Lack of due process in dismissal of employees entitles them to indemnity from employer

Petitioner argues next that granting procedural due process was not afforded the dismissed emloyees, still, the award of two (2) months salary for each of them is not in accord with existing jurisprudence. The Wenphil doctrine teaches, as in other cases, that where the dismissal of an employee is for a just cause but without due process, the employer must indemnify the dismissed employee. Petitioner must have failed to read the full text to Wenphil or simply chose to ignore the sentence immediately succeeding the P1,000.00 indemnify enunciated therein. The case is explicit that the measure of the award depends on the facts of each case and the gravity of the omission committed by the employer. In fact, in the recent case of Reta vs. NLRC, the Court saw fit ti impose P10,000.00 as penalty for the employer's failure to comply with the due process requirement. The ratiocination of respondent Secretary of Labor should have out petitioner's argument at rest - xxx Wenphil, however, simply provies the authority to impose the indemnity; it is not meant to be definitive as to the amount of indemnity applicable in all cases, this being dependent on the particular circumstances of a case. Indeed, in the later case of Maritime Seahorse vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 84712, 5 May 1989, the Supreme COurt applied the Wenphil doctrine but awarded an indemnity of P5,000.00. Clearly, there is a recognition that the amount of indemnity to be awarded is subject to the discretion of the agency making the award, considering all attendant circumstances. [G.R. No. 117174. November 13, 1996]