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JENNY M. AGABON v. NLRC

This case has been cited 104 times or more.

2015-09-14
JARDELEZA, J.
Pursuant to the doctrine laid down in Agabon v. NLRC,[78] the dismissal for just cause remains valid but UIC should be held liable, by way of nominal damages, for non-compliance with procedural due process. Conformably with existing jurisprudence,[79] UIC is liable to pay each of the Respondent Employees the sum of Php30,000.00 as nominal damages.
2015-09-09
PERALTA, J.
[37] Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission, 458 Phil. 248, 277 (2004).
2015-08-17
SERENO, C.J.
Finally, as regards the third point pertaining to the advancement of the merits[23] of the case, it may no longer be properly considered by this Court. To adjudicate on the merits of the instant appeal would require the reopening of the whole case, a step that all the tribunals below - the LA, the NLRC, and the CA- have already refused to take.
2015-08-17
SERENO, C.J.
Given that the Labor Arbiter found the absence of both substantive and procedural due process in dismissing Games, the more that the petitioner should be allowed to fully ventilate its side on the matter. This is only fair because Games brought his complaint for illegal dismissal almost two years after his arrest for qualified theft, indicating its being an afterthought. According to Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[30] the absence of procedural due process did not nullify the dismissal that was based on a just cause. Such situation did not entitle the employee to backwages, reinstatement or separation pay, damages and attorney's fees under Article 285 of the Labor Code, as amended.
2015-06-15
BRION, J.
An employee's removal for just or authorized cause but without complying with the proper procedure, on the other hand, does not invalidate the dismissal. It obligates the erring employer to pay nominal damages to the employee, as penalty for not complying with the procedural requirements of due process.[42]
2015-02-18
LEONEN, J.
Agabon focused on the fourth situation when dismissal was for just or authorized cause, but due process was not observed.[71]  Agabon involved a dismissal for just cause, and this court awarded P30,000.00 as nominal damages for the employer's non-compliance with statutory due process.[72]  Jaka Food Processing Corporation v. Pacot[73] involved a dismissal for authorized cause, and this court awarded P50,000.00 as nominal damages for the employer's non-compliance with statutory due process.[74]  The difference in amounts is based on the difference in dismissal ground.[75]  Nevertheless, this court has sound discretion in determining the amount based on the relevant circumstances.[76]  In De Jesus v. Aquino,[77] this court awarded P50,000.00 as nominal damages albeit the dismissal was for just cause.[78]
2014-09-10
BERSAMIN, J.
The position of the petitioner is untenable for two reasons. Firstly, Serrano has been abandoned in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission ,[21] in which the Court ruled that if the termination was valid but due process was not followed, the employee remains dismissed but the employer must pay an indemnity heavier than that imposed in Wenphil Corporation but lighter than full backwages. In effect, Agabon partly restored the doctrine in Wenphil Corporation. And, secondly, both Wenphil Corporation and Serrano should apply only when there is a finding that the termination was valid but the requirement of due process was not followed. Obviously, neither would be applicable to the petitioner whose dismissal was valid and legal, and the respondent as her employer complied with the demands of due process.
2014-06-18
BRION, J.
In concrete terms, these qualifications embody the due process requirement in labor cases - substantive and procedural due process. Substantive due process means that the termination must be based on just and/or authorized causes of dismissal. On the other hand, procedural due process requires the employer to effect the dismissal in a manner specified in the Labor Code and its IRR.[32]
2014-04-22
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.
In this relation, it bears mentioning that the performance standard contemplated by law should not, in all cases, be contained in a specialized system of feedbacks or evaluation. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that not all employers, such as simple businesses or small-scale enterprises, have a sophisticated form of human resource management, so much so that the adoption of technical indicators as utilized through "comment cards" or "appraisal" tools should not be treated as a prerequisite for every case of probationary engagement. In fact, even if a system of such kind is employed and the procedures for its implementation are not followed, once an employer determines that the probationary employee fails to meet the standards required for his regularization, the former is not precluded from dismissing the latter. The rule is that when a valid cause for termination exists, the procedural infirmity attending the termination only warrants the payment of nominal damages. This was the principle laid down in the landmark cases of Agabon v. NLRC[9] (Agabon) and Jaka Food Processing Corporation v. Pacot[10] (Jaka). In the assailed Decision, the Court actually extended the application of the Agabon and Jaka rulings to breaches of company procedure, notwithstanding the employer's compliance with the statutory requirements under the Labor Code.[11] Hence, although Abbott did not comply with its own termination procedure, its non-compliance thereof would not detract from the finding that there subsists a valid cause to terminate Alcaraz's employment. Abbott, however, was penalized for its contractual breach and thereby ordered to pay nominal damages.
2013-07-23
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.
In Agabon v. NLRC (Agabon),[71] the Court pronounced that where the dismissal is for a just cause, the lack of statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal, or render it illegal, or ineffectual. However, the employer should indemnify the employee for the violation of his statutory rights.[72] Thus, in Agabon, the employer was ordered to pay the employee nominal damages in the amount of P30,000.00.[73]
2013-07-15
BERSAMIN, J.
Conformably with the ruling in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[23] the lack of statutory due process would not nullify the dismissal or render it illegal or ineffectual when the dismissal was for just cause. But the violation of Gutang's right to statutory due process clearly warranted the payment of indemnity in the form of nominal damages, whose amount is addressed to the sound discretion of the Court taking into account the relevant circumstances. Accordingly, the Court deems the amount of P30,000.00 as nominal damages sufficient vindication of Gutang's right to due process under the circumstances.
2013-06-10
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.
In Agabon v. NLRC (Agabon),[59] the Court pronounced that where the dismissal is for a just cause, the lack of statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal, or render it illegal, or ineffectual. However, the employer should indemnify the employee for the violation of his statutory rights.[60] Thus, in Agabon, the employer was ordered to pay the employee nominal damages in the amount of P30,000.00.[61]
2013-06-10
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari[1] are the May 29, 2008 Decision[2] and March 30, 2009 Resolution[3] of the Cagayan de Oro City Court of Appeals (CA) in CA G.R. SP. No. 00267 which nullified the August 31, 2004[4] and February 1, 2005[5] Resolutions of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC Case No. M-007354-2003 and instead, reinstated with modification the November 28, 2002 Decision[6] of Executive Labor Arbiter Rogelio P. Legaspi (LA) in NLRC Case No. RAB-13-01-00016-2002, finding respondent Teofilo Gonzaga (Gonzaga) to have been illegally dismissed.
2013-06-03
MENDOZA, J.
In this case, Unilever was not direct and specific in its first notice to Rivera.  The words it used were couched in general terms and were in no way informative of the charges against her that may result in her dismissal from employment.  Evidently, there was a violation of her right to statutory due process warranting the payment of indemnity in the form of nominal damages. Hence, the Court finds no compelling reason to reverse the award of nominal damages in her favor.  The Court, however, deems it proper to increase the award of nominal damages from P20,000.00 to P30,000.00, as initially awarded by the NLRC, in accordance with existing jurisprudence.[30]
2013-04-17
SERENO, C.J.
From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that although there was a just cause for terminating the services of Mendoza, respondents were amiss in complying with the two-notice requirement. Following the prevailing jurisprudence on the matter, if the dismissal is based on a just cause, then the non-compliance with procedural due process should not render the termination from employment illegal or ineffectual.[46] Instead, the employer must indemnify the employee in the form of nominal damages.[47] Therefore, the dismissal of Mendoza should be upheld, and respondents cannot be held liable for the payment of either backwages or separation pay. Considering all the circumstances surrounding this case, this Courts finds the award of nominal damages in the amount of P30,000[48] to be in order.
2013-02-18
BERSAMIN, J.
On the third issue, Supersonic posits that the CA gravely erred in declaring the dismissal of De Jesus ineffectual pursuant to the ruling in Serrano v. National Labor Relations Commission; and insists that the CA should have instead applied the ruling in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[22]which meanwhile abandoned Serrano.
2012-10-09
CARPIO, J.
Apparently, not one of these requisites has been complied with before the June 28, 2011 Decision was rendered. Instead, PLDT and its foreign stockholders were not given their day in court, even when they stand to lose their properties, their shares, and even the franchise to operate as a public utility. This stands counter to our discussion in Agabon v. NLRC,[103] where We emphasized that the principle of due process comports with the simplest notions of what is fair and just: To be sure, the Due Process Clause in Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution embodies a system of rights based on moral principles so deeply imbedded in the traditions and feelings of our people as to be deemed fundamental to a civilized society as conceived by our entire history.  Due process is that which comports with the deepest notions of what is fair and right and just. It is a constitutional restraint on the legislative as well as on the executive and judicial powers of the government provided by the Bill of Rights.[104]
2012-10-09
CARPIO, J.
To be sure, the Due Process Clause in Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution embodies a system of rights based on moral principles so deeply imbedded in the traditions and feelings of our people as to be deemed fundamental to a civilized society as conceived by our entire history.  Due process is that which comports with the deepest notions of what is fair and right and just. It is a constitutional restraint on the legislative as well as on the executive and judicial powers of the government provided by the Bill of Rights.[104]
2012-08-15
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.
The petitioners' failure to observe due process when it terminated respondents' employment for just cause did not invalidate the dismissal but rendered petitioners liable for nominal damages.[37] Under the Civil Code, nominal damages is adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.[38] The amount thereof is addressed to the sound discretion of the court. Considering the prevailing circumstances in the case at bar, the Court deems it proper to award to each of the respondents PhP30,000.00 as nominal damages.[39]
2012-06-13
MENDOZA, J.
Besides, the Court is not unmindful of the prerogatives available to Meralco as an employer.   The company has the right to regulate, according to its discretion and best judgment, all aspects of employment, including work assignment, working methods, processes to be followed, working regulations, transfer of employees, work supervision, lay-off of workers and the discipline, dismissal and recall of workers. Management has the prerogative to discipline its employees and to impose appropriate penalties on erring workers pursuant to company rules and regulations.[23]  So long as they are exercised in good faith for the advancement of the employer's interest and not for the purpose of defeating or circumventing the rights of the employees under special laws or under valid agreements, the employer's exercise of its management prerogative must be upheld.[24]  The law imposes many obligations on the employer such as providing just compensation to workers and observance of the procedural requirements of notice and hearing in the termination of employment. On the other hand, the law also recognizes the right of the employer to expect from its workers not only good performance, adequate work and diligence, but also good conduct and loyalty. The employer may not be compelled to continue to employ such persons whose continuance in the service will patently be inimical to its interests. [25]
2012-04-25
REYES, J.
Nonetheless, while the CA finding that the petitioner is entitled to nominal damages as his right to procedural due process was not respected despite the presence of just causes for his dismissal is affirmed, this Court finds the CA to have erred in fixing the amount that the Company is liable to pay.  The CA should have taken cognizance of the numerous cases decided by this Court where the amount of nominal damages was fixed at P30,000.00 if the dismissal was for a just cause.  One of such cases is Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[15] on which the CA relied in the Assailed Decision and was reiterated in Genuino v. National Relations Commission[16] as follows: In view of Citibank's failure to observe due process, however, nominal damages are in order but the amount is hereby raised to PhP 30,000 pursuant to Agabon v. NLRC.  The NLRC's order for payroll reinstatement is set aside.
2012-02-06
BRION, J.
The records support Dalangin's contention. The notice served on him did not give him a reasonable time, from the effective date of his separation, as required by the rules. He was dismissed on the very day the notice was given to him, or, on October 27, 2001. Although we cannot invalidate his dismissal in light of the valid cause for his separation, the company's non-compliance with the notice requirement entitles Dalangin to indemnity, in the form of nominal damages in an amount subject to our discretion.[40] Under the circumstances, we consider appropriate an award of nominal damages of P10,000.00 to Dalangin.
2012-01-24
BERSAMIN, J.
The petitioner plainly demonstrated how quickly and summarily her dismissal was carried out without first requiring her to explain anything in her defense as demanded under Section 2 (d) of Rule I of the Implementing Rules of Book VI of the Labor Code. Instead, the respondents forthwith had her arrested and investigated by the police authorities for qualified theft. This, we think, was a denial of her right to due process of law, consisting in the opportunity to be heard and to defend herself.[14] In fact, their decision to dismiss her was already final even before the police authority commenced an investigation of the theft, the finality being confirmed by no less than Sylvia Mariano herself telling the petitioner during their phone conversation following the latter's release from police custody on November 11, 1997 that she (Sylvia) "no longer wanted to see" her.
2011-09-07
MENDOZA, J.
The law imposes many obligations on the employer such as providing just compensation to workers, observance of the procedural requirements of notice and hearing in the termination of employment. On the other hand, the law also recognizes the right of the employer to expect from its workers not only good performance, adequate work and diligence, but also good conduct and loyalty. The employer may not be compelled to continue to employ such persons whose continuance in the service will patently be inimical to its interests.[45]
2011-02-16
NACHURA, J.
Notwithstanding these assertions of petitioner corporation, we  sustain the ruling of the CA. The reason why respondents failed to report for work was because petitioner corporation barred them from entering its construction sites. It is a settled rule that failure to report for work after a notice to return to work has been served does not necessarily constitute abandonment.[31] The intent to discontinue the employment must be shown by clear proof that it was deliberate and unjustified.[32] Petitioner corporation failed to show overt acts committed by respondents from which it may be deduced that they had no more intention to work. Respondents' filing of the case for illegal dismissal barely four (4) days from their alleged abandonment is totally inconsistent with our known concept of what constitutes abandonment.
2011-02-09
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
The Court of Appeals, in finding that Culili was not afforded procedural due process, held that Culili's dismissal was ineffectual, and required ETPI to pay Culili full backwages in accordance with our decision in Serrano v. National Labor Relations Commission.[55]  Over the years, this Court has had the opportunity to reexamine the sanctions imposed upon employers who fail to comply with the procedural due process requirements in terminating its employees.  In Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[56] this Court reverted back to the doctrine in Wenphil Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission[57] and held that where the dismissal is due to a just or authorized cause, but without observance of the due process requirements, the dismissal may be upheld but the employer must pay an indemnity to the employee.  The sanctions to be imposed however, must be stiffer than those imposed in Wenphil to achieve a result fair to both the employers and the employees.[58]
2010-07-20
PEREZ, J.
The law requires that an employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just or authorized cause.  Otherwise, an employee unjustly dismissed from work is entitled to reinstatement and full backwages.[32]  The law also requires the employer to observe due process in termination cases.[33]   In Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[34] we ruled that violation of the employee's statutory right to due process makes the employer liable to pay indemnity in the form of nominal damages.  The law further requires that the burden of proving the cause for termination rests with the employer.[35]
2010-04-19
DEL CASTILLO, J.
A perusal of the Master Voucher shows that it covers the employees' payroll for the period of November 12-16, 2001 only. Clearly, the Master Voucher cannot constitute as proof that petitioners were duly paid for other periods not covered by such voucher. No other pertinent vouchers, payrolls, records or other similar documents have been presented as proof of payment of the correct amount of salaries paid, particularly, for the years 1998 and 1999. As a general rule, one who pleads payment has the burden of proving it.[23] Consequently, respondents failed to discharge the burden of proving payment thereby making them liable for petitioners' claim for salary differentials. We thus reinstate the Labor Arbiter's award of salary differentials for 1998 and 1999, computed at 6 months per year of service. However, the Labor Arbiter's computation must be modified pursuant to Wage Order No. ROVII-07. Under this wage order, the minimum wage rate of sugarcane plantation workers is at P130.00/day. The correct computation for the salary differentials due to Basay and Literal, who claimed to have received only P122.00 and P91.00 per day, respectively, should be as follows: For ROMEO BASAY:
2010-04-06
BRION, J.
Although Talam's dismissal was due to a cause authorized by law, the CA deemed TSFI liable for nominal damages for violation of Talam's right to procedural due process. The appellate court affirmed with modification the assailed NLRC decision. It increased to P50,000.00 the nominal damages of P30,000.00 awarded by the NLRC. The CA found support in the Court's ruling in the Jaka Food Processing case,[22] the same ruling relied upon by the NLRC, for its award of nominal damages. Specifically, the CA found appropriate the Court's pronouncement in Jaka that "if the dismissal is based on an authorized cause under Article 283, but the employer failed to comply with the notice requirement, the sanction should be stiffer because the dismissal process was initiated by the employer's exercise of management prerogative," as distinguished from Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission [23] where the dismissal was for a just cause but due to non-compliance with procedural due process, the employer was made to pay P30,000.00 in nominal damages.
2010-04-05
CARPIO MORALES, J.
To the appellate court, Genesis Transport's act of "placing Taroy under preventive suspension for more than thirty (30) days was a predetermined effort to dismiss [him] from employment, negating the argument that the delay in the service of the notice of dismissal was not an issue and that the same was allegedly due to Taroy's inaction to receive the same." Hence, the appellate court concluded, while there was a just and valid cause for the termination of his services, his right to statutory due process was violated to entitle him to nominal damages, following Agabon v. NLRC. [11]
2010-02-16
NACHURA, J.
Respondents' failure to observe due process in the termination of employment of petitioner for a just cause does not invalidate the dismissal but makes respondent company liable for non-compliance with the procedural requirements of due process. The violation of petitioner's right to statutory due process warrants the payment of nominal damages, the amount of which is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, taking into account the relevant circumstances.[29] In the instant case, considering that respondent company already suffered financially because of poor sales performance under petitioner's watch, it is just proper to reduce the amount of nominal damages awarded to petitioner to Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00). The amount of nominal damages awarded is not intended to enrich the employee, but to deter employers from future violations of the statutory due process rights of employees.
2010-02-02
CARPIO, J.
Petitioners should thus indemnify Dy for their failure to observe the requirements of due process. Dy is not entitled to reinstatement, backwages and attorney's fees because Dy's dismissal is for just cause but without due process.[15] In light of this Court's ruling in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[16] the violation of Dy's right to statutory due process by petitioners, even if the dismissal was for a just cause, warrants the payment of indemnity in the form of nominal damages. This indemnity is intended not to penalize the employer but to vindicate or recognize the employee's right to statutory due process which was violated by the employer.[17] Considering that both the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC found that petitioners already gave Dy P120,000 of their own free will, this amount should thus constitute the nominal damages due to Dy.
2009-10-02
PERALTA, J.
Where an employee was terminated for cause, but the employer failed to comply with the notice requirement, the employee is entitled to the payment of nominal damages pursuant to our ruling in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission[11] and Jaka Food Processing Corporation v. Pacot.[12]
2009-07-28
PUNO, C.J.
The case of Agabon v. NLRC, et al.[21] applies to the case at bar. In Agabon, the dismissal was found by the Court to be based on a just cause because the employee abandoned his work. But it also found that the employer did not follow the notice requirement demanded by due process. It ruled that this violation of due process on the part of the employer did not nullify the dismissal, or render it illegal, or ineffectual. Nonetheless, the employer was ordered to indemnify the employee for the violation of his right to due process. It further held that the penalty should be in the nature of indemnification, in the form of nominal damages and should depend on the facts of each case, taking into special consideration the gravity of the due process violation of the employer.[22] The amount of such damages is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, considering the relevant circumstances.[23] Thus, in Agabon, the Court ordered the employer to pay the employee nominal damages in the amount of P30,000.00.
2009-06-05
PERALTA, J.
In fine, We hold that while Bergante and Inguillo's dismissals were valid pursuant to the enforcement of Union Security Clause, respondents however did not comply with the requisite procedural due process. As in the case of Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[57] where the dismissal is for a cause recognized by the prevailing jurisprudence, the absence of the statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal or render it illegal, or ineffectual. Accordingly, for violating Bergante and Inguillo's statutory rights, respondents should indemnify them the amount of P30,000.00 each as nominal damages.
2009-04-07
CORONA, J.
Where the dismissal was without just or authorized cause and there was no due process, Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended, mandates that the employee is entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time the compensation was not paid up to the time of actual reinstatement.[31] In this case, however, reinstatement is no longer possible because of the length of time that has passed from the date of the incident to final resolution.[32] Fourteen years have transpired from the time petitioners were wrongfully dismissed. To order reinstatement at this juncture will no longer serve any prudent or practical purpose.[33]
2009-04-07
CORONA, J.
Where the dismissal was without just or authorized cause and there was no due process, Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended, mandates that the employee is entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time the compensation was not paid up to the time of actual reinstatement.[31] In this case, however, reinstatement is no longer possible because of the length of time that has passed from the date of the incident to final resolution.[32] Fourteen years have transpired from the time petitioners were wrongfully dismissed. To order reinstatement at this juncture will no longer serve any prudent or practical purpose.[33]
2009-03-24
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.
While all the provisions of the 1987 Constitution are presumed self-executing,,[132] there are some which this Court has declared not judicially enforceable, Article XIII being one,[133] particularly Section 3 thereof, the nature of which, this Court, in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission,[134] has described to be not self-actuating:Thus, the constitutional mandates of protection to labor and security of tenure may be deemed as self-executing in the sense that these are automatically acknowledged and observed without need for any enabling legislation. However, to declare that the constitutional provisions are enough to guarantee the full exercise of the rights embodied therein, and the realization of ideals therein expressed, would be impractical, if not unrealistic. The espousal of such view presents the dangerous tendency of being overbroad and exaggerated. The guarantees of "full protection to labor" and "security of tenure", when examined in isolation, are facially unqualified, and the broadest interpretation possible suggests a blanket shield in favor of labor against any form of removal regardless of circumstance. This interpretation implies an unimpeachable right to continued employment-a utopian notion, doubtless-but still hardly within the contemplation of the framers. Subsequent legislation is still needed to define the parameters of these guaranteed rights to ensure the protection and promotion, not only the rights of the labor sector, but of the employers' as well. Without specific and pertinent legislation, judicial bodies will be at a loss, formulating their own conclusion to approximate at least the aims of the Constitution.
2009-02-04
QUISUMBING, J.
For a valid termination due to retrenchment, the law also requires that written notices of the intended retrenchment be served by the employer on the worker and on the DOLE at least one month before the actual date of the retrenchment. The purpose of this requirement is to give employees time to prepare for the eventual loss of their jobs, as well as to give DOLE the opportunity to ascertain the veracity of the alleged cause of termination. [27] In this case, petitioner insists that the payment of 30 days salary to respondents in place of notice was sufficient compliance with the 30-day notice rule. We cannot agree. Nothing in the law gives petitioner the option to substitute the required prior written notice with payment of 30 days salary. Indeed, a job is more than the salary it carries. Payment of 30 days salary cannot compensate for the psychological effect or the stigma of immediately finding one's self laid off from work. It cannot be a fully effective substitute for the 30 days' written notice requirement by law, especially when, as in this case, no notice was given to the DOLE. [28] Even as the letters of voluntary acceptance were dated July 25, 1998, the notices of termination given on July 23, 1998 were effective the following day. In essence, respondents had already been dismissed before they signed the letters of voluntary acceptance. Clearly, petitioner deprived respondents of their right to statutory due process. For this, we affirm the appellate court's award of nominal damages to respondents. But, consistent with our ruling in Agabon v. National Labor Relations Commission, [29] the amount of nominal damages should be P30,000. We also sustain the award of attorney's fees as it is sanctioned by law. [30]
2009-01-30
CARPIO MORALES, J.
petitioners are not entitled to full backwages as their dismissal was not found to be illegal.  Agabon v. NLRC [19] so states payment of backwages and other benefits is justified only if the employee was unjustly dismissed.