Misconduct as administrative offense

To constitute misconduct, the act or acts must have a direct relation to and be connected with the performance of his official duties. In the case of Manuel v. Calimag, Jr.,[1] the Supreme Court opined that:
Misconduct in office has been authoritatively defined by Justice Tuazon in Lacson v. Lopez in these words: “Misconduct in office has a definite and well-understood legal meaning. By uniform legal definition, it is a misconduct such as affects his performance of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private individual. In such cases, it has been said at all times, it is necessary to separate the character of the man from the character of the officer x x x. It is settled that misconduct, misfeasance, or malfeasance warranting removal from office of an officer must have direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful, intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of the office x x x. More specifically, in Buenaventura v. Benedicto, an administrative proceeding against a judge of the court of first instance, the present Chief Justice defines misconduct as referring ‘to a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the public officer.
The misconduct, however, is grave if it involves any of the additional elements of corruption, willful intent to violate the law, or to disregard established rules, which must be established by substantial evidence.[2]

As distinguished from simple misconduct, the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law, or flagrant disregard of established rule, must be manifest in a charge of grave misconduct.[3] If any of the elements to qualify the misconduct as grave is not manifest and is not proven by substantial evidence, a person charged with grave misconduct may be held liable for simple misconduct.[70]

[1] A.M. No. RTJ-99-1441, 367 Phil. 162 (1999).

[2] Office of the Court Administrator v. Lopez, A.M. No. P-10-2788, January 18, 2011.

[3] Id.

[4] Ampil v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 192685, July 31, 2013, 703 SCRA 1, citing Santos v. Rasalan, 544 Phil. 35 (2007); Alejandro v. Office of the Ombudsman Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau, G.R. No. 173121, April 3, 2013.

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