CARBONEL vs CSC
GR No. 187689
September 07, 2010
Petitioner Clarita Carbonel was an employee of BJMP Makati. She lost the original copy of her Career Service Professional Certificate of Rating. Hence she was directed to accomplish a verification slip. However the CSC noticed that Carbonel's personal and physical appearance was entirely different from the picture of the examinee attached to the application form and the picture seat plan. It was also discovered that the signature affixed on the application form was different from that appearing on the verification slip.
She was formally charged with Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, and Falsification of Official
Documents by the Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. IV. Carbonel admitted to the accusation
by stating that she paid a fixer for her to obtain the career certificate.
The penalty of dismissal from the service, with all its accessory penalties, was imposed on her.
Petitioner appealed, but the CSC dismissed the same for having been filed almost three years from receipt
of the CSCRO IV decision. The CSC did not give credence to petitioner's explanation that she failed to
timely appeal the case because of the death of her counsel.
Petitioner faults the CSC's finding because it was based solely on her uncounseled
admission taken during the investigation by the CSCRO IV. She claims that her right to due process
was violated because she was not afforded the right to counsel when her statement was taken.
Whether or not CSC violated petitioner’s right to due process because she was not afforded the right to
counsel when her statement was taken.
NO. It is true that the CSCRO IV, the CSC, and the CA gave credence to petitioner's uncounseled
statements and, partly on the basis thereof, uniformly found petitioner liable for the charge of dishonesty, grave misconduct, and falsification of official document.
However, it must be remembered that the right to counsel under Section 12 of the Bill of Rights is
meant to protect a suspect during custodial investigation. Thus, the exclusionary rule under paragraph
(2), Section 12 of the Bill of Rights applies only to admissions made in a criminal investigation but
not to those made in an administrative investigation.While investigations conducted by an administrative body may at times be similar to a criminal proceeding, the fact remains that, under existing laws, a party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel, irrespective of the nature of the charges and of petitioner's capacity to represent herself, and no duty rests on such body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel.
The right to counsel is not always imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are
conducted merely to determine whether there are facts that merit the imposition of disciplinary measures against erring public officers and employees, with the purpose of maintaining the dignity of government