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Roi Marru L. Pablo Prof.

Daway
Block II – C Labor 1

November 21, 2017

ALHAMBRA INDUSTRIES INC. vs. NLRC and DANILO RUPISAN


G.R. No. 106771 | J. Bellosillo | November 18, 1994

TOPIC: Nature of Right / Rationale: Both Constitutional & Statutory

RELEVANT FACTS

On June 27, 1987, ALHAMBRA, a Filipino cigar and cigarette company, employed Danilo
Rupisan as a salesman on a 6-month probationary basis. On Jan. 8, 1990 Danilo was called to
the Head Office for violations of company rules and was placed under a 1-month preventive
suspension. On Jan. 22, 1990, Danilo protested his suspension and on Feb. 6, 1990, a day
before the end of his suspension, ALHAMBRA wrote Rupisan terminating his services effective
Feb. 8, 1990. On Mar. 23, 1990, Danilo sued ALHAMBRA for illegal dismissal and unpaid wages
which was later amended to include charges of illegal suspension and damages.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not the NLRC erred in affirming the LA that Danilo was illegally dismissed but
directing at the same time his reinstatement?

YES. A termination without just cause entitles a worker to reinstatement regardless of whether
he was accorded due process. On the other hand, termination of a worker for cause, even
without procedural due process, does not warrant reinstatement, but the employer incurs liability
for damages.

Since the Labor Arbiter found a valid ground for dismissal, taking into consideration the
controverting evidence of the parties, which finding was not set aside by NLRC, the latter was in
grave error when it directed reinstatement. Where, on the basis of the evidence of the opposing
parties the validity of the dismissal is determinable at the level of the Labor Arbiter, the latter
should resolve that issue. And if the Labor Arbiter finds just cause in the termination,
reinstatement would no longer serve any purpose. After all, a finding by the Labor Arbiter as to
the validity of the ground for dismissal is much more impartial and trustworthy than a
determination by the employer who assumes the role of accuser and judge at the same time.

To order reinstatement and compel the parties to start the procedure from step one would be
circuitous because almost invariably that same issue of validity of the ground of dismissal would
be brought back to the Labor Arbiter for adjudication.
IMASEN PHILIPPINE MANUFACTURING CORPORATION
vs. RAMONCHITO ALCON and JOANN PAPA
G.R. No. 194884 | J. Brion | October 22, 2014

TOPIC: Management Prerogative; Limitations

RELEVANT FACTS

On Oct. 5, 2002, Ramonchito and Joann reported for work on the second shift from 8-5PM of
the following day. At around 12:40 AM, Cyrus Altiche, IMASEN’s guard on duty, saw Ramonchito
and Joann having sexual intercourse. Cyrus immediately went back to the guard house and
relayed what he saw to Danilo Ogana, another guard on duty. Ultimately, on Dec. 4, 2002, after
a formal hearing, IMASEN issued interoffice memoranda terminating Ramonchito and Joann’s
services. They were found guilty of “gross misconduct contrary to existing policies, rules and
regulations of the company.”

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not engaging in sexual intercourse inside company premises during work hours
amounts to serious misconducts within the terms of Art. 282 (now Art. 296) of the Labor
Code justifying Ramonchito and Joann’s dismissal?

YES. The law and jurisprudence guarantee to every employee security of tenure. In protecting
the rights of the workers, the law, however, does not authorize the oppression or self-destruction
of the employer. The constitutional commitment to the policy of social justice cannot be
understood to mean that every labor dispute shall automatically be decided in favor of labor.
The constitutional and legal protections equally recognize the employer's right and prerogative
to manage its operation according to reasonable standards and norms of fair play.

Accordingly, except as limited by special law, an employer is free to regulate, according to his
own judgment and discretion, all aspects of employment, including hiring, work assignments,
working methods, time, place and manner of work, tools to be used, processes to be followed,
supervision of workers, working regulations, transfer of employees, worker supervision, layoff of
workers and the discipline, dismissal and recall of workers. As a general proposition, an
employer has free reign over every aspect of its business, including the dismissal of his
employees as long as the exercise of its management prerogative is done reasonably, in good
faith, and in a manner not otherwise intended to defeat or circumvent the rights of workers.

Indisputably, the respondents engaged in sexual intercourse inside company premises and
during work hours. These circumstances, by themselves, are already punishable misconduct.
Added to these considerations, however, is the implication that the respondents did not only
disregard company rules but flaunted their disregard in a manner that could reflect adversely on
the status of ethics and morality in the company.

In ruling as we do now, we considered the balancing between the Ramonchito and Joann’s
tenurial rights and the IMASEN’s interests - the need to defend their management prerogative
and to maintain as well a high standard of ethics and morality in the workplace. Unfortunately for
the respondents, in this balancing under the circumstances of the case, we have to rule against
their tenurial rights in favor of the employer's management rights.
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILIPPINES, INC. vs. VALENTINA GARCIA
G.R. No. 159625 | J. Austria-Martinez | January 31, 2008

TOPIC: Requisites for Lawful Dismissal:


Concurrence of Substantive and Procedural Due Process

RELEVANT FACTS

On Dec. 1, 1988, Coca-Cola hired Valentina as Quality Control Technician for its Tacloban Plant
on probationary status. Valentina became a regular employee on June 1, 1989. In April 1990,
Coca-Cola informed Valentina that she would transferred to the Iloilo Plant for being a
redundant employee in the Tacloban Plant. Valentina refused to be transferred and continued to
report for work in the Tacloban Plant but the guard refused her entry. On June 17, 1991, or
almost 1 year after she was refused entry, Valentina filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Valentina was accorded procedural due process before her separation from
work?

NO. In dismissing an employee, the employer has the burden of proving that the dismissed
worker has been served two notices: (1) the first to inform the employee of the particular acts or
omissions for which the employer seeks his dismissal, and (2) the second to inform the
employee of his employer’s decision to terminate him. The first notice must state that the
employer seeks dismissal for the act or omission charged against the employee; otherwise, the
notice does not comply with the rules. In Maquiling v. Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc., the
Court held that the first notice must inform outright the employee that an investigation will be
conducted on the charges specified in such notice which, if proven, will result in the employee’s
dismissal.

There is no dispute that in cases of abandonment of work, notice shall be served at the worker's
last known address. While petitioner presented the envelopes of the alleged notices sent to
respondent's last known address, the contents thereof were not offered in evidence. Thus, the
records are wanting of proof that respondent was properly apprised of the charges against her
and given an opportunity to explain her side, as petitioner maintains. Evidently, it is clear that
respondent's dismissal was effected without the notice required by law. Thus, petitioner failed to
satisfy the two-notice requirement.

The Serrano doctrine, which awarded full backwages to ineffectual dismissal cases where an
employee dismissed for cause was denied due process, was applied by the CA. That doctrine
has been abandoned by the Court's ruling in Agabon, where the Court held that if the dismissal
was for cause, the lack of statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal, or render it
illegal or ineffectual; but the employers violation of the employees right to statutory due process
warrants the payment of indemnity in the form of nominal damages. The amount of such
damages is addressed to the sound discretion of the Court, taking into account the relevant
circumstances.
MANSION PRINTING CENTER and CLEMENT CHENG vs. DIOSDADO BITARA, JR.
G.R. No. 168120 | J. Perez | January 25, 2012

TOPIC: Guide in the Disposition of Labor Disputes

RELEVANT FACTS

In Aug. 1988, Mansion and Clement engaged the services of Diosdado as a helper (kargador).
Diosdado was later promoted as Mansion’s sole driver tasked to pick-up raw materials for the
printing business, collect account receivables and deliver the products to the clients within the
delivery schedules. Mansion and Clement noted Diosdado’s habitual tardiness and
absenteeism. On Mar. 21, 2000, Diosdado was served a memo (notice of termination) informing
him that Mansion found him grossly negligent of his duties, for which reason, his services were
terminated effective Apr. 1, 2000.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Diosdado was validly terminated?

YES. In order to validly dismiss an employee, the employer is required to observe both
substantive and procedural aspects – the termination of employment must be based on a just or
authorized cause of dismissal and the dismissal must be effected after due notice and hearing.

We cannot agree with the Court of Appeals that the sole basis of the termination of respondent’s
employment was his absences from March 11-16, 2000. In the present case, petitioners have
repeatedly called the attention of respondent concerning his habitual tardiness. The
Memorandum dated 23 June 1999 of petitioner Cheng required him to explain his tardiness.
Also in connection with a similar infraction, respondent even wrote petitioner Cheng a letter
dated 29 November 1999 where he admitted that his tardiness has affected the delivery
schedules of the company, offered an apology, and undertook to henceforth report for duty on
time. Despite this undertaking, he continued to either absent himself from work or report late.

There is likewise no merit in the observation of the CA that the petitioners themselves are not
certain of the official time of their employees after pointing out the seeming inconsistencies
between the statement of the petitioners that “there is no need for written rules since even the
[respondent] is aware that his job starts from 8 am to 5 pm” and its Memo of 23 June 1999,
where it was mentioned that respondent’s official time was from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On the
contrary, it was clearly stated in the Memo that the Management adjusted his official time from
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to hopefully solve the problem on his tardiness.

Cheng satisfied procedural due process. First, he indicated in the notices the notation that
respondent “refused to sign” together with the corresponding dates of service. Second, he
executed an Affidavit dated 29 July 2000 stating that: (1) he is the General Manager of the
company; (2) he personally served each notice upon respondent, when respondent went to the
office/factory on 17 March 2000 and 21 March 2000, respectively; and (3) on both occasions,
after reading the contents of the memoranda, respondent refused to acknowledge receipt
thereof. We are, thus, convinced that the notices have been validly served.

Premises considered, we find that respondent was accorded both substantive and procedural
due process.
VICENTE ANG vs. CEFERINO SAN JOAQUIN, JR. and DIOSDADO FERNANDEZ
G.R. No. 185549 | J. Del Castillo | August 7, 2013

TOPIC: Procedural vis-à-vis Substantive Issues

RELEVANT FACTS

Ceferino and Diosdado were employed by Virose Furniture and Glass Supply which was owned
by Vicente Ang. On Aug. 24, 1999, Ceferino and Diosdado attended a court hearing filed by a
former Virose employee against Ang for non-remittance of SSS contributions. During the
hearing, Ceferino and Diosdado testified against Ang. On Aug. 28, 1999, Vicente’s wife, Rosa,
instructed a salesclerk to find helpers to transfer chairs. The salesclerk instructed Ceferino to
help but the latter refused resulting to a heated argument and Ceferino ultimately leaving while
shouting invectives. On Aug. 30, 1999, Ceferino returned only to find his and Diosdado’s DTR
torn apart. On the same day Diosdado reported for work and received a memo informing him
that he was placed on a one-week suspension for insubordination. The memo did not specify
the act of insubordination. As such, they filed against Vicente complaints for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Ceferino and Diosdado were validly dismissed?

NO. For a termination of employment on the ground of abandonment to be valid, the employer
“must prove, by substantial evidence, the concurrence of [the employee’s] failure to report for
work for no valid reason and his categorical intention to discontinue employment.” In the present
case, it appears that there is no intention to abandon employment; respondents’ repeated
absence were caused by Ang’s oppressive treatment and indifference which respondents simply
grew tired of and wanted a break from.

“Constructive dismissal exists where there is cessation of work because continued employment
is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely, as an offer involving a demotion in rank and a
diminution in pay.” It is a “dismissal in disguise or an act amounting to dismissal but made to
appear as if it were not.” Constructive dismissal may likewise exist if an “act of clear
discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes so unbearable on the part of the
employee that it could foreclose any choice by him except to forego his continued employment.”
“Constructive dismissal exists when the employee involuntarily resigns due to the harsh, hostile,
and unfavorable conditions set by the employer.” “The test of constructive dismissal is whether a
reasonable person in the employee’s position would have felt compelled to give up his position
under the circumstances.” The CA is correct in its pronouncement that respondents were
constructively dismissed from work.

Besides, as correctly held by the CA, the immediate filing of the labor case negates the claim of
abandonment. Employees who immediately protest their dismissal, as by filing a labor case,
cannot logically be said to have abandoned their employment.

Respondents could not be faulted for failing to submit their respective replies to the petitioner’s
memoranda. By the time they were notified of the same, the labor Complaints had been filed;
not to mention that their cause of action is based on constructive dismissal, which they claim
occurred even prior to their receipt of the subject memoranda. With the filing of their labor case,
the submission of replies to the petitioner’s memoranda became an unnecessary exercise.
PNB vs. MARY SHEILA ARCOBILLAS
G.R. No. 179648 | J. Del Castillo | August 7, 2013

TOPIC: Procedural error on the part of the employer

RELEVANT FACTS

On May 15, 1998, the PNB account of Avelina Nomad-Spoor was credited with US$138.
However, instead of posting its peso equivalent of P5,517.10, Mary erroneously posted
US$5,517.10 resulting to an overcredit of US$5,379.10. Said amount was later withdrawn by
Avelina to the damage of PNB in the amount of P214,641.23. Mary admitted her mistake and
apologized for it and offered some defenses. On Feb. 24, 2000, the PNB Administrative
Adjudication Panel found Mary guilty of gross neglect of duty and meted her the penalty of
forced resignation. As such, Mary filed for illegal dismissal. Despite the non-filing of a Motion for
Reconsideration with the NLRC, the CA took cognizance of PNB’s Petition for Certiorari and
upheld the NLRC that Mary was invalidly dismissed.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. WON the CA erred in taking cognizance of PNB’s Petition for Certiorari despite its non-filing
of a Motion for Reconsideration with the NLRC?

YES. PNB’s failure to file a Motion for Reconsideration with the NLRC before filing its Petition
for Certiorari before the CA is a fatal infirmity.

The Court recognizes that "the finality of the NLRC’s Decision does not preclude the filing of a
Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. That the NLRC issues an entry of
judgment after the lapse of ten (10) days from the parties’ receipt of its Decision will only give
rise to the prevailing party’s right to move for the execution thereof but will not prevent the CA
from taking cognizance of a Petition for Certiorari on jurisdictional and due process
considerations." However, it is a well-established rule that "a Motion for Reconsideration is an
indispensable condition before an aggrieved party can resort to the special civil action for
certiorari. The rationale for the rule is that the law intends to afford the NLRC an opportunity to
rectify such errors or mistakes it may have committed before resort to courts of justice can be
had. Of course, the rule is not absolute and jurisprudence has laid down exceptions when the
filing of a Petition for Certiorari is proper notwithstanding the failure to file a Motion for
Reconsideration, "such as "(a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has
no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly
raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in
the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any
further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject
matter of the action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a Motion for
Reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there
is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent
and the granting of such relied by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the
lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceeding was ex parte or in
which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and, (i) where the issue raised is one purely of
law or where public interest is involved." Here, PNB did not at all allege to which of the above-
mentioned exceptions this case falls. Neither did it present any plausible justification for
dispensing with the requirement of a prior Motion for Reconsideration before the NLRC.
AM-PHIL FOOD CONCEPTS, INC. vs. PAOLO J.T. PADILLA
G.R. No. 188753 | J. Leonen | October 1, 2014

TOPIC: Supplemental rejoinder vis-à-vis position paper – 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure

RELEVANT FACTS

Paolo was hired as a Marketing Associate by Am-Phil. In March 2004, Am-Phil’s officers
informed Paolo that the company would be implementing a retrenchment program that would be
affecting Paolo. Paolo was given the option either to be retrenched with severance pay or be
transferred as a waiter in Am-Phil’s restaurant, a move that entailed his demotion. On Mar. 17,
2004, Am-Phil sent Paolo a memo notifying him of his retrenchment. Paolo filed a complaint for
illegal dismissal against Am-Phil.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Labor Arbiter Chuanico violated Am-Phil’s right to due process for not having
allowed its motion for leave to file supplemental rejoinder?

NO. Am-Phil faults Labor Arbiter Chuanico for not having allowed its motion for leave to file
supplemental rejoinder that included its 2001 to 2004 audited financial statements as annexes.
These statements supposedly show that Am-Phil suffered serious business losses. Thus, it
claims that its right to due process was violated.

Am-Phil’s motion for leave to file supplemental rejoinder, dated May 20, 2005, was filed on May
31, 2005, well after Labor Arbiter Chuanico promulgated his May 9, 2005 decision. Common
sense dictates that as the motion for leave to file supplemental rejoinder was filed after the
rendition of the decision, the decision could not have possibly taken into consideration the
motion. Giving consideration to a motion filed after the promulgation of the decision is not only
unreasonable, it is impossible. It follows that it is completely absurd to fault Labor Arbiter
Chuanico for not considering a May 31 motion in his May 9 decision.

Even if we were to ignore the curious fact that the motion was filed after the rendition of the
decision, Labor Arbiter Chuanico was under no obligation to admit the supplemental rejoinder.

From the provisions of the 2002 Rules, it is clear that a supplemental rejoinder, as correctly
ruled by the National Labor Relations Commission, is not a pleading which a labor arbiter is
duty-bound to accept. Even following changes to the National Labor Relations Commission
Rules of Procedure in 2005 and 2011, a rejoinder has not been recognized as a pleading that
labor arbiters must necessarily admit. The 2005 and 2011 National Labor Relations
Commission Rules of Procedure only go so far as to recognize that a reply “may” be filed by the
parties.

Thus, Labor Arbiter Chuanico was under no obligation to grant Am-Phil’s motion for leave to
admit supplemental rejoinder and, thereby, consider the supplemental rejoinder’s averments
and annexes. That Am-Phil had to file a motion seeking permission to file its supplemental
rejoinder (i.e., motion for leave to file) is proof of its own recognition that the labor arbiter is
under no compulsion to accept any such pleading and that the supplemental rejoinder’s
admission rests on the labor arbiter’s discretion.
GOLDEN ACE BUILDERS and ARNOLD AZUL vs. JOSE A. TALDE
G.R. No. 187200 | J. Carpio-Morales | May 5, 2010

TOPIC: Normal Consequences of Illegality of Dismissal – Article 294 (279)

RELEVANT FACTS

Jose was hired in 1990 as a carpenter by Golden Ace of which Arnold is the owner-manager. In
Feb. 1999, Azul, alleging the unavailability of construction projects, stopped giving work
assignments to Jose, prompting the latter to file a complaint for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Jose, being illegally dismissed, is entitled to both backwages and separation
pay even if separation pay was not granted by the Labor Arbiter?

YES. The basis for the payment of backwages is different from that for the award of separation
pay. Separation pay is granted where reinstatement is no longer advisable because of strained
relations between the employee and the employer. Backwages represent compensation that
should have been earned but were not collected because of the unjust dismissal. The basis for
computing backwages is usually the length of the employees service while that for separation
pay is the actual period when the employee was unlawfully prevented from working.\

As to how both awards should be computed, Macasero v. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines
instructs: Thus, an illegally dismissed employee is entitled to two reliefs: backwages and
reinstatement. The two reliefs provided are separate and distinct. In instances where
reinstatement is no longer feasible because of strained relations between the employee and the
employer, separation pay is granted. In effect, an illegally dismissed employee is entitled to
either reinstatement, if viable, or separation pay if reinstatement is no longer viable, and
backwages.

The normal consequences of an employee’s illegal dismissal, then, are reinstatement without
loss of seniority rights, and payment of backwages computed from the time compensation was
withheld up to the date of actual reinstatement. Where reinstatement is no longer viable as an
option, separation pay equivalent to one (1) month salary for every year of service should be
awarded as an alternative. The payment of separation pay is in addition to payment of
backwages.

The accepted doctrine is that separation pay may avail in lieu of reinstatement if reinstatement
is no longer practical or in the best interest of the parties. Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement
may likewise be awarded if the employee decides not to be reinstated.
OASIS PARK HOTEL vs. LESLEE G. NAVALUNA plus 6 OTHERS
G. R. No. 197191 | J. Leonardo-De Castro | November 21, 2016

TOPIC: Employer’s Burden of Proof – Article 292 (277) (b) 3rd Sentence

RELEVANT FACTS

Leslee plus 6 others were variously employed by Oasis as food attendant, cashier, or front desk
clerk since 2003 to 2004. Believing that they were not being accorded the labor standard
benefits for regular employees, they filed a complaint against Oasis. Ultimately, Oasis issued
each to Leslee plus 6 others a written Notice of Termination. As such, Leslee plus 6 others filed
for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Leslee plus 6 others were validly dismissed?

NO. Article 277 of the Labor Code guarantees the right of an employee to security of tenure.
The burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized cause shall rest on the
employer.

It is clear from the above provision that the dismissal of respondents may be sustained only if
shown to have been made for a just and authorized cause and with due process; and that the
burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized cause rests upon the
employer.

Time and again, the Court has ruled that in illegal dismissal cases, the onus of proving that the
employee was not dismissed or if dismissed, that the dismissal was not illegal, rests on the
employer, and failure to discharge the same would mean that the dismissal is not justified and,
therefore, illegal. The petitioner must not only rely on the weakness of the respondents'
evidence, but must stand on the merits of its own defense. A party alleging a critical fact must
support his allegation with substantial evidence, for any decision based on unsubstantiated
allegation and unreliable documentary evidence cannot stand, as it will offend due process.

Petitioner was unable to submit substantial evidence that respondents actually committed
serious misconduct and wilful breach of trust to justify the respondents' dismissal from
employment. Initially, there were only the self-serving and unsubstantiated allegations of
petitioner and the spouses Percy. Subsequently, petitioner and the spouses Percy attached to
the Sur-Rejoinder they submitted to the Labor Arbiter on August 18, 2009 "newly discovered
evidence," i.e., the affidavits of other hotel employees to establish respondents' guilt. The Court
agrees with the observation of the NLRC that such affidavits, belatedly executed by the hotel
employees almost a year after respondents' dismissal on October 16, 2008, deserve little weight
and credence for these were non-existent at the time petitioner conducted its alleged
investigation of the charges against respondents and could not have been the basis for
respondents' dismissal. Moreover, the Court cannot tum a blind eye to the very short period
between respondents' filing of their complaint before the DOLE on August 28, 2008 and the
issuance by petitioner to respondents of the Notices to Explain and Preventive Suspension on
September 17, 2008 and Notices of Termination on October 16, 2008, giving rise to the
reasonable belief that petitioner administratively charged and dismissed respondents as
retaliation for respondents' filing of their complaint before the DOLE.
LORELEI O. ILADAN vs. LA SUERTE INTERNATIONAL MANPOWER AGENCY, INC.
G.R. No. 203882 | J. Del Castillo | January 11, 2016

TOPIC: Employee must firs establish the fact of dismissal

RELEVANT FACTS

On Mar. 20, 2009, La Suerte hired Lorelei to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong for 2
years. On July 20, 2009, Lorelei was deployed to her principal employer in Hong Kong. On July
28, 2009, barely 8 days into work, Lorelei executed a handwritten resignation letter. She signed
an Affidavit of Release, Waiver and Quitclaim in favor of La Suerte for P35,000. On Nov. 23,
209, Lorelei filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Lorelei was validly dismissed?

YES. In illegal dismissal cases, the employer has the burden of proving that the employee's
dismissal was legal. However, to discharge this burden, the employee must first prove, by
substantial evidence, that he had been dismissed from employment.

Lorelei maintains that she was threatened and coerced by respondents to write the resignation
letter, to accept the financial assistance and to sign the waiver and settlement. Consequently,
she insists that her act of resigning was involuntary.

The Court is not convinced as we find no proof of Lorelei’s allegations. It is a settled


jurisprudence that it is incumbent upon an employee to prove that his resignation is not
voluntary. However, Lorelei did not adduce any competent evidence to prove that respondents
used force and threat.

In the instant case, Lorelei executed a resignation letter in her own handwriting. She also
accepted the amount of P35,000.00 as financial assistance and executed an Affidavit of
Release, Waiver and Quitclaim and an Agreement, as settlement and waiver of any cause of
action against respondents. The affidavit of waiver and the settlement were acknowledged /
subscribed before Labor Attache Romulo on August 6, 2009, and duly authenticated by the
Philippine Consulate. An affidavit of waiver duly acknowledged before a notary public is a public
document which cannot be impugned by mere self-serving allegations. Proof of an irregularity in
its execution is absolutely essential. The Agreement likewise bears the signature of Conciliator-
Mediator Diaz. Thus, the signatures of these officials sufficiently prove that Lorelei was duly
assisted when she signed the waiver and settlement.
JOEL N. MONTALLANA vs. LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE MANILA, et al.
G.R. No. 208890 | J. Perlas-Bernabe | December 8, 2014

TOPIC: Measure of Penalty

RELEVANT FACTS

Joel was a faculty member of La Consolacion’s College of Arts and Sciences. On Jan. 16, 2009,
Assistant Dean Nerissa Juan filed a complaint with La Consolacion against Joel charging him of
oral defamation, disorderly conduct on school premises, and discourteous / indecent behavior.
After investigation, La Consolacion found Joel guilty of serious misconduct. While noting that the
foregoing may be considered as a just cause for termination, the investigating committee
observed that it was his first offense and stressed on the reformative and redemptive facets of
the case. In fine, Joel was only meted the penalty of suspension without pay for 2 months and to
submit a written apology to Nerissa. Joel refused to create a letter of apology as it would be
prejudicial to his case and asked for reconsideration. The request was denied.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Joel was validly dismissed?

NO. "Willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative
in connection with his work" is one of the just causes to terminate an employee under Article
296 (a) (formerly Article 282 [a]) of the Labor Code. In order for this ground to be properly
invoked as a just cause for dismissal, the conduct must be wilful or intentional, wilfulness being
characterized by a wrongful and perverse mental attitude. In Dongon v. Rapid Movers and
Forwarders Co., Inc., "wilfulness" was described as "attended by a wrongful and perverse
mental attitude rendering the employee’s act inconsistent with proper subordination."

It is well to stress that it is the employer who bears the burden of proving, through substantial
evidence, that the aforesaid just cause – or any other authorized cause for that matter – forms
the basis of the employee’s dismissal from work. Failing in which, the dismissal should be
adjudged as illegal.In the case at bar, respondents failed to prove, by substantial evidence, that
Montallana’s non-compliance with respondents’ directive to apologize was "willful or intentional."
The Court finds itself in complete agreement with the NLRC that the disobedience attributed to
Montallana could not be justly characterized as "willful" within the contemplation of Article 296 of
the Labor Code, in the sense above-described.

As culled from the records, aside from the administrative complaint filed by Juan against
Montallana for his serious misconduct, the former also filed a criminal complaint for grave oral
defamation for the utterances he made arising from the same incident before the Manila City
Prosecutor’s Office. In the honest belief that issuing a letter of apology would incriminate him in
the said criminal case – and upon the advice of his own lawyer at that – Montallana wrote to
respondents and voluntarily communicated that he was willing to issue the required apology, but
only had to defer the same in view of his legal predicament. As the Court sees it, the tenor of his
letters, and the circumstances under which they were taken, at the very least, exhibited
Montallana’s good faith indealing with respondents. This, therefore, negates the theory that his
failure to abide by respondents’ directive to apologize was attended by a "wrong and perverse
mental attitude rendering the employee’s act inconsistent with proper subordination," which
would warrant his termination from employment.
NEGROS SLASHERS, INC. vs. ALVIN L. TENG
G.R. No. 187122 | J. Villarama, Jr. | February 22, 2012

TOPIC: Measure of Penalty

RELEVANT FACTS

Alvin Teng is a professional basketball player in the PBA and then later on played in the
Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA). On Feb. 4, 1999, Alvin signed a 3-year contract with
the Laguna Lakers. Before his contract expired, the Lakers traded Alvin to Negros Slashers. On
Game Number 4 of the MBA Championship Round for the year 2000, Alvin had a below-par
playing performance. Thus, Alvin was terminated from the team. On July 28, 2001, Alvin filed a
complaint before the Office of the Commissioner of the MBA and an illegal dismissal case with
the NLRC.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Alvin was validly dismissed?

NO. The Supreme Court finds that the penalty of dismissal handed out against Teng was indeed
too harsh.

Petitioners rely heavily on the alleged effects of Teng’s actions on the rest of the team. However,
such reaction from team members is expected after losing a game, especially a championship
game. It is also not unlikely that the team members looked for someone to blame after they lost
the championship games and that Teng happened to be the closest target of the team’s
frustration and disappointment. But all these sentiments and emotions from Negros Slasher’s
players and staff must not blur the eyes of the Court from objectively assessing Teng’s infraction
in order to determine whether the same constitutes just ground for dismissal. The incident in
question should be clear: Teng had a below-par performance during Game Number 4 for which
he was pulled out from the game, and then he untied his shoelaces and donned his practice
jersey. In Game Number 5, he did not play.

As an employee of the Negros Slashers, Teng was expected to report for work regularly. Missing
a team game is indeed a punishable offense. Untying of shoelaces when the game is not yet
finished is also irresponsible and unprofessional. However, we agree with the Labor Arbiter that
such isolated foolishness of an employee does not justify the extreme penalty of dismissal from
service. Petitioners could have opted to impose a fine or suspension on Teng for his
unacceptable conduct. Other forms of disciplinary action could also have been taken after the
incident to impart on the team that such misconduct will not be tolerated.

In Sagales v. Rustans Commercial Corporation, the Court ruled that infractions committed by an
employee should merit only the corresponding penalty demanded by the circumstance. The
penalty must be commensurate with the act, conduct or omission imputed to the employee and
must be imposed in connection with the disciplinary authority of the employer.

In the case at bar, the penalty handed out by the petitioners was the ultimate penalty of
dismissal. There was no warning or admonition for respondent’s violation of team rules, only
outright termination of his services for an act which could have been punished appropriately with
a severe reprimand or suspension.
JENNIFER C. LAGAHIT vs. PACIFIC CONCORD CONTAINER LINES
G.R. No. 177680 | J. Bersamin | January 13, 2016

TOPIC: Resignation – Article 300 (285)

RELEVANT FACTS

In February 2000, Pacific hired Jennifer as an Account Executive / Marketing Assistant. In


January 2000, Pacific promoted Jennifer as a sales manager. On Nov. 8, 2002, she reported for
work at 9 AM, and left the company premises at around 10:30 AM to make client calls. At 1:14
PM, she received a text message from the branch manager that she is not official connected
with Pacific anymore. On Nov. 26, 2002, Jennifer filed a complaint for constructive dismissal
before the NLRC. Pacific contends that Jennifer’s resignation letter confirmed that she no longer
desired to work for them considering that she succeeded in landing a job with Seajet Lines in
just 3 days after her resignation.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Jennifer resigned?

NO. The respondents’ insistence that the petitioner had resigned was bereft of factual support.
As a rule, the employer who interposes the resignation of the employee as a defense should
prove that the employee voluntarily resigned.40 A valid resignation is the voluntary act of an
employee who finds herself in a situation where she believes that personal reasons cannot be
sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service and that she has no other choice but to
disassociate herself from employment. The resignation must be unconditional and with a clear
intention to relinquish the position. Consequently, the circumstances surrounding the alleged
resignation must be consistent with the employee’s intent to give up the employment. In this
connection, the acts of the employee before and after the resignation are considered to
determine whether or not she intended, in fact, to relinquish the employment.

The facts and circumstances before and after the petitioner’s severance from her employment
on November 8, 2002 did not show her resolute intention to relinquish her job. Indeed, it would
be unfounded to infer the intention to relinquish from her November 13, 2002 letter, which, to us,
was not a resignation letter due to the absence therefrom of anything evincing her desire to
sever the employer-employee relationship. The letter instead presented her as a defenseless
employee unjustly terminated for unknown reasons who had been made the subject of notices
and flyers informing the public of her unexpected termination. It also depicted her as an
employee meekly accepting her unexpected fate and requesting the payment of her backwages
and accrued benefits just to be done with the employer.

For sure, to conclude that the petitioner resigned because of her letter of November 13, 2002 is
absurd in light of the respondents having insisted that she had been terminated from her
employment earlier on November 8, 2002. In that regard, every resignation presupposes the
existence of the employer-employee relationship; hence, there can be no valid resignation after
the fact of termination of the employment simply because the employee had no employer-
employee relationship to relinquish.
AZCOR MANUFACTURING INC. vs. NLRC and CANDIDO CAPULSO
G.R. No. 117963 | J. Bellosillo | February 11, 1999

TOPIC: Resignation;
Without Just Case – Requisites – Article 300 (285) (a); Const. Art. III, Sec. 18 (2)

RELEVANT FACTS

Candido filed with the LA a complaint for constructive illegal dismissal against AZCOR. AZCOR
moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that no employer-employee existed between
AZCOR and Candido and that the latter became an employee of Filipinas Paso but voluntarily
resigned a year after. Evidence show that Candido worked for AZCOR as ceramics worker for
more than 2 years.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Candido voluntarily resigned from AZCOR and Filipinas Paso and that there
was nothing illegal or unusual in the letters of resignation Candido executed?

NO. To constitute a resignation, it must be unconditional and with the intent to operate as such.
There must be an intention to relinquish a portion of the term of office accompanied by an act of
relinquishment. In the instant case, the fact that Capulso signified his desire to resume his work
when he went back to petitioner AZCOR after recuperating from his illness, and actively pursued
his case for illegal dismissal before the labor courts when he was refused admission by his
employer, negated any intention on his part to relinquish his job at AZCOR.

Moreover, a closer look at the subject resignation letters readily reveals the following: (a) the
resignation letter allegedly tendered by Capulso to Filipinas Paso was identically worded with
that supposedly addressed by him to AZCOR; (b) both were pre-drafted with blank spaces filled
up with the purported dates of effectivity of his resignation; and, (c) it was written in English, a
language which Capulso was not conversant with considering his low level of education. No
other plausible explanation can be drawn from these circumstances than that the subject letters
of resignation were prepared by a person or persons other than Capulso. And the fact that he
categorically disowned the signatures therein and denied having executed them clearly
indicates that the resignation letters were drafted without his consent and participation.

Even assuming for the sake of argument that the signatures were genuine, we still cannot give
credence to those letters in the absence of any showing that Capulso was aware that what he
was signing then were in fact resignation letters or that he fully understood the contents thereof.
Having introduced those resignation letters in evidence, it was incumbent upon petitioners to
prove clearly and convincingly their genuineness and due execution, especially considering the
serious doubts on their authenticity. Petitioners miserably failed in this respect.
FLORDALIZA LLANES GRANDE vs. PHILIPPINE NAUTICAL TRAINING COLLEGE
G.R. No. 213137 | J. Peralta | March 1, 2017

TOPIC: Forced Resignation

RELEVANT FACTS

In 1988, PNTC employed Flordaliza. In February 2011, several employees of PNTC’s


Registration Department, including Flordaliza, were placed under preventive suspension in view
of the anomalies in the enlistment of students. On Mar. 1, 2011, Flordaliza received a message
from PNTC’s President asking her to tender her resignation in view of the said anomalies
reportedly involving her. Flordaliza was assured of absolution from the alleged anomalies if she
would resign. As such, Flordaliza prepared and signed a resignation letter.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Flordaliza was forced to resign?

YES. Respondent claimed that petitioner voluntarily resigned from employment. For the
resignation of an employee to be a viable defense in an action for illegal dismissal, an employer
must prove that the resignation was voluntary, and its evidence thereon must be clear, positive
and convincing. The employer cannot rely on the weakness of the employee’s evidence.

In voluntary resignation, the employee is compelled by personal reason(s) to disassociate


himself from employment. It is done with the intention of relinquishing an office, accompanied by
the act of abandonment. To determine whether the employee indeed intended to relinquish such
employment, the act of the employee before and after the alleged resignation must be
considered.

We concur with the findings of the NLRC that the acts of petitioner before and after she
tendered her resignation would show that undue force was exerted upon petitioner: (1) the
resignation letter of petitioner was terse and curt, giving the impression that it was hurriedly and
grudgingly written; (2) she was in the thick of preparation for an upcoming visit and inspection
from the Maritime Training Council; it was also around that time that she had just requested for
the acquisition of textbooks and teaching aids, a fact which is incongruent with her sudden
resignation from work; (3) in the evening, she filed an incident report/police blotter before the
Intramuros Police Station; and (4) the following day she filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.

In order to withstand the test of validity, resignations must be made voluntarily and with the
intention of relinquishing the office, coupled with an act of relinquishment. Therefore, in order to
determine whether the employees truly intended to resign from their respective posts, we must
take into consideration the totality of circumstances in each particular case.
DREAMLAND HOTEL RESORT vs. STEPHEN B. JOHNSON
G.R. No. 191455 | J. Reyes | March 12, 2014

TOPIC: Resignation for non-payment of wages; Constructive dismissal

RELEVANT FACTS

On June 21, 2007, Dreamland, through its president, entered into an Employment Agreement
with Stephen. At this point, the resort was far from finished. As Stephen remained unpaid since
August 2007 and he has loaned all his money to Dreamland, he asked for his salary after the
resort was opened in October 2007 but the same was not given to him. It seems that there was
no intention to pay his salaries at all. On Nov. 3, 2007, after realizing his lack of real authority in
the hotel and the disdain for him by Dreamland, Stephen was forced to submit his resignation.
As such, he filed for illegal dismissal and non-payment of salaries against Dreamland.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Johnson voluntarily resigned?

NO. The petitioners aver that considering that Johnson tendered his resignation and abandoned
his work, it is his burden to prove that his resignation was not voluntary on his part.

With this, the Court brings to mind its earlier ruling in the case of SHS Perforated Materials, Inc.
v. Diaz where it held that: "There is constructive dismissal if an act of clear discrimination,
insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes so unbearable on the part of the employee that
it would foreclose any choice by him except to forego his continued employment. It exists where
there is cessation of work because continued employment is rendered impossible,
unreasonable or unlikely, as an offer involving a demotion in rank and a diminution in pay."

It is impossible, unreasonable or unlikely that any employee, such as Johnson would continue
working for an employer who does not pay him his salaries. Applying the Court’s
pronouncement in Duldulao v. CA, the Court construes that the act of the petitioners in not
paying Johnson his salaries for three months has become unbearable on the latter’s part that he
had no choice but to cede his employment with them.

While it was Johnson who tendered his resignation, it was due to the petitioners’ acts that he
was constrained to resign. The petitioners cannot expect Johnson to tolerate working for them
without any compensation.
EMERTIA G. MALIXI vs. MEXICALI PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 205061 | J. Del Castillo | June 8. 2016

TOPIC: Resignation ends employer-employee relationship

RELEVANT FACTS

On Aug. 12, 2008, Emertia was hired by Mexicali. In Dec. 2008, she was compelled to sign an
end-of-contract letter by reason of a criminal complaint for sexual harassment she filed against
a Mexicali’s operations manager. When she refused to signed, she was informed that nit was
her last day at work. Mexicali averred that Emertia has resigned in October 2008 and hence,
was no longer Mexicali’s employee at the time of her dismissal but rather an employee of
Calexico, a franchisee of Mexicali which is a distinct corporation.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Emertia remained as Mexicali’s employee in light of her resignation?

NO. Petitioner voluntarily resigned from Mexicali. No employer-employee relationship between


petitioner and Mexicali at the time of alleged dismissal.

Resignation is the voluntary act of an employee who is in a situation where one believes that
personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service, and one has no
other choice but to dissociate oneself from employment. It is a formal pronouncement or
relinquishment of an office, with the intention of relinquishing the office accompanied by the act
of relinquishment. As the intent to relinquish must concur with the overt act of relinquishment,
the acts of the employee before and after the alleged resignation must be considered in
determining whether he or she, in fact, intended to sever his or her employment.

Here, petitioner tendered her resignation letter preparatory to her transfer to Calexico for a
higher position and pay. In the said letter, she expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the
two months of her employment with Mexicali and intimated that she regrets having to leave the
company. Clearly, expressions of gratitude and appreciation as well as manifestation of regret in
leaving the company negates the notion that she was forced and coerced to resign. In the same
vein, an inducement for a higher position and salary cannot defeat the voluntariness of her
actions. It should be emphasized that petitioner had an option to decline the offer for her
transfer, however, she opted to resign on account of a promotion and increased pay.

In termination cases, the employee is not afforded any option; the employee is dismissed and
his only recourse is to institute a complaint for illegal dismissal against his employer. Clearly,
this does not hold true for petitioner in the instant case. Further, as aptly observed by the CA,
petitioner is a managerial employee, who, by her educational background could not have been
coerced, forced or induced into resigning from her work.

Upon petitioner's resignation, petitioner ceased to be an employee of Mexicali and chose to be


employed at Calexico.
NORMAN YABUT vs. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY
G.R. No. 190436 | J. Reyes | January 16, 2012

TOPIC: Termination of Employment by Employer; Substantive Requirements


Basis – Employer Right: a measure of self-protection – Const. Art. XIII, Sec. 3.

RELEVANT FACTS

Norman worked with Meralco from Feb. 1989 until his dismissal on Feb. 5, 2004. An
investigation was conducted against Norman which showed that his electric service was
disconnected for account delinquency. However, despite the disconnection and the fact that
Meralco’s service had not been reconnected, Norman’s meter registered electric consumption.
As such, Norman was served a notice of dismissal. Aggrived, Norman filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Norman was validly dismissed?

YES. The dismissal of the petitioner was founded on just causes under Article 282 of the Labor
Code of the Philippines. The requirement for a just cause was satisfied in this case. We note
that the petitioner's employment was terminated by the herein respondents for violation of
Section 7, par. 3 of Meralco's Company Code on Employee Discipline, and for the existence of
just cause under Article 282 (a), (c), (d) and (e) of the Labor Code.

The petitioner's violation of the company rules was evident. While he denies any involvement in
the installation of the shunting wires which Meralco discovered, it is significant that said SIN
708668501 is registered under his name, and its meter base is situated within the premises of
his property. Said meter registered electric consumption during the time his electric service was
officially disconnected by Meralco. It was the petitioner and his family who could have benefited
from the illegal connection, being the residents of the area covered by the service. His claim that
he failed to know or even notice the shunted wires fails to persuade as we consider the meter
located in the front of his house, the nature of his work as branch field representative, his long-
time employment with Meralco and his familiarity with illegal connections of this kind.

Significantly, “(t)ampering with electric meters or metering installations of the Company or the
installation of any device, with the purpose of defrauding the Company” is classified as an act of
dishonesty from Meralco employees, expressly prohibited under company rules. It is reasonable
that its commission is classified as a severe act of dishonesty, punishable by dismissal even on
its first commission, given the nature and gravity of the offense and the fact that it is a grave
wrong directed against their employer.

Considering the foregoing, this Court agrees that there were just causes for the petitioner's
dismissal. We emphasize that dismissal of a dishonest employee is to the best interest not only
of the management but also of labor. As a measure of self-protection against acts inimical to its
interest, a company has the right to dismiss its erring employees. An employer cannot be
compelled to continue employing an employee guilty of acts inimical to the employer’s interest,
justifying loss of confidence in him.
ALERT SECURITY AND INVESTIGATION AGENCY, INC. vs. SAIDALI PASWILAN, et al.
G.R. No. 182397 | J. Villarama, Jr. | September 14, 2011

TOPIC: Employer’s Right to Dismiss vis-à-vis Employee’s Right to Security of Tenure

RELEVANT FACTS

Saidali et al. were employed by Alert Security on 1996 and 1997. They aver that because they
were underpaid, they filed a complaint for money claims. As a result of the complaint, they were
relieved from their posts and were not given new assignments despite the lapse of 6 months.
On Jan. 26, 1999, they filed a joint complaint for illegal dismissal against Alert Security.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Saidali et al. were validly dismissed?

NO. As a rule, employment cannot be terminated by an employer without any just or authorized
cause. No less than the 1987 Constitution in Section 3, Article 13 guarantees security of tenure
for workers and because of this, an employee may only be terminated for just or authorized
causes that must comply with the due process requirements mandated by law. Hence,
employers are barred from arbitrarily removing their workers whenever and however they want.
The law sets the valid grounds for termination as well as the proper procedure to take when
terminating the services of an employee.

Although we recognize the right of employers to shape their own work force, this management
prerogative must not curtail the basic right of employees to security of tenure. There must be a
valid and lawful reason for terminating the employment of a worker. Otherwise, it is illegal and
would be dealt with by the courts accordingly.

In the case at bar, respondents were relieved from their posts because they filed with the Labor
Arbiter a complaint against their employer for money claims due to underpayment of wages.
This reason is unacceptable and illegal. Nowhere in the law providing for the just and authorized
causes of termination of employment is there any direct or indirect reference to filing a legitimate
complaint for money claims against the employer as a valid ground for termination.
UNIVERSAL CANNING, INC. vs. CA and DANTE SAROSAL plus 4 OTHERS
G.R. No. 215047 | J. Perez | November 23, 2016

TOPIC: Serious Misconduct – Article 297 (282) (a)

RELEVANT FACTS

Dante plus 4 others were employed by Universal Canning on various capacities. On Jan. 21,
2009, they were caught playing cards at the company’s premises during work hours. As such,
they were dismissed from employment through a notice thereof dated Feb. 19, 2016 which
enumerated the grounds: (1) taking part in a betting, gambling or any unauthorized game of
chance inside the company premises while on duty; and (2) for loss of trust and confidence.
Aggrieved, Dante plus 4 others filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Dante plus 4 others were validly dismissed?

YES. It must be stressed at the onset that respondents were dismissed by petitioners for two
reasons: (1) for violation of company rules and regulations under Paragraph IV, Number 4 under
Offenses Against Public Morals;14 and (2) for loss of trust and confidence. While it is true that
loss of trust and confidence alone could not stand as a ground for dismissal in this case since
respondents are rank and file employees who are not occupying positions of trust and
confidence, such is not the only ground, relied by the company in terminating respondents'
employment. Petitioner company also cited the infraction of company rules and regulations, in
addition to loss and trust of confidence. Infraction of the company rules and regulation which is
akin to serious misconduct is a just cause for termination of employment recognized under
Article 282 (a) of the Labor Code.

Misconduct is defined as an improper or wrong conduct. It is a transgression of some


established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character,
and implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment. To constitute a valid cause for the
dismissal within the text and meaning of Article 282 of the Labor Code, the employee's
misconduct must be serious, i.e., of such grave and aggravated character and not merely trivial
or unimportant. Additionally, the misconduct must be related to the performance of the
employee's duties showing him to be unfit to continue working for the employer. Further, and
equally important and required, the act or conduct must have been performed with wrongful
intent.

Here, there is no question that respondents were caught in the act of engaging in gambling
activities inside the workplace during work hours, a fact duly established during the investigation
conducted by the petitioner company and adopted by the labor tribunals below. As a matter of
fact, respondents never controverted their participation in the gambling activities, but instead
raised the defense that it took place during noon break and that no stakes were involved; these
claims even if were proven true, will however not save the day for the respondents. The use of
the company's time and premises for gambling activities is a grave offense which warrants the
penalty of dismissal for it amounts to theft of the company's time and it is explicitly prohibited by
the company rules on the ground that it is against public morals.
NISSAN MOTORS PHILS., INC. vs. VICTORINO ANGELO
G.R. No. 164181 | J. Peralta | September 14, 2011

TOPIC: Use of accusatory language / gross discourtesy

RELEVANT FACTS

Victorino was employed by Nissan on Mar. 11, 1989. Being on sick leave for multiple times, he
was not able to prepare the payroll for several periods. As such, he received a memo from
Nissan. Victorino filed for illegal suspension with the DOLE. Nissan, after an investigation,
issued a Notice of Termination against Victorino. As such, Victorino filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Victorino was validly dismissed?

YES. The Labor Code provides that an employer may terminate the services of an employee for
a just cause. Petitioner, the employer in the present case, dismissed respondent based on
allegations of serious miscounduct, willful disobedience and gross neglect.

One of the just causes enumerated in the Labor Code is serious misconduct. Misconduct is
improper or wrong conduct. It is the transgression of some established and definite rule of
action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies wrongful intent and
not mere error in judgment. Such misconduct, however serious, must nevertheless be in
connection with the employee's work to constitute just cause for his separation. Thus, for
misconduct or improper behavior to be a just cause for dismissal, (a) it must be serious; (b) it
must relate to the performance of the employees duties; and (c) it must show that the employee
has become unfit to continue working for the employer.

Going through the records, this Court found evidence to support the allegation of serious
misconduct or insubordination. Petitioner claims that the language used by respondent in his
Letter-Explanation is akin to a manifest refusal to cooperate with company officers, and resorted
to conduct which smacks of outright disrespect and willful defiance of authority or
insubordination. The misconduct to be serious within the meaning of the Labor Code must be of
such a grave and aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant.

This Court finds the above to be grossly discourteous in content and tenor. The most
appropriate thing he could have done was simply to state his facts without resorting to such
strong language. Past decisions of this Court have been one in ruling that accusatory and
inflammatory language used by an employee to the employer or superior can be a ground for
dismissal or termination.
ALBERTO J. RAZA vs. DAIKOKU ELECTRONICS PHILS., INC. and MAMORU ONO
G.R. No. 188464 | J. Peralta | July 29, 2015

TOPIC: Numerous Infractions

RELEVANT FACTS

Alberto was hired by Daikoku on Jan. 11, 1999. Eventually he was assigned to Mamoru. After
an investigation for several infractions, the committee recommended the suspension of Alberto.
However, the company sent a letter terminating Alberto’s services for dishonesty. Thus, Alberto
filed his complaint for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Alberto was validly dismissed?

YES. Raza was validly dismissed within the confines of a just cause for termination as provided
for in the Labor Code.

Upon this Court's assessment, however, it finds that this burden has been discharged by
respondents and this Court agrees with the latter that petitioner Raza's acts amounted to
serious misconduct which falls under the valid grounds for termination of the services of an
employee as provided for in the Labor Code, specifically Article 282 (a).

Misconduct is improper or wrongful conduct. It is the transgression of some established and


definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies
wrongful intent and not mere error of judgment. For misconduct to justify dismissal under the
law, (a) it must be serious, (b) must relate to the performance of the employee's duties; and (c)
must show that the employee has become unfit to continue working for the employer.

In the case at bar, it must be noted that Raza's termination came not as a result of a singular
incident on July 21, 2003 of driving home the company car, keeping it overnight and then lying
about such act to the company president the next day. It came because such incident launched
a company investigation during which it was found out that the July 21, 2003 incident was
preceded by thirty-one (31) other instances in the previous two and a half (2-1/2) months (or
from May 1, 2003 to July 20, 2003) in which Raza similarly did not park the car in the assigned
area but took it home overnight without permission. Thus, the termination letter against Raza
mentioned a "recurring act of taking the subject vehicle without authority," as a ground for his
separation from service. This Court finds and agrees with respondents that the above acts
constitute serious misconduct which rendered Raza's termination valid.
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC. vs. IBM LOCAL 1,
REGNER SANGALANG and ROLANDO NACPIL
G.R. No. 176074 | J. Reyes | November 23, 2016

TOPIC: Wilful disobedience (Gross insubordination) – Article 297 (282) (a)

RELEVANT FACTS

Regner and Rolando were hired by Coca-Cola. On Aug. 22, 2000, a memo was sent to the
management to report that Regner and Rolando refused to comply with Coca-Cola’s order
pertaning to the dumping of caps / crowns on the ground that the same was not part of their
responsibilities. After review and deliberations, Coca-Cola issued on Sep. 22, 2000 a memo
meting a penalty of dismissal against Regner and Rolando. As such, they filed for illegal
dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Regner and Rolando were validly dismissed?

NO. Coca-Cola’s termination of Regner and Rolando for insubordination is illegal.

An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes: (a) Serious
misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or
representative in connection with his work. However, willful disobedience of the employer's
lawful orders, as a just cause for dismissal of an employee, envisages the concurrence of at
least two requisites: (1) the employee's assailed conduct must have been willful, that is,
characterized by a wrongful and perverse attitude; and (2) the order violated must have been
reasonable, lawful, made known to the employee and must pertain to the duties which he had
been engaged to discharge.

On the first requisite, an examination of the position description for the assistant syrupmen
indicates that the additional duties allowed to be given to the employees are limited to the
performance of activities related to the tasks of assistant syrupmen. In the present case, the
other duties and responsibilities of the assistant syrupmen, which CCBPI did not controvert,
refer to syrup preparation, tanks sanitation, batching of syrup, slow pouring of concentrates,
maintenance of the plain and flavored syrup room, withdrawal of concentrates, and any work/job
inside the plain and ·flavored syrup room. Clearly, these additional responsibilities mainly refer
to works related to the syrup preparation and not to dumping caps / crowns.

The second requisite is also lacking in the present case. The refusal of the complainants was
not without basis. According to them, their apprehensions to perform the additional task were
based on their legitimate fear of handling two equally critical and sensitive positions. Apparently,
their behavior did not constitute the wrongful and perverse attitude that would sanction their
dismissal. The surrounding circumstances indicate that the complainants were motivated by
their honest belief that the Memorandum was indeed unlawful and unreasonable.

In sum, the Court agrees that the complainants were indeed bound to obey the lawful orders of
CCBPI, but only as long as these pertain to the duties as indicated in position description. The
order to perform the additional task of dumping caps/crowns, however, while being lawful, is not
part of their duties as assistant syrupmen.
ANGELITO R. PUBLICO vs. HOSPITAL MANAGERS, INC. /
CARDINAL SANTOS MEDICAL CENTER
G.R. No. 209086 | J. Reyes | October 17, 2016

TOPIC: Gross and habitual neglect of duties – Article 297 (282) (b)

RELEVANT FACTS

Angelito was employed to work at Cardinal Santos in 1989 when he was dismissed from
employment by HMI in 2008. The dismissal was founded on Angelito’s gross and / or habitual
negligence, as penalized under the provisions of the HMI’s Code of Discipline for employees.
Aggrieved, Angelito filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Angelito was validly dismissed?

YES. Under Article 282(b) of the Labor Code, an employer may terminate an employment on
the ground of “[g]ross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties.” In the instant case,
Publico was entrusted by HMI to take on the role of Chief, Blood Bank Section of the Laboratory
Department, and with this carried the reasonable expectation that he would assiduously perform
the demands of his position.

In affirming the CA’s finding that Publico was validly dismissed, the Court takes into account the
duties and responsibilities attached to Publico’s position as Section Chief. Clearly from the
defenses, Publico was careless in the performance of his responsibilities. He remained
unmindful of the extent of his obligations as Section Chief Personnel supervision was only one
of his several functions, all intended to ensure proper and orderly operations within his
department. These responsibilities included all matters affecting the laboratory, such as
workflow supervision, record management, equipment and inventory control. He was duty-
bound to monitor and supervise all equipment, supplies, work, and personnel operating in his
department, regardless of whether these people were under his direct supervision and the shift
when they reported for work.

In addition to the foregoing, Publico could not have simply relied on the laboratory log book to
monitor activities within his department, especially since the erring employees would not have
recorded their illegal activities, to be able to perpetuate the commission thereof.

The foregoing circumstances show that Publico’s neglect was gross and habitual. “Gross
negligence connotes want of care in the performance of one’s duties. Habitual neglect implies
repeated failure to perform one’s duties for a period of time, depending upon the
circumstances.”
PAMELA FLORENTINA P. JUMUAD vs. HI-FLYER FOOD, INC.
G.R. No. 187887 | J. Mendoza | September 7, 2011

TOPIC: Respondeat superior (Command responsibility)

RELEVANT FACTS

On May 22, 1995, Pamela began her employment with Hi-Flyer which is licensed to operate
KFC restaurants in the Philippines. Several audits were made on various KFC branches under
Pamela’s supervision. However, several irregularities were found during the audits.. Seeking to
hold Pamela accountable for the irregularities uncovered in the branches under her supervision,
Hi-Flyer sent Pamela an Irregularities Report. Ultimately, Hi-Flyer served her a Notice of
Dismissal effective Oct. 17, 2005. As such, Pamela filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Pamela was validly dismissed?

NO. After an assiduous review of the facts as contained in the records, the Court is convinced
that Jumuad cannot be dismissed on the ground of gross and habitual neglect of duty. The
Court notes the apparent neglect of Jumuad of her duty in ensuring that her subordinates were
properly monitored and that she had dutifully done all that was expected of her to ensure the
safety of the consuming public who continue to patronize the KFC branches under her
jursidiction. Had Jumuad discharged her duties to be highly visible in the restaurants under her
jurisdiction, monitor and support the day to day operations of the branches and ensure that all
the facilities and equipment at the restaurant were properly maintained and serviced, the
deplorable conditions and irregularities at the various KFC branches under her jurisdiction would
have been prevented.

Despite saying this, it cannot be denied that Jumuad willfully breached her duties as to be
unworthy of the trust and confidence of Hi-Flyer. First, there is no denying that Jumuad was a
managerial employee. As correctly noted by the appellate court, Jumuad executed management
policies and had the power to discipline the employees of KFC branches in her area. She
recommended actions on employees to the head office. Pertinent is Article 212 (m) of the Labor
Code defining a managerial employee as one who is vested with powers or prerogatives to lay
down and execute management policies and/or hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, discharge,
assign or discipline employees.

In the present case, the CERs reports of Hi-Flyer show that there were anomalies committed in
the branches managed by Jumuad. On the principle of respondeat superior or command
responsibility alone, Jumuad may be held liable for negligence in the performance of her
managerial duties. She may not have been directly involved in causing the cash shortages in
KFC-Bohol, but her involvement in not performing her duty monitoring and supporting the day to
day operations of the branches and ensure that all the facilities and equipment at the restaurant
were properly maintained and serviced, could have truly prevented the whole debacle from ever
occurring.
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY vs. MA. LUISA BELTRAN
G.R. No. 173774 | J. Del Castillo | January 30, 2012

TOPIC: Gross vs. simple negligence

RELEVANT FACTS

Luisa was employed by MERALCO on Dec. 16, 1987. During one of her transactions, she
received a payment and issued a receipt which she dated Sep. 30, 1996. However, Luisa was
only able to remit the payment on Jan. 13, 1997. Ultimately, as recommended by an
investigating committee, Luisa was dismissed on Mar. 13, 1997.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Luisa was validly dismissed on the ground of gross negligence?

NO. The SC supports the CAs finding that there are no sufficient grounds to warrant Beltran’s
dismissal.

For loss of trust and confidence to be a valid ground for dismissal, it must be based on a willful
breach of trust and founded on clearly established facts. A breach is willful if it is done
intentionally, knowingly and purposely, without justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act
done carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly or inadvertently. In addition, loss of trust and
confidence must rest on substantial grounds and not on the employer’s arbitrariness, whims,
caprices or suspicion.

Undoubtedly, Beltran was remiss in her duties for her failure to immediately turn over Chang’s
payment to the company. Such negligence, however, is not sufficient to warrant separation from
employment. To justify removal from service, the negligence should be gross and habitual.

Gross negligence x x x is the want of even slight care, acting or omitting to act in a situation
where there is duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally, with a conscious
indifference to consequences insofar as other persons may be affected. Habitual neglect, on the
other hand, connotes repeated failure to perform ones duties for a period of time, depending
upon the circumstances.

No concrete evidence was presented by MERALCO to show that Beltran’s delay in remitting the
funds was done intentionally. Neither was it shown that same is willful, unlawful and felonious
contrary to MERALCOs finging as stated in the letter of termination it sent to Beltran. Surely,
Beltran’s single and isolated act of negligence cannot justify her dismissal from service.

Moreover, Beltran’s simple negligence did not result in any loss. From the time she received the
payment on September 28, 1996 until January 7, 1997 when she was apprised by her
supervisor about Chang’s payment, no harm or damage to the company or to its customers
attributable to Beltran’s negligence was alleged by MERALCO. Also, from the time she was
apprised of the non-remittance by her superior on January 7, 1997, until the turn-over of the
amount on January 13, 1997, no such harm or damage was ever claimed by MERALCO.
CENTURY IRON WORKS, INC. vs. ELETO B. BAÑAS
G.R. No. 184116 | J. Brion | June 19, 2013

TOPIC: Includes gross inefficiency

RELEVANT FACTS

Eleto worked at Century Iron beginning July 5, 2000 until his dismissal on June 18, 2002. On
June 17, 2002, Century Iron terminated Eleto’s services on grounds of loss of trust and
confidence, and habitual and gross neglect of duty. As such, Eleto filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Eleto was validly dismissed?

YES. Bañas was grossly and habitually neglectful of his duties.

The evidence on record shows that Bañas committed numerous infractions in his one year and
eleven-month stay in Century Iron. On October 27, 2000, Century Iron gave Bañas a warning
for failing to check the right quantity of materials subject of his inventory. On December 29,
2000, Bañas went undertime. On January 2, 2001, Bañas incurred an absence without asking
for prior leave. On August 11, 2001, he was warned for failure to implement proper warehousing
and housekeeping procedures. On August 21, 2001, he failed to ensure sufficient supplies of
oxygen-acetylene gases during business hours. On November 15, 2001, Bañas was again
warned for failing to secure prior permission before going on leave. In May 2002, Century Iron’s
accounting department found out that Bañas made double and wrong entries in his inventory.

Article 282 of the Labor Code provides that one of the just causes for terminating an
employment is the employee’s gross and habitual neglect of his duties. This cause includes
gross inefficiency, negligence and carelessness. "Gross negligence connotes want or absence
of or failure to exercise slight care or diligence, or the entire absence of care. It evinces a
thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting any effort to avoid them. Fraud and
willful neglect of duties imply bad faith of the employee in failing to perform his job, to the
detriment of the employer and the latter’s business. Habitual neglect, on the other hand, implies
repeated failure to perform one's duties for a period of time, depending upon the
circumstances."

To our mind, such numerous infractions are sufficient to hold him grossly and habitually
negligent. His repeated negligence is not tolerable. The totality of infractions or the number of
violations he committed during his employment merits his dismissal. Moreover, gross and
habitual negligence includes unauthorized absences and tardiness, as well as gross inefficiency,
negligence and carelessness. As pronounced in Valiao v. Court of Appeals, "fitness for
continued employment cannot be compartmentalized into tight little cubicles of aspects of
character, conduct, and ability separate and independent of each other."
INTERADENT ZAHNTECHNIK PHIL., INC. vs. REBECCA F. SIMBILLO
G.R. No. 207315 | J. Del Castillo | November 23, 2016

TOPIC: Loss of trust and confidence – Article 297 (282) (c)

RELEVANT FACTS

Rebecca worked at Interadent from May 2, 2004. On July 29, 2010, Rebecca received a memo
requiring her to explain a message she posted on her Facebook account “referring to company
concerns with the BIR and insulting statements against a co-worker.” Thereafter, Rebecca
claims that she was being constructively dismissed. As such, she filed for constructive illegal
dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Rebecca was validly dismissed?

NO. As a managerial employee, the existence of a basis for believing that Simbillo has
breached the trust of petitioners justifies her dismissal. However, to be a valid ground, loss of
trust and confidence must be based on willful breach of trust, that is, done intentionally,
knowingly and purposely, without justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act done
carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly, or inadvertently.

It bears emphasizing that the right of an employer to dismiss its employees on the ground of
loss of trust and confidence must not be exercised arbitrarily. For loss of trust and confidence to
be a valid ground for dismissal, it must be substantial and founded on clearly established facts.
Loss of confidence must not be used as a subterfuge for causes which are improper, illegal or
unjustified; it must be genuine, not a mere afterthought, to justify earlier action taken in bad
faith. Because of its subjective nature, this Court has been very scrutinizing in cases of
dismissal based on loss of trust and confidence because the same can easily be concocted by
an abusive employer.

In this case, the act alleged to have caused the loss of trust and confidence of petitioners in
Simbillo was her Facebook post which supposedly suggests that Interadent was being "feasted
on" by the BIR and also contains insulting statements against a co-worker and hence has
compromised the reputation of the company. According to petitioners, there was disclosure of
confidential information that gives the impression that Interadent is under investigation by the
BIR for irregular transactions. However, we agree with the CA's observation that the Facebook
entry did not contain any corporate record or any confidential information. Otherwise stated,
there was really no actual leakage of information. No company information or corporate record
was divulged by Simbillo.

If at all, Simbillo can only be said to have acted "carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly or
inadvertently'' in making such a comment on Facebook; however, such would not amount to
loss of trust and confidence as to justify the termination of her employment. When the breach of
trust or loss of confidence conjectured upon is not borne by clearly established facts, as in this
case, such dismissal on the ground of loss of trust and confidence cannot be upheld.
PHILIPPINE AUTO COMPONENTS, INC. vs. RONNIE V. JUMADLA plus 2 ROYS
G.R. No. 218980 | J. Mendoza | November 28, 2016

TOPIC: Despite the absence of serious misconduct, dismissal maybe justified by breach
of trust and confidence

RELEVANT FACTS

On Oct. 12, 2012, PACI received information that some of its employees were planning to use a
company truck to steal automotive parts the next day. On Oct. 13, 2012, members of PNP-CISF
caught Loyola in the act of unloading 4 boxes of Radiator Fan Assembly. In his sworn
statement, Loyola claimed that he was instructed by Ronnie plus 2 Roys to deliver the stolen
goods. Ultimately, Ronnie plus 2 Roys were found liable for serious misconduct, wilful
disobedience, wilful breach of trust, and commission of a crime under Article 282 of the Labor
Code. Thus, on Nov. 27, 2012, PACI dismissed them from employment. Aggrieved, Ronnie plus
2 Roys filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Ronnie plus 2 Roys were validly dismissed?

YES. The Labor Code provides that an employer may terminate an employment based on fraud
or willful breach of the trust reposed on the employee.

Breach of trust and confidence, as a just cause for termination of employment, is premised on
the fact that the employee concerned holds a position of trust and confidence, where greater
trust is placed by management and from whom greater fidelity to duty is correspondingly
expected. The betrayal of this trust is the essence of the offense for which an employee is
penalized.

The Court discussed the requisites for a valid dismissal on the ground of loss of trust and
confidence: The first requisite is that the employee concerned must be one holding a position of
trust and confidence, thus, one who is either: (1) a managerial employee; or (2) a fiduciary rank-
and-file employee, who, in the normal exercise of his or her functions, regularly handles
significant amounts of money or property of the employer. The second requisite of terminating
an employee for loss of trust and confidence is that there must be an act that would justify the
loss of trust and confidence. To be a valid cause for dismissal, the loss of confidence must be
based on a willful breach of trust and founded on clearly established facts.

With regard to the first requisite, respondents belong to the first class as they were officers of
the managerial staff in charge of particular departments. Their positions were necessarily
imbued with trust and confidence as they were charged with the delicate task of ensuring the
safety, proper handling and distribution of PACI's products. Hence, a high degree of honesty
and responsibility was required and expected of them.

As to the second requisite, the police report showed that Loyola was caught in possession of
PACI's products, which he transported to an unauthorized location. On the principle of
respondeat superior or command responsibility alone, respondents are liable for negligence in
the performance of their duties.
P.J. LHUILLIER, INC. vs. FLORDELIZ VELAYO
G.R. No. 198620 | J. Reyes | November 12, 2014

TOPIC: Two classes of corporate positions of class and confidence

RELEVANT FACTS

On June 13, 2003, PJ LHUILLIER hired Flordeliz. On Feb 8, 2008, she was served with a Show
Cause Memo ordering her to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against her for
dishonesty, misappropriation, theft or embezzlement of company funds. Ultimately, Flordeliz was
dismissed as per Notice of Termination on grounds of serious misconduct and breach of trust.
Aggrieved, Flordeliz filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Flordeliz was validly dismissed?

YES. The respondent’s misconduct must be viewed in light of the strictly fiduciary nature of her
position.

There are two classes of corporate positions of trust: on the one hand are the managerial
employees whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they
are employed or of a department or a subdivision thereof, and other officers or members of the
managerial staff;on the other hand are the fiduciary rank-and-file employees, such as cashiers,
auditors, property custodians, or those who, in the normal exercise of their functions, regularly
handle significant amounts of money or property. These employees, though rank-and-file, are
routinely charged with the care and custody of the employer’s money or property, and are thus
classified as occupying positions of trust and confidence.

The respondent was first hired by the petitioners as an accounting clerk on June 13, 2003, for
which she received a basic monthly salary of ₱9,353.00. On October 29, 2007, the date of the
subject incident, she performed the function of vault custodian and cashier in the petitioners’
Branch 4 pawnshop in Capistrano, Cagayan de Oro City. In addition to her custodial duties, it
was the respondent who electronically posted the day’s transactions in the books of accounts of
the branch, a function that is essentially separate from that of cashier or custodian. It is plain to
see then that when both functions are assigned to one person to perform, a very risky situation
of conflicting interests is created whereby the cashier can purloin the money in her custody and
effectively cover her tracks, at least temporarily, by simply not recording in the books the cash
receipt she misappropriated. This is commonly referred to as lapping of accounts. Only a most
trusted clerk would be allowed to perform the two functions, and the respondent enjoyed this
trust.

The series of ilful misconduct committed by the respondent in mishandling the unaccounted
cash receipt exposes her as unworthy of the utmost trust inherent in her position as branch
cashier and vault custodian and bookkeeper.
P.J. LHUILLIER, INC. vs. HECTOR ORIEL CAMACHO
G.R. No. 223073 | J. Mendoza | February 22, 2017

TOPIC: Managerial Employees: Reasons for the Rule

RELEVANT FACTS

On July 25, 2011, PJ LHUILLIER hired Feliciano and Hector. On May 15, 2012, Feliciano
received several texts reporting that hector brought along an unauthorized person, a non-
employee, during the pull-out of pawned items. Ultimately, Hector was terminated. As such, he
filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Hector was validly dismissed?

YES. The parties do not dispute that Camacho was hired by PJLI as AOM of Area 213 which
covered the province of Pangasinan. He was primarily responsible for administering and
controlling the operations of branches in his assigned area, ensuring cost efficiency, manpower
productivity and competitiveneness. He was also responsible for overseeing/monitoring the
overall security and integrity in the area, including branch personnel safety, in coordination with
PJLI's Security Services Division. In fact, as stated by the CA, his position required the utmost
trust and confidence as it entailed the custody, handling, or care and protection of PJLI's
property. Furthermore, as AOM, he was among those employees authorized to participate in the
QTP operations. He was tasked in overseeing the safe transport and handling of company
assets during the said operations.

Clearly from the foregoing, it can be deduced that Camacho held a managerial position and,
therefore, enjoyed the full trust and confidence of his superiors. As a managerial employee, he
was "bound by more exacting work ethics" and should live up to this high standard of
responsibility.

The second requisite for loss of confidence as a valid ground for termination is that it must be
based on a willful breach of trust and founded on clearly established facts.

As can be culled from the records of the case, Camacho admitted that he had committed a
breach of trust when he brought along his mother's driver, an unauthorized person, during the
QTP operation, a very sensitive and confidential operation.
JOHANSEN WORLD GROUP CORP. vs. RENE MANUEL GONZALES, III
G.R. No. 198733 | J. Carpio | October 10, 2012

TOPIC: Distinction between ordinary and wilful breach

RELEVANT FACTS

On Aug. 1, 1997, Johansen hired Rene. On Sep. 14, 2009, Johansen and Liza sent Rene a
show cause notice ordering him to explain his alleged misconduct, particularly: (1) his text
message to Liza on 12 August 2009 where he called the spouses Hernandez "gago;" (2) his
non-compliance with the directive to report for work from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; (3) his failure to
report for work starting 25 August 2009 which resulted in his failure to perform his duties as
General Manager; and (4) his lackluster performance as General Manager. Ultimately, Rene
was dismissed. As such, he filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Rene was validly dismissed?

NO. As regards a managerial employee, the mere existence of a basis for believing that such
employee has breached the trust of his employer would suffice for his dismissal. Hence, in the
case of managerial employees, proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required, it being
sufficient that there is some basis for such loss of confidence, such as when the employer has
reasonable ground to believe that the employee concerned is responsible for the purported
misconduct, and the nature of his participation therein renders him unworthy of the trust and
confidence demanded of his position.

The loss of trust and confidence must be based not on ordinary breach by the employee of the
trust reposed in him by the employer, but, in the language of Article 282 (c) of the Labor Code,
on willful breach. A breach is willful if it is done intentionally, knowingly and purposely, without
justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act done carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly or
inadvertently. It must rest on substantial grounds and not on the employers arbitrariness, whims,
caprices or suspicion; otherwise, the employee would eternally remain at the mercy of the
employer. It should be genuine and not simulated; nor should it appear as a mere afterthought
to justify earlier action taken in bad faith or a subterfuge for causes which are improper, illegal or
unjustified. There must, therefore, be an actual breach of duty committed by the employee
which must be established by substantial evidence. Moreover, the burden of proof required in
labor cases must be amply discharged.

The Court ruled that ordinary breach of trust and confidence will not suffice and that it must be
willful. The Court clarified that the breach is willful if it is done intentionally, knowingly, and
purposely, without justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act done carelessly,
thoughtlessly, heedlessly or inadvertently. The Court emphasized that the loss of trust must be
founded on clearly established facts.

In this case, the allegation of loss of trust and confidence was not supported by substantial
evidence. Hence, we find no valid ground that will justify petitioners in terminating the services
of Gonzales.
ROMEO E. PAULINO vs. NLRC and PLDT, INC.
G.R. No. 176184 | J. Sereno | June 13, 2012

TOPIC: Breach of Company Rules

RELEVANT FACTS

On Jan. 16, 1995, Romeo, surrendered his service vehicle to PLDT’s motor pool for body
repairs. For this reason, he unloaded the company-issued plant materials contained in the
vehicle and stored them at this residence for safekeeping. On May 26, 1995, PLDT informed
Romeo that the company was terminating his services.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Romeo was validly dismissed?

YES. In a final effort to impugn his dismissal, petitioner claims that he could only be faulted for
breaching PLDT’s rules and regulations which prohibited the employees from bringing home
company materials. In this regard, petitioner exacerbates his position. By admitting that he
breached company rules, he buttressed his employers claim that he committed serious
misconduct.

Employees cannot take company rules for granted, especially in this case where petitioners
breach involved various plant materials that may cause major disruption in the companys
operations. Indeed, an employer may discharge an employee for refusal to obey a reasonable
company rule. As a rule, although this Court leans over backwards to help workers and
employees continue with their employment, acts of dishonesty in the handling of company
property are a different matter.

Given these circumstances, it would have been unfair for PLDT to keep petitioner in its employ.
Petitioner displayed actions that made him untrustworthy. Thus, as a measure of self-protection,
PLDT validly terminated his services for serious misconduct and loss of confidence.
REYNALDO H. MOYA vs. FIRST SOLID RUBBER, IND.USTRIES INC.
G.R. No. 184011 | J. Perez | September 18, 2013

TOPIC: Betrayal by a long-time employee

RELEVANT FACTS

In May 1993, Reynaldo was hired by First Solid. Through years of dedication to his job, he was
promoted as head of the Tire Curing Department. The company conducted an investigation of
the incident and he was later required to explain. In his explanation, he stated that the damage
was caused by machine failure and the incident was without any fault of the operator. Despite
his explanation of what transpired, he was terminated by the company through a letter dated
November 9, 2004.On Jan. 25, 2005, Reynaldo filed with the NLRC a complaint for illegal
dismissal against First Solid.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Reynaldo is entitled to separation pay based on his length of service despite
his valid dismissal on the ground of breach and loss of trust and confidence?

NO. That there is a valid ground for the dismissal of Moya based on breach and loss of trust and
confidence is no longer at issue. The Labor Arbiter, NLRC and the appellate court were
unanimous in their rulings on this matter. The remaining question is whether or not petitioner
employee is entitled to separation pay based on his length of service.

Petitioner is not entitled to separation pay. Payment of separation pay cannot be justified by his
length of service.

It must be stressed that Moya was not an ordinary rank-and-file employee. He was holding a
supervisory rank being an Officer-in-Charge of the Tire Curing Department. The position,
naturally one of trust, required of him abiding honesty as compared to ordinary rank-and-file
employees. When he made a false report attributing the damage of five tires to machine failure,
he breached the trust and confidence reposed upon him by the company.

The right of First Solid to handle its own affairs in managing its business must be respected. The
clear consequence is the denial of the grant of separation pay in favor of Moya.

In Unilever Philippines, Inc., v. Rivera, an employee who has been dismissed for any of the just
causes enumerated under Article 282 of the Labor Code, including breach of trust, is not entitled
to separation pay. This is bolstered by Section 7, Rule I, Book VI of the Omnibus Rules.

However, this Court also provides exceptions to the rule based on "social justice" or on
"equitable grounds" following the ruling in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. v. NLRC,
stating that separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of social justice only in those
instances where the employee is validly dismissed for causes other than serious misconduct or
those reflecting on his moral character. Moya’s dismissal is based on one of the grounds under
Art. 282 of the Labor Code which is willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by
his employer. Also, he is outside the protective mantle of the principle of social justice as his act
of concealing the truth from the company is clear disloyalty to the company which has long
employed him.
CATHEDRAL SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY vs. NLRC and TERESITA VALLEJERA
G.R. No. L-101438 | J. Regalado | October 13, 1992

TOPIC: Analogous causes – Article 297 (282) (e)

RELEVANT FACTS

In February 1981, Teresita sought admission as an aspirant to the Congregation of the Religious
of Virgin Mary (RVM). With a change of heart and no other place to stay, she was allowed to
stay in the convent as a library aide. Private respondent resented the observations about her
actuations and was completely unreceptive to the advice given by her superior. She reacted
violently to petitioner's remarks and angrily offered to resign, repeatedly saying, "OK, I will
resign. I will resign." Thereafter, without waiting to be dismissed from the meeting, she stormed
out of the office in discourteous disregard and callous defiance of authority. Ultimately, she was
prevented from entering the premises in view of her dismissal from service. Aggrieved, Teresita
filed for illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Teresita was validly dismissed?

YES. An evaluative review of the records of this case nonetheless supports a finding of a just
cause for termination. The reason for which private respondent's services were terminated,
namely, her unreasonable behavior and unpleasant deportment in dealing with the people she
closely works with in the course of her employment, is analogous to the other "just causes"
enumerated under the Labor Code.

Petitioners' averments on private respondent's disagreeable character — "quarrelsome, bossy,


unreasonable and very difficult to deal with" — are supported by the various testimonies of
several co-employees and students of the school. In fact, as earlier stated, her overbearing
personality caused the chief librarian to resign. Furthermore, the complaints about her
objectionable behavior were confirmed by her reproachable actuations during her meeting with
the petitioner directress on June 2, 1989, when private respondent, upon being advised of the
need to improve her working relations with others, obstreperously reacted and unceremoniously
walked out on her superior, and arrogantly refused to subsequently clear up matters or to
apologize therefor. The conduct she exhibited on that occasion smacks of sheer disrespect and
defiance of authority and assumes the proportion of serious misconduct or insubordination, any
of which constitutes just cause for dismissal from employment.

As petitioner school is run by a religious order, it is but expected that good behavior and proper
deportment, especially among the ranks of its own employees, are major considerations in the
fulfillment of its mission. Under the circumstances, the sisters cannot be faulted for deciding to
terminate private respondent whose presence "has become more a burden rather than a joy"
and had proved to be disruptive of the harmonious atmosphere of the school.

Moreover, there is no dispute as to the existence of such just cause for petitioners have
presented sufficient evidence attesting to private respondent's unsavory character.
ERNESTO BROWN vs. MARSWIN MARKETING INC.
G.R. No. 206891 | J. Del Castillo | March 15, 2017

TOPIC: Other causes; Abandonment

RELEVANT FACTS

On Oct. 5, 2009, Ernest was employed by Marswin. On May 28, 2010, he reported for work and
was told that it was already his last day of work. Allegedly, he was made to sign a document he
did not understand and thereafter, he was no longer admitted back to work. Thus, he filed for
illegal dismissal.

RELEVANT ISSUE(S) / RULING(S)

1. Whether or not Ernesto was validly dismissed?

NO. Brown contends that on May 28, 2010, his employer informed him that it was already his
last day of work; and, thereafter, he was no longer admitted back to work. On the other hand,
Marswin/Tan confirmed having summoned Brown on May 28, 2010 but they denied that he was
dismissed, but that he left the meeting and since then never returned for work. Nonetheless,
apart from the allegation of abandonment, Marswin presented no evidence proving that Brown
felled to return without justifiable reasons and had clear intentions to discontinue his work.

In fact, in her affidavit, Azucena did not specify any overt act on the part of Brown showing that
he intended to cease working for Marswin. At the same time, Azucena did not establish feat
Marswin, on its end, exerted effort to convince Brown to return for work, if only to show that
Marswin did not dismiss him and it was Brown who actually refused to return to work. And
neither did Marswin send any notice to Brown to warn him that his supposed failure to report
would be deemed as abandonment of work. Clearly from the foregoing, Marswin failed to
discharge the burden of proving that Brown abandoned his work.

In addition, on June 7, 2010, or just ten days after Brown's last day at work (May 28, 2010), he
already filed an illegal dismissal suit against his employer, Such filing conveys his desire to
return, and strengthens his assertion that he did not abandon his work. To add, in his Complaint,
Brown prayed for reinstatement, which further bolsters his intention to continue working for
Marswin, and. negates abandonment. Indeed, the immediate filing of an illegal dismissal case
especially so when it includes a prayer for reinstatement is totally contrary to the charge of
abandonment.

Furthermore, Marswin/Tan presented the affidavit of Azucena, their Accounting Supervisor and
HR Head, as proof that Brown committed abandonment. However, aside from being insufficient,
self-serving, and unworthy of credence, such affidavit did not allege any actual complaint
against Brown, when Marswin summoned him on May 28, 2010. In said affidavit, Azucena did
not at all specify the name of any officer or employee against whom Brown allegedly committed
an infraction, and neither did any of these persons submit their own affidavits to prove that
Brown should be disciplined by his employer.

Given all these, there is clearly no showing that Brown committed abandonment instead,
evidence proved that he was illegally dismissed from work.