Oct 12, 2020 @ 17:16

SC slaps Manila court officers with suspension, fine for slapping each other at work

The Supreme Court (SC) has held a legal researcher and a stenographer liable for slapping each other during a fight in the premises of the Manila Regional Trial Court.

In a recent 4-page minute resolution, the SC 2nd Division found legal researcher Mary Ann de Jesus and stenographer Noeme Verano-Sevilla both guilty of the administrative offense of simple misconduct.

De Jesus was suspended from work for one month, while Verano-Sevilla was ordered to pay a fine equivalent to one month’s salary since she had resigned effective February 28, 2019.

Fellow employees witnessed Verano-Sevilla slapping De Jesus. Meanwhile, De Jesus admitted that she slapped Verano-Sevilla back in retaliation. It was not explained why the fight happened.

“For fighting within court premises during office hours, the Court agrees with the OCA (Office of the Court Administrator) finding Verano-Sevilla and De Jesus each liable for Conduct Unbecoming a Court Employee amounting to Simple Misconduct,” read the minute resolution signed by Deputy Division Clerk of Court Teresita Aquino Tuazon.

However, the SC appreciated as a mitigating circumstance in their favor their long tenureship of 17 and 10 years, respectively.

The SC also let Verano-Sevilla off the hook for insubordination, abandonment of work and unauthorized absences.

Verano-Sevilla failed to follow her immediate superior’s order to report to his office and work after the incident. She later explained that she was absent for several days because she wanted to file a criminal complaint against De Jesus.

The SC found the reasons for her absence to be “valid” as she “attended to her injury and sought redress for her grievances.” #

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