Employer CANNOT be both accuser, judge at the same time to DISMISS employee

On petitioner’s right to due process, we uphold the NLRC findings that no formal investigation was conducted prior to dismissal of petitioners. Private respondents thus failed to adequately comply with the requirement that an employee should be given the opportunity to be heard and to defend himself before he is dismissed. In San Antonio vs. NLRC, the Court stated that proper compliance with the twin requirements of notice and hearing are conditions sine qua non before a dismissal may be validly effected. x x x Any procedural shortcut, that effectively allows an employer to assume the roles of both accuser and judge at the same time, should not be countenanced. In the present case, the notices/memoranda to petitioners requiring explanations/answers to the charges against them were plainly meant to provide a semblance of compliance with the due process requirement which the NLRC correctly ruled to be inadequate. [G.R. No. 117582. December 23, 1996]

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