CLARITA CARBONELL VS. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
G.R. NO. 187689
Petitioner Clarita J. Carbonel was an employee of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Makati City. She was formally charged with Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, and Falsification of Official Documents by the Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. IV (CSCRO IV).
May 21, 1999, Carbonell went to CSC Regional Office IV to secure a copy of her Career Service Professional Examination given on March 14, 1999, because she lost the original copy of her Career Service Professional Certificate of Rating. The Examination and Placement Division that the appearance of Carbonell is different from the person’s picture attached on the seat plan of the application, also the signature affixed was also different. Held the issue was directed to the Legal Affairs Division.
The petitioner confessed that she paid Bettina Navarro to take the exam for her so she can obtain a Career Service Professional Eligibility in exchange of P 10,000 pesos, where she fully paid Navarro only after passing the exam. Hence the formal charges against Carbonell.
On March 25, 2002, the CSCRO IV rendered its decision, finding Carbonell, guilty of dishonesty, grave misconduct, and falsification of official documents. Petitioner, appealed to CSC only on November 5,2007, but it was dismissed, for having been filed almost three years from receipt of the CSCRO IV decision. Unsatisfied, she also raised her appeal to CA, but it also affirmed the decision of the CSC. Hence this petition.
Whether or not a serious grave abuse of discretion was committed by the CA.
Whether or not petitioner’s right to due process was violated because she was not afforded the right to counsel.
The Court ruled that the petition has no merit. It says that the appeal of the petitioner has already passed its reglementary period when the decision is already been final and executory. The perfection of an appeal in the manner and within the period prescribed by law is mandatory. Failure to conform to the rules regarding appeal will render the judgment final and executory and beyond the power of the Court’s review. Jurisprudence mandates that when a decision becomes final and executory, it becomes valid and binding upon the parties and their successors-in-interest. Such decision or order can no longer be disturbed or re-opened no matter how erroneous it may have been.
Another issue that the Petitioner raised in this case is her right to due process was violated because she was not afforded the right to counsel when her statement was taken. Considering that the Carbonell’s statement was used by the CSCRO IV, CSC, CA as a basis for finding her liable, it cleared by the Supreme Court that, 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 akin 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 service.