Municipal assessor fired from work after trying to kiss female coworker, calling her "sexy," "flawless"

In her affidavit-complaint, De la Cruz claimed that, sometime in February 2000, respondent handed her a note saying, "Gay, I like you." Offended by respondent’s inappropriate remark, de la Cruz admonished him for giving her such a note and told him that she would give the note to his wife. Respondent then grabbed the note from her and tore it into pieces. However, this first incident was followed by a message sent to De la Cruz sometime in March 2002 in which he said, "Ka date ko si Mary Gay… ang tamis ng halik mo."

On the other hand, Gayaton narrated that, on April 5, 2002, respondent whispered to her during a retirement program, "Oy flawless, pumanaw ka met ditan" while twice pinching her upper left arm near the shoulder in a slow manner.

A few days later, Gayaton received a text message while she was passing respondent’s car in front of the municipal hall. The message said, "Pauwi ka na ba sexy?" Gayaton later verified through respondent’s clerk, Alona Agas, that the sender of the message was respondent.
On or about April 22 to 25, 2002, Gayaton received several messages from respondent stating: (1) "I like you"; (2) "Have a date with me"; (3) "Don’t tell to (sic) others that I told that I like you because nakakahiya"; (4) "Puso mo to pag bigay moto sakin, I would be very happy" and (5) "I slept and dreamt nice things about you."

Finally, as far as petitioner’s complaint was concerned, she asserted that, on November 18, 2000, during a field trip of officers and members of the St. Joseph Multi-Purpose Cooperative to the Grotto Vista Resort in Bulacan, respondent pulled her towards him and attempted to kiss her. Petitioner resisted and was able to escape the clutches of respondent to rejoin the group that they were travelling with. Respondent apologized to petitioner thrice regarding that incident.

COURT DECISION: Benjamin A. Sanchez, Jr. is ordered DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of retirement benefits except accrued leave credits, if any, and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned and controlled corporations. This is without prejudice to any criminal complaints that may be filed against him.

RELEVANT LAW: RA 7877: Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995."
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - The State shall value the dignity of every individual, enhance the development of its human resources, guarantee full respect for human rights, and uphold the dignity of workers, employees, applicants for employment, students or those undergoing training, instruction or education. Towards this end, all forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education or training environment are hereby declared unlawful.

Section 3. Work, Education or Training -Related, Sexual Harassment Defined. - Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.

(a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when:

(1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive ordiminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
(2) The above acts would impair the employee's rights or privileges under existing labor laws; or
(3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.

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