Jurisprudence on Sexual Harassment

The gravamen of the offense in sexual harassment is not the violation of the employee's sexuality but the abuse of power by the employer. Any employee, male or female, may rightfully cry "foul" provided the claim is well substantiated. Strictly speaking, there is no time period within which he or she is expected to complain through the proper channels. The time to do so may vary depending upon the needs, circumstances, and more importantly, the emotional threshold of the employee.

Private respondent admittedly allowed four (4) years to pass before finally coming out with her employer's sexual impositions. Not many women, especially in this country, are made of the stuff that can endure the agony and trauma of a public, even corporate, scandal. If petitioner corporation had not issued the third memorandum that terminated the services of private respondent, we could only speculate how much longer she would keep her silence. Moreover, few persons are privileged indeed to transfer from one employer to another. The dearth of quality employment has become a daily "monster" roaming the streets that one may not be expected to give up one's employment easily but to hang on to it, so to speak, by all tolerable means. Perhaps, to private respondent's mind, for as long as she could outwit her employer's ploys she would continue on her job and consider them as mere occupational hazards. This uneasiness in her place of work thrived in an atmosphere of tolerance for four (4) years, and one could only imagine the prevailing anxiety and resentment, if not bitterness, that beset her all that time. But William Chua faced reality soon enough. Since he had no place in private respondent's heart, so must she have no place in his office. So, he provoked her, harassed her, and finally dislodged her; and for finally venting her pent-up anger for years, he "found" the perfect reason to terminate her.

In determining entitlement to moral and exemplary damages, we restate the bases therefor.1âwphi1 In moral damages, it suffices to prove that the claimant has suffered anxiety, sleepless nights, besmirched reputation and social humiliation by reason of the act complained of. Exemplary damages, on the other hand, are granted in addition to, inter alia, moral damages "by way of example or correction for the public good" if the employer ''acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner."

Anxiety was gradual in private respondent's five (5)-year employment. It began when her plant manager showed an obvious partiality for her which went out of hand when he started to make it clear that he would terminate her services if she would not give in to his sexual advances. Sexual harassment is an imposition of misplaced "superiority" which is enough to dampen an employee's spirit in her capacity for advancement. It affects her sense of judgment; it changes her life. If for this alone private respondent should be adequately compensated. Thus, for the anxiety, the seen and unseen hurt that she suffered, petitioners should also be made to pay her moral damages, plus exemplary damages, for the oppressive manner with which petitioners effected her dismissal from the service, and to serve as a forewarning to lecherous officers and employers who take undue advantage of their ascendancy over their employees. (G.R. No. 124617; April 28, 2000)

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Section 3 of Republic Act 7877 provides:

"SEC. 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, 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 or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee."

Petitioner was the City Health Officer of Cagayan de Oro City, a position he held when complainant, a newly graduated nurse, saw him to enlist his help in her desire to gain employment. He did try to show an interest in her plight, her father being a boyhood friend, but finding no opening suitable for her in his office, he asked her about accepting a job in a family planning research project. It all started from there. (G.R. No. 140604; March 6, 2002)

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Sexual harassment abounds in all sick societies. It is reprehensible enough but more so when inflicted by those with moral ascendancy over their victims. We rule that it is a valid cause for separation from service. (G.R. No. 106341; September 2, 1994)

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Republic Act No. 7877 was not yet in effect at the time of the occurrence of the act complained of. It was still being deliberated upon in Congress when petitioner's case was decided by the Labor Arbiter. As a rule, laws shall have no retroactive effect unless otherwise provided, or except in a criminal case when their application will favor the accused.9 Hence, the Labor Arbiter have to rely on the MEC report and the common connotation of sexual harassment as it is generally as understood by the public. Faced with the same predicament, the NLRC had to agree with the Labor Arbiter. In so doing, the NLRC did not commit any abuse of discretion in affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter.

Petitioner next trains his gun on the reliance by the NLRC on Villarama and claims it was erroneous. We rule otherwise and hold that it was both fitting and appropriate since it singularly addressed the issue of a managerial employee committing sexual harassment on a subordinate. The disparity in the periods of filing the complaints in the two (2) cases did not in any way reduce this case into insignificance. On the contrary, it even invited the attention of the Court to focus on sexual harassment as a just and valid cause for termination. Whereas petitioner Libres was only meted a 30-day suspension by the NLRC, Villarama in the other case was penalized with termination. As Mr. Justice Puno elucidated, "As a managerial employee, petitioner is bound by more exacting work ethics. He failed to live up to his higher standard of responsibility when he succumbed to his moral perversity. And when such moral perversity is perpetrated against his subordinate, he provides a justifiable ground for his dismissal for lack of trust and confidence. It is the right, nay, the duty of every employer to protect its employees from oversexed superiors." 10 Public respondent therefore is correct in its observation that the Labor Arbiter was in fact lenient in his application of the law and jurisprudence for which petitioner must be grateful and not gripe against.

"Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or uninvited sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature with any of the following elements: (1) . . . . (2) . . . . (3) such conduct as unreasonably interferes with the individual's performance at work, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment," PDI Manual as cited in Annex "C-13," Petition for Certiorari, MEC Report.

"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, request 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," Sec. 3, RA No. 7877.

"In a work-related environment, sexual harassment is committed when: (1) . . . . (2) . . . . (3) the above acts would discriminate against one's continued employment, impair one's rights and privileges under the Labor Code, and privileges under the Labor Code, and create a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment," Sec. 3, par. (a), RA No. 7877. (G.R. No. 123737; May 28, 1999)

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Sexual harassment is an imposition of misplaced "superiority" which is enough to dampen an employee’s spirit and her capacity for advancement. It affects her sense of judgment; it changes her life.

The law penalizing sexual harassment in our jurisdiction is RA 7877. Section 3 thereof defines work-related sexual harassment in this wise:

Sec. 3. Work, Education or Training-related Sexual Harassment Defined. – Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer, 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, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in a way would discriminate, deprive or diminish 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.

This section, in relation to Section 7 on penalties, defines the criminal aspect of the unlawful act of sexual harassment. The same section, in relation to Section 6, authorizes the institution of an independent civil action for damages and other affirmative relief.

Section 4, also in relation to Section 3, governs the procedure for administrative cases, viz.:

Sec. 4. Duty of the Employer or Head of Office in a Work-related, Education or Training Environment. – It shall be the duty of the employer or the head of the work-related, educational or training environment or institution, to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment. Towards this end, the employer or head of office shall:

(a) Promulgate appropriate rules and regulations in consultation with and jointly approved by the employees or students or trainees, through their duly designated representatives, prescribing the procedure for the investigation or sexual harassment cases and the administrative sanctions therefor.

Administrative sanctions shall not be a bar to prosecution in the proper courts for unlawful acts of sexual harassment.

The said rules and regulations issued pursuant to this section (a) shall include, among others, guidelines on proper decorum in the workplace and educational or training institutions.

(b) Create a committee on decorum and investigation of cases on sexual harassment. The committee shall conduct meetings, as the case may be, with other officers and employees, teachers, instructors, professors, coaches, trainors and students or trainees to increase understanding and prevent incidents of sexual harassment. It shall also conduct the investigation of the alleged cases constituting sexual harassment.

In the case of a work-related environment, the committee shall be composed of at least one (1) representative each from the management, the union, if any, the employees from the supervisory rank, and from the rank and file employees.

In the case of the educational or training institution, the committee shall be composed of at least one (1) representative from the administration, the trainors, teachers, instructors, professors or coaches and students or trainees, as the case maybe.

The employer or head of office, educational or training institution shall disseminate or post a copy of this Act for the information of all concerned.

We reiterate that what is before us is an administrative case for sexual harassment. Thus, whether the crime of sexual harassment is malum in se or malum prohibitum is immaterial. (G.R. No. 155831; February 18, 2008)

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We disagree with the CA that neither corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of an established rule attended the incident in question. RA14 7877, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, took effect on March 5, 1995. Respondent was charged with knowledge of the existence of this law and its contents, more so because he was a public servant. His act of grabbing petitioner and attempting to kiss her without her consent was an unmistakable manifestation of his intention to violate laws that specifically prohibited sexual harassment in the work environment. Assuming arguendo that respondent never intended to violate RA 7877, his attempt to kiss petitioner was a flagrant disregard of a customary rule that had existed since time immemorial – that intimate physical contact between individuals must be consensual. Respondent’s defiance of custom and lack of respect for the opposite sex were more appalling because he was a married man. Respondent’s act showed a low regard for women and disrespect for petitioner’s honor and dignity. (G.R. No. 169449; March 26, 2010)

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We disagree with the CA that neither corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of an established rule attended the incident in question. RA 7877, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, took effect on March 5, 1995. Respondent was charged with knowledge of the existence of this law and its contents, more so because he was a public servant. His act of grabbing petitioner and attempting to kiss her without her consent was an unmistakable manifestation of his intention to violate laws that specifically prohibited sexual harassment in the work environment. Assuming arguendo that respondent never intended to violate RA 7877, his attempt to kiss petitioner was a flagrant disregard of a customary rule that had existed since time immemorial – that intimate physical contact between individuals must be consensual. Respondent’s defiance of custom and lack of respect for the opposite sex were more appalling because he was a married man. Respondent’s act showed a low regard for women and disrespect for petitioner’s honor and dignity.31 (Emphasis added)
However, it bears emphasis that in Narvasa v. Sanchez, Jr.,32 the Court ordered the respondent public officer's dismissal from service with forfeiture of retirement benefits and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned and controlled corporations, because it was the third time that he was penalized for acts of sexual harassment. In determining such penalty, moreover, the Court considered the length of his service as an aggravating circumstance.

Apropos to this case is Civil Service Commission v. Nierras33 where the Court upheld the CA's decision finding the respondent public officer guilty of grave misconduct through sexual harassment with a reduced sentence of six (6) months suspension without pay, thus:

Petitioner alleged that the Court of Appeals erred in applying the case of Veloso v. Caminade in imposing the proper penalty on Nierras since the facts of the case are different. Indeed, it should be noted that in the instant case, Oña and Nierras are not co-employees while in the Caminade case, the complainants were the subordinates of the offender. Also, in the Caminade case, there were several incidents of sexual harassment by a judge from whom the expected standard of morality was more exacting. But here, there was only one incident of sexual harassment. If a six-month suspension can be meted to a judge from whom the expected standard of morality is more exacting, a fortiori, the same or lesser penalty should be meted to Nierras. Moreover, in the Caminade case, the offender actually forcefully kissed and grabbed the complainants. However, in this case, Oña was able to flee from the arms of Nierras even before he could cause more harm to her. Under the circumstances of the present case, we agree with the Court of Appeals that suspension of the offender for a period of six (6) months without pay is sufficient penalty.34

Guided by the foregoing jurisprudence, the Court agrees with the CA that petitioner should be held liable for grave misconduct, but holds that a reduction of the penalty from dismissal from service to a mere suspension of six (6) months without pay, is in order. Like in Veloso v. Caminade,35 there is only one incident of sexual harassment in this case where petitioner forcibly kissed respondent who was his subordinate. If a six (6)-month suspension can be meted to a judge from whom the expected standard of morality is more exacting, it is logical that a similar penalty should be meted to petitioner.

Moreover, the Court's reduced penalty of six (6)-months suspension without pay is in conformity with Civil Service Commission Resolution (CSC) No. 01-0940 entitled the Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment Cases. Section 53, Rule X thereof classifies acts of sexual harassment as grave, less grave and light offenses, while Sections 55 and 56, Rule XI provides the corresponding penalties therefor.

Meanwhile, the Court disagrees on petitioner's contention that the issue of sexual harassment is better addressed in the pending criminal case for sexual harassment before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati, for to do so in an administrative proceedings would be unfair, unjust and extremely unreasonable. It bears to stress that administrative and criminal charges filed before the Office of the Ombudsman and the trial court, respectively, are separate and distinct from each other even if they arise from the same act or omission. This is because the quantum of proof required in criminal cases is proof beyond reasonable doubt, while in administrative cases, only substantial evidence is required. Moreover, the purpose of the administrative proceedings is mainly to protect the public service, based on the time-honored principle that a public office is a public trust. On the other hand, the purpose of the criminal prosecution is the punishment of crime.44 Thus, even the dismissal of a criminal case does not necessarily foreclose the administrative action against the respondent. (March 11, 2015; G.R. No. 175433)

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MO 11 of 2017: https://lawphil.net/executive/mo/mo2017/pdf/mo_11_2017.pdf

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Section 1. These Rules shall be known as the "Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment Cases in the Bureau of Internal Revenue." https://www.lawphil.net/administ/bir/rmo/rmo27_02main.pdf

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B. "Sexual violence" refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a woman or her child. It includes, but is not limited to: a) rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her child as a sex object, making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks, physically attacking the sexual parts of the victim's body, forcing her/him to watch obscene publications and indecent shows or forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or make films thereof, forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep together in the same room with the abuser; xxx. https://lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2004/ra_9262_2004.html

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Any employee, male or female, may charge an employer or superior with sexual harassment, but the claim must be well substantiated.87 As reflected above, however, Mariquit’s claim does not pass the test of credibility. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2006/jun2006/gr_166039_2006.html

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RULE ON ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES AND GUIDELINES ON PROPER WORK DECORUM IN THE JUDICIARY https://www.lawphil.net/courts/supreme/am/am_03_03_13_sc_%202004.html

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The elements of sexual harassment are as follows: 1) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another; 2) The authority, influence or moral ascendancy exists in a working environment; 3) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, or any other person having authority, influence or moral ascendancy makes a demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2002/apr2002/am_cta-01-1_2002.html

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We find this contention utterly bereft of merit. The fact that RA 7877 was not yet in effect at the time does not make his conduct regular or valid. Sexual harassment was not criminal at that time, but neither was it acceptable, as in fact it has never been acceptable. 19 The purpose of this administrative case is not to determine whether he violated RA 7877, but whether by his acts he has remained faithful to the Code of Judicial Conduct. The Code provides that "a judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities." It also mandates that "a judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary." Thus, the Court has held that "a judge's personal behavior, both in the performance of his duties and in his daily life, be free from the appearance of impropriety as to be beyond reproach." 20 https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1999/oct1999/am_rtj-98-1424_1999.html

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The formal charge, while not specifically mentioning RA 7877, The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, imputes on the petitioner acts covered and penalized by said law. Contrary to the argument of petitioner, the demand of a sexual favor need not be explicit or stated. In Domingo v. Rayala,11 it was held, "It is true that this provision calls for a ‘demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.’ But it is not necessary that the demand, request, or requirement of a sexual favor be articulated in a categorical oral or written statement. It may be discerned, with equal certitude, from the acts of the offender." The CSC found, as did the CA, that even without an explicit demand from petitioner his act of mashing the breast of AAA was sufficient to constitute sexual harassment. Moreover, under Section 3 (b) (4) of RA 7877, sexual harassment in an education or training environment is committed "(w)hen the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or apprentice." AAA even testified that she felt fear at the time petitioner touched her.12 It cannot then be said that the CSC lacked basis for its ruling, when it had both the facts and the law. The CSC found the evidence presented by the complainant sufficient to support a finding of grave misconduct. It is basic that factual findings of administrative agencies, when supported by substantial evidence, are binding upon the Court. https://lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2008/apr2008/gr_146053_2008.html

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Section 53, Rule X of Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 01-0940, otherwise known as the "Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment Cases", classifies sexual harassment into grave, less grave and light offenses, viz.:

Grave Offenses shall include, but are not limited to: 1. unwanted touching of private parts of the body (genitalia, buttocks and breast); 2. sexual assault; 3. malicious touching; 4. requesting for sexual favor in exchange for employment, promotion, local or foreign travels, favorable working conditions or assignments, a passing grade, the granting of honors or scholarship, or the grant of benefits or payment of a stipend or allowance, and 5. other analogous cases. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2017/feb2017/pdf/am_scc-10-14-p_2017.pdf

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A lawyer who commits overt acts of sexual harassment against a female client is guilty of reprehensible conduct that is unbecoming of a member of the Bar and may be condignly punished with suspension from the practice of law. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2013/oct2013/ac_9401_2013.html

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Under CSC Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 1994,14 sexual harassment does not necessarily or automatically constitute "grave misconduct." Besides, under paragraph 2 of Section 1 thereof, sexual harassment constitutes a ground for disciplinary action under the offense of "Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, or Simple Misconduct."

Petitioner alleged that the Court of Appeals erred in applying the case of Veloso v. Caminade in imposing the proper penalty on Nierras since the facts of the case are different. Indeed, it should be noted that in the instant case, Oña and Nierras are not co-employees while in the Caminade case, the complainants were the subordinates of the offender. Also, in the Caminade case, there were several incidents of sexual harassment by a judge from whom the expected standard of morality was more exacting. But here, there was only one incident of sexual harassment. If a six-month suspension can be meted to a judge from whom the expected standard of morality is more exacting, a fortiori, the same or lesser penalty should be meted to Nierras. Moreover, in the Caminade case, the offender actually forcefully kissed and grabbed the complainants. However, in this case, Oña was able to flee from the arms of Nierras even before he could cause more harm to her. Under the circumstances of the present case, we agree with the Court of Appeals that suspension of the offender for a period of six (6) months without pay is sufficient penalty. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2008/feb2008/gr_165121_2008.html

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In Villarama v. National Labor Relations Commission,37 wherein a managerial employee committed sexual harassment against his subordinate, the Court held that sexual harassment is a valid cause for separation from service. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2009/dec2009/gr_170661_2009.html

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Sexual harassment in the workplace is not about a man taking advantage of a woman by reason of sexual desire – it is about power being exercised by a superior over his women subordinates. That power emanates from the fact that he can remove them if they refuse his amorous advances.37 Under Sec. 3 of A.M. No. 03-03-13-SC (Re: Rule on Administrative Procedure in Sexual Harassment Cases and Guidelines on Proper Work Decorum in the Judiciary), work-related sexual harassment is committed by an official or employee in the Judiciary who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work 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 latter. It is committed when "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, 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 or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee."38 https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2007/apr2007/am_rtj_06_2019_2007.html

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Under Article 282 of the labor Code, the misconduct, to be just cause for termination, must be serious.1âwphi1 Thisimplies that it must be of such grave and aggravated character and not merelytrivial or unimportant. Examples of serious misconduct justifying termination, as held in some of our decisions, include: sexual harassment (the manager’s acts of fondling the hands, massaging the shoulder and caressing the nape of the secretary); fighting within company premises, uttering obscene, insulting or offensive words against a superior; misrepresenting that a student is his nephew and pressuring and intimidating a co-teacherto change a student’s failing grade to passing. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2014/jul2014/gr_190303_2014.html

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It appears too that the complainant was not the exclusive object of respondent’s advances. Witnesses Marilyn de Leon and Glenda Ramirez testified that they also received love notes and invitations for dinner from him. Like a hunter out on the prowl, he victimized other female workers unabashedly professing his alleged feelings for them in utter disregard of the fact that they were his subordinates, they were married and they were young enough to be his daughters. Instead of he being in loco parentis over his subordinate employees, he preyed on them as he took advantage of his superior position.34

Under the circumstances, we find respondent guilty of sexual harassment. His severely outrageous acts, which are an affront to women, constitute sexual harassment because they necessarily result in an intimidating, hostile, and offensive working environment for his female subordinates.35 He abused the power and authority he exercises over them, which is the gravamen of the offense in sexual harassment.36 Sexual harassment in the workplace is not about a man taking advantage of a woman by reason of sexual desire – it is about power being exercised by a superior over his women subordinates.37 That power emanates from the fact that he can remove them if they refuse his amorous advances. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/oct2003/am_p-03-1697_2003.html

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The Court has certainly taken stock of the fact that even after the alleged "sexual harassment" incidents transpired, complainant still dared to repair, in several instances, to respondent Judge’s chamber all by her lonesome self when the natural thing to do is to avoid occasions likely to further exacerbate an already difficult situation. What is more, complainant, by her own admission22 even attended the birthday party of respondent judge in his residence and, judging from photographs23 of smiling, clapping and swinging court staff personnel, complainant definitely appeared to be having much fun. To be sure, complainant is not exactly a picture of one recently sexually harassed by her offending host.

With the view we thus take of the case, complainant has failed to prove her charge against the respondent judge with the quantum of proof required under the premises. Given this perspective, the dismissal of the complaint as against respondent judge for insufficiency of evidence is indicated. The Court, however, stresses that this ruling does not necessarily reflect on the bona fides of the filing of the complainant, let alone what complainant perceives to be the righteousness of her grievances. However, the facts of the case and applicable jurisprudence leave no room for another kind of disposition. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2007/aug2007/am_rtj-07-2068_2007.html

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In the present case, we find totally unacceptable the temerity of the respondent judge in subjecting herein complainants, his subordinates all, to his unwelcome sexual advances and acts of lasciviousness. Not only do the actions of respondent judge fall short of the exacting standards for members of the judiciary; they stand no chance of satisfying the standards of decency even of society at large. His severely abusive and outrageous acts, which are an affront to women, unmistakably constitute sexual harassment because they necessarily ". . . result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for theemployee[s]." 22 Let it be remembered that respondent has moral ascendancy and authority over complainants, who are mere employees of the court of which he is an officer. https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1998/jul1998/am_98_1144_1998.html

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