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Gonzales vs.

National Labor Relations Commission


Facts: Lorlene Gonzales has been an elementary schoolteacher for private respondent Ateneo de Davao
University since 1974, assigned to teach Grade VI class. In 1991, headmaster Fr.Oscar Millar sent a letter
to inform Gonzales of the complaints for alleged use of corporal punishment on her students. 2years
later, Ateneo began to solicit complainants to lodge written complaints against her. On Mar. 31, 1993,
she wrote a letter to the headmaster demanding that she be formally informed of the complaint and be
duly investigated. On June 9, 1993, she was informed of the composition of an investigative committee
to look into the complaints but petitioner refused to take part unless the rules of procedure be revised,
contending that they were violative oh her right to due process. She specifically objected to the
provision which forbids her counsel from directly participating in the investigation.
Issue: whether or not procedural due process was accorded to the petitioner in the investigation prior to
her dismissal
Held: Upon being notified of her termination, she has the right to demand compliance with the basic
requirements of due process. Compliance entails the twin requirements of procedural and substantial
due process. Ample opportunity must be afforded the employee to defend herself either personally
and/or with assistance of a representative; to know the nature of her offense; and, to cross examine and
confront face to face the witnesses against her. Likewise, due process requires that the decision must be
based on established facts and on a sound legal foundation. It is precisely to demand compliance with
these requirements that petitioner at the very onset of the investigation demanded the revision of the
rules laid down by the Investigative Committee. The adamant refusal of the Committee to accede to this
demand resulted in her failure to confront and cross-examine her accusers. This is a serious violation of
petitioner's statutory and constitutional right to due process that ultimately vitiated the investigation.
The dismissal of complainant is declared illegal for lack of factual basis.