THE Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the dismissal of an officer of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) for allegedly misappropriating its funds worth more than P17 million.
In a 15-page decision penned by Associate Justice Zenaida Galapate-Laguilles and concurred in by Associate Justices Celia Librea-Leagogo and Franchito Diamante, the CA’s 14th Division reinstated the decision rendered by Labor Arbiter Veneranda Guerrero finding Genor Kasiguran, former manager of FILSCAP’s distribution and documentation department, validly dismissed by the company.
The FILSCAP is a collecting society in the Philippines which undertakes collective rights management for public performances and the use of songs on screen and radio broadcast.
In June 2012, it was found out that Kasiguran, together with Debra Ann Gaite and Rosanna Roque, the general manager and the accounting manager, respectively, took out the amount of P17,720,455.77 from the special accounts of the company to cover a shortfall in its operating expenses.
On July 27, 2012, FILSCAP terminated Kasiguran for serious misconduct and loss of trust and confidence based on its findings that the funds were indeed reallocated or misappropriated.
Kasiguran filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and money claims with the arbitral office of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), which eventually ruled that FILSCAP was correct when it rendered the ruling against the complainant on the grounds of serious misconduct and lost of trust.
Feeling aggrieved, he filed an appeal with the NLRC which ruled that FILSCAP had not shown any concrete evidence that Kasiguran had indeed misappropriated any amount from its funds.
This prompted the FILSCAP led by singer-composer Noel Cabangon to elevate their case to the appeals court.
In its ruling dated March 4, 2014, the CA held that “Kasiguran’s failure to abide by the proper procedure of the company and his relentless pursuit of a course of action for which he was not clothed with authority to perform are sufficient bases for the loss of trust and confidence reposed on him by FILSCAP.”
The court added that it was Kasiguran’s responsibility to ensure that the distribution rules were strictly followed.