THE Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Court of Appeals (CA) decision upholding the dismissal of an officer of the Bataan Economic Zone (BEZ) for unlawfully charging overtime fees against an oil firm for the unloading of fuel in 2000.
In an 11-page full court ruling promulgated by Deputy Clerk of Court Anna-Li Papa-Gombio, the tribunal denied the petition filed by BEZ’s Enterprise Service Officer Miguel Llamzon as it affirmed the CA’s verdict dated September 30, 2010 and resolution dated January 31, 2011.
In 2002 Edison Bataan Cogeneration Corp. (EBCC), a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-registered enterprise, informed the agency that it had been paying overtime fees to certain BEZ personnel from 2000 to 2001.
An investigation identified Llamzon to be one of the personnel who billed EBCC overtime fees amounting to P7,000 on February 28, 2000 and March 20, 2000.
PEZA filed a case against Llamzon for dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) upheld the decision of PEZA’s Central Board Inquiry, Investigation and Discipline (CBIID) finding Llamzon guilty of administrative charges and imposing on him the penalty of dismissal from the service and its accessory penalties.
Llamzon filed an appeal with the CA to reverse the CSC decision but this was denied hence it was elevated to the high court.
In its April 18, 2017 decision but released only recently, the SC held that based on a PEZA memorandum order, charging overtime fees is prohibited.
According to the SC, Llamzon “cannot invoke his more than 38 years of service and untarnished record as mitigating circumstance.”