Enriquez vs BPI
February 12, 2008 – Illegal Dismissal – Rights of Employers
Enriquez and Sia were senior managers in BPI Bacolod having served 34 and 29 years respectively. One day, a teller by the name of Descartin had a shortage of P36k and she reported to her managers that it was an honest oversight as she forgot to have her mom-in-law sign a withdrawal slip when the latter withdrew P36k earlier that day. The managers let Descartin off the hook by letting her go to her mom-in-law and sign the withdrawal slip. The managers did not report the shortage as it was regularized on the same day. Meanwhile, another teller named Fregil, who initially acquiesced to the situation, later divulged that Descartin actually borrowed the P36k and the whole thing was covered up by the managers (P36k was beyond the floor limit for cashiers). BPI then dismissed the two managers. In their defense, the managers said the BPI officer who investigated them was not properly deputized by the board (non-compliance with the NLRC procedure, Rule 6, Sec 4). Also, they assail their termination arguing that the issue has been regularized on the same day and that there was really no need to report it because of the regularization of the issue and that there long stay with the company should be appreciated for their reinstatement.
ISSUE: Whether or not the two were illegally dismissed/ should be reinstated.
HELD: NO. The procedural issue of the case (there being no written manifestation of the investigating officer) cannot outweigh the substantive right of the company to investigate its employees. It has been ruled that the board being the representative of the company can delegate its duties to a person and said person’s act shall be binding to the company as in the case at bar. There is really no need for a written manifestation every time there is a need to delegate.
It is well-settled that the power to dismiss an employee is a recognized prerogative that is inherent in the employer’s right to freely manage and regulate his business. An employer cannot be expected to retain an employee whose lack of morals, respect and loyalty to his employer or regard for his employer’s rules and appreciation of the dignity and responsibility of his office has so plainly and completely been bared. It is clear under BPI rules that failure to report shortage is a ground for dismissal. The managers’ length of stay with the company cannot be appreciated in their favor. Clearly, as a measure of self-preservation against acts patently inimical to its interests, respondent bank had every right to dismiss petitioners for breach of trust, loss of confidence and dishonesty.