Office of the Court Administrator v.

Buencamino
A.M. No. P-05-2051
January 21, 2014

Sec. 1, Art. XI of the Constitution: Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees
must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity,
loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
FACTS:
This administrative matter originated from the financial audit conducted by the Office of
the Court Administrator (OCA) on the books of accounts of the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Caloocan City (MeTC Caloocan City). The audit covered the financial transactions of David E.
Maniquis (Maniquis), formerOfficer-in-Charge, Clerk of Court III, from January 1993 to 4 June
1996, and that of his successor Atty. Mona Lisa A. Buencamino (Atty. Buencamino), Clerk of
Court IV, from 5 June 1996 up to the audit dates. The Audit team Found that as of December
31,2003 (cut-off date), the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) had a cash shortage of
P20,917.93, the Clerk of Court General Fund (GF) had a shortage of P1,574.30, and the Special
Allowance for the Judiciary Fund (SAJ) had a shortage of P238.00. Of these cash shortages,
Maniquis was accountable for P9,425.93 in the JDF and P352.50 in the GF, while Atty.
Buencamino was accountable for P11,492.00 in the JDF, P1,221.80 in the GF and P238.00 in the
SAJ. In January 2004, Atty. Buencamino settled her accountabilities in the JDF and SAJ, leaving
a balance of P1,221.80 in the GF. In her letter dated 10 March 2004, Cielito M. Mapue admitted
that she misappropriated the amount of P58,100.00 to defray her personal expenses. She further
admitted that she started to misuse judicial funds from November 1996 until 2000, during Atty.
Buencamino’s term.
ISSUE:
1.
Whether or not Atty. Buencamino shall be liable for the misappropriations done during
her term of office as Clerk of Court of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Caloocan City.
HELD:
1.
Yes, The Court held that Atty. Buencamino is liable for the misappropriations done
during her term of office as Clerk of Court of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Caloocan City.
Under Sec 1, Art XI of the Constitution is that public office is a public trust and that all public
officers must be accountable to the people, and serve them with responsibility, integrity, loyalty
and efficiency. This is more so for Members and personnel of the Judiciary. Even though Mapue
admitted misappropriating court fund, it does not exculpate Atty Buencamino liability. As a

Due to this fact it can be said that Mapue was only able to misappropriate the funds due to Atty.Clerk of Court Atty. . Buencaminio exercises general supervision over all personnels of the court . Buencamino's negligence in the exercise of her duties as clerk of court.

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