G.R. No. 170661 Case Digest

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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 170661               December 4, 2009
RAMON B. FORMANTES, Petitioner, 
vs.
DUNCAN PHARMACEUTICALS, PHILS., INC., Respondent.

SUMMARY (FACTS):
Ramon B. Formantes, the Acting District Manager of respondent for the Ilocos District, filed a case for illegal suspension and constructive dismissal against respondent company after the company did not allow him to attend the meetings and activities, withheld his salary, and directed one of its district managers to take over his position and functions without prior notice to him. The company did the foregoing upon a complaint of one of its medical representative, Cynthia Magat, on the attempt by Ramon Formantes to sexually force himself upon his subordinate. The Labor Arbiter rendered decision finding the dismissal of Ramon Formantes valid for an attempt to sexually abuse Cynthia Magat but imposing a penalty on respondent for its failure to give formal notice and conduct the necessary investigation before dismissing petitioner. The petitioner was not satisfied about the decision of the Labor Arbiter. The petitioner appealed to the NLRC. NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Petitioner went to the Court of Appeals. The CA affirmed the NLRC’s decision with modification of the penalty imposed against the respondent from P1,000.00 to P5,000.00.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the dismissal of petitioner on the ground of sexual abuse is proper when the charge against him, stated in the termination letter, was insubordination.

RULING:

Although petitioner was dismissed from work by the respondent on the ground of insubordination, this Court cannot close its eyes to the fact that the ground of sexual abuse committed against petitioner's subordinate actually exists and was established by substantial evidence before the LA. The LA would be rendered inutile if she would just seal her lips after finding that a just cause for dismissal...
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