SC orders probe of Sandigan worker in CSC exam fraud

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has given the Sandiganbayan the go signal to pursue a case against its employee who reportedly allowed somebody else to take the Civil Service Commission (CSC) examination for him in 2000.

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In a full court ruling, the high tribunal directed the anti-graft court to refer the case against Herminigildo L. Andal, Security Guard II, for investigation, “report and recommendation to the most senior justice after Justice [Gregory Ong.]”

The court en banc made the decision due to the pending administrative case against Ong before them.

“While we essentially adopt the recommendation of the OCA [Office of the Court Administrator], recent developments compel us to modify it,” the court ruled.

Andal held the position of Security Guard II in the Sandiganbayan.

On January 24, 2000, he filed an application to take the Career Service Professional Examination-Computer Assisted Test (CSPE-CAT) and was admitted to take the examination. The examination results showed that res–pondent passed the examination with a rating of 81.03 percent.

However, on January 25, 2000, Arlene S. Vito, claiming to have been authorized by respondent to secure the results of the examination, presented a handwritten authorization allegedly signed by respondent.

Upon verification and comparison of the pictures attached to the Picture Seat Plan and the identification card of respondent, which Vito presented, there appeared a dissimilarity in the facial features. Bella A. Mitra, then Officer-in-Charge of the Examination, Placement and Services Division (EPSD) of the CSC-National Capital Region (CSC-NCR), issued a Memorandum on the alleged “impersonation” of respondent and the matter was referred to the Legal Affairs Division to conduct a fact-finding investigation. On 29 November 2000, the CSC-NCR formally charged respondent with dishonesty.

The CSC found Andal guilty of dishonesty and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal from the service.

But the high court dismissed the case after Andal filed an appeal on the ground that it had the primary jurisdiction over the administrative case and ordered the CSC to refer the case to the OCA for appropriate action until the latter initiated the case against the respondent.

In its ruling, the court adopted the recommendation made by OCA to refer the case to the most senior magistrate next to Justice Ong, who is facing an administrative case before the tribunal.

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