Reas vs Relacion - Case Digest

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Reas vs Relacion (AM no. P-05-2095, February 9, 2011)
Facts:
Petitioner, Benigno B. Reas files a complaint against Respondent, Carlos M. Relacion with gross dishonesty and grave misconduct. The complainant alleged that the respondent harassed a certain cooperative to a point of violence just to release his own salary check. Relacion did not return the check to the Cooperative despite repetitive demands; that when the COC confronted Relacion, he mauled him when he refused Relacion’s offer to pay his salary checks.
In his response, Relacion denied harassing or threatening the employees of the Cooperative; that he only went to the COC just to get his salary check. Relacion further narrated that he informed Reas that he would pay him, but petitioner eventually tried to punched him when they entered the office, and that he retaliated by punching the petitioner.
ISSUE:
WON the respondent is only guilty of simple misconduct for punching the petitioner.

HELD:
YES. The Court ruled that the respondent is guilty of simple misconduct, but Court held to increase the recommended fine of P2500.
The Code of Conduct for Court Personnel requires that the officials and employees of the Judiciary serve as sentinels of justice, and declares that any act of impropriety on their part affects the dignity of the Judiciary and the people’s faith in the Judiciary.[22] Thus, the court personnel must exhibit the highest sense of honesty and integrity not only in the performance of their official duties, but also in their private dealings with their co-employees and with the public.[23] Their professional and personal conduct must be free from any whiff of impropriety.[24] Here, there is no sufficient proof showing that Relacion intentionally took Reas’ salary check from the Cooperative. Lucino Q. Garcia, an employee of the Cooperative, admitted in his certification dated October 9, 2004 that he had “inadvertently surrendered” Reas’ salary check to Relacion when the latter had

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