Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service; penalties

Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service is defined by Largo v. Court of Appeals[1] as any misconduct "which need not be related or connected to the public officers['] official functions [but tends to tarnish] the image and integrity of his/her public office."[2]The penalty for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service is provided for under Rule 10, Section 46(B)(8) of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. As a grave offense, it is punishable by a suspension of six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year for the first offense and dismissal from service for the second offense.

While there is no specific list of acts that may constitute the offense, the Supreme Court has previously characterized certain acts as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service: seeking the assistance of an elite police force for a purely personal matter;[3] changing the internet protocol (IP) address on a work computer to gain access to restricted websites;[4] and fencing in a litigated property in order to assert ownership.[5]

[1] 563 Phil. 293 (2007) [Per J. Ynares-Santiago, En Banc].

[2] Id. at 305.

[3] Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas v. Castro, G.R. No. 172637, April 22, 2015 < pdf> [Per J. Brion, Second Division].

[4] Government Services Insurance System v. Mayordomo, G.R. No. 191218, May 31, 2011, 649 SCRA 667 [Per J. Mendoza, En Banc].

[5] Heirs ofTeves v. Felicidario, A.M. No. P-12-3089 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 11-3591-P), November 13, 2013, 709 SCRA 315 [Per J. Leonardo-De Castro, First Division].