Year 1999:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Month No. of days

    January 4, 19, 20, 21, and 22 5 days

    February 16, 17, 24, 25, and 26 5 days

    March 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 19, 22, 11 days

    23, 24, 25, and 26

    May 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 21, 24, 25, 10 days

    28 and 31

    June 1 month

    July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14, 15, 15 days

    16, 19, 21, 23, 27, and 29

    December 2, 13 and 24 2 days

    For the Year 2000:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Month No. of days

    July 20, 21, 24, 27, and 28 15 days

    August-present Absence without official leave

    On November 21, 2000, the Court resolved to:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "a) NOTE the Memorandum dated 19 October 2000 of Hermogena F. Bayani, SC Judicial Staff Officer, Leave Division, Office of Administrative Services, Office of the Court Administrator and (b) DIRECT the Financial Management Office, OCA, to WITHHOLD the salaries and other benefits of Ms. Lilian Bantog, Court Stenographer III, RTC, Branch 168, Pasig City, for having been absent without official leave (AWOL) since 31 July 2000." 5

    On February 20, 2001, the Court referred this administrative matter to the Office of the Court Administrator, for recommendation on whether Ms. Bantog should be dropped from the rolls. 6

    On March 8, 2001, the Court received the OCA’s report. 7 Its findings are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "It appears that Ms. Bantog has been repeatedly warned and required to explain regarding her habitual unauthorized absences by her immediate superior Clerk of Court Atty. Peter Paul Matabang. Ms. Bantog always reasoned out that she could not report for work regularly as she was resolving the problems and needs of her family.

    "Since Ms. Bantog showed no improvement in her work ethic, Atty. Matabang recommended in his letter dated 8 September 2000 the summary dismissal of Ms. Bantog by reason of her blatant disregard of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations. Judge Macalino likewise indorsed the same to the Court for favorable action thereon.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "Acting on the recommendation of the Leave Division of this Office in a Memorandum Report 19 October 2000, the Honorable Court DIRECTED in its En Banc Resolution of 21 November 2000 the Financial Management Office to WITHHOLD the salaries and benefits of Ms. Bantog for having been absent without official leave (AWOL) since July 2000." 8

    Acting Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepaño recommended that "Ms. Lilian Bantog, Court Stenographer III, RTC, Branch 168, Pasig City be DISMISSED from the service and the position of Court Stenographer III in said court be DECLARED VACANT." 9

    In justifying her dismissal from the service, the acting Court Administrator ratiocinated as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Records reveal that this is not the first time Ms. Bantog went [on] absence without leave for several times in the past [and] her attention had been called [to] her habitual absenteeism. This notwithstanding, Ms. Bantog continued to take her work for granted. Her action has been clearly prejudicial to the service and inimical to the interest of the court.

    "As provided for under Section 63, Rule XVI of the Civil Service Rules, as amended, Miss Bantog may already be automatically dropped from the service by reason of absence without official leave (AWOL). This section expressly provides that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘An official or employee who is continually absent without an approved leave for at least (30) calendar days shall be considered on absence without official leave (AWOL) and shall be separated from the service or dropped from the rolls without prior notice. He shall, however, be informed, at his address appearing on his 201 files or at his known written address, of his separation from the service, not later than five (5) days from its effectivity." 10

    We sustain the recommendation of the acting Court Administrator.

    The records show that Ms. Bantog’s absences from January 4, 1999 up to the present were unauthorized because her applications for leave were denied by the branch clerk of court for the reason that "she no longer has any leave credit she can avail of." 11 Despite the various reprimands, warnings, and memoranda issued to her, she persisted in testing the patience of her superior, prompting the latter to write a disparaging evaluation of her work ethic to the Court Administrator, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The undersigned’s patience with Ms. Bantog has run out. She is deliberately making a mockery of the undersigned’s authority as her immediate administrative superior. Ms. Bantog’s propensity to deceive people around her, including her superiors, is incorrigible, to say the least." 12

    Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 23, Series of 1998, defines habitual absenteeism as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "An officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be considered habitually absent if he incurs unauthorized absences exceeding the allowable two and one-half (2 ) days monthly leave credit under the Leave Law for at least three (3) months in a semester or at least three (3) consecutive months during the year . . ." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Section 52-A, Rule IV of Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 1999, classifies habitual absenteeism as a grave offense with the following corresponding penalties: for the first offense — suspension for six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year; and for the second offense — dismissal.

    It must be emphasized that Ms. Bantog was not only habitually absent, she has been on absence without official leave from July 2000 up to the present; thus, her salaries and benefits have been withheld since November 2000. Under Section 63, Rule XVI of the Civil Service Rules, as amended, "an official or employee who is continually absent without an approved leave for at least (30) calendar days shall be considered on absence without official leave (AWOL) and shall be separated from the service or dropped from the rolls without prior notice." Up to now, since her last report for work on July 31, 2000, respondent has not presented herself to her superiors or wrote any letter of explanation or filed any motion for reconsideration of the action taken by the Court in directing the Financial Management Office to withhold her salaries and benefits.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Court notes that in the past, respondent failed to transcribe stenographic notes of the cases assigned to her due to her frequent absences. Such was her neglect of her duties that she was even cited for direct contempt and a warrant for her arrest was issued by Judge Benjamin V. Pelayo when she failed to report for work and submit the TSN in Criminal Case Nos. 106971 and 109800. 13 In the words of the branch clerk of court, she has "become more of a liability to the Court" and he does not "see any improvement or at least an effort" on her part to improve her attitude towards her job. 14

    Given her utter disregard of her duties as a public servant and her responsibilities as an employee of the Court, we find and hold that Ms. Bantog has failed to live up to the exacting standards for public office. As held in Garcia v. Eullaran, 15" [t]he conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, like the courts below, from the presiding judge to the lowest clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility." Their conduct must at all times be characterized with propriety and decorum. As enshrined in the Constitution," [p]ublic office is a public trust. Public officers must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency . . ." 16 Time and again, this Court has said that it "cannot countenance any act or omission which diminish or tend to diminish the faith of the people in the Judiciary." 17

    The records of the matter clearly show that Ms. Bantog was habitually absent from her work since January 4, 1999 and has in fact been absent without official leave from July 2000 until the present.

    WHEREFORE, Ms. Lilian Bantog is hereby DISMISSED from the service, with prejudice to reemployment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations. The position of Court Stenographer III of the RTC of Pasig City, Branch 168, is hereby DECLARED VACANT.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon Jr. and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Memorandum to Ms. Lilian B. Bantog by Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo dated March 23, 2000.

    2. Rollo, p. 2.

    3. Letter addressed to then Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo by Atty. Matabang, dated September 8, 2000, rollo, p. 5.

    4. This was signed by Ms. Hermogena F. Bayani, SC Chief Judicial Staff Officer, Leave Division of the Office of the Court Administrator.

    5. Court En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC dated November 21, 2000.

    6. Court En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC dated February 20, 2001.

    7. Signed by Acting Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepaño.

    8. Memorandum submitted by Acting Court Administrator Elepaño, dated March 6, 2001.

    9. Ibid.

    10. Ibid.

    11. Letter to Court Administrator Benipayo by Atty. Matabang dated September 1, 1999.

    12. Ibid.

    13. Order dated February 26, 1999.

    14. Memorandum to Bantog from Atty. Matabang, dated June 21, 2000.

    15. 196 SCRA 1, 4, April 19, 1991, citing Montemayor v. Collado, 107 SCRA 258, 263, September 10, 1981.

    16. Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.

    17. Garcia v. Eullaran, supra.

    A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC   June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG


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