404 Phil. 22
The November 1994 and December 1994 DTRs with the attached applications for leave and the transmittal letter were all entrusted to Ms. Gregoria Florendo for submission to the Supreme Court. Investigation made by the undersigned showed that the tampering was done by Ms. Florendo and Clerk Ma. Dina Bernardo while said DTRs were in Ms. Florendo's possession. The tampering was done in her own house the night before the DTRs were brought to the Supreme Court. Ms. Florendo and Ms. Bernardo tampered not only their own respective DTRs but also the DTR[s] of the other employees of this Branch, without their knowledge and consent. Ms. Linafe Quijano, Ms. Victoria Roque and Ma. Josefina Cunanan submitted their statements denying prior knowledge of the tampering. A careful perusal of the tampered DTRs showed that the tampered entries were not written by the following employees: Ms. Quijano, Ms. Cunanan, Ms. Roque and even Mr. Florendo, who was a witness to the tampering of the of the November 1994 DTRs.
x x x.
In a meeting called by the undersigned regarding the tampering of DTRs, Ms. Florendo further admitted to the undersigned that they also tampered the DTRs of their co- employees and their reason for this is that and I quote: "kung yung amin lang ang tatamperin namin baka hindi ka mag-second thought na ireport kami, ngayon maraming DTR ang tampered baka sakaling hindi mo kami ireport at marami kami. What Ms. Florendo did not foresee is that it would be the people at the Supreme Court itself who would discover the falsification and not the undersigned. Also, contrary to Ms. Florendo's and Ms. Bernardo's expectations, their other office mates refused to join them in building up a lie and, instead, opted to tell the truth. Mr. Juanito Florendo, the branch Utility Worker and nephew of Ms. Florendo and who lives in the house of the latter, gave a statement under oath that when the November 1994 DTRs of Ms. Florendo, Ms. Bernardo and the rest of the staff were being tampered by Ms. Florendo and Ms. Bernardo, he was present but could not do anything about it for fear of his aunt.
- The DTRs for the months of October 1994, November 1994 and December 1994 of certain personnel of this branch were tampered with;
- The tamperings were committed by Ms. GREGORIA R. FLORENDO, & Ms. MA. DINA A. BERNARDO in the presence of Mr. JUANITO F. FLORENDO, the branch Utility Worker, nephew and household member of Ms. Gregoria Florendo;
- The tamperings were committed in the house of Ms. Gregoria Florendo to whom the undersigned entrusted the DTRs for submission to the Supreme Court, insofar as the November and December 1994 DTRs are concerned;
- Insofar as the October 1994 DTRs are concerned, only the DTR of Ms. Gregoria Florendo is tampered with. Ms. Florendo was also the one who submitted the October 1994 DTRs of this branch to the Supreme Court;
- The DTRs were tampered with by Ms. Florendo and Ms. Bernardo without the knowledge and consent of their officemates;
- The tampering came to the knowledge of the undersigned only when she received the letter form Atty. Adelaida Cabe-Baumann calling her attention regarding the tampered DTRs. The original DTRs which were tampered with were attached to said letter;
- The DTR of Mr. Juanito Florendo for the month of November 1994 was likewise tampered with but he alleged that although he was present when said DTR was being tampered with, he was not able to do anything to stop it for fear of his aunt, Ms. Gregoria R. Florendo. Regarding his December 1994 DTR which was also tampered with, he alleged that he has nothing to do with its tampering;
- Ms. Ma. Dina A. Bernardo, who admitted her participation in the tampering to the undersigned and her officemates, did otherwise in her written statement. She alleged that mechanical tampering of her DTR is a remote possibility. She did not categorically deny nor make mention of her participation in the tampering of her officmates' DTRs which was the subject of a memo sent to her by the undersigned. The November and December 1994 DTRs of Ms. Bernardo were both tampered with.
- Ms. Gregoria Florendo did not submit any written explanation to the undersigned asking her to explain why there are tampered entries in her DTRs.
- The following are the employees with tampered DTRs and the particular entries tampered with:
Respondent Bernardo's co-employees, namely, Gregoria R. Florendo, Ma. Victoria D. Roque, Josefina A. Cunanan, Linafe R Quijano and Juanito F. Florendo were thereafter administratively charged. The case, entitled Vizcarra vs. Florendo, et al., was docketed as A.M. No. OCA I.P.I. No. 95-11-P.
1. GREGORIA R. FLORENDO - OCTOBER 5, 6, 10, 18, 19, 1994; NOVEMBER 2, 3, 7, 15, 16, 17, 22, 29, 1994; DECEMBER 1, 6, 9, 15, 19, 20, 21, 27, 1994. 2. MA. DINA R. BERNARDO - NOVEMBER 8, 16, 18, 29, 1994 DECEMBER 1, 5, 8, 15, 1994; 3. JUANITO F. FLORENDO - NOVEMBER 2, 15, 28, 1994;
DECEMBER 6, 12, 13, 19,1994.
4. CELIA G. LUNA NOVEMBER 2, 18, 1994; 5. JOSEFINA A. CUNANAN - NOVEMBER 11, 16, 18, 28, 1994; DECEMBER 6, 12, 13, 26, 27, 29, 1994. 6. LINAFE R. QUIJANO - NOVEMBER 2, 17, 18, 29, 1994; DECEMBER 19, 20, 21, 22, 1994. 7. VICTORIA D. ROQUE - NOVEMBER 2,18, 1994; DECEMBER 6, 7, 1994. 8. ALBERTO S. RAMOS - DECEMBER l, 6, 1994. 9. PEDRO C. BINUYA - NOVEMBER 28, 1994. 10. EMILIE P. LIWAG - DECEMBER 21, 1994.
Looking at the above data, it could be readily seen that Ms. Florendo has the most number of tampered entries. It must be noted that Ms. Florendo has just been reemployed August 1994, which means that she has no leave credits yet or is not entitled to a leave with pay. With the number of absences she incurred, definitely there would be a cut in her salary and this is what Ms. Florendo is trying to avoid. This was the reason why she tampered her DTR, first in October. When her October 1994 DTR did not return despite the erasures she made, she was emboldened to tamper again her November 1994 DTR, this time in cahoot with Ma. Dina A. Bernardo, who tampered also her own DTR. Not content with tampering their own DTRs, they tampered also with the DTRs of their officemates. They did the same on the December DTRs. When asked by the undersigned why they had to involve the other personnel of this branch who was not aware of and who did not authorize the tampering committed, Ms. Florendo replied that "Kung amin lang ang tatamperin namin baka hindi ka mag-second thought na ireport kami, kung maraming DTR ang tampered baka sakaling hindi mo kami ireport at marami kami." Ms. Florendo and Ms. Bernardo believed that they could use their officemates as a shield. Unfortunately, they read everything wrong.
We must state at the outset that Ma. Dina A. Bernardo was not made a respondent in the instant case, and not made to file an answer or to comment on the charge. Her culpability was discovered upon investigation conducted by Atty. Vizcarra. The complaint, however, was not amended to include Ma. Dina A. Bernardo in the charge. Thus, while her culpability here was proven with substantial evidence, in the interest of due process, we cannot mete a penalty against her, absent a formal charge.The instant case was instituted pursuant to aforementioned ruling. Despite respondent Bernardo's receipt of the Court's Decision in Vizcarra on August 5, 1999 as borne by the records, she failed to file her comment to the charges against her.
x x x
We find that the charge against Ma. Dina A. Bernardo and respondent Gregoria R. Florendo has been sufficiently established. Morevoer, respondent Gregoria R. Florendo's defiant non-compliance with this Court's resolution requiring her to answer the charges filed against her, her's and Ma. Dina A. Bernardo's obstinate and contumacious refusal to appear before the investigating judge, as well as their precipitate resignation from the service are indubitable and unequivocal indicia of guilt.
x x x
The Report and Recommendation of investigating judge Johnson L. Ballutay dated July 5, 1996 shall be treated as an administrative complaint for falsification of official document against MA. DINA A. BERNARDO, for which she is required to submit her comment thereon within ten (10) days from receipt of this decision. The withholding of her salaries and exclusion of her name from the payroll caused by the Supreme Court Office of Administrative Services shall stand, and furthermore, her clearance is withheld pending the resolution of the aforesaid administrative complaint.
SEC. 22. Administrative offenses with its corresponding penalties are classified into grave, less grave, and light, depending on the gravity of its nature and effects of said acts on the government service.
The following are grave offenses with corresponding penalties:
x x x
(f) Falsification of official document
1st Offense - Dismissal.
x x x.
Likewise relevant is section 6, Chapter 2, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 which defines the scope of the civil service as follows:
SEC. 6. Scope of the Civil Service. -- (1) The Civil Service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters.