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Villaram vs NLRC P filed an illegal dismissal case

September 2, 1994 LA held that due process was not observed because there was no
GR No 106341 valid cause. LA ordered his reinstatement without loss of seniority
Puno, J. rights and backwages, moral damages, exemplary damages and
attys fees
SUMMARY: P was employed as Materials Manager by Golden Donuts. He NLRC reversed LA. Dismissal was valid
was charged with sexual harassment by Gonzaga, a clerk typist. She was
invited to a dinner. When P offered to bring her home, he instead drove his ISSUES
car to a motel. Gonzaga then resigned from work. P initially agreed to be (1) WON Ps right to procedural due process was violated YES because
separated from the company but later changed his mind. He was claiming he was not given an opportunity to be heard
that his error was not enough to justify such termination. Since he failed to (2) WON he was dismissed for a valid or just cause YES. Loss of trust
submit his resignation letter, he was terminated. He filed an illegal dismissal and confidence is a good ground for dismissing a managerial EE
case. LA ruled that due process was not observed and that there was no
valid ground. NLRC reversed. SC ruled that P shouldve filed for a MFR HELD:
instead of a certiorari. But the Court still ruled on the substantive issues. (1)
Ps right to due process was violated since he was not given an opportunity Procedural issue: Must have filed for a motion for reconsideration
to be heard. (2) Loss of trust and confidence was a valid ground to dismiss instead of a certiorari. However, the court still ruled on the substantive
him. As managerial EE, P is bound by a more exacting work ethics. He failed issue
to live up to this higher standard of responsibility. When such moral
perversity is perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides justifiable (1) SC ruled that the petition was not accompanied by a certified true
ground for his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence. SC ruled that P was copy of the NLRC Resolution which violated the Revised Circular No.
not entitled to separation pay, moral and exemplary damages but was 1-88
entitled to his unused vacation/sick leave and proportionate 13 th month pay. (2) There was no certification under oath that P has not commenced any
other action involving the same issues in the SC, CA or other tribunal
FACTS: and that to the best of his knowledge, no such action or proceeding
is pending as required by Circular No. 28-91
P was employed by PR Golden Donuts as Materials Manager (3) Non-compliance would result in the outright dismissal of the petition
P was charged with sexual harassment by Divina Gonzaga, a clerk- (4) Revised ROC 64 provides that certiorari is available in cases where
typist assigned in his department. This led her to resign from work the tribunal, board or offices has acted without or in excess of its
after her 5 months stay in the company jurisdiction or with GAD and there is no appeal, nor any plain,
o Story: She, along with all the girls in her department, were speedy and adequate remedy
invited for dinner. They went to a restaurant where they ate a. Proper remedy was a Motion For Reconsideration not
and had a few drinks. They decided to bring her home but certiorari
Mr. Villarama, instead of bringing her home, drove the car to
a motel Substantive Issues
The president of the company called the P to a meeting and was
asked to explain. P later agreed to tender his resignation. His LOA (1) SC ruled that terminating an EE is found in LC 227(b) which provides that
with pay was approved by the company. Company then issued a EEs are protected against dismissal except for a just and authorized cause
memo advising all concerned that P was no longer connected. and without prejudice to the requirement of notice under LC 283 (ER shall
P was asked to submit his resignation letter. However, P had a furnish EE a written notice containing a statement of the causes and shall
change of mind. He asked reconsideration of the managements be given ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the
decision to terminate him. He was claiming that assistance of his counsel.
o his significant contribution of the materials department for 21
months outweighs the error that he had committed and that Such procedure protects both R&F and managerial EEs. Both have a right to
o an error must not be a basis for a drastic decision. security of tenure as provided in Art 13 Sec 3 of the Consti. In this case, P
Since P failed to submit his resignation letter, he was dismissed decided to ask reconsideration of his termination. He felt that the gravity of
his error did not justify his dismissal. P should have been formally charged perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides justifiable ground for his
and given an opportunity to refute the charges. dismissal for lack of trust and confidence. It is the duty of every ER to protect
his EEs from over sexed superiors.
(2) P claims that his alleged immoral act was unsubstantiated hence he could
not be dismissed ERs are given wider latitude of discretion in terminating the employment of
managerial EEs on the ground of lack of trust and confidence.
SC holds otherwise. Records show that P was confronted with the charge
against him. He initially voluntarily agreed to be separated and took a LOA. P Re monetary awards
in his letter admitted his error. As a manager, P should know the evidentiary
value of his admissions. Hence, he cannot complain that there was no valid (1) Not entitled to separation pay since it is only proper in cases
cause of his separation. enumerated under LC 283 and 284 and in cases where there is
illegal dismissal and reinstatement is no longer feasible. But ER can
SC ruled that loss of trust and confidence is a good ground for dismissing a still be penalized for failure to give formal notice and conduct the
managerial EE. The standard of evidence used in this case is substantial necessary investigation before dismissing an EE
evidence. SolGen observed that even if De Jesus and Gonzaga were (2) Not entitled to moral and exemplary damages since there was no BF
sweethearts and that she acceded to De Jesus to drop them in the motel, P or malice on the part of PR in terminating him
still acted in collusion with the immoral designs of De Jesus and did not give (3) Entitled to his unused vacation/sick leave and proportionate 13 th
due regard to Gonzagas feelings, thereby justifying PRs finding of sexual month pay. These are earned by P and should be unaffected by his
harassment. P failed to act accordingly as a good father of the family separation
because he was not able to maintain his moral ascendancy over the group.
He also actively facilitated the commission of immoral conduct of his
subordinates by driving his car into the motel.

As managerial EE, P is bound by a more exacting work ethics. He failed to


live up to this higher standard of responsibility. When such moral perversity is