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JAKA FOOD PROCESSING CORPORATION, vs.

DARWIN PACOT, ROBERT PAROHINOG, DAVID


BISNAR, MARLON DOMINGO, RHOEL LESCANO and JONATHAN CAGABCAB.
G.R. No. 151378. March 28, 2005
Facts: Respondents were earlier hired by petitioner JAKA Foods Processing Corporation until the latter
terminated their employment because the corporation was in dire financial straits. It is not disputed,
however, that the termination was effected without JAKA complying with the requirement under Article
283 of the Labor Code regarding the service of a written notice upon the employees and the Department
of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date of termination. Respondents
filed complaints for illegal dismissal, underpayment of wages and nonpayment of service incentive leave
and 13th month pay against JAKA. The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision declaring the termination illegal
and ordering JAKA to reinstate respondents with full backwages, and separation pay if reinstatement is
not possible. The Court of Appeals reversed said decision and ordered respondent JAKA to pay petitioners
separation pay equivalent to one (1) month salary, the proportionate 13th month pay and, in addition, full
backwages from the time their employment was terminated.
Issue: What are the legal implications of a situation where an employee is dismissed for cause but such
dismissal was effected without the employers compliance with the notice requirement under the Labor
Code?
Held: It was established that there was ground for respondents dismissal, i.e., retrenchment, which is one
of the authorized causes enumerated under Article 283 of the Labor Code. Likewise, it is established that
JAKA failed to comply with the notice requirement under the same Article. Considering the factual
circumstances in the instant case, the Court deem it proper to fix the indemnity at P50, 000.00. The Court
of Appeals have been in error when it ordered JAKA to pay respondents separation pay equivalent to one
(1) month salary for every year of service. In all cases of business closure or cessation of operation or
undertaking of the employer, the affected employee is entitled to separation pay. This is consistent with
the state policy of treating labor as a primary social economic force, affording full protection to its rights
as well as its welfare. The exception is when the closure of business or cessation of operations is due to
serious business losses or financial reverses; duly proved, in which case, the right of affected employees to
separation pay is lost for obvious reasons.

Libres v NLRC G.R. No. 123737. May 28, 1999


J. Bellosillo
Facts:
Petitioner Carlos G. Libres, an electrical engineer, was holding a managerial position
with National Steel Corporation (NSC) as Assistant Manager. He was then asked to
comment regarding the charge of sexual harrassment filed against him by the VP's
secretary Capiral. This was included with a waiver of his right tobe heard once he didn't
comment.
On 14 August 1993 petitioner submitted his written explanation denying the accusation
against him and offering to submit himself for clarificatory interrogation.
The Management Evaluation Committee said that "touching a female subordinate's
hand and shoulder, caressing her nape and telling other people that Capiral was the one
who hugged and kissed or that she responded to the sexual advances are unauthorized
acts that damaged her honor." They suspended Libres for 30 days without pay.
He filed charges against the corporation in the Labor Arbiter, but the latter held that the
company acted with due process and that his punishment was only mild.
Moreover, he assailed the NLRC decision as without basis due to the massaging of her
shoulders never discriminated against her continued employment, impaired her
rights and privileges under the Labor Code, or created a hostile, intimidating or
offensive environment.
He claimed that he wasn't guaranteed due process because he wasn't given the right be
heard. This was due to his demand for personal confrontation not being recognized by
the MEC.
In the Supreme Court, petitioner assailed the failure of the NLRC to strictly apply RA
No. 7877 or the law against sexual harassment to the instant case. Moreover, petitioner
also contends that public respondents reliance on Villarama v. NLRC and Golden
Donuts was misplaced. He draws attention to victim Divina Gonzagas immediate filing
of her letter of resignation in the Villarama case as opposed to the one year delay of
Capiral in filing her complaint against him. He now surmises that the filing of the case
against him was merely an afterthought and not borne out of a valid complaint, hence,
the Villarama case should have no bearing on the instant case.

Issue: Was Libres accorded due process when the MEC denied his request for personal
confrontatiom?
Held: Yes Petition denied.
Ratio:
On not strictly applying RA 7877- Republic Act No. 7877 was not yet in effect at the time
of the occurrence of the act complained of. It was still being deliberated upon in
Congress when petitioners case was decided by the Labor Arbiter. As a rule, laws shall
have no retroactive effect unless otherwise provided, or except in a criminal case when
their application will favor the accused. Hence, the Labor Arbiter have to rely on the
MEC report and the common connotation of sexual harassment as it is generally
understood by the public. Faced with the same predicament, the NLRC had to agree
with the Labor Arbiter. In so doing, the NLRC did not commit any abuse of discretion in
affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter.
On the Villarama afterthought-it was both fitting and appropriate since it singularly
addressed the issue of a managerial employee committing sexual harassment on a
subordinate. The disparity in the periods of filing the complaints in the two (2) cases
did not in any way reduce this case into insignificance. On the contrary, it even invited
the attention of the Court to focus on sexual harassment as a just and valid cause for
termination. Whereas petitioner Libres was only meted a 30-day suspension by the
NLRC, Villarama, in the other case was penalized with termination. As a managerial
employee, petitioner is bound by more exacting work ethics. He failed to live up to his
higher standard of responsibility when he succumbed to his moral perversity. And when
such moral perversity is perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides a justifiable
ground for his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence.
It is the the duty of every employer to protect his employees from
oversexed superiors. Public respondent therefore is correct in its observation that
the Labor Arbiter was in fact lenient in his application of the law and jurisprudence for
which petitioner must be grateful for.
As pointed out by the Solicitor General, it could be expected since Libres was Capirals
immediate superior. Fear of retaliation and backlash, not to forget the social
humiliation and embarrassment that victims of this human frailty usually suffer, are all
realities that Capiral had to contend with. Moreover, the delay did not detract from the

truth derived from the facts. Petitioner Libres never questioned the veracity of Capirals
allegations. In fact his narration even corroborated the latters assertion in several
material points. He only raised issue on the complaints protracted filing.
On the question of due process- Requirements were sufficiently complied with. Due
process as a constitutional precept does not always and in all situations require a trial
type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against
him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. The essence of due process
is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to
explain ones side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling
complained of.
It is undeniable that petitioner was given a Notice of Investigation informing him of the
charge of sexual harassment as well as advising him to submit a written explanation
regarding the matter; that he submitted his written explanation to his superior. The VP
further allowed him to air his grievance in a private session He was given more than
adequate opportunity to explain his side and air his grievances.
Personal confrontation was not necessary. Homeowners v NLRC- litigants may be heard
through pleadings, written explanations, position papers, memoranda or oral
arguments.