Published 20 February 2023, The Daily Tribune

To attain social justice, the Supreme Court, time and again, emphasizes that the “law in protecting the rights of the employee/laborer authorizes neither oppression nor self-destruction of the employer.” (Rustan Commercial Corp. v. Raysag, G.R. 219664, 12 May 2021)

This was illustrated in the fairly recent case of Gososo v. Leyte Lumber Yard and Hardware Inc. (G.R. 205257, 13 January 2021).

This was a case of constructive dismissal filed by Gososo against his employer. After proving that Gososo violated company policies, Gososo alleged that he was made to sign a document. Upon his refusal, he alleged that his superior “flared up with his usual hot temper and told (Gososo) that he is terminated from work on that very day,” and “even threw sharp scissors towards [him, which] almost hit by a narrow margin.”

Other than failing to establish that he was dismissed in the first place, the Supreme Court, in rejecting Gososo’s claims, pronounced that mere acts of hostility, however grave, committed by the employer towards the employee cannot on their lonesome be construed as constructive dismissal.

Even if these accusations were adequately corroborated, the rebuke of Gososo, while overbearing and intimidating, was reasonably incited by the latter’s violations of company practices. It cannot be considered as tantamount to unequivocal acts of discrimination, insensibility, or disdain as to render Gososo’s continued employment as unbearable.

Indeed, this is a timely reminder of a fundamental principle laid down by the Court in Sosito v. Aguinaldo Development Corporation (G.R. L-48926, 14 December 1987).

While the Constitution is committed to the policy of social justice and the protection of the working class, it should not be supposed that every labor dispute will be automatically decided in favor of labor.

Management also has its own rights which, as such, are entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of simple fair play. Out of its concern for those with less privileges in life, this Court has inclined more often than not toward the worker and upheld his cause in his conflicts with the employer. Such favoritism, however, has not blinded us to the rule that justice is in every case for the deserving, to be dispensed in the light of the established facts and the applicable law and doctrine.

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