G.R. No. 81262 August 25, 1989
GLOBE MACKAY CABLE AND RADIO CORP., and HERBERT C. HENDRY, Petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and RESTITUTO M. TOBIAS, Respondents.
Private respondent Restituto M. Tobias was employed by petitioner Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (GLOBE MACKAY) in a dual capacity as a purchasing agent and administrative assistant to the engineering operations manager. In 1972, GLOBE MACKAY discovered fictitious purchases and other fraudulent transactions for which it lost several thousands of pesos.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library According to private respondent it was he who actually discovered the anomalies and reported them on November 10, 1972 to his immediate superior Eduardo T. Ferraren and to petitioner Herbert C. Hendry who was then the Executive Vice-President and General Manager of GLOBE MACKAY.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On November 11, 1972, one day after private respondent Tobias made the report, petitioner Hendry confronted him by stating that he was the number one suspect, and ordered him to take a one week forced leave, not to communicate with the office, to leave his table drawers open, and to leave the office keys.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On November 20, 1972, when private respondent Tobias returned to work after the forced leave, petitioner Hendry went up to him and called him a "crook" and a "swindler." Tobias was then ordered to take a lie detector test. He was also instructed to submit specimen of his handwriting, signature, and initials for examination by the police investigators to determine his complicity in the anomalies.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On December 6,1972, the Manila police investigators submitted a laboratory crime report (Exh. "A") clearing private respondent of participation in the anomalies.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Not satisfied with the police report, petitioners hired a private investigator, retired Col. Jose G. Fernandez, who on December 10, 1972, submitted a report (Exh. "2") finding Tobias guilty. This report however expressly stated that further investigation was still to be conducted.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Nevertheless, on December 12, 1972, petitioner Hendry issued a memorandum suspending Tobias from work preparatory to the filing of criminal charges against him.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On December 19,1972, Lt. Dioscoro V. Tagle, Metro Manila Police Chief Document Examiner, after investigating other documents pertaining to the alleged anomalous transactions, submitted a second laboratory crime report (Exh. "B") reiterating his previous finding that the handwritings, signatures, and initials appearing in the checks and other documents involved in the fraudulent transactions were not those of Tobias. The lie detector tests conducted on Tobias also yielded negative results.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Notwithstanding the two police reports exculpating Tobias from the anomalies and the fact that the report of the private investigator, was, by its own terms, not yet complete, petitioners filed with the City Fiscal of Manila a complaint for estafa through falsification of commercial documents, later amended to just estafa. Subsequently five other criminal complaints were filed against Tobias, four of which were for estafa through Falsification of commercial document while the fifth was for of Article 290 of' the Revised Penal Code (Discovering Secrets Through Seizure of Correspondence). Two of these complaints were refiled with the Judge Advocate General's Office, which however, remanded them to the fiscal's office. All of the six criminal complaints were dismissed by the fiscal. Petitioners appealed four of the...