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l\,epublic of tbe !lbilippines ~upreme ([ourt ;ffflanila EN BANC CARRIE-ANNE SHALEEN A.C. No. 8560 CARLYLE S. REYES, Complainant, Present: - versus - SERENO, C.J, CARPIO,
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  l\,epublic of tbe lbilippines ~upr m ([ourt ;ffflanila EN B NC CARRIE-ANNE SH LE EN C RLYLE S. REYES, Complainant, -versus - ATTY. R MON F. NIEVA, Respondent. A.C. No. 8560 Present: SERENO, C.J CARPIO, VELASCO, JR., LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, BRION,* PERALTA, BERSAMIN,** DEL CASTILLO, PEREZ, MENDOZA, REYES, PERLAS-BERNABE, LEONEN, JARDELEZA, and CAGUIOA JJ Promulgated: September 6, 2016 x ~~ le.._ O....,...- ~ ~~ ~~..[ x DE ISION PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: For the Court's resolution is the Complaint   dated March 3, 2010 filed by complainant Carrie-Anne Shaleen Carlyle S. Reyes (complainant) against On leave. ãã On official leave. ããã On official leave. 1 Rollo pp. 1-7.  Decision 2 A.C. No. 8560 respondent Atty. Ramon F. Nieva (respondent), praying that the latter be disbarred for sexually harassing her. The acts Complainant alleged that she has been working at the Civil Aviation Authority o the Philippines (CAAP) as an Administrative Aide on a Job Order basis since October 2004. Sometime in January 2009, she was reassigned at the CAAP Office o the Board Secretary under the supervision o respondent, who was then acting as CAAP Acting Board Secretary. During complainant s stint under respondent, she would notice that during office hours, respondent would often watch ''pampagana videos saved in his office laptop, all o which turned out to be pornographic films. Complainant also averred that whenever respondent got close to her, he would hold her hand and would sometimes give it a kiss. During these instances, complainant would remove her hands and tell him to desist. According to complainant, respondent even offered her a cellular phone together with the necessary load to serve as means for their private communication, but she refused the said offer, insisting that she already has her own cellular phone and does not need another one. 2 Complainant also narrated that at about 5 o clock in the afternoon o April 1 2009, respondent texted her to wait for him at the office. Fearing that respondent might take advantage o her, complainant convinced two (2) o her officemates to accompany her until respondent arrived. Upon respondent s arrival and seeing that complainant had companions, he just told complainant and the other two (2) office staff to lock the door when they leave. 3 Complainant further recounted that on the following day, April 2 2009, respondent called her on her cellular phone, asked i she received his text message, and told her he would tell her something upon his arrival at the office. At about 9:30 in the morning o even date, respondent asked complainant to encode a memorandum he was about to dictate. Suddenly, respondent placed his hand on complainant s waist area near her breast and started caressing the latter s torso. Complainant immediately moved away from respondent and told him sumosobra n ho kayo sir. Instead o asking for an apology, respondent told complainant he was willing to give her P2,000.00 a month from his own pocket and even gave her a note stating ''just bet (between) you nd me x x x kahit na si mommy, referring to complainant s mother who was also working at CAAP. At around past 11 o clock in the morning o the same day, while complainant and respondent were left alone in the office, respondent suddenly closed the door, grabbed complainant s arm, and uttered let's seal it with a kiss, then attempted to 2 Id. at 2-3. Id. at 3-4.  Decision 3 A.C. No. 8560 kiss complainant. This prompted complainant to thwart respondent's advances with her left arm, raised her voice in order to invite help, and exclaimed wag naman kayo ganyan sir, yung asawa nyo magagalit, sir may asawa ako. After respondent let her go, complainant immediately left the office to ask assistance from her former supervisor who advised her to file an administrative case 4 against respondent before the CAAP Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI). 5 Finally, complainant alleged that after her ordeal with respondent, she was traumatized and was even diagnosed by a psychiatrist to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with recurrent major depression. 6 Eventually, complainant filed the instant complaint. In his defense, 7 respondent denied all o complainant's allegations. He maintained that as a 79-year old retiree who only took a position at the CAAP on a consultancy basis, it was very unlikely for him to do the acts imputed against him, especially in a very small office space allotted for him and his staff. In this regard, he referred to his Counter-Affidavit 8 submitted before the CODI, wherein he explained, inter alia, that: (a) while he indeed watches interesting shows in his office laptop, he never invited anyone, including complainant, to watch with him and that he would even close his laptop whenever someone comes near him; 9 ( b he never held and kissed complainant's hand because i he had done so, he would have been easily noticed by complainant's co-staffers; 10 c) he did offer her a cellular phone, but this was supposed to be an office phone which should not be used for personal purposes, and thus, could not be given any sexual meaning; d) he did tell complainant to wait for him in the afternoon o April 1 2009, but only for the purpose o having an available encoder should he need one for any urgent matter that would arise; 12 and ( e) he would not do the acts he allegedly committed on April 2, 2009 as there were other people in the office and that those people can attest in his favor. 13 Respondent then pointed out that the administrative case filed against him before the CODI was already dismissed for lack o basis and that complainant was only being used by other CAAP employees who were agitated by the reforms he helped implement upon his assumption as CAAP consultant and eventually as Acting Corporate Board Secretary. 14 See Affidavit-Complaint dated April 2, 2009; id. at 8. Id. at 4-5. See also id. at 60. 6 See Certificate o Psychiatric Evaluation dated April 13, 2009. Signed by Juan V. Arellano, M.D., D.P.B.P., F.P.P.A.; id. at 9. 7 See Comment filed on June 16, 2010; id. at 21-27. Id. at 42-55. 9 Id. at 48. 10 Id. at 48-49. 11 Id. at 49. 12 Id. at 49-50. 13 Id. at 50. 14 Id. at 22-23. See also id. at 54. y  Decision 4 A.C. No. 8560 The IBP s Report and Recommendation In a Report and Recommendation 5 dated August 14, 2012, the Integrated Bar o the Philippines (IBP) Investigating Commissioner recommended the dismissal o the instant administrative complaint against respondent. 16 He found that complainant failed to substantiate her allegations against respondent, as opposed to respondent s defenses which are ably supported by evidence. Citing respondent s evidence, the Investigating Commissioner opined that since the CAAP Office o the Board Secretary was very small, it is implausible that a startling occurrence such as an attempted sexual molestation would not be noticed by not only the other occupants o said office area, but also by those occupying the office adjacent to it, i.e. the CAAP Operations Center, which is separated only by glass panels. Further, the Investigating Commissioner drew attention to the investigation conducted by the CODI showing that the collective sworn statements o the witnesses point to the eventual conclusion that none o the alleged acts o misconduct attributed to respondent really occurred. 17 In a Resolution 18 dated May 10, 2013, the IBP Board o Governors (IBP Board) unanimously reversed the aforesaid Report and Recommendation. As such, respondent was found guilty o committing sexual advances, and accordingly, recommended that he be suspended from the practice o law for three (3) months. In view o respondent s Motion for Reconsideration, 19 the IBP Board referred the case to the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) for study, evaluation, and submission o an Executive Summary to the IBP Board. 20 In the Director s Report 2 dated July 8 2014, the IBP-CBD National Director recommended that the current IBP Board adhere to the report and recommendation o the Investigating Commissioner as it is supported by the evidence on record; on the other hand, the reversal made by the previous IBP Board is bereft o any factual and legal bases, and should therefore, be set aside. In this light, the current IBP Board issued a Resolution 22 dated August 10, 2014 setting aside the previous IBP Board s Resolution, and accordingly, dismissed the administrative complaint against respondent. 15 Id. at 179-187. Signed by Commissioner Pablo S. Castillo. 6 Id. at 187. 7 Id. at 183-187. 18 See Notice o Resolution in Resolution No. XX-2013-555 signed by IBP National Secretary Nasser A. Marohomsalic; id. at 178, including dorsal portion. 19 Id. at 188-190. 20 See id. at 208. 21 Id. at 208-211. Signed by IBP-CBD National Director Dominic C. M. Solis. 22 See Notice o Resolution in Resolution No. XXI-2014-531 signed by IBP National Secretary Nasser A Marohomsalic; id. at 206.
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