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G.R. No.

173489 February 25, 2013 because at that time, his wife reported for work in the
Municipal Hall of Alilem.10

COOPERATIVE, INC.,Petitioner, Respondent, on the other hand, denied the accusation against him. He,
vs. instead, claimed that the accusation was a result of the insecurity felt by
SALVADOR M. BANDIOLA, JR., Respondent. some members of the cooperative and of the Board because of his
growing popularity owing to his exemplary record as an
employee.11 Thelma executed an affidavit likewise denying the
DECISION allegations of extra-marital affair.12

PERALTA, J.: Meanwhile, on June 7, 1997, the Board received a petition from about fifty
members of the cooperative asking the relief of respondent due to his
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court illicit affair with Thelma.13
filed by petitioner Alilem Credit Cooperative, Inc. against respondent
Salvador M. Bandiola, Jr. assailing the Court of Appeals (CA) In its Summary Investigation Report, the Ad Hoc Committee concluded
Decision1 dated January 16, 2006 and Resolution2 dated July 5, 2006 in that respondent was involved in an extra-marital affair with Thelma. On
CAG. R. SP No. 64554. July 10, 1997, the Chairman of the Board sent a letter14 to respondent
informing him of the existence of a prima facie case against him for "illicit
The case stemmed from the following facts: marital affair, an act that brings discredit to the cooperative organization
and a cause for termination per AMPC (Alilem Multi-Purpose Cooperative)
Personnel Policy. Respondent was directed to appear and be present at
Respondent was employed by petitioner as bookkeeper. Petitioner's the AMPC office for a hearing. He was likewise advised of his right to be
Board of Directors (the Board) received a letter from a certain Napoleon assisted by counsel.
Gao-ay (Napoleon) reporting the alleged immoral coaduct and
unbecoming behavior of respondent by having an illicit relationship with
Napoleon’s sister, Thelma G. Palma (Thelma). This prompted the Board to On the day of the hearing, respondent requested 15 for postponement on
conduct a preliminary investigation. 3 the ground that his lawyer was not available. The request was, however,
denied and the hearing proceeded as scheduled.

During the preliminary investigation, the Board received the following
evidence of respondent’s alleged extramarital affair: In a Memorandum16 dated July 16, 1997, respondent was informed of
Board Resolution No. 05, series of 199717embodying the Board’s decision to
terminate his services as bookkeeper of petitioner, effective July 31, 1997,
1. Melanie Gao-ay’s (Melanie) sworn statement declaring that without any compensation or benefit except the unpaid balance of his
sometime in December 1996, respondent slept on the same regular salary for services actually rendered.18
bed with Thelma in a boarding house in San Fernando, La Union
where she (Melanie) and Thelma resided. She personally
witnessed the intimacy of respondent and Thelma when they Aggrieved, respondent filed a Complaint for Illegal Dismissal against
engaged in lovemaking as they slept in one room and openly petitioner before the Regional Arbitration Branch of the National Labor
displayed their affection for each other.4 Relations Commission (NLRC).19

2. Rosita Tegon’s (Rosita) sworn statement that on May 23, 1997, On April 30, 1998, the Labor Arbiter (LA) dismissed 20 respondent’s
she saw Thelma talk to respondent in petitioner’s office asking complaint for lack of merit. The LA concluded that respondent had been
him to accompany her in San Fernando, La Union.5 or might still be carrying on an affair with a married woman. The LA found
it unforgiving in the case of a married employee who sleeps with or has
illicit relations with another married person for in such case, the employee
3. Emma Gao-ay Lubrin’s (Emma, Thelma’s sister) interview sullies not only the reputation of his spouse and his family but the
wherein she admitted that she and her family confronted reputation as well of the spouse of his paramour and the latter’s
Thelma about the alleged extramarital affair which Thelma family.21 As opposed to respondent’s claim that the accusation is a mere
allegedly admitted.6 fabrication of some of the directors or cooperative members who were
allegedly envious of his growing popularity, the LA gave more credence
to the testimonies of petitioner’s witnesses who were relatives of Thelma
4. Napoleon’s interview with the Board wherein he claimed that
and who had no motive to falsely testify because their family reputation
their family tried to convince Thelma to end her extramarital
was likewise at a risk of being tarnished.22 The LA, thus, found respondent
affair with respondent but instead of complying, she in fact
to have been validly dismissed from employment for violation of the
lived together with respondent.7
cooperative’s Personnel Policy, specifically "the commission of acts that
bring discredit to the cooperative organization, especially, but not limited
The Board decided to form an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the to conviction of any crime, illicit marital affairs, scandalous acts inimical to
charges against respondent yielding the following additional evidence: established and accepted social mores." The LA also found no violation of
respondent’s right to due process as he was given ample opportunity to
defend himself from the accusation against him.23
1. Agustina Boteras’ (Agustina) sworn statement that she
witnessed a confrontation between Thelma and her sister in the
latter’s residence concerning the alleged extramarital affair. At On appeal, the NLRC set aside 24 the LA decision and rendered a
that time, respondent’s wife was allegedly present who in fact judgment disposed in this wise:
pleaded Thelma to end her relationship with respondent but
she supposedly said "No way!"8
WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision of the Executive Labor Arbiter is SET
ASIDE. Judgment is hereby rendered:
2. Milagros Villacorte’s sworn statement that while she was at
the Bethany Hospital in San Fernando, La Union where her
1. declaring respondent Alilem Credit Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI)
husband was confined, respondent approached her and
also known as Alilem Multi-Purpose Cooperative (AMPC) guilty
asked her to look for Thelma who was then having her class.
of illegal dismissal for the reasons above-discussed;
When he finally found her, respondent and Thelma met and
talked in the hospital premises.9
2. directing the said respondent to pay complainant Salvador
Bandiola, Jr. full backwages computed from the time of (sic) his
3. Julienne Marie L. Dalangey’s certification that on August 9 to
wages were withheld until finality of this judgment;
10, 1996, respondent attended a seminar on Internal Control
and Systems Design I at the Northern Luzon Federation of
Cooperatives and Development Center (NORLU) Pension 3. directing, on account of strained relationship between the
House in Baguio City, together with a lady companion whom parties, the above-named respondent to pay complainant, in
he introduced as his wife. Apparently, the lady was not his wife lieu of reinstatement, separation pay computed at one (1)

3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 1

month pay for every year of service, a fraction of six (6) months extra-marital affairs is a ground for termination of employment not only
to be computed as one (1) whole year; [and] under the new but even under the old Personnel Policy of petitioner. The
effectivity of the policy as to respondent cannot, therefore, be
4. directing respondent to pay complainant ten (10%) percent
attorney’s fees based on the total monetary award.
To be sure, an employer is free to regulate all aspects of employment. 39 It
may make reasonable rules and regulations for the government of its
SO ORDERED.25 employees which become part of the contract of employment provided
they are made known to the employee.40 In the event of a violation, an
The NLRC found petitioner’s Personnel Policy to be of questionable employee may be validly terminated from employment on the ground
existence and validity because it was unnumbered. 26 It held that even that an employer cannot rationally be expected to retain the
assuming that respondent had an extra-marital affair with a married employment of a person whose lack of morals, respect and loyalty to his
woman, the latter is not his fellow worker in petitioner’s business employer, regard for his employer’s rules and application of the dignity
establishment.27 It, thus, concluded that respondent’s dismissal was not and responsibility, has so plainly and completely been bared. 41
founded on any of the just causes for termination of employment under
Article 282 of the Labor Code, as amended. 28 It, likewise, declared that Applying now the above-discussed ground for termination, we now
respondent was not afforded his right to his counsel of choice as his determine whether respondent was properly dismissed from employment.
request for postponement was not allowed.29 Therefore, the NLRC In other words, did petitioner adequately prove that respondent indeed
declared respondent’s dismissal from employment illegal, entitling him to engaged in extra-marital affairs, an act which petitioner considers as
the payment of backwages, separation pay, and attorney’s fees. 30 would bring discredit to the cooperative?

Petitioner elevated the matter to the CA, but it failed to obtain a We answer in the affirmative.
favorable decision. The CA found respondent’s dismissal being founded
on the serious misconduct he allegedly committed by carrying an illicit
relationship with a married woman. 31 While considering said act a serious The employer’s evidence consists of sworn statements of either relatives or
misconduct, it refused to consider it sufficient to justify respondent’s friends of Thelma and respondent. They either had direct personal
dismissal, because it was not done in the performance of his duties as knowledge of the illicit relationship or revealed circumstances indicating
would make him unfit to continue working for petitioner. 32 Petitioner’s the existence of such relationship. As aptly observed by the LA:
motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in the assailed July 5, 2006
x x x Moreover, the credibility of the persons who bore witness against him
can hardly be questioned because some of these persons are relatives or
Unsatisfied, petitioner now comes before the Court in this petition for friends of either [respondent] or his lover. In particular, it is hard to see how
review on certiorari insisting on the validity of respondent’s dismissal from Napoleon Gao-ay, the brother of his lover, Thelma, could have resorted to
employment. a lie just to destroy him when the same scandal could also result in
tarnishing the reputation of his own family. The motive of Napoleon in
bringing the matter to the attention of the Board of Directors, after all, was
We find merit in the petition. based on ethical grounds – he wanted a stop to the affair because it was
a disgrace to the community.
It is undisputed that respondent was dismissed from employment for
engaging in extramarital affairs, a ground for termination of employment There is also no reason to doubt the statement of Melanie Gao-ay, the
stated in petitioner’s Personnel Policy. This basis of termination was made wife of Napoleon, who witnessed the embarrassing "encounter", to borrow
known to respondent as early as the first communication made by the term she used, between [respondent] and Thelma in her own
petitioner. In its June 20, 1997 letter, petitioner directed respondent to boarding house.42
explain in writing or personal confrontation why he should not be
terminated for violation of Section 4.1.4 of the Personnel
Policy.33 Respondent merely denied the accusation against him34 and did While respondent’s act of engaging in extra--marital affairs may be
not question the basis of such termination. When the LA was called upon considered personal to him and does not directly affect the performance
to decide the illegal dismissal case, it ruled in favor of petitioner and of his assigned task as bookkeeper, aside from the fact that the act was
upheld the basis of such dismissal which is the cited Personnel specifically provided for by petitioner’s Personnel Policy as one of the
Policy.1âwphi1 The NLRC, however, refused to recognize the existence grounds for termination of employment, said act raised concerns to
and validity of petitioner’s Personnel Policy on which the ground for petitioner as the Board received numerous complaints and petitions from
termination was embodied.35 the cooperative members themselves asking for the removal of
respondent because of his immoral conduct.43

The existence of the Personnel Policy containing provisions on the grounds
for termination of employees was not questioned by respondent. In his The next question is whether procedural due process was observed in the
position paper, respondent only assailed the effectivity of the policy, as for termination of respondent’s services. "Before the services of an employee
him as it was amended on the same date as the letter-complaints against can be validly terminated, the employer must furnish him two written
him. In other words, he claimed that the policy was amended in order to notices: (a) a written notice served on the employee specifying the
include therein the ground for his termination to make sure that he is ground or grounds for termination, and giving the employee reasonable
removed from his position.36 opportunity to explain his side; and (b) a written notice of termination
served on the employee indicating that upon due consideration of all the
circumstances, grounds have been established to justify his
We do not subscribe to such an argument. termination."44 The employer must inform the employee of the charges
against him and to hear his defenses. A full adversarial proceeding is not
A comparison of petitioner’s old and new Personnel Policies attached by necessary as the parties may be heard through pleadings, written
respondent himself to his Position Paper shows that under the old policy, explanations, position papers, memorandum or oral argument. 45
one of the grounds for termination of an employee is "commission of acts
or commission (sic) of duties that bring discredit to the organization, 37" In this case, respondent was adequately afforded the opportunity to
while under the new policy, one of the grounds is the "commission of acts defend himself and explain the accusation against him. Upon receipt of
that brings (sic) discredit to the cooperative organization, especially, but the complaint, petitioner conducted a preliminary investigation and even
not limited to, conviction of any crime, illicit marital affairs, scandalous created an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the matter. Respondent
acts inimical to established and accepted social mores." 38 Contrary to was directed to explain either in writing or by a personal confrontation
respondent’s claim, with the amendment of the Personnel Policy, with the Board why he should not be terminated for engaging in illicit
petitioner did not create a new ground for the termination of employment affair.46 Not only did petitioner give him the opportunity but respondent in
to make sure that respondent is removed from his position. The quoted fact informed petitioner that he opted to present his side orally 47 and did
ground under the old policy is similar to that provided for in the new so as promised when he specifically denied such allegations before the
policy. The enumeration containing the specific act of "illicit marital affairs" AdHoc Committee.48 Moreover, respondent was also allowed to peruse
is not an additional ground, but an example of an act that brings discredit the investigation report prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee and was
to the cooperative. It is merely an interpretation of what petitioner advised that he was entitled to assistance of counsel. 49 Afterwhich,
considers as such. It is, thus, clear from the foregoing that engaging in hearing was conducted. It was only after thorough investigation and

3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 2

SO ORDERED. 05. SP No. Is REINSTATED. are SET ASIDE. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 3 . Inc. Jr.. premises considered. The decision to terminate respondent from employment was embodied in Board Resolution No. 2006 and Resolution dated July 5. respondent was adequately notified of petitioner’s decision to remove him from his position. The Court of Appeals Decision dated January 16.proper notice and hearing to respondent that petitioner decided whether to dismiss the former or not. The Labor Arbiter's Decision dated April 30. 1998 in NLRC Case No. WHEREFORE. the petition is hereby GRANTED. Bandiola. 64554.50 With this resolution.R. series of 1997 a copy of which was furnished respondent.'s complaint against petitioner Alilem Credit Cooperative. Respondent cannot now claim that his right to due process was infringed upon. RAB-1-08-1144-97 (IS) dismissing respondent Salvador M. 2006 in CA-G.

Inc. 2013 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC LAC case conference. Pilferage. however. 2012. 2011. Janayon. The Facts In her position paper. robbery.R. Isinakripisyo ko ang hindi non-filing of a criminal case against Sanchez did not preclude a pagiging “toxic” sa pagkuha ng gamit para sa bagay na alam kong mali. and misappropriation of funds.7 When opened. (f) service. 20 In response. She also stressed the fact that SLMC did not file any criminal charges against her.18 She then put the pouch inside the lowest drawer of the bedside table in the treatment room for use in G. 2011 for them in her bag as she got caught up in work that day. premises. (c) theft. However. she claimed that she was unassisted by counsel when passed through the SLMC Centralization Entrance/Exit where she was she executed the same and.. i. No. the Security Guard on-duty. The NLRC Ruling through Duty Officer Hernani R. and held that Sanchez was illegally dismissed. and not for her personal benefit. No.32 which constitutes an act of letter of apology12 (handwritten letter) which reads as dishonesty as provided under SLMC’s Code of Discipline. docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. J. v. Petitioner. In the course thereof.26cralawred personnel. 07-11042-11. Sanchez appealed38 to the NLRC.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Sorry po.FIRST DIVISION started saving these items as excess stocks in her pouch. thereafter. Alam material since the SLMC Code of Discipline clearly provides that acts of ko po na ako ay nagkamali. SP No. Sanchez handwritten letter. which merely reiterated her Decision4 dated November 19. the LA observed that Sanchez station dahil naisip kong magagamit ko rin po pag minsang was aware of SLMC’s strict policy regarding the taking of hospital/medical nagkakaubusan ng stocks at talagang may kailangan. 212054. 2014 of the Court of violation of Section 1.. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER.28 Rule I of the following assortment of medical stocks which were subsequently SLMC Code of Discipline. (SLMC) as a Staff Nurse. 40 The NLRC held Addendum17 (May 31. Pasensya na SLMC’s nor her co-employees’ property was not found by the LA to be po.27 SLMC contended that Sanchez was validly dismissed for just her to open the same. confiscated: (a) Syringe 10cl [4 pieces]. (d) Micropore [1 piece]. 129108 which affirmed the she submitted a letter21 dated June 13. its doctors. 2011 letter. along with other basic items that she uses during her shift. Hindi ko po alam kung [paano] ako magsisimulang humingi ng customers. highlighting that Sanchez expressly admitted that she intentionally brought In a Decision39 dated November 19.”35 Moreover. Sorry po. Robbery. explaining that the questioned items that while Sanchez expressed remorse for her misconduct in her came from the medication drawers of patients who had already been handwritten letter.33 The fact that the items she took were neither I am very sorry for bringing things from [SLMC] inside my bag. and questioned items found in her possession were neither SLMC’s nor its Misappropriation of Funds. noticed a pouch in her bag and asked For its part. on July 4. she forgot about the same as she got caught up in work.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Neoflon g26 [1 piece]. March 11. 2011. and was eventually assigned at questioned items since she merely inadvertently left the pouch containing SLMC. Sanchez submitted an Incident Report been tolerated by SLMC management for a long time. Aggrieved. the Labor Arbiter (LA) ruled that explaining why she had the questioned items in her possession. items as evidenced by her handwritten letter.22 which SLMC granted. 6cralawred employees’ property.R. determination of her serious misconduct. 2015 immediate procedures in case replenishment of stocks gets delayed. Hindi ko po dapat dinala yung mga gamit sa dishonesty committed to SLMC. with termination from Syringe 3cl [3 pieces]. (b) Syringe 5cl [3 pieces]. 2011 until the conclusion of the investigation by SLMC’s PERLAS-BERNABE. pasuway at makasalanan. Jaime Manzanade (SG Manzanade). An initial investigation was also conducted by the SLMC Division of The NLRC declared that the alleged violation of Sanchez was a unique Nursing15 which thereafter served Sanchez a notice to explain.29 which punishes acts of dishonesty. apprised SLMC of the incident. 2009. this was found to be analogous to serious misconduct which is a just cause to dismiss her. Sanchez was hired by petitioner St. 2011. declaring the dismissal of respondent Maria Theresa V. Sorry po talaga. required her to explain why she should not be terminated from service for Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated “acts of dishonesty” due to her possession of the questioned items in November 21. as similarly practiced by the other staff members. (e) Cotton Balls [1 pack]. she questioned items for future use in case their medical supplies are depleted. Sanchez’s act of theft was evinced by her attempt to bring the questioned items that did not belong to her out of SLMC’s To In-House Security. thus. instead. 2011. until it was noticed by the guard on duty on her way out of SMLC’s premises. the NLRC reversed and set out the questioned items. the LA opined that “[i]t is rather illogical to distinguish the persons with gamit. She likewise requested for a 14. Customer Affairs Division. 24 This prompted her to file a complaint for illegal dismissal before the NLRC.e. 2013 and the Resolution3 dated April 4. the LA pointed out that SLMC’s Humihingi po ako ng tawad sa aking ginawa. 2012 and the Resolution5 dated January claims in her previous May 31.23 After hearing her side. was inadmissible for being subjected to the standard inspection procedure by the security unconstitutional.25 Sanchez maintained her innocence. 2012. and (h) Gloves [4 pieces] (questioned items).8 Sanchez asked SG Manzanade if she could just return the pouch inside the treatment room. and. the IHSD. Quezon City’s Pediatric Unit until her termination on July 6. Eventually. 16cralawred case.9 Instead. Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Hindi ko na po naiwan sa nurse the properties of its patients. she failed to return the pouch inside ST. Manikluhod po akong just cause for termination of employment. Anent her supposed admission in her Records reveal that at the end of her shift on May 29. She further her purported violation of SLMC’s Code of Discipline. i. Inuna criminal case is entirely separate and distinct from the determination of ko ang comfort ko keysa gumawa ng tama. she manifested that she only “hoarded” the discharged. DECISION Consequently. Theft. 06-001858-12. MARIA THERESA V. are punishable by a penalty of termination from service. 34 To patawad. Kahit alam kong bawal ay nagawa kong makapag uwi ng this. Finally. Rule 1 on Acts of Dishonesty.e. placed it inside her bag. Taos-puso po akong humihingi ng tawad sa aking pagkakasala. 2011. considering that the filing of a Inaamin ko na ako’y naging madamot.41 It further held that SLMC 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 4 .chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary employment effective closing hours of July 6. and.13cralawlawlibrary In a memorandum14 of even date. aside the LA ruling. 10 She Sanchez was validly dismissed31for intentionally taking the property of complied11 with the directive and also submitted an undated handwritten SLMC’s clients for her own personal benefit. follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary According to the LA. Marami pang gamit dahil sa naipon po. she was brought to the SLMC In-House Security Department (IHSD) where she was directed to write an Incident Report In a Decision30 dated May 27. its employees. Sanchez was placed under preventive suspension effective June 3. Luke’s Medical she had no intention of bringing outside the SLMC’s premises the Center. the medication drawer upon getting her tri-colored pen and calculator SANCHEZ. considering that keeping excess hospital stocks or “hoarding” was an admitted practice amongst nurses in the Pediatric Unit which had On May 31. (g) Venofix 25 [2 pieces].37cralawred humihingi ng tawad. claiming that On June 29. 2011 letter). 36 but nonetheless committed the said misconduct. said pouch contained the cause as she had committed theft in violation of Section 1. particularly Section asserted that she could not be found guilty of pilferage since the 1. Rule I of the SLMC Code of Discipline. pilferage. SLMC. she was not allowed to The LA Ruling do so. INC. on the day of the incident. as well as its hospital.: Employee and Labor Relations Department (ELRD)19 which. Respondent.. informed Sanchez of its decision to terminate her Sanchez (Sanchez) illegal. Paisa-isa nagagawa kong whom the [said] acts may be committed as SLMC is also answerable to makakuha pag nakakalimutan kong isoli.

An employer may terminate an G. 56cralawred cases involving an employee arising from the same infraction are separate and distinct proceedings which should not arrest any judgment Among the employer’s management prerogatives is the right to prescribe from one to the other. as a general rule. processes to filing of the appropriate criminal charges relevant to this analysis.ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary SO ORDERED. the consequent offer to return the pouch. While damage aggravates the charge. By with.. Sanchez to have been validly dismissed by (a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the petitioner St. 72 It is light. SLMC moved for reconsideration47 which was. the deliberate disregard or The Court’s Ruling disobedience of rules by the employee cannot be countenanced as it may encourage him or her to do even worse and will render a mockery of The petition is meritorious. The Labor Arbiter’s employment for any of the following causes: Decision dated May 27. justifies termination of discretion. 70cralawred The right of an employer to regulate all aspects of employment. the NLRC ordered her reinstatement. 68 Hence. it. hence.e. and (3) in connection with punishment of dismissal was too harsh and the one (1) month preventive the duties which the employee has been engaged to suspension already imposed on and served by Sanchez was the discharge. honestly believed that Sanchez committed theft or pilferage. [and] customers (external and internal)” with termination from employment. i. courts often decline to interfere in legitimate business decisions of well-settled that conviction in a criminal case is not necessary to find just employers.. including work assignment. “[d]i naman siya masyado nataranta.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary doctors. or instructions must be: (1) reasonable and not hidden underneath the bag.44 Finally. who. is tasked with the proper stewardship of medical The CA Ruling supplies. reasonable rules and regulations necessary or proper for the conduct of its business or concern. supported by substantial evidence. is hereby REINSTATED.” gives employers the freedom to actual damage. employee’s guilt or innocence in a criminal case is not determinative of lay-off of workers and the discipline. Besides. Rule 1 of the SLMC Code nurses in the Pediatric Unit which was tolerated by SLMC. the employee has the corollary duty to obey all declaring otherwise. Luke’s Medical Center. An be followed.46cralawred dismissed by SLMC for her willful disregard and disobedience of Section 1. labor laws discourage interference in employers’ cause for termination of employment.66 which Sanchez was equally aware thereof. declared that such right must be exercised humanely. noting: (a) the testimony of SG Manzanade x x x xcralawlawlibrary during the conference before the ELRD of Sanchez’s demeanor when she was apprehended. it filed a petition or its attempt in any form or manner from the hospital.” it appears that such acts were – in similar fashion – furtively Resolution54 dated April 4. The Decision dated November 21.53 but was denied in a nurses at the Pediatric Unit.cralawlawlibrary 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 5 . knowingly brought out the subject medical items with her. “theft. but failed to do so. for certiorari49 before the CA. thus or its attempt in any form or manner) considering that the intent to gain may be reasonably presumed from the furtive taking of useful property discounting any material or economic damage on SLMC’s part. the rules of discipline that employees are required to observe.failed to establish that Sanchez was motivated by ill-will when she brought out the questioned items. commensurate with the degree of infraction.”42 and her Note that for an employee to be validly dismissed on this ground. 52cralawred to support the common observation of the NLRC and the CA that the retention of excess medical supplies was a tolerated practice among the Dissatisfied. the Court finds that Sanchez was validly fees. 2012 in NLRC Case No. and willful or patently and grossly erroneous ruling tantamount to grave abuse of intentional disobedience thereto. (c) it was illogical of Discipline is further supplemented by the company policy requiring the for Sanchez to leave the pouch in her bag since she would be subjected turn-over of excess medical supplies/items for proper handling65 and to a routine inspection. the NLRC concluded that the lawful. i. SLMC sought for reconsideration. As it is clear that the company policies subject of this case are reasonable and lawful. aptly Finally. Thus. which. the CA upheld the NLRC. ruling admission61 in her handwritten letter62 – i. While there were previous incidents of “hoarding. NCR 07-11042-11 finding respondent Maria Theresa V. 55 In this the existence of a just or authorized cause for his or her dismissal. and the payment of backwages.60 Such act is obviously connected with Sanchez’s work. SP No. however. as theft.67 Nevertheless. this petition. it should Sanchez failed to turn-over the questioned items and. the Court thus holds that the dismissal of Sanchez was for a implement said rules and to assure that the same would be complied just cause. 51 Moreover.e. x x x denied in a Resolution48 dated January 14. according to their discretion and best judgment. however. pilferage. and discipline its erring employees. (b) the retention of excess medical supplies was an admitted practice amongst appertaining to another. the Court finds it inconsequential that SLMC has not suffered any called “management prerogative. 71 Neither is SLMC’s non- employment. bereft of any substantial bases. 2014 of the Court of Appeals in CA- Article 296. working regulations. working methods.64 Note that Section 1. and attorney’s Tested against the foregoing. orders. means that the CA erred when it affirmed the the contract of service and the dismissal of the employee. (2) sufficiently known to the employee. At the same time. Rule I of the SLMC Code of Discipline. while the CA recognized that SLMC had the management prerogative to Pediatric Unit. Considering that there was no indication that Sanchez’s actions were perpetrated for self-interest or On a related point. she still was illegally dismissed. Criminal and labor judgment concerning the conduct of their business. regulations. the Court observes that there lies no competent basis for an unlawful objective. 2014. the petition is GRANTED. lawful orders of his employer or his representative in connection with his work. and (e) had SLMC concerned. dishonesty. as any excess items found in the concerned nurse’s possession would have to be confiscated. which reasonably punishes acts of Unconvinced.e. all aspects of not mitigate nor negate the employee’s liability. other benefits.R. and is therefore in order. instead. property since said items were paid for by discharged patients. 2013 and the Resolution dated April 4. the penalty of dismissal imposed on her was grossly oppressive and disproportionate to her offense. “[k]ahit alam kong bawal ay that the latter did not gravely abuse its discretion in finding that Sanchez nagawa kong [makapag-uwi] ng gamit”63 – that despite her knowledge of its express prohibition under the SLMC Code of Discipline. in turn. dismissal and recall of workers. Termination by Employer. SLMC should only impose penalties evidently connected with the latter’s work. 2013. In fact.”59cralawred appropriate penalty. 2013. and instructions of the employer.69 Doubtless. the NLRC issued a reasonable rules. the grant of the present petition is warranted. (d) Sanchez’s lack of intention to bring out the providing a restriction on taking and bringing such items out of the SLMC pouch was manifested by her composed demeanor upon apprehension premises without the proper authorization or “pass” from the official and offer to return the pouch to the treatment room. co-employees. as purportedly practiced by the other staff members in the have filed the appropriate criminal case.. (formerly Article 282) of the Labor Code provides: 58cralawred WHEREFORE. to provide certain disciplinary measures to As it stands. work supervision. sufficiently known to the employee. records show that Sanchez made a categorical In a Decision50 dated November 21. In consequence.73 as in this case. whatever maybe the justification behind The core issue to be resolved is whether or not Sanchez was illegally the violation of the company rules regarding excess medical supplies is dismissed by SLMC.43 and (b) that the said pouch was employer’s orders. as a staff nurse. its absence does regulate. 57 Article 296 same.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary made and the items secretly kept. As such. given that: (a) the questioned items found in her possession were not SLMC questioned items as an act of dishonesty (particularly. Significantly. the fact that no one was caught and/or sanctioned for transgressing the The Issue Before the Court prohibition therefor does not mean that the so-called “hoarding” practice was tolerated by SLMC. transfer of employees. “hoarded” them. 129108 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Inc. It is apt to clarify that SLMC cannot be faulted in construing the taking of the It ruled that Sanchez’s offense did not qualify as serious misconduct.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary immaterial since it has been established that an infraction was deliberately committed. visitors.45 Accordingly. the Court concludes that SLMC dismissed Sanchez for a just cause. pilferage of hospital or co-employee property. .

3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 6 .

After due proceedings. 2008. Second.R. 2009. the other service Arenas’ written explanation unsatisfactory.: employment. that is. CBTL presented Arenas’ avoid them. To support these allegations. After inspection. in certiorari proceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. ARENAS. 3 and 22). a mystery guest shopper at the Paseo Center Branch supplied] submitted a report stating that on March 30. or the entire absence of care. in violation of CBTL’s sanitation and the bottle and disposed it outside the store. 7 whether or not the NLRC acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in rendering its decision. as provided for under CBTL’s table DECISION of offenses and penalties and/or employee handbook. SP No.6Arenas was informed of CBTL’s existing employment policies. he was on a scheduled break when he was caught was required to explain his alleged violations. the LA ruled in his favor. The CA only examines the factual findings of the NLRC to determine whether its conclusions are supported by substantial evidence. While inspecting the store’s products. Basallo prepared a store manager’s report which listed Arenas’ recent infractions. declaring that he had been illegally dismissed. When anyone to entertain the incoming customers. During that time. CBTL’s employment. in certiorari proceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. and that these do not constitute infrequency of his tardiness already removes the character of serious misconduct or willful disobedience. We resolve in this petition for review on certiorari1 the challenge to the Court of Appeals’ (CA) decision2dated March 26. the appellate court does not assess and weigh the sufficiency of To ensure the quality of its crew’s services. 208908. (LA) February 28. These late attendances were also broadly spaced out. his termination from service. On April 1. G. March 11. 2013 and resolution3 dated August 30. Arenas written explanation. the NLRC affirmed the LA’s decision. On CBTL also imputes gross and habitual neglect of duty to Arenas for coming appeal. v. conducted a routine inspection of the Paseo Center Branch. as follows: We disagree with CBTL. Inc. made and known to the employee. CBTL also imputes dishonesty on the part of Arenas for not immediately admitting that he indeed left his bottled iced tea inside the ice bin. these do not amount to a wanton disregard of CBTL’s company policies. she noticed an iced First. 2010. the CA’s decision also warrants this Court’s affirmation. ROLLY P. procedures. (CBTL) whose absence points to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or hired Rolly P. As a general rule. CBTL found eating at CBTL’s al fresco dining area. or on April 28. the CA does not assess and weigh each piece of evidence introduced in the The Antecedent Facts case. characterized by a wrongful and perverse attitude. Even CBTL admitted in its notice to explain that review on certiorari. she called the attention of the staff on duty. Petitioners.R. No grave abuse of discretion tainted these rulings.8 thus. For willful disobedience to be a valid cause for dismissal. As Arenas mentioned in his Based on the mystery guest shopper and duty manager’s reports. AMA Computer Branch.17 knowledge of company policy prohibiting the same (April 28. Arenas was found eating non-CBTL products inside the store’s tea bottle being chilled inside the bin where the ice for the customers’ premises while on duty. he left the counter unattended without drinks is stored. the CA issued its decision dismissing the In light of the foregoing criteria. the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines. Placing an iced tea bottle in the ice bin despite having been engaged to discharge. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 7 . letter12 where he admitted his commission of the imputed violations. Arenas was seen eating non-CBTL products at CBTL’s al fresco dining area while on duty. The query in this proceeding is limited to the determination of covertly inspecting the baristas’ job performance. Arenas agreed to abide and comply with CBTL’s policies. 2. CBTL Gross negligence implies a want or absence of. As a Our review of the records shows that the CA did not err in affirming the LA result. 117822. 2010 decision. there is a repeated failure to perform one’s duties for a period of time. Arenas filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.SECOND DIVISION The main issue before us is whether CBTL illegally dismissed Arenas from employment. 2013. CBTL argues that these violations constitute willful disobedience. Arenas (Arenas) to work as a “barista” at its Paseo Center excess of jurisdiction. Respondent. for the purpose of conclusion. Notably. these two 1. in late in three separate instances. been willful. Arenas muttered. His principal functions included taking orders from customers and College. and (2) the order violated must have been reasonable. or failure to exercise even insisted that Arenas’ infractions amounted to serious misconduct or willful a slight care or diligence. and breach of trust thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting any effort to and confidence. thus meriting dismissal from employment. the counter was left empty without anyone to take and prepare and the NLRC’s rulings. The CA denied CBTL’s motion for negating the complete absence of care on Arenas’ part in the reconsideration opening the way for this present appeal via a petition for performance of his duties. However. gross and habitual neglect of duties. duty manager of CBTL. Allegedly. x x x16 [Italics In April 2009. thus. which also affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s We DENY the petition. the severe penalty of termination from service. The CA ruled that Arenas’ offenses fell short of the required tardiness cannot be considered as gross and habitual neglect of duty. he chilled his asked. No. 2013 in CA-G. AND WALDEN CHU. the customers’ orders. 2009). It evinces a disobedience.14 In the case of Mercado v. 2009. INC. As a rule. lawful. The infractions which Arenas committed do not justify the application of the On another occasion. and must pertain to the duties which he had 3. it is clear that Arenas’ alleged infractions do not amount to such a wrongful and perverse attitude.13 CBTL cites serious misconduct as the primary reason for terminating Arenas’ BRION. Reporting late for work on several occasions (April 1. we rule that Arenas’ three counts of petition. to merit habitualness.9 hygiene policy. The legal standards to justify his dismissal. Though Arenas may have admitted these wrongdoings. J.15 we emphasized that: preparing their ordered food and beverages. 2015 The Petition THE COFFEE BEAN AND TEA LEAF PHILIPPINES. CBTL regularly employs a evidence upon which the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC based their “mystery guest shopper” who poses as a customer. rules and regulations. hence CBTL terminated his crews were the one in charge of manning the counter. 19 On March 26. “kaninong iced tea?” and immediately picked bottled iced tea inside the ice bin.11 employee handbook imposes only the penalty of written warning for the offense of eating non-CBTL products inside the store’s premises. 2009). Leaving the counter unattended and eating chips in an elements must concur: (1) the employee’s assailed conduct must have unauthorized area while on duty (March 30.18 There is habitual neglect if based on the circumstances. and gross negligence. CBTL argues that under the terms and conditions of the employment contract. Katrina Basallo (Basallo).10 Tested against these standards.5 Upon signing the employment contract. CBTL filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the CA. These assailed Our Ruling CA rulings affirmed the National Labor Relations Commission’s (NLRC) decision4 dated August 13.

The LA. he cannot be held solidarily liable for CBTL’s liabilities to Arenas. when he was asked to make a written explanation of his action. 21 For misconduct or improper behavior to be a just cause for dismissal. an officer may not be held liable for the corporation’s labor obligations unless he acted with evident malice and/or bad faith in dismissing an employee. NLRC and the CA all consistently ruled that these offenses are not grave enough to qualify as just causes for dismissal. we note that petitioner Walden Chu (Chu) should not be held jointly and severally liable with CBTL for Arenas’ adjudged monetary awards. 117822. in general. do not necessitate the imposition of the strict and harsh penalty of dismissal from service.23 Thus. The LA and the NLRC ruled for their solidary liability but the CA failed to dispose this issue in its decision. WHEREFORE. except with respect to the liability of petitioner Walden Chu. we hereby DENY the petition for lack of merit. he admitted that the bottled iced tea was his. as a general rule. On this score. 2013 in CA-G. Hence. whether taken singly or as a whole. in light of these considerations. but to remove the bottle inside the bin and throw it outside. When questioned about who placed the bottled iced tea inside the ice bin. and merit the Court’s respect. Factual findings of the labor tribunals especially if affirmed by the CA must be given great weight. A corporation is a juridical entity with a legal personality separate and distinct from those acting for and in its behalf and. Under CBTL’s employee handbook. Moreover.R. SO ORDERED.24 In the present case. Arenas. warrants the penalty of termination from service. even if there was an initial reticence on Arenas’ part. his subsequent act of owing to his mistake only shows the absence of a deliberate intent to lie or deceive his CBTL superiors. We thus absolve petitioner Walden Chu from paying in his personal capacity the monetary awards of respondent Rolly P. from the people comprising it. dishonesty. the facts on record reveal that there was no active dishonesty on the part of Arenas. No costs. and (c) it must show that the employee has become unfit to continue working for the employer.this violation does not merit yet a disciplinary action and is only an aggravating circumstance to Arenas’ other violations. More importantly. (b) it must relate to the performance of the employee’s duties. His participation in Arenas’ termination was not even sufficiently alleged and argued. Thus. As a final remark. even at the first instance. the imputed violations of Arenas. (a) it must be serious. his immediate reaction was not to deny his mistake.22 However.20 To further justify Arenas’ dismissal. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 8 . there was no showing of any evident malice or bad faith on Chu’s part as CBTL’s president. The Court of Appeals committed no grave abuse of discretion in its decision of March 26. CBTL argues that he committed serious misconduct when he lied about using the ice bin as cooler for his bottled iced tea. we conclude that Arenas’ action did not amount to serious misconduct. 2013 and its resolution of August 30. SP No.

26 however.10 At that time. Montallana was conversing with a co-faculty member. Manalili (Manalili)."13 Juan heard Montallana’s remark and confronted him. Decision4 dated July 31. Beatriz V.45 To this. Montallana no longer elevated the matter to the CA Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Montallana’s suspension from employment was JOEL N. 39 para tayong mga grade one nyan. 2011. connected to his position as an officer of La Consolacion’s newly formed and recognized Union. explaining that he had no intention of defying the directive to submit a written public apology and that his inability to comply therewith was.37 they contended that since the directive to the latter asked Ruiz and Saez what they were doing. in fact.* Respondents. practice. filed a formal administrative complaint7 with La Montallana’s written explanation unsatisfactory. SR. 208890 December 8.33 Montallana was a faculty member ofLa Consolacion’s College of Arts and In a letter34 dated June 9.R. 15 While noting students – was tantamount to serious misconduct and. finding petitioner Joel N. the NLRC observed that since No. Mrs. 2013 and the Resolution3 dated August 30. and (c) discourteous/indecent behavior or using profane or obscene language in addressing co-employees. In a letter18 dated April 22.35 slander). his refusal the reassignment of lockers of faculty members through drawing of lots. the Assistant against him. with prayer for payment of salaries during the period of the NLRC added that Montallana did not question his superiors’ orders as suspension. 2011. Montallana filed an appeal43 before the NLRC.14 In a Decision40 dated November 14. He mentioned that his issuance of a written LA’s verdict.24 Hence.16 In fine. Montallana sought reconsideration of his The NLRC Ruling suspension and explained that a written public apology was inappropriate at that time in view of the pendency of a criminal complaint19 for grave oral defamation filed by Juan against him before In a Decision44 dated July 31. in a loud voice. declared illegal and respondents La Consolacion and Mora were ordered vs. resulting in a heated altercation that ended with the latter walking out of the room The LA Ruling while Juan was still talking to him. remarked "oo nga naman Union President agreed to his suspension for his misbehavior. to reiterate. La Consolacion’s fact-finding committee found complaint. 06-09263-11. 11 Upon learning of apologize was part of the penalty imposed on Montallana. Pabito (Pabito). right against self-incrimination. and/or failure to comply merited further sanctions. Manalili terminated him Consolacion8against Montallana. anong kabubuhan ng grade one yan. Del Fierro-Juan (Juan). NerissaD.00 as his salary during the LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE MANILA.25 MANALILI. Dr. pursuant to a policy implemented by Juan. respondent Albert D. 29 Montallana moved for Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated reconsideration30 but was denied by the NLRC in a Decision31 dated May 31. expressed his willingness to comply with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the immediate superior of directive once the said case was resolved with finality. expressed his willingness to abide by the same. warranted that the foregoing may be considered as a just cause for Montallana’s his termination. No. 2009. the NLRC reversed and set aside the the City Prosecutor’s Office.R. SP No. College Manila (La Consolacion) for a just and legal cause. ordered respondents to reinstate Montallana and public apology while the criminal case was being heard might incriminate to pay him backwages from the time he was illegally dismissed up to his himself. in fact.6 indulgence. 2012 and the Resolution5 dated October 16. period of suspension.20 It ruled that Montallana’s failure to submit a written public apology was The request having been denied by La Consolacion’s President. or anybody within the school Asserting that his dismissal for failure to submit a written public apology premises. saying "para naman tayong bata nyan. 2013 of the Court of February 7. the committee observed thatit was his first offense and refusing to apologize as invalid.46 Further. aggravated by the fact that he made standard of behavior among its faculty. not an open defiance of respondents’ order since he even begged for respondent Sr.41 In this relation. Imelda A. and ALBERT D. 2009. 2011. holding that his actions did not constitute serious misconduct. and moral and exemplary damages against respondents La he. but only at a Consolacion and Mora before the NLRC. Finding Montallana. J. on June 1. 2009. Montallana (Montallana) to have been terminated from employment by respondent La Consolacion Thereafter. 28 While PERLAS-BERNABE. docketed as NLRC NCR room on January 12. adding too that it was his lawyer who advised him to invoke his reinstatement. to establish the existence of the criminal case mentioned in his letters of Montallana was only meted the penalty of suspension without pay for a explanation. 2014 In a Decision23 dated April 15. only in view of the pendency of the criminal case On January 16. the LA dismissed Montallana’s After due investigation.9 was unjustified and was.32 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC LAC No. docketed as NLRC NCR Case later appropriate time. Mora (Mora).G. the latter’s indulgence. 2012 2011. 42 apology to Juan in a tenor satisfactory to her and La Consolacion’s Human Resource Department (HRD). 2009 while Dean’s Secretary Ann Ruiz (Ruiz) and Case No. and Manalili (respondents). MORA. the LA found Montallana’s reason for termination. observing thatno evidence was adduced stressed on the reformative and redemptive facets of the case. IMELDA A. La Consolacion. On appeal. 127988 which reversed and set aside the and the NLRC’s decision became final and executory on February 28. 2011. 2011. holding that his refusal to apologize – in light of his chosen Montallana guilty of serious misconduct in making derogatory and profession as a teacher and La Consolacion’s right to maintain a certain insulting remarks about his superior. through its HRD Director. 2010.: it found sufficient basis to impose the penalty of termination.000. charging him of: (a) oral defamation (or from work on June 13. MONTALLANA. believing that the issuance of a letter of apology Montallana filed a complaint for illegal suspension and unfair labor would incriminate him in the on-going criminal case filed by Juan. nonetheless. 05-07667-09 (illegal suspension case). the NLRC nonetheless sustained the two (2)-month suspension in deference to the school’s prerogative to discipline its employees. 02- 000556-12. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 9 . hence. Montallana begged for La Consolacion’s Sciences. superiors. when In respondents’ defense." 12 to which dismissed Montallana for his union activities.17 Aggrieved. pointing out that even the Montallana followed suit and. Mora. the Labor Arbiter (LA) ruled in favor of Montallana. Montallana filed a complaint36for illegal dismissal with money claims against respondents La The said complaint arose from an incident that occurred in the faculty Consolacion. who serve as models for its such remarks in a loud voice so that Juan would hear them. and that even if there was one.22 Montallana had already been suspended from work without pay. to pay Montallana the amount of ₱48. directed Montallana to explain in writing why he should not be dismissed for failure to submit his written public apology which formed part of the disciplinary sanction that was The Facts sustained with finality by the NLRC. Petitioner. the case was strictly period of two (2) months and directed him to submit a written public between Montallana and Juan and not the concern of the respondents. He. (b) disorderly conduct in the school premises. 38 They denied having Pabito commented. 2012. in her letter21 dated May 12. the NLRC disagreed27 with the findings of the LA DECISION and found Montallana’s acts to be constitutive of serious misconduct and against the rule of honor and decency expected of any teacher. student assistant Kathlyn Saez (Saez) were numbering the lockers. and thus.

In a Decision58 dated May 31. respondents failed to prove. the case of an employee who LA that La Consolacion. it was only on September 11. 2013.. It is a rule that personal cause for dismissal. the CA was satisfied the refusal was made in brazen disrespect of his employer. the dismissal should be adjudged as answerable for their corporate action. which had already been sustained with finality by be imposed on an erring employee must be commensurate with the the NLRC in the illegal suspension case. therefore. not forthwith file with the corporate secretary their written objection. ( b) they consent to the issuance of watered down stocks or when. The CA presented to prove that the said Resolution had already attained finality. the petition is GRANTED. educational institutions are. they are only so if Montallana’s termination from work was lawful and justified. 2012.47 Thus. 2010 Resolution only on explain is not enough to show that the latter took a willfully defiant September 11.respondents should have accorded him more consideration and could not be justly characterized as "willful" within the contemplation of compassion to his plight. absentany proof that they serve as role models for its students.53 respondents’ directive to apologize was attended by a "wrong and perverse mental attitude rendering the employee’s act inconsistent with proper subordination. denied respondents’ motion. records are bereft of any showing that Montallana's failure to apologize was being punished as such. Montallana had lied tothem cannot be given any credence. 2010 Resolution only on September 11.74None of these circumstances.59 Further. taken. that the aforesaid just cause – or any other they agree to hold themselves personally and solidarily liable with the authorized cause for that matter – forms the basis of the employee’s corporation. were shown to be present in this case. and the circumstances under which they were he failed to comply with the required written public apology. among which. as one which would properly warrant his termination. terminate an employee under Article 296 (a) (formerly Article 282 [a]) of however. in response. In the case at bar. "Willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer Consequently. 2012 and. As the Court sees way before La Consolacion sent the June1. The Decision dated May 31. the CA agreed with the gravity of his offense. that The petition is meritorious. the tenor of his letters. the NLRC's identical ruling. at the very least. 2012 that Montallana was able to obtain a copy of the prosecutor’s March 5.48 As culled from the records.71 To the Court’s mind. it was pointed out that Montallana was lying not only to respondents. in so illegal. since respondents failed to prove. Montallana's dismissal was based on a just or authorized cause under the Labor Code or was clearly warranted under La Consolacion's Administrative Affairs Manual. do It is well to stress that it is the employer who bears the burden of proving. respondents herein failed to prove the seriousness of Montallana’s omission by the evidentiary benchmark of substantial evidence. The Court’s Ruling In fine. Unfortunately. in the sense above-described." The Court finds itself in complete WHEREFORE.60 All told. considering that no other evidence was prompted the filing of a petition for certiorari57 before the CA. is the reservation of the ultimate Dissatisfied.49 asserting that the failure to made arising from the same incident before the Manila City Prosecutor’s comply with their directive to apologize constituted insubordination which Office. willfulness liability of corporate directors. Article 296 of the Labor Code. or when described as "attended by a wrongful and perverse mental attitude there is a conflict of interest resulting in damages to the corporation. aside from the administrative complaint filed by Juan against Montallana for his serious misconduct. hence. still.66 "willfulness" was are guilty of bad faith or gross negligence in directing its affairs. as pointed out by the NLRC. 2013 of the Court of Appeals in CA- 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 10 . hence. exhibited Montallana’s good faith indealing with Consequently. or (d) they are made by specific provision of law personally dismissal from work. 2010 Resolution to show that Juan’s criminal complaint against In a Resolution55 dated October 16. respondents’ assertion that Decision. far as Mora and Manalili are concerned.the NLRC found that Montallana Montallana was dismissed way earlier than their June 1. In the same vein. must be reinstated with the modification. even on the assumption that there was willful disobedience. in that the order for respondents Mora and Manalili to pay the Labor Code. in this regard. 2013. or when they Dongon v.. that Montallana’s non-compliance with respondents’ directive to apologize was "willful or intentional. In the honest belief that issuing a letter of apology would is subject to disciplinary sanction under the school’s Administrative Affairs incriminate him in the said criminal case – and upon the advice of his own Manual.70 The penalty to for serious misconduct. (c) through substantial evidence.68 Failing in which.1âwphi1 It bears to stress against him was not sufficient justification to excuse him from compliance. has the right to is compelled to apologize for a previous infraction but fails to do so is not maintain and expect a certain standard of behavior from its faculty. And to add.64 In order for this ground to be properly invoked as a just Montallana backwages73 should be deleted. 2013 agreement with the NLRC that the disobedience attributed to Montallana and the Resolution dated August 30. which was erroneously reversed or representative in connection with his work" is one of the just causes to by the CA on certiorari. claimed to have acquired a copy of the employment. it ruled Montallana’s dismissal to be too Article 296 of the Labor Code. It found that Montallana deliberately refused to obey the directive of the Besides. This. 2010. held against a legal standard imposed against all employers. the Court rules that the dismissal was illegal. 2012 and." which would warrant his termination from Montallana. Montallana moved for reconsideration62 which was denied in penalty of dismissal for serious infractions enumerated as just causes under a Resolution63 dated August 30. 2011 directive to explain why it. 2011 directive to belatedly received the prosecutor’s March 5.50 They further manifested that the criminal case filed against lawyer at that – Montallana wrote to respondents and voluntarily Montallana had already been dismissed in a Resolution51 dated March 5. Inc. 65 In they assent to a patently unlawful act of the corporation. as an educational institution. submitted his letter of apology to the NLRC. severe a penalty and ordered respondents to reinstate him to his former position without loss of seniority and to pay him backwages from the time he was illegally dismissed up to his reinstatement. that of refusing or neglecting to obey the The primordial issue for the Court’s resolution is whether or not school’s lawful directive) are dismissible violations. the former also filed a criminal complaint for grave oral defamation for the utterances he Respondents moved for reconsideration. or long after he had already submitted his letter of respondents’ petition and eventually reversed and set aside the NLRC’s explanation on June 9. that not every case of insubordination or willful disobedience by an It observed that the said directive was an integral part of his punishment employee reasonably deserves the penalty of dismissal. this petition. in the meantime. respondents to apologize and that the pendency of the criminal case the Court finds the penalty of dismissal too harsh.69 Therefore. the CA gave due course to 2010 Resolution. trustees or officers attaches only when: (a) being characterized bya wrongful and perverse mental attitude. negates the theory that his failure to abide by respondents but also to the NLRC. Ruling In fact. Rapid Movers and Forwarders Co. on a related note.61 view of their significant role in the rearing of our youth. While there is that Montallana’s employment was terminated for a just and legal no question that teachers are held to a peculiar standard of behavior in cause." 67 stockholders or other persons. while The Issue Before the Court La Consolacion’s Administrative Affairs Manual 72 discloses that acts of insubordination (particularly. 2011. hence. communicated that he was willing to issue the required apology.56 This attitude against a lawful order. imposed as a third sanction. prosecutor’s March 5. but only 2010 and dropped from the prosecutor’s list of cases on July 2. by substantial evidence. 52 or had to defer the same in view of his legal predicament.54 It beckons clarification that respondents’ submission of the prosecutor’s March 5. there is no reason for them to be held liable for Montallana's backwages. its rendering the employee’s act inconsistent with proper subordination. by substantial evidence. the conduct must be willful or intentional. having knowledge of such issuance.

the Decision dated July 31. Accordingly. Montallana (Montallana) to have been illegally dismissed. Mora and Albert D. SO ORDERED. Manalili to pay Montallana his backwages. declaring petitioner Joel N. Imelda A. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 11 . are REINSTATED with the MODIFICATION deleting the order for respondents Sr.R. 2012 of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC LAC No. 127988 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. SP No. 02-000556-12.G. 2012 and the Resolution dated October 16.

respondent Gustilo created an investigation committee. the NLRC In a letter dated 30 July 2002.G.8 Petitioner denied the charges through a letter to respondent on 2 August Our Ruling 2002. Declaring respondent Colegio de Sta.R. Respondents.m. in certiorariproceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules of petitioner to appearbefore it on 30 August 2002. Phylis C. prematurely. vs.6 According to the NLRC. the NLRC reversed the ruling of the Labor Arbiter and Mrs. Fridays from 8:00 a. Alonzo the sum of ₱746. and (3) failure to conduct failure to conduct medical examinationson the scheduled dates were medical/health examination on all students of several classes of different due to disruptions of various school activities.836. The query in this proceeding islimited to the determination of whether or not the NLRC acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in rendering its decision. dismissal for the reasons above-discussed.. Rosa-Makati as a part. 89502 which ruled on the legality of the dismissal of petitioner Dr. "[i]t must be stressed that but. likewise denied petitioner’s subsequent motion for reconsideration on 7 dishonesty and/or gross neglect of duty detrimental not only to the school April 2005. SP No.m. of "grave misconduct. PHYLIS C. Rio (petitioner).while it presents the need to look RosaMakati and Gustilo before the Labor Arbiter.27 and The Facts Neneth M.00 ₱281." In the same letter. RIO. the services of petitioner and Alonzo were terminated for their grave misconduct. ROSAMAKATI and/or SR. to 11:00 computation of the award from ₱259. J. petitioner system in performing these tasks could very well earn dismissal from the and Alonzo were preventively suspended for a period of thirty (30) days.. to the health and well-being of the pupils based on the complainants Rio and Alonzo were tasked with responsibilities vital to the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools and Section 94 (a) and (b) and health and safety of students. termination from employment of the personnel of the school."7 Petitioner was made to answer for the following: (1) nine (9) students have The Ruling of the Court of Appeals medical records for school years during which they were not in the school yet. respondent Gustilo charged petitioner and On 10 January 2005. petitioner declined the Contract of Appointment.4 DR. with a salary of ₱12. which the classes/sections during certain school years were not given any CA denied. petitioner was informed of a new workschedule. Upon the filing of the parties’ respective Position Papers. Wednesdays.836.360. respondent Gustilo (NLRC).036. The Ruling of the Labor Arbiter GUSTILO. assuming arguendo that petitioner’s medical/health evaluation/examination. which. Inc. The ruling in Mercado v. petitioner position without loss of seniorityright with full backwages from received a Contract of Appointment from Sr. this Petition for Review. In response. The initial backwages of complainant Cruz is Monday to Friday. Directress/Principal. xxxx On 24 June 2002.R. however. Neneth Alonzo (Alonzo). Gustilo the time of her unjust dismissal up to the time of her actual (respondent Gustilo).m. dishonesty and gross neglect of duty. Petitioner. 5 In opposition. COLEGIO DE STA. x x x time school physician in June 1993. Phylis C. Due to the substantial change in the work schedule and decrease in her salary. Corazon P. Petitioner. According to the CA. (b) and (c) of the LaborCode. into the matter of petitioner’s dismissal. Their apparent lack of interest. it only shows that petitioner is grade levels for the school year 2001-2002.m. through a Memorandum from respondent Gustilo.m. 189629 August 6. as an 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 12 .27 to ₱323. However. 2014 On 8 October 2002. Directing respondent Colegio deSta. petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorariwith the CA. Cruz to her former In February 2002 or after almost ten (10) years of service. Court. to 3:00 p. this being the issue in the petition for private documents against petitioner before the Makati Prosecutors Office certiorariunder Rule 65 before the CA. 2. requiringpetitioner to reportfrom reinstatement. thus could not havebeen the subject of medical examination/evaluation.: WHEREFORE.Rio the sum of ₱259. 3. Rosa to immediately reinstate complainant Ma. Rosa to pay complainants Dr. concern and Article 282 (a). On 9 August 2002 petitioner filed a complaint for constructive dismissal and illegal suspension against respondents Colegio de Sta. capacity as Directress/Principal of respondent Colegio de Sta. from 8:00 a. the school nurse. to 4:00 p. Petitioner was required to report for work for four (4) hours every week witha salary of ₱12.77 x x x.m.655. Directing respondent Colegio de Sta.3 incapable of performing the tasks required of her. Labor Arbiter DECISION Manuel Manansala ruled in favorof petitioner and Alonzo. instructing As a general rule. The pertinent portion of the disposition reads: PEREZ. premises considered. declaring that they were illegally dismissed. to11:00 a. Hence.500.27. Laya Mananghaya & Co. the appellate court does not assess and weigh the sufficiency of evidence upon which the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC based their conclusion. which issued a Memorandum.49 representing their backwages and severance pay for the reasons abovediscussed as computed by the Examination and Petitioner was hired by respondent Colegio De Sta.m.9 citing Protacio v.00 per month. Marilyn Gustilo in her required petitioner to report daily during the work week. principally.m. petitioner wrote respondent Gustilo a letter refusing the Both parties appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission unilateral change in her work schedule. AMA on 6 February 2003. (2) seventy-nine (79) students of several Aggrieved. judgment is hereby rendered: Before us is a Petition for Review filed under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. per month. Computation Unit of this Arbitration Branch. Tuesdays and Thursdays Rosa to be cautious inmatters involving dismissal and/or at 1:00 p. Computer College-Parañaque City. Rosa guilty of illegal September 2009 by the Honorable Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.640. No. to wit: Mondays. MARILYN B. The Memorandum 6. Reminding individual respondent Sr. assailing the Decision1 dated 21 May 2009 and Resolution2 dated 18 1. goes into the question of whether or not the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in reversing the Respondent Gustilo would later file a criminal complaint for falsification of ruling of the Labor Arbiter. filed an appeal only to correct the revised the new work schedule to every Tuesdays from 7:00 a. service even if they had notpreempted the school by filing charges effective 30 July 2002. upon the recommendation of the investigation committee. The Ruling of a. Marilyn B.10 is apropos: To investigate the charges against petitioner.

x x x. As correctly found by the CA: of review of the decisions ofthe CA in labor cases. and (4) students having medical records prior to their enrollment.15 in relation to Section 94 of the 1992 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools. of The CA went further. Petitioner failed to show that the NLRC exercised its judgment capriciously.1âwphi1 Because the cabinet. we consider the correctness of the assailed CA could not have been left dormant for two years as she would have been decision. Rule 45 limits us to the review of the cabinet was indeed locked. Furthermore. Based on Article 282 of the Labor Code. The assailed Reyes-Carpio12 citing Beluso v. Rosa-Makati had enough reason to. petitioner was grossly inefficient and negligent (Underscoring supplied) in performing her duties. In ruling for legal opened for two years only showed that she had no need to use the files correctness. substantial evidence. with a conscious indifference to consequences insofar as other persons may be affected. which was misplaced by Sr. Zenaida.R.L. In fact. the appellate court may examine and measure the factual official medical records. we have to be keenly aware thatthe CA undertook a Rule 65 review. petitioner’s actions fall within the purview of the above-definitions. (3) lack of medical records on all students. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. could not be opened. (2) failure to conduct medical examination on all students for two (2) to five (5) consecutive years. Petitioner failed to diligently perform her duties. petitioner maintains that the discrepancies were due to the loss of the cabinet key. 89502 are AFFIRMED in toto. and negligence in the keeping of school or student records. SP No. petitioner waited for two (2) years to finally have the cabinet In Montoya v." Indeed. CA14 is instructive: the Court of Appeals in CA-G." The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an "evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law.16 petitioner was legally dismissed on the ground of gross inefficiency and incompetence. Judge WHEREFORE. arbitrarily or despotically by reason of passion and hostility. As her defense." From the foregoing definition. Such a showing is neededfor a reversal of the ruling of the CA here questioned.19 x x x NLRC decision before it. gross inefficiency is closely related to gross neglect because both involve specific acts of omission resulting in damage to another.11 We laid down the manner opened. [Underscoring supplied] However. not a review on appeal. the fact remains that she had been grossly inefficient and be basic in a Rule45 review of a CA ruling in a labor case. we have to the medical records as she had not been performing her job actively examine the CA decision from the prism of whether it correctly conducting routine physical examination on the students as required of determined the presence or absence ofgrave abuse of discretion in the her. terminate the services of petitioner. the antecedents of the letter dated 30 July 2002 show that respondent Colegio de Sta. x x x Assuming that undertake under Rule 65. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act. in contrast with the review for jurisdictional error that we regularly updating her records and checking on them." Furthermore. as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. court or tribunal can only be considered as with grave abuse of discretion when such act is done in a "capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack ofjurisdiction. Transmed Manila Corporation. as it did. this cabinet In a Rule 45 review. It was unrefuted that: (1) there were dates when a medical examination was supposed to have been conducted and yet the dates fell on weekends. In question negligent for failing to provide a proper system of maintaining and form. the fact that she did not bother to have it questions of law raised against the assailed CA decision. or to act at all in contemplation of law.exception. the personin-charge. not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally. The Court has not hesitated to affirm the appellate court’s Alonzo erroneously transferred the entries of the medical examinations reversals of the decisions of labor tribunals if they are not supported by tothe official records.18 As borne by the records. not on the basis of whether the NLRC decision on the merits of the case was correct. "even assuming that petit10ner was telling the NLRC decision challenged before it. Our discussion on the meaning of grave abuse of discretion in Yu v. the question to ask is: Did the CA correctly determine whether the updating the students' niedical records over the years of her employment NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling on the case? with respondent. Decision dated 21 May 2009 and Resolution dated 18 September 2009 of Bernardo Construction v.17 Gross neglect of duty or gross negligence refers to negligence characterized by the want of even slight care. Alonzo had to record the findings of the NLRC if the same are not supported by substantial medical examinations temporarily. In other words. This is the approach that should the truth. The term "grave abuse of discretion" has a specific meaning. or tampering with or falsification of records. as follows: x x x If petitioner had beenattentive to her work as she claims. it is clear that the specialcivil action of certiorari under Rule 65 can only strike an act down for having been done with grave abuse of discretion if the petitioner could manifestly show that such act was patent and gross. we have to view the CA decision in the same context that contained therein because she had not been maintaining and updating the petition for certiorari it ruled upon was presented to it. Commission on Elections 13 and J. An act of a SO ORDERED. As we already held. Due to pressure and time constraints. evidence. the use of a petition for certiorariis restricted only to "truly extraordinary cases wherein the act of the lower court or quasi-judicial body is wholly void. which contains the 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 13 . whimsically. stating.

petitioner. drinking of alcoholic beverages during 1. 1989. 1991 of the Labor Arbiter Cresencio R. Absences from December 2. of private respondents service with petitioner is his perennial suspension from work. 1993 (which reversed neglected his duties by not attending to his work as lineman from Aug. June 13. 1988 to the time such y Memorandum was issued on December o 16. On September 20. dismiss you for causes from the service and employ of the Company. October 24.1 Due to his numerous infractions. 1989 up to September 9. 1990. May 30. Jr. Malabon.[G.F.Suspension of five (5) working days Official findings of formal administrative investigation duly conducted by without pay for violation of Company the Companys Legal Services Department established the following: Code on Employee Discipline. and until the time of his dismissal. the future. 1989 without notice to his superiors. Company Code on Employees Discipline.e. February 22. By your unauthorized and unexcused report to J. with forfeiture of submit the required Medical Certificate all rights and privileges. 1989. JR. No. 1984 .. g. Jr. 1989. 1988. and unexcused absences from work which exceed five (5) consecutive while on sick leave. 2. responsibilities in the Company.. 114129. however.Suspension of three (3) working days xxxxxxxxx without pay for failure or refusal to report to J. Six months later. was employed on effective January 19. the Decision dated August 13. March 28. 1986 to Nov. starting August 2. Cortez. u f. private respondent was notified of the investigation result and consequent termination of his services Private respondent Jeremias C. with warning that penalty of dismissal will be imposed MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY. within 48 hours from the first date of the sick leave. 1988]. you have grossly violated Section 4. Cotton Hospital [where The foregoing instances plus your series of violations of the sick leave petitioner maintains a medical clinic] as policy clearly show your gross and habitual neglect of duties and instructed by a company physician. Cortez: Date of Memorandum Penalty Meted/Description a.R. order to set aside the Resolution of the First Division of the National Labor it concluded that private respondent was found to have grossly Relations Commission (NLRC) dated September 30. 1975 as a lineman driver.F. b. Distribution Division. 1987 . 1996] year 1989. viz: probationary status by petitioner Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on September 15. Jeremias C.Suspension of ten (10) working days the service and employ of the Company. the interest of the Company as a public utility vested vital public interest. 1993(which denied petitioners motion for reconsideration). 1977 . particularly his repeated and unabated absence from work HERMOSISIMA.Preventive suspension for failure to you are hereby so dismissed effective January 19. he was regularized as a 3rd class lineman-driver assigned at petitioners North Mr. 1988 were o charged to private respondents r vacation leave credits for the calendar 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 14 . 28. working days penalized therein with dismissal of the erring employees from C. a condition which is patently inimical to while on sick leave. 1989 . In 1977. vs. i. 1990.: without prior notice his superior specifically from August 2 to September 19. J.Suspension of three (3) working days you were allowed to return to work but without prejudice to the outcome without pay for failure or refusal to of an administrative investigation. Cortez. Iniego). In a letter dated January 19. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS upon commission of similar offense in COMMISSIONS and JEREMIAS G. d. After formal administrative r investigation. interruptions. and its Order dated December 29. cotton Hospital [where absences from work. 1988 to December 2. (e) of the petitioner maintains a medical clinic] as Company Code on Employee Discipline which prescribes (u)nauthorized instructed by a company physician. May 25. 1989 . he worked as 1st class lineman-driver whose duties and responsibilities among others. includes the maintenance of Meralcos distribution facilities (electric lines) 16 E Jacinto Street by responding to customers complaints of power failure. 1989 to September 19. 1990. respondents. Management is constrained to 1986]. without pay for unauthorized extension of sick leave. par. 1988. T r u l y [Private respondent failed to report for work from Nov. private respondent was DECISION administratively investigated for violation of Meralcos Code on Employee Discipline. Metro Manila Characteristics. 1988 . This is a petition for certiorari with a prayer for temporary restraining After such administrative investigation was conducted by petitioner. unauthorized absences on November 28. suspension of five (5) s working days without pay for . 10. xxxxxxxxx [Private respondents failed to report for Based on the foregoing. viz: Dear Mr. and considering your series of violations of the work from Sept. December 16. June 5. You incurred unauthorized and unexcused absences from work working time xxx. Absences F from December 9-19.Suspension of ten (10) working days without pay for unauthorized absences from May 17-19 1989. as e. line trippings and other line troubles. 18. CORTEZ. 1984 .

the Labor Arbiter relied l not so much on complainants absences from August 1 to September 19. Moreover. G. L. r s Petitioner alleges that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part o of the NLRC when it reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter on the following n grounds: (a) that petitioner admitted in its Position Paper (Annex 12) n that private respondent went into hiding as he was engaged in a trouble e with a neighbor and (b) that in the said decision. Considering the above. we find the complainants dismissal from the A service as lawful exercise by respondent of its prerogative to discipline s errant employee. the case was submitted for resolution. D e xxx xxx. or limited by. complainant committed serious misconduct and gross neglect of duty.R. On March 7. Although.. n In doing so. place and manner of work. 4 e Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was P denied. a Among such causes are the following: g e Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the a) m lawful orders of his employers or representatives in connection with his e work. but on complainants M previous infractions. working regulations. e n A perusal of the records shows that there is a divergence of views between t the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC regarding the validity of the dismissal of respondent by petitioner. according to his own dismissal against petitioner. a 1989. and despite p warning. E On August 13. NLU. the NLRC set aside the decision of the i Labor Arbiter and ordered petitioner to reinstate respondent with c backwages. NMI v. an employer is free to regulate.I. When complainant therefore. working methods. habitually.5 papers and the documentary evidence attached thereto. and the discipline. complainant can [be] validly dismissed. it is a legal tenet that factual findings of administrative bodies are entitled to great weight and P respect. dismissal and recall of workers. lay-off of workers. t Such just causes is derived from the right of the employer to select m and engage his employees. J xr x x x x x x x x . a deliberately. September 1957. 1993. tools to be used. in patent violation of respondents clear and express S rules intended to insure discipline and integrity among its employees. dismissal for violation of the Companys Rules and Regulations . xxx p a r This cause includes gross inefficiency. work supervision. For as held by the g Supreme Court. Except as provided for. r e Hence. For indeed. C. the case for lack of merit. s the instant case should be as it is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. V On September 30. n t b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties. t 3 a n Aggrieved with the decision of the Labor Arbiter. and without prior authorization. (Peter Paul v. 1989 which was the subject of the investigation. n This court had defined a valid exercise of management prerogative t as one which covers: hiring work assignment. negligence and carelessness. supervision of workers. private respondent filed a complaint for illegal special laws. regulation of manpower by the e company clearly falls within the ambit of management prerogative. did not report for work from August 1. 1991.10130. transfer of employees. After both parties submitted their position discretion and judgment. a n Article 283 of the Labor Code enumerates the just causes for termination. s i The crux of the present controversy is whether or not private respondents d dismissal from the service was illegal. 1990. this Court has upheld a companys management prerogatives so long as they are exercised in good faith for the 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 15 . processes to be followed. this petition. No. The Labor Arbiter ratiocinated thus: L . private t respondent elevated his case on appeal to public respondent. we are constrained to take a second look at the facts before us e because of the diversity in the opinions of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC.R. 1989 to September 19. all aspects of employment. s i WHEREFORE. is a dismissal for cause. the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision dismissing . 2 time. 102 Phil 958).

the complainant went into hiding as he was engaged concisely aggrieved parties predicament or defense. unauthorized. contrary to the findings of public respondent. Unfortunately. Subsequent investigation conducted by petitioner. assigned to such area was absent and cannot immediately be replaced Metro Manila showed that Cortezs wife has a pending complaint against is a breach of public service of the highest order. he present a medical certificate to the effect. thus. however.e. or as applied to administrative proceedings. 1989 where complainant failed to report for work. He insisted that his wife and his children suffered from In total disregard of respondents warning. which Pilipinas v. This is a procedural right which the employee must. As correctly observed by the Labor Arbiter: Private respondents prolonged absence from August 2. In the case at bar. With the hope of reforming the complainant.14 of distributing and selling electric energy within its franchise areas and that the maintenance of Meralcos distribution facilities (electric lines) by Notice and hearing in termination cases does not connote full responding to customers complaints of power failure. ask for it is not an inherent right. but ten (10) defending himself. the cases of Mendoza v. command that private respondent should. petitioner had no other recourse but to mete the penalty of covering August 2. complainant was already warned that the penalty of dismissal will be imposed for In his sworn statement. private respondent was given the opportunity of a hearing as he was able to present his defense to the charge against him. he was suspended for 5 days. driver requires his physical presence to minister to incessant complaints petitioner never admitted private respondents went into hiding as he was often faulted with electricity. in total disregard of his duties as lineman. every kind of assistance that management must accord the employee to prepare adequately for his defense. With such admission by respondent. Jr.11 xxx Actual adversarial proceedings becomes necessary only for In reversing the decision rendered by the Labor Arbiter. limit his absence for justifiable reasons. did not report for work from August 1.13 finally rendered his dismissal as imminently proper. an employees habitual absenteeism without leave. The said defense only proved to be self-serving as or under valid agreements. the NLRC clarification or when there is a need to propound searching questions to made the following findings. respondent generously imposed penalties of suspension for his repeated unauthorized absences and violations of sick leave policy Statement of Respondent which constitute violations of the Code. In other However. we verified from the Barangay where [private respondent public service that petitioner has to assiduously provide. seriously affected (sic) respondents operations as a public utility. 8 and National Service Corporation v.The nature of his job i. Worse. This is to correct the common but mistaken perception that procedural due process entails lengthy oral arguments. 1989 to September 19. consuming public. viz: unclear witnesses. not only once. interruptions. of such company infractions that private provisions of the Constitution and appeal for compassion because he is respondents had consistently committed which justified his penalty of not entitled to it due to his serious and repeated company infractions dismissal. and oratorical contest nor debating skirmishes where cross examination skills found out that no less than Annex 12 (to respondents position paper which are displayed. therefore. complainant. otherwise.. Private respondent cannot expect compassion from this Court by totally disregarding his This report only bolstered the falsehood of private respondents alibi numerous previous infractions and take into considerations only the period hence. Furthermore. which eventually led to his dismissal. 10 claimed that in several occasions. no way with which the complainant may be validly penalized for his absence during the period August 1 to September 19. he had informed his office about his Habitual absenteeism should not and cannot be tolerated by problems and requested the same that his absences be considered petitioner herein which is a public utility company engaged in the business excused. letters to his office explaining that his absence were inevitable due to the family problems. typhoon. affidavits. and summary proceedings may xxx xxx xxx be conducted. He and serious misconduct under Article 283 of the labor Code. As aptly stated by the Solicitor General: engaged in a trouble with a neighbor. a meticulous perusal of Annex 12 readily shows that the words. constitute[s] a violation of respondents Code and gross neglect of duty for security reasons. Cortez maintained his allegations contained in his similar or equally serious violation (Annex 10). he went into hiding in a town in Cavite Province. an opportunity to explain ones side. 1989 to September 19.9 it is the totality. therefore. 1989. Since they were not treated by a physician. meaning. This Cortez also intimated that he was engaged in trouble and averred that. is labeled Administrative Investigation dated 14 October 1989) shows that positions papers or other pleadings can establish just as clearly and during that period. On the private respondents side of the story. Concepcion. Records of Barangay Captain of Bgy. A deep sense of duty a neighbor for physical injury the complaint was filed on July 6. ample opportunity to be heard. 1989. On the first occasion. On the ninth time. 1989. he could not hence. complainant was simply warned. is in a trouble with a neighbor. As found out by petitioner in the course of its investigation: Habitual absenteeism of an errant employee is not concordant with the Out of curiosity. for the LBM probably due to the floods at their place brought about by a tenth time did not report for work without prior authority from respondent. the service record of private respondent with incidents. that is. not the Private respondent herein cannot just rely on the social justice compartmentalization. would. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 16 .6 the same had not been fully substantiated by private respondent by means of a document or an affidavit executed to attest to the alleged In the case at bar.16 As held in the case of Manggagawa ng Komunikasyon sa Hence.advancement of the employers interest and not for the purpose of neighbor was merely a defense adduced by respondent employee and is defeating or circumventing the rights of the employees under special laws tantamount to an alibi. petitioner is perpetually characterized by unexplained absences and unauthorized sick leave extensions. 1989 was the crucial period in this particular case. 1989 to September 19. petitioner found such defense inexcusable. Hearings in We perused the records of exact what transpired in the fateful August 1 to administrative proceedings and before quasi-judicial agencies are neither September 19. Non-verbal devices such as written explanations. To have delayed resides to find out the nature of [the] cases he was allegedly got (sic) power failure in a certain district simply because a MERALCO employee involved. however. viz: second time.15 The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. NLRC:17 violated company rules and regulation is sufficient to justify termination from the service. 1989. it was established that complainant violated showed that private respondent was given the full opportunity of respondents Code on Employee Discipline.7 xxx xxx xxx We are also not convinced that he went into hiding as we met him The penchant of private respondent to continually incur at his known address at that time he said he was still beset with unauthorized absences and/or a violation of petitioners sick leave policy problems. the fact that private respondent was given the chance to air his statement he went into hiding as he was engaged in trouble with a side of the story already suffices. at the very least. As ruled by this Court in dismissal as an exercise of its management prerogative.12 In this case. Malabon. petitioner could not have possibly known of times. Leogardo. National Labor Relation Commissions. What is essential. line adversarial proceedings as elucidated in numerous cases decide by this trippings and other line troubles is of paramount importance to the court. as a lineman.

3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 17 . The decision rendered by the National labor Relations Commissions is annulled and the decision rendered by the Labor Arbiter is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. the petition is GRANTED.

48It noted that the assignments. and thereafter. the NLRC ruled that Tatel's dismissal was not constructive but given any assignments. 2015 The LA Ruling VICENTE C. respondents averred that Tatel ignored the same and failed to appear.18 Respondents' motion for reconsideration37 was denied in a In their defense.400.00. 40 and on July 29. and ( b) there must have been a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship as manifested by overt acts. respondents pointed out that Tatel the NLRC's February 9. 2011 Decision and reinstated the LA's September made inconsistent statements when he declared in the underpayment 20. the NLRC reversed and set aside set aside the Decision4 dated February 9.e.36 dismissal case).00 per month. the same may hold true for his claim for illegal dismissal. 10-002496-10 and instead. and other money claims (illegal with to effectuate the same.27 September 16. J. the CA instead concurred with the stance dismissal case that his date of employment was March 14. respondents are liable for On March 14. However. (a) that the employee must have failed to salaries and wages.17 for 2009 as the operative act of his dismissal. respondent JLFP Investigation Security Agency. 2009. 2009. claiming "strained relations" with respondents and manifesting that he was already employed with another company at the time he received the aforesaid order. on May 4. 1998. 2010. it was illogical for him to refuse any on October 13. Aggrieved.24 declared that if Tatel could not be truthful about the most basic information or explain such inconsistencies. 2009 until finality of the Decision. 2009. 206942 February 25. and report for work or must have been absent without valid or justifiable attorney's fees (underpayment case). Tatel was placed on "floating status". 2009.43 Notwithstanding the pendency of the underpayment case. 2009 and October 24. respectively. 2013 rendered by the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. more DECISION glaringly. they elevated the case to denied that Tatel was dismissed and averred that they removed the latter the CA via petition for certiorari39 on June 10.35 On October 24. JOSE LUIS F. 2009 when in the complaint sheets of both the illegal dismissal claim that he abandoned his work. without having been Moreover.23 Moreover.R. but to no avail. and Turno (respondents) Resolution38 dated March 31. However. All other claims were denied for lack of merit. finding no rational explanation as to why an work twelve (12) hours everyday from Mondays through Sundays and employee. 2009. insisting that after working for JLFP for case and the underpayment case. 2009.49 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 18 . 05. Thereafter. made under oath in the two (2) labor complaints he had filed against the respondents. 2010 of the Labor Arbiter (LA) in NLRC NCR Case No. Joselito Dueñas. hence. when he went to the JLFP office. 2009 because of several execution conferences were held at the NLRC. Tatel' s allegation of dismissal in light of the inconsistent statements he and/or PAOLO C. 14 thus. i. Pamintuan. the LA dismissed Tatel's illegal vs. he was merely Further. pre- from his post at BaggerWerken on August 24. officers. more so. noting that the The CA Ruling latter last reported to the office on October 26."26 He repeatedly went back to the Tatel's dismissal was the act of pulling him out from his assignment on office for reassignment. it directed respondents to reinstate him to his last position NLRC LAC No. and considered his being pulled out from his post on August 24. 2010. Tatel's (Tatel) labor complaint for dismissal on August 24. 2009. reinstatement. who had worked for more than ten (10) years for his employer.41 alleging that Tatel failed to SKI from September 16.: the NLRC. 2011. Tatel claimed that he was dismissed more than eleven (11) years. despite receipt of the said memorandum. 2009 Memorandum directing him to report back to work for reassignment.19 respondents JLFP. to the amount of his monthly salaries. 8 He was required to abandoned his work. for the length of his service. March 31.. received only Pl2. 2009 Memorandum) directing Tatel to report back to work. and that he was dismissed on October 24.34 Similarly. reinstated the Decision6 dated without loss of seniority or diminution of salary and other benefits.00 as monthly salary. he filed another complaint15 against JLFP and its actual. 2011 and the Resolution5 dated the LA's Decision and found Tatel to have been illegally dismissed. dismissing petitioner Vicente C. 2012. or after the lapse of six (6) months therefrom.21 22.200.G.7 until finality of the Decision. a-vis the evidence presented by the respondents. 13th month pay. SP No.R. Tatel would just abandon his work and forego whatever benefits were due him filed a complaint10 before the NLRC against JLFP and its officer. refund of cash bond deposit ground for Tatel's dismissal. INC. attorney's fees.00. a business engaged as a security agency. Inc.Respondents. Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated The NLRC Ruling November 14. 2011. the CA 2009. wages computed for a period of three (3) years prior to the filing of the complaint until finality. 2011. with a of the LA that Tatel' s inconsistent statements cannot be given weight vis- salary of ₱6. as well as SKI Group of abandonment for failure of respondents to prove by substantial evidence Companies (SKI) and its officer. No. separation pay equivalent to one (1) month's salary for every year of (JLFP).400. TURNO. 2009 to October 12. as well September 20. dismissal complaint for lack of merit. which Tatel never disputed nor denied. backwages. the CA reversed and set aside abandoned his work. Turno16 (Turno) and Jose Luis Fabella.47 In his reply. 1998 security guards. 2009.12 for underpayment of the elements thereof. neither was procedural due process complied amounting to ₱25. the CA rejected the NLRC's finding that the operative act of advised to "wait for possible posting. 1998. 2009 the November 26. The LA noted that said inconsistent statements "relate not only to the dates that he was hired and supposedly fired but.400. 2012 and the Resolution3dated April 22. Petitioner. 2009 to October 12. respondents sent a Memorandum22 dated November 26. 33 Tatel alleged that he was last posted at BaggerWerken Decloedt En Zoon In so ruling. and (d) attorney's fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total award. respondent Paolo C.13 reason. PAMINTUAN. he was reassigned at respondents filed a Motion for Computation. 2011 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Consequently. In a Decision28 dated September 20. it debunked the claim of respondent Jose Luis F. Dissatisfied. to IPVG from October 21 to 23. (c) cash bond deposit refund amounting to The Facts ₱25. 46 In this regard. 2011. TATEL. to abandon his work and security of tenure without NLRC failed to consider that Tatel was subsequently reassigned to SKI from justifiable reasons. as to pay him the following: (a) backwages from the time of his illegal 06196-10. 2010 Decision dismissing the illegal dismissal complaint filed by case that he was employed in March 1997 with a salary of Pl2.400. the NLRC rejected respondents' defense that Tatel (BaggerWerken) located at the Port Area in Manila. 2011.9 On October 14. 119997 which reversed and In a Decision32 dated February 9. infractions he committed while on duty.29The LA did not give credence to JLFP INVESTIGATION SECURITY AGENCY. while declaring in the illegal rendering its assailed Decision. hired Tatel as one of its service computed from the time of Tatel's employment on March 14. 2009. It likewise found no just and valid illegal dismissal. He likewise refuted respondents' August 24. non-payment of other benefits. (b) underpaid lack of merit. he was deemed to have In a Decision44 dated November 14.." 30 It also observed that Tatel failed to explain said inconsistencies. It likewise ruled that if reinstatement was no longer viable due to the strained relationship between the parties.45Finding grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in month and dismissed on October 13.00 per Tatel. Meanwhile. and last posted at report back to work despite the Return-to-Work Order42 dated February IPVG20 from October 21to23.25 Tatel admitted having received on December 11. Tatel appealed 31to PERLAS-BERNABE. 2009 (November 26. Pamintuan11 (Pamintuan).

and the filing of the complaint is proof enough of his desire to 2009. hence.50 That he was given subsequent postings clearly temporary "off-detail" if there are no available posts under the agency's manifest that there was no intention to dismiss him. the Court is convinced that Tatel complaint for illegal dismissal. forego continued employment. Mere absence is not sufficient. logical conclusion that the latter had no such intention to abandon his respondents no longer gave him assignments or postings.64 or when there is cessation of work because continued employment is rendered impossible. Inc. (8) when the findings are conclusions without citation of specific report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason.66 Abandonment is incompatible with constructive dismissal. (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. the Court concurs with the finding of the NLRC that of the case. In Superstar Security Agency. Inc. and that his inconsistent statements before the labor tribunals regarding his work Moreover. An employee who forthwith takes steps to was constructively. The Court finds no compelling reason not to give credence to such rebuff. It takes place when the security agency's clients decide not to renew their contracts with the agency. as an offer involving a demotion in rank and a diminution in pay. as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs. It also happens in instances where translates to ₱6.51 any salary or any financial assistance provided by law. Such explanation is 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 19 . resulting in a Similarly.62 the Court further explained the nature of became a regular employee on March 14. 2009 as erroneously held by the Court sees it. and not on August 24. Tatel clarified the discrepancy in his declared salaries. whose findings also diverge from those of the LA. In New City Builders. 2009 contracts for security services stipulate that the client may request the Memorandum directing him to report to work for possible reassignment agency for the replacement of the guards assigned to it even for want of signifying that he abandoned his work and that. two elements must concur: (a) the failure to court. stating situation where the available posts under its existing contracts are less that Pl2. Tatel is therefore deemed to have (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken. the employee may be considered to have been constructively dismissed. are not second element as the more determinative factor and being manifested disputed by the respondent. make its as to why an employee who had worked for his employer for more than own factual findings based thereon. The employer has the on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the burden of proof to show a deliberate and unjustified refusal of the evidence on record. As the NLRC had opined. 2009 that may have been committed by the lower court. To appellant and the appellee. 2009. period of time when security guards are in between assignments or when 1998. respondents themselves claimed that after having removed The petition is meritorious. assignment and thereafter. 56 the Court December 11. NLRC.57 The charge of abandonment in this case is belied by the high The exception. been constructively dismissed.Corollary thereto. 58 ten (10) years would just abandon his work and forego whatever benefits he may be entitled to as a consequence thereof.63(Emphasis supplied) T he Issue Before The Court Relative thereto. directive to return to work following his receipt of the November 26. they subsequently reassigned him to SKI from September 16. after he was put on "floating status" on October 24. insensibility. the CA found that Tatel ignored the November 26. as the assignments primarily depend on the contracts entered into by the security agencies with third parties. and the period work. While it may be true that appellate court.400. On the other hand. be said to have abandoned "floating status" for more than six ( 6) months. and (b) a evidence on which they are based. 2010. the "floating status. applies in the present improbability of Tatel intentionally abandoning his work. not actually. with the petition. constructive dismissal exists when an act of clear The sole issue for the Court's resolution is whether or not the CA erred in discrimination. or on May 4. hence. or unlikely."61 In Salvaloza v. taking into case. reckoned from October 24. which. or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the respondents failed to establish that Tatel abandoned his work. affect the Court's conclusion that he was constructively dismissed. Tatel from his post at BaggerWerken on August 24. they are made to wait after being relieved from a previous post until they are transferred to a new one. As the "off-detail" period had already the findings are grounded entirely on speculation. In his being placed "off-detail" or on "floating status" means "waiting to be petition. consequently. 2009 Memorandum. the Court tenure with JLFP.71 which effectively puts the issue to rest. lasted for more than six ( 6) months. especially in light of the filing of the instant After a judicious perusal of the records. and until Tatel filed the instant raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of complaint for illegal dismissal six (6) months later. so long Tatel moved for reconsideration. as a general rule. thus negating any suggestion of abandonment. (6) when in making its findings the CA went beyond the issues In this regard. Andrada v. on the part of the employer has ruling that the NLRC gravely abused its discretion in finding Tatel to have become so unbearable as to leave an employee with no choice but to been illegally dismissed. which Tatel acknowledged to have received on not without exception. his security of the NLRC. seek redress by filing a case for illegal dismissal. the day following his removal from his last assignment with IPVG on return to work. 65 The Court's Ruling In this case. 2009. however. respondents maintained that Tatel abandoned his work. 55 The rule. 69 As the October 23. respondents failed to sufficiently establish a deliberate and unjustified refusal on the At the core of this petition is Tatel' s insistence that he was illegally part of Tatel to resume his employment. no rational explanation exists retains its authority to pass upon the evidence and. (7) when the findings are contrary to the trial constitute abandonment. 2009. dismissed after having been placed on protest his layoff cannot. perforce. and/or Col. (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion. to wit: ( 1) when given another detail or assignment. (9) when the facts set forth in the clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship. surmises or conjectures. records are bereft of evidence to show that he was recognized the following exceptions to the general rule. it is simply incongruent for Tatel to refuse any offer of an NLRC. he could not existing contracts. rather than the general rule.200.52 which was denied in a as such status does not continue beyond a reasonable time. which therefore leads to the dismissed when. such that the replaced security guard may be placed on no dismissal to begin with.67 would justify a different conclusion. the security guard does not receive have been illegally dismissed. returning.54The Court's jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law respondents summoned him back to work through the November 26. therefor had lasted for more than six ( 6) months. his work. he explained that he was hired by JLFP in March 1997 but posted. (5) when the findings of facts are conflicting. NLRC. or disdain. is Memorandum. During such time. which therefore than the number of guards in its roster. this Court being bound by the findings of fact made by the was not given any other postings or assignments.60 In security agency parlance. Tatel refuted respondents' allegation that he did not heed their details rendered his claim of illegal dismissal suspect. he Court. absurd or impossible. (10) when the findings of fact are premised by some overt acts. and (11) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain employee to resume his employment without any intention of relevant facts not disputed by the parties.00 every fifteen (15) days. 2013. this petition. 2009 due to several infractions committed thereat. NLRC. Thereafter. 2009 and then to IPVG from It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that only questions of law may be October 21 to 23. When such a Resolution53 dated April 22.70 In this regard.1âwphi1 When the findings of fact of the CA are contrary to those of consideration his length of service and. v. 2009 to October 12. "floating status" lasts for more than six (6) months. 59 the Court ruled that placing an employee on temporary "off-detail" is not That Tatel made inconsistent statements pertaining to his work details in equivalent to dismissal provided that such temporary inactivity should the underpayment case and the instant illegal dismissal case does not continue only for a period of six (6) months. 68 As such. there was cause. 2009. unreasonable. 1998.00 was the amount of his monthly salary. It does not constitute a dismissal. concomitantly." to wit: Temporary "off-detail" or "floating status" is the respondents themselves have stated that they hired Tatel on March 14. if properly considered.

he is deemed to have already been constructively dismissed when he filed the instant case.72 this is clearly not the case with respect to the pronouncement of the NLRC here. hence. 2009. 2011 and the Resolution dated March 31. after he had filed the underpayment case against respondents on October 11. hence. being a matter falling within its expertise. SO ORDERED. 119997 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the petition is GRANTED. correctly found Tatel to have been illegally dismissed.R. In any case. 2012 and the Resolution dated April 22. For all the foregoing reasons. Tatel explained that he was constructively dismissed on October 13. 2009 until finality hereof. the CA therefore erred in ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC which. an act of a court or tribunal can only be considered to be tainted with grave abuse of discretion when such act is done in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 2009. 2009. In consequence of the foregoing. in fact. 2011 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) are REINSTATED with MODIFICATION reckoning the computation of back wages from the date of petitioner's constructive dismissal on October 24. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 20 . the Court finds that he was constructively dismissed on October 24.00 per month. 2009. Tatel is entitled to reinstatement and back wages. The rest of the NLRC Decision stands. as reinstatement is no longer feasible in this case because of the strained relations between the parties and the fact that Tatel had since been employed with another company. and believed that he was actually dismissed on October 24.73 On the matter of the computation of the monetary awards. SP No. the Court delegates and defers the same to the NLRC. computed at ₱12. 2013 rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.74 WHEREFORE. The Decision dated November 14. six (6) months have already lapsed since Tatel was last given any assignment. On this score. The Decision dated February 9.reasonable and is not far-fetched. Verily. as adverted to elsewhere.400. Likewise. 2009. However. the Court accepts the same. considering that he was still given a last detail at the IPVG from October 21 to 23. separation pay is awarded in lieu of reinstatement.

However. 65528 dated March 15.00 (Confirmation Slip. Cavite. Galay (Annex 2). executed an 4.00 the breakdown of which is (CA) in CA-G. Mr. Helena Abay executed an affidavit before Notary Public Bernard R.00 (Confirmation Slip Annex 3) as against the 25 full DECISION goods and 29 cases empties reflected in the Temporary Credit Invoice #677531 issued by complainant. and FRIEND. 1995 TCI executed an affidavit before notary public Bernard #677541 in the name of Generoso Bayot for 245 empties valued R. CARPIO.00. Malagasan.00.50 which was covered by TCI that the outstanding account was 82 cases empties #667668 issued on March 2. Jr. valued at P17. (1) Case of Perla Tibayan (5) Case of Generoso Bayot Mr. 1995. when he executed an affidavit (Annex 5- 40 complete empties PP-320 plus 32 empties bottles C) before Notary Public Bernard R. Perla Tibayan.00 or a total value of P29. claimed that Mr.000.00 on March 31. 2002. Rene de Jesus. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.406. only 79 cases full goods and 50 cases empties 2. not my signature.. Imus. Imus.00 or 82 complete empties of appearing in TCI #677541 (Annex 5-B). No. William Friend issued TCI No.530. she executed an affidavit on April 10. SP No. for the account of Perla Tibayan (Annex1). 677539 and that she received partial confirmed his temporary sales account in the amount only of the products stated in Invoice No. 6. TCI #677540 was issued by complainant (6) Case of Ester Sacquilayan on March 31. was issued by Mr. William in the amount of P9.920. 153983 her claim. 1995. Bayot PP-320. 1995. Paredes. the outlet. Dasmarias. 1995 (annex 3-A). 1995 is hereby attached as empties valued at P12. Dasmarias. among others: These customers complained to the supervisor that respondent a) The signature appearing in Invoice No. stating 5. Mr. respondents supervisor.00 for 52 empties cases PP320 (Annex A). Imus. 1995. the supervisor found reasonable ground to hold b) That I only receive partial of the products stated in respondent liable for misappropriation of company funds through Invoice No. Helena Abay.When audited by DSS Rene de FIRST DIVISION Jesus on April 4. In the audit. William Friend issued on March 31. Respondents. 677539 in of P29. Paredes. valued at P19. Ester Saguilayan. Allegation of Mr. Salitan. c) The discount appearing on TCI #677542 Petitioner found the following:[3] amounting to P140 was not given to me (Annex 4-B). Estelita Galay only confirmed her outstanding account of P6. the caretaker of Clarita Promulgated: Javier. 1995.00 but disclaimed ownership of the signature the amount of P9. 3.R. Petitioner.00 (Annex 5-A). On April 10.530. 677539 on March 31. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS CORONA. upon audit. Cavite.00 for the account of Ms. Generoso Bayot Invoice No.430. Cynthia Zapanta. This particular transaction was a Generoso Bayot (Annex 1-B). Friend. Mr. was a route salesman of petitioner San Miguel Corporation Bacoor Sales Office for ten (10) years with a monthly (4) Case of Cynthia Zapanta salary of P30.00 and 103 Tibayan dated April 4. Perla Tibayan only confirmed was in the amount of P29.. On April 19. 1995. Respondent William L. Estelita Galay-de Leon.240.J. William Friend to Clarita Javier in the LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. Paredes on April 10. conducted an audit of his route on account of complaints of the supposedly to cover 99 cases of full goods and 69 following customers: cases empties (Annex 4). Bayot (Annex B). The affidavit also includes statement that the was again reiterated.406. JR.50 Annex 1-A).430.. Cynthia B. Cavite.840. Estelita 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 21 . Clarita Javier/Helena Abay. On April 10. Paredes. and its 25 PP-320 content only and 19 cases PP empties Resolution[2] dated June 11. BERSAMIN.510. On April 10. (annex3-B).00 breakdown.00 (Confirmation Slip of Perla Friend for 103 cases full goods. complete empties PP320 were borrowed by 677541 is not my signature. Zapanta. falsification of private documents. Anober II. Salitran. JJ. 1995. 1995. Temporary Credit Invoice (TCI) #677542 On April 3. that I only receive Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of partial of the products stated in Invoice No. Cavite. Imus. The TCI was for 148 empties and 32 bottles Outlet confirmed that his total outstanding account valued at P17. Cavite. Generoso Bayot. Ms. paper renewal wherein complainant changed the original goods ordered by the outlet from 103 cases full goods and 103 cases empties to 245 empties for the same amount (2) Case of Estelita Galay (de Leon) of P29.360. 677542 in the amount of P19. respondent was 70PP content only and 50 cases PP empties. After the audit. 2002.400.568. customer confirmed that her outstanding account is 1. Anober II. the signature appearing on Invoice No.00. denying her signature appearing in at P29. 1995.50. (3) Case of Clarita Javier/Helena Abay COMMISSION AND WILLIAM L.840. G.R. were for the account of William Friend and 24 wherein he stated that. Perla Tibayan (Annex 5). affidavit before Notary Public Bernard R. 677531 in the 1997 Rules of Court assailing the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals the amount of P6. 1995 by complainant. In support of SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION. Chairperson. J. C. before Notary Public Bernard Paredes stating that PP52 complete empties was her account while Present: PP40 complete empties were for William Friend and versus PP24 complete empties were borrowed by Generoso PUNO. Topacio.400. William Friend only delivered May 26.540. Dara Subd. William Friend on March 31.406. and summoned to petitioners Canlubang Bottling Plant for investigation. 1995.: total amount of P7. Annex 4-A). stating among others the fact. 2009 25 cases full goods and her container loan was only x---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x for 19 cases empties with a total value of P6.730. 1995. supposedly to cover 116 empties valued at P13. Cavite. 677542 is padded their accounts in the total amount of P20.

certainly the customers Mr. (emphasis ours) SO ORDERED. he properties of their employer (CCBPI vs. MISA. of termination[4] from petitioner which states as follows: In the case at bar. 1997. 1997. salesman as they are entrusted with funds or answer form of formal investigation during which.Upon off. NLRC.350. valued happens. Bacoor.350. The acts of paper renewal described Annex 6-A). 677537 was issued by so that his customers account will not slide for if it com[plainant Mr. which penalty is deemed served (SGD) DOMINGO C. respondents has to severed. thus: We find merit in the appeal. On the existence of valid. please be informed that your clients. Andres Village 2 time for them to pay their account to SMC. We find the penalty of dismissal too severe 1995 for misappropriation of company funds through a penalty for the offense committed. Company rules no showing that complainants service record was and regulations states that misappropriation of replete with offenses. complainant misappropriated company funds though. This is due process. On November 11. the burden of proving the legality or illegality of the dismissal.. there is falsification of company documents. Secondly. it would be an choice. SMC did not suffer from any in which to pay back the company the amount damage or losses by reason thereof. you are being given thirty (30) days committed. she also executed an affidavit wherein she above.This is the moving force for the salesman to resort to paper renewal. Friend. Invoice No. if the offender or somebody On October 3. In the case at bar since respondent the accounts of his customers were moving admits having employed complainant and otherwise the customers credit line would be terminated his employment later. benefits from such falsification as it prolonged the 314 Molave St. 677537 in the amount of P4. 15. Jr. falsification of company records or documents is punishable with dismissal (discharge. respondent received a notice benefits from the falsification. M anager WHEREFORE. rule. her outstanding account of 15 cases full goods and 15 cases empties with a total value of P4. And we cannot countenance the salesmans self-interest to Admittedly by the complainant. just or authorized cause.It appears that this is the first company funds is punishable by discharge for the time he was charged of violation of company offense. I only received partial of the products stated in private documents.00 for a total amount of P8. Cavite Respondent failed to prove that Mr. In a Decision[6] dated February 23. paper. the customers credit line would be cut- at P3. Thirdly. the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision[5] ordering petitioner to 2001.00 only (Confirmation Slip. Under company rule No.This is done by the salesman 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 22 . customer said that TCI #677537 was a paper renewal of his/her account to SMC. Southeastern Tagalog Beer Region. When the time frame within which the prove with convincing evidence that there was valid customers should settle their obligations is extended cause to dismiss him and that he was afforded due through paper renewal the rule of respondent process. Friend. RAB-IV-10-7644-95-C. 172 was even represented by a lawyer of his own SCRA 751). In a case of illegal dismissal. act of oppression to compel his employer to welcome him anew to its fold. collection of credit within one (1) week is circumvented to the prejudice of the company. 1995 to December 5. from October 5. We cannot lose sight committed were acts of paper renewal. would be more appropriate a penalty and would serve complainant a lesson not to repeat the same acts in the future.480.00 (Annex 6). an by the salesman to make it appear that the account of a customer is moving. of P20. resorted to that under Article 282 of the Labor Code. rests upon the document because the author makes it appear that employer. Temporary Credit Invoice No.. The padding was merely for the purpose of After a thorough evaluation of the results maintaining the line account of complainants of the investigation. once Paper renewal is falsification of private the prior employment was admitted.540. respondent is hereby Sales directed to reinstate the complainant effective Operation December 6. Firstly. to wit: reinstate respondent. what he the prejudice of the company. JR. Jr. continuous employment. services with the company is being terminated effective at the close of business hours of October 5. in legal parlance.00 which you have misappropriated or corresponding criminal case as well as civil case will Suspension of two years and two months be filed against you. (emphasis supplied) Hence. 1995. It is an established fact that complainant was afforded the opportunity to explain his side A high degree of confidence is reposed in anent the charge against him thru question-and. the NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. after both parties submitted their respective position Both parties appealed to the NLRC.00 representing 15 cases PP full goods (Annex 6-B). In fine. 1997 to his former position. there is no convincing evidence that he materially benefited from the acts Also. By his own wrongdoing. we have these to say: The paper renewal is also beneficial to the salesman because the good credit standing of his There is no doubt that complainant customers is a boost to his performance level and committed the acts complained against him. William L. it gives the customer more time to pay audit. William Friend for 29 cases empties.400. respondent filed a complaint for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal docketed as NLRC Case No. constitute falsification of confirmed that.

vs. (1) week is circumvented to the prejudice of the company. 1995 complainant is entitled to his wages from May 3 to October 3. we sustain respondents Inc. until he was terminated after twenty-three prerogative to dismiss complainant. Respondent filed a motion for partial reconsideration but the NLRC denied For its part. Such are hardly the benefits obtained that employer. National Labor Relations force for the salesman to resort Commission. 124348. Friend is SET ASIDE. 15 by falsifying supervised. falsification of company The paper renewal is records or documents is also beneficial to the salesman punishable with dismissal because the good credit (discharge) if the offender or standing of his customers is a somebody benefits from the boost to his performance level falsification. said that the life of a softdrinks an employer is allowed to company depends not so terminate an employee for much on the bottling or willful breach trust (sic) reposed production of the product since in him.R. but upon mobile company records and documents. On March 15. 1995 which should end thirty (30) days thereafter. Such is petitioner would warrant the supreme penalty of dismissal for the first offense. 1995 when he was terminated. 2002. (PEPSI-COLA). the period for which he was illegally misappropriated company suspended. we find complainant to have violation of company rules. 312 SCRA727) the to proper (sic) renewal. the NLRC found as follows: the same for lack of merit. However. The Labor Arbiter noted as follows: xxx Under company rule No. This is the moving In the case of Sanchez vs. Accordingly. the country or region. employer is allowed to terminate an employee for Dominador Sanchez who was willful breach of trust reposed in him. 15. the benefit to trusted and left essentially on petitioner was a boost to his performance level and their own. This is unlike the 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 23 . We In Coca-Cola Bottlers cannot lose sight that under Philippines. And we Supreme Court said: cannot countenance the salesmans self-interest to the prejudice of the company. then a salesman of respondent Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines. Such falsification must benefit the go from store to store all over offender (herein petitioner) or somebody else. Salesmen are highly individualistic personnel who have to be According to the NLRC. reversing and setting aside the Decision of the NLRC document because the author and reinstating the Decision of the Labor Arbiter. The CA ratiocinated as makes it appear that the follows: accounts of his customers were moving otherwise the The issue in this case is whether petitioners customers credit line would be severed. the benefit to the customers was it when they are entrusted with prolonged the time for them to pay their account to funds or properties of their SMC. been illegally suspended. prove that complainant 1995. Inc. When the time frame act of paper renewal warrants his termination. the CA rendered the assailed Decision[7]. Respondent elevated the case to the CA through a petition for Paper renewal is certiorari. within which the customers should settle their obligations is This Court agrees with the Labor Arbiter extended through paper that petitioner did in fact violate company rules by renewal the rule of respondent his act of paper renewal but this should not warrant collection of credit within one his dismissal. (G. complainants clients. NLRC. the Decision of the Labor time for them to pay their account to SMC. falsification of private granting the petition. In short. premises considered. there is and far-ranging salesman who a qualification. certainly the customers WHEREFORE. this is primarily done by automatic machines and It is therefore clear that petitioner did in personnel who are easily fact violate company Rule No. funds though. Arbiter dated 11 November 1997 directing the reinstatement of William L. A high degree of continuing employment while according to the confidence is reposed in them Labor Arbiter. the benefited from such falsification as it prolonged the appeal of San Miguel Corporation is hereby Granted. Complainant was placed under suspension on April 3. The padding was merely for the purpose of maintaining the line account of SO ORDERED. and continuous employment. Since he was not allowed The effect of petitioners paper renewal to return to his position nor given an assignment after was determined by the Labor Arbiter when he stated the following: May 3. In the case at bar. Respondent is however directed to pay Respondent failed to complainant his wages from May 3 to October 3. we Article 282 of the Labor Code. (23) years of service for loss of trust and confidence for However. No.

respondent was investigated on and dismissed for petition raising the following issues: misappropriation of company funds through falsification of company documents.540. the mere act of falsifying company of dismissal too severe a records and documents is already sufficient to warrant respondents penalty for the offense termination from employment.It appears that this is NLRC.[19] A breach of trust is willful if it is done intentionally. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS Company Rule No. the present Here. the employer bears the burden of proving by his employer. for this is clear We rule for the respondent. dismissed employees are not In view of the foregoing. hence. that the dismissal of the employee is for a just or an authorized considering his position as a salesman. resulting in his termination which he richly deserved. knowingly and purposely. WHEREFORE. affording him a comfortable life. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 24 . Petitioner did not help matters when the Courts attention to the pronouncement of the Labor Arbiter.[10]Mirano et al v. without any justifiable excuse. Suspension of two years and two months would He further submits that it could not have been possible for him be more appropriate a penalty to misappropriate or steal company funds amounting to and would serve complainant about P20. He also points out that in 1994. since. according to him. Inc.[9] Bernardo v. NLRC.[14] Hence.[15] Failure to dispose of the burden would imply that the dismissal is not lawful. He claims that he will not destroy or tarnish his name for a lesson not to repeat the same such an insignificant amount. or of the Labor arbiter and the NLRC for that matter. which of P30. De Castro is hereby REINSTATED. loss of confidence must be based on fraud or 014383-98 (NLRC RAB IV 10-7644-95-C) is REVERSED willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer and SET ASIDE. II. respondent. there is no dishonesty and reflects on the moral character of the employee and his showing that complainants fitness to continue in employment as a salesman. cause. in contrast to private a material gain. aforecited Sanchez case wherein petitioner Sanchez RESPONDENT INDEED FALSIFIED was not only caught padding. he was named Outstanding Salesman and was twice honored as a grand slam Should petitioner be caught again in the awardee in 1988 when he was given an Award of Excellence and in 1994 act of paper renewal. the sympathy of this Court. NLRC. and that the employee is entitled to reinstatement.00. still. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS DECISION IS NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT IN SIMILAR This Court thus agrees with the Labor Arbiter when she ruled as follows: CASES. as SO ORDERED.If he wanted to steal from penalty is deemed served from petitioner. the instant petition is Petitioner cites Article 282[18] of the Labor Code. he should no longer expect when he topped the years quarterly sales. back wages and accruing benefits. he could not have misappropriated a single centavo therefrom simply because said padded accounts were (4) months as an appropriate penalty. 15. he neither incurred any actual renewal which.000. 1995 to December money amounting to millions as bodegero or warehouseman during the 5. Petitioner argues that even on the assumption that respondent We find the penalty did not benefit from the misdeeds. recidivism which is an absolute ground for his termination due to loss of trust and confidence in him In termination cases. but he This is not to say however that petitioner vehemently denies having materially benefited therefrom by should be completely absolved from his acts of misappropriating company funds amounting to P20. such an act is pure and simple committed. the Court has ruled that Nieves V. absence of the latter.00.[16] Moreover. it was impossible for him to misappropriate the same. Thus. The decision of the National Relations of trust and confidence as the ground for validly dismissing Commission Third Division in NLRC NCR CA No. Respondent was receiving a monthly salary acts in the future. ordinary breach does not suffice. as follows: mere collectibles.[21] I. v. This Court Respondent added that even assuming arguendo that he therefore also agrees with the Labor Arbiter when she considered suspension of two (2) years and four padded the customers accounts. Respondent admits having committed paper renewals. the NLRC required to prove their innocence of the employers accusations against committed grave abuse of discretion in reversing the them. In this regard. Firstly. he may be validly did not suffer from any dismissed from employment on the ground of loss of trust and confidence damage or losses by reason pursuant to Article 282 of the Labor Code.[12] petitioner maintains that the right of the first time he was charged of management to terminate the services of employees found to have violation of company falsified company records or documents has been repeatedly upheld by rule. he failed to cite the specific company rule or its concurred in by the CA. Under the law. and the decision of Labor Arbiter or duly authorized representative. Thirdly. offenses. Moreover. Gonzales v. distinguished from an act done carelessly. 2002.540. Secondly. 200 cases of empties to cash to defray the medical expenses of his ailing wife. 1997. he would have done so when he was entrusted with petitioners October 4. Citing the cases service record was replete with of Filipro. thoughtlessly. heedlessly or inadvertently. that no evidence exists to support petitioners number which penalizes the offense of paper claim of misappropriation. 16 of petitioners Disciplinary Actions for COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN SETTING ASIDE THE Violations of Company Rules[22] specifically provides that Misappropriation DECISION OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS of Company Funds/Withholding Funds Due to the Company is punishable COMMISSION DESPITE THE COURTS FINDING THAT with discharge even for the first offense.00. his dismissal is illegal. respondents submission of the specific company rule allegedly violated by petitioner. specifically loss GRANTED. private respondent SMC. warrants only the damages nor enjoyed any correlative benefit that can be considered as suspension for two (2) days. SMC salesman is imbued with trust and confidence.[17] decision of Labor Arbiter Nieves V. NLRC. Hence. an act of gross dishonesty. De Castro.[11] and. but he also converted NUMEROUS COMPANY RECORDS. thereof.[20] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied the same in the assailed Resolution[8] dated June 11. convincing evidence that he materially benefited from the Lastly. there is no this Court. as shown in the termination letter. No. petitioner submits that the position of respondent as a acts committed.[13] He directs paper renewal.

Secondly. Regarding petitioners sweeping charge of misappropriation of company funds against respondent. Besides. 2002 and its assailed Resolution dated June 11. Respondent exercised whimsically. The padding was merely for the purpose of maintaining the line account of complainants clients.It appears that this is the first time he was charged of violation of company rule. Such falsification must benefit the offender (herein petitioner) or somebody else. such falsification has to be qualified. thus: WHEREFORE. In other words. but we agree with the Labor Arbiter and the CA that such paper renewal did not amount to misappropriation that could justify outright dismissal for the first offense. To countenance an arbitrary exercise of that admittedly committed padding of accounts and/or paper renewal. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 25 . otherwise. the employer must clearly and convincingly prove claim was not disputed by petitioner. Such are hardly the benefits obtained that would warrant the supreme penalty of dismissal for the first offense. by substantial evidence the facts and incidents upon which loss of confidence in the employee may be fairly made to rest. the benefit to petitioner was a boost to his performance level and continuing employment while according to the Labor Arbiter. 15 by falsifying company records and documents. there is a qualification. SP No. A. thus: It is therefore clear that petitioner did in fact violate company Rule No. Neither was there clear and convincing evidence that petitioner suffered any material loss by the respondents act of paper renewal. we quote with approval the disquisition of the Labor Arbiter as cited by the CA: Respondent failed to prove that complainant misappropriated company funds though. prerogative is to negate the employees constitutional right to security of which respondent claims to be a practice among salesmen and such tenure. 15 and 16. If no one benefits or 6 days 15 days would have benefited Discharge suspension suspension from falsification B. 15 of the same Disciplinary Actions for latters dismissal will be rendered illegal. If offender or somebody benefits from falsification or would have benefited. as what petitioner did to respondent. nevertheless. there is no convincing evidence that he materially benefited from the acts committed. We find the penalty of dismissal too severe a penalty for the offense committed. Violations 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense Costs against petitioner. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated March 15.R. the benefit to the customers was it prolonged the time for them to pay their account to SMC. However. the petition is DENIED. both in CA-G. 15 by falsifying company records and documents through paper renewal. the company rules would not have separated these two offenses under Rule Nos. are AFFIRMED. SMC did not suffer from any damage or losses by reason thereof. Records.[24] Violations of Company Rules[23] provides that Falsification of Company Records or Documents is classified into two (2) types. According to the NLRC. there is no showing that complainants service record was replete with offenses. the right of an employer to dismiss an there was misappropriation of funds that benefited anybody which employee on account of loss of trust and confidence must not be warranted the dismissal of respondent for the first offense. 65528. we agree with the CA that although petitioner did in fact violate company Rule No. 2002. Firstly. We find no reversible error committed by the CA in reinstating the decision of the Labor Arbiter which held that respondent should have been suspended rather than dismissed outright. if Discharge falsification is not found on time The paper renewal committed by respondent may be considered as falsification. Petitioner utterly failed to establish that respondent or somebody pecuniarily or materially benefited from the falsification through paper renewal committed by respondent that could have warranted his dismissal for the first offense. Otherwise. SO ORDERED. the Company Rule No. Thirdly. neither showed nor convinced us that To recapitulate.

). with claims for annual vacation 7. Montes. represented by with our Cebu office. Respondent. Robert L. Sige By Memorandum dated December 7. (Alright.**and huwag kang mag-alala. which as of 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 26 . Draw Control Superintendent. Petitioner and. So I WHEREFORE. disposed as follows: maghahanap pa ako ng sasakyan.. hintayin mo ako sa bangko at gross and habitual neglect of duty. judgment is went ahead and kept on waiting but Abel did hereby rendered finding respondents guilty of illegal not show up at the Subsidence Area. petitioner was still a Contract Claims Assistant at respondents Legal Tuba. ABEL. Didith.Petitioners co-worker Danilo R. 178976 whom I knew was the ANSECA Accountant. xxxx Respondents must reinstate complainant to his former or equivalent position without loss of seniority 13.versus . He withdrawal. fraud resulting in loss of trust and confidence and (2) gross neglect of duty. paano na yung usapan . sa ANSECA nga (To ANSECA please. Promulgated: July 31. That as a Subsidence Checker. 2003. that petitioner had agreed to submit his case for decision. mauna ka na at susunod na lang ako at petitioner was dismissed illegally. Si Abel ito. I lifted the phone compensation was effectively withheld from him up receiver and the caller was asking for Didith. 2005 Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission natin[?] (This is Abel. told the caller to re-dial the phone number and Present: after he had done it. J. a position he occupied for five years prior to his transfer because I already put down the phone to the Mine Engineering and Draw Control Department wherein he was receiver. decision was preceded by regular and proper proceedings. That I noticed that there were many instances An investigation was promptly launched by respondents officers by when the ANSECA trucks were not fully loaded conducting several fact-finding meetings for the purpose. That I reported my unusual observations to Crispin Y. likewise. Mine the irregularity of the loading operations. SP No. 2002. I will take it up PHILEX MINING CORPORATION. DECISION and I answered I-dial mo ulit (Please dial again. Jr. I went Engineering and Draw Control Department Manager. CARPIO MORALES. the bucket of the back-hoe attended the meetings but claimed that he was neither asked if he machine was not fully/properly loaded.). and Eduardo R. O sige. Tabogader. G. because I still observe [sic] the continuance of Montes. What happened to our (NLRC) in NLRC NCR CA No. represented by Agustin. I was strict in Anseca Development Corporation (ANSECA) and failure to report the monitoring the trips of ANSECA contract [sic] incidents of underloading of ANSECAs trucks during backfilling for their backfilling operations. That when my reports seemed unacted [sic] by that it lost almost P9.: down on its place. Litigation and Investigation Section found petitioner guilty of (1) Ben Garcia.). and when I was there. and the ANSECA accountant dismissed from service on the grounds of loss of trust and confidence and replied. I was then on 2nd shift rights and other privileges and to pay him full duty eating my dinner at a little past 7:00 PM backwages reckoned from the time his when the telephone rang. Benguet. Tabogader & Robert L. 2007 answered by ANSECA. but I heard no response from him. Garcia. J. Petitioner thus filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the NLRC against respondent. 2002. the back-hoe operator had leave pay for 2001 and 2002.. Abel.000 from the subsidence area anomaly. ipapaalam ko PERALTA.R. Chairperson. sa Cebu (Alright. Lupega (Lupega). I will come to make the By his claim.). ruling that me. That sometime in 2001. natin? (This is Abel. dismissal.*** JJ. That for some days. I reported it to Abelardo P. own responsibility for the irregularities then occurring at the mine site. paano na yung usapan the January 31. Si Abel ito. ABELARDO P. a Department. magwiwithdraw ako.* deal?). 2002. O sige. and that Crispin Y.000. contended that the been continued. all attended by petitioner. executed an affidavit[2] which read in relevant part: petitioner wrote a letter to Fernando Agustin (Agustin).[4] 5. denying Lupegas allegations of extortion from 3. That again sometime in 2001. Tabogader and he replied. I was tempted to lift the phone receiver and I heard the caller telling QUISUMBING. 037631-03 that petitioner was legally deal?). When he re-dialed and was Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari is the January 22. Subsidence Area Head. That this was only the was eventually assigned to respondents Legal Department as a Contract conversation I heard between the two Claims Assistant. petitioner was implicated in an irregularity The incidents alleged in Lupegas affidavit supposedly took place when occurring in the subsidence area of respondents mine site at Pacdal. then I put back the FERNANDO AGUSTIN. Subsidence Checker at the mine site who was himself under administrative investigation for what came to be known as the subsidence In compliance with respondents directive to respond to Lupegas charges. Petitioner averred that Lupega was only seeking to deflect his every truck is to be fully loaded with backfills. What happened to our CHICO-NAZARIO.[8] report the matter. had all been at [sic] the office of the Contract Committee to dismissed for their involvement in the anomaly. 2009 14.[6] Robert L. and I immediately put the receiver CARPIO MORALES. to the time of his actual reinstatement. (Tabogader). I will follow when I find a ride. premises considered. and Didith answered that. respondents Vice President for Operations.). I lifted x--------------------------------------------------x the receiver and the caller said. I Petitioner. That I remember reporting also the matter to effective December 8. Open pit watcher. No. I will tell Division. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.[9] the Labor Arbiter. petitioner was first hired by respondent in January. (Go ahead.).[5] respondents Administrative sasabihin ko kay Ben Garcia. 91988 denying due lift the phone receiver and I heard the caller course to and dismissing petitioners petition for certiorari which assailed saying. admitting that it dismissed petitioner. (Italics and translations supplied) appointed Unit Head in early 2002. wait for me at the bank. and was meted out the penalty of dismissal from employment 6.[1] Sometime in September. needed the assistance of counsel nor allowed to properly present his side.[3] 4. phone receiver on its place.[7] fully loaded the ANSECA trucks but the irregular practice of not fully loading the same had Respondent. 8. do not worry.R. project manager of ANSECA. I was then on 1st shift duty when the telephone rang. and he told By Decision of September 19. I was again tempted to Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 1988. area anomaly. seeing to it that operations. (Alright. Montes Crispin Y. Jr.

[27] of the case and reexamine the questioned findings.[16] Respondent relies on petitioners reports regarding his inspection The petition is impressed with merit. the findings of the NLRC contradict those of the Labor Arbiter. of the alleged incidents of underloading of the trucks of ANSECA during transfer. 282. such cases should be resolved in motive on the part of Lupega to falsely accuse petitioner.[25] It was part of petitioners Respondent counters that petitioner raises questions of fact or evidentiary responsibilities to monitor the performance of respondents contractors in matters which are improper in a petition for review on certiorari. to hinges on the satisfaction of two substantive requirements. did not support his affidavit The law mandates that the burden of proving the validity of the and testimony during the company investigation with any piece of termination of employment rests with the employer. must be based on a willful breach of trust dismissal must be for any of the causes provided for in Article 282 of the and founded on clearly established facts.[29] Respondents evidence against petitioner fails to meet this standard. etc. is not required in determining the legality of an employer's dismissal of an employee.458. basic of be clearly and convincingly established but proof beyond reasonable which is the opportunity to be heard and to defend himself.34). loading of every truck of ANSECA as he was in fact only spending about regularly handle significant amounts of money or property. or arbitrarily out of malice. the NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor conclusion. It is not the job title but the actual work that the employee performs. discharge. even if other minds. that Lupega favor of labor pursuant to the social justice policy of labor laws and the himself was under investigation when he implicated petitioner in the Constitution. Lupegas justified and. [23] The second class underloading to Tabogader who subsequently told him that the problem consists of cashiers.[12] may terminate an employment for any of the following causes: As reflected early on. at most. They are defined as those vested with Petitioner argues that respondents lone witness Lupega offered no proof the powers or prerogatives to lay down management policies and to hire. Article 282(c) of the Labor Code allows an matters during the company investigation.[11] he appealed to the Court of Appeals via certiorari. the appellate court denied due course to. guilty of gross and habitual neglect of duty as he continually reported In this case. It likewise found that employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer petitioner failed to substantiate the grave abuse of discretion imputed to or his duly authorized representative.[22] The first class consists of managerial employees.[17] excepted therefrom is where. that it was not his principal duty to inspect the actual as those who. and that relation to the scope of work contracted out to them. [13] upon xxxx a finding that what petitioner was questioning were the findings of fact and conclusions of the NLRC which would. therefore.[14] petitioner comes before this Court via the present Petition for Review on Certiorari. The basis for the dismissal must Labor Code. lay-off. reported the underloading to Tabogader. the penalty of dismissal respondents Legal Department at the time he allegedly committed the was too harsh given his length of service and untarnished record. and (2) the employee was accorded due process. capriciously. Inc. may look into the records property is one of trust and confidence.[24] 20% of his time on the field. No other employee working at respondents mine site this evidentiary burden would necessarily mean that the dismissal was not attested to the truth of any of his statements. property custodians. the Labor Arbiter held that no a preponderance of evidence is necessary as negligence was present as respondent itself admitted that petitioner substantial evidence is considered sufficient. 2007. 2005. Failure to discharge evidence at all.[20] subsidence area anomaly makes his uncorroborated version suspect. The Labor Code provides that an employer may The Labor Arbiter found that respondent failed to prove by substantial terminate the services of an employee for just cause evidence the alleged fraud committed by petitioner.And while there is no concrete showing of any ill dismissing employees. 2007. Standing alone. confidence: Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by Resolution ART. petitioners failure to perform his duty of inspecting ANSECAs operations and vacillation on certain Respecting the first ground. Verily. . 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 27 . To the NLRC. There are two classes of positions of trust. then or with the custody. account of the subsidence area anomaly could hardly be considered and conclusions of employers do not provide legal justification for substantial evidence. and dismissed. employer to terminate the services of an employee for loss of trust and constituted sufficient basis for respondents loss of trust and confidence. [19] doubt is not necessary. respondent dismissed petitioner on the following ANSECAs backfilling operations as okay per his inspection notwithstanding grounds: (1) fraud resulting in loss of trust and confidence and (2) gross the gross underloading. recall.).[28] Loss of trust and confidence. 6. Its lone witness. Lupega. accusations. Paez[21] to mean substantial evidence: Four Centavos (P169. or how it acted whimsically. law or jurisprudence. They are defined had been solved. illegal. this writing amount to One Hundred Sixty Nine This burden of proof was clarified in Community Rural Bank of San Isidro Thousand Four Hundred Fifty Eight Pesos and Thirty (N. As a result of his monitoring the enforcement of respondents contracts which involve large While it is well-established that the jurisdiction of the Court in cases sums of money.E. concerning certain irregularities. petitioner may well be considered an employee with a brought before it via a petition for review on certiorari is limited to position of trust analogous to those falling under the second class. case.[26] the findings of the NLRC are supported by substantial evidence. [15] acts which led to its loss of trust and confidence. in the normal and routine exercise of their functions. which justify the loss of trust and confidence.An employer of July 7. suspend. evidence or relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a On respondents appeal. In case of doubt. and that he did not act on Lupegas report neglect of duty. among other things.[10] finding that petitioner was might conceivably opine otherwise. that he nevertheless reported the supposed or effectively recommend such managerial actions. v. Unsubstantiated suspicions. explaining that the and this must be supported by substantial evidence. of the work accomplishment of such contractors. [18] The second requisite is that there must be an act that would The heart of the controversy is the validity of petitioners dismissal. telephone conversations between petitioner and Didith Caballero of The settled rule in administrative and quasi-judicial ANSECA would not suffice to lay the basis for respondents loss of trust and proceedings is that proof beyond reasonable doubt confidence in petitioner. A reviewing errors of law. petitioners appeal by Decision dated January 22. assign or discipline employees backfilling operations. who was then in charge of the Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla of subsidence area where the alleged anomaly was happening. and not even On the charge of gross negligence. and that assuming he was In this case. 2005. Termination by employer. or personal The first requisite for dismissal on the ground of loss of trust and bias. in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction. equally reasonable. the Court must first determine if petitioner His Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by Resolution of July holds such a position. Arbiter by Decision dated January 31. constitute errors of law c) Fraud or willful breach by the and not abuse of discretion correctable by certiorari. ill will. auditors. viz: (1) the be a valid cause for dismissal. he not having demonstrated how the NLRC decided in a manner contrary to the constitution.. that the charge of fraud based on the purported extortion attempt was not proven. the NLRC. confidence is that the employee concerned must be holding a position of trust and confidence. handling or care and protection of the employers the Court. as in the present position where a person is entrusted with confidence on delicate matters. petitioner was a Contract Claims Assistant at negligent in handling the reported underloading.

[31] Gross negligence implies a want or absence of themselves personally. I was then on 1st shift duty when the telephone rang.During the hearing or conference. That again sometime in 2001. do not worry. wait for me at opportunity to submit their written explanation within the bank.[32] Habitual neglect implies repeated failure to parties as an opportunity to come to an amicable perform one's duties for a period of time. A general description of the charge will labor. I lifted Not to be taken lightly. and I immediately put the receiver down on its place. The relevant paragraphs of Lupegas affidavit[30] are restated had been solved. even assuming that there was some lapse in 13. Si Abel ito. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 28 . ipapaalam ko under the twin notice requirement. The Labor Arbiter correctly found that the alleged telephone hardly indicates gross negligence as it in fact belies the total absence of conversations between petitioner and Didith Caballero of ANSECA would care or thoughtless disregard of consequences. That sometime in 2001. 282. Contract and severance of their employment. the Court shall nevertheless discuss it in view of its importance. the employers shall serve the In this case. is the hearing or the receiver and the caller said. the employees must be given two sa Cebu (Alright. (Italics and translations supplied) defense. That this was only the the Omnibus Rules means every kind of assistance conversation I heard between the two that management must accord to the employees to because I already put down the phone enable them to prepare adequately for their receiver. paano na yung usapan (1) The first written notice to be served on natin? (This is Abel. respondent faulted petitioner for his supposed employees a written notice of termination indicating inaction on Lupegas report regarding the alleged incidents of that: (1) all circumstances involving the charge underloading of ANSECAs trucks during backfilling operations. the notice should specifically mention which company rules. I will come to make the a reasonable period. and petitioners involvement in a scheme to defraud respondent. are violated With regard to the second ground for petitioners dismissal. natin? (This is Abel. Pagulayan. When he re-dialed and was The procedure for this twin notice and hearing requirement was answered by ANSECA. evidence in support of their defenses. and the ANSECA accountant grounds for termination against them. consult a union and Didith Caballero of ANSECA took place. Respondent receiver and the caller was asking for Didith. Lupegas decide on the defenses they will raise against the account is only one piece of a huge puzzle. the To warrant removal from service. and Didith answered that. It evinces a thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting the conference or hearing could be used by the any effort to avoid them. paano na yung usapan process. An employer may terminate an (2) After serving the first notice. circumstances. and (2) a second notice to phone receiver on its place. depending upon the settlement.). O sige.). they do not amply establish official or lawyer. communicate to the employees that their employment is being terminated. In R. 282 is Article 282(b) of the Labor Code provides: being charged against the employees. I lifted the phone not repeatedly fail to perform his duties for a period of time. What happened to our deal?).). Mamac[36] in this wise: lift the phone receiver and I heard the caller saying. in order to enable the missing pieces. ART. if any. with the assistance of a or failure to exercise even slight care or diligence. the negligence should not merely be employees are given the chance to defend gross but also habitual.). Galit. To doubt is to rule in favor of employees. Moreover. which respondent does not contest. I was then on 2nd shift judgment on the part of petitioner in the way he handled the report of duty eating my dinner at a little past 7:00 PM Lupega. (2) present his duties. Claim Section Head. While it is phone receiver and I heard the caller telling unnecessary at this point to delve into the requirement of procedural due Didith. Lastly. This should be construed as a period of at least five (5) calendar days from receipt of the notice to give the employees an opportunity to Even assuming that the foregoing conversations attributed to petitioner study the accusation against them. Reasonable opportunity under withdrawal.Moreover. petitioners referral of the matter to Tabogader.[35] the Court had occasion to reiterate that huwag kang mag-alala.[34] Respondents arguments fail to persuade. I will take it up notices before their employment could be terminated: (1) a first notice to with our Cebu office. I was tempted to lift the the compelling conclusion is that he was dismissed illegally. and a replied. the notice should contain a detailed mind might accept as adequate to support the conclusion that petitioner narration of the facts and circumstances that will attempted to extort money from ANSECA in connection with its backfilling serve as basis for the charge against the operations to the prejudice of respondent. I told the caller to re-dial the phone number and There being no just cause for the termination of petitioners employment. O sige. has not cited other similar shortcomings of petitioner to show habituality. care. Petitioners subsequent not suffice to lay the basis for respondents loss of trust and confidence in inaction was brought about by Tabogaders assurance that the problem petitioner.B. below for convenience: AT ALL EVENTS. Open pit opportunity for the employee to defend himself watcher. and/or which among the grounds under Art. who was then the Subsidence Area Head. after he had done it. and I answered I-dial mo ulit (Please dial again. I was again tempted to thoroughly explained in King of Kings Transport v. The purported telephone conversations fail to convince employees to intelligently prepare their explanation the Court that they constitute such relevant evidence as a reasonable and defenses. Si Abel ito. [33] (3) After determining that termination of employment is justified. There are yet too many complaint. The single or isolated act of negligence does not constitute a just cause for the dismissal of the employee. or the entire absence of representative or counsel of their choice. (Alright. personally or by counsel of his choice. gather data and evidence. What happened to our the employees should contain the specific causes or deal?). the same does not amount to habitual neglect as petitioner did when the telephone rang. not suffice. and (3) rebut the evidence presented against them by the management. the Court added: 14. hintayin mo ako sa bangko at directive that the employees are given the magwiwithdraw ako. To this. To the Court. then I put back the apprise the employees of their fault. the employment for any of the following causes: employers should schedule and conduct a hearing or conference wherein the employees will be given xxxx an opportunity to (1) explain and clarify their (b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of defenses to the charge against them. Respondent against the employees have been considered. Michael Press v. sa ANSECA nga (To ANSECA please. and considered petitioners referral of the matter to Tabogader improper (2) grounds have been established to justify the because his immediate superior was Gil C. of course. whom I knew was the ANSECA Accountant.

SO ORDERED. a penalty less punitive than dismissal may suffice. It enables him to squarely address the accusations against him and guides him in deciding whether to consult a union official or lawyer. or. to give him separation pay equivalent to at least one month salary for every year of service. and to pay him full backwages inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent. Unemployment brings untold hardships and sorrows on those dependent upon the wage- earner. The law regards the workers with compassion. however. The Court cannot overemphasize that the first written notice to the employee bears heavily upon his intelligent preparation for his defense. he is entitled to reinstatement and full backwages. The particular circumstances attendant in this case. A careful examination of the disciplinary procedure adopted by respondent which led to the dismissal of petitioner shows that respondent did not satisfy the first written notice requirement. Finally. 3rd Set | Midterms Labor Law Review 29 . No such intention to dismiss petitioner can be inferred from the general tenor of the notice. Respondent is ordered to reinstate petitioner to his former position or its equivalent without loss of seniority rights and privileges. petitioners claims for annual vacation leave pay for 2001 and 2002 must be denied in light of his failure to prove the bases therefor. If. petitioner. There is. or gather data and evidence. convince the Court that the supreme penalty of dismissal upon petitioner is not justified. the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. reinstatement is no longer possible due to the strained relations between petitioner and respondent. in addition. WHEREFORE. 2002 Notice to Explain[37] of respondent to petitioner required him to show cause why he should not be meted out any disciplinary sanction for his involvement in the subsidence area anomaly per Lupegas allegations. Albeit the September 17. The Court is not unmindful of the equally important right of respondent as employer under the Constitution to be protected in its property and interest. computed from the time of engagement up to the finality of this decision. if reinstatement is no longer feasible. in addition to full backwages. Consequently. was dismissed without just cause and procedural due process. although not entirely faultless. No mention whatsoever was made of either loss of trust and confidence or gross and habitual neglect of duty. Even where a worker has committed an infraction of company rules and regulations. however. from the time of his dismissal until his actual reinstatement. his family to consider. Neither did it apprise petitioner as to which among the grounds under Article 282 of the Labor Code was being charged against him. separation pay should instead be paid equivalent to one month salary for every year of service. there was clearly no intimation therein that petitioner could be terminated from employment.[38] IN FINE. This is not only because of the law's concern for the workingman.