CASE DIGEST: Ganzon v. Arlos

G.R. No. 174321 : OCTOBER 22, 2013 | ROLANDO GANZON, Petitioner, v. FERNANDO ARLOS, Respondent. BERSAMIN, J.:

FACTS: The DILG Regional Office in Port San Pedro, Iloilo City held its Christmas party on December 17, 1999 at the office parking lot.When the Christmas party was about to end at 7:30 in the evening, respondent Fernando Arlos (Arlos), then the OIC Provincial Director of DILG, left to get some documents from the Office of the Operations Division located at the second floor of the building. While Arlos was making his way to the stairs, Ganzon suddenly approached and pulled out a short firearm of unknown caliber from his waist and with no provocation pointed the firearm at Arlos. rlos parried Ganzon firearm-wielding hand and tried to proceed towards the stairs, but Ganzon blocked his path, pushed him back, and again pointed the firearm at Arloschest. Sensing that Ganzon would shoot him then, Arlos quickly warded off Ganzon firearm-wielding hand. At that instant, the firearm exploded and the bullet hit the floor. Ganzon again aimed the firearm at Arlos, prompting the latter to run away as fast as he could. Ganzon followed Arlos, and when they got to the gate of the building, Ganzon once more pushed him back and pointed the firearm at him, saying:atay ka!Ganzon held the firearm close to his waistline to conceal it from the view of the other people present at the time.Arlos filed an administrative charge against Ganzon. Ganzon denied the charge and elected to undergo a formal investigation.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Regional Office rendered its decision finding Ganzon guilty of grave misconduct.

Upon appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the CSC.

ISSUE: Whether or not Ganzon is guilty of grave misconduct?

HELD: Ganzon is guilty of grave misconduct.

The Court stressed in Largo v. Court of Appeals the criteria that an act, to constitute a misconduct, must not be committed in his private capacity and should bear a direct relation to and be connected with the performance of his official duties.

Ganzon acts met the criteria in Largo v. Court of Appeals. To begin with, he was not acting in a private capacity when he acted menacingly towards Arlos, it being clear that his resentment of his poor performance rating, surely a matter that concerned his performance of duty, motivated his confronting the latter. Moreover, it did not matter that his acts were committed outside of office hours, because they were intimately connected to the office of the offender. An act is intimately connected to the office of the offender if it is committed as the consequence of the performance of the office by him, or if it cannot exist without the office even if public office is not an element of the crime in the abstract. This was the thrust in Alarilla v. Sandiganbayan, with the Court citing ample jurisprudence.

In Alarilla v. Sandiganbayan, one of the two main issues was whether the crime of grave threats charged against the accused had been committed in relation to his office. The resolution of the issue would determine whether or not it was the Sandiganbayan that had jurisdiction to try him. The accused contended that it was not established that the crime charged had been committed by him while in the discharge of or as the consequence of his official functions as municipal mayor. He pointed out that public office was not an essential ingredient of grave threats, the crime charged, which could be committed with the same facility by a public officer and a private individual alike. The Court resolved that the crime charged was properly within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan because the amended information contained allegations showing that Alarilla had taken advantage of his official functions as municipal mayor when he committed the crime of grave threats against the complainant, a municipal councilor, by aiming a gun at and threatening to kill the latter on the occasion of a public hearing during which the latter delivered a privilege speech critical of Alarilla administration. The Court explained that the crime charged was intimately connected with the discharge of Alarilla official functions because the crime charged was Alarilla response to the complainant attack against his performance as a mayor; and that if Alarilla was not the mayor, e would not have been irritated or angered by whatever private complainant might have said during said privilege speech.

Considering that Ganzon resented the poor performance rating he had received, and his resentment caused his aggressive confrontation of Arlos, it definitely appears that Ganzon offense could not be separated from his performance of duty. Indeed, underAlarilla v. Sandiganbayan and its progenitor rulings, an act that is the consequence of the discharge of the employee official functions or the performance of his duties, or that is relevant to his office or to the discharge of his official functions is justly considered as service-related.

The fact that the acts of Ganzon were committed within the premises of the DILG Regional Office No. 6 strengthens our view that such acts could not but be connected to Ganzon public employment. Verily, the Court has regarded the commission of offensive overt acts by public officials and employees within the premises of their public offices to be deserving of administrative reprobation.

After being duly found guilty of grave misconduct, Ganzon was rightly meted the penalty of dismissal from the service for his first offense conformably with the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. The Court AFFIRMS the decision promulgated by the Court of Appeals.