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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-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-03-1705 September 2, 2003 - BALDOMERO DE VERA SOLIMAN, JR. v. PRINCESITO D. SORIANO

  • G.R. No. 138238 September 2, 2003 - EDUARDO BALITAOSAN v. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS

  • G.R. No. 146980 September 2, 2003 - LUZ E. TAGANAS, ET AL. v. MELITON G. EMUSLAN, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3967 September 3, 2003 - ARTEMIO ENDAYA v. WILFREDO OCA

  • A.C. No. 6084 September 3, 2003 - FELICITAS BERBANO v. WENCESLAO BARCELONA

  • A.M. No. 02-10-614-RTC September 3, 2003 - RE: EDITORIAL OF THE NEGROS CHRONICLE AND OTHER CHARGES OF A CONCERNED CITIZEN AGAINST JUDGE ROGELIO CARAMPATAN

  • A.M. No. OCA-01-6 September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1466 September 3, 2003 - EDUARDO F. BAGO v. JOEL FERAREN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1501 September 3, 2003 - ROMEO E. EJERCITO v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE

  • G.R. No. 131915 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE LACHICA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136274 September 3, 2003 - SUNFLOWER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139400 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO WATIWAT

  • G.R. No. 140652 September 3, 2003 - OLIVERIO LAPERAL v. PABLO V. OCAMPO

  • G.R. No. 144312 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHUA TAN LEE

  • G.R. No. 145737 September 3, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. EVELYN P. CAYOBIT

  • G.R. No. 149617 September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

  • G.R. No. 141527 September 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDY G. BOCALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1788 September 5, 2003 - JORGE F. ABELLA v. FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430 September 8, 2003 - ROMEO B. SENSON v. HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 128296 September 8, 2003 - NASIPIT LUMBER CO., ET AL. v. NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152957 September 8, 2003 - FAUSTINO ESQUIVEL v. EDUARDO REYES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480 September 10, 2003 - TRINIDAD CABAHUG v. JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY

  • G.R. No. 91486 September 10, 2003 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107271 September 10, 2003 - CITY OF CALOOCAN, ET AL. v. MAURO T. ALLARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125329 September 10, 2003 - ANN BRIGITT LEONARDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140762 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER C. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148912 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO ESCARLOS

  • G.R. No. 151212 September 10, 2003 - TEN FORTY REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MARINA CRUZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003 - ROMULO SG. VILLANUEVA v. CHARLIE C. LARCENA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742 September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

  • G.R. No. 138366 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138569 September 11, 2003 - CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144785 September 11, 2003 - YOLANDA GARCIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145407 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO HEREVESE

  • G.R. No. 151081 September 11, 2003 - TOP RATE CONSTRUCTION & GENERAL SERVICES v. PAXTON DEV’T. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153126 September 11, 2003 - MONTEREY FOODS CORP., ET AL. v. VICTORINO E. ESERJOSE

  • G.R. No. 153845 September 11, 2003 - EFREN P. SALVAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1799 September 12, 2003 - MARIA CRISTINA OLONDRIZ PERTIERRA v. ALBERTO L. LERMA

  • G.R. No. 127206 September 12, 2003 - PERLA PALMA GIL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135029 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR CARRIAGA

  • G.R. No. 141600 September 12, 2003 - ROBERTO FULGENCIO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144639 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY GO

  • G.R. Nos. 144972-73 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO JUNAS

  • G.R. No. 133365 September 16, 2003 - PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC. v. JOSE M. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 147814-15 September 16, 2003 - RAUL ZAPATOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 155278 September 16, 2003 - PRUDENCIO J. TANJUAN v. PHIL. POSTAL SAVINGS BANK

  • A.M. No. P-03-1740 September 17, 2003 - FRANKLIN Q. SUSA v. TEOFILA A. PEÑA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1656 September 17, 2003 - EDGARDO D. BALSAMO v. PEDRO L. SUAN

  • G.R. No. 141120 September 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ

  • G.R. No. 146125 September 17, 2003 - NOVELTY PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1347 September 18, 2003 - BENJAMIN TUDTUD v. MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. P-00-1370 September 18, 2003 - ALEJANDRO PAREDES, ET AL. v. JERRY MARCELINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1510 September 18, 2003 - MARY ANN PADUGANAN-PEÑARANDA v. GRACE L. SONGCUYA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1691 September 18, 2003 - JOSE S. SAÑEZ v. CARLOS B. RABINA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1703 September 18, 2003 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1724 September 18, 2003 - VICENTE ALVAREZ, Jr. v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1742 September 18, 2003 - SALVADOR L. BERNABE v. WINSTON T. EGUIA

  • G.R. No. 135559 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MORENO OCUMEN

  • G.R. No. 135563 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BOBBY P. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 144913 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. GERONIMO C. CENIZA

  • G.R. No. 149627 September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

  • G.R. No. 152351 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAMIL MALA

  • G.R. No. 152604 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONCIO S.PEDRIGAL

  • G.R. No. 153571 September 18, 2003 - BENGUET MANAGEMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156259 September 18, 2003 - GROGUN, INC. v. NAPOCOR

  • G.R. No. 157957 September 18, 2003 - CHARITO NAVAROSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142974 September 22, 2003 - SPS. SHEM G. ALFARERO and AURELIA TAGALOG v. SPS. PETRA and SANCHO SEVILLA

  • G.R. No. 152529 September 22, 2003 - SPS. HENDRIK and ALICIA S. BIESTERBOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1450 September 23, 2003 - RAMIRO S. DE JOYA v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1509 September 23, 2003 - HELEN GAMBOA-MIJARES v. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1732 September 23, 2003 - ROSENINA O. UY, ET AL. v. LOLITA R. EDILO

  • G.R. No. 123140 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO CORTEZANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135446 September 23, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BPI

  • G.R. No. 136729 September 23, 2003 - ASTRO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL. v. PHIL. EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 138716-19 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PILLAS

  • G.R. No. 138725 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO OLIVAR

  • G.R. No. 139360 September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140982 September 23, 2003 - MARIO GUTIERREZ v. SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141434 September 23, 2003 - ANTONIO LO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143132 September 23, 2003 - VAN MELLE PHILS. ET AL. v. VICTOR M. ENDAYA

  • G.R. No. 144533 September 23, 2003 - JIMMY L. BARNES v. TERESITA C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146786-88 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES T. DAÑO

  • G.R. No. 149295 September 23, 2003 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENEROSO DE JESUS

  • G.R. No. 149370 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 150905 September 23, 2003 - CITIBANK v. EFREN S. TEODORO

  • G.R. No. 151072 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE NATIVIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151931 September 23, 2003 - ANAMER SALAZAR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 152823-24 September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152998 September 23, 2003 - SIMON Q. AÑONUEVO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156295 September 23, 2003 - MARCELO R. SORIANO v. SPS. RICARDO and ROSALINA GALIT

  • G.R. No. 156983 September 23, 2003 - In the Matter of the Application for the Habeas Corpus of JOSE VICTOR RIGOR y DANAO v. The Superintendent

  • A.M. No. P-00-1418 September 24, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CELESTINA B. CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 124293 September 24, 2003 - JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130087 September 24, 2003 - DIANA M. BARCELONA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136726 September 24, 2003 - PANFILO V. VILLARUEL v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148924 September 24, 2003 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153781 September 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 153885 & 156214 September 24, 2003 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1746 September 26, 2003 - ROGER F. BORJA v. ZORAYDA H. SALCEDO

  • G.R. No. 130330 September 26, 2003 - FERNANDO GO v. MICHAEL TAN and LOLITA TAN

  • G.R. No. 141217 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSEBIO DUBAN

  • G.R. No. 144037 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL P. TUDTUD, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5480 September 29, 2003 - LEILANI OCAMPO-INGCOCO, ET AL. v. ALEJANDRO G. YRREVERRE, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 137370-71 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL OCO

  • G.R. No. 139185 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 148902 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO ANDRADE

  • G.R. No. 149718 September 29, 2003 - MARIO VALEROSO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 152057 September 29, 2003 - PT & T CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5854 September 30, 2003 - NORA E. MIWA v. RENE O. MEDINA

  • G.R. No. 127593 September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136742-43 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Y. ALFARO

  • G.R. Nos. 140514-15 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNE IGNAS

  • G.R. No. 142751 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO OPELIÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143010 September 30, 2003 - MIGUEL DANOFRATA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 144230 September 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. MACKAY v. ADORACION G. ANGELES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148332 September 30, 2003 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. MADRIGAL WAN HAI LINES CORP.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. OCA-01-6   September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [A.M. No. OCA-01-6. September 3, 2003.]

    DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS, Complainant, v. ESMERALDA ABALOS, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    Complainant Dominador V. Aspiras is a former policeman who is at present detained at the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prisons, Muntinlupa City. On November 8, 2000, this Court received a letter-complaint filed by complainant Aspiras charging respondent Esmeralda Abalos with estafa, claiming that he gave respondent P52,000 in consideration of his acquittal in G.R. No. 121203, entitled People of the Philippines v. Dominador V. Aspiras, a case for murder which has been appealed to this Court.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The letter-complaint alleged that Dominador V. Aspiras became acquainted with respondent’s husband, SPO4 Jing Abalos, while the latter was visiting another inmate in the New Bilibid Prisons. This was around 1997 or 1998. Respondent’s husband allegedly informed him, Aspiras, that his wife was working in the Records Section of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) and that she may be able to help complainant secure an acquittal from his case which was then on appeal. Because of complainant’s desire to become a free man, he decided to avail of the offer. However, complainant balked when respondent’s husband informed him that he would need to pay them a total sum of P100,000 for the job. Complainant then pleaded if he could just pay instead P80,000. After several weeks of haggling, respondent’s husband finally agreed to the lower amount. In three separate occasions, complainant gave respondent a total amount of P52,000. However, on April 29, 2000, complainant received this Court’s decision affirming the ruling of the trial court finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 1 Hence, complainant wrote the said letter-complaint to this Court charging respondent for allegedly deceiving him into giving her money in exchange for his acquittal in the abovementioned criminal case.

    On December 27, 2000, the OCA required respondent Esmeralda Abalos to submit her comment on the complaint within five days from her receipt thereof.

    On January 7, 2001, complainant again wrote to this Court that respondent’s husband allegedly visited complainant in the New Bilibid Prisons to ask him to withdraw his complaint against his wife. Respondent’s husband promised complainant that his money will be returned to him by installment. However, complainant answered that the complaint will not be withdrawn unless they pay him back the entire amount. Respondent’s husband then told him that he will send his wife to talk to him. As her husband promised, respondent did see him in the New Bilibid Prisons, this time accompanied by her mother. They promised to return the entire amount before the end of February 2001.

    In the meantime, respondent submitted her Comment, dated January 10, 2001. Respondent denied therein all the allegations of complainant. She claimed that a certain woman approached her one day and asked her if she knew any lawyer who could prepare a brief for complainant Aspiras. She could no longer remember the name of this woman but she recalled that the husband of this woman was also serving sentence at the New Bilibid Prisons. She allegedly contacted a lawyer to help complainant and paid said lawyer P10,000. She denied ever meeting complainant’s wife and receiving any amount from her. She alleged, however, that it was a compadre of complainant Aspiras who handed her the amount of P10,000 for the lawyer whom she contacted for him. She likewise stated in her comment that it is highly improbable for her to misrepresent to complainant that she could work for his acquittal since she is just a lowly clerk in the Records Section of the Office of the Court Administrator.

    In a resolution dated March 12, 2001, the Court ordered that this case be docketed as a regular administrative matter and that it be referred to Retired Justice Narciso Atienza for investigation, report and recommendation within sixty days from notice thereof.

    During the hearing and investigation, complainant’s wife testified that she allegedly gave respondent, during various instances, a total of P37,000. She handed the amounts to respondent outside the premises of the Supreme Court. 2 Complainant likewise testified that sometime around September or October 1999, respondent visited complainant in the New Bilibid Prisons and there the latter gave her an additional amount of P15,000. Again, complainant was promised that he would be acquitted and that he may pay her the balance upon his receipt of this Court’s decision of acquittal. 3 Thus, complainant allegedly gave respondent a total amount of P52,000.

    For her part, respondent testified that the woman who approached her asking if she knew a lawyer who could prepare a brief for complainant was one Juanita Cortez, who is now deceased. She also claimed that she could no longer remember the name of the lawyer whom they approached since she was merely accompanied by a kumare to the office of the said lawyer in Makati City. She denied receiving the entire amount of P52,000, but admitted receiving around P27,000 from complainant. She allegedly received P15,000 from complainant himself when she visited him in the New Bilibid Prisons. The money was purportedly for the person who was following up complainant’s case in the Court. When asked who this person was, respondent refused to answer:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    And did you give that money to the person who according to you would work on the case?

    WITNESS

    Opo.

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    Who is that person to whom you [gave] the money[?]

    WITNESS

    Sa kaibigan ko po.

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    Who is that friend of yours?

    WITNESS

    Dito po sa Supreme Court.

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    Who?

    WITNESS

    Hindi ko na po Justice maano kasi sabi po niya naipit ka na diyan ikaw na lang mag-ano kaya ako na lang po ang mag a-ano.

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    Also an employee of the Supreme Court?

    WITNESS

    Hindi po Justice taga-labas po pero may kaibigan lang po siya dito sa Justice hindi rin niya sinabi sa akin kung sino ang kaibigan niya sa Justice. Basta sabi niya managot ka na diyan dahil naipit ka na.

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    Do you mean to say that you would sacrifice your career because of your friend whom you did not want to identify?

    WITNESS

    Hindi po kasi akalain Justice na mag-abot kami sa ganyan dahil iyong kumare ko pa ang lahat ng naglakad.

    JUSTICE ATIENZA

    Kumare you are referring to . . .

    WITNESS

    Iyong namatay po.

    The amount of P10,000 was handed to her by complainant’s wife during another meeting at Jollibee. An additional P2,000 was subsequently handed to her outside the Supreme Court premises purportedly for the snacks of the person following up the case. She claimed that she first met complainant’s wife when the latter went to her office and handed her P2,000 to work on her husband’s case. At that time, she merely told complainant’s wife that she would see what she could do. She never knew the spouses Aspiras before that. 4

    Justice Atienza then filed his report, dated October 30, 2001, wherein he made the following recommendation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the undersigned is of the opinion that respondent committed grave misconduct and she deserves the extreme penalty of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of retirement benefits and with prejudice to re-employment in any government service including government-owned or controlled corporations.

    Public service requires utmost integrity and strictest discipline. A public servant must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and integrity. The administration of justice is a sacred task. By the very nature of their duties and responsibilities, all those involved in it must faithfully adhere to, hold inviolate, and invigorate the principle solemnly enshrined in the Constitution that a public office is a public trust; and that all public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency. The conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, from the presiding judge to the lowliest 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 must also be above suspicion. Indeed, every employee of the judiciary should be an example of integrity, uprightness, and honesty. 5

    Justice Atienza’s report is correct in stating that respondent was clearly not altogether honest when she said that she was the one who made arrangements with a lawyer in Makati City to prepare the Brief for the complainant in his criminal case. An examination of the record reveals that the Appellant’s Brief in G.R. No. 121203 was actually prepared and filed by Attys. Araceli A. Rubin and Liwayway Nazal Delos Santos of the Public Attorney’s Office. 6 Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that respondent could easily forget the name of the person for whom she went out of her way to help. It is also so unlikely that respondent could easily forget the name of the lawyer in Makati City from whom she sought the favor to prepare the Appellant’s Brief. Complainant Aspiras allegedly asked for help from respondent regarding his case sometime around 1998 or 1999. The complaint against respondent was filed in November 2000. It is highly unbelievable that one could forget such details as the names of those persons whom one has helped and from whom one asked for help, within a year or two. This is especially so since the situation here is so unusual. It is not every day that a stranger approaches a person to seek help and the latter, in turn, goes out of her way to accommodate the request.

    With respect to the amounts she received, respondent gave inconsistent statements. In her Comment, she alleged that she only received P10,000 from a compadre of complainant Aspiras and in turn, she handed the said amount to the lawyer who would prepare the complainant’s brief in his criminal case. 7 On the other hand, in her testimony, she alleged that she received, at first, P15,000 from complainant when she went to him at the New Bilibid Prisons, which she paid to the lawyer who prepared the brief. She received again an amount of P10,000 from complainant’s wife, and thereafter, P2,000, the latter amount given to her for snacks.

    Respondent’s inconsistent statements as to how much she actually received from complainant effectively taint her credibility in this case. These inconsistent statements cannot prevail over the categorical and positive assertions by the complainant and his witness. As noted in Justice Atienza’s report, the testimony of a witness which is inconsistent and contradictory with her other statements has no probative value and should be disregarded. 8

    Moreover, the fact that respondent wrote a promissory note to complainant, stating therein that she will pay back the amount of P52,000 by installments, belies her allegations in her Comment and testimony during the investigation. No evidence was presented that respondent was threatened or forced into executing the said promissory note. Being an employee intelligent enough to hold a position in the Records Section of the Office of the Court Administrator, she should have known that the said note may be used as evidence in a proceeding against her.

    Serious misconduct is defined as such conduct which affects a public officer’s performance of his duties as such officer and not only that which affects his character as a private individual. 9 For serious misconduct to warrant a dismissal from service, the misconduct must be serious, important, weighty, momentous, and not trifling. It must also have direct relation to, and be connected with, the performance of official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful, intentional neglect or failure to discharge the duties of the office. 10

    In the case at bar, the issuance of the promissory note by respondent is a clear admission that she received the amount of P52,000 from complainant, which sustains complainant’s allegations that he paid her the amount on the promise that as an employee of this Court, she had the capacity to influence the outcome of his case. The evidence presented is adequate for the purpose of these proceedings. In an administrative proceeding, only substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, is required. 11

    In Mirano v. Saavedra, 12 this Court emphatically declared that a public servant must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and integrity. The administration of justice is a sacred task, and by the very nature of their duties and responsibilities, all those involved in it must faithfully adhere to, hold inviolate, and invigorate the principle that public office is a public trust, solemnly enshrined in the Constitution.

    WHEREFORE, respondent Esmeralda Abalos is hereby found GUILTY of serious misconduct and ordered DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all benefits, except accrued leave credits, and with prejudice to reemployment in the Government or any subdivision, instrumentality or agency thereof, including government-owned or -controlled corporations.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., Azcuna and Tinga, JJ., concur.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Ynares-Santiago and Carpio, JJ., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. People v. Aspiras, 330 SCRA 479 (2000).

    2. Testimony of Florencia Lopez Aspiras, June 13, 2001, pp. 4–8.

    3. Testimony of Dominador V. Aspiras, May 23, 2001, p. 9.

    4. Testimony of Esmeralda Abalos, August 30, 2001, pp. 8–15.

    5. Mirano v. Saavedra, 225 SCRA 77 (1993).

    6. Exhibit "E;" Rollo pp. 20–21.

    7. Respondent’s Comment; Rollo, p. 6.

    8. Justice Atienza’s Report, p. 13; Rollo, p. 62.

    9. Mamba v. Garcia, A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110, June 25, 2001.

    10. Almario v. Resus, 318 SCRA 743, 749 (1999).

    11. Lorenza v. Encomienda, 302 SCRA 632 (1999).

    12. 225 SCRA 77 (1993).

    A.M. No. OCA-01-6   September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS


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