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CASE DIGEST 1

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Waterouse Drug Corporation v. NLRC
Posted on April 2, 2013 by winnieclaire
Standard
G.R. No. 113271. October 16, 1997

Facts: Antonia Melodia Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by Waterous Drug Corp.
Catolico sold to YSP Inc. 10 bottles of Voren Tablets at P384 per unit. However, the normal
selling price is P320 per unit. Catolico overcharged by P64 per unit for a total of P640. YSP
sent a check payable to Catolico as a “refund” for the jacked-up price. It was sent in an
envelope addressed to her. Saldana, the clerk of Waterous Drug Corp. opened the envelope and
saw that there was a check for P640 for Catolico.

Waterous Drug Corp. ordered the termination of Catolico for acts of dishonesty.

NLRC: Dismissed the Petition. Evidence of respondents (check from YSP) being rendered
inadmissible, by virtue of the constitutional right invoked by complainants.

Petitioners: In the light of the decision in the People v. Marti, the constitutional protection
against unreasonable searches and seizures refers to the immunity of one’s person from
interference by government and cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals
so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government.

Issue: W/N the check is admissible as evidence
Held: Yes.
Ratio: (People vs. Marti) Marti ruling: The Bill of Rights does not protect citizens from
unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals.
It is not true, as counsel for Catolico claims, that the citizens have no recourse against such
assaults. On the contrary, and as said counsel admits, such an invasion gives rise to both
criminal and civil liabilities. Despite this, the SC ruled that there was insufficient evidence of
cause for the dismissal of Catolico from employment Suspicion is not among the valid causes
provided by the Labor Code for the termination of Employment.

CASE DIGEST 2:

WATEROUS DRUG VS. NLRC [280 SCRA 735 ; G.R.NO.
113271; 16 OCT 1997]
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by petitioner Waterous Drug

in her memorandum dated 37 January 1990. Forthwith. as this would impair the company's control of purchases and. On the same date." since fellow employee Irene Soliven "obtained the medicines in bad faith and through misrepresentation when she claimed that she was given a charge slip by the Admitting Dept. 266 for her to be able to make a satisfactory explanation. within twenty-four hours." On 29 January 1990. she would be placed on preventive suspension to protect the interests of the company. WATEROUS Control Clerk Eugenio Valdez informed Co that he noticed an irregularity involving Catolico and Yung Shin Pharmaceuticals. WATEROUS Supervisor Luzviminda E." Catolico then asked the company to look into the fraudulent activities of Soliven. her side of the reported irregularity. Catolico requested access to the file containing Sales Invoice No. Catolico did not deny herresponsibility but explained that her act was "due to negligence. Inc. However. and she was granted a 48-hour extension from 1 to 3 February 1990. on 2 February 1990. In said letter she protested Saldaña'sinvasion of her privacy when Saldaña opened an envelope addressed to Catolico. In a memorandum dated 21 November 1989. besides she was not authorized to deal directly with the suppliers. Co issued anothermemorandum to Catolico warning her not to negotiate with suppliers of medicine without consulting the Purchasing Department.Corporation on 15 August 1988. On 31 July 1989. Catolicoreceived a memorandum from WATEROUS Vice President-General Manager Emma R. Co asked Catolico to explain. As regards the first memorandum. Bautro warned Catolico against the "rush delivery ofmedicines without the proper documents. In a letter dated 2 February 1990. she was informed that effective 6 February 1990 to 7 March 1990. Co warning her not to dispense medicine to employees chargeable to the latter's accounts because the same was a prohibited practice. . Catolico asked for additional time to give her explanation.

Hence. through her counsel. it declared that the check was inadmissible in evidence pursuant to Sections 2 and 3(1 and 2) of Article III of the Constitution." and to show that any investigation was conducted. In its decision of 30 September 1993. issued amemorandum notifying Catolico of her termination. the dismissal was without just cause and due process. explained that the check she received from YSP was a Christmas gift and not a "refund of overprice. by virtue of the constitutional right invoked by complainants." She also averred that the preventive suspension was ill-motivated. Nevertheless. It concluded: With the smoking gun evidence of respondents being rendered inadmissible. On 5 March 1990. Irene Soliven. which her co-employee saw when the latter opened the envelope. Petitioners seasonably appealed from the decision and urged the NLRC to set it aside because the Labor Arbiter erred in finding that Catolico was denied due process and that there was no just cause to terminate her services. Catolico. It found that petitioner's evidence consisted only of the check of P640. He thus declared the dismissal and suspension illegal but disallowed reinstatement. On 5 May 1990. illegal dismissal. and illegal suspension. WATEROUS Supervisor Luzviminda Bautro. he decided in favor of Catolico because petitioners failed to "prove what alleged as complainant's dishonesty. But.00 drawn by YSP in favor of complainant. Labor Arbiter Alex Arcadio Lopez found no proof of unfair labor practice against petitioners. The NLRC then dismissed the appeal for lack of merit. the NLRC affirmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were not able to prove a just cause for Catolico's dismissal from her employment. Catolico filed before the Office of the Labor Arbiter a complaint for unfair labor practice. respondents' case falls apart as it is bereft of evidence which cannot be used as a legal basis for complainant's dismissal.In a letter to Co dated 10 February 1990. In his decision of 10 May 1993. as it sprang from an earlier incident between her and Co's secretary. but modified the dispositive .

In her Comment. They also maintained that Catolico occupied a confidential position and that Catolico's receipt of YSP's check. although Catolico was given an opportunity to explain her side. Issue: Whether or Not the dismissal of the private respondent is in violation of the Constitution. it was inadmissible in evidence. Besides. and assisted by a representative if the employee so desires. including legal representation. Catolico was denied due process. she was dismissed from the service in the memorandum of 5 March 1990 issued by her Supervisor ." constituted breach of confidence. allowed ample opportunity to be heard and defend himself.86. hence. and that the check issued to her on 9 November 1989 was not the first or the last. and she had no duty to turn it over to her employer. In the case at bar. petitioners insist that Catolico had been receiving "commissions" from YSP. The check in issue was given to her. given reasonable time to answer the charge. aggravated by her "propensity to violate company rules. or probably from other suppliers. Procedural due process requires that an employee be apprised of the charge against him. And contrary to the findings of NLRC. under the Bill of Rights. as correctly held by the NLRC. Held: As to the first and second grounds.401. and there is no indication in the contentious check that it was meant as a refund for overpriced medicines. Company rules do not prohibit an employee from accepting gifts from clients. Catolico was given ample opportunity to explain her side of the controversy.portion of the appealed decision by deleting the award for illegal suspension as the same was already included in the computation of the aggregate of the awards in the amount of P35. Catolico asserts that petitioners' evidence is too "flimsy" to justify her dismissal. the check was discovered in violation of the constitutional provision on the right to privacy and communication. Ample opportunity connotes every kind of assistance that management must accord the employee to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense.

however. we will uphold the award of separation pay as fixed by the Labor Arbiter. Finally. and as said counsel admits. No hearing was ever conducted after the issues were joined through said letters. Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement is computed at one month's salary for every year of service. caprices. It is not true. On the contrary. the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED and the challenged decision and resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission dated 30 September 1993 and 2 December 1993. respectively. and even the dismissal of an employee for loss of trust and confidence must rest on substantial grounds and not on the employer's arbitrariness. Labor Arbiter Lopez computed the separation pay at one-half month's salary for every year of service. Catolico's dismissal then was obviously grounded on mere suspicion. Catolico was also unjustly dismissed. It is settled that the burden is on the employer to prove just and valid cause for dismissing an employee. As such. in NLRC-NCR CA No. such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil liabilities. or suspicion. that the Bill of Rights does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals. and its failure to discharge that burden would result in a finding that the dismissal is unjustified. that the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. It clearly appears then that Catolico's dismissal was based on hearsay information. Suspicion is not among the valid causes provided by the Labor Code for the termination of employment. to which class of employees the term "trust and confidence" is restricted. 005160-93 are . Catolico was not shown to be a managerial employee. In this case. whims. as counsel for Catolico claims. which in no case can justify an employee's dismissal. Catolico did not oppose or raise an objection. since it has been determined by the Labor Arbiter that Catolico's reinstatement would not be to the best interest of the parties. Besides.after receipt of her letter and that of her counsel. As regards the constitutional violation upon which the NLRC anchored its decision. WHEREFORE. he correctly awarded separation pay to Catolico.

AFFIRMED. Co issued another memorandum to Catolico warning her not to negotiate with suppliers of medicine without consulting the Purchasing Department.” since fellow employee Irene Soliven “obtained the medicines in bad faith and through misrepresentation when she claimed that she was given a charge slip by the Admitting Department. O n 3 1 J u l y 1989. However. Waterous Control Clerk E u ge n i o Va l d ez in fo r m e d C o t h at h e n o ti c e d a n i r re g u l a r i t y involving Catolico and Yung Shin Pharmaceuti cals. Catolico then a s ke d t h e co m p a ny to l o o k i nto t h e f ra u d u l e nt a c ti v i ti e s o f Soliven. On the same date.” On 29 January 1990.. as this would impair the co m p a ny ’s co nt ro l o f p u rc h a s e s a n d . Bautro warned Catolico a ga i n st t h e “ r u s h d e l i ve r y o f m e d i c i n e s w i t h o u t t h e p ro p e r documents. Inc. In a memorandum 9 dated 21 November 1989. Catolico did not deny her responsibility but explained that her act was “due to negligence. Valdez ta l ke d to M s . Catolico received a memorandum from Waterous Vice P re s i d e nt- G e n e ra l M a n a ge r E m m a R . Saldana. viz. C o wa r n i n g h e r n o t to d is p e n s e m e d i c i n e to e m p l o ye e s c h a rge a b l e to t h e l att e r ’s accounts because the same was a prohibited practi ce. NLRC [GR 113271. EDRC . As regards the first memorandum. upon conversati on with Ms. 16 October 1997] FACTS: Antonia Melodia Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by Wate ro u s D r u g C o r p o rati o n o n 1 5 Au g u st 1 9 8 8 . except as to its reason for upholding the Labor Arbiter's decision. C ato l i co re ga rd i n g t h e c h e c k b u t s h e d e n i e d having received it and that she is unaware of the overprice. b e s i d e s s h e wa s n o t authorized to deal directly with the suppliers. Waterous Supervisor Luzviminda E. CASE DIGEST 3: WATEROUS DRUG CORPORATION v. that the evidence against private respondent was inadmissible for having been obtained in violation of her constitutional rights of privacy of communication and against unreasonable searches and seizures which is hereby set aside.

Catolico. Fo r t h w i t h .” I t ap p e a rs t h at t h e a m o u nt i n question (P640. the dismissal was without just cause and due process.86.000. he decided in favor of Catolico because Waterous failed to “prove what [they]alleged as complainant’s dishonesty.” and to show that any investigation was conducted. w i t h in 2 4 h o u rs .00) had been pocketed by Ms. Labor Arbiter Alex Arcadio Lopez found no proof of unfair labor practi ce against Waterous.” She also averred that the preventi ve suspension was ill-moti vated. h e r s id e o f t h e reported irregularity. as it would not be to the best interest of the parti es. b a c k wa ge s fo r o n e ye a r . Nevertheless. Ms. illegal d is m i s s a l . As a matter of fact. the NLRC affi rmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were not able to prove a just cause for . Catolico even asked Ms. a n d t h e additional sum of P2. she confi rmed that the check amounti ng toP640. she was informed that effecti ve 6 February 1990 to 7 March 1990.401. Saldana answered her “ ta l a ga n g ga nya n . Catolico. In said letter she protested Saldaña’s invasion of her privacy when Saldaña opened an envelope addressed to Catolico.00 was actually received by Ms. i n h e r m e m o ra n d u m d ate d 3 1 J a n u a r y 1 9 90 . on 2 February 1990. Catolico requested access to the fi le containing Sales Invoice266 for her to be able to make a sati sfactory explanati on. In a letter dated 2 February 1990. as it sprang from an earlier incident between her and Co’s secretary. Waterous seasonably appealed from the decision and urged the NLRC to set it aside. b u ka s . On 5 May 1990. shewo u l d b e p l a c e d o n p re ve nti ve s u s p e n s i o n to p ro te c t t h e interests of the company. On 5 March 1990. However. issued a memorandum notifying Catolico of her terminati on. explained that the check she received from YSP was a Christmas gift and not a “refund of overprice. through her counsel. for a total of P35. In its decision of 30 September 1993. he awarded separati on pay to Catolico computed at one-half month’s payfo r e ve r y ye a r o f s e r v i c e . Catolico asked for additional time to give her explanation. In a letter15 to Co dated 10 February 1990. Catolico fi led before the Offi ce of the Labor Arbiter a complaint for unfair labor practi ce. Hence.Espana Pharmacy Clerk. Accordingly. and she was granted a 48-hour extension from 1 to 3 February 1990.00 for illegal suspension “representing 30 days work”. I n h is d e c i s i o n o f 1 0 M ay 1993. Saldana if she opened the envelope containing the check but Ms. Waterous Supervisor Luzviminda Bautro. Catolico. a n d i l l e ga l s u s p e n s i o n . C o a s ke d C ato l i co to ex p l a i n . He thus declared the dismissal and suspension illegal but disallowed reinstatement. Irene Soliven.

g i ve n reasonable time to answer the charge. Herein.401. such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil liabiliti es.Catolico’s dismissal from her employment. Marti that the Bill of Rights does not protect citi zens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private i n d i v i d u a l s . Waterous filed the special civil action for certiorari with the Supreme Court. and assisted by a representati ve if the employee so desires. she was dismissed from the service in the memorandum of 5 March 1990 issued by her Supervisor after receipt of her letter and that of her counsel. t h e consti tuti onal protecti on against unreasonable searches and seizures refers to the immunity of one’s person from interference by government and cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government. No hearing was ever conducted after the issues were joined through said letters. HELD: I n l i g h t o f t h e d e c i s i o n i n t h e P e o p l e v. I t i s n o t t r u e t h at t h e c i ti ze n s h ave n o re co u rs e against such assaults. M a r ti .86. Procedural due process requires that a n e m p l o ye e b e ap p r i s e d o f t h e ch a rge a ga i n st h i m . and thus dismissed the appeal for lack of merit. including legal representati on. Although Catolico was given an opportunity to explain her side. but modified the dispositive portion of the appealed decision by d e l e ti n g t h e awa rd fo r i l l e ga l s u s p e n s i o n a s t h e s am e wa s already included in the computati on of the aggregate of the awards in the amount of P35. and Waterouswas justi fied in opening an envelope from one of its regular s u p p l i e rs a s i t co u l d a s s u m e t h at t h e l e tt e r wa s a b u s in e s s communicati on in which it had an interest. Their motion for reconsideration having been denied. On the contrary. ISSUE: Whether Waterous’ act of opening an envelope from one of its regular suppliers is contrary to the injunction against unreasonable search and seizure and a person’s right to privacy of communication. The Court finds no reason to revise the doctrine laid down in People vs. The Supervisor ’s . Catolico was denied due process. Ample opportunity co n n o te s e ve r y k i n d o f a s s i sta n c e t h at m a n a ge m e nt m u st accord the employee to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense. allowed amply opportunity to be heard and defend himself. However. there was no violation of the right of privacy of communication.

the normal selling price is P320 per unit. the clerk of Waterous Drug Corp. What the “evidence” other than the sales invoice a n d t h e c h e c k we re . ordered the termination of Catolico for acts of dishonesty. Besides.” which were not. viz. caprices. Thus. that the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. Evidence of respondents (check from YSP) being rendered inadmissible. Marti. Catolico sold to YSP Inc. as counsel for Catolico claims. such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil liabilities.memorandum spoke of “evidence in [Waterous] possession. which was set aside CASE DIGEST 4: Facts: Antonia Melodia Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by Waterous Drug Corp. Marti) Marti ruling: The Bill of Rights does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals. NLRC: Dismissed the Petition. Saldana. Despite this. o n l y t h e S u p e r v i s o r k n e w. Catolico was not shown to be a managerial employee. YSP sent a check payable to Catolico as a “refund” for the jacked-up price. Catolico overcharged by P64 per unit for a total of P640. to which class of employees the term “trust and confidence” is restricted. However. It was sent in an envelope addressed to her. the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures refers to the immunity of one’s person from interference by government and cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government. the decision and resoluti on of the NLRC are affi rmed except as to its reason for upholding the Labor Arbiter ’s decision. opened the envelope and saw that there was a check for P640 for Catolico. or suspicion. On the contrary. 10 bottles of Voren Tablets at P384 per unit. Ratio: (People vs. whims.. by virtue of the constitutional right invoked by complainants. S u s p i c i o n i s n o t a m o n g t h e va l i d ca u s e s p ro v i d e d b y t h e L ab o r C o d e fo r t h e te r m i n ati o n o f e m p l o y m e nt . Petitioners: In the light of the decision in the People v. submitted. and as said counsel admits. that the evidence against Catolico was inadmissible for having been obtained in violati on of her consti tuti onal rights of privacy of communication and against unreasonable searches and seizures. C ato l i co ’s dismissal then was grounded on mere suspicion. an d e ve n t h e d is m i s s a l o f an employee for loss of trust and confidence must rest on substanti al grounds and not on the employer’s arbitrariness. It is not true. however. which in no ca s e ca n j u sti f y an e m p l o ye e ’s d is m i s s a l . the SC ruled that there was insufficient evidence of . Waterous Drug Corp. Issue: W/N the check is admissible as evidence Held: Yes.

.cause for the dismissal of Catolico from employment Suspicion is not among the valid causes provided by the Labor Code for the termination of Employment.