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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
 

   
August-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ESTRADA v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR

  • G.R. No. 138924 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISANTO D. MANAHAN

  • G.R. No. 139767 August 5, 2003 - FELIPE SY DUNGOG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140868-69 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZARIO B. BUATES

  • G.R. No. 142691 August 5, 2003 - HEIRS OF AMADO CELESTIAL v. HEIRS OF EDITHA G. CELESTIAL

  • G.R. No. 144317 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL A. MONTE

  • G.R. No. 148848 August 5, 2003 - JACINTO RETUYA, ET. AL. v. SALIC B. DUMARPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152611 August 5, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEVERINO LISTANA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 152845 August 5, 2003 - DRIANITA BAGAOISAN, ET AL. v. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1502 August 6, 2003 - ANASTACIO E. GAUDENCIO v. EDWARD D. PACIS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1675 August 6, 2003 - ELENA F. PACE v. RENO M. LEONARDO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1545 August 6, 2003 - ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. BAYANI S. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 133926 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN H. DALISAY

  • G.R. Nos. 137256-58 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS

  • G.R. No. 142740 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO A. TAMPOS

  • G.R. No. 142843 August 6, 2003 - OCTAVIO ALVAREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144428 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 144595 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE ILAGAN

  • G.R. Nos. 145383-84 August 6, 2003 - RUDY M. VILLAREÑA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1627 August 7, 2003 - CARIDAD RACCA, ET AL. v. MARIO C. BACULI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127210 August 7, 2003 - ALVIN TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138956 August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO

  • G.R. No. 146341 August 7, 2003 - AQUILA LARENA v. FRUCTUOSA MAPILI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146382 August 7, 2003 - SYSTEMS PLUS COMPUTER COLLEGE OF CALOOCAN CITY v. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN CITY

  • G.R. No. 148557 August 7, 2003 - FELICITO ABARQUEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149075 August 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO P. BALLENO

  • G.R. No. 151833 August 7, 2003 - ANTONIO M. SERRANO v. GALANT MARITIME SERVICES

  • G.R. No. 153087 August 7, 2003 - BERNARD R. NALA v. JESUS M. BARROSO

  • G.R. No. 154183 August 7, 2003 - SPS. VICKY TAN TOH and LUIS TOH v. SOLID BANK CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134241 August 11, 2003 - DAVID REYES v. JOSE LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139177 August 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. 00-3-48-MeTC August 12, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY OF CASES IN THE MTC OF MANILA, BR. 2

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1388 August 12, 2003 - FELISA TABORITE, ET AL. v. MANUEL S. SOLLESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1588 August 12, 2003 - RUBY M. GONZALES v. ALMA G. MARTILLANA

  • G.R. No. 120474 August 12, 2003 - ANICETO W. NAGUIT, JR. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133796-97 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNANDINO M. ALAJAY

  • G.R. No. 133858 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMINIANO SATORRE

  • G.R. No. 133892 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO B. LLAVORE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137792 August 12, 2003 - SPS RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL. v. SPS ALFONSO and LOURDES SUBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145951 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 151908 & 152063 August 12, 2003 - SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 152807 August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4650 August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. 00-6-09-SC August 14, 2003 - RE: IMPOSITION OF CORRESPONDING PENALTIES FOR HABITUAL TARDINESS, ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1631 August 14, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JAIME F. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 126627 August 14, 2003 - SMITH KLINE BECKMAN CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140023 August 14, 2003 - RUDY LAO v. STANDARD INSURANCE CO.

  • G.R. Nos. 140034-35 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO B. ZABALA

  • G.R. No. 144402 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO ECLERA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 156039 August 14, 2003 - KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA D. PANGANDAMAN-GANIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1401 August 15, 2003 - ARSENIA LARIOSA v. CONRADO B. BANDALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115925 August 15, 2003 - SPS. RICARDO PASCUAL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127128 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROEL C. MENDIGURIN

  • G.R. No. 133841 August 15, 2003 - CAROLINA P. RAMIREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135697-98 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRITO C. ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137520-22 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO BAROY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138074 August 15, 2003 - CELY YANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138862 August 15, 2003 - MANUEL CAMACHO v. RICARDO GLORIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139895 August 15, 2003 - CIPRIANO M. LAZARO v. RURAL BANK OF FRANCISCO BALAGTAS (BULACAN), INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143258 August 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. JOSELITO PASCUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144618 August 15, 2003 - JORGE CHIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147662-63 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 148222 August 15, 2003 - PEARL & DEAN (PHIL.) v. SHOEMART, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151941 August 15, 2003 - CHAILEASE FINANCE CORP. v. SPS. ROMEO and MARIAFE MA

  • G.R. Nos. 153714-20 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO K. ESPINOSA

  • G.R. No. 154448 August 15, 2003 - PEDRITO F. REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154920 August 15, 2003 - RODNEY HEGERTY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1744 August 18, 2003 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. ROGELIO C. SESCON

  • A.C. No. 5299 August 19, 2003 - ISMAEL G. KHAN v. RIZALINO T. SIMBILLO

  • G.R. No. 138945 August 19, 2003 - FELIX GOCHAN AND SONS REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO BABA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144331 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTITO LATASA

  • G.R. No. 145930 August 19, 2003 - C-E CONSTRUCTION CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147246 August 19, 2003 - ASIA LIGHTERAGE AND SHIPPING, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148877 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGELITO B. BAGSIT

  • G.R. No. 149724 August 19, 2003 - DENR v. DENR REGION 12 EMPLOYEES

  • G.R. No. 150060 August 19, 2003 - PRIMARY STRUCTURES CORP. v. SPS. ANTHONY and SUSAN T. VALENCIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1437 August 20, 2003 - JAIME E. CONTRERAS v. EDDIE P. MONSERATE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1473 August 20, 2003 - MYRA M. ALINTANA DE PACETE v. JOSEFINO A. GARILLO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1745 August 20, 2003 - UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. JOSE F. CAOIBES, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125799 August 21, 2003 - DANILO CANSINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148864 August 21, 2003 - SPS EDUARDO and EPIFANIA EVANGELISTA v. MERCATOR FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149495 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150590 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIE A. ALMEDILLA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1673 August 25, 2003 - LOUIE TRINIDAD v. SOTERO S. PACLIBAR

  • G.R. No. 114172 August 25, 2003 - JUANITA P. PINEDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129368 August 25, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129961-62 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO CAABAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137326 August 25, 2003 - ROSARIO TEXTILE MILLS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138334 August 25, 2003 - ESTELA L. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 142856-57 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO NEGOSA

  • G.R. No. 151026 August 25, 2003 - SOLIDBANK CORP. v. CA, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 152221 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JACINTO B. ALVAREZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. 01-4-133-MTC August 26, 2003 - RE: ELSIE C. REMOROZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1492 August 26, 2003 - DOMINGO B. MANAOIS v. LAVEZARES C. LEOMO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1504 August 26, 2003 - FELICITAS M. HIMALIN v. ISAURO M. BALDERIAN

  • G.R. Nos. 146097-98 August 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN CARIÑAGA

  • A.C. No. 5474 August 28, 2003 - REDENTOR S. JARDIN v. DEOGRACIAS VILLAR

  • A.C. No. 5535 August 28, 2003 - SPS. STEVEN and NORA WHITSON v. JUANITO C. ATIENZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1506 August 28, 2003 - PABLO B. MABINI v. LORINDA B. TOLEDO-MUPAS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1507 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ROLANDO SAA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1579 August 28, 2003 - LETICIA L. NICOLAS v. PRISCO L. RICAFORT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1631 August 28, 2003 - RENATO C. BALIBAG v. HERMITO C. MONICA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1659 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. LIZA MARIA E. SIRIOS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1710 August 28, 2003 - EDGARDO ANGELES v. BALTAZAR P. EDUARTE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1676 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. GUILLERMO R. ANDAYA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1786 August 28, 2003 - ALFREDO Y. CHU v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 134604 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO HUGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138295 August 28, 2003 - PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORP. v. NTC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143826 August 28, 2003 - IGNACIA AGUILAR-REYES v. SPS. CIPRIANO and FLORENTINA MIJARES

  • G.R. No. 146501 August 28, 2003 - FLORDELIZA RIVERA v. GREGORIA SANTIAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149810 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN T. RUALES

  • G.R. No. 154049 August 28, 2003 - RAMON P. JACINTO, ET AL. v. FIRST WOMEN’S CREDIT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 133733 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO AQUINDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136299 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 137010 August 29, 2003 - ARK TRAVEL EXPRESS v. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142383 August 29, 2003 - ASIAN TRANSMISSION CORP. v. CANLUBANG SUGAR ESTATES

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    G.R. No. 138956   August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 138956. August 7, 2003.]

    LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., INC. and TEODORO G. BERNARDINO, Petitioners, v. ROMEO MESANO, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:


    Employers should respect and protect the rights of their employees, which include the right to labor. 1 Towards this end, due process must be observed in dismissing an employee because it affects not only his position but also his means of livelihood. 2

    At bar is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to nullify the Decision 3 dated March 11, 1999 and Resolution 4 dated June 4, 1999 of the Court of Appeals which set aside the decision dated November 11, 1996 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and ordered petitioner Loadstar Shipping Company, Inc. to pay private respondent Romeo Mesano his separation pay (in lieu of reinstatement), full backwages and other monetary benefits.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts as borne by the records are:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Loadstar Shipping Co., Inc., Petitioner, is a domestic corporation engaged in the operation of shipping vessels, which included the M/V Beaver.

    On November 4, 1980, Romeo R. Mesano, respondent, was employed by petitioner as a seaman. Subsequently, he occupied the position of bosun/boatswin in charge of the care and custody of the entire vessel as well as its accessories and cargo.

    On January 22, 1995, respondent brought out from the vessel M/V Beaver a colored television set and a telescope. This incident prompted petitioner company to conduct an investigation.

    Immediately, respondent voluntarily submitted his written explanation asking for forgiveness. He explained that he intended to have the television repaired. However, when it could not be done, he returned the unit to the vessel.

    On February 24, 1995, respondent asked from petitioner a disembarking clearance from his accountabilities. But what petitioner handed to respondent was a disembarkation order dated March 1, 1995 terminating his services effective February 28, 1995.

    Feeling aggrieved, respondent filed with the Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal dismissal against petitioner and Teodoro G. Bernardino, its president and/or general manager.

    On April 23, 1996, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision dismissing respondent’s complaint for lack of merit.

    On appeal, the NLRC affirmed the Arbiter’s decision.

    Consequently, on February 17, 1997, respondent filed with this Court a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Procedure, as amended. In a Resolution dated November 25, 1998, this Court referred the petition to the Court of Appeals.

    In due course, the Court of Appeals issued the assailed Decision 5 dated March 11, 1999, setting aside the decision of the NLRC, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "We find the Petition replete with merits.

    "Section 1 of Rule XIV of the Implementation Regulations provides that no worker shall be dismissed except for a just or authorized cause provided by law and after due process.

    "The two facets of this legal provision are: (a) the legality of the act of dismissal, that is dismissal under the grounds provided for under Article 283 (now 282) of the New Labor Code; and (b) legality in manner of dismissal (Shoemart Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 74225, August 11, 1989).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "Anent the first issue, the law requires that the employer must furnish the worker sought to be dismissed with two written notices before termination of employment can be legally effected: (1) notice which apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought; and (2) the subsequent notice which informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him. (Section 13, BP 130; Section 2, Rule XIV, Book V, Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code, as amended). Failure to comply with the requirements taints the dismissal with illegality. This procedure is mandatory, in the absence of which any judgment reached by management is void and inexistent.

    "In the instant case, no written charge prior to the dismissal was ever furnished the petitioner. Respondent Loadstar tries to answer this by reasoning that, considering that petitioner submitted to respondent his handwritten explanation in which he categorically admitted his bringing down of the subject television set without prior permission from the company, then no notice was required.

    "We cannot accept this contention. The law is clear. The High Court has repeatedly held that the two notice-requirement is mandatory. Moreover, the twin requirements of notice and hearing constitute essential elements of due process in cases of employee dismissal (Century Textile Mills, Inc., Et. Al. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 77859, May 25, 1988).

    "In the present case, there is no showing that petitioner was ever given ample opportunity to be heard between the time after his handwritten explanation dated February 15, 1995 was submitted and his disembarkation order dated March 1, 1995. Respondent Loadstar insists that petitioner’s handwritten explanation is a categorical admission of his guilt. We are not persuaded. A cursory reading of the said letter would show that, petitioner was merely explaining his actions, but did not categorically admit having stolen the item. In any case, the fact remains that no hearing was made to hear petitioner’s side. Respondent Loadstar virtually made an assumption on the basis of petitioner’s letter alone that considering the time and the manner in which the taking was made, then petitioner is guilty of stealing and, therefore, should be dismissed. No notice was ever given to inform petitioner that his dismissal is being sought and by which he could be apprised on the full consequence of his acts. And neither was a hearing conducted, in order that he be given an opportunity to refute the accusations leveled against him.’Ample opportunity’ is meant every kind of assistance that management must accord to the employee to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense (Diosdado Duffy v. NLRC and Central Azucarera, G.R. No. 84193, February 15, 1990).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "In this case, although the interregnum between the date of the notice of dismissal and the date of effectivity ostensibly provided the petitioner time within which to defend himself, there really was no hearing conducted, and hence no opportunity to defend himself.

    "In a long line of decisions, the Supreme Court has ruled that not even consultations or conferences can be substituted for the actual observance of notice and hearing and neither is a notice of preventive suspension and investigation in relation thereto (Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. v. NLRC, supra; Norman de Vera v. NLRC and Bank of the Philippine Islands, Inc., G.R. No. 93070, August 9, 1991).

    "With more reason then must we condemn its virtual absence in the case at bar.

    "Anent the second issue, private respondent Loadstar posits that petitioner’s act of taking the television without permission constitutes gross misconduct and a breach of trust of the confidence reposed on him which justified his dismissal.

    "x       x       x

    "In the case at bar, we note that the intention of the employee to steal the item has not been fully established considering the absence of any investigation and hearing conducted. Hence, considering that petitioner had no derogatory record in the 15 years he was in service with respondent Loadstar, it is therefore arbitrary to make an immediate conclusion on his guilt. More importantly, we agree with petitioner that the penalty of dismissal was too harsh. In Gold City Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 86000, September 21, 1990, it was ruled that there must be reasonable proportionality between the offense and the penalty imposed therefor.

    "Considering that the television, a minimal item at that, was immediately restored and that petitioner immediately forwarded his letter of apology with explanation, and considering further that it was his first time to commit the charge leveled against him, a penalty of suspension could have just sufficed.

    "Viewing from the foregoing, the dismissal of the employee was clearly illegal.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "With the finding that the petitioner was illegally dismissed, the order for reinstatement with full backwages should follow as a matter of right. In this case, however, considering the strained relations between the parties, the Court deemed it best to award separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. Other monetary claims, rights and benefits, as prayed for and as granted by law and the shipping company, should also be awarded.

    "x       x       x

    "WHEREFORE, the decision of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission is hereby SET ASIDE. Private respondent Loadstar Shipping Co. is hereby ordered to pay petitioner separation pay in lieu of reinstatement, as well as full backwages from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the finality of this decision, plus other monetary benefits which may be due petitioner.

    "SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On April 5, 1999, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.

    In this petition for review on certiorari, petitioner alleged that respondent was not deprived of his right to due process considering that he was given the opportunity to present his side through his written explanation wherein he admitted his guilt and pleaded for forgiveness. Petitioner further claimed that respondent failed to live up to the standard of responsibility and honesty called for by his position. Thus, gauged by any moral standard, his dismissal is not tainted with illegality.

    A rule deeply embedded in our jurisprudence is that" (i)n order to constitute a valid dismissal, two requisites must concur: (a) the dismissal must be for any of the causes expressed in Art. 282 of the Labor Code; and (b) the employee must be accorded due process, basic of which is the opportunity to be heard and to defend himself. 6

    Simply put, the twin requirements of due process, substantive and procedural, must be complied with before a dismissal can be considered valid.

    In Cruz v. NLRC, 7 we held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The law requires that an employee sought to be dismissed must be served two written notices before termination of his employment. The first notice is to apprise the employee of the particular acts or omissions by reason of which his dismissal has been decided upon; and the second notice is to inform the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him. Failure to comply with the requirement of two notices makes the dismissal illegal. The procedure is mandatory. Non-observance thereof renders the dismissal of an employee illegal and void." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The mandatory first notice is undeniably absent in the case at bar. Prior to respondent’s termination from the service, he was neither apprised of the particular acts for which his dismissal is sought, nor was he directed to explain why he should not be dismissed for taking out from the vessel company property.

    While it is true that respondent voluntarily submitted his written explanation, nonetheless, he did not expressly acknowledge that he committed any offense. In fact, being in charge of the company’s vessel and its accessories and cargo, his intention in taking out the TV set was to have it repaired.

    Even granting that by submitting his written explanation, he was considered to have been notified of the charge, still there was no investigation or hearing conducted wherein he could have presented evidence and adequately defended himself.

    As gleaned from the foregoing circumstances, the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that respondent was deprived of his right to due process and, therefore, his termination from the service is illegal.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated March 11, 1999 and Resolution dated June 4, 1999 of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Corona and Carpio Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Malayang Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa M. Greenfield (MSMG-UWP) Et. Al. v. Ramos, G.R. No. 113907, February 28, 2000, 326 SCRA 428, 462, citing Cariño v. NLRC, G.R. No. 91086, May 8, 1990, 185 SCRA 177.

    2. Id.

    3. Rollo at 34–42.

    4. Id. at 44–45.

    5. Penned by Justice Eloy R. Bello, Jr. and concurred in by Justices Salome A. Montoya and Ruben T. Reyes.

    6. Ala Mode Garments, Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 122165, February 17, 1997, 268 SCRA 497, 505, citing Oania v. NLRC, G.R. Nos. 97162-64, June 1, 1995, 244 SCRA 668.

    7. G.R. No. 116384, February 7, 2000, 324 SCRA 770.

    G.R. No. 138956   August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO


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