Case Digest: Mirant Corp v. Sario

G.R. No. 197598 : November 21, 2012




Mirant Corporation (company) owns shares in Mirant Sual Corporation and Mirant Pagbilao Corporation which operate power stations in the provinces of Pangasinan and Quezon. The company discovered that some of its employees, including herein respondent Danilo Sario (Sario), had been involved in the rampant practice of favoring certain suppliers, thereby seriously impairing transparency in its procurement process and compromising the quality of purchased materials. To curb the practice, the company issued the 2002 Procurement Manual and 2004 Procurement Manual for the guidance of its employees and officers in soliciting bid quotations and proposals from vendors, suppliers and contractors.

Sario received a Show Cause Notice from the company and was given ten (10) days, to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for the violations. At the administrative hearing, Sario argued that he could not be faulted for not complying with the company manual because it was not properly disseminated. He admitted, however, that he failed to comply with the procurement procedures laid out in the manual due to his desire to meet the quota imposed by his supervisors.

Thus, the company sent Sario a letter terminating him from employment. Sario then filed a case for illegal dismissal before the Labor Arbiter. The LA ruled that Sario was illegally dismissed. On appeal, the NLRC reversed the LAs ruling.

Aggrieved, Sario appealed to the CA. The CA reinstated the LAs ruling. Hence, this present recourse.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sario was validly dismissed from employment?

HELD: The Court finds the petition meritorious.

LABOR LAW: willful disobedience

We understand the companys serious concerns over Sarios repeated violations of the 2002 and 2004 Procurement Manuals. Indeed, these violations cannot but compromise the integrity of the companys procurement process. He committed the violations for one-and-a-half years. These repeated violations can only indicate a willful disobedience to reasonable company rules and regulations. InGold City Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. NLRC, the Court stressed that willful disobedience of an employee contemplates the concurrence of at least two requisites: the employees assailed conduct must have been willful or intentional, the willfulness being characterized by a "wrongful and perverse attitude"; and the order violated must have been reasonable, lawful and made known to the employee, and must pertain to the duties which he had been engaged to discharge. We find the two requisites present in this case.

Petition is GRANTED.