Paredes v. Padua : AM CA-91-3-P : April 14, 2004 : J. Panganiban : En
Banc : Resolution
[A.M. NO. CA-91-3-P.
April 14, 2004]
ANSBERTO P. PAREDES,
Complainant, v. FRANCISCO S. PADUA, Clerk III,
Court of Appeals,
R E S O L U T I O N
Despite their dismissal from the service, government employees are
entitled to the leave credits that they have earned during the period of their
As a matter of fairness and
law, they may not be deprived of such remuneration, which they have already
earned prior to their dismissal.
Before us is a Petition for Equal Protection and Due Process1 dated May 29, 2003, filed by Respondent Francisco S. Padua through
It seeks the reversal of the
forfeiture of his retirement and leave benefits for his 34 years of service in
the Court of Appeals.
This administrative case began on February 19, 1991, when retired
Judge Ansberto Paredes filed a Complaint against his cousin, Respondent Padua,
for having falsified the formers signature on a document captioned Authority
to Sell and for having obtained money with the use of that document.
In its Decision2 promulgated May 17, 1993, the Court dismissed respondent from the service and
forfeited his retirement benefits, as follows:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
WHEREFORE, Francisco S. Padua is hereby DISMISSED from the service
with prejudice to his reinstatement or appointment to any public office
including government owned or controlled corporations and his retirement
benefits, if any, are ordered forfeited.
Let a copy of this Decision be forwarded to the Court of Appeals and the
Civil Service Commission.
Thereafter, to obtain a reconsideration of his dismissal and of
the forfeiture of his retirement and leave benefits, respondent filed several
pleadings, enumerated below:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
Reconsideration3 dated June 2, 1993, denied in the Resolution of June 20, 1993,4 for its failure to raise any substantial argument to warrant the reversal of
the questioned Decision.
2.Motion to Set Aside
Decision or its Effects and/or to Lift Forfeiture of Retirement Benefits5 dated August 14, 1993, denied for lack of merit in the Resolution of March 10,
3.Motion for the Lifting
of Forfeiture of Retirement Benefits and for Collection of Vacation and Sick or
Leave Benefits7 dated November 26, 1994, denied in the Resolution of December 8, 1994.8 cralawred
4.Plea for Judicial
Clemency and Compassion9 dated March 10, 1998, denied for lack of merit in the Resolution of April 28,
Reconsideration11 dated June 17, 1998 of the Resolution of April 28, 1998, denied with finality
in the Resolution of August 18, 1998,12 for failure of respondent to present any substantial argument.
Reconsideration13 dated October 6, 1998, treated by the Court as a Second Motion for
Reconsideration and denied for lack of merit in the Resolution of November 10,
Judicial Clemency and Compassion)15 dated June 29, 1999, referred by the Court to the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) for evaluation, report and recommendation;16 recommended for denial by then Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo in his
Memorandum17 of August 16, 1999; and the recommended denial approved by the Court in its
September 14, 1999 Resolution.18 cralawred
8.Letter dated September
15, 1999, asking for pardon, denied for lack of merit in the Courts October 5,
1999 Resolution.19 cralawred
9.Plea for Judicial
Clemency and Compassion20 dated April 10, 2000, denied for lack of merit in the Courts Resolution of
June 27, 2000.21 cralawred
Reconsideration22 of the June 27, 2000 Resolution, denied with finality in the January 23, 2001
Resolution,23 for lack of substantial argument.
for Judicial Clemency and Compassion24 dated March 18, 2002, denied for lack of merit in the Courts April 16, 2002
Submit Additional Evidence in Support of
Renewed Plea for Judicial Clemency and Compassion26 dated April 4, 2002, denied on April 23, 2002.27 cralawred
Reconsideration28 (dated May 30, 2002) of the April 16, 2002 Resolution, denied29 for lack of merit.
Reconsideration -- A Plea for Mercy30 dated December 17, 2002 -- denied31 inasmuch as reconsideration had been denied with finality since the January 23,
On May 29, 2003, respondent filed the present Petition for Equal
Protection and Due Process,32 invoking Decisions that were allegedly applicable to his case, although they
were rendered long after his case had attained finality.
On July 8, 2003, the Court referred the Petition to the OCA for
evaluation, report and recommendation.33
Report and Recommendation of the OCA
In his Memorandum34 dated September 3, 2003, Court Administrator Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. observed
that twelve and one-half (12) years had passed since the filing of the
Complaint, and ten (10) years since the finality of respondents dismissal from
Throughout this period,
the Supreme Court has remained steadfast in its resolve to deny the numerous
Motions, Pleas, Manifestations and Petitions of respondent requesting
modification or amendment of its adverse judgment.Indeed, the Court has consistently thrown its full weight and
authority on erring court personnel who have flagrantly violated the norms of
judicial conduct, and who have thus tainted the noble and venerable image of
The Court, however, has modified and even reduced the penalties
already imposed on some offenders, owing to some intervening factors or
circumstances that merited the mitigation of their sentences.
In the present case, respondent served the judiciary for
thirty-four years, during which he committed only a single offense.
In view thereof, the OCA has recommended a
reduction of the penalties to the extent that his retirement and leave benefits
would be restored to him.
The Courts Ruling
As regards the leave benefits, we concur with the court
In his Petition, respondent demonstrates his sincere repentance
and deep remorse for the wrong he committed in a moment of fallibility, to
which every human being is subject. Realizing that judicial personnel must
exhibit the highest sense of honesty and integrity in order to preserve the
good name and standing of the courts, he is no longer questioning the wisdom of
this Court in imposing upon him the disciplinary action he really deserves.
The dismissal of respondent has exposed him to the attendant
humiliation and tremendous suffering and virtually stripped him of his dignity
destitution is aggravated by the bad state of his health, considering that he
is already in the twilight of his life.
Again, he pleads for clemency, this time for his minor children
who have no source of support other than his leave and retirement
Being also sickly and aging,
he is in dire straits indeed.
present situation compels the Court to take a second look at the penalties
imposed upon him.
In Fojas Jr. v. Rollan,
35 the respondent clerk of court was dismissed
from the service for dishonesty, for which all retirement benefits except leave
credits were forfeited.
principle was followed in Villaros v. Orpiano . 36 The Court noted therein that the
forfeiture of leave credits was not imposed by Section 58 of the Uniform Rules
on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, which states:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
Administrative Disabilities Inherent in
a.The penalty of
dismissal shall carry with it that of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture
of retirement benefits, and the perpetual disqualifications for reemployment in
the government service, unless otherwise provided in the decision.37 cralawred
Furthermore, Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 41
-- Series of 1998 as amended by MC No. 14, Series of 1999 --provides thus:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
terminal leave.- Any official/employee of the government who retires,
voluntarily resigns, or is separated from the service and who is not otherwise
covered by special law, shall be entitled to the commutation of his leave
credits exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays without limitation and
regardless of the period when the credits were earned.
decision in administrative case. An official or employee who has been
penalized with dismissal from the service is likewise not barred from
entitlement to his terminal leave benefits.
In the interest of justice and in consideration of the present
plight of respondent, the application of the aforementioned cases and of the
amended Civil Service Rules is in order.
He should be granted the leave credits that he earned during the period
of his government service.38 We allow him to claim such credits in order to provide him and his family a
lifeline and possibly to keep him from again succumbing to the dark temptations
sometimes caused by financial woes.39 cralawred
Petition is PARTLY GRANTED.
The accrued leave benefits of respondent are
The Fiscal Management and
Budget Office is ordered to compute and immediately release those benefits to
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago,
Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo,
Sr., Azcuna, and TINGA, JJ., concur.
2 Paredes v. Padua,
222 SCRA 81, May
Resolution of July 20, 1999; rollo
Resolution dated July 9, 2002; rollo
Resolution dated January 21,
, p. 180.
AM No. P-00-1384, February 27, 2002, p. 27.
AM No. P-02-1548, October 1, 2003, p. 14.
38 Sabitsana Jr. v. Villamor,
206 SCRA 1,
8, February 7, 1992; Vistan v. Nicolas
204 SCRA 370, 371, December 2, 1991; Cathay
Pacific Airways, Ltd. v. Romillo Jr.,
143 SCRA 396, August 12, 1986.
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