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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 118860   July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 118860. July 17, 1997.]

    ROLINDA B. PONO, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, RAFAELITO I. CASTILLO, and SANDOZ PHILS., INC., Respondents.

    Dario F . Pedrasa for Petitioner.

    Soo, Gutierrez, Leogardo & Lee for Private Respondent.

    SYNOPSIS


    Petitioner, a medical representative of private respondent, was dismissed by the company for infractions of company policies and inefficiency. She denied the imputation and retorted by filing charges of illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice against respondents and sexual harassment against her supervisor by physically taking advantage of her and touching different parts of her body. The charges of sexual harassment were dismissed by the prosecutor’s office and affirmed by the Department of Justice.

    While there was violation of petitioner’s constitutional right to due process, as no hearing was conducted to afford her to fully ventilate her side, petitioner’s incompetence and lack of diligence in the performance of her duties cannot be countenanced. Her dismissal was for a just cause.


    SYLLABUS


    1. LABOR AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (NLRC); FACTUAL FINDINGS; ACCORDED NOT ONLY RESPECT BUT ALSO FINALITY BY THE COURT. — It is almost trite to state that factual findings of the NLRC are generally accorded, not only respect but also finality, provided that its decisions are supported by substantial evidence and devoid of any unfairness or arbitrariness.

    2. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PROSECUTOR; VESTED WITH QUASI-JUDICIAL DISCRETION TO DETERMINE THE PERSON TO BE PROSECUTED. — The determination of the persons to be prosecuted rests primarily with the prosecutor who is vested with quasi-judicial discretion in the discharge of this function. The courts should give credence in the absence of a clear showing of arbitrariness, to the findings and determination of probable cause by prosecutors in a preliminary investigation.

    3. LABOR AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; TERMINATION OF EMPLOYEE BY EMPLOYER; DUE PROCESS; NOTICE AND HEARING; ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS, THEREOF. — Well-settled is the dictum that the twin requirements of notice and hearing constitute the essential elements of due process in the dismissal of employees. It is a cardinal rule in our jurisdiction that the employer must furnish the employee with two written notices before the termination of employment can be effected: (a) the first apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought; and (b) the second informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; VIOLATED WHEN THE REQUIREMENT FOR HEARING WAS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLIED WITH; CASE AT BAR. — The requirement of a hearing, on the other hand, is complied with as long as there was an opportunity to be heard, and not necessarily that an actual hearing was conducted. In the case at bar, Pono was duly notified of the charges against her. An examination of the records, however, reveals that no hearing was ever conducted by Sandoz before Pono was dismissed. Consultations or conferences may not be a substitute for the actual holding of a hearing. Every opportunity and assistance must be accorded to the employee by the management to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense, including legal representation. Considering that Pono denied the accusation that she forged a doctor’s signature in her work report, these denials should at least have warranted a separate hearing to enable her to fully ventilate her side. Absent such a hearing, Pono’s constitutional right to due process was clearly violated,

    5. ID.; ID.; EMPLOYER SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE WHEN DUE PROCESS WAS NOT ACCORDED TO THE EMPLOYEE. — This Court has consistently held that where the dismissal of an employee is, in fact, for a proven just and valid cause, but he is not accorded due process, the dismissal shall be upheld, but the employer must be held liable for the violation of his right to due process.


    D E C I S I O N


    ROMERO, J.:


    Petitioner Rolinda B. Pono seeks the annulment of the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated August 31, 1994, affirming the August 27, 1993 decision of Labor Arbiter Benigno C. Villarente, Jr. which, in turn, dismissed petitioner’s complaint for illegal dismissal, as well as the NLRC’s resolution of November 9, 1994, denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.

    This case arose from a complaint filed by Pono against herein private respondents Sandoz Phils., Inc. (Sandoz) and Rafaelito I. Castillo for illegal dismissal, unfair labor practices, separation pay and damages.

    Pono averred that she was employed by Sandoz as medical representative, with the primary task of conferring with doctors to update them about Sandoz’ various medical products. Sometime in May 18, 1992, she was asked by Castillo, her immediate supervisor, to report to his office and explain her alleged incompetence in the performance of her work. At said meeting, Castillo confronted Pono concerning her alleged infraction of company policies. It was then that Castillo started to physically take advantage of Pono by touching different parts of her body. Aghast at her supervisor’s action, Pono resisted his advances.

    Unable to consummate his prurient desires, Castillo warned Pono not to inform anybody about the incident; otherwise, her continued employment in the company would be placed in jeopardy.

    Fearful lest she should lose her job which she apparently valued more than her dignity, Pono decided to remain silent and maintained a facade of normalcy for the next five months. On October 5, 1992, however, she was again asked by Castillo to report to his office ostensibly to discuss company matters and policies.

    Apprehensive that the so-called conference was another ploy of Castillo for sexually harassing her, Pono decided to divulge the May 18, 1992 incident to her closest co-workers. Thereafter, along with two co-workers, she informed Sandoz National Sales Manager Godofredo Ruiz of the incident.

    Subsequently, Mr. Ruiz called a meeting on October 6, 1992 to give a chance to Castillo to explain his side on the matter. As expected, Castillo denied the incident of May 18, 1992. Ruiz then asked Pono not to resign until after she has completely paid the amortizations on the company car assigned to her. Undecided, Pono asked for a reasonable time to consider the same. Two days later, however, Ruiz withdrew the offer; whereupon, Castillo asked Pono to explain her inefficiencies in her work, which the latter did through a handwritten statement dated October 14, 1992. After five days, her services were formally terminated. With no recourse left, Pono filed the instant labor case, as well as the necessary criminal charges before the Prosecutor’s Office of Makati.

    Private respondents’ reconstruction of the events was expectedly at variance with Pono’s. They claimed that she was one of seven medical representatives under Castillo’s supervision. Castillo’s version is as follows. Having observed that Pono had been violating several company policies, she was asked to comment on her alleged infractions, such as absences in certain itineraries, discrepancies in her work report and non-liquidation of cash advances. During the meeting, she admitted that her failure to comply with her duties was due to personal problems and asked for some understanding so she could put her life in order.

    Castillo advised Pono to "clean her backyard and follow company policies." Notwithstanding the advice, Pono’s work still fell short of company standards. Hence, on October 5, 1992, he requested her to personally report to him so they could discuss matters concerning her work performance. Aware that she could no longer offer a reasonable justification of her continued inefficiency, Pono decided to fabricate her attempted rape story.

    To add credence to her story, Pono went to Godofredo Ruiz to narrate the attempted rape allegedly committed by Castillo, and at the same time offered to resign from her job effective April 1993, at which time she would already be entitled to purchase the company car she was then using at 50% of its appraised value. Unfortunately, her request was denied by the company.

    Pono, on the other hand, offered no plausible explanation as to her shortcomings. Instead, she accused Castillo of harassing her and threatened to take legal action against him to stave off her dismissal. Making good her threat, she filed charges for unfair labor practice and sexual harassment against private respondents.

    After considering the evidence and arguments of the parties, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. As stated at the outset, this decision was affirmed by the NLRC on appeal. It found that the infractions of company policies committed by Pono warranted the penalty of dismissal.

    Pono is now before this Court contending that the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion and/or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter.

    Before proceeding any further, it must be borne in mind that the issue of whether or not there is a valid dismissal of an employee is a question of fact, the determination of which is the statutory function of the NLRC. 1 It is almost trite to state that factual findings of the NLRC are generally accorded, not only respect but also finality, provided that its decisions are supported by substantial evidence and devoid of any unfairness or arbitrariness. 2

    Pono contends that the NLRC erred when it deliberately disregarded her complaint for sexual harassment against Castillo. The Court takes cognizance of the fact that a criminal complaint for attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness filed by Pono against Castillo before the Prosecutors Office in Makati was eventually dismissed due to lack of merit, which dismissal was affirmed by the Department of Justice. 3 Indisputably, an investigating fiscal is under no obligation to file a criminal information where he is not convinced that he has the quantum of evidence at hand to support the averments. 4

    Thus, the determination of the persons to be prosecuted rests primarily with the prosecutor who is vested with quasi-judicial discretion in the discharge of this function. 5 The courts should give credence, in the absence of a clear showing of arbitrariness, to the findings and determination of probable cause by prosecutors in a preliminary investigation. 6

    With respect to the legality of Pono’s dismissal, we have consistently held that, to validate a dismissal, the employer must show that (1) there was sufficient or just cause therefor and that (2) due process was observed. 7

    Bearing these standards in mind, we find that while Pono was dismissed for cause, the same disregarded the requirements of due process.

    Well-settled is the dictum that the twin requirements of notice and hearing constitute the essential elements of due process in the dismissal of employees. 8 It is a cardinal rule in our jurisdiction that the employer must furnish the employee with two written notices before the termination of employment can be effected: (a) the first apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought; and (b) the second informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him. 9

    The requirement of a hearing, on the other hand, is complied with as long as there was an opportunity to be heard, and not necessarily that an actual hearing was conducted. 10

    In the case at bar, Pono was duly notified of the charges against her. The records reveal that on October 5, 1992, she was asked to explain why there were some discrepancies in her "reported calls and the actual signatures of the doctors in the call cards." 11 In another notice 12 dated October 12, 1992, she was apprised of an apparent forgery in the signatures of a certain Dra. Melissa Bilgera, and was asked to explain her side within 72 hours from receipt thereof.

    An examination of the records, however, reveals that no hearing was ever conducted by Sandoz before Pono was dismissed. The meeting called by Ruiz on October 5, 1992, is not the hearing contemplated by law since it was merely for the purpose of informing Pono about her questionable "work report," and to serve Pono a written notice detailing her infractions in her "work sheet." In fact, barely two weeks later, she was summarily dismissed. While it may be true that Pono was allowed to explain her side at this meeting, it is undisputed that no hearing was actually conducted before her employment was terminated.

    Consultations or conferences may not be a substitute for the actual holding of a hearing. 13 Every opportunity and assistance must be accorded to the employee by the management to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense, including legal representation. 14 Considering that Pono denied the accusation that she forged a doctor’s signature in her work report, these denials should at least have warranted a separate hearing to enable her to fully ventilate her side. Absent such a hearing, Pono’s constitutional right to due process was clearly violated.

    This conclusion, notwithstanding, we uphold the findings of the NLRC that Pono’s dismissal was for a just cause.

    Under Article 282 of the Labor Code, the just causes for dismissal are the following:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Article 282. Termination by employer. — An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;

    (2) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;

    (3) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;

    (4) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representative; and

    (5) Other causes analogous to the foregoing."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We cannot countenance Pono’s incompetence and lack of diligence in the performance of her duties. In fact, from June to October 1992, she received no less than five written notices calling her attention to her negligence in discharging her duties, not to mention the documented delinquencies she incurred prior to the alleged May 18, 1992 incident. Moreover, the habit of "reporting visits or calls to several doctors when no such visits or calls were actually made" constitutes serious misconduct. We, therefore, hold that Pono’s dismissal was for a just cause.

    In a growing number or cases, this Court has consistently held that where the dismissal of an employee is, in fact, for a proven just and valid cause, but he is not accorded due process, the dismissal shall be upheld, but the employer must be held liable for the violation of his right to due process. 15 The identical situation obtains in the case at bar.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. The August 31, 1994 decision of respondent National Labor Relations Commission is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that private respondent shall pay to the petitioner P1,000.00, in keeping with the Court’s policy regarding the same, as damages for its failure to observe procedural due process in effecting the dismissal. 16

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

    Torres, Jr., J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Cardona v. NLRC, 195 SCRA 92 (1991).

    2. Artex Development Co., Inc. v. NLRC, 187 SCRA 611 (1990); Loapstar Shipping Co. v. NLRC, 229 SCRA 654 (1993); Morales v. NLRC, 241 SCRA 103 (1994); Radio Communication of the Philippines v. NLRC (1996).

    3. Rollo, pp. 144-146.

    4. People v. Pineda, 20 SCRA 748 (1967).

    5. Ogburn v. Court of Appeals, 212 SCRA 483 (1992); People v. Devaras, 228 SCRA 482 (1993).

    6. Drilon v. Court of Appeals, 258 SCRA 280 (1996).

    7. Shoppers Gain Supermarket, Et. Al. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 110731, July 26, 1996.

    8. Corral v. NLRC, 221 SCRA 693 (1993); Marcelo v. NLRC, 240 SCRA 782 (1995).

    9. Amor Conti & Leopoldo Cruz v. NLRC, Corfarm Holding Corporation, Carlito J. Rabang & Cipriano Bayarang, G.R. No. 119253, April 10, 1997.

    10. Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila v. CSC, 241 SCRA 506 (1995).

    11. Rollo, pp. 102-103.

    12. Ibid., p. 106.

    13. Pepsi Cola v. NLRC, 210 SCRA 277 (1992).

    14. Segismundo v. NLRC, 239 SCRA 167 (1994); Abiera v. NLRC, 215 SCRA 476 (1992)

    15. Seahorse Maritime Corp. v. NLRC, 173 SCRA 390 (1989); Rubberworld (Phils.), Inc. v. NLRC, 183 SCRA 421 (1990); Aurelio v. NLRC, 221 SCRA 432 (1993), Anambra Industries, Inc. v. NLRC, 238 SCRA 232 (1994).

    16. MGG Marine Services, Inc. and/or Doroteo C. Garlan and Ceasar Rotilo v. NLRC and Elizabeth A. Molina, G.R. No. 114313, July 29, 1996.

    G.R. No. 118860   July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.


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