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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

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  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

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  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 132837   June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 132837. June 28, 2001.]

    JO CINEMA CORPORATION and MICHAEL JO, Petitioners, v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA and NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    BUENA, J.:


    The Decision 1 dated November 26, 1997 of respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC Case No. V-0170-97, is being impugned in this present petition for certiorari. The assailed decision affirmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter that private respondent Lolita Abella was illegally dismissed from the service and ordered petitioner to pay complainant the amount of P115,420.79 representing separation pay and full backwages.

    Petitioner is a duly organized corporation engaged in the movie business. Sometime in September 1997, private respondent was employed as theater porter.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On November 11, 1994, petitioner issued a memorandum 2 reminding all ticket sellers not to encash any check from their cash collections and to turn-over all cash collections to the petitioner.

    On August 4, 5, 6 and 7, 1995, private respondent encashed, on behalf of her friend Luzviminda Silva, four (4) Banco del Norte Checks 3 amounting to P66,000.00, with Emperatriz Ynrig, ticket seller of petitioner, assigned at Ultra Vistarama and Seven Arts Theater. When the said checks were deposited to the account of the petitioner, they were dishonored for insufficiency of funds.

    Consequently, on August 15, 1995, private respondent was sent a show-cause memorandum requiring her to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against her relative to the checks in question, 4 which she failed to comply. She was likewise placed under preventive suspension for a period of twenty (20) days or until September 4, 1995. 5

    On August 22, 1995, petitioner directed private respondent to appear and present her side at the administrative investigation scheduled on August 26, 1995. 6 Private respondent attended the said investigation where she admitted to have encashed the checks without petitioners’ permission. 7

    While the case was being deliberated upon by the petitioners, private respondent on September 1, 1995, filed a pro forma complaint 8 for illegal dismissal and non-payment of benefits before the Regional Arbitration Board No. VII of the NLRC, Cebu City, which was docketed as RAB-VII-09-0938-95. Private respondent claims that on the day she was suspended, Atty. Tito Pintor, Jr., original counsel for petitioners, summoned her to his office and was advised to resign and pay the bounced checks’ amount which respondent vehemently protested. On that very same day she was told that she was dismissed from the service. 9

    Petitioners denied the allegations and argued that private respondent was not dismissed but merely preventively suspended for twenty (20) days. It added that even assuming that private respondent was dismissed, the dismissal was for a valid cause. Private respondent violated a company policy prohibiting the encashment of checks without her employer’s permission. 10

    On February 15, 1997, Labor Arbiter Dominador A. Almirante rendered judgment in favor of private respondent, the dispositive portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondent Jo Cinema Corporation to pay complainant the total amount of One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Four Hundred Twenty Pesos and 79/100 (P115,420.79) representing separation pay and full backwages, as hereinbelow computed by our Labor Arbitration Associate, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "COMPUTATION

    "I. Separation Pay: Sept. 1979-Aug. 15, 1995

    (15 yrs. 11 mos. & 15 days)

    P119.60/day x 26 days =

    P3,109.60/mo. x 16 yrs. = P49,753.60

    "II. Backwages: Aug. 15, 1995-Feb. 15, 1997

    (1 yr. & 6 mos.)

    "a Aug. 15, 1995 to Dec. 31, 1995 = 4 mos. and 15 days

    P3,109.60/mo. x 4 mos. P12,438.40

    P119.60/day x 15 days 14,232.40

    "b Jan. 1/96-June 30/96

    P131.00/day x 26 days =

    P3,406.00/mo. x 6 mos. 20,436.00

    "c July 1/96-Sept. 30/96

    P136.00/day x 26 days =

    P3,536.00/mo. x 3 mos. 10,608.00

    "d Oct. 1/96-Feb. 15, 1997

    P141.00/day x 26 =

    P3,666.00/mo. x 4 = P14,664.00

    P141.00/day x 15/day = 2,115.00 16,779.00

    "Total Salary (backwages) P62,055.40

    "SERVICE INCENTIVE PAY: 1 YEAR

    P141.00/day x 5 days P705.00

    "13th MONTH PAY: Aug. 15, 1995-Feb. 15, 1997

    a Aug. 15/95-Dec. 31/95

    (4 mos. & 15 days)

    P3,109.60/yr. 12 =

    P283.87/mo. x 6 mos. 1,036.52

    b Jan. 1/96-June 30/96 (6 mos.)

    P3,406.00/yr. 12 =

    P259.13/mo. x 4 mos. 1,703.04

    c July 1/96-Sept. 30/96

    P3,536.00/mo. 12 =

    P294.66/mo. x 3 mos. 883.98

    d Oct. 1/96-Feb. 15, 1997 =

    (4 mos. & 15 days)

    P3,666.00/yr. 12 =

    P305.50/mo. x 4 mos. P1,222.00

    P11.75/day x 15 days 176.25

    P1,398.25

    "Total 13th month pay 5,021.79

    "Total Backwages: P115,420.79

    "SO ORDERED." 11

    In ruling for the private respondent, the labor arbiter ratiocinated in this wise:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "No matter if complainant was not actually told that she was dismissed from the service the environmental circumstances of this case would establish that at the very least complainant was already constructively dismissed at the time she filed her complaint on September 1, 1995. While there may be no outright or open termination from the service of the complainant there is no reason to believe that respondent did not want her to continue in the service anymore. Such is the obiter in Valiant Machinery and Metal Corporation v. NLRC, G.R. No. 105677, January 25, 1996.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "x       x       x

    "In the case at bench, the evidence on record shows that respondents were decided on making complainant pay the face value of the four (4) checks of Luzviminda Silva that bounced totaling the amount of P66,000.00. For the complainant to continue in the service with respondents under the prevailing situation would be impossible, unreasonable and unlikely. Hence, she was compelled to file this case." 12

    On appeal, respondent NLRC affirmed the aforesaid decision notwithstanding its findings that at the time the complaint was instituted, private respondent has no cause of action against petitioner as she was merely placed on preventive suspension. 13 Worse still is its affirmance of the benefits awarded by the Labor Arbiter to private respondent based on obviously erroneous computations. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration but was denied on February 12, 1998. 14

    Petitioners now come to this Court arguing that the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion —

    I


    . . . IN HOLDING THAT THE RESPONDENT WAS ILLEGALLY DISMISSED DESPITE OF ITS OWN FINDING THAT RESPONDENT WAS ONLY PLACED UNDER PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION;chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    II


    . . . IN GRANTING FULL SEPARATION PAY AND BACKWAGES TO THE RESPONDENT WHO IS NOT IN ANYWAY FAULTLESS;

    III


    . . . IN NOT HOLDING THAT THERE IS SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR THE COMPANY TO LOSE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE WITH THE RESPONDENT ASSUMING THAT THE RESPONDENT WAS DISMISSED;

    IV


    . . . IN NOT DEDUCTING FROM THE SEPARATION PAY AND BACKWAGES ASSUMING THAT RESPONDENT IS ENTITLED THERETO, HER OUTSTANDING VALE AND THE AMOUNT SHE FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINED FROM THE COMPANY.

    The first issue to which we shall first address ourselves, and which is really the vital point in the case, is whether or not private respondent was illegally dismissed from the service.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Dismissal connotes a permanent severance or complete separation of the worker from the service on the initiative of the employer regardless of the reasons therefor. 15

    Based on the aforesaid definition, it is clear that private respondent was not dismissed from the service but was merely placed under preventive suspension. Her suspension cannot be construed as a dismissal since the cessation from work is only temporary. Moreover, private respondent could not have been dismissed on August 15, 1995 because a formal investigation was still being conducted. In fact, she even attended said investigation on August 26, 1995 where she admitted having encashed the checks. If she was indeed dismissed on said date, as she claims, petitioners would not have continued with the investigation. Undoubtedly, private respondent pre-empted the outcome of the investigation by filing a complaint for illegal dismissal. The observation of respondent NLRC is worth stressing:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . (F)rom the foregoing circumstance, We could not readily decipher whether the complainant had pre-empted the respondent’s dismissing her, among others, or is it the other way around?

    "It would seem from the foregoing that at the time she filed the complaint, there is (sic) as yet no cause of action against the respondent a she was merely placed on preventive suspension. And, looking at the evidence submitted by the respondents at first glance, the same would be sufficient to establish the just and legal ground for the complainant’s termination considering that the position paper of the complainant is bereft of any statement of factual circumstances relative to her alleged dismissal." 16 (Emphasis Supplied)chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The findings of the labor arbiter that private respondent was constructively dismissed by the petitioner is likewise erroneous.

    A constructive discharge is defined as a quitting because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; as an offer involving demotion in rank and a diminution in pay. 17

    Private respondent was not demoted nor suffered any diminution of pay, neither was she prevented from returning for work. As discussed earlier, private respondent was suspended from work for twenty (20) days for violating company rules. Petitioners stance to oblige private respondent to pay the amount of the checks is just fair and reasonable considering that she indorsed the subject checks. As an endorser, private respondent undertook to pay the amount of the dishonored checks. 18 The payment of said amount is not discriminatory, impossible, and unreasonable to foreclose any choice on the part of the private respondent to forego her continued employment. It was private respondent who signified her intention not to report for work when she filed the instant case.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Having thus determined that private respondent was not dismissed from the service, the payment of separation pay and backwages are not in order. It must be emphasized that the right of an employee to demand for separation pay and backwages is always premised on the fact that the employee was terminated either legally or illegally. The award of backwages belongs to an illegally dismissed employee by direct provision of law and it is awarded on grounds of equity for earnings which a worker or employee has lost due to illegal dismissal. Separation pay, on the other hand, is awarded as an alternative to illegally dismissed employees where reinstatement is no longer possible. 19

    In fine, based on the foregoing discussion, it is clear that respondent NLRC gravely abused its discretion when it affirmed the decision of the labor arbiter.

    WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of respondent National Labor Relations Commission is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Quisumbing and De Leon, Jr., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Annex "16", Rollo, pp. 93-98.

    2. Annex "2", Ibid., p. 35.

    "TO ALL TICKET SELLERS

    ULTRA VISTARAMA & SEVEN ARTS

    Legaspi St., Cebu City

    Re: REMITTANCES

    "This is to remind you again, that you are not authorized to in (sic) cash/exchange any check.

    "Since customers pay in cash, you should also remit/endorse to the office in cash.

    "STRICT COMPLIANCE IS REQUESTED.

    "From: JO CINEMA CORP."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. Checks Nos. 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1936, Annexes "3-6", Rollo, pp. 36-39.

    4. Memorandum, Annex "7", Ibid., p. 40.

    5. Ibid.

    6. Annex "8", Rollo, p. 41.

    7. Annex "9", Ibid., p. 42.

    8. Records, p. 1.

    9. Pp. 106-110, Ibid.

    10. Position paper, pp. 18-40, Ibid.

    11. Annex "14", pp. 58-59, Rollo.

    12. Ibid., pp. 53-54, Rollo.

    13. Annex "16", pp. 93-98, Rollo.

    14. Annex "18", p. 120, Ibid.

    15. Philippine Law Dictionary, Moreno, 1982 Ed. p. 182.

    16. NLRC Decision, Rollo, pp. 4-5, Annex "16" .

    17. Valiant Machinery and Metal Corporation v. NLRC, 252 SCRA 369, 377 [1996] citing Gaco v. NLRC, 230 SCRA 260 [1994].

    18. Section 66 of the Negotiable Instruments Law.

    19. Marck Roche International v. NLRC, 313 SCRA 356, 364 [1999].

    G.R. No. 132837   June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.


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