Case Digest: PLDT v. Honrado

G.R. No. 189366 : December 8, 2010




Respondent Eusebio Honrado was an employee of petitioner Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). Spouses Pete A. Mueda and Rodrigo H. Mueda went to PLDTs Quality Control Division (QCD) to verify their application for telephone because according to them, a person named Rony Hipolito who introduced himself as a PLDT employee went to their house and told them that he is the area inspector assigned therein and thatthey can pay directly to him since he is a PLDT employee and that the balance can be paid to PLDT. Spouses Mueda further stated that because of this, they paid HipolitoP1,500.00 as partial payment for the installation of their new telephone line.At the QCD, Spouses Mueda found out that the act of Hipolito in soliciting and receivingP1,500.00 as down payment for installation of a new telephone line is against the policy of herein petitioner. So, in order to ascertain the identity of Rony Hipolito, Mr. Domosthenes J. Yap, QCD Investigator together with Mrs. Mueda, conducted a stake out operation at the PLDT North Paraque Exchange. When herein private respondent Honrado handed hisTripAuthorizationPass(TAP for brevity) to the guard on duty at the gate of the PLDT North Paraque Exchange, he was positively identified by Mrs. Mueda as the person who solicited and received the money from her and her husband. After due hearing, private respondent was notified that he was found liable as charged, hence, dismissed from service. Consequently, respondent Honrado filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the Labor Arbiter. The LA dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the NLRC set aside the decision of the LA. The CA affirmed the ruling of the NLRC.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent was illegally dismissed.

Court of Appeals decision is reversed.


The requisites for a valid dismissal are:(a)theemployee must be afforded due process,i.e., he must be given an opportunity to be heard and defend himself; and (b) thedismissal must be for a valid causeas provided in Article 282 of the Labor Code or for any of the authorized causes under Articles 283 and 284 of the same Code.

In the instant case, a confrontation proceeding between respondent Honrado and the therein complainant Mrs. Pete A. Mueda was conducted at petitioners QCD office.At the said proceeding, Mrs. Mueda declared the circumstances surrounding the complaint against the respondent and more significantly identified the respondent in a line-up.Upon the identification of the respondent as the person who solicited, collected and received the downpayment for the purported installation of therein complainants telephone service, respondent was apprised of the charges against him as well as his rights. Thereafter, respondent was notified by way of an Inter-Office Memodated June 8, 2000 of the formal charges against him and was required to explain in writing why he should not be dismissed for serious misconduct.On June 15, 2000, respondent filed an Inter-Office Memodenying all the allegations imputed against him and requested for a formal hearing with the assistance of his lawyer and a Union official. Subsequently, respondent Honrado received, through Inter-Office Memo dated February 13, 2001, a Notice of Termination informing him that after a careful evaluation of his case, he was found liable as charged and dismissed from the service due to gross misconduct.

The quantum of proof required in determining the legality of an employees dismissal is only substantial evidence.The standard of substantial evidence is met where the employer, as in this case, has reasonable ground to believe that the employee is responsible for the misconduct and his participation in such misconduct makes him unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position.


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