“A court employee who fails to exercise diligence in performing his duties and repeatedly disregards the directives and instructions of his superiors for him to do so is a disgrace to the Judiciary, and should be dismissed from service.” Thus pronounced the Supreme Court en banc in a 9-page per curiam decision promulgated on January 29, 2019 dismissing “effective immediately” from the service Honorio Raul C. Guevara, Clerk III of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 270, Valenzuela City, for gross neglect of duty, gross insubordination, and gross inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties. The Court also ordered the forfeiture of all his benefits except accrued leave benefits, and he is disqualified from re-employment in the government service, including government-owned and controlled corporations.
Milagros P. Malubay, Officer-in-Charge Branch Clerk of Court of the same court, initiated the administrative complaint against Guevara, alleging that the latter had received two consecutive “unsatisfactory” performance ratings from 01 July 2014 to 30 June 2015; he had also continuously disobeyed the instructions contained in several memoranda issued by her, Presiding Judge Evangeline M. Francisco, and the Clerk of Court; and Judge Francisco had relieved Guevara from his duties as the clerk-in-charge for criminal cases following the discovery of the loss of court records under his custody.
In finding Guevara guilty of gross neglect of duty, the Supreme Court expounded, “[s]uch loss of court records while in his custody reflected his lack of diligence in performing his duties, and indubitably revealed his uncharacteristic indifference to and wanton abandonment of his regular assigned duties and responsibilities.”
The Court also found Guevara guilty of gross insubordination for frequently disobeying or ignoring without any valid justification his superiors’ directives and instructions for the conscientious performance of his duties. The Court described Guevara as having persisted on his errant conduct and bad attitude despite the several opportunities that his superiors accorded to him to mend his ways and thereby manifested his brazen disrespect for and defiance towards his superiors.
Likewise, the Court found Guevara guilty of inefficiency and gross incompetence in the performance of his official duties. The Court highlighted that Guevara received two unsatisfactory ratings for two consecutive semesters, “a true demonstration of how poorly and ineptly he had discharged his assigned tasks.” Guevara simply gave unreasonable and unacceptable alibis for his poor performance but did not endeavor to really change and improve his work attitude and ethic.