LABOR RELATION AND NEGOTIATION
AMA COMPUTER COLLEGE,PARAÑAQUE, and/orAMABLE C. AGUILUZ IX,President, MRS. CELESTE BANSALE, School Director, MS. SOCORRO,MR. PATRICK AZANZA,GRACE BERANIA and MAJAL JACOB, Petitioners, - versus - ROLANDO A. AUSTRIA, Respondent.| G.R. No. 164078 Present: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J., Chairperson,AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,CHICO-NAZARIO,NACHURA, andREYES, JJ. Promulgated: November 23, 2007 | x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision dated March 29, 2004 which affirmed with modification the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), dated March 31, 2003.
Petitioner AMA Computer College, Parañaque (AMA) is an educational institution duly organized under the laws of the Philippines. The rest of the petitioners are principal officers of AMA. Respondent Rolando A. Austria (respondent) was hired by AMA on probationary employment as a college dean on April 24, 2000. On August 22, 2000, respondent’s appointment as dean was confirmed by AMA’s Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Academic Affairs, in his Memorandum which reads:
After a thorough evaluation of the performance of Mr. Rolando Austria as Dean, we are happy to inform you that he is hereby officially confirmed as Dean of AMA College Parañaque effective April 17, 2000 to September 17, 2000.
In view of this, he will be entitled to a transportation allowance of One Thousand Five Hundred Sixty Pesos (P1,560.00).
In the event that Mr. Austria gives up the Dean position or fails to meet the standards of the (sic) based on the evaluation of his immediate superior, he shall be considered for a faculty position and the appointee agrees that he shall lose the transportation allowance he enjoys as Dean and be entitled to his faculty rate.
Sometime in August 2000, respondent was charged with violating AMA’s Employees’ Conduct and Discipline provided in its Orientation Handbook (Handbook), as follows:
1) leaking of test questions; 2) failure to monitor general requirements vital to the operations of the company; and
3) gross inefficiency.
In a Memorandumdated August 29, 2000, respondent refuted the charges against him. Thereafter, respondent was placed on preventive suspension from September 8, 2000 to October 10, 2000. Notices of Investigation were sent to respondent. Eventually, on September 29, 2000, respondent was informed of his dismissal, to wit:
Dear Mr. Austria,
Please be informed that after a careful deliberation on the case filed against you and upon serious consideration of the evidences (sic) presented, the Management has found you guilty of violating the following policies:
A. Loss of trust and confidence by management due to gross inefficiency. (5.21 Very Serious/Grave Offense)
B. Failure to monitor general requirements vital to the operations of the company. (5.10 Medium Offense)
C. Leaking of test questions.
(4.17 Very Serious/Grave Offense)
This resulted to the loss of trust and confidence in your credibility as a company officer holding a highly sensitive position. In view of this, your services as Dean of AMA Parañaque is hereby terminated effective immediately.
You are hereby instructed to report to the branch HR Personnel for further...