CASE DIGEST: NACU VS. CSC
G.R. No. 187752: November 23, 2010
IRENE K. NACU, substituted by BENJAMIN M. NACU, ERVIN K. NACU, and NEJIE N. DE SAGUN, Petitioners, v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY, Respondents.
PEZA issued a memorandum prohibiting its employees from charging and collecting overtime fees from PEZA-registered enterprises. Nacu however, still charged overtime fees. After investigations, the Director General of PEZA filed a complaint forDishonesty, Grave Misconduct, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. The PEZA used the services of the NBI in determining the similarity of her signature with the alleged items.
After the hearing, Nacu was found guilty. Upon appeal, the CSC affirmed the findings of the PEZA Board of Discipline. The Court of Appeals likewise upheld the decision of the CSC after appeal. After a failed motion for reconsideration, Nacu appeals to the Supreme Court.
Whether or not Nacu is guilty of dishonesty, grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service is supported by substantial evidence.
HELD: The petition has no merit.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: Substantial Evidence
Instead of just discrediting the PNP Crime Labs findings, Nacu should have channeled her efforts into providing her own proof that the signatures appearing on the questioned SOS were forgeries. After all, whoever allegesforgery has the burden of proving the same by clear and convincing evidence. Nacu could not simply depend on the alleged weakness of the complainants evidence without offering stronger evidence to contradict the former.
The right against self-incrimination is not self-executing or automatically operational. It must be claimed; otherwise, the protection does not come into play. Moreover, the right must be claimed at the appropriate time, or else, it may be deemed waived.In the present case, it does not appear that Nacu invoked her right against self-incrimination at the appropriate time, that is, at the time she was asked to provide samples of her signature. She is therefore deemed to have waived her right against self-incrimination.
All told, Nacu was rightfully found guilty of grave misconduct, dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and penalized with dismissal from the service and its accessory penalties.The general rule is that where the findings of the administrative body are amply supported by substantial evidence, such findingsare accorded not only respect but also finality, and are bindingon this Court. It is not for the reviewing court to weigh the conflicting evidence, determine the credibility of witnesses, or otherwise substitute its own judgment for that of the administrativeagency on the sufficiency of evidence.
Petition is DENIED.