Monday, March 19, 2012

Torres vs. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation [G.R. No. 193531 December 14, 2011]

Facts: Petitioner, slot machine operator, was made the subject of an investigation in PAGCOR. The scheme of CMR padding was discovered, which was committed by adding zero after the first digit of the actual CMR of a slot machine or adding a digit before the first digit of the actual CMR, e.g., a slot machine with an actual CMR of P5,000.00 will be issued a CMR receipt with the amount of either P50,000.00 or P35,000.00.5 Based on the CIU's investigation of all the CMR receipts and slot machine jackpot slips issued by CF Hyatt for the months of February and March 2007, the CIU identified the members of the syndicate who were responsible for such CMR padding, which included herein petitioner. Petitioner was charged with dishonesty, serious misconduct, fraud and violation of office rules and regulations which were considered grave offenses where the penalty imposable is dismissal. He was dismissed by the CSC, which was affirmed by the CA on the ground that his appeal was filed out of time. 

Issue: Whether petitioner failed to appeal timely. 

Held: A motion for reconsideration may either be filed by mail or personal delivery. When a motion for reconsideration was sent by mail, the same shall be deemed filed on the date shown by the postmark on the envelope which shall be attached to the records of the case. On the other hand, in case of personal delivery, the motion is deemed filed on the date stamped thereon by the proper office. And the movant has 15 days from receipt of the decision within which to file a motion for reconsideration or an appeal therefrom. Petitioner received a copy of the letter/notice of dismissal on August 4, 2007; thus, the motion for reconsideration should have been submitted either by mail or by personal delivery on or before August 19, 2007. However, records do not show that petitioner had filed his motion for reconsideration. In fact, the CSC found that the non-receipt of petitioner's letter reconsideration was duly supported by certifications issued by PAGCOR employees. Even assuming arguendo that petitioner indeed submitted a letter reconsideration which he claims was sent through a facsimile transmission, such letter reconsideration did not toll the period to appeal. The mode used by petitioner in filing his reconsideration is not sanctioned by the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. The motion for reconsideration may be filed only in two ways, either by mail or personal delivery. A facsimile is not a genuine and authentic pleading. It is, at best, an exact copy preserving all the marks of an original. Without the original, there is no way of determining on its face whether the facsimile pleading is genuine and authentic and was originally signed by the party and his counsel. It may, in fact, be a sham pleading.

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