Both the ombudsman and ca interpreted section 4a ofra

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Both the Ombudsman and CA interpreted Section 4(A) of R.A. No. 6713 as broad enough to apply even to private transactions that have no connection to the duties of one’s office. o However, that petitioner may not be penalized for violation of Section 4 (A)(b) of R.A. No. 6713. o In Domingo v. Office of the Ombudsman, this Court had ruled that failure to abide by the norms of conduct under Section 4(A)(b) of R.A. No. 6713, in relation to its implementing rules, is not a ground for disciplinary action. o Nevertheless, for reneging on her promise to return aforesaid amount, petitioner is guilty of conduct unbecoming a public officer. o In Assistant Special Prosecutor III Rohermia J. Jamsani-Rodriguez v. Justices Gregory S. Ong, et al., unbecoming conduct means improper performance and applies to a broader range of transgressions of rules not only of social behavior but of ethical practice or logical procedure or prescribed method. [3] W/N Samson can still be held administratively liable. – YES. The Constitution itself says: o “SECTION 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.” Petitioner should have complied with her promise to return the amount to respondent after failing to accomplish the task she had willingly accepted. o However, she waited until respondent sued her for estafa, thus reinforcing the latter’s suspicion that petitioner misappropriated her money. o Although the element of deceit was not proven in the criminal case respondent filed against the petitioner, it is clear that by her actuations, petitioner violated basic social and ethical norms in her private dealings. o Even if unrelated to her duties as a public officer, petitioner’s transgression could erode the public’s trust in government employees, more so because she holds a high position in the service. As re: penalty, the fact that she has been in government service for 37 years and this is her first offense is a mitigating circumstance. RULING The Court finds petitioner GUILTY of conduct unbecoming a public officer and impose upon her a FINE of P15,000.00 to be paid at the Office of the Ombudsman within five (5) days from finality of this Decision. The Court also ORDERS petitioner to return to respondent the amount of P50,000.00 with interest thereon at 12% per annum from March 2001 until the said amount shall have been fully paid. DISPOSITIVE: SO ORDERED.
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