The Supreme Court has dismissed an employee who served the High Court for almost 35 years. The employee was dismissed due to serious dishonesty. He claimed that he had Civil Service (CS) Professional Eligibility when in fact he had failed the CS Professional Examination he took in 1999.
This is the second time that the SC had sanctioned its own employee since Diosdado M. Peralta became the Chief Justice of the Philippines. The Chief Justice has vowed to continue purging the Judiciary of errant officials and personnel, which is among the priorities in his Ten-Point Program.
In a six-page per curiam decision, the Court ordered the perpetual disqualification from public office of Samuel R. Ruñez, Cashier III, of the Checks Disbursement Division, Financial Management Office, Office of the Court Administrator. He was held liable for falsification of official document and serious dishonesty. The Court forfeited all retirement benefits of Ruñez, except accrued leave credits.
“Undoubtedly, Ruñez, Jr. has no place in the Judiciary, where only those possessing integrity, honesty, competence, and independence of mind are summoned to answer the clarion’s call of public office….[H]is infractions besmirched the public perception of the image of the Court and cast serious doubt as to the ability of the Court to effectively exercise its power of administrative supervision over its employees,” the Court held.
The dismissal spawned from confidential reports alleging that Ruñez did not actually pass the CS Professional Examination. His 201 file did not bear a certificate of his eligibility but only contained Ruñez’s letter dated October 4, 1999 claiming he had CS Professional Level Eligibility in support of his application for the position of Cashier II. The same 201 file also contained several Personal Data Sheets where he declared that he obtained a rating of 80.51% in the May 16, 1999 CS Professional Examination.
When asked to explain, Ruñez maintained that he passed the CS exams. He attached photocopies of his Certificate of CS Professional Level Eligibility to his explanation letter and undertook to present the original copy.
Upon inquiry by the Court through the Office of Administrative Services (OAS), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), in a letter dated November 12, 2019, stated that while Ruñez has a CS Proofreader (Sub-Professional Eligibility), he did not pass the said 1999 exams. He in fact obtained a failing grade of 36.51%.
The Court held that Section 50 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service classifies both falsification of official document and serious dishonesty as grave offenses that warrant the penalty of dismissal from the service.
Last month, the Court promulgated a decision, penned by no less than Chief Justice Peralta himself, suspending Allan Christer C. Castillo, Driver I of the Motorpool Section, Property Division, Office of Administrative Services (OAS). Castillo punched a male helper in the stall of one of the food concessionaires during the Court’s anniversary celebrations in 2019. The Court found Castillo guilty of Conduct Unbecoming of a Court Employee and suspended him without pay for one month and a day, with a stern warning that a similar act in the future would be dealt with more severely.
(A.M. No. 2019-18-SC, Re: Alleged Dishonety and Falsification of Civil Service Eligibility of Mr. Samuel R. Ruñez, Jr., Cashier III, Checks Disbursement Division, Financial Management Office – Office of the Court Administrator, January 28, 2020)
Read full text: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/10733/