A.M. No. 2011-07-SC
October 4, 2011
Associate Justice Antonio Carpio transmitted two sealed Agenda with Action to the Office of Clerk of Court 2nd Division (OCC-SD). Ms. Puno, an Executive Assistant III of OCC-SD, the authorized person to receive forwarded it to Atty. Laurea – Second Division Clerk Of Court. Atty. Laurea gave instructions to have it photocopied in 2 sets (1 duplicate for atty laurea, other for agenda division).
Eddie Delgado a casual utility staff, received the copies for stitching due to the thick volume of the photocopies which is not possible to be stapled together using an ordinary stapler. But after completing the task and returning back the documents to Ms .Puno, the other copy had missing pages. Upon initial investigation, Delgado removed some pages at the request of certain Florendo and Madeja, who were looking for certain items in the Agenda, out of pakikisama. The two admitted the act from initial investigation.
A formal investigation ensued and an administrative complaint was filed against the respondents. Madeja and Florendo denied involvement from They were placed under 90 days preventive suspension. The Office of the Administrative Services (OAS) recommended dismissal of Delgado, and 6 month suspension of Madeja and Florendo for conduct prejudicial to the service, with the 90 day preventive suspension be credited to them of the penalty
Issue: Whether or not the denials made by respondent during formal investigation prevails over the testimony of a fellow respondent and their previous admission in the alleged deed.
HELD: The unsubstantiated denial of respondents, therefore, falters in light of the direct and positive statements of respondent Delgado. The basic principle in Evidence is that denials, unless supported by clear and convincing evidence, cannot prevail over the affirmative testimony of truthful witnesses. It was never shown that respondent Delgado was motivated by any ill will in implicating respondents Madeja and Florendo. As a witness, the credibility of respondent Delgado remained unsullied