[G.R. No. 157378. June
TAMBUNTING vs. CORDERO
Quoted hereunder for your information, is a resolution of this
Court dated JUN 18 2003.
G.R. No. 157378 (M.
Tambunting Home Appliance And Service
Center And/Or Miguel Tambunting vs.
Luis Cordero And National Labor Relations Commission.)
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
assailing the October 2, 2002 Decisioncralaw
of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the NLRC which in turn upheld
the decision of the labor arbiter declaring petitioners M. Tambunting Home
Appliances and Service Center and its manager Miguel A. Tambunting liable for
the illegal dismissal of private respondent and consequently ordering them to
pay backwages and separation pay to the latter.
Before his dismissal from employment, private respondent worked
as a senior technician for petitioner.
In April 1993, while private respondent was on a four-day leave
of absence attending the wake of his deceased aunt, he was informed by
petitioners' secretary and officer-in-charge that petitioner terminated his
employment because the appraisal manager implicated him in certain anomalies
intended to defraud petitioners.
Unable to accept the bad news, private respondent immediately
reported for work but petitioner Mario Tambunting told him not to report for
On June 8, 1993,
private respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of
wages and service incentive leave.
On September 29, 1998,
the labor arbiter decided:
Contrary to the assertion of the respondents that the complainant
has voluntarily resigned on April 19,
1993, the uncontroverted evidence on record show that complainant
was on leave of absence from April 19,
1993 up to April 22, 1993
on account of the death of his aunt. While keeping the vigil on the remains of
his departed aunt, Landa Bustamante, the Secretary and Officer-in-Charge of the
Tambunting Branch who approved his leave of absence, and some of complainant's
co-employees came to pay a visit and condole with the family of his deceased
aunt. It was on this occasion that his co-employees informed him that he was
already dismissed because he was implicated in the anomaly. perpetrated by
Rosemarie Eusebio, the Appraisal Manager of Tambunting Branch. This sad
information was confirmed by respondent Miguel Tambunting on April
23, 1993 when complainant went to see him after the burial of his
Clearly, complainant's dismissal was done without any prior written
charge accusing him of his alleged participation in the anomaly perpetrated by
Rosemarie Eusebio. Much less was he accorded the chance to be heard and to be
furnished a written notice of his dismissal. These actions of the respondents
were, therefore, patently illegal because before an employee can be dismissed
from his employment, he must be afforded the procedural requirements of just
cause and due process. Even the accusation of conspiracy leveled against the
complainant is purely an after thought that had been resorted to by the
respondents to justify their illegal acts.
xxx xxx xxx
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered
declaring the dismissal of complainant Luis B. Cordero as illegal and ordering
the respondents to pay him backwages from the time of his dismissal on April
23, 1993 up to the date of this decision amounting to p60,900.00; separation
pay in lieu of reinstatement at one (1) month pay per year of his service
amounting to P26,100.00; and attorney's fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of
the total amount herein awarded to complainant.
The other monetary claims of complainant are hereby dismissed
pursuant to the earlier dispositions made above.
On December 2, 1998
petitioners appealed to the NLRC. On January
15, 2001, the NLRC affirmed the finding of the labor arbiter but
deleted the award of attorney's fees. The subsequent motion for reconsideration
On September 28, 2001,
petitioners elevated their case to the Court of Appeals via petition for certiorari.
On October 2, 2002,
the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision, thus:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the assailed Decision dated January
15, 2001 of the National Labor Relations Commission, 3rd Division,
in NLRC-NCR CA No. 007282-94 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
Thus, the instant petition.
Petitioners insist that there was no illegal dismissal because
private respondent resigned and executed a quitclaim but the labor tribunal and
the Court of Appeals ignored their existence. In the alternative, petitioners
argue that, even if there was no resignation, still the dismissal of private
respondent was done for valid and sufficient cause.
The Court disagrees.
For resignation to be effective, there must be an intention to
relinquish a portion of the term of office accompanied by an act of
These elements were not proved by petitioner.
Settled is the rule that findings of fact of the labor arbiter,
when affirmed by the NLRC, are binding upon the Court.
WHEREFORE, the petition
is hereby DENIED.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.)JULIETA Y. CARREON
Clerk of Court