RA 6713 Code Of Conduct And Ethical Standards For Public Officials And Employees

Definition of terms:
A. "Conflict of interest" arises when a public official or employee is a member of a board, an officer, or a substantial stockholder of a private corporation or owner or has a substantial interest in a business, and the interest of such corporation or business, or his rights or duties therein, may be opposed to or affected by the faithful performance of official duty.

B. "Divestment" is the transfer of title or disposal of interest in property by voluntarily, completely, and actually depriving or dispossessing oneself of his right or title to it in favor of a person or persons other than his spouse and relatives as defined in this Act.

C. "Relatives" refers to any and all persons related to a public official or employee within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, including bilas, inso and balae.

Prohibited Acts and Transactions (sec. 7):

A. Public officials and employees shall not have any financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of their office.

B. Public officials and employees during their incumbency shall not:
1. Own, control, manage or accept employment as officer, employee, consultant, counsel, broker, agent, trustee or nominee in any private enterprise regulated, supervised or licensed by their office unless expressly allowed by law;
2. Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions; or
3. Recommend any person to any position in a private enterprise that has a regular or pending official transaction with their office.

C. Public officials and employees shall not use or divulge, confidential or classified information officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to the public, either:
1. To further their private interests, or give undue advantage to anyone; or
2. To prejudice the public interest.

D. Public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.

Gifts or grants from foreign governments

A. The acceptance and retention by a public official or employee of a gift of nominal value tendered and received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy;

B. The acceptance by a public official or employee of a gift in the nature of a scholarship or fellowship grant or medical treatment; or

C. The acceptance by a public official or employee of travel grants or expenses for travel taking place entirely outside the Philippines (such as allowances, transportation, food, and lodging) of more than the nominal value if such acceptance is appropriate or consistent with the interests of the Philippines, and permitted by the head of office, branch or agency to which he belongs.

These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one (1) year after resignation, retirement, or separation from public office, except in the case

Divestment (sec 9):
When a conflict of interest arises, he shall resign from his position in any private business enterprise within thirty (30) days from his assumption of office and/or divest himself of his shareholdings or interest within sixty (60) days from such assumption.

The same rule shall apply where the public official or employee is a partner in a partnership.

Bar Exam Question (2001)

Ra 6713; Coverage (2001)

Robert Sy, a well-known businessman and a founding member of the Makati Business Club, aside from being a classmate of the newly-elected President of the Philippines, had Investments consisting of shares of stocks in the Urban Bank, the PNB, the Rural Bank of Caloocan City and his privately-owned corporation, the RS Builders Corporation and Trans-Pacific Air. After the President had taken his oath and assumed his office, he appointed Robert as Honorary Consul to the Republic of Vietnam. Robert took his oath before the President and after furnishing the Department of Foreign Affairs with his appointment papers, flew to Saigon, now Ho Chi Min City, where he organized his staff, put up an office, and stayed there for three months attending to trade opportunities and relations with local businessman. In the fourth month, he returned to the Philippines to make his report to the President. However, the Anti-Graft League of the Philippines filed a complaint against Robert for (1) falling to file his Statement of Assets and Liabilities within thirty (30) days from assumption of office; (2) failing to resign from his businesses, and (3) falling to divest his shares and investments in the banks and corporations owned by him, as required by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Will the complaint prosper? Explain. (5%)

Suggested Answer:

The complaint will not prosper because the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Rep. Act. No. 6713), expressly exempts those who serve the Government in an honorary capacity from filing Statements of Assets and Liabilities, and from resigning and divesting themselves of interest from any private enterprise (Secs. 8A and 9).

Alternative Answer:

Yes, the complaint will prosper under Sec. 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Rep. Act No. 3019, as amended], which requires all public officers within 30 days from assuming public office to file a true, detailed sworn statement of assets and liabilities. Violations of this law are mala prohibita which admits of no excuses.