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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
 

   
September-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137538 September 3, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. HON. FRANCISCO B. IBAY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1249 September 4, 2001 - PHIL. GERIATRICS FOUNDATION, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUERUBIN LAYOSA

  • A.M. No. P-00-1373 September 4, 2001 - ELIZABETH A. TIONGCO v. ROGELIO S. MOLINA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1501 September 4, 2001 - JOSEPHINE D. SARMIENTO v. ALBERT S. SALAMAT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1502 September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO

  • A.M. No. P-99-1357 September 4, 2001 - SHERWIN M. BALOLOY v. JOSE B. FLORES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1651 September 4, 2001 - PROSECUTOR LEO C. TABAO v. JUDGE FRISCO T. LILAGAN

  • G.R. No. 125359 September 4, 2001 - ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO and HECTOR T. RIVERA v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 126859 September 4, 2001 - YOUSEF AL-GHOUL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127181 September 4, 2001 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132709 September 4, 2001 - CAMILO L. SABIO, ET AL. v. INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134490 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOEL BRAGAT

  • G.R. Nos. 135356-58 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELECIO SAGARINO

  • G.R. No. 138923 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANITA AYOLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1344 September 5, 2001 - LYDIO ARCILLA, ET AL. v. LUCIO PALAYPAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128145 September 5, 2001 - J.C. LOPEZ & ASSOCIATES v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133886 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. OSCAR PARBA

  • G.R. No. 134101 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELINO O. LLANITA

  • G.R. No. 136054 September 5, 2001 - SEVERINA SAN MIGUEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132714 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LALINGJAMAN

  • G.R. Nos. 139064-66 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ARCE

  • G.R. No. 140529 September 6, 2001 - JOSE P. LOPEZ v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141400 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EVANGELINE GANENAS

  • Admin. Case. No. 4863 September 7, 2001 - URBAN BANK v. ATTY. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 114858-59 September 7, 2001 - COLUMBUS PHILIPPINES BUS CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 126352 September 7, 2001 - GSIS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127261 September 7, 2001 - VISAYAN SURETY & INSURANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129644 September 7, 2001 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131805 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO HERMOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132064 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAGANI BAYENG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132320 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO OJERIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135402-03 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IAN GONZAGA

  • G.R. No. 136779 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 142065 September 7, 2001 - LENIDO LUMANOG v. HON. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 142875 September 7, 2001 - EDGAR AGUSTILO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144877 September 7, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. VERONICA AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1506 September 10, 2001 - GEORGE S. BICBIC v. DHALIA E. BORROMEO

  • G.R. Nos. 104769 & 135016 September 10, 2001 - AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118943 September 10, 2001 - MARIO HORNALES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130362 September 10, 2001 - INT’L FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES (PHIL.) v. MERLIN J. ARGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138485 September 10, 2001 - DR. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 141970 September 10, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK v. FLORO T. ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 145588 September 10, 2001 - ESPERIDION LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140398 September 11, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA MERCED, ET AL. v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121877 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ERLINDA GONZALES

  • G.R. Nos. 138431-36 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSCORA M. ARABIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140903 September 12, 2001 - HENRY SY v. COMMISSION ON SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-1-4-03-SC September 13, 2001 - RE: REQUEST FOR LIVE RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A.M. No. 00-4-188-RTC September 13, 2001 - REQUEST OF MR. OSCAR T. LLAMAS FOR RE-ASSIGNMENT OSCAR T. LLAMAS v. EMMANUEL LACANDOLA AND ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 120009 September 13, 2001 - DOLE PHILIPPINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 122095 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DOMINGO DAWISAN

  • G.R. No. 127913 September 13, 2001 - RCBC v. METRO CONTAINER CORP.

  • G.R. No. 132354 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOMEDES IGLESIA

  • G.R. Nos. 136840-42 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 137250-51 September 13, 2001 - PABLO MARGAREJO v. HON. ADELARDO ESCOSES

  • G.R. No. 138972-73 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO B. MARQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140512 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PETER PELERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142043 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON BITUON

  • G.R. No. 142430 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE QUINICIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142444 September 13, 2001 - OFELIA D. ARTUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142649 September 13, 2001 - ANTONIO C. SAN LUIS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143702 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 129212 September 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO LACUESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1575 September 17, 2001 - ISAGANI RIZON v. JUDGE OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. RTJ 99-1498 September 17, 2001 - VICENTE P. LIM v. JUDGE JACINTA B. TAMBAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111584 September 17, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES SALVADOR Y. CHUA and EMILIA U. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 135644 September 17, 2001 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. SPOUSES GONZALO and MATILDE LABUNG-DEANG

  • G.R. No. 135912 September 17, 2001 - ODIN SECURITY AGENCY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138219 September 17, 2001 - GERARDO V. TAMBAOAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138943-44 September 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY ALMAZAN

  • G.R. No. 141209 September 17, 2001 - ANTONIA HUFANA, ET AL. v. WILLIAM ONG GENATO

  • A. C. No. 5043 September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 135936 September 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GUALBERTO MIRADOR alias "GOLING"

  • G.R. No. 144400 September 19, 2001 - DOMINGO O. IGNACIO v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1369 September 20, 2001 - GUILLERMA D. CABAÑERO v. JUDGE ANTONIO K. CAÑON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1371 September 20, 2001 - ATTY. NESCITO C. HILARIO v. JUDGE ROMEO A. QUILANTANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472 September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG

  • A.M. No. P-01-1483 September 20, 2001 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. ISABELO LAVADIA

  • G.R. No. 116938 September 20, 2001 - LEONILA GARCIA-RUEDA v. REMEDIOS A. AMOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127405 September 20, 2001 - MARJORIE TOCAO and WILLIAM T. BELO v. COURT OF APPEALS and NENITA A. ANAY

  • G.R. No. 130399 September 20, 2001 - PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT v. HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA

  • G.R. Nos. 135068-72 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 137674 September 20, 2001 - WILLIAM GO KIM HUY v. SANTIAGO GO KIM HUY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139410 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SILVERIO AGUERO

  • G.R. No. 140898 September 20, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1289 September 21, 2001 - JUDGE NAPOLEON S. DIAMANTE v. ANTHONY A. ALAMBRA

  • G.R. Nos. 119609-10 September 21, 2001 - PCGG v. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128876 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO FELIZAR y CAPULI

  • G.R. No. 132384 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARLON GADIA

  • G.R. No. 134596 September 21, 2001 - RAYMUND ARDONIO v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 142889 September 21, 2001 - EXECUTIVE LABOR ARBITER RICARDO N. OLAIREZ v. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 145416 September 21, 2001 - GOLDEN HORIZON REALTY CORPORATION v. SY CHUAN

  • A.M. No. 99-6-79-MTC September 24, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1512 September 24, 2001 - TERESITA H. ZIPAGAN v. JOVENCIO N. TATTAO

  • G.R. Nos. 132442-44 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BERNARDINO ARANZADO

  • G.R. Nos. 135524-25 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO AGUSTIN

  • G.R. No. 141897 September 24, 2001 - METRO CONSTRUCTION v. CHATHAM PROPERTIES

  • G.R. No. 144404 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 127759-60 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PO3 NOEL FELICIANO

  • G.R. Nos. 134527-28 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SERAPIO REY alias APIONG

  • G.R. Nos. 136867-68 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO GALVEZ y JEREZ

  • G.R. No. 137612 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FRANCISCO ANTINERO BERIARMENTE

  • A.C. No. 4497 September 26, 2001 - MR. and MRS. VENUSTIANO G. SABURNIDO v. ATTY. FLORANTE E. MADROÑO

  • A.C. No. 4990 September 26, 2001 - ELENA ZARATE-BUSTAMANTE and LEONORA SAVET CATABIAN v. ATTY. FLORENTINO G. LIBATIQUE

  • G.R. No. 122824 September 26, 2001 - AURORA F. IGNACIO v. VALERIANO BASILIO,

  • G.R. No. 123058 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NAPUD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 129107 September 26, 2001 - ALFONSO L. IRINGAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS , ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129530-31 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILFREDO OLARTE

  • G.R. Nos. 138308-10 September 26, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PABLO SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142564 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HILGEM NERIO y GIGANTO

  • G.R. Nos. 143108-09 September 26, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Case. No. 5505 September 27, 2001 - SEVERINO RAMOS v. ATTY. ELLIS JACOBA and ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO JACOBA

  • G.R. No. 131864-65 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SHERJOHN ARONDAIN and JOSE PRECIOSO

  • G.R. Nos. 134963-64 September 27, 2001 - ALFREDO LONG and FELIX ALMERIA v. LYDIA BASA

  • G.R. No. 137676 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ATTY. ROBERTO DIONISIO

  • G.R. No. 144035 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE M. BASQUEZ

  • A.M. No. P-00-1391 September 28, 2001 - LIBRADA D. TORRES v. NELSON C. CABESUELA

  • G.R. No. 122425 September 28, 2001 - FLORDELIZA H. CABUHAT v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 124535 September 28, 2001 - THE RURAL BANK OF LIPA CITY, ET AL. v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125154 September 28, 2001 - DIGNA VERGEL v. COURT OF APPEALS and DOROTEA-TAMISIN GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 125442 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO ARELLANO y ROBLES

  • G.R. No. 127232 September 28, 2001 - GOLDENROD v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PATHFINDER HOLDINGS (PHILIPPINES)

  • G.R. No. 127241 September 28, 2001 - LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE, ET AL. v. NLRC , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134128 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GERARDO DE LAS ERAS y ZAFRA

  • G.R. No. 134928 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140789-92 September 28, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIPIO CARBONELL and DIONISIO CARBONELL

  • G.R. No. 145371 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BEN AQUINO and ROMEO AQUINO

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    A.M. No. P-01-1502   September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [A.M. No. P-01-1502. September 4, 2001.]

    CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS, Complainant, v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO, Clerk of Court II and Court Interpreter I, respectively of MCTC, DAUIS, BOHOL, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    This is an administrative case for gross neglect of duty, filed by Cresencio N. Bongalos against Jose R. Monungolh and Victoria D. Jamito, Clerk of Court II and Court Interpreter I, respectively, of the 14th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Dauis-Panglao, Bohol.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Bongalos is the private complainant in Criminal Case No. 1844 for attempted homicide and Criminal Case No. 1825 for illegal possession of firearms against one Francisco Micabani. Both criminal cases were heard and tried jointly by the 14th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Dauis-Panglao, Bohol, where respondents Monungolh and Jamito were assigned.

    When the prosecution was about to formally offer its evidence in the aforementioned criminal cases, it was discovered that Exhibit "A," a .38 caliber snub nose paltik revolver with Serial No. 21760 and Exhibits "A-1" to "A-5" consisting of five live ammunition were missing. Subsequently, the accused filed a demurrer to evidence which was granted by the trial court, whose order of dismissal is now subject of certiorari proceedings.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As a consequence thereof, Bongalos charged Monungolh and Jamito with gross neglect of duty in connection with the loss of the exhibits, filed before the Office of the Court Administrator. A receipt 1 signed by Monungolh and attached to the complaint showed that Monungolh actually received the gun and ammunition from the police at the commencement of the criminal cases. According to Bongalos, it was Monungolh’s duty to keep the exhibits as clerk of court. Monungolh, however, pointed to Jamito as the person responsible for the loss, because it was allegedly Jamito’s job as interpreter to keep the exhibits during its presentation and to return the same to him. 2

    In his comment dated November 26, 1999, 3 Monungolh contended that he should not be faulted for the loss of the firearm and bullets. He explained that he requested SPO3 Jose Pabalan, Jr., the police officer assigned to the case, to secure the evidence, since the trial court had no safe or cabinet for their safekeeping. The police officer did not sign any memorandum to acknowledge receipt of the objects.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Monungolh additionally alleged that at no time during the pendency of the case did the exhibits presented in evidence ever come into his custody. As a matter of fact, he added, the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the hearing of the criminal cases 4 reveals that the private prosecutor, Atty. Liberato Casilan, knew that the evidence was still in the possession of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Presiding Judge even remarked that it should have been returned to Monungolh during the July 27, 1998 hearing, when the gun and live ammunition were marked as exhibits. Consequently, he prayed that the instant case be dismissed.

    For her part, Jamito stated that as court interpreter, her duties include translation of testimonies and marking of exhibits, but not the safekeeping of evidence which is the duty of the clerk of court. She insisted that she saw the revolver and bullets only when they were marked as exhibits and that afterwards, these were promptly given back to the police officer. The police was entrusted with the exhibits, as was the usual practice, because the court lacked the facilities for safekeeping of evidence such as these. Like Monungolh, she urged the Court to dismiss the administrative complaint against her. 5

    In a report dated October 25, 2000, 6 the OCA recommended that the case against Jamito be dismissed because the safekeeping of exhibits was not part of her duties as court interpreter. However, the OCA recommended that Monungolh be fined in the amount of P5,000.00 and warned sternly, on the ground that it was his duty to see to it that all documents and exhibits in the court’s custody are safely kept.

    On January 17, 2001, the Court dismissed the case against Jamito for lack of merit and required the remaining parties to manifest if they were willing to submit the case for decision on the basis of pleadings already filed. Thus, on March 5, 2001, Monungolh submitted said manifestation.

    We have carefully reviewed the records, and we agree with the findings and conclusions of the OCA that Monungolh is indeed guilty of gross negligence, warranting disciplinary sanction.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Under Section 7, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court and Section A, Chapter II of the Manual for Clerks of Court, it is the clerk of court’s duty to safely keep all records, papers, files, exhibits and public property committed to his charge, including the library of the court and the seal and furniture belonging to his office. As court custodian, it was his responsibility to ensure that records are safely kept and the same are readily available upon the request of the parties or order of the court. He must be diligent and vigilant in performing his official duties and in supervising and managing court dockets and records. 7 This custodial duty necessarily extends to evidence submitted by the parties and marked as exhibits.

    In our view, Monungolh was negligent in entrusting the gun and ammunition to the police officer, without requiring any receipt to show that the latter kept them on behalf of the trial court. If this were the trial court’s usual practice to secure evidence, as Monungolh submits, then it is clearly unacceptable. It shows great deficiency in utmost diligence required of clerks of court in the performance of their duties. As demonstrated now, Monungolh’s neglect is inexcusable for it has led to the delay in the prosecution of criminal cases and the grant of a motion for demurrer to evidence in favor of the accused.

    Monungolh could not toss back to SPO3 Pabalan the responsibility for the missing exhibits. For he admitted that the police officer merely acceded to his request. As pointed out by the OCA, even if the exhibits were actually delivered to SPO3 Pabalan, Monungolh remained chiefly responsible for their safekeeping.cralaw : red

    Moreover, although Monungolh averred that he entrusted the exhibits to the police, it appears that he did not exert any effort to retrieve them when they were discovered missing. Neither did he explain how and why these were lost or misplaced, instead of blaming the prosecution for their disappearance. However, a receipt, 8 he himself signed, showed that the gun and bullets were in his charge. Hence, he cannot deny responsibility for their loss even if private complainant Bongalos knew that the exhibits were in the custody of SPO3 Pabalan.

    Respondent Monungolh’s gross negligence of duty leading to the loss of the prosecution’s evidence was the very reason cited by the trial court for granting the defense’s demurrer, since the prosecution had failed to prove corpus delicti. Indeed, as pointed out by Bongalos, the questionable circumstances under which the exhibits inexplicably vanished give the courts a bad image. Needless to stress, we cannot discount the fact that here there has been a grave miscarriage of justice.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In Lloveras v. Sanchez, 229 SCRA 302, 307 (1994), we reiterated that the conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, from the presiding judge to the lowest clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. Their conduct at all times must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum, but above all else, it must be above suspicion. Further, since the public image of a court of justice is mirrored in the conduct of the men and women who work thereat, it becomes the imperative sacred duty of everyone in the court to maintain its good image and standing as a temple of justice. 9

    In light of the irreparable damage caused by Monungolh’s gross negligence, we deem it proper to increase the fine recommended by the OCA.

    WHEREFORE, Clerk of Court II JOSE R. MONUNGOLH is found GUILTY of gross neglect of duty and is hereby FINED in the amount of twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00). Respondent Monungolh is also STERNLY WARNED that repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena, and De Leon Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 10.

    2. Id at 1-3.

    3. Id at 26-28.

    4. Id. at 32.

    5. Id. at 33.

    6. Id. at 37-39.

    7. Basco vs Gregorio, A.M. No. P-94-1026, 24S SCRA 614, 618 (1995).

    8. Supra, note 1.

    9. Sy v. Cruz, A.M. No. P-95-1163, 250 SCRA 639, 646 (1995); citing Lim-Arce v. Arce, Et Al., A.M. No. P-89-312, 205 SCRA 21. 31-32 (1992).

    A.M. No. P-01-1502   September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO


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