Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Baguio City

SECOND DIVISION

A.M. No. P-12-3058               April 25, 2012
(Formerly A.M. OCA I.P.I. No. 10-3357-P)

LEAVE DIVISION, OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE COURT OF ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant,
vs.
GEORGE E. GAREZA, Sheriff III, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Victorias City, Negros Occidental, Respondent.

R E S O L U T I O N

SERENO, J.:

George E. Gareza is a Sheriff III of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Victorias City, Negros Occidental. In a Report of Tardiness dated 03 March 2010 by Hermogena F. Bayani, Supreme Court Chief Judicial Staff Officer, Leave Division, Office of Administrative Services (OAS), Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), Gareza was found to have incurred tardiness as follows:

1‚wphi1
January 2009 12 times
April 2009 10 times
June 2009 10 times
October 2009 12 times
November 2009 14 times
January 2010 15 times

On 19 October 2010, the Court Administrator required Gareza to submit his Comment to the report about his tardiness.

On 19 November 2010, Gareza submitted his written comment to the OCA. In his letter dated 09 November 2010, Gareza did not deny the tardiness he had incurred and, in fact apologized for his infractions. He reasoned that his tardiness was brought about by his transfer of residence that made his travel to work longer than usual. Gareza asks that he be given another chance to "correct his errors."

On 22 February 2011, the Court Administrator promulgated its evaluation that found Gareza to have incurred repeated tardiness on the dates reported by the Leave Division of the OAS. It noted that Gareza was previously reprimanded in a Minute Resolution dated 12 December 2010 in Administrative Matter No. P-10-2876 for habitual tardiness, making the present report his second for the same offense.

Hence, it was recommended by the OCA that (a) the case be re-docketed as a regular administrative matter and (b) that Gareza be suspended for a period of thirty (30) days pursuant to Section 52 (C) (4) Rule VI of the Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 1999 with warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense will warrant the imposition of a more severe penalty.

After a review of the records, we ADOPT the findings and recommendations of the OCA. Under Sec. 52 (C) (4), Rule VI of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 1999, habitual tardiness is penalized as follows:

First offense Reprimand

Second offense Suspension for 1-30 days

Third offense Dismissal from the service

Since it was proven that the present case is the second offense of Gareza for being habitually tardy, the OCA correctly recommended for the penalty of suspension for 30 days with warning that a similar offense in the future would be meted a more severe penalty.1‚wphi1

WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM in all respects the report of the OCA finding Gareza guilty of habitual tardiness and ADOPT its recommendation as follows:

1.) To have the instant case RE-DOCKETED as a regular administrative matter; and

2.) SUSPEND Gareza for thirty (30) days with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense will warrant the imposition of a more severe penalty.

SO ORDERED.

MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
Associate Justice

BIENVENIDO L. REYES
Associate Justice


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