Conduct unbecoming a public officer; penalties

"Public service is a public trust."[1] In line with the constitutional mandate for accountability in public servants, Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, was enacted "to promote a high standard of ethics in public service."[2] Section 4(A) of the law outlines the norm of conduct expected of public officials and employees, namely, commitment to public interest, professionalism, justness and sincerity, political neutrality, responsiveness to the public, nationalism and patriotism, commitment to democracy, and simple living.

Any violation of these norms of conduct holds the offender liable for conduct unbecoming a public officer and is punishable by the penalties provided for under Section 11 (a) of the law.[3] Section 11 (a) states:
Section 11. Penalties. - (a) Any public official or employee, regardless of whether or not he holds office or employment in a casual, temporary, holdover, permanent or regular capacity, committing any violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine not exceeding the equivalent of six (6) months' salary or suspension not exceeding one (1) year, or removal depending on the gravity of the offense after due notice and hearing by the appropriate body or agency. If the violation is punishable by a heavier penalty under another law, he shall be prosecuted under the latter statute. ...
[1] CONST., art. XI, sec. 1.

[2] Rep. Act No. 6713, sec. 2.

[3] See Romero v. Villarosa, A.M. No. P-11-2913 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 08-2810-P), 663 Phil. 196 (2011) [Per Curiam, En Banc].

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