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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    A.M. No. P-02-1545   April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [A.M. No. P-02-1545. April 2, 2003.]

    (Formerly AM-OCA-IPI-99-595-P)

    ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, VERNA V. GALVEZ, EVELYN Z. MERRERA, VILMA L. MELENDEZ, LYDIA A. POLINTAN, RONALDO A. MATABANG, FELIX G. AUSTRIA, JR., and RUBY R. ROSARIO, Complainants, v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG, Sheriff III & Officer-in-Charge, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, San Carlos City, Pangasinan, Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:


    Before the Court is a complaint filed by Zenaida C. Gutierrez, Evelyn Z. Merrera, Lydia A. Polintan, Ruby R. Rosario, Verna V. Galvez, Vilma L. Melendez, Ronaldo A. Matabang and Felix G. Austria, Jr., all employees of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, San Carlos City, Pangasinan, against Sheriff and Officer-in-Charge Rodolfo V. Quitalig for dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming a court employee.cralaw : red

    In the joint Joint-Affidavit dated February 9, 1999, submitted to the Court, complainants allege the following: Respondent often indulges in drinking sprees with litigants and with his friends during office hours at the recreation area of the Hall of Justice or the canteen. He becomes vulgar, intemperate with his words and makes sexual comments towards the female staff every time he gets drunk. There were instances when they had to bring court clearances and other documents to be signed by him to the place where he was drinking. Sometime in October 1998, respondent brought home the logbook/timebook of the court in order to fill-up the dates when he was absent. Respondent sheriff does not deposit on time fiduciary funds with the Land Bank of the Philippines. There were instances when the accused and their bondsmen had to post their cash bond at the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) because respondent could not be found at the office. Some criminal case records and exhibits were either unaccounted for or were not in the office. 1

    In his letter dated May 3, 1999, addressed to the then Court Administrator Alfredo Benipayo, respondent denied the accusations hurled against him and explained that: the complaint was merely a ploy of Eduardo Rosario, a legal researcher in their office, to replace him as acting clerk of court; a report of the City Auditor of San Carlos City cleared him of financial accountability; a certification of Verna Galvez, Clerk IV, attested that all case records and exhibits of their branch were duly accounted for; he does not indulge in drinking sessions with litigants and friends during office hours; and if there were times that he drank alcohol, it was after office hours and in the company of RTC Judge Victor Llamas whose invitation he could not refuse. 2

    The Court in a Resolution dated November 12, 2000, referred the complaint to Executive Judge Bienvenido Estrada, RTC, San Carlos City for investigation, report and recommendation. 3

    However, pending investigation, the complainants filed a JOINT AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE, 4 prompting Judge Estrada to hold thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Based on my investigation and the evidence submitted, undersigned cannot find any iota of evidence to indict respondent Rodolfo V. Quitalig in view of the failure of the complainants to present their evidence and prove their charges. As a matter of fact, the complainants have jointly affirmed and confirmed their JOINT AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE, prompting respondent to state categorically that he would no longer present his evidence to prove his innocence but he joined the manifestation of the complainants to dismiss this case." 5

    However, in a letter received by the Court Administrator on May 15, 2001, complainant Ruby R. Rosario alleged that: the affidavit of desistance was prepared by the respondent himself; she only signed said affidavit because she was pressured by her officemates who thought that respondent has changed and will retire in August; respondent is back to his old ways of being rude and impolite; and the decision of Judge Estrada to dismiss the case against respondent is contrary to the ruling of this Court in Lapena v. Pamarang 6 and Dionisio v. Gilera 7 where it was held that the withdrawal of a complaint for lack of interest of a complainant does not necessarily warrant the dismissal of an administrative complaint. 8

    Hence, the Court, in another Resolution, dated February 4, 2002, referred the case to Acting Executive Judge Salvador P. Vedaña, RTC San Carlos City for reinvestigation, report and recommendation. The Court likewise resolved to docket the instant case as a regular administrative matter. 9

    On June 28, 2002, Executive Judge Vedaña submitted his First Indorsement, portions of which are quoted verbatim, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "In support to his comment, respondent, during the hearing denied all the accusations leveled against him. He denied the accusation of the complaining witnesses that he was drunk during office hours and doing the same at the recreation area of the Hall of Justice or at the canteen outside the premises of the Hall of Justice. He admitted that he used to drink but not during office hours and not at the premises of the Hall of Justice. He denied that once drunk, he did vulgar acts or uttered intemperate words to his office mates. He did not insinuate sexual overtures to a female staff. He just patted the back of one of the complainants because she was his "kumadre" and that was done during her birthday.

    "He further declared that there were times when he signed clearances in the canteen because he normally goes directly to the canteen after serving subpoenas and writs of execution in far away places considering that he returns to the office at around 1:30 to 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon. He did not likewise bring the logbook at home for the purpose of filling it up in order to make it appear that he was present when in fact he was absent. He brought the logbook home because he received a letter from Atty. Corazon Molo directing him to furnish her with a Xerox copy of the logbook. He did not notice or observed the "X" mark placed "by complainant Zenaida Gutierrez in the logbook, particularly when he was absent or out of office.

    "He testified that he had a hand in the deposit of Fiduciary Funds such as bail bonds and/or other funds before Mrs. Melendez was appointed as Cash Clerk. He, however, denied the accusation that he did not deposit the Fiduciary Fund at the Land Bank. He admitted that there were times when the accused and the bondsman would like to post cash bond and he was nowhere to be found but he was then on field work serving court processes. When Mrs. Melendez was not yet appointed as Cash Clerk, he received for about five (5) times, cash bonds. Because of his several duties, he sometimes kept the money in his drawer and not in the steel cabinet because the latter had no lock. The cash bond was kept in his drawer for about one (1) week before it could be deposited in the bank. He denied the accusation of the complainants that he still had to wait for another cash bond to be posted in order for him to deposit the cash bond which he received first.

    "On the complainants’ accusations regarding respondent’s habitual drunkenness during office hours, impolite manners while drunk and tampering with the logbook and losing the same, the undersigned Investigating Judge finds that while the complainants were in unison in their accusations, they however failed to substantiate and concretely support the accusations and remained bare allegations. No particular dates were specified for the alleged drunkenness, neither was the logbook subject of their complaint ever presented. On these points, this Court hereby gives the benefit of doubt and resolved the issue in favor of Respondent.

    "However, on the accusation for fidelity of Fiduciary Funds, the undersigned Investigating Judge finds the evidence presented by the complainants, particularly the rundown of the deposits made during the incumbency of the respondent, to be sufficient to support the accusation.

    "From the same rundown which covered the period June 13, 1995 to January 13, 2000, it was shown that the respondent had not religiously deposited his collections intact. What was apparent from the rundown was his habitual practice of lapping that is, using the current collections to cover for the deposit he made for his previous or prior collections.

    "The reason put up by the respondent that he had to discharge multiple duties is too shallow and flimsy. There was no reason for him to keep his collections for one (1) week or more, more so to keep the same in his drawer as it was his bounden duty to religiously remit/deposit the same to the depositary bank.

    "Every employee in the Judiciary should be an example of integrity, uprightness and honesty. Not only is he expected to be well-mannered, civil and considerate in his actuations, official or otherwise. As OIC-Clerk of Court, respondent Quitalig must be the role model for his co-employees so that he could be emulated by them in the performance of their duties.

    "Again, he is being charged for not depositing Fiduciary Funds on time. The Honorable Supreme Court, in its per curiam resolution in A.M. Nos. P-00-1381 and P-00-1382, July 21, 2001 pronounced, ‘We have already said that Clerks of Court may not keep funds in their custody. All collections from bail bonds, rental deposits and other fiduciary collections shall be deposited within twenty four (24) hours by the Clerk of Court concerned upon receipt thereof, with the Land Bank of the Philippines. Undue delay in remitting collections amounts to no less than grave misfeasance if not malversation of funds. No protestation of good faith ‘can override the mandatory nature of the circulars designed to promote the full accountability for government funds." ‘ 10

    Court Administrator Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. agrees with the findings of Judge Vedaña and recommends that respondent Sheriff Rodolfo V. Quitalig be FINED in the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) for grave misfeasance and serious misconduct prejudicial to the interest of the judicial service with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offenses in the future shall be dealt with more severely. 11

    The Court agrees with the Court Administrator and the Investigating Judge but the amount of the fine should be much higher.

    Time and again, this Court has pointed out the heavy burden and responsibility which court personnel are saddled with in view of their exalted positions as keepers of the public faith. They should therefore be constantly reminded that any impression of impropriety, misdeed or negligence in the performance of official functions must be avoided. 12 Those who work in the judiciary must adhere to high ethical standards to preserve the courts’ good name and standing. 13 They should be examples of responsibility, competence and efficiency, and they must discharge their duties with due care and utmost diligence since they are officers of the court and agents of the law. 14 Indeed, any conduct, act or omission on the part of those who would violate the norm of public accountability and diminish or even just tend to diminish the faith of the people in the judiciary shall not be countenanced. 15

    In this case, respondent is accused of drinking with party litigants and friends during office hours by no less than his fellow court employees. He is also charged with sometimes going to the office under the influence of alcohol. Some of the complainants also say that he makes sexual jokes and once made physical advances towards a female office mate when he was drunk. While Judge Vedaña held that since complainants failed to give specific dates as to when these incidents took place and therefore resolved the doubt in favor of the respondent, it is our view that as an employee of the judiciary, respondent has already failed to protect the image of the institution of which he is a part and plays an important role in the dispensation of justice. In his own testimony, he could not categorically deny that he sometimes drinks alcohol but merely states in defense that he does so outside of office hours and outside the premises of the Hall of Justice. He even admitted that he would sometimes drink within the court premises but explains it is only because he could not refuse the offer of an RTC Judge. He also could not deny that he touched the back of his female officemate but merely downplayed it, explaining that she was his "kumadre." 16

    As enunciated by this Court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Employees of the judiciary . . . should be living examples of uprightness not only in the performance of official duties but also in their personal and private dealings with other people so as to preserve at all times the good name and standing of the courts in the community. The image of a court, as being a true temple of justice, is aptly mirrored in the conduct, official or otherwise, of the men and women who work thereat, from the judge to the least and lowest of its personnel." 17

    Specifically, as a sheriff, respondent plays an important role in the administration of justice. He is a frontline representative of the justice system, being indispensably in close contact with the litigants. He should therefore be imbued with a sense of professionalism in the performance of his duties and his conduct should be geared towards maintaining the prestige and integrity of the court. 18

    More damning than his inappropriate conduct is his own admission that on several occasions he received cash bonds as acting Clerk of Court/Officer-in-Charge but failed to deposit the same to the authorized bank within the period required by the rules. In his own words, he admitted that he kept the cash bond in his drawer for a week before depositing them. 19 As correctly held by the investigating judge, this violates a clear mandate of this Court embodied in Circular No. 50-95.

    Circular No. 50-95 mandates that all collections from bailbonds, rental deposits, and other fiduciary collections shall be deposited within twenty four (24) hours by the Clerk of Court concerned, upon receipt thereof, with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

    As the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Clerk of Court, respondent occupies an important function and position in the judiciary. 20 And the fact that he is actually a Sheriff and merely occupies the position of a Clerk of Court in an acting capacity does not diminish the expectation from him to perform all the duties and responsibilities of a Clerk of Court. In the Report on the Financial Audit Conducted on the Books of Accounts of OIC Melinda Deseo, MTC General Trias Cavite, 21 the Court set aside the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator to merely admonish an Interpreter, at the same time OIC-Clerk of Court, who failed to comply with Circular 50-95. The Court held that her alleged lack of prior training and orientation in administering Fiduciary Fund collections cannot relieve her of administrative liability; and the Court ordered her suspension for six (6) months and one (1) day without pay. 22

    Clerks of court are the chief administrative officers of their respective courts. 23 They must show competence, honesty and probity since they are charged with safeguarding the integrity of the court and its proceedings. 24 They are judicial officers entrusted to perform delicate functions with regard to the collection of legal fees and are expected to correctly and effectively implement regulations such that even the undue delay in the remittances of amounts collected by them at the very least constitutes misfeasance. 25 Respondent, as acting Clerk of Court, is saddled with the same responsibility and is expected to serve with the same commitment and efficiency. Failing to meet these standards, we find the respondent administratively liable for dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming a court employee.

    Based on the records, respondent had already retired from the service as of August 8, 2001 and was given clearance on November 28, 2001. In view of the gravity of his offenses, even if this is his first administrative infraction and although he was eventually able to deposit all the amounts that came to his possession, respondent would have been meted out at the very least, suspension of six months and one day if he were still an employee of the Court. In view of his retirement, we have no recourse but to impose on him a fine in the amount of P40,000.00.

    WHEREFORE, finding respondent Rodolfo V. Quitalig guilty of dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming a court employee prejudicial to the interest of the judicial service, he is FINED the amount of Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00) to be paid within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Corona, Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 3–4.

    2. Id., p. 13–14.

    3. Id., p. 22.

    4. Id., p. 45.

    5. Id., p. 53.

    6. A.M. No. P-00-1362, February 15, 2000.

    7. A.M. No. P-99-1330, August 12, 1999.

    8. Rollo, p. 33.

    9. Id., p. 102.

    10. Rollo, pp. 193–194.

    11. Rollo, p. 228.

    12. Firmalo v. Quierrez, A.M. No. P-00-1401, January 29, 2002.

    13. Agarao v. Judge Parentela, Jr.; AM-RTJ-00-1561, November 21, 2001.

    14. Aquino v. Lavadia, A.M. No. P-01-1483, September 20, 2001.

    15. Firmalo v. Quierrez, supra, note 12.

    16. TSN, May 29, 2002, p. 9.

    17. RE: ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS OCA IPI NO. 97-228-P (JUDGE RAFAEL P. SANTELICES v. LOIDA B. SAMAR, UTILITY AIDE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT-LIBRARY, LEGAZPI CITY); and OCA IPI NO. 97-383-P (JUDGE RAFAEL P. SANTELICES v. LOIDA B. SAMAR, OF THE SAME STATION) [A.M. No. 00-1394. January 15, 2002].

    18. Aquino v. Lavadia, supra, note 14, Tan v. Dael, A.M. No. P-00-1392, July 13, 2000.

    19. TSN, May 29, 2002, p. 13.

    20. Cabanatan v. Molina, A.M. No. P-01-1520, November 21, 2001.

    21. A.M. No. 99-11-157-MTC, August 7, 2000.

    22. Id., at p. 353.

    23. Report on the Financial Audit, supra note 21.

    24. Cabanatan supra note 20.

    25. Report, supra note 21.

    A.M. No. P-02-1545   April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG


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