Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions


Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions > Year 2008 > March 2008 Resolutions > [A.M. No. P-07-2319 (Formerly A.M. No. 07-3-86-MeTC) : March 12, 2008] UNAUTHORIZED PUNCHING BY ADRIAN M. MONDRAGON OF THE BUNDY CARD OF ROLANDO P. REBOREDO, BOTH OFMETC-OCC, QUEZON CITY):




SECOND DIVISION

[A.M. No. P-07-2319 (Formerly A.M. No. 07-3-86-MeTC) : March 12, 2008]

UNAUTHORIZED PUNCHING BY ADRIAN M. MONDRAGON OF THE BUNDY CARD OF ROLANDO P. REBOREDO, BOTH OFMETC-OCC, QUEZON CITY)

Sirs/Mesdames:

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Courtdated 12 March 2008:

A.M. No. P-07-2319 (Formerly A.M. No. 07-3-86-MeTC) (Unauthorized punching by Adrian M. Mondragon of the bundy card of Rolando P. Reboredo, both ofMeTC-OCC, Quezon City)

This administrative complaint against Adrian M. Mondragon, Utility Worker and Rolando P. Reboredo, Sheriff III in the Office of the Clerk of Court, Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) in Quezon City is the result of the monitoring of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) of the implementation of Administrative Circular No. 02-2007 entitled Reiteration of Administrative Circular No. 2-99 dated January 15, 1999 on "Strict Observance of Working Hours and Disciplinary Action for Absenteeism and Tardiness " issued on January 12, 2007 by Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno.

On February 21, 2007, a little past 8:00 a.m., as Assistant Court Administrator (ACA) Antonio H. Dujua was monitoring the strict observance of working hours, absenteeism, and tardiness by employees in the lower courts outside the MeTC's Office of the Clerk of Court (OCC) in the Hall of Justice, Quezon City, he noticed an employee, later identified as Adrian Mondragon, a Utility Worker in the OCC, carrying two timecards and rushing towards the bundy clock. ACA Dujua called him, asked for the two timecards, photocopied them, and gave them back to Mondragon.

Thereafter, ACA Dujua gave instructions to Atty. Jose R. Ortiz, Jr., Clerk of Court IV of the MeTC, to immediately issue a show cause order to Rolando P. Reboredo, Sheriff III, and Mondragon to explain why they should not be disciplmarily dealt with after Mondragon was caught punching in the timecard of Reboredo when the latter was not yet in the office. Atty. Ortiz directed both to submit their explanations in writing.

Reboredo explained that at about 8:00 a.m., on the date of the incident, he met Mondragon in the vicinity of the City Hall and requested the latter to punch-in his timecard for him since he was having difficulty walking due to his arthritis. He was worried he could not time-in on time. He admitted his mistake, apologized, and promised not to do it again. He begged that for humanitarian reasons and considering it was his first infraction, no administrative sanctions be taken against Mondragon and he.

Mondragon corroborated Reboredo's story. He said that when he agreed to punch-in Reboredo's timecard, he reminded Reboredo to be physically present by the time the time cards were punched-in. Mondragon added that he was aware that his offense was serious and for the same reasons as Reboredo, asked for leniency from the Court.

After investigation, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) informed this Court that both employees have no past nor pending administrative cases; that Reboredo has served the judiciary for nearly 20 years and Mondragon for 10 years; and that they both admitted to the offense, appealed for leniency, and promised not to repeat their offense.

The OCA noted that the offense of Reboredo and Mondragon constituted dishonesty that is considered a grave offense and under the Civil Service rules is punishable by dismissal from the service. The OCA stressed that many decided administrative cases show that the Court has disciplined many erring employees who have flagrantly violated judicial norms, scarred the reputation of the courts, and hampered the effective dispensation of justice. But, the OCA explained that the Court has, on a case-to-case basis owing to circumstances that mitigate the offense, modified the imposable penalties. It cited Neeland v. Villanueva[1], where the Court reconsidered the penalty of dismissal from the service imposed on a Clerk of Court guilty of gross misconduct for failure to account for PhP 20,000, the balance of the proceeds of a sale, and failure to rum it over to the mortgagor. The Court, instead of dismissing the employee from the service, sentenced the employee to pay a fine of PhP 5,000 with warning that a repetition would mean severe penalty. The Court took into consideration that the employee had no previous derogatory record and had served the judiciary for a long time. In another case,[2] the Clerk of Court misappropriated over a hundred thousand pesos and used the amount for the hospital expenses of a son but repaid the amount. After the employee's plea for compassion, sincere repentance, immediate restitution of the amount, and sincere efforts to reform, the Court, instead of dismissing the Clerk of Court, deemed her resigned from the service.

According to the OCA, compared to the above cited cases that involved misappropriation of court funds and monies, the offenses of Reboredo and Mondragon may be viewed as lesser in magnitude. It recommended that (1) the matter be docketed as a regular administrative matter; (2) Reboredo and Mondragon be found guilty of dishonesty for the unauthorized punching-in of the former's timecard by the latter in the court bundy clock; and (3) each be meted the penalty of suspension of one month effective immediately with stern warning that the repetition of the same or similar act will be dealt with more severely.

After a review of the records of this case, we agree with the findings and recommendations of the OCA. This is not to mean, however, that the Court has lightened up on its ethical standards for the employees of the judiciary. When the Court finds that an employee is grossly incompetent, notoriously undesirable, and morally deficient, the Court will hold no qualms meting out the severest of penalties in disciplining its erring employee.

WHEREFORE, ROLANDO P. REBOREDO, Sheriff III, and ADRIAN M. MONDRAGON, Utility Worker of the OCC, MeTC in Quezon City, are found GUILTY of dishonesty and each is hereby meted the penalty of suspension of one (1) month effective immediately with the stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar act will be dealt with severely.

SO ORDERED.

Very truly yours,

LUDICHI YASAY-NUNAG
Clerk of Court

By:

(Sgd.) MA.LUISAL.LAUREA
Asst. Clerk of Court

Endnotes:


[1] A.M. No. P-99-13I6, August 8, 2000, 337 SCRA 355.

[2] Marasigan v. Buena, A.M. No. 954-01-MTCC, January 5, 1998, 284 SCRA 1.



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