Case Digest: Civil Service v. Clave

G.R. No. 194645 : March 6, 2012

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, Petitioner, v. AURORA M. CLAVE, Respondent.

G.R. No. 194665 : March 6, 2012

GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, Petitioner, v. AURORA M. CLAVE, Respondent.

PER CURIAM:


FACTS:

GSIS filed a complaint against Clave alleging that Clave, without proper authority or valid reason and in gross violation of pertinent rules and procedure, cancelled the header of Tornea's loan as appearing in the MSLS. Clave used her operator ID and the computer terminal assigned to her. By cancelling the loan, Clave made it appear that the loan had not been granted to Tornea.The GSIS found Clave guilty of simple neglect of duty. Clave filed an appeal from the GSIS Decision to the Civil Service Commission (CSC). The latter dismissed the appeal and affirmed the GSIS Decision dismissing Clave from service. On appeal, the CA found Clave guilty of simple neglect of duty. However, the Court of Appeals modified the CSC Resolution by reducing the penalty imposed on Clave from dismissal from service to suspension from office without salary and other benefits for one year.

ISSUE: Whether the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in reducing the penalty imposed on Clave from dismissal from service to suspension for one year.

HELD: Court of Appeals decision is set aside.

POLITICAL LAW: neglect of duty


The Court of Appeals found that while Clave was not specifically authorized to delete headers, she had authority to cancel granted loans through the transaction code LSLC. Further, Clave was one of the users of the computer terminal SI42 that was used to cancel the header of Tornea's loan. The Court of Appeals found that the computer terminal SI42 that was used to cancel the header of Tornea's loan was also used by two persons, including Estoque who was previously found guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct for cancelling the loans and headers of some GSIS members. Thus, it might be possible that Estoque used Claves operator ID and password in cancelling the header of Tornea's loan. However, granting that this might be true, Clave still failed to explain why other persons knew her operator ID and password that were used in the cancellation of the header. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that Clave was neglectful in safeguarding information that should have been known only to herself.

Simple neglect of duty is a less grave offense punishable by suspension of one month and one day to six months for the first offense and dismissal for the second offense. Section 53 of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service is clear that length of service may be considered either as mitigating or aggravating depending on the circumstances of the case. Here, it was shown that Clave was previously found guilty by the GSIS of simple neglect of duty for unauthorized cancellation of the loan and header of one Basilio C. Benitez. In that case, the GSIS suspended Clave for three months. Earlier, in another Decision, the GSIS found Clave guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service for her participation in a mass action that resulted in the disruption of GSIS operations, for which she was meted the penalty of suspension for six months and one day. Hence, Claves length of service in the government could not mitigate her liability considering that the present offense is not her first offense but her third offense.

GRANTED

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