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Weight and Sufficiency of Evidence: Clear and Convincing

SC v. Delgado
AM No. 2011-07-SC
Oct 4, 2011

PER CURIAM:

FACTS:
This is an administrative case stemmed from the Memorandum issued by the Complaints and
Investigation Division of the Office of Administrative Services (OAS) against respondents Eddie V. Delgado
(Delgado), Wilfredo Florendo (Florendo), and Joseph Madeja (Madeja) who are utility workers and clerk
IV in the Office of the Clerk Of Court, Second Division (OCC-SD) for allegedly participating in removing
some pages from one of the sealed Agenda without authority to do so. The OAS found Delgado guilty of
grave misconduct and recommended his dismissal from service, on the other hand, Madeja and Wilfredo
are found guilty of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and OAS recommended for their
6-month suspension.

Ms. Christine Puno (Ms. Puno) of the OCC-SD asked Mr. Irving Tanael to photocopy the sealed
agenda (the May 30, 2011 Agenda) from the office of SC Associate Justice and Second Division
Chairperson Antonio T. Carpio in two copies. Subsequently, the finished copies were given to herein
respondent Delgado for stitching. Ms. Puno caught Delgado acting suspiciously and began to suspect that
respondent Delgado might have been taken some pages from the copies of the Agenda.
- She saw Delgado placing some pink papers in his drawers.

Thereafter, OCC-SD Clerk of Court Atty. Ma. Luisa Laurea ordered an initial investigation and called the
involved personnel for an initial investigation.

During the initial investigation, Delgado candidly admitted that he took pages from the one of the
Agenda. However, respondent Delgado also disclosed that he removed the pages from the subject Agenda
only as a favor to herein respondents Madeja and Florendo. Respondents Madeja and Florendo that they
asked for and, in fact, obtained the missing pages in the 30 May 2011 Agenda. Both respondents Madeja
and Florendo attested that court employees from other Divisions had been requesting for copies of the
Agenda, to which they were inclined to accede in exchange for tokens like pang-merienda or pamasahe.
A memorandum was then submitted to Justice Carpio.

Pursuant to a Resolution issued by the Court, the OAS conducted a formal investigation wherein,
respondents Madeja and Florendo adamantly denied having made any admission during the initial
investigation. They submit that there is no actual evidence that shows that they have knowledge of or
involvement in the actions of respondent Delgado.
On the other hand, respondent Delgado in his statement during the formal hearings, on the other hand,
stood by his admissions during the initial investigation.

ISSUE:
Whether the guilt of Majeda and Florendo were proved through clear and convincing evidence
HELD:
Yes.

First. Respondent Delgados statements, not only in the initial investigation but also in the formal
investigation, were unwavering in their implication of respondents Madeja and Florendo. Respondent
Delgado categorically identified respondents Madeja and Florendo as the persons who induced him to
remove several pages from a copy of the 30 May 2011 Agenda and thereafter obtained them.

Second. It was never shown that respondent Delgado was motivated by any ill will in implicating
respondents Madeja and Florendo. As a witness, the credibility of respondent Delgado remained
unsullied. We find his statements worthy of belief.[66]

Third. The unsubstantiated denial of respondents, therefore, falters in light of the direct and positive
statements of respondent Delgado. The basic principle in Evidence is that denials, unless supported by
clear and convincing evidence, cannot prevail over the affirmative testimony of truthful witnesses