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BAR REVIEWER ON LABOR LAW 2014 (2nd) Edition - By Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan

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[G.R. No. 133704.September 18, 2001]




Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated SEP 18 2001

G.R. No. 133704(Anacleto D. Deliverio vs. Alberto V. Galicinao.)

Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, assailing the Resolution dated 10 October 1997 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 44960 which denied outright petitioner's petition for review; and Resolution dated January 9, 1998 denying his motion for reconsideration.

This case stemmed from the complaint for dishonesty filed by Alberto V. Galicinao against Anacleto D. Deliverio, petitioner, for falsification of Civil Service Form 212 (personal data sheet).

In October, 1995, the Civil Service Regional Office (CSRO) No. IX, Zamboanga City, took cognizance of the complaint by formally charging petitioner, then Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Zamboanga del Sur, with dishonesty thru falsification of official documents. The formal charge reads:

            "That you indicated in your Personal Data Sheet of 1973 that you are a third year commerce, such that you are qualified for the position of Assistant Provincial Secretary thereat and that you qualified for the April 25, 1975 Career Service (Professional) Examination. You also indicated in your personal data sheet that you finished Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Journalism at the Manuel L. Quezon University when in truth and in fact you finished only three (3) semesters in Commerce at said University."

In his answer, dated 25 September petitioner averred, partly quoted as follows:

"There was no dishonesty on the part of the undersigned when supplying the Information required in the Personal Data Sheets attached to his appointment in 1973 and 1983. There was, however, confusion and uncertainty, because the undersigned was not able to secure any transcript of records ever since, after he stopped attending school at MLQ University due to financial hardship and difficulties. The truth of the matter was that the undersigned enrolled in the special course in Journalism before taking up the regular course in Commerce or BSBA with the thought that the course was part of the university's curriculum such that earning thirty-six (36) units in one semester could be a big bonus. It was only lately that the undersigned discovered and ascertained that the special course was actually outside of the university's curriculum being offered as a recruitment scheme by a consortium of publishers and broadcast entities... The 36 units supposedly earned by the students were to be credited only if they proceed to take up regular course in Journalism in any of the university where the special course was offered. The confusion and uncertainty can be gleaned from the fact that the undersigned even failed to reckon the exact year in which he finished high school and the semesters during which he enrolled in the special course in journalism and in commerce. x x x

           "...Considering the units credited or the special (vocational) course in Journalism, comprising eleven (11) subjects at three (3) units each and one (1) subject units six (6) units, the undersigned has actually earned eighty-seven (87) units in college, clearly well beyond the minimum requirement for appointment to the position of Assistant Provincial Secretary and qualify for the Career Service-(Professional) examination."

The Civil Service Regional Office No. IX found a prima facie case against petitioner and eventually elevated to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) the records of the case.

On November 21, 1996, the CSC rendered a Resolution finding petitioner Anacleto D. Deliverio guilty of dishonesty. He was meted the penalty of dismissal from the service including its accessory penalties.

On December 31, 1996, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but was denied by the CSC in its Resolution No. 97-3230 dated 7 July 1997.

Feeling aggrieved, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review with prayer for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

In a Resolution dated 10 October 1997, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition outright on two (2) grounds: (1) the petition does not allege the specific material dates showing it was filed within the reglementary period, in violation of Section 6, Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended; and (2) petitioner failed to attach to his petition a written explanation why the service or filing thereof was not done personally, in violation of Section 11, Rule 13 of the same Rules.

Forthwith, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Appellate Court.

Hence, this petition ascribing to the Court of Appeals the following errors: (1) In finding "that the subject Petition for Review fails to state the specific material dates;" (2) In holding "that the petitioner fails to submit the written explanation regarding proof of service;" and (3) "In dismissing outright the subject petition only on account of the above grounds on technicality."

In his comment on the petition, the Solicitor General contends that there is no compelling reason to relax the strict application of procedural rules; and that the dismissal of petitioner from the service by the CSC on the ground of dishonesty, not shown to have been vitiated by fraud, must be upheld by this Court.

We reviewed very closely petitioner's allegations in his petition filed with the Court of Appeals, thus:

"11. That on November 21, 1996, the Civil Service Commission resolved to penalize petitioner by dismissal from the service including the accessory penalties as shown in CSC Resolution No. 96-7521, marked as Exhibit "A';

12. That on December 31, 1996, or ten (10) days after petitioner received his copy of the above specified resolution of the Commission, he filed an urgent motion for serious reconsideration attached hereto as Exhibit "B";

13. That on July 7, 1997, the Commission resolved to deny petitioner's motion for reconsideration 'as shown in its Resolution No. 97-3230 submitted hereto

as Exhibit "C"."

Significantly, the petition does not allege the date when petitioner received a copy of the CSC Resolution No. 97-3230 denying his motion for reconsideration.

While the records show that on August 8, 1997, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals his petition for review, however, we have no way of determining whether it was filed within the 15 day reglementary period.

As earlier mentioned, the second ground relied upon by the Court of Appeals in dismissing the petition was petitioner's failure to attach thereto a written explanation why its service or filing was not done personally.

Petitioner explains that there is no need to submit such written explanation because, as the records show, he resides in far away Pagadian City. Consequently, he had to file and serve his petition by mail.

Petitioner's explanation is bereft of merit.

In Solar Team Entertainment, Inc. vs. Ricafort 1 293 SCRA 661 (1998)., penned by Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., this Court held:

"We thus take this opportunity to clarify that under Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, personal service and filing is the general rule, and resort to other modes of service and filing, the exception. Henceforth, whenever personal service or filing is practicable, in light of the circumstances of time, place and person, personal service or filing is mandatory. Only when personal service or filing is not practicable may resort to other modes be had, which must then be accompanied by a written explanation as to why personal service or filing was not practicable to begin with. In adjudging the plausibility of an explanation, a court shall likewise consider the importance of the subject matter of the case or the issues involved therein, and the prima facie merit of the pleading sought to he expunged for violation of Section 11. This Court cannot rule otherwise, lest we allow circumvention of the innovation introduced by the 1997 Rules in order to obviate delay in the administration of justice."

Thus, in dismissing the petition, we hold that the Court of Appeals did not commit a reversible error.

There is another reason why the present petition must fail. It raises factual issues. The parties' pleadings (earlier quoted) show that the main controversy is whether or not petitioner acted in good faith in indicating in his CS Form 212 that lie finished Journalism in 1962 and BSBA in 1963-1965 at Manuel L. Quezon University. Respondent CSC held that "respondent must convincingly show the facts and circumstances that lead him to act in good faith before such defense could be given weight. And the respondent failed to do so."

This Court is not a trier of facts. In Valmonte vs Court of Appeals 2 303 SCRA 278,citing Far East Bank and Trust Company vs. Court of Appeals, 256 SCRA 15., we held:

"To begin with, succinct and unmistakable is the consistent pronouncement that the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. And well entrenched is the doctrine that pure questions of fact may not be the proper subject of appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court, as this mode of appeal is generally confined to question of law,"

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.

Very truly yours,


Clerk of Court


Acting Asst. Clerk of Court

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