BACOLOD CITY, Philippines—A provincial accountant, who was sacked in 2010 for raising her voice to the vice governor, was back at the capitol after the Civil Service Commission (CSC) ordered her reinstatement with finality.
The CSC ordered the payment of Merly Fortu’s back salaries and benefits corresponding to the period of her termination in July 2010.
Fortu on Wednesday said her back salaries and benefits could reach P3 million. She said she would use the money to pay the debts she accumulated in the three years that she was out of work.
“I am happy to be back doing the work that I love,” she said.
Fortu said she did not bear ill feelings against anyone, adding that people make mistakes all the time.
Then Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez Jr. filed a complaint against Fortu in 2010, claiming that Fortu raised her voice at him during a meeting at the governor’s office on July 1, 2010, to discuss the delay in the processing of purchase orders and requests and reimbursement of expenses of provincial board members.
Alvarez added that during the entire time that Fortu was talking to him, she was raising her voice and was very graphic and vocal in expressing her anger, disgust and displeasure on being asked to explain the reasons for delays in reimbursements.
But Fortu said she never used any inappropriate, let alone abrasive or insulting language or statement, or acted with arrogance and hostility toward then vice governor.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. found Fortu guilty of grave misconduct on Sept. 3, 2010, and ordered her dismissed from the service.
But the CSC said in an original decision dated Sept. 13, 2011 that Fortu inadvertently raised her voice to Alvarez during a heated argument.
But such an act did not constitute an administrative offense of grave misconduct, it said.
As defined, “misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer,” the CSC decision said.
In this case, the CSC said Fortu had not transgressed any rule or exhibited unlawful behavior to hold her liable for grave misconduct, the decision added.
“No insulting words were said by respondent, and it was only the level and tone of her voice that complainant found reprehensible,” the decision said.