Administrative penalty if there aggravating or mitigating circumstances

Rule 10, Section 50, paragraph F(4), of the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (2017 RACCS), penalizes habitual tardiness with reprimand for the first offense; suspension of one (1) day to thirty (30) days for the second; and dismissal from the service for the third.

Section 55, Rule 10 of the 2017 RACCS provides that "(i)f the respondent is found guilty of two (2) or more different offenses, the penalty to be imposed should be that corresponding to the most serious offense and the rest shall be considered as aggravating circumstances." In Re: Leopoldo (A.M. No. P-19-4016, October 07, 2019), the most serious charge against Ms. Leopoldo was insubordination, which is punishable by suspension for one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months for the first offense, and dismissal from the service for the second. Taking the foregoing into consideration, the charge of habitual tardiness should be considered as an aggravating circumstance. As a result, the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator, being in accord with the facts, law and jurisprudence, was APPROVED by the Supreme Court, holding Michelle R. Leopoldo, Utility Worker I, Branch 164, Regional Trial Court, Pasig City GUILTY of habitual tardiness and insubordination. She was SUSPENDED from service for a period of six (6) months from notice.

Section 54 of the 2017 RACCS enumerates the manner of imposition when there are aggravating or mitigating circumstances, to wit:
Section 54. Manner of Imposition. When applicable, the imposition of the penalty may be made in accordance with the manner provided herein below:
a. The minimum of the penalty shall be imposed where only mitigating and no aggravating circumstances are present.

b. The medium of the penalty shall be imposed where no mitigating and aggravating circumstances are present.

c. The maximum of the penalty shall be imposed where only aggravating and no mitigating circumstances are present.
Where aggravating and mitigating circumstances are present, paragraph [a] shall be applied where there are more mitigating circumstances present; paragraph [b] shall be applied when the circumstances equally offset each other; and paragraph [c] shall be applied when there are more aggravating circumstances.

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