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Question usurpation

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3 months 2 days ago #11030 by Romar
Romar created the topic: usurpation
Good day to all CSC action officers.

In the case of Field Investigation Office of the Ombudsman vs. Rey Rueca Castillo, G.R. No. 221848, August 30, 2016, wherein respondent Rey Rueca Castillo, Customs Security Guard II of the Bureau of Custom, was dismissed from the service through his flagrant disregard of established rules when he transferred pieces of jewelry from the In-Bond Room to the Cashier Section without any authority. The Court ruled:

“It was not respondent’s duty as Customs Security Guard II of the In-Bond Room, nor does he have the authority, to remove or release the sealed tin can of jewelry from the In-Bond Room Section to Customs Cashier Vigilia. Other than his self-serving and uncorroborated claim that he did so for “safekeeping” purposes, he was not able to establish sufficient justification for his actions. Even if he had reasonable ground to believe that the subject jewelry was in danger of being lost in the In-Bond Room Section, he still needed to secure (a) the necessary clearance/authorization from the official custodian thereof or a higher BOC official having supervision over such officer before he can transfer the subject jewelry to another location, and strictly in accordance with such officer’s/official’s instructions, and or (b) comply with existing laws and rules for the removal of seized items before releasing the same to any person. Instead, he merely stated that he, together with a witness, viz., Tinana, brought the subject jewelry to the BOC cashier who received the same.” Xxx

“Thus, the Court finds that he acted not with mere overzealousness but committed a usurpation of function that does not pertain to his position, or an ultra vires act.”

QUESTION: Will this mean that usurpation of official functions is tantamount to grave misconduct?

Thank you very much and God bless us all.

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2 months 4 weeks ago #11036 by Action Officer
Action Officer replied the topic: usurpation
Good day!

Please be informed that as a matter of policy, the Commission does not render an opinion or advice on issues that may eventually be the subject of a complaint or appeal before it.

As to your query on the Supreme Court decision on Ombudsman vs. Rey Rueca Castillo, G.R. No. 221848, August 30, 2016,
“QUESTION: Will this mean that usurpation of official functions is tantamount to grave misconduct?”

In Ombudsman, FFIB and MOLEO vs. Espina, G.R. No. 213500, March 15, 2017 the Supreme Court held:

“Misconduct generally means wrongful, improper or unlawful conduct motivated by a premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose. It is intentional wrongdoing or deliberate violation of a rule of law or standard of behavior and to constitute an administrative offense, the misconduct should relate to or be connected with the performance of the official functions and duties of a public officer. It is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer.

“There are two (2) types of misconduct, namely: grave misconduct and simple misconduct. In grave misconduct, as distinguished from simple misconduct, the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law, or flagrant disregard of an established rule must be manifest. Without any of these elements, the transgression of an established rule is properly characterized as simple misconduct only.” (emphasis supplied)

The Supreme Court explained in the case you cited, Ombudsman vs. Rey Rueca Castillo, supra, as follows:
“Contrary to the CA's finding, respondent acted in flagrant disregard of established rules when he transferred the subject jewelries from the In-Bond Room to the Cashier Section without any authority.
“In Imperial, Jr. v. Government Service Insurance System, 47 the Court elucidated the instances where flagrant disregard of rules obtains, thus:
“Flagrant disregard of rules is a ground that jurisprudence has already touched upon. It has been demonstrated, among others, in the instances when there had been open defiance of a customary rule; in the repeated voluntary disregard of established rules in the procurement of supplies; in the practice of illegally collecting fees more than what is prescribed for delayed registration of marriages; when several violations or disregard of regulations governing the collection of government funds were committed; and when the employee arrogated unto herself responsibilities that were clearly beyond her given duties. The common denominator in these cases was the employee's propensity to ignore the rules as clearly manifested by his or her actions.48 (Emphasis supplied)
“Thus, in Re: Letter of Judge Lorenza Bordios Paculdo, Municipal Trial Court, Br. 1, San Pedro, Laguna on the Administrative Lapses Committed by Nelia P. Rosales,49the Court ruled that an employee's act of arrogating unto herself responsibilities that were clearly beyond her given duties as a utility worker constitutes grave misconduct. 50 On the other hand, in Ampil v. Office of the Ombudsman,51the Court found the respondent Register of Deeds guilty of grave misconduct and ordered his dismissal from service when he erroneously issued Condominium Certificates of Title without following the established rules on land registration.”

Hence, the usurpation of official duties, to be able to be regarded as within the purview of grave misconduct, "flagrant disregard of established rules" must be established.

We hope to have guided you on the matter.

CSC AO
The following user(s) said Thank You: Romar

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2 months 3 weeks ago #11043 by Romar
Romar replied the topic: usurpation
Maraming salamat po

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