The Civil Service Commission (CSC) headed by Chairman Francisco Duque III yesterday warned government employees taking part in mass leaves shall be meted with administrative sanctions.
Duque made the warning after learning about the planned mass leaves of medical doctors and personnel of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila in protest against the replacement of PGH Director Jose Gonzales.
He also appealed to the protesting group to respect the rule of law and to wait for the decision of the court on the case.
The CSC leadership came out with a strong reminder that those who will participate in mass leaves and other prohibited concerted mass actions shall be held administratively liable for the offense of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, punishable with six months and one day to one year suspension and such other penalties as may be warranted under the circumstances.
CSC cited and underscored the decision en banc of the Supreme Court in Bangalisan vs Court of Appeals, 276 SCRA 619 (1997), the Decision of the Supreme Court in Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) vs Laguio Jr. 200 SCRA 323 (1991) and CSC Resolution No. 021316 dated Oct. 11, 2002.
In Bangalisan vs Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held that “while the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize, they are prohibited from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walkouts and other forms of mass actions that will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public services.”
In the MPSTA case, the Supreme Court said, “xxx The belief in the righteousness of their cause, no matter how deeply and fervently held, gives the teachers concerned no license to abandon their duties, engage in unlawful activity, defy constituted authority and set a bad example to their students.”
Under CSC Resolution No. 021316, the phrase “prohibited concerted mass action” shall include mass leaves, walkouts, pickets and acts of similar nature.
However, the CSC said this is without prejudice to the right of government employees to assemble peacefully and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A concerted activity or mass action done outside of government office hours is not considered a prohibited concerted activity or mass action provided the same shall not occasion or result in the disruption of work or services. PNA