Disbursement division and the entire fmbo under so

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Disbursement Division and the entire FMBO under so much undeserved suspicion. She ought to have refrained from engaging in money lending, particularly to the employees of the Court. We do not need to stress that she was expected to be circumspect about her acts and actuations, knowing that the impression of her having taken advantage of her position and her having abused the confidence reposed in her office and functions as such would thereby
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POLITICAL LAW CASE DIGESTS 321 become unavoidable. There is no doubt about her onerous lending activities greatly diminishing the reputation of her office and of the Court itself in the esteem of the public. Considering that the official and personal conduct and deportment of all the people who work for the Judiciary mirrored the image of the Court itself, they should strive to comport themselves with propriety and decorum at all times, and to be above suspicion of any misdeed and misconduct. Only thereby would they earn and keep the public’s respect for and confidence in the Judiciary. As a public servant, therefore, Lopez knew only too well that she was expected at all times to exhibit the highest sense of honesty and integrity. No less that the Constitution itself impresses this expectation in Section 1 of its Article XI, to wit: 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, actwith patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives." Lopez was quite aware that the foregoing declarative language of the Constitution on the nature of her public office and her responsibilities as a public officer was not mere rhetoric expressing idealistic sentiments, but a definite working standard and a statement of attainable goals that the actual deeds of the public officers and employees should match. She plainly disregarded the Constitution. Misconduct in office refers to any unlawful behavior by a public officer in relation to the duties of his office that is willful in character. The term embraces acts that the office holder had no right to perform, acts performed improperly, and failure to act in the face of an affirmative duty to act. The Court has invariably imposed commensurate sanctions upon court employees found and declared to be violating Administrative Circular No. 5. The sanctions have depended on the gravity of the violations committed and on the careful consideration of the personal records of the employees concerned, like their prior administrative cases. Lopez committed simple misconduct, a less grave offense that is punishable under Rule IV, Section 52 of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service by suspension from one month and one day to six months for the first offense, and dismissal for the second offense. Yet, although a first-time offender, she could not be punished with the minimum of the imposable penalty because she clearly abused her being a high-ranking officer in the
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  • Winter '15
  • Atty. Ignacio
  • Candide

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