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336 Phil. 931

EN BANC

[ A.M. No. P-95-1159, March 20, 1997 ]

THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO, PROCESS SERVER, 16TH MCTC, JORDAN-BUENAVISTA- NUEVA VALENCIA, GUIMARAS, RESPONDENT.

D E C I S I O N

PER CURIAM:

Pursuant to the En BancResolution of 18 July 1995, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) filed an administrative complaint against William C. Sevillo, Process Server, 16th MCTC, Jordan-Buenavista-Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, for gross dishonesty and grave misconduct. The complaint alleges that based on a report received by the OCA from Ms. Elena Jabao, Clerk of Court of the same court, respondent Sevillo was on 21 February 1995 caught stealing three (3) packages of mail matter from the Post Office of Jordan, Guimaras. Accordingly, a criminal complaint for robbery with force upon things was filed by the Jordan PNP against William C. Sevillo.

In his Comment respondent Sevillo claims that the motive of Clerk of Court Ms. Jabao in reporting him to the OCA is the ill feeling she harbors against him because he earlier turned down her request to corroborate her false statements in the administrative case she filed against their presiding Judge. Respondent further claims that he is already suffering the punishment from the sentence imposed upon him for the same act by Judge Merlin D. Deloria of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 65, Guimaras, who convicted him of theft involving P10,000.00 and placed him under probation for four (4) years upon his plea of guilt.

Whatever motivated Ms. Jabao to report the mail pilferage to the OCA is of no moment. Respondent must face administrative sanction. His criminal act for which he pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of theft (estimated value of mail matter asported reduced from P30,000.00 to P10,000.00) with the express consent of the complainants, constitutes grave dishonesty and grave misconduct or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

It can never be said often enough that the conduct of judges and court personnel must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum at all times but must also be above suspicion. In this regard, respondent Sevillo has been grossly deficient. By stealing mail matters he has blatantly degraded the judiciary and diminished the respect and regard of the people for the court and its personnel. Every employee of the judiciary should be an example of integrity, uprightness and honesty. Lamentably, respondent has become no better than a common thief; consequently, he does not deserve to stay a minute longer in the judicial service.

WHEREFORE, respondent WILLIAM C. SEVILLO is ordered DISMISSED from the service for gross dishonesty and grave misconduct or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service effective 18 July 1995, the date of his suspension, with forfeiture of all benefits that may otherwise be accruing to him including the money value of his leave credits, with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or service of the government or any government-owned or controlled corporation.
SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Regalado, Davide Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Francisco, Hermosisima, Jr., Panganiban, and Torres Jr., JJ., concur.

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