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ISSUE: Whether or not public officer, who has been granted an absolute pardon by the Chief Executive, entitled to reinstatement to her former position without need of a new appointment?
FACTS: The Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A. Monsanto (then assistant treasurer of Calbayog City) of the crime of estafa through falsification of public documents. She was sentenced to jail and to indemnify the government in the sum of P4,892.50.The SC affirmed the decision. She then filed a motion for reconsideration but while said motion was pending, she was extended by then President Marcos absolute pardon which she accepted (at that time, the rule was that clemency could be given even before conviction). By reason of said pardon, petitioner wrote the Calbayog City treasurer requesting that she be restored to her former post as assistant city treasurer since the same was still vacant. Her letter was referred to the Minister of Finance who ruled that she may be reinstated to her position without the necessity of a new appointment not earlier than the date she was extended the absolute pardon. Petitioner wrote the Ministry stressing that the full pardon bestowed on her has wiped out the crime which implies that her service in the government has never been interrupted and therefore the date of her reinstatement should correspond to the date of her preventive suspension; that she is entitled to backpay for the entire period of her suspension; and that she should not be required to pay the proportionate share of the amount of P4,892.50 The Ministry referred the issue to the Office of the President. Deputy Executive Secretary Factoran denied Monsanto’s request averring that Monsanto must first seek appointment and that the pardon does not reinstate her former position.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The pardon granted to petitioner has resulted in removing her disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go beyond that. To regain her former post as assistant city treasurer, she must re-apply and undergo the usual procedure required for a new appointment.
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