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G.R. No. 49549, August 30, 1990



Herein petitioner worked as a teacher in Tay Tung High School in Bacolod City since 1963. In
1976, she was the class adviser where the sixteen-year-old Bobby Qua was enrolled. As per
policy of the school, Petitioner was giving remedial lessons to Bobby Qua and became very close.
They fell in love eventually and on December 24, 1975, they were married in a civil ceremony in
Iloilo City. Petitioner was then thirty (30) years of age but Bobby Qua, being a sixteen-year-old,
consent and advice to the marriage was given by his mother, Mrs. Concepcion Ong. By January
10, 1976, they had their church wedding at Bacolod City.

On February 4, 1976, Tay Tung High School filed with the sub-regional office of the Department
of Labor at Bacolod City an application for clearance to terminate the employment of petitioner
on the ground of "abusive and unethical conduct unbecoming of a dignified school teacher ...."
Petitioner was then suspended without pay on March 12, 1976. On September 17, 1976,
Executive Labor Arbiter Jose Y. Aguirre, Jr., without conducting any formal hearing granted the
clearance to terminate the Petitioner.

ISSUE: WON the dismissal was valid.

RULING: No. The court declared her dismissal as unwarranted and illegal. There was no
substantial evidence of the imputed immoral acts, thus, the alleged violation of the Code of
Ethics governing school teachers would have no basis. The Supreme Court declared,

"If the two eventually fell in love, despite the disparity in their ages and academic levels, this
only lends substance to the truism that the heart has reasons of its own which reason does not

The deviation of the circumstances of their marriage from the usual societal pattern cannot be
considered as a defiance of contemporary social mores.

The petition for certiorari was GRANTED and private respondent, Tay Tung High School, is
ordered to pay petitioner back wages equivalent to three years without deduction and
separation pay of one month for every year of service.