MOP, Bk 11, v.5, 359
“The Investigating Committee is fully aware of the previous meritorious service of the respondent who rose from the ranks in the career service until he reached the position of Chief of Mission Class I. He was favorably recommended by Secretary Manglapus to be assigned as Ambassador to Peru and the President signed his letters of credence.From this resolution, respondent appealed to this Office manifesting his non-conformity to the BFSA resolution of February 27, 1989. The pertinent portion of his letter-memorandum, dated September 22, 1989, reads:
“He openly defied an order of the Secretary not to proceed to Lima, Peru, in view of an adverse information against him and his illicit relations with a Russian citizen. He also refused to return to Manila despite the repeated orders from the Department. It is admitted by the Respondent that Tatiana Iachina was born in Chile. When she became orphaned, she was brought to Russia where she was raised and educated by Russian government authorities.”
The same Board went further to recommend:
“The offenses of insubordination, dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service are all grave offenses which call for the imposition of a maximum grave penalty. However, the Board considered his length of service and that it is his first offense as mitigating circumstances. Wherefore, the Board recommends that the proper imposable penalty in this case against respondent is suspension for one year.”
“It may be noted that the Resolution signed by Manuel T. Yaw (sic) as Acting Chairman does not indicate that this was the handiwork of the Board of Foreign Service Administration. Please note that no signatures of the members present and concurring appear in the documents. It may be noted further that on page 11 of the Resolution the findings is attributed to an Investigating Committee and therefore is not the deliberation of the Board en banc. This committee was chaired by the Ex-Justice Jorge Coquia, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs, with Ambassador Rosalinda Tirona, Ambassador Ernesto Garrido, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Vicente de Vera and Deputy Civil Service Commissioner Mario Yangco as members. x x x” [Emphasis by itself]At the outset, it must be stressed that the Resolution of the BFSA is only recommendatory in nature. Regardless of any error committed by the BFSA during the investigation, it does not preclude the President from exercising her administrative disciplinary authority over respondent who is a presidential appointee. On the other hand, the DFA regulations on administrative disciplinary proceedings against DFA personnel, particularly Sections 441 to 450 of the Foreign Service Code of 1983 and Ministry Order No. 12-85, dated June 5, 1985, being departmental regulations are, by their very nature, subject to the superior administrative disciplinary authority of the President over presidential appointees so much so that, whatever defect, it there be any, in the assailed BFSA resolution, it does not diminish nor supplant the disciplinary authority of the President over presidential appointees, as in the instant case.
“Respondent herself accepts the definition of ‘dishonesty’ in former Civil Service Commissioner Abelardo Subido’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures in the Philippines Civil Service (1976 Ed., pp. 41-42) ‘as absence of integrity; a disposition to betray, cheat, deceive or defraud; bad faith.‘ (Citing Arca vs. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, CA G.R. 17679-R, Nov. 24, 1956, citing 27 C.J.S. 47.) For indeed, ‘dishonesty’ means ‘a disposition to lie, cheat or defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity’ (State ex. rel. Neal v. Civil Service Commission, 72 N. E. ed 769, 71, 147 Ohio St. 430) and ‘signifies an intentional violation of the truth’ (Godfrey vs. Godfrey v. Godfrey, 106 N. W. 814, 819, 127 Wis. 47, 7 Ano. Cas. 176); and is synonymous to ‘fraud’ (Ex parte Drayton, 153 F. 986, 991), so that ‘whatever is dishonest is fraudulent in foro concientiae’ (Idem.). Its meaning –The facts on the record are clear. Respondent, in the passport application of his daughter, Maria Romina Fernandez, made it appear that the child’s mother was Liza L. Fernandez, a statement contradicted both by Birth Certificate D13 I-M 10 No. 010124 and the Application for Immigrant Visa (September 11, 1987). Respondent, being the personal representative of our country, ought to be more discreet in the conduct of his public as well as private affairs.
‘extends beyond acts which would be criminal and is not restricted to such conduct as imports a criminal offense; and it has been specifically defined as an absence of integrity, a disposition to betray, cheat, deceive, defraud, or deceive; bad faith, course of conduct generally characterized as lacking in principle, a disposition to defraud, deceive or betray; faithlessness, want of integrity in principle, or of fairness and straightforwardness; fraud. It may consist in an intentional violation of the truth, or any violation of the truth, or any deviation from probity.’ (27 C.J.S. Dishonesty, p. 312)'”
“In view of the frequency in which controversies touching upon particular phases of governmental activity have been carried on through the public press by contending officials of the Government, or between an official of the Government on the one hand and a private individual on the other; and since this practice is unseemly, distasteful, and may even, at times, be definitely harmful to the service; and because further, the publicizing by two governmental officials of conflicting opinions or real or fancied mutual grievances cannot fail to give the impression that the Government is devoid of order and organization, and that its members are lacking in that sense of restraint and decorum so essential to the effective discharge of public duty;Lastly, I agree with the Board of Foreign Service Administration and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs that respondent deserves the penalty of suspension for one (1) year.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, MANUEL L. QUEZON, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by law, do hereby direct the following rules to be followed:
(1) Controversies between officials or employees of the Government shall be submitted to the respective authorities empowered by law to take cognizance thereof, and the decisions of such authorities shall be faithfully observed by the contending parties.
(2) If and when news or statements contrary to facts are published in the press, or when criticisms are made, founded on false or incorrect information, the Head of the Department or his duly authorized representative may issue a statement giving the facts as they actually are and as supported by the official files, but in no case, except with the express authority from the Office of the President of the Philippines, shall such statement contain argumentative matter or controversial discussion.
“This Order shall not preclude any official or employee of the Government from furnishing specific information on, or from clarifying doubtful points concerning, any appropriate subject pertaining to the functions of the particular official or employee, provided that such statements shall be without reference to previous criticisms of the Government, or in answer to any of critics. Neither shall this Order preclude any department or office of the Government from publishing from time to time, as it is frequently its duty to do, articles in the daily press, in other periodicals or magazines, or in publications of the Government, which articles are intended to inform the people regarding the policies of, and the work being done by the Government on matters that may be of interest to the people in the promotion of their well-being, such as topics regarding the efforts of the Government toward the improvement of agriculture, development of proper commerce and trading practices, and other matters of similar general import.
“Any official or employee of the Government violating any of the above rules directly or indirectly shall be subject to disciplinary action, including removal from office after due investigation and conviction.”