June 23 2017
The Fourth Division of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Quezon City ruled in favor of GMA Network, Inc. in the illegal dismissal complaint filed by its former talents.
In the decision penned by Commissioner Bernardino B. Julve dated May 31, 2017, the NLRC affirmed labor arbiter Alberto O. Dolosa’s decision on the dismissal of Christian Cabaluna and 14 other former GMA talents as being valid and legal but reversed the labor arbiter’s ruling with respect to the other 35 former GMA talents by dismissing their illegal dismissal complaint against GMA Network.
Commissioner Julve sustained GMA’s contention that it did not illegally dismiss the complainants but they were actually the ones who cut ties with the Network “by their own voluntary acts of (a) refusing to renew their talent agreements with GMA; (b) refusing without justifiable reasons to respond to the renewal offers; (c) getting employed elsewhere, in effect, choosing to cease their relationship with GMA.”
After further evaluation of both parties’ separate appeals, the Commission ruled that the basis was sufficient to affirm the dismissal of the 15 complainants who left their work as a form of protest against GMA. He stated that despite GMA’s efforts to send the complainants return to work instructions, the complainants’ failure to do so without any valid reason was inexcusable and displays their clear, deliberate and gross dereliction of duties.
In the case of the other 35 complainants, the Commission found that there was no proof presented by the complainants of GMA terminating them or preventing them from returning to their work. In the absence of any overt or positive act proving that GMA had dismissed the complainants, the Commission declared that the latter’s claim of illegal dismissal cannot be sustained.