[G.R. No. 112354. February 15, 2000]
CASCUELA vs. OFC. OF THE OMBUDSMAN, et al.
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court dated FEB 15 2000.
G.R. No. 112354 (Luvimino P. Casuela vs. Office of the Ombudsman and Jose L. Valeriano.)
In a decision rendered on May 4, 1992, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) dismissed herein petitioner JOSE L. VALERIANO for acts of dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. He was found guilty of asking P5,000.00 from one Ms. Mary Elaine Bonito to process her papers. The Secretary of Labor affirmed the decision. On appeal to the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the CSC denied the appeal for lack of merit. 1 Rollo, pp. 215-216.
On August 12, 1992, petitioner VALERIANO filed a complaint 2 Id., at 31.with the Office of the Ombudsman against the members of the POEA Administrative Complaints Committee, of which LUVIMINO P. CASUELA was a member, for willful violation of Section 36, Article IX of the Civil Service Law. Petitioner VALERIANO contended that the Committee violated the five-day bar on administrative investigations since he was investigated on the same day the complaint against him was filed.
In a resolution 3 Id., at 23-26.dated July 22, 1993, the Administrative Adjudication Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman found the Committee members administratively liable for inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties. CASUELA was meted a penalty of suspension for three (3) months. His Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied. 4 Id., at 30.
On November 12, 1993, CASUELA filed a petition for certiorari 5 Id., at 2-22.with the Supreme Court assailing the Ombudsman decision. The case was docketed as G.R. No. 112354. On March 25, 1994, the Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment 6 Id., at 141-154.recommending that the petition be denied for lack of merit.
On May 18, 1994, petitioner VALERIANO filed an affidavit designated as an Appeal 7 Id., at 211-212.insisting that the decision in G.R. No. 112354 would likewise be a ruling on his charge of illegal dismissal.
On October 11, 1994, petitioner VALERIANO filed a “Petition to Withdraw Private Respondent Jose L. Valeriano Comment in Favor of Petitioner Luvimino P. Casuela” 8 Id., at 345.wherein he manifested that -
“… That I abide with the Decision of the Civil Service Commission with regard to my dismissal and forfeiture of such benefits and disqualification to join the government service for life.”
Thereafter, the parties were required to submit their respective memoranda. In his Memorandum, 9 Id., at 373-385.petitioner VALERIANO retracted his previous manifestation that he will abide by the CSC Decision.
On August 4, 1997, the Court en banc, thru Hermosisima, J., rendered a decision 10 Id., at 398-411.dismissing the petition. The Court ruled that the Ombudsman acted in accordance with law and prevailing jurisprudence in finding the Committee members administratively liable for the dismissal of VALERIANO. CASUELA filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which however, was denied with finality. 11 Id., at 420.
On January 18, 2000, petitioner VALERIANO filed the present Petition to Order Department of Labor and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to Compensate Petitioner Jose L. Valeriano with regard to his Illegal Dismissal from the Government Service and All Accruing Benefits therefrom. 12 Id., at 426-435.Petitioner VALERIANO contends that the Court’s decision in G R No 112354 was a definitive ruling by the Court that he was illegally dismissed and therefore entitled to backwages and other benefits.
Acting on the aforesaid petition, the Court hereby resolved to DENY said petition for lack of merit.
The Court’s decision in G.R. No. 112354 was a ruling on the administrative liability of CASUELA for the improper conduct of the investigation of VALERIANO. The decision did not rule that VALERIANO was illegally dismissed by the POEA.
Further, VALERIANO failed to seasonably appeal the CSC decision to this Court pursuant to Section 7 of Article IX of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that -
“Sec. 7. … Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.”
In fact, petitioner VALERIANO himself appended to his previously designated pleading captioned as an “Appeal” the decision of the CSC on his motion for reconsideration. Anent the alleged illegal dismissal, CSC Resolution No. 94-1248 13 Id., at 215-216.provided that -
“There was factual basis for upholding the dismissal of Valeriano. The case was dispassionately decided with strictest objectivity.
While movant Valeriano claims that he was denied due process of law, the records of the case show otherwise. Hearings were held and respondent-appellant Valeriano was given due notices thereof…
Anent the affidavit of desistance of private complainant Bonito, the withdrawal or retraction of the administrative complaint or charge does not ipso facto terminate the case. The moment the charge is filed against an officer or employee, it ceases to be a private matter but becomes an offense against public interest, the complainant being relegated to the status of a mere witness.”
The records do not show, and petitioner VALERIANO does not claim otherwise, that petitioner seasonably appealed said decision. Hence, it already became final and executory as to the issue of the validity of his dismissal.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. Buena, J., is on leave.
Very truly yours,
Clerk of Court
(Sgd.) MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
Asst. Clerk of Court