Republic of the Philippines
A.M. No. P-11-3004 April 18, 2012
(Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 10-3483-P)
JUDGE ANDREW P. DULNUAN, Complainant,
ESTEBAN D. DACSIG, CLERK OF COURT II, Respondent.
R E S O L U T I O N
In a letter dated 26 April 2010 and addressed to Ms. Hermogena F. Bayani, Chief Judicial Staff Officer of the Leave Division, Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), Presiding Judge Andrew P. Dulnuan (Judge Dulnuan) of Municipal Trial Court, Madella-Natipunan, Quirino recommended that the salary of his Clerk of Court II, Esteban D. Dacsig (Dacsig), be suspended and that other administrative sanctions be imposed upon the latter for taking absences without leave because of drunkenness.
Dacsig incurred several absences without leave for the years 2009 and 2010, specifically on the following dates:
|Month and Year
||Number of Times Absent
||7, 8, 9, & 11
||21, 22, & 23
In addition, Dacsig failed to enter his name in the office log book from January 2010 to 19 April 2010. Also, the time cards submitted by Dacsig for March 2010 allegedly came with a notation that the office bundy clock had malfunctioned in the last week of March 2010.
In a letter to the OCA dated 15 May 2010, Dacsig admitted that he had taken those absences without leave and begged the OCA not to impose administrative sanctions upon him, to wit:
I appeal to your office for understanding and sympathy not to impose administrative sanctions against me for this initial infraction as those times of being absent without leave. I was going through personal crisis making me vulnerable to such behavior (drunkenness). I am working out means to address the matter for my own personal redemption, but in case it fails and such absence will again be committed, I have no recourse but to voluntarily resign or for your office to consider me resigned.
On 5 August 2010, Caridad A. Pabello of the Office of Administrative Services of the OCA referred the matter to Atty. Wilhelmina D. Geronga of the OCA’s Legal Office for whatever action the latter’s office may deem proper.
On 1 October 2010, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez referred Judge Dulnuan’s 26 April 2010 letter to Dacsig for the latter’s comment.
Respondent submitted his Comment on 23 May 2011. He explained that he used his "force leave" from December 7 to 9 to visit his family at Mayoyao, Ifugao. As to his absence on 11 December 2011, he claims that he asked Judge Dulnuan a week in advance for permission to attend a non-government organization event on that day.
He was again in Mayoyao, Ifugao from April 21 to 23 to talk to his wife about their marital problems.
The OCA, in its 7 July 2011 report, recommended that Dacsig, for his first offense of simple misconduct, be fined in the amount of ₱ 5,000 and warned that a repetition of the same or a similar offense in the future would be dealt with more severely by this Court.
Rule XVI, of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws (Civil Service rules) provides the rules governing the different forms of leave granted to government employees and officers. Sections 16 and 20 mandate that an employee submit an application for both sick and vacation leaves, viz:
Leave of Absence
x x x x x x x x x
SECTION 16. All applications for sick leaves of absence for one full day or more shall be on the prescribed form and shall be filed immediately upon the employee's return from such leave. Notice of absence, however, should be sent to the immediate supervisor and/or to the office head. Application for sick leave in excess of five days shall be accompanied by a proper medical certificate.
SECTION 20. Leave of absence for any reason other than illness of an officer or employee or of any member of his immediate family must be contingent upon the needs of the service. Hence, the grant of vacation leave shall be at the discretion of the head of department/agency.
Under the Civil Service rules, an employee should submit in advance, whenever possible, an application for a vacation leave of absence for action by the proper chief of agency prior to the effective date of the leave.1
It is clear from the facts that Dacsig had failed to acquire the necessary leave permits. He offers no excuse or explanation for failing to obtain the necessary authorization for his leaves. Thus, he is guilty of taking unauthorized absences.
Under Section 50 of Memorandum Circular No. 41, series of 1998, officials or employees who are absent without approved leave shall not be entitled to receive their salary corresponding to the period of his unauthorized leave of absence.2
Furthermore, we ruled in Re: Unauthorized Absences of Karen R. Cuenca, Clerk II, Property Division-Office of Administrative Services3 that under Administrative Circular No. 2-99, which took effect on February 1, 1999, "[a]bsenteeism and tardiness, even if such do not qualify as "habitual" or "frequent" under Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 1991, shall be dealt with severely."
Dacsig has not explained his failure to enter his name in the office log book from January 2010 to 19 April 2010 and his claim that the Office Bundy Clock malfunctioned on the last week of March 2010.1âwphi1
With respect to the charge of drunkenness, although respondent readily admitted this charge, this Court cannot justify charging him with simple misconduct when the records do not even show that he has failed to live up to his duty to observe proper decorum4 or to live up to the stringent standard of conduct demanded from everyone connected with the administration of justice5 because of his drunkenness.
Rule IV, Section 52 (A) (17) of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service,6 provides that the penalty for frequent unauthorized absences of a first offender is suspension for six months and one day to one year.
WHEREFORE, we find respondent Esteban D. Dacsig, Clerk of Court II, Municipal Trial Court, Madella-Natipunan, Quirino, is GUILTY of taking frequent unauthorized absences. He is hereby SUSPENDED for a period of six (6) months and one (1) day and WARNED that a repetition of the same or a similar offense shall warrant the imposition of a more severe penalty.
MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
|ARTURO D. BRION
|JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
BIENVENIDO L. REYES
1 Judge Raphael B.Yrastorza v. Latiza, 462 Phil. 145 (2003).
2 Re: Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL) of Antonio Macalintal, Process Server, Office of the Clerk of Court, 382 Phil. 314 (2000).
3 493 Phil. 547 (2005).
4 Judge Raphael B. Yrastorza v. Latiza, supra note 1.
5 Office of the Court Administrator v. Barnedo, 483 Phil. 200 (2004).
6 Resolution No. 991936, 31 August 1999.
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