Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Case Digest: Dolefil v. NLRC


G.R. No. L-55413, 25 July 1983.


Alfredo Tarroza, Rogelio de la Peña and Loreto Tejero ("Respondents") were light-wheel tractor operators in the pineapple field of Dole Philippines, Inc ("Dolefil"). 

On April 29, 1977, landguards of Dolefil spotted two drums containing crude oil in the farmlot of Inocencio Asibal which adjoins Dolefil's pineapple field. 

Asibal and companion Rogelio Odarve were investigated by the police and stated in their sworn statements that they bought the crude oil from Respondents and two other Dolefil employees.

Respondents and their two co-employees were charged with qualified theft in the municipal court. 

While those cases were pending, Dolefil filed with the Department of Labor an application for clearance to terminate the employment of Respondents for "stealing or dishonesty," which was granted.

Eight months later, the municipal court of acquitted Respondents of qualified theft while the two other Dolefil employees were convicted of qualified theft.

After that decision, Respondents filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and for reinstatement with backwages against Dolefil.

The Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint and declared as valid, lawful and for a just cause the termination from employment of Respondents. The NLRC set aside the decision of the Labor Arbiter. 

ISSUE: W/N Dolefil is justified in dismissing Respondents.


An employer may terminate an employment for "serious misconduct" or for "fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or representative".

Loss of confidence as a ground for dismissal does not entail proof beyond reasonable doubt of the employee's misconduct. It is enough that there be some basis for such loss of confidence or that the employer has reasonable grounds to believe that the employee is responsible for the misconduct and that the nature of his participation therein rendered him absolutely unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position. 

The eventual conviction of an employee who is prosecuted for his misconduct is not indispensable to warrant his dismissal by his employer.

On the other hand, the acquittal of an employee in the criminal case filed against him by his employer does not also guarantee his reinstatement if the employer has lost confidence in him. 

A company has the right to dismiss its erring employees if only as a measure of self-protection against acts inimical to its interest.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I have a question but it's out of the topic.
    I just need some enlightenment with the issue we have right now. We are currently renting an apartment for almost a year now. It is 3 storey building and we occupy the second floor. Each unit has its own electric meter. We are a very good payer and we dont miss payments. Our relationship with our landlord is good as well. Last month (April) we received our meralco bill and we where a bit shocked because from our regular bills that ranges from 400-600php it went up to 1500php. We thought that it's because meralco has already implemented the electricity price hike. in short we paid our bill as we always do. Comes the Month of May we then received the meralco bill and to our dismay it really went over the top. Our electricity bill went up to 2500php. To think we only have 3 electric fans, 1 Led TV which we rarely uses, 1 laptop and 4 light bulbs and we actually stays at home only after our shift. we stay there for just to get a few hours of good sleep. So what we did was discuss the issue with the landlord and he was saying that they had to replace our meter. He cant actually explained the reason why it went that high. we were not happy with his answers and since he noticed that he then blurted that if we dont want to pay his doors are open for us to walk out and find another apartment. We said that it's not that we dont want to pay, we need an explanation first because we will not pay for anything that he cant explain. Then we meet half way , we agreed to pay just the half and he'll shoulder the other half of the bill. We also said that we will just finish our contract which will end on August. We thought that everything was settled. after a week another bill came to our door step amounting 700php and mind you it is also for the month of April. So we spoke to him and he said that we also have to pay that bill. What he wants us to do is pay two bills for april. His claims was when the meter was changed to digital the billing for the analog meter continued and over lapped. which we think is far from reality. If you'll check the billing statement you see that the bill worth 2500's billing period was april 11- may 11 and the other one is April 13 - May 13. We really that we are being mislead and we feel really violated. Is there anything that we could do to protect our right or do we even have a right as a lessee? Hope to hear from you soon thanks and God Bless :)


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