Monday, March 19, 2012

National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) vs. Civil Service Commission (CSC) [G.R. No. 152093 January 24, 2012]

Facts: Petitioner filed an administrative case against Tanfelix for rigging the bidding for the construction of the wind break fence of its thermal power plant’s coal storage in Calaca, Batangas. He found guilty of grave misconduct. on appeal, the CSC reversed and exonerated Tanfelix, which was affirmed by the CA. 

Issue: Whether the CA, like the CSC, correctly absolved Tanfelix of any administrative liability for rigging the bids on an NPC construction contract since he was not a member of the bids committee that awarded it to a pre-selected bidder. 

Held: Grave misconduct, of which Tanfelix has been charged, consists in a government official’s deliberate violation of a rule of law or standard of behavior. It is regarded as grave when the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law, or flagrant disregard of established rules are present.1 In particular, corruption as an element of grave misconduct consists in the official’s unlawful and wrongful use of his station or character to procure some benefit for himself or for another person, contrary to duty and the rights of others. Rigging by a public official at a bidding in the organization where he belongs is a specie of corruption. As a public officer, Tanfelix had the duty to protect the process of public bidding in the NPC, his organization. The requirement of public bidding is not an idle ceremony. It is the accepted method for arriving at a fair and reasonable price. It ensures that overpricing, favoritism, and other anomalous practices are eliminated or minimized. A ruling that would absolve Tanfelix of any liability for rigging the bids in the government office where he works on the pretext that he was not a member of the bids and awards committee would encourage public officers who are not members of bids committees to make an industry of rigging bids, using their offices and official reputations.

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