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Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. v. Lariosa

G.R. No. 70479 148 SCRA 187 (1987)

Facts: Carlos Lariosa started working with Firstone in 1972 as a factory worker.
When he was about to leave the company premises, he submitted himself to a
routine check by the security guards and upon inspection, sixteen (16) wool flannel
swabs, which are the property of the company found inside his bag. Firestone
terminated petitioners services on the grounds of stealing company property and
loss of trust.

Petitioner contends that by virtue the ruling on the penalty of preventive suspension
was sufficient punishment for his violation.

The company contends that they have the right to dismiss private respondent from
employment on the grounds of breach of trust or loss of confidence resulting from
theft of company property.

Lariosa sued Firestone before the Ministry of Labor and Employment for illegal

Issue: Whether the petitioner validly dismissed the private respondent on the
grounds of loss of trust and dishonesty.

Ruling: Focuses on the legality of a dismissal by reason of acts of dishonesty in the
handling of company property for what was involved is theft of sixteen (16) flannel
swabs which were supposed to be used to clean certain machineries in the company.
In fact, a careful review will readily reveal that the underlying reason behind
sustaining the personam of dismissal or outright termination is that under
circumstances obtaining in this case, there exists ample reason to distrust the
employees concerned.

Additionally, it clearly appears that to retain the employee would, in the long run,
endanger the company viability.

Court ruled that Firestone has valid grounds to dispense with the services of Lariosa
and that the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion in ordering his reinstatement.

The petition is granted. The decision of the NLRC is reversed and set aside. The
petitioner is directed to pay its dismissed worker, Carlos Lariosa separation pay or
any collection bargaining agreement or company rules or practice, whichever is

Villamor Golf Club v. Pehid
472 SCRA 36

Rodolfo F. Pehid was employed by the Villamor Golf Club (VGC) as an
attendant in the mens locker room, and, thereafter, he became the Supervisor-in-
Charge. His subordinates included Juanito Superal, Jr., Patricio Parilla, Ricardo
Mendoza, Cesar Velasquez, Vicente Casabon, Pepito Buenaventura and Carlito
They agreed to establish a common fund from the tips they received from the
customers, guests and members of the club for their mutual needs and benefits.
Each member was to contribute the amount of P100.00 daily and by October 1998, it
had reached the aggregate amount of P17,990. This agreement, however, was not
known to the VGC management.
Upon audit of the Locker Room Section, it was reported that there was an
undeclared and unrecorded aggregate amount of P17,990.00 for the fund and that
there was no record that the money had been distributed among those employed in
the locker room. In the meantime, an administrative complaint was filed by Pehids
subordinates charging him with misappropriating the P17,990.00.
Management ultimately dismissed Pehid for gross misconduct in the
performance of his duties and for acts of dishonesty that caused prejudice to the club
after his submission of a verified explanation denying the claims filed against him.
Pehid filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, unfair labor practice, separation
pay/retirement benefits, damages and attorneys fees against petitioners VGC and/or
Brig. Gen. Filamer Artajo (Ret. AFP), Col. Ruben Estepa, Lt. Milagros Aguillon, and
the VGC Administrative Board of Inquiry.
Labor arbiter ruled in favor of Pehid declaring that the acts attributed to Pehid
were not committed in connection with his work as officer-in-charge of the locker
room. NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter stating that he was legally
dismissed for loss of trust and confidence. On appeal, CA reinstated the decision of
the Labor Arbiter

Whether or not there was Pehid, in allegedly misappropriating the funds constitutes
gross misconduct, which is an act of dishonesty in violation of the Rules of Conduct
of the club that caused prejudice to the VGC?

NO. The voluntary contribution by the locker personnel amongst themselves
to a mutual fund for their own personal benefit in times of need is not in any way
connected with the work of the locker boys and the complainant. If ever there was
misappropriation or loss of the said mutual fund, the respondent will not and cannot
be in any way tend or cause to prejudice the club. Under VGC rule, the dishonesty
of an employee to be a valid cause for dismissal must relate to or involve the
misappropriation or malversation of the club funds, or cause or tend to cause
prejudice to VGC. The substantial evidence on record indicates that the P17,990.00,
which was accumulated from a portion of the tips given by the golfers from May 1998
to October 1998 and was allegedly misappropriated by the respondent as the
purported custodian thereof, did not belong to VGC but to the forced savings of its
locker room personnel.
Company policies and regulations are, unless shown to be grossly
oppressive or contrary to law, generally valid and binding and must be complied with
by the parties unless finally revised or amended, unilaterally or preferably through
negotiation. However, while an employee may be validly dismissed for violation of a
reasonable rule or regulation adopted for the conduct of the companys business, an
act allegedly in breach thereof must clearly and convincingly fall within the express
intendment of such order.

San Miguel Corp. v. NLRC
174 SCRA 510

Private respondents (Delen, Mercado, Misolas, Logan and Querubin) were former
security guards of the petitioner, which dismissed them for falsification of their time cards. They
made false entries in their time cards showing that they reported for work on February 19 and
20, 1983 when the truth was that they went on a hunting tap to San Juan, Batangas, with their
chief Major Martin Asaytuno, then head of the Administrative Services Department of the
Security Directorate of the petitioner.
Besides the falsification of the entries for February 19 and 20, 1983 in their time
cards, complainant Misolas was caught redhanded by Security Guard Romeo Martin at 7:45
A.M. on March 2, 1983 punching in not only his own time card but also the time cards of Delen
and Querubin (p. 51, Rollo). Seeing Misolas in a tight fix, Querubin rushed to the bundy clock
and punched in a time card (which turned out to be the card of one Rodrigo de Castro) to save
Misolas and to make it appear to Martin that he (Querubin), punched in his own time card.
Private respondents filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.
The Labor Arbiter found that the complainants did go on a hunting trip, upon the
invitation of their department head, Major Asaytuno. They went along to please him because
they believed that his invitation was equivalent to a command. Being an army man, Asaytuno
expected "total obedience" from his subordinates. When they reported for work on February
21, 1983, Major Asaytuno asked for their time cards and initialed the false entries showing that
they reported for work on February 19-20. The Labor Arbiter held that under those
circumstances 'the dismissal of the complainants cannot be sustained." and directed the
company "to reinstate the complainants to their respective former positions without loss of
seniority rights and with full back wages and other benefits appurtenant to their respective
positions." NLRC, on appeal by petitioner dismissed said appeal for lack of merit.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration in the Supreme Court but was dismissed
with the impression that the petitioner relieved Asaytuno from the offense while his
subordinates were punished. Upon the second motion though, the Court now grants to resolve
the case.

Whether or not private respondents actions on February 19-20 constitute dishonesty,
which is cause for their legal dismissal?

YES. Although it may be conceded that the private respondents acted under some
degree of moral compulsion when they agreed to accompany Major Asaytuno on a hunting trip
to San Juan, Batangas, they were certainly under no compulsion from him to falsify their time
cards and thereby defraud the company by collecting wages for the dates when they did not
report for work.
In order to be exempted (on the ground of obedience) it must be shown that both the
person who gives the order and the person who executes it are acting within the limitations
prescribed by law.
The falsification and fraud which the private respondents committed against their
employer were inexcusable. Major Asaytuno's initials on the false entries in their time cards did
not purge the documents of their falsity. Their acts constituted dishonesty and serious
misconduct, lawful grounds for their dismissal under Art. 282, sub-pars. (a) and (c), of the
Labor Code.