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Bello vs Bonifacio Security


Bonifacio Security Services, Inc. (BSSI) hired Bello as a roving

traffic marshal to manage traffic and to conduct security and safetyrelated operations in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). In August 2001,
Bello was posted at the Negros Navigation Company in Pier 2, North
Harbor, to supervise sectoral operations. In November 2001, he was
assigned at BGC as assistant detachment commander. After a week, he
was transferred to Pacific Plaza Towers as assistant detachment
commander and later as detachment commander. In June 2002, he was
assigned at Pier 2, North Harbor as assistant detachment commander,
but later reassigned to BGC. In August 2002, the BSSI hired a new
operations manager, resulting in the reorganization of posts. In
October 2002, Bello was assigned as roving traffic marshal at the BGC.
On November 5, 2002, Bello filed a complaint against the BSSI
and its General Manager, respondent Samuel Tomas, with the National
Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), claiming that he had been
constructively dismissed when he was demoted from a detachment
commander to a mere traffic marshal. He alleged that he received a
series of promotions from 2001 to 2002, from traffic marshal to
supervisor, to assistant detachment commander, and to detachment
commander. BSSI denied the allegations


Is there constructive dismissal?

No, Case law defines constructive dismissal as a cessation of
work because continued employment has been rendered impossible,
unreasonable, or unlikely, as when there is a demotion in rank or
diminution in pay, or both, or when a clear discrimination, insensibility,
or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee.
There is no constructive dismissal. Other than his bare and selfserving allegations, Bello has not offered any evidence that he was
promoted in a span of four months since his employment as traffic
marshal in July 2001 to a detachment commander in November 2001.
During his six-month probationary period of employment, it is highly
improbable that Bello would be promoted after just a month of
employment, from a traffic marshal in July 2001 to supervisor in August
2001, and three months later to assistant detachment commander and
to detachment commander in November 2001. At most, the BSSI
merely changed his assignment or transferred him to the post where
his service would be most beneficial to its clients. The management's
prerogative of transferring and reassigning employees from one area of
operation to another in order to meet the requirements of the business
is generally not constitutive of constructive dismissal. We see this to be
the case in the present dispute so that the consequent reassignment of
Bello to a traffic marshal post was well within the scope of the BSSIs
management prerogative.

NLRC, St. Jude vs Salgarino


In April 1988, respondent Maria Bernadette A. Salgarino was

employed by petitioner St. Jude Catholic School as Mathematics
teacher. She was tasked to teach Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics and
Analytical Geometry for third and fourth year high school students.
On 15 February 1999, or two weeks before the fourth periodical
test of that school year, respondent went on maternity leave. She was
expected to be back in petitioner school on 19 March 1999. During her
official leave, she conducted make-up tests in her house in order to
improve the grades of some of her students. However, this was done
by the respondent without the prior permission of petitioners. At this
same period, her co-teachers, Ms. Maria Luisa Capistrano (Capistrano),
Mrs. Angelita Rivera and Mrs. Michel Bongyad substituted for her in her
classes. On 2 March 1999, the periodical test for Mathematics IV was
conducted and the same was administered by Capistrano, since
respondent was still on leave.
While on leave, she conducted make-up tests out of
humanitarian reasons after seeing that some of the students failed as
computed and graded by the said substitute teachers. These tests
were done in her home and were without permission from the school
which is in violation of the rules set on make-up tests.


Was there grave misconduct?

No, Misconduct is defined as improper or wrong conduct. It is the
transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a
forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character and implies
wrongful intent and not mere error of judgment. The misconduct
to be serious within the meaning of the act must be of such a grave
and aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant. Such
misconduct, however serious, must nevertheless be in connection with
the work of the employee to constitute just cause from his separation.
There is no evidence to show that there was ulterior motive on
the part of the respondent when she decided to pass her students.
Also, it was not shown that respondent received immoral consideration
when she did the same. From the Labor Arbiter up to this Court,
respondent has maintained her stand that her decision to pass the
concerned students was done out of humanitarian consideration.

Aparante vs NLRC

Petitioner Rolando Aparante, Sr. was first employed by private

respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc. (CCBPI), General Santos City
Plant as assistant mechanic in April 1970. He rose through the ranks to
eventually hold the position of advertising foreman until his
termination on May 12, 1988 for alleged violation of company rules
and regulations.
On November 9, 1987 at around 10:30 in the morning, petitioner
drove private respondent's advertising truck with plate number LBV970 to install a panel sign. While traversing Zenia St. Ext., Polomolok,
South Cotabato, petitioner sideswiped Marilyn Tejero, a ten-year old
girl. Petitioner brought Tejero to Heramil Clinic for first aid treatment.
As the girl suffered a 2 cm. fracture on her skull which was attributed
to the protruding bolt on the truck's door, she was subsequently
transferred to the General Santos City Doctor's Hospital where she
underwent surgical operation. She stayed in the hospital for about a
On May 12, 1988, private respondent dismissed petitioner from
employment for having violated the company rules and regulations
particularly Sec. 12 of Rule 005-85 for blatant disregard of established
control procedures resulting in company damages amounting to
He contends that he would not have been terminated from
service pursuant to Sec. 12 of Rule 005-85 of CCBPI's Code of
Disciplinary Rules and Regulations which provides that: A first, second
and third offense is punishable only by a suspension of 6 days, 15
days, and 30 days, respectively. The penalty of "discharge" is
imposed only after the fourth offense or when the damage caused
upon private respondent is more than P5,000.00. (Emphasis supplied)


Was there a willful disobedience?

In order that an employer may dismiss an employee on the
ground of willful disobedience, there must be concurrence of at least
two requisites: the employee's assailed conduct must have been willful
or intentional, the willfulness being characterized by a wrongful and
perverse attitude; and the order violated must have been reasonable,
lawful, made known to the employee and must pertain to the duties
which he had been engaged to discharge. 24 We have found these
requisites to be present in the case at bar. The extant evidence on
record clearly reveals the willful act of petitioner Aparente in driving
without a valid driver's license, a fact that he even tried to conceal
during the investigation conducted by private respondent. Such
misconduct should not be rewarded with re-employment and
backwages, for to do so would wreak havoc on the disciplinary rules
that employees are required to observe. The law warrants the
dismissal of an employee without making any distinction between a
first offender and a habitual delinquent where the totality of the
evidence was sufficient to warrant his dismissal. In protecting the
rights of the laborer, the law authorizes neither oppression nor selfdestruction of the employer.

Challenge Socks Corp. vs CA

Elvie Buguat was hired on January 17, 1997 by petitioner
Challenge Socks Corporation as knitting operator. In the course of her
employment, she incurred absences and tardiness without prior
approval and had been neglectful of her duties. On May 25, 1998, she
failed to check the socks she was working on causing excess use of
yarn and damage to the socks design. She was suspended for five
days and warned that a repetition of the same act would mean
dismissal from the service. On February 2, 1999, she committed the
same infraction and was given a warning. Despite the previous
warnings, Buguat continued to be habitually absent and inattentive to
her task. On March 1, 1999, she again failed to properly count the
bundle of socks assigned to her. Thus, on March 2, 1999, petitioner
terminated her services on grounds of habitual absenteeism without
prior leave, tardiness and neglect of work.

Is there habitual neglect of duties?

Yes, there was habitual neglect of duties. One of the just causes
for terminating an employment under Article 282 of the Labor Code is
gross and habitual neglect by the employee of her duties. This cause
includes gross inefficiency, negligence and carelessness. Such just
causes is derived from the right of the employer to select and engage
his employees.
In the instant case, there is no doubt that Buguat was habitually
absent, tardy and neglectful of her duties. We agree with the Court of
Appeals that:
Elvies commission of three (3) violations of the companys rules
and regulations, including her unauthorized absences and tardiness, all
committed in the span of two years, shows that she did not only fail to
observe due diligence in performing her job, but she has little regard
for the consequences of her acts and inactions. She repeatedly
committed error in counting the socks to be given to the Looping
Section. As a knitting operator, Elvie was required to check the socks
she was working on and to count the bundles of socks she had to pack
to be forwarded to the Looping Section. Elvie did not question the
authenticity of the May 25, 1998 suspension letter and the February 2,
1999 memorandum.
While a first violation could be considered excusable, repeated
commission of the same offense could be considered willful
disobedience. Elvie, despite the suspension and warning, continued to
disregard the company rules and regulations.
Habitual neglect implies repeated failure to perform ones duties
for a period of time. Buguats repeated acts of absences without leave
and her frequent tardiness reflect her indifferent attitude to and lack of
motivation in her work. Her repeated and habitual infractions,
committed despite several warnings, constitute gross misconduct.
Habitual absenteeism without leave constitute gross negligence and is
sufficient to justify termination of an employee.

National Sugar Refineries Corp. vs NLRC

In line with the Raw and Refined Sugar Exchange Program,
Pabiona was appointed as Sugar Accountant-Bookkeeper. She was
tasked to maintain records of all transactions pertaining to the Raw
and Refined Sugar Exchange Program, validate Raw Sugar
Quedans submitted by Exchange participants prior to issuance of
theRefined Sugar Delivery Orders only after validation procedures have
been properly complied with. The procedures consisted of (a)
substantiating the Raw Sugar Quedans by checking if these were
properly signed by the authorized surveyor in accordance with the preagreed scope of services, weights, manner of weighing, calibration
procedures, and the absence/presence of representatives; (c) checking
the mathematical accuracy of the quantities shown in the quedans;
and, (d) computing the refined sugar equivalent of the raw sugar
exchanged based on POL analyses/refining yield.
When the books of NASUREFCO were audited in 1990 anomalous
and irregular transactions were uncovered in theRaw Sugar Movement
Report.After the formal investigation, NASUREFCO terminated the
services of Pabiona for willful violation of company policies, gross and
habitual neglect of duties, and willful breach of trust. Thus Pabiona
filed her complaint with the Labor Arbiter for illegal dismissal. On the
other hand, NASUREFCO maintained that the dismissal was for a just
cause after proper procedures were observed, hence, legal and valid.

Is there willful breach of trust?

Yes, The basic premise for dismissal on the ground of loss of
confidence is that the employee concerned holds a position of trust
and confidence. It is the breach of this trust that results in the
employer's loss of confidence in the employee. Under Art. 282 of the
Labor Code, as amended, loss of confidence would be the result of
"fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by
his employer or duly authorized representative," a just cause for
termination. It cannot be gainsaid that the breach of trust must be
related to the performance of the employee's functions.
Contrary to the findings of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, the
infractions committed by Pabiona were directly within the purview of
her job description. It was only through her active participation and
involvement in the illicit infringement of the company's accounting
procedures that some clients of NASUREFCO were able to withdraw
refined sugar in larger quantities to the prejudice of the latter.
Neglect of duty, to be a ground for dismissal, must be both gross
and habitual. 4 In the instant case, Pabiona's neglect of duty was gross.
As her position related to money matters, she was expected and
required to be extra vigilant in the performance of her job as it
involved the financial interest of the company. She was also habitually
remiss in her duties. She issued a Refined Sugar Delivery Order to
Shantung Commercial without first examining the corresponding Raw
Quedan and Delivery
Commercial was able to withdraw a larger quantity of refined sugar
than what was allowable to it. In another instance, Pabiona again
issued a Refined Sugar Delivery Order to Shantung Commercial
without the corresponding Raw Sugar Quedan. Thus, NASUREFCO was

not able to collect raw sugar from Shantung Commercial equivalent to

the refined sugar it had withdrawn. Thirdly, Pabiona made it appear
that in 1989 Dacongcogon Producers endorsed more than 200,000
piculs of raw sugar to NASUREFCO thereby allowing it to qualify in
the Volume Incentive Program under which NASUREFCO would pay
P1.00 per picul of raw sugar to every planter that endorsed 200,000
piculs or more of raw sugar to NASUREFCO. The fact that NASUREFCO
did not suffer losses from the anomalies committed by Pabiona
because of timely discovery does not excuse the latter as she was very
much aware that her acts would be greatly prejudicial to NASUREFCO.

Grand Asian vs Galvez et al.


Complainants filed a labor complaint for illegal dismissal and

monetary claims against their employer defendant Grand Asian
Shipping Lines, Inc. (GASLI), and its President Eduardo P. Francisco, and
General Manager William How.
GASLI is engaged in transporting liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
from Petron Corporations refinery in Limay, Bataan to Petrons Plant in
Ugong, Pasig and Petrons Depot in Rosario, Cavite. Complainants are
crewmembers of one of GASLIs vessels, M/T Dorothy Uno, with the
following designations: Wilfredo Galvez (Galvez) as Captain; Joel Sales
(Sales) as Chief Mate; Cristito Gruta (Gruta) as Chief Engineer; Danilo
Arguelles (Arguelles) as Radio Operator; Renato Batayola (Batayola),
Patricio Fresmillo (Fresmillo) and Jovy Noble (Noble) as Able Seamen;
Emilio Dominico (Dominico) and Benny Nilmao (Nilmao) as Oilers; and
Jose Austral (Austral) as 2nd Engineer.
Sometime afterwards, one of the vessels Oilers, Richard Abis
(Abis), reported to GASLIs Office and Crewing Manager, Elsa
Montegrico (Montegrico), an alleged illegal activity being committed by
respondents aboard the vessel. Abis revealed that after about four to
five voyages a week, a substantial volume of fuel oil is unconsumed
and stored in the vessels fuel tanks. However, Gruta would misdeclare
it as consumed fuel in the Engineers Voyage Reports. Then, the saved
fuel oil is siphoned and sold to other vessels out at sea usually at
nighttime. Respondents would then divide among themselves the
proceeds of the sale. Abis added that he was hesitant at first to report
respondents illegal activities for fear for his life.
After an audit and investigation, GASLIs internal auditor issued a
Certification of Overstatement of Fuel Oil Consumption for M/T Dorothy
stating that fuel oil consumption was overstated by 6,954.3 liters
amounting to P74,737.86 from 30 June 1999 to 15 February 2000.
Thus, a criminal complaint for qualified theft was filed against
complainants. It was subsequently filed in court. Throughout, GASLI
placed complainants in preventive suspension. After conducting
administrative hearings, defendants terminated the employment of


Is there valid dismissal on ground of breach of trust?

As for the second ground for respondents termination, which is
loss of trust and confidence, distinction should be made between
managerial and rank and file employees. "[W]ith respect to rank-andfile personnel, loss of trust and confidence, as ground for valid
dismissal, requires proof of involvement in the alleged events x x x
[while for] managerial employees, the mere existence of a basis for
believing that such employee has breached the trust of his employer
would suffice for his dismissal."
In the case before us, Galvez, as the ship captain, is considered a
managerial employee since his duties involve the governance, care
and management of the vessel. Gruta, as chief engineer, is also a

managerial employee for he is tasked to take complete charge of the

technical operations of the vessel. As captain and as chief engineer,
Galvez and Gruta perform functions vested with authority to execute
management policies and thereby hold positions of responsibility over
the activities in the vessel. Indeed, their position requires the full trust
and confidence of their employer for they are entrusted with the
custody, handling and care of company property and exercise authority
over it.
Thus, we find that there is some basis for the loss of confidence
reposed on Galvez and Gruta. The certification issued by De la Rama
stated that there is an overstatement of fuel consumption. Notably,
while respondents made self-serving allegations that the computation
made therein is erroneous, they never questioned the competence of
De la Rama to make such certification. Neither did they question the
authenticity and validity of the certification. Thus, the fact that there
was an overstatement of fuel consumption and that there was loss of a
considerable amount of diesel fuel oil remained unrefuted. Their failure
to account for this loss of company property betrays the trust reposed
and expected of them. They had violated petitioners trust and for
which their dismissal is justified on the ground of breach of confidence.
As for Arguelles, Batayola, Fresnillo, Noble, Dominico, Nilmao and
Austral, proof of involvement in the loss of the vessels fuel as well as
their participation in the alleged theft is required for they are ordinary
rank and file employees. And as discussed above, no substantial
evidence exists in the records that would establish their participation in
the offense charged. This renders their dismissal illegal, thus, entitling
them to reinstatement plus full backwages, inclusive of allowances and
other benefits, computed from the time of their dismissal up to the
time of actual reinstatement.

Paulino vs NLRC

On 16 January 1995, petitioner, who was then employed by

private respondent PLDT as Cable Splicer III, surrendered his service
vehicle to PLDTs motor pool for body repairs. For this reason, he
unloaded the company-issued plant materials contained in the vehicle
and stored them at his residence for safekeeping.

For 1 month and 11 days, PLDTs properties were in the custody

of petitioner. Thus, on 27 February 1995, members of the Philippine
National Police (PNP), armed with a search warrant.
Three years later, after the criminal case for qualified theft had been
terminated for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, petitioner filed a Complaint for Illegal Dismissal
which the Labor Arbiter (LA) dismissed for utter lack of merit.13 The LA
found petitioners possession of valuable and material company
properties to be highly suspect.14 In addition, it was "fully irregular that
a highly efficient Company, such as herein respondent, would allow
any of its employees to place expensive and necessary properties for
personal safe-keeping."

Was the dismissal valid?

Yes, proof beyond reasonable doubt of an employees misconduct
is not required in dismissing an employee. Rather, as opposed to the
"proof beyond reasonable doubt" standard of evidence required in
criminal cases, labor suits require only substantial evidence to prove
the validity of the dismissal.
Willful breach of trust or loss of confidence requires that the
employee (1) occupied a position of trust or (2) was routinely charged
with the care of the employers property. As correctly appreciated by
the CA, petitioner was charged with the care and custody of PLDTs
To warrant dismissal based on loss of confidence, there must be
some basis for the loss of trust or the employer must have reasonable
grounds to believe that the employee is responsible for misconduct
that renders the latter unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded
by his or her position. Here, petitioner disputes the sufficiency of
PLDTs basis for loss of trust and confidence. He alleges that he did not
steal the plant materials, considering that he had lawful possession.
However, assuming that he lawfully possessed the materials,
PLDT still had ample reason or basis to already distrust petitioner. For
more than a month, he did not even inform PLDT of the whereabouts of
the plant materials. Instead, he stocked these materials at his
residence even if they were needed in the daily operations of the
company.1wphi1 In keeping with the honesty and integrity demanded
by his position, he should have turned over these materials to the
plants warehouse.

Paiste vs Mamenta

These consolidated administrative cases arose from two different

complaints filed against respondent Aproniano V. Mamenta, Jr., Clerk of
Court II, Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Tayug-San Nicolas,
In A.M. No. P-03-1699 (formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 01-1202-P),
evidence shows that complainant Goltiao is a Stenographer I of the
MCTC. She testified that on August 7, 2000, at about 3:00 p.m., a
representative from the Plaridel Insurance Co. came to their office
seeking clearance. She immediately prepared the necessary form and,
together with the representative, went to see respondent in the
courtroom to obtain his signature. When she asked him to sign the
document, respondent, who was at that time playing a card game at
the lawyers table with unnamed individuals, got angry and threw his
cards. He shouted at her: Why did you bring them with you? Did you
like them to bring me to the Supreme Court? She responded that such
was not her intention and reminded him of his requirement that he
must first see the applicants before he sign their clearance. He did not
sign the clearance, sent them out and shouted Bullshit ka! at her
thrice. They all then went out of the courtroom and proceeded back to
the staff room. She went to her table and buried her face in her hands,
crying. Respondent followed her and continued uttering unsavory
remarks: Bullshit ka! Vulva of your mother! Why did you take the client
there and even raised your voice? She replied that her parents taught
them not to answer back at older people. He still shouted: Vulva of
your mother! I wish you will die now! Whom are you bragging of? We
will try each other. Thereafter, he asked the utility aide to buy him four
bottles of beer.
Goltiao declared that her working relationship with the
respondent is sometimes good and sometimes bad because of his ill
temper. He easily gets mad at her even for small, trivial mistakes. This
situation started, according to her, when she told him to stop courting
and sending her love notes as she is already a married woman. She
related an incident which happened early one morning when he asked
her to see him inside the judges chamber. At that time, the designated
judge was not around. Once inside, she was told to sit in one of the
chairs in front of the judges table. The respondent, who was sitting at
the judges chair, then extended his hand to her, as if he wanted to
shake her hands. She reciprocated by extending her hands and jokingly
put his hands on her forehead. She afterwards tried to free her hands
off his but he would not let her. Instead, he told her, Wait for a while, I
would just like to tell you something. I love you, is that okay? Tell me
that you love me too. No strings attached. She retorted, As if you are
my father. Spurned, he got mad. This kind of incident happened at
least ten more times. She did not respond affirmatively to his display of
affection as both of them are married. Finally, she explained that she
filed a complaint against him only on August 10, 2001 because of the
August 7, 2001 incident, when she got fed up at the way he treated


Was there sexual assault?


Yes, there was sexual assault. Under the circumstances, we find

respondent guilty of sexual harassment. His severely outrageous acts,
which are an affront to women, constitute sexual harassment because
they necessarily result in an intimidating, hostile, and offensive
working environment for his female subordinates. He abused the
power and authority he exercises over them, which is the gravamen of
the offense in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace
is not about a man taking advantage of a woman by reason of sexual
desire it is about power being exercised by a superior over his women
subordinates. That power emanates from the fact that he can remove
them if they refuse his amorous advances.

GT Printers vs NLRC
Ricardo was promoted to the position of production manager of GT Printers. In 1978,
he became general manager after the untimely demise of the owner's husband, who held
that position. In February, 1985, Ricardo's wife established Insta Printers, a rival printing
press, with Edwin Ricardo himself as consultant and owner. Since the establishment of Insta
Printers, Ricardo became a habitual absentee from his job at GT Printers. He neglected his
duties and responsibilities, and became lax in directing and supervising the work force,
resulting in numerous major printing errors and failure to meet printing specifications leading
to the rejection of several job orders from regular customers. Mrs. Barba noticed that Ricardo
not only used GT Printers' bookcloth and other printing materials for his Insta Printers, but he
also gave specific instructions to the production staff to give priority to book and magazine
job orders for Insta Printers. Eventually, the regular customers of GT Printers were pirated by
Insta Printers. Ricardo also manipulated price quotations during the canvassing of bids to
favor his own outfit instead of GT Printers. Because of those irregularities, GT Printers
suspended Ricardo as general manager for 30 days.


Is there conflict of interest?

Yes, there was. The security of tenure accorded to labor under the Constitution does
not embrace infractions of accepted company rules amounting to breach of trust and loss of
confidence (Rosello, Jr. vs. NLRC, 190 SCRA 779). The right of an employer to dismiss a
managerial employee for breach of trust and loss of confidence, as in this case, cannot be
doubted. As a measure of self-preservation against acts inimical to its interests, an employer
has the right to dismiss an employee found committing acts of dishonesty and disloyalty. The
employer may not be compelled to continue to employ such a person whose continuance in
the service would patently be inimical to his employer's interest (Colgate Palmolive Phils. Inc.
vs. Ople, 163 SCRA 323). The dismissal of a dishonest employee is in the best interest not
only of management but also of labor for the law never intended to impose an unjust
situation on either labor or management (Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc. vs. NLRC, 172 SCRA
Reinstatement would be ill-advised and incompatible with the labor arbiter's finding
that "from those documentary evidences presented by respondent, it can be safely
conclude[d] that . . . there exist visible conflict of interest amounting to willful breach of trust
and confidence repose (sic) upon him by his employer, . . . as well as (b) habitual neglect of
his duties . . ." (pp. 216-217, Rollo). The reinstatement of erring managers may not be
ordered with the same ease and liberality as rank and file workers (Pacific Cement Co., Inc.
vs. NLRC, 173 SCRA 192).