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Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corp., and Herbert C.

Hendry
v. Court of Appeals and Restituto M. Tobias
G.R. No. 81262
August 25, 1989
DOCTRINES:
The right of the employer to dismiss an employee should not be confused with the manner in which the
right is exercised and the effects flowing therefrom. If the dismissal is done abusively, then the employer
is liable for damages to the employee.
FACTS:
Restituto Tobias was employed by petitioner Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation. He
discovered fraudulent transactions and reported them to his immediate superior Eduardo Ferraren and to
General Manager Herbert Hendry. One day after his report, Tobias was confronted by Hendry stating that
the former is the number one suspect and ordering him to take a one week forced leave. After a week,
Tobias returned to work and was ordered to take a lie detector test. He was also instructed to submit
specimen of his handwriting, signature, and initials for examination by the police investigators to
determine his complicity in the anomalies. Later on, Tobias was cleared of participation in the anomalies.
Despite the police report clearing Tobias, petitioners hired a private investigator who submitted a
report finding Tobias guilty. Thereafter, Hendry issued a memorandum suspending Tobias from work.
Petitioners filed six complaints, including estafa through falsification of commercial documents, against
the latter. All six criminal complaints were dismissed by the fiscal. Petitioners appealed with the Secretary
of Justice who affirmed the dismissal.
In the meantime, Tobias was terminated by the petitioners prompting the former to file a case of
illegal dismissal. Such complaint was dismissed by the labor arbiter. Pending its appeal, the parties
entered into a compromised agreement. Tobias sought employment with another company. However,
Hendry wrote a letter to such company stating that Tobias was dismissed by Globe Mackay due to
dishonesty.
Tobias filed a civil case for damages, which was granted by the RTC and affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE:
Whether petitioners are liable for damages to private respondent
HELD:
The Supreme Court ruled that the petitioner clearly failed to exercise, in a legitimate manner,
their right to dismiss Tobias, giving the latter the right to recover damages under Article 19 in relation to
Article 21 of the Civil Code. The question of whether the principle of abuse of rights has been violated
resulting in damages under Article 20 or 21 or other applicable provision of law, depends on the
circumstances of each case. And in the instant case, the Court, after examining the record and considering
certain significant circumstances, finds that all petitioners have indeed abused the right they invoke,
causing damage to private respondent and for which the latter must now be indemnified.

The right of the employer to dismiss an employee should not be confused with the manner in
which the right is exercised and the effects flowing therefrom. If the dismissal is done abusively, then the
employer is liable for damages to the employee.