RULE VIII. STANDARD PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS
SECTION 11. The procedural rules provided hereunder are the standard requirements in handling a sexual harassment case.
SECTION 12. Complaint
a. The complaint may be filed at any time with the disciplining authority or with the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation. Upon receipt of the complaint by the disciplining authority of the Orani Water District, the same shall be transmitted to the Committee on Decorum and Investigation, if there is any.
b. The complaint must be in writing, signed and sworn to by the complainant. It shall contain the following:
1. The full name and address of the complainant;
2. The full name, address and position of the respondent;
3. A brief statement of the relevant facts;
4. Evidence in support of the complaint if any;
5. A certification of non-forum shopping.
In absence of any aforementioned requirements, the complaint shall be dismissed without prejudice to its re-filing.
Where the complaint is not under oath, the complainant shall be summoned by the committee to swear to the truth of the allegations in the complaint.
c. Complaint sent by the telegram, radiogram, electronic mail or similar means of communication shall be considered non-filed unless the complainant shall comply with the above requirements within ten (10) days from receipt of the notice for compliance.
d. Withdrawal of the complaint at any stage of the proceedings shall not preclude the Committee from proceeding with the investigation where there is obvious truth or merit to the allegations in the complaint or where there is documentary or direct evidence that can prove the guilt of the person complained of.
SECTION 13. Action on the Complaint. Upon receipt of a complaint that is sufficient in form and substance, the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall require the person complained of to submit a counter affidavit/ comment under oath within three (3) days from receipt of the notice, furnishing a copy thereof to the complainant, otherwise the Counter- Affidavit/ Comment shall be considered as not filed.
SECTION 14. Preliminary Investigation. A preliminary investigation shall be conducted by the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation. The investigation involves the ex parte examination of documents submitted by the complainant and the person complained of, as well as documents readily available from other government offices.
During the preliminary investigation, the parties may submit affidavits and counter-affidavits.
Upon receipt of the counter-affidavit or comment under oath, the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation may now recommend whether a prima facie case exists to warrant the issuance of a formal charge.
During the preliminary investigation, proceedings before the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall be held under strict confidentiality.
SECTION 15. Duration of the Investigation. A preliminary investigation shall commence not later than five (5) days from receipt of the complaint by the Committee on Decorum and Investigation and shall be terminated within fifteen (15) working days thereafter.
SECTION 16. Investigation Report. Within five (5) days from the termination of the preliminary investigation, the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall submit the investigation report and the complete records of the case to the disciplining authority, which is the Orani Water District Head.
SECTION 17. Decision or Resolution after Preliminary Investigation. If a prima facie case is established during the investigation, a formal charge shall be issued by the Orani Water District Head within three (3) working days from receipt of the investigation report.
In the absence of a prima facie case, the complaint shall be dismissed within the same period.
SECTION 18. Formal Charge. After finding a prima facie case, the Orani Water District Head shall formally charge the person complained of. The formal charge shall contain a specification of the charge(s), a brief statement of material or relevant facts, accompanied by certified true copies of the documentary evidence, if any, sworn statements covering the testimony of witnesses, a directive to answer the charge(s) in writing under oath in not less than seventy- two hours from receipt thereof, an evidence for the respondent to indicate in his/ her answer whether or not he/she elects a formal investigation of the charge(s), and a notice that he/she is entitled to be assisted by a counsel of his/ her choice.
If a respondent has submitted his/ her comment and counter affidavits during the preliminary investigation, he/she shall be given the opportunity to submit additional evidence.
The District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall not entertain requests for clarification, bills of particulars or motion to dismiss which are obviously designed to delay the administrative proceeding. If any of these pleadings is filed by the respondent, the same shall be considered as part of his/ her answer, which he/she may file within the remaining period for filing the answer.
SECTION 19. Answer. The answer, which must be in writing and under oath, shall be specific and shall contain material facts and applicable laws, if any, including documentary evidence, sworn statements covering testimonies of witnesses, if there be any, in support of respondent’s case. It shall also include a statement indicating whether he/she elects a formal investigation.
SECTION 20. Failure to File Answer. If the respondent fails or refuses to file his/ her answer to the formal charge within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt thereof, without justifiable cause, he/shall be considered to have waived his right thereto and formal investigation may commence.
SECTION 21. Preventive Suspension. Upon petition of the complaint or motu proprio upon the recommendation of the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation, at any time after the service of the formal charge to the respondent, the Orani Water District Head may order the preventive suspension of the respondent during the formal investigation, if there are reasons to believe that he/she is probably guilty of the charges which would warrant his/her removal from the service.
An order of preventive suspension may be used to temporarily remove the respondent from the scene of his/her misfeasance or malfeasance and to preclude the possibility of his/her exerting undue influence or pressure on the witnesses against him/her or tampering of documentary evidence on file with this office.
SECTION 22. Duration of Preventive Suspension. When the administrative case against the respondent under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the Orani Water District Head within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of his/her preventive suspension, unless otherwise provided by special law, he/she shall be automatically reinstated into the service; provided that when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay should not be included in the counting of the ninety (90) calendar days period of preventive suspension. Provided further that should the respondent be on paternity/ maternity leave, said preventive suspension shall be deferred or interrupted until such time that said leave has been fully enjoyed.
SECTION 23. Remedies from the Order of Prevention Suspension. The respondent may file motion for reconsideration with the District Head or may elevate the same to Civil Service Commission by way of appeal within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.
SECTION 24. Conduct of Formal Investigation. Although the respondent does not request a formal investigation, one shall nevertheless be conducted by the CODI if it deems such investigation necessary to decide the case judiciously.
The investigation shall be held not earlier than five (5) days or not later than ten (10) days from receipt of the respondent’s answer. Said investigation shall be finished within thirty (30) days from the issuance of the formal charge or the receipt of the answer unless the period is extended by the District Head in meritorious cases.
SECTION 25. Pre-hearing Conference. At the commencement of the formal investigation, the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation may conduct a pre-hearing conference for the parties to appear, consider and agree on any of the following:
a. Stipulation of facts;
b. Simplification of issues;
c. Identification and marking of evidence of the parties;
d. Waiver of objections to admissibility of evidence;
e. Limiting the number of witnesses, and their names;
f. Dates of subsequent hearings; and
g. Such other matters as may aid in the prompt and just resolution of the case
The parties may submit position papers/ memoranda and submit the case for resolution based on the result of the pre-hearing conference without any need for further hearing.
SECTION 26. Continuous Hearing until Terminated; Postponement. Hearings shall be conducted on the hearing dates set by the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation or as agreed upon during a pre-hearing conference.
Where no pre-hearing conference is conducted, the parties, their counsel and witnesses, if any, shall be given a notice of at least five (5) days before the first scheduled hearing specifying the time, date and place of the said hearing and subsequent hearings. Thereafter the schedule of hearings previously set shall be strictly followed without further notice. A party shall be granted only three (3) postponements upon oral or written requests. A further postponement may only be granted upon written request and subject to the discretion of the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation.
If the respondent fails to appear during the scheduled hearings despite due notice, the investigation shall proceed ex parte and the respondent is deemed to have waived his right to be present and to submit evidence in his favor during those hearings.
SECTION 27. Preliminary Matters. At the start of the hearing, the Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall note the appearances of the parties and shall proceed with the reception of evidence for the complainant.
If the respondent appears without the aid of the counsel, he/she shall be deemed to have waived his/her right to counsel.
Before taking the testimony of a witness, the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall place him/her under oath and then take his/her name, address, civil status, age, and place of employment.
SECTION 28. Appearance of Parties. Any person representing any of the parties before any hearing or investigation shall manifest orally or in writing his/her appearance for either the respondent or the complainant, stating his/her full name and exact address where he/she can be served with notices and other documents. Any pleading or appearance made without complying with the above stated requirements shall not be recognized.
SECTION 29. Order of Hearing. Unless the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation directs otherwise, the order of hearing shall be as follows:
a. The complainant shall present evidence in support of the charge;
b. The respondent shall then offer evidence in support of his/her defense;
c. The complainant may then offer rebuttal evidence, and the respondent, surrebuttal evidence.
Every witness may be examined in the following order:
a. Direct examination by the proponent;
b. Cross-examination by the opponent;
c. Re-direct examination by the proponent;
d. Re-cross examination by the opponent.
A sworn statement of a witness, properly identified and affirmed by the witness before the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall constitute his/her direct testimony.
When the presentation of evidence has been concluded, the parties shall formally offer their evidence either orally or in writing and thereafter objections thereto may also be made either orally or in writing. Thereafter, both parties may be given time to submit their respective memorandum which in no case shall be beyond five (5) days after the termination of the investigation. Failure to submit the memorandum within the given period shall be considered a waiver thereof.
SECTION 30. Objections. All objections raised during the hearing shall be resolved by the District Committee on Decorum and Investigation. However, objections that cannot be ruled upon by the Committee shall be noted with the information that the same shall be included in the memorandum of the concerned party to be ruled upon by the Orani Water District Head.
The District Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall accept all evidence deemed material and relevant to the case. In case of doubt, the Committee on Decorum and Investigation shall allow the admission of evidence subject to objection interposed against its admission.
SECTION 31. Markings. All documentary evidence or exhibits shall be properly marked by letters (A,B,C, etc.) if presented by the complainant and by numbers (1,2,3, etc) if presented by the respondent. These shall form part of the complete records of the case.
SECTION 32. Request for Subpoena. If a party desires the attendance of a witness or the production of documents or things, he/she shall make a request for the issuance of the necessary subpoena, at least three (3) days before the scheduled hearing.
SECTION 33. Issuance of Subpoena. The District Committee on Decorum and Investigation may issue subpoena ad testificandum to compel the attendance of witnesses and subpoena ducestecum for the production of documents or objects.
SECTION 34. Records of Proceedings. The proceedings of the formal investigation must be recorded either through shorthand or stenotype or by other method.
SECTION 35. Effect of the Pendency of an Administrative Case. The pendency of any administrative case shall not disqualify the respondent for promotion or from claiming maternity/ paternity benefits. For this purpose, an administrative case shall be construed as pending when the Head of the District has issued a formal charge.
SECTION 36. Formal Investigation Report. Within fifteen (15) days after the conclusion of the formal investigation, a report containing a narration of material facts established during the investigation, the findings and the evidence supporting said findings, as well as the recommendations, shall be submitted by the Committee on Decorum and Investigation to the Orani Water District Head. The complete records of the case shall be attached to the report of investigation.
The complete records shall be systematically and chronologically arranged, paged and securely bound to prevent loss. A table of contents shall be prepared. Whoever is in-charge of the transmittal of the complete records shall be held responsible for any loss or suspension of pages thereof.
SECTION 37. When Case is Decided. The Orani Water District Head shall render his decision on the case within thirty (30) days from receipt of the report of investigation.
SECTION 38. Finality of Decisions. A decision rendered by the District Head where a penalty of suspension for not more than thirty (30) days or a fine in an amount not exceeding thirty (30) days salary imposed, shall be final and executory. However, if the penalty imposed is suspension exceeding thirty (30) days or a fine exceeding thirty (30) days salary, the same shall be final and executory after the lapse of the reglementary period for filing a motion for reconsideration or an appeal and no such pleading has been filed.