ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 112955 September 1, 1997 - ABOITIZ SHIPPING EMPLOYEES ASSN. v. CRESENCIANO TRAJANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118620-21 September 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NARITO DADLES

  • G.R. No. 117472 September 2, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO ECHEGARAY

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1355 September 4, 1997 - RENE UY GOLANGCO v. CANDIDO P. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 121098 September 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO ANTIDO

  • G.R. No. 121778 September 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AARON BIONAT

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-759 September 5, 1997 - EMILIANO VELUZ v. RAUL V. BABARAN

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1111 September 5, 1997 - VIRGILIO CAÑETE v. MARCELO B. RABOSA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1338 September 5, 1997 - FERNANDO S. DIZON v. LILIA C. LOPEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1388 September 5, 1997 - ELEAZAR B. GASPAR v. WILLIAM H. BAYHON

  • G.R. No. 95252 September 5, 1997 - LA VISTA ASSN., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97961 September 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY TALISIC

  • G.R. No. 104692 September 5, 1997 - KATIPUNAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA DAUNGAN v. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106214 September 5, 1997 - TERESITA VILLALUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106858 September 5, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109250 September 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLON LACERNA

  • G.R. No. 109583 September 5, 1997 - TRANS ACTION OVERSEAS CORP. v. SECRETARY OF LABOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109977 September 5, 1997 - UNIVERSITY OF PANGASINAN v. MA. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110062 September 5, 1997 - AQUINAS SCHOOL v. BIENVENIDO S. MAGNAYE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111149 September 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO BAUTISTA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111935 September 5, 1997 - HILARIO T. DE LOS SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112630 September 5, 1997 - CORAZON JAMER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113216 September 5, 1997 - RHODORA M. LEDESMA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113388 September 5, 1997 - ANGELITA MANZANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115158 September 5, 1997 - EMILIA M. URACA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116781 September 5, 1997 - TOMAS LAO CONSTRUCTION, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117733 September 5, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118002 September 5, 1997 - ULDARICO ESCOTO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118075 September 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIANO CATANTAN

  • G.R. No. 118141 September 5, 1997 - LEONILA GARCIA-RUEDA v. WILFRED L. PASCASIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119010 September 5, 1997 - PAZ T. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120138 September 5, 1997 - MANUEL A. TORRES, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120363 September 5, 1997 - CECILLEVILLE REALTY AND SERVICE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120790 September 5, 1997 - SPECIAL POLICE AND WATCHMEN ASSN., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122656 September 5, 1997 - SYLVIA S. TY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126594 September 5, 1997 - IMELDA R. MARCOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1387 September 10, 1997 - FLAVIANO B. CORTES v. SEGUNDO B. CATRAL

  • G.R. No. 122872 September 10, 1997 - PENDATUN SALIH v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116473 September 12, 1997 - WILFREDO R. CAMUA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121993 September 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON AGUNIAS

  • G.R. No. 123056 September 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUVY MARIBAO

  • G.R. No. 123915 September 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO REBOLTIADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126977 September 12, 1997 - ELVIRA B. NAZARENO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98137 September 15, 1997 - PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108294 September 15, 1997 - ANDRES RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120158-59 September 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELESEO CHENG

  • G.R. No. 124135 September 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANNY QUELIZA

  • G.R. No. 113025 September 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN SALVADOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115338-39 September 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LANIE ORTIZ-MIYAKE

  • G.R. No. 116798 September 16, 1997 - DENIA C. BUTA v. MANUEL M. RELAMPAGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123782 September 16, 1997 - CALTEX REFINERY EMPLOYEES ASSN. v. JOSE S. BRILLANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118866-68 September 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO DE LA CRUZ

  • Adm. Case No. 3961 September 18, 1997 - SALUD IMSON-SOUWEHA v. TEOPISTO A. RONDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1077 September 18, 1997 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. OLIVER T. VILLANUEVA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1254 September 18, 1997 - ANONYMOUS v. ADELA A. GEVEROLA

  • G.R. No. 117576 September 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO SANTIAGO JAMIRO

  • G.R. No. 117890 September 18, 1997 - PISON-ARCEO AGRICULTURAL AND DEV. CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126230 September 18, 1997 - CARMEN ARRIETA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126625 September 18, 1997 - KANLAON CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES CO., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116595 September 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS PALOMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126158 September 23, 1997 - PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 3773 September 24, 1997 - ANGELITA C. ORCINO v. JOSUE GASPAR

  • Adm. Case No. 4634 September 24, 1997 - JESUS CABARRUS, JR. v. JOSE ANTONIO S. BERNAS

  • G.R. No. 101747 September 24, 1997 - PERFECTA QUINTANILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116593 September 24, 1997 - PULP AND PAPER, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118130 September 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JURY MAGDAMIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120391 September 24, 1997 - SIMPLICIO AMPER v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117038 September 25, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124033 September 25, 1997 - ANTONIO T. KHO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124933 September 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JURRY ANDAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105997 September 26, 1997 - MARIO BELLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112702 & 113613 September 26, 1997 - NATIONAL POWER CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119165 September 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO BETONIO

  • G.R. No. 120507 September 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120550 September 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTOLIN HAYAHAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129913 September 26, 1997 - DINDO C. RIOS v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83588 September 29, 1997 - ADORACION C. PANGILINAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 107487 & 107902 September 29, 1997 - MANILA BANKING CORP., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108947 September 29, 1997 - ROLANDO SANCHEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112074 September 29, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO GOMEZ

  • G.R. No. 117451 September 29, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTON BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 125183 September 29, 1997 - MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 117038   September 25, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 117038. September 25, 1997.]

    PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, AVELINO MICABALO and PROSPERO ENRIQUEZ, Respondents.


    D E C I S I O N


    PUNO, J.:


    This special civil action for certiorari seeks the reversal of the June 23, 1993 Resolution 1 of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), through its Fifth Division, and its subsequent Resolution dated June 27, 1994 in NLRC CA No. M-000291 affirming the complaint for illegal dismissal of private respondents Avelino Micabalo and Prospero Enriquez.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary:red

    The facts show that private respondent Avelino Micabalo was hired on March 16, 1979 as ticket freight clerk while private respondent Prospero Enriquez was hired as load control clerk on August 11, 1975 by petitioner Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL). They were assigned at the Davao Station of PAL. The two were union officials. Micabalo was a member of the board of directors of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) from October 1986 to February 1990 while Enriquez served as its chief steward. 2

    Petitioner conducted an audit check of its Davao Station. It discovered that some employees at its ticketing office procured for themselves the money paid by the passengers for their tickets and then charged the same to their or their co-employees’ credit cards. To cover-up the change in the mode of payment, the audit coupon and the flight coupon of the tickets were made to carry different entries, i.e., "Cash/Charge" or simply "Charge" in the audit coupon, and "Cash" or no entry in the flight coupon. 3 These irregularities were unearthed when a reconciliation of the flight coupon and audit coupon of the tickets were made at the head office of PAL in Makati City and the same revealed different entries in the "Form of Payment" box. In the flight coupon, the box is either empty or carries the notation "Cash." In the audit coupon, the mode of payment reflected is either "Cash/Charge" or "Charge" only. 4

    On June 2, 1989, Micabalo was investigated by a committee for using his credit card to pay for four (4) plane tickets of various passengers. On June 18, 1989, he was administratively charged for fraud under Section 2, Article VIII and for falsification of company documents under Section 3, Article VIII of petitioner’s Code of Discipline. The committee found him to have charged to his VISA credit card the payment for some plane tickets in spite of the cash payment made by the passengers. He allegedly falsified the entries in the flight coupon to conceal the irregularity. 5 The schedule of ticket sales on charge basis 6 was presented, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    FORM OF PAYMENT

    Date Ticket No. Audit Coupon Flight Coupon Amount

    1/01/89 79-4205019844 Chg/Ebc Cash P1,255

    3/26/89 79-4205177135 Chg/Ebc Cash 2,510

    5/11/89 79-4205283011 Chg/Ebc Cash 2,510

    5/11/89 79-4205019810 Chg/Ebc Cash 1,255

    5/11/89 79-4205283012 Chg/Ebc Cash 2,133.50

    5/11/89 79-4205283013 Chg/Ebc Cash 2,133.50

    Micabalo was placed under preventive suspension pending his administrative investigation. On June 30, 1989, he filed his answer to the charges against him as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The undersigned issued the tickets subject of the charge upon the request of a close friend and the passengers themselves [proposed] that the supposed payment of the said tickets be charged to his Visa Card due to the non-availability of their funds. There was nothing for the undersigned to pocket because there was no cash payment made by the passengers. The allegation in the charge that the undersigned pocketed the cash payment made is belied by the affidavits of the passengers concerned, hereto attached as Annexes ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ to form part of this answer.

    "The provision of Sec. 2, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘Any employee who makes false or fraudulent claim against the Company, or knowingly initiates or takes part in any action intended to defraud the company or to obtain a payment, benefit or gain from the company to which he is not entitled; or knowingly honors a forged signature for his own benefit or that of another person; or gives due course or approval to a document knowing it to be false or erroneous shall suffer the penalty of dismissal.’

    "Nothing in the provision was violated. The undersigned did not initiate the transaction. It was requested by the passengers. It was not intended to defraud the company. On the contrary, it was for the company to generate funds. Without the undersigned charging the amount of the tickets to his Visa Card, the passengers would not have pursued (sic) their Flight as they had no money during that time to purchase the tickets within the ticketing limits. The move of the undersigned was merely to render public service by having a considerate heart. A public service that extended even beyond the limits to the end that even his personal fund is sacrificed.

    "Respectively, the provision of Sec. 5, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘Any employee who, for personal gain or for the benefit of another, shall falsify, conceal or fabricate company documents or records or enters false information on any official company document to the prejudice of the company shall suffer the penalty of dismissal.’

    "The undersigned repleads all his answer aforestated by way of reference and likewise respectfully avers that nothing in the provision was violated. An affidavit is hereto attached as Annex "K" hereof to form part of this answer. There is a discrepancy between the entries in the form of payment box of the Audit coupon and that of the Flight coupon because the undersigned corrected the entry in the audit coupon to speak the truth. A correction in a document for the document to speak the truth is not falsification (U.S. v. Mateo, 25 Phil 324; Ariola v. Republic, 103 Phil 730). The entry in the Flight coupon which is "cash" was erroneous and was corrected in the audit coupon as "charged" which is the truth. The same is true to the other tickets where no entry was made in the Flight coupon. The alleged alteration which was made to speak the truth was not intended to prejudice the company because it can never be so. On the contrary, it was for the protection of the company. It was not intended to conceal an irregularity, rather it was intended to reveal an irregularity inadvertently committed. For if the passengers would refund their tickets in the event they decide to forego their travel, the same could be possible only after reference is made of their Flight coupon with the audit coupon where the truth was entered. And granting arguendo that should no reference be done and the company would refund the passengers the purchase amount of the said tickets, still no damage is done to the company because the said amount was already paid by the undersigned to the company through the Bank right at the time of the transaction with the use of his Visa Card. If at all, it is the undersigned who would suffer damages because there is a possibility that those passengers might not pay him. Under the circumstances, the correction/alteration done by the undersigned brought him no personal gain but put him in a financial risk and at a loss, all because of public service and the company’s protection." 7

    On July 5, 1989, a second administrative charge 8 was filed against Micabalo for similar irregularities committed on different occasions as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    FORM OF PAYMENT

    Date Ticket No. Amount Audit Coupon Flight Coupon

    2/03/89 79-4205022435 P2,510 Chg./EBC -do-

    2/11/89 79-4205093539 1,255 Chg./EBC -do-

    2/01/89 79-4205021912 2,510 Chg./143001 Cash

    On August 4, 1989, Micabalo submitted his written explanation. He denied his participation in the sale of the tickets and alleged that he has liquidated the amounts due from him on the foregoing transactions. 9

    On August 16, 1989, a third administrative charge 10 was filed against Micabalo as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "A. FRAUD AGAINST THE COMPANY (Sec. 2, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline) and FALSIFICATION OF COMPANY DOCUMENTS (Sec. 5, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline) committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    — That sometime on 11 September 1988, you inlieued (sic) MCO 079-4020295400 (charge) to 079-42044385753 with routing CEB/OZC in favor of McDugall/E. Ms. with additional cash of P17.00, hence, "CASH/CHG" was reflected in the auditors coupon of the inlieued (sic) ticket. The flight coupon of the said ticket, however, carried the form of payment "CASH" only and was refunded on the same day it was inlieued (sic).

    — That sometime on 20 May 1989, you inlieued (sic) ticket 079-2404134743 (charge) to 079-4205285564 with routing DVO/MNL/DVO in favor of BAAC/ABNER Mr. with the form of payment in the audit coupon as "CHARGE" ; the flight coupon of the said ticket, however, carried the form of payment as "CASH" which was refunded on 10 June 1989.

    — That sometime on 21 June 1988 you issued ticket 079-4402588493 with routing DVO/MNL/DVO in favor of REYES/ALFREDO Mr. The form of payment reflected in the audit coupon was "CASH/CHARGE UCCF#0196336" ; however, the form of payment in the flight coupon was "CASH" only which was refunded on 25 June 1988.

    — That sometime on 23 May 1988, you inlieued (sic) MCO #079-4010688132 (charge) to 079-4101840738 with routing DVO/CGY in favor of CARANDANG/A Mr. with form of payment "CASH" which was eventually refunded by you on 31 May 1988.

    "B. FRAUD AGAINST THE COMPANY

    — That sometime on 28 May 1989, you conspired with TFC Eliseo Villarino, Jr. by using the latter’s credit card in payment for a PAL ticket in the amount of P1,255.00 knowing fully well that the said card was in the "Hot Card" list. Said accountability remains outstanding to date in spite of repeated demands to settle the same.

    — That sometime on 11 May 1989, in conspiracy with TFC Jose Blones, Jr., you allowed the use of your credit card in payment for PAL tickets in the total amount of P8,032.00 knowing fully well that your card was included in the "Hot Card" list. Said accountability remains outstanding to date in spite of repeated demands to settle the same."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On October 7, 1989, an answer was filed by Micabalo reiterating the defenses in his original answer. On November 27, 1989, he was served with a notice of dismissal dated October 21, 1989, 11 the pertinent portion of which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "On 10 and 11 October 1989, clarificatory hearings were conducted in DVO wherein you were represented by your counsels, Attys. Nestor M. Ledesma, Victor D. Sederiosa, PALEA President George Pulido and PALEA lawyer, Atty. Emmanuel Noel Cruz, to clarify certain issues relevant to the adjudication of your respective cases. Your inability to appear and submit additional evidence compelled the committee to resolve your case based on the evidence on record. On 17 October 1989, the Committee on Investigation submitted a report finding you GUILTY OF FALSIFICATION OF COMPANY DOCUMENTS and VIOLATION OF PROCEDURE as charged and recommended the penalty of DISMISSAL for cause from the company."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On the other hand, private respondent Enriquez was investigated on June 28, 1989 for ticket anomalies in his station. On July 9, 1989, he was placed under preventive suspension by the company as formal charges were made against him for violation of Section 2, Article VIII and Section 5, Article VIII of the Code of Discipline 12 as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "A. FRAUD AGAINST THE COMPANY AND UNBECOMING CONDUCT (Sec. 2, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline) committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That sometime on 11 May 1989, you solicited from a certain LINO T. ESTERA the use of the cash payment for the tickets of MR. JAMES BUENAVENTURA (ticket No. 0792405044041), MR. PIO CACAM (ticket No. 0792405044634), MR. R. MADIGAN (ticket No. 079-2404044638), and instead, charged the payments of the said tickets against your credit card no. 49216110 and 29644012, which cash was used by you in negotiating a live band in CEB to perform in one of the night spots in Davao City. Such arrangement is unbecoming of a PAL employee; besides, (sic) the fact that the company suffered damages by way of its inability to make use of the immediate cash as well as the 2.5% discount rate for the use of the VISA card.

    B. FRAUD AGAINST THE COMPANY (Par. 2, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline) and FALSIFICATION OF COMPANY DOCUMENTS (Sec. 5, Art. VIII of the Code of Discipline) committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That sometime on 02 May 1989, you issued ticket no. 0794205097499 (CHARGE) in the name of IDOROT/SALOME with routing DVC/MSL using the VISA card of LCD Elias Gamorot, appropriating to yourself the cash payment made by the passenger. Said ticket was inlieued (sic) by you to 079-4102 369 908 (DVC/CEB) in conjunction with 0794102369909 (CEB/DVC) with the form of payment "L/CASH." Ticket nos. 0794102369908 and 909 were inlieued (sic) back to 0794205096647 DVO/MNL with form of payment "E/CASH" and refunded by you on 08 March 1989.

    That sometime on 24 January 1989, you issued ticket no. 079-4205020147 (CHARGE) in the name of IDOROT/SALOME VS with routing DVC/MNL using the VISA card no. 4921, 6110, 2471, 7011 of LCD Elias Gamorot, appropriating for yourself the cash payment made by the passenger. Said ticket was inlieued (sic) by you to 0794205094408 (DVO/MNL) with form of payment "L/CHY." Ticket no. 0794205094408 was again inlieued (sic) by you to 0794205095848 (DVO/MNL) with form of payment "E/CASH" and refunded by you on 25 February 1989."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On August 3, 1989, Enriquez executed his Counter Affidavit 13 to controvert the charges against him. He explained as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "As to the second charge, against (sic) take exception to the same. Actually it was a case of pure accommodation for a friend wherein the latter intended to borrow from me certain amount of money to buy plane ticket. Since undersigned had no cash at that time as he was also economically depressed, and in order to help somebody with a problem, I resorted to the use of the credit card of my co-employees. Unfortunately, the plane ticket was not used due to the change of schedule in both occasions and the same were returned or reimbursed, and the money were paid to the company nor I profited from such transactions (sic). Attached hereto to support my defense is the Affidavit of Salome Idorot duly subscribed and sworn to.

    "That while it might be true there was some sort of falsification, the same was done in good faith with no intention at all to cause damage to anybody. In fact, the company had lost nothing as it collected the whole amount from the bank. The change of entry in the ticket from charge to cash was made only to facilitate the return of the money to the card holder, never to cause damage to any person or company."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On August 16, 1989, a second administrative charge was filed against Enriquez for anomalous activities on ticket refunds. Again, it was discovered that entries in enumerated flight and/or audit ticket stubs contained variations in the mode of payment from "Charge" to "Cash." On September 25, 1989, he submitted his answer acknowledging the ticket sales to one Elsa Haloy allegedly for humanitarian reasons. He was dismissed on November 18, 1989. 14chanrobles law library : red

    In addition to private respondents, petitioner PAL charged and dismissed five (5) other employees for the same irregularities. They were Bernardo Fernandez, Jr., Carlos Coruña, Eustaquio Gallardo, Eliseo Villarino, Jr. and Jose Blones, Jr. 15 Except for Blones, the four (4) employees joined Micabalo and Enriquez in filing a complaint for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice against PAL before the Regional Arbitration Branch of the NLRC in Davao City on January 8, 1990. On March 2, 1990, Labor Arbiter Antonio M. Villanueva issued an Order terminating the cases of Fernandez, Coruña and Gallardo after PAL agreed to consider them resigned without benefits. PAL further agreed to desist from filing any criminal case against them. A similar order was issued by the Labor Arbiter on March 27, 1990 with respect to the case of Villarino. Thus, only Micabalo and Enriquez pursued their complaint. 16

    In their Position Paper, Micabalo and Enriquez claimed that they were dismissed due to their union activities. Micabalo alleged that the charges against him were brought about by his membership in the PALEA Board of Directors and the January 21, 1989 PALEA strike which he led. In addition, he averred that Mr. James Hannen, then PAL Director for Mindanao, harbored a grudge against him for the grievance suits he filed which were later on amicably settled. He charged that he was not promoted by Mr. Hannen for the flimsy reason that he had an expired load controller’s certificate. Lastly, he stressed that there was no prohibition against employees using their credit cards. Enriquez similarly asserted that the charges against him were due to his union activities as Chief Steward of PALEA and his active participation in the PALEA strike. He alleged that after the strike, Mr. Hannen personally monitored their movements. Petitioner PAL, on the other hand, maintained that private respondents were dismissed for just and valid causes pursuant to its Code of Discipline. 17

    Labor Arbiter Antonio M. Villanueva ruled that private respondents were illegally dismissed. He made the following findings:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    "Although herein-respondents alleged that herein-complainants were dismissed for just cause, i.e., the latter were found guilty of Falsification of Company documents and Violation of Procedures, facts of the case will show that there was really an intent on the part of herein-respondents to terminate the services of herein-complainants.

    "Herein-respondents never questioned the loyalty, honesty and dedication of herein-complainants to their work as well as to the company in which they are working. It is clear that herein-complainants were subjected to investigation based on several administrative charges filed against them as a result of the audit findings made by respondent company, but said investigation is not without a cloud of partiality and harassment.

    "Said administrative charges were the offshoot of several grievance suits filed by herein-complainants as well as the latter’s actively participating (sic) in the strike of January 21, 1989 wherein herein-complainants were active participants.

    "It is highly suspicious that herein-respondents would file a series of administrative charges only against those who instituted grievance suits against them and those who actively participated in the aforementioned strike if not for an ulterior motive.

    "If the company would conduct any audit, then said audit must be done to all employees and that all of them who may be found to have committed any violation must be correspondingly prosecuted. In the instant case, only those who were at odds with herein-respondents were made respondents to a series of administrative cases.

    "Herein-respondents failed to show that all employees found violating the PAL Code of Discipline were correspondingly charged. Furthermore, it failed to show any damage done to the company nor was there a showing that payment made thru credit cards or the ‘charge’ mode of payment was now prohibited by the company if by the same it will suffer any damages. (sic)

    "Well taken is the fact that both complainants have worked with the respondent company for over ten (10) years and both have never been previously charged. If at all they were found guilty, then they should have been considered as first offenders; hence in this case, dismissal is not warranted." 18

    He ordered their reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and awarded one year backwages plus 10% of the total monetary award as attorney’s fees. He dismissed, however, the claims for unfair labor practice, moral and exemplary damages and litigation expenses for lack of merit. 19 On appeal, public respondent NLRC affirmed in toto the Labor Arbiter’s decision and denied PAL’s motion for reconsideration in a Resolution dated June 27, 1994.

    Hence, this petition where PAL raises the sole issue of whether or not public respondent NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of or want of jurisdiction when it affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision that private respondents were illegally dismissed.

    We find merit in the petition.

    In its Manifestation and Motion filed before this Court, the Solicitor General agreed with petitioner PAL that private respondents were dismissed for cause. The Solicitor General stated that the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC grossly misappreciated the facts of the case. Filing its own Comment, public respondent NLRC claims that it is not for this tribunal to re-examine the truth or falsehood of the facts in the instant case as factual issues are not fit subject for certiorari. In the same vein, private respondents contend that findings of facts of administrative agencies are accorded not only respect but even finality when supported by substantial evidence.

    It is correct to postulate that administrative findings of fact are accorded great respect, and even finality when supported by substantial evidence. Nevertheless, when it can be shown that administrative bodies grossly misappreciated evidence of such nature as to compel a contrary conclusion, this Court has not hesitated to reverse their factual findings. Factual findings of administrative agencies are not infallible and will be set aside when they fail the test of arbitrariness. 20 In the instant case, we find cogent reasons, as presented by the petitioner and the Solicitor General, not to affirm the factual findings of the public respondent NLRC.

    Firstly, we do not agree with the finding that the charges against private respondents were the off-shoot of several grievance suits filed by them against PAL and their active participation in the January 21, 1989 PALEA strike. To support this finding, public respondent cited Micabalo’s opposition to the alleged iniquitous promotion system followed by Mr. Hannen under their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). He alleged that he filed two (2) grievance cases to challenge Mr. Hannen’s promotions. In one case, Mr. Hannen promoted a Davao personnel at his sole discretion. In the second case, Micabalo himself was denied promotion due to his expired load controller’s certificate. Public respondent also cited private respondents’ participation in the 1989 PALEA strike which allegedly strained their relationship with petitioner. 21

    We hold that these circumstances do not constitute substantial evidence to support the conclusion that private respondents were illegally dismissed due to their union activities. Substantial evidence is that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. 22 At the very most, all that the evidence shows is that private respondents actively participated in a prior strike and had protested certain promotions made by management. It is not logical nor fair to deduce from these facts that they were the primary cause for the dismissal of the private respondents. The strike happened in 1989 and truth to tell, the strike was declared illegal by this Court in G.R. No. 88210, January 23, 1991. The grievance cases that were supposed to have incurred the ire of management are limited to two cases and again the evidence is scant to prove that PAL was wrong and malicious in its action. Petitioner PAL, on the other hand, presented concrete evidence of repeated wrong doings by private respondents. The different entries in the box for the mode of payment for the tickets purchased found in the audit coupon and the flight coupon clearly showed the falsifications committed by private respondents. Indeed, the private respondents admitted these falsifications. Micabalo cannot pull a hat trick by alleging "the discrepancy between the entries in the audit coupon and flight coupon of the subject tickets was not intended to conceal an irregularity, rather it was intended to reveal an irregularity inadvertently committed." Enriquez was more candid. He conceded that "while it might be true that there was some sort of falsification, the same was done in good faith with no intention at all to cause damage to anybody. . . The change of entry in the ticket from charge to cash was made only to facilitate the return of the money to the card holder, never to cause damage to any person or the company." It was only after these irregularities were discovered and only after proper investigation were the private respondents dismissed from service. Without these irregularities, private respondents were not charged by petitioner. We note that the records do not show that before the case at bar, private respondents have complained that they are the subject of harassment by PAL for their union activities.

    Secondly, public respondent NLRC found that petitioner filed charges only against those who instituted grievance suits. The audit conducted by petitioner was likewise assailed as limited to those who were at odds with petitioner. We cannot uphold these findings for they are belied by the evidence on record. As stressed by the Solicitor General, petitioner indiscriminately conducts company-wide audit on all its ticket sales involving any or all personnel, and those found to have committed infractions were correspondingly charged for their misdeeds. To be sure, the evidence shows that other erring employees, namely, Bernardo Fernandez, Jr., Carlos Coruña, Eustaquio Gallardo, Eliseo Villarino, Jr. and Jose Blones, Jr., were investigated and charged with fraud for similar ticketing anomalies. Private respondents have not presented any proof that employees who committed similar infractions were dissimilarly treated. In fine, private respondents have not shown that they have been selectively prosecuted by the petitioner for their union activities.

    Thirdly, the public respondent held that petitioner failed to prove the damage it sustained. It also ruled that there is no showing that payment through credit cards or the "charge" mode of payment is prohibited. Petitioner’s damage cannot be gainsaid. Petitioner has claimed and the claim has not been disputed that the use of credit cards when passengers are willing to pay in cash deprived the company of the immediate use of cash payments. Petitioner also had to pay for service fees when credit cards are used, thus resulting in income diminution.

    On the basis of the foregoing disquisition, we hold that public respondent NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion in rendering the assailed Resolution as the same is not supported by substantial evidence. As correctly observed by the Solicitor General, public respondent NLRC and the Labor Arbiter committed grave abuse of discretion when they gave more credence to the illogical suppositions and inferences proffered by private respondents and disregarded the established evidence that they committed falsification and diverted the cash payments made by the passengers through the use of credit cards for their personal gain and satisfaction. Private respondents cannot hide behind the mantle of unionism for the mantle has never been conceived to shield criminal acts of union officials perpetrated to pursue personal gains.

    We now come to the appropriateness of the penalty of dismissal imposed on private respondents by petitioner. Section 2, Article VIII of the Code of Discipline of petitioner provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Any employee who makes a false or fraudulent claim against the Company; or knowingly initiates or takes part in any action intended to defraud the Company or to obtain a payment, benefit, or gain from the Company to which he is not entitled, or knowingly honors a forged signature for his own benefit or that of another person; or gives due course or approval to a document knowing it to be false or erroneous shall suffer the penalty of dismissal." [Emphasis supplied]

    and Section 5, Article VIII, viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Any employee who, for personal gain or for the benefit of another, shall falsify, conceal, or fabricate company documents or records or enters false information on any official company document to the prejudice of the Company shall suffer the penalty of dismissal." [Emphasis supplied]

    Undoubtedly, the offenses committed by the private respondents involve fraud and falsification. These are serious offenses and private respondents cannot be heard to complain that they were unaware that dismissal awaits any employee who transgresses petitioner’s rules on fraud and falsification. In the case at bar, private respondents repeatedly breached these rules over a period of time. Theirs is not just a single misdeed. While the law regards the employee with compassion, an employer cannot be compelled to continue with the employment of a person who admittedly is guilty of breach of trust towards his employer and whose continuance in the service of the latter is patently inimical to its interest. Well said, the law, in protecting the rights of the employees, authorizes neither oppression nor self-destruction of the employer. 23

    IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition for certiorari is GRANTED and the June 23, 1993 Resolution of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission as well as its Resolution dated June 27, 1994 in NLRC CA No. M-000291 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Private respondents’ complaint for illegal dismissal before the Labor Arbiter is dismissed. No pronouncement as to cost.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado and Torres Jr., JJ., concur.

    Mendoza, J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Commissioner Oscar N. Abella and concurred in by Commissioner Leon G. Gonzaga, Jr. and Presiding Commissioner Musib M. Buat.

    2. Rollo, pp. 66, 150, 157.

    3. The procedure on how plane tickets are issued by PAL is as follows: A ticket booklet consists of the audit coupon as the first page followed by the flight coupon/s [the number of which depends upon the number of flight legs the passenger will take]. The last page is the passenger coupon. The coupons in a passenger ticket are supposed to always contain identical entries, as the entries in the audit coupon are automatically reproduced in the succeeding coupons. When the passenger ticket is generated, the audit coupon is detached by the issuing clerk from the ticket before it is given to the passenger. The audit coupon is then sent to PAL’s Accounting Department at its main office in Makati City. The ticket given to the passenger only carries the flight coupon/s and passenger coupon. (Rollo, p. 158)

    4. Rollo, p. 158.

    5. Rollo, pp. 66.

    6. Id.

    7. Rollo, pp. 67-69.

    8. Rollo, p. 69.

    9. Rollo, p. 70.

    10. Rollo, pp. 70-72.

    11. Rollo, p. 72

    12. Rollo, pp. 73-74.

    13. Rollo, pp. 74-75.

    14. Rollo, pp. 75-76.

    15. Rollo, p. 160.

    16. Labor Arbiter’s Decision, pp. 1-2; Rollo, pp. 34-35.

    17. Id., pp. 2-3; Id., pp. 35-36.

    18. Id., pp. 6-8; Id., pp. 39-41.

    19. Id., p. 8-9; Id., pp. 41-42.

    20. Zarate, Jr. v. Hon. Norma C. Olegario, et. al., G.R. No. 90655, October 7, 1996.

    21. Supra note 17.

    22. Rule 133, Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Court.

    23. Itogon-Suyoc Mines, Inc. v. NLRC, et. al., G.R. No. L-54280, September 30, 1982.

    G.R. No. 117038   September 25, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED