Isabela court employee fired for stealing check

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

MANILA -- A court employee in Isabela was ordered dismissed from the service for pocketing the P3,000-clothing allowance of another employee in 1999 through forgery.

In a decision, the Supreme Court (SC) said Elizabeth Ibay, clerk II of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Cauayan, Isabela, is guilty of dishonesty.

Aside from losing her job, Ibay’s retirement benefits have been forfeited except for accrued leave credits and she may not be hired again by any government branch including state corporations.

Also, the SC directed her to pay Geraldine De Ocampo, court interpreter of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC), Cordon, Isabela MTC-Cordon, the amount of P3,000 representing the face value of one check she encashed plus 6 percent interest from September 1999 until the finality of the decision.

The case stemmed from De Ocampo’s administrative complaint that she did not get a check for her clothing allowance. Later on, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) said the Land Bank check was mailed to the MTCC-Cauayan on September 2, 1999.

For his part, Judge Henidino Eduarte found striking similarities between Ibay’s handwriting in the inventory of cases and the forged endorsement in the check.

Ibay did not dispute the judge’s observation as the SC concluded about her guilt based on “surrounding circumstances” despite the lack of proof that she actually pocketed the check.

“Time and again, we held that persons involved in the dispensation of justice, from the highest official to the lowest clerk, must live up to the strictest standards of integrity, probity, uprightness, honesty and diligence in the public service,” the decision read.

Dishonesty carries a penalty of dismissal from the service even when committed for the first time under Section 52(A) (1) of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. (Sunnex)

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