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BREW MASTER INTERNATIONAL INC.

V NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR UNIONS (NAFLU) DAVIDE, JR; April 17, 1997 NATURE A special civil action for certiorari seeking the reversal of the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which modified the decision of the Labor Arbiter by directing the reinstatement of private respondent Antonio D. Estrada, the complainant, without loss of seniority rights and benefits. FACTS - Private respondent NAFLU, a co-complainant in the labor case, is a labor union of which complainant is a member. - Complainant was first employed by Brew Master on 16 September 1991 as route helper with the latest daily wage of P119.00. - From 19 April 1993 up to 19 May 1993, for a period of 1 month, complainant went on absent without permission (AWOP). - On 20 May 1993, Brew master sent him a Memo: Please explain in writing within 24 hours of your receipt of this memo why no disciplinary action should be taken against you for the following offense: You were absent since April 19, 1993 up to May 19, 1993. - In answer to the aforesaid memo, complainant explained: Sa dahilan po na ako ay hindi nakapagpaalam sainyo dahil inuwi ko ang mga anak ko sa Samar dahil ang asawa ko ay lumayas at walang mag-aalaga sa mga anak ko. Kaya naman hindi ako naka long distance or telegrama dahil wala akong pera at ibinili ko ng gamot ay puro utang pa. - Finding said explanation unsatisfactory, the company issued a Notice of Termination: ...we regret to inform you that we do not consider it valid. You are aware of the company Rules and Regulations that absence without permission for 6 consecutive working days is considered abandonment of work... - Complainants contend that individual complainants dismissal was done without just cause; that it was not sufficiently established that individual complainants absence from April 19, 1993 to June 16, 1993 are unjustified; that the penalty of dismissal for such violation is too severe; that in imposing such penalty, respondent should have taken into consideration complainants length of service and as a first offender, a penalty less punitive will suffice such as suspension for a definite period. - Upon the other hand, respondent contends that individual complainant was dismissed for cause allowed by the company Rules and Regulations and the Labor Code; that the act of complainant in absenting from work for 1 month without official leave is deleterious to the business of respondent; that it will result to stoppage of production which will not only destructive to respondents interests but also to the interest of its employees in general; that the dismissal of complainant from the service is legal. - The Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint for lack of merit, citing the principle of managerial control, which recognizes the employers prerogative to prescribe reasonable rules and regulations to govern the conduct of his employees. He relied on Shoemart, Inc. vs. NLRC: ...that individual complainant has indeed abandoned his work... therefore, under the law and jurisprudence which upholds the right of an employer to discharge an employee who incurs frequent, prolonged and unexplained absences as being grossly remiss in his duties to the employer and is therefore, dismissed for cause. An employee is deemed to have abandoned his position or to have resigned from the same, whenever he has been absent therefrom without previous permission of the employer for three consecutive days or more. - the NLRC modified the Labor Arbiter's decision and held that complainants dismissal was invalid for the following reasons: Complainant-appellants prolonged absences, although unauthorized, may not amount to gross neglect or abandonment of work to warrant outright termination of employment. Dismissal is too severe a penalty...Reliance on the ruling enunciated in the cited case of Shoemart is quite misplaced because of the obvious dissimilarities-complainant in the Shoemart Case was an inveterate absentee who does not deserve reinstatement compared to herein complainant-appellant who is a first offender ISSUE WON the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in modifying the decision of the Labor Arbiter HELD NO

Ratio a) Petitioners finding that complainant was guilty of abandonment is misplaced. Abandonment as a just and valid ground for dismissal requires the deliberate, unjustified refusal of the employee to resume his employment. Two elements must then be satisfied: (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason; and (2) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship. b) Verily, relations between capital and labor are not merely contractual. They are impressed with public interest and labor contracts must, perforce, yield to the common good. While the employer is not precluded from prescribing rules and regulations to govern the conduct of his employees, these rules and their implementation must be fair, just and reasonable. Reasoning - complainants absence was precipitated by a grave family problem as his wife unexpectedly deserted him and abandoned the family. Considering that he had a full-time job, there was no one to whom he could entrust the children and he was thus compelled to bring them to the province. He was then under emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical stress and strain. The reason for his absence is, under these circumstances, justified. While his failure to inform and seek petitioner's approval was an omission which must be corrected and chastised, he did not merit the severest penalty of dismissal from the service. - the elements of abandonment are not present here. First, as held above, complainant's absence was justified under the circumstances. As to the second requisite, complainant immediately complied with the memo requiring him to explain his absence, and upon knowledge of his termination, immediately sued for illegal dismissal. These plainly refuted any claim that he was no longer interested in returning to work. - our Constitution looks with compassion on the workingman and protects his rights not only under a general statement of a state policy, but under the Article on Social Justice and Human Rights, thus placing labor contracts on a higher plane and with greater safeguards. - While we do not decide here the validity of petitioner's Rules and Regulations on continuous, unauthorized absences, what is plain is that it was wielded with undue haste resulting in a deprivation of due process, thus not allowing for a determination of just cause or abandonment. In this light, petitioner's dismissal was illegal. This is not to say that his absence should go unpunished, as impliedly noted by the NLRC in declining to award back wages. Disposition petition is hereby DISMISSED and the decision of the NLRC is hereby AFFIRMED.

GENERAL BANK AND TRUST CO V CA GUTIERREZ JR; April 9, 1985 FACTS - plaintiff-appellee was employed with the Cebu Branch of the First National City Bank of New York for 18 years, where he rose to the position of Chief Clerk, Accounting Department - on January 11, 1965, plaintiff-appellee joined the defendant bank in its Cebu branch as accountant with an annual compensation of P6,000.00 - April 26, 1965, the Cebu Branch of defendant bank began operating and doing business with the public - January 1, 1966, plaintiff received an increase of P50.00 bringing his monthly salary to P550.00 - April 11, 1967 defendant bank appointed the plaintiff to the position of Acting Manager of its Cebu Branch, with the corresponding increase of salary to P700.00 a month - effective September 1, 1967, defendant bank granted plaintiff a monthly housing allowance of P200.00 in addition to his monthly salary - October 3, 1967 defendant bank appointed plaintiff as the regular Manager of its Cebu Branch effective May 1, 1968 - defendant bank increased plaintiff's salary to P800.00 a month - May 16, 1969 while the plaintiff was on vacation leave, he happened to visit the bank and learned that three tellers of defendant bank's branch in Cebu City, namely, Miss Crystal Enriquez, Miss Yolanda Chu, and Miss Sonia Chiu, had been transferred to the head office in Manila by defendant Jose D. Santos - plaintiff went to Manila on May 18, 1969 to make personal representation with the head office for the retention of the said tellers in Cebu - May 26, 1969 the plaintiff reported back for duty with defendant bank's branch in Cebu and reinstated immediately the three tellers to their respective positions in the Cebu branch of defendant bank - May 28, 1969 defendant Jose D, Santos submitted a report to defendant Salvador D. Tenorio alleging that there was excess personnel in the Cebu Branch; that on the same date defendant Jose D. Santos submitted a supplementary report to defendant Salvador D. Tenorio charging the plaintiff of over-appraising the real estate offered by Domingo Chua as collateral for his credit accommodation; that defendant Salvador D. Tenorio immediately dispatched a letter to the plaintiff dated May 30, 1969 requiring him to explain within twenty-four hours why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for alleged repeated violation of defendant bank's policies and directives regarding credit accommodations and for over-appraisal of the real estate collateral for Domingo Chua's account, among others - June 6, 1969, the plaintiff received the said letter of defendant Salvador D. Tenorio but found it impossible to render the required explanation in 24 hours - June 19, 1969 defendant Jose D. Santos went to Cebu City and served plaintiff with the letter of defendant Salvador D. Tenorio, dated June 18, 1969, suspending the plaintiff; - July 22, 1969 plaintiff was served with the order of his termination signed by defendant Clarencio S. Yujuico, dated July 18, 1969." - CFI found the dismissal of plaintiff as without just cause or otherwise illegal arbitrary, oppressive and malicious, and ordering defendants to pay to the plaintiff, jointly and severally, the following sums: (a) P1,000.00 a month, as consequential damages for the loss of his salaries and allowances, from the date of his dismissal until the judgment shall have become final and executory; (b) P2,500.00 as termination pay; (c) P106.63 representing unpaid salaries from the 16th to 19th of June 1969; (d) P200,000.00 in concept of moral damages; (e) P50,000.00 as exemplary or corrective damages; (f) P15,000.00 as attorney's fees; and to pay the costs of the suit." The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court but modified the judgment by reducing moral damages to P150,000.00 and exemplary damages to P30,000.00. ISSUES 1. WON the dismissal of Manuel E. Batucan was justified on the ground that he repeatedly failed to uphold the interests of the bank thus leading to his employer's loss of confidence on him 2. WON the award of moral and exemplary damages is proper HELD 1. NO - There was no error in the finding of the CA that Mr. Batucan was indeed illegally dismissed.

- There is no question that managerial employees should enjoy the confidence of top management. This is especially true in banks where officials handle big sums of money and engage in confidential or fiduciary transactions. However, loss of confidence should not be simulated. It should not be used as a subterfuge for causes which are improper, illegal, or unjustified. Loss of confidence may not be arbitrarily asserted in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It must be genuine, not a mere afterthought to justify earlier action taken in bad faith. - All the privileges, commendations, and salary increases negate the allegation that the management had lost confidence in Mr. Batucan. Moreover, there is no evidence that Mr. Batucan granted unauthorized credit accommodations because after the last three exhibits were sent, an internal audit examination was conducted on February 11, 1969 by petitioner Santos together with the Internal Auditor, Mr. Rosauro Macalagay. In this examination, no unauthorized credit accommodations were found and brought to the attention of Mr. Batucan. The management's alleged loss of confidence in Mr. Batucan cannot be reconciled with the latter's commendations for efficient performance, his having been given an increase in salary and his being asked to speak to other colleagues on effective banking techniques shortly after the supposed loss of confidence. - The only reason for his dismissal found in the records is his failure to follow top-management orders with regards to the transfer of the three tellers. Petitioners alleged it to be insubordination. Nevertheless, insubordination must be proven to justify dismissal (St. Luke's Hospital v. Ministry of Labor and Employment, 116 SCRA 240). His earnest efforts in making representations to retain the three tellers do not warrant his dismissal. A manager or supervisor must stand up for his subordinates unless the latter are guilty of wrongdoing or some conduct prejudicial to the employer. Only after his representations was Mr. Batucan questioned on the several "unauthorized credit accommodations." His failure to explain within 24 hours which, in the light of the circumstances, was too short, caused his suspension and later, his dismissal retroactive to the date of suspension. - There was no valid reason for his dismissal, much less for all the charges and accusations made against him. The dismissal followed by the efforts to justify it was tainted by bad faith or malice on the part of the petitioners who wanted Mr. Batucan removed from his post. 2. YES - Moral damages may be justly awarded. Moral damages being justified, exemplary damages may also be awarded. - Mr. Batucan left a stable job with a reputable bank to join the petitioner bank. He had been an employee of the First National City Bank of New York for eighteen (18) years. Undoubtedly, before he accepted petitioner Tenorio's invitation, he must have thought the matter over several times. And from the time he joined the petitioner bank, the records show that Mr. Batucan has indeed worked his way up from accountant to permanent branch manager of the bank. During his term as manager, he was able to increase the income and resources of the bank. He raised the image of petitioner bank in the business and banking community and placed its operations on a good and competitive basis. His peremptory dismissal from the bank was certainly a shock to him and damaged his moral feelings and personal pride after all the loyalty and hard work he had dedicated to the bank. Disposition The decision appealed from is MODIFIED to read as follows: The petitioners are hereby ordered to pay to the private respondent, jointly and severally, the following sums TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P2,500.00) termination pay; ONE HUNDRED SIX PESOS AND SIXTY THREE CENTAVOS (P106.63) unpaid salaries; TWELVE THOUSAND PESOS (P12,000.00) in compensatory damages; TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20,000.00) in moral and exemplary damages; and FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) attorney's fees.

SARMIENTO V TUICO CRUZ; June 27, 1988 FACTS - Petitioner Asian Transmission Corporation terminated the services of Catalino Sarmiento, vice-president of the Bisig ng Asian Transmission Labor Union (BATU), for allegedly carrying a deadly weapon in the company premises. - BATU filed a notice of strike, claiming that the ATC had committed an unfair labor practice. - The ATC then filed a petition asking the Ministry of Labor and Employment to assume jurisdiction over the matter or certify the same to the NLRC for compulsory arbitration. - MOLE issued an order certifying the labor dispute to the NLRC. At the same time, it enjoined the management from locking out its employees and the union from declaring a strike or similar concerted action. - Proceedings could not continue in the NLRC, however, because of the acceptance by President Aquino of the resignations of eight of its members, leaving only the vice-chairman in office. - MOLE, set aside the previous orders and directly assumed jurisdiction of the dispute, at the same time enjoining the company to accept all returning workers. - This order was later set aside upon motion of both the BATU and the ATC in view of the appointment of new commissioners in the NLRC. The MOLE then returned the case to the respondent NLRC and directed it to expeditiously resolve all issues relating to the dispute. - Conformably, the NLRC issued on January 13, 1987 a resolution, which it affirmed in its resolution of February 12, 1987, denying the motion for reconsideration. - Three criminal complaints filed against the petitioning workers, two by the personnel administrative officer of the ATC and the third by the Philippine Constabulary. - The first two complaints, were for "Violation of Article 265, par. 1, in relation to Article 273 of the Labor Code of the Philippines." The third, was for coercion. In all three complaints, the defendants were charged with staging an illegal strike, barricading the gates of the ATC plant and preventing the workers through intimidation, harassment and force from reporting for work. - Judge Orlando Tuico issued a warrant of arrest against the petitioners and committed 72 of them to jail although he later ordered the release of 61 of them to the custody of the municipal mayor of Calamba, Laguna. - The petitioners had earlier moved for the lifting of the warrant of arrest and the referral of the coercion charge to the NLRC and, later, for the dismissal of Criminal Cases on the ground that they came under the primary jurisdiction of the NLRC. ISSUES 1. WON a return-to-work order may be validly issued by the National Labor Relations Commission pending determination of the legality of the strike 2. WON, pending such determination, the criminal prosecution of certain persons involved in the said strike may be validly restrained HELD 1. YES - The question of competence is easily resolved. The authority for the order is found in Article 264(g) of the Labor Code, as amended by B.P. Blg. 227, which provides as follows: - When in his opinion there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause strikes or lockouts adversely affecting the national interest, such as may occur in but not limited to public utilities, companies engaged in the generation or distribution of energy, banks, hospitals, and export- oriented industries, including those within export processing zones, the Minister of Labor and Employment shall assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specified in the assumption order. If one has already taken place at the time of assumption or certification, all striking or locked out employees shall immediately return to work and the employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. The Minister may seek the assistance of law-enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with this provision as well as such orders as he may issue to enforce the same. - There can be no question that the MOLE acted correctly in certifying the labor dispute to the NLRC, given the predictable prejudice the strike might cause not only to the parties but more especially to the national interest. Affirming this fact, we conclude that the return-to-work order was equally valid as a statutory part and parcel of the

certification order issued by the MOLE on November 24, 1986. The challenged order of the NLRC was actually only an implementation of the above provision of the Labor Code and a reiteration of the directive earlier issued by the MOLE in its own assumption order of September 9, 1986. - It must be stressed that while one purpose of the return-to-work order is to protect the workers who might otherwise be locked out by the employer for threatening or waging the strike, the more important reason is to prevent impairment of the national interest in case the operations of the company are disrupted by a refusal of the strikers to return to work as directed. More particularly, it is the national economy that will suffer because of the resultant reduction in our export earnings and our dollar reserves, not to mention possible cancellation of the contracts of the company with foreign importers. - It is also important to emphasize that the return-to-work order not so much confers a right as it imposes a duty; and while as a right it may be waived, it must be discharged as a duty even against the worker's will. Returning to work in this situation is not a matter of option or voluntariness but of obligation 2. YES - The Court held that while as a general rule the prosecution of criminal offenses is not subject to injunction, the exception must apply in the case at bar. The suspension of proceedings in the criminal complaints filed is justified on the ground of prematurity as there is no question that the acts complained of are connected with the compulsory arbitration proceedings still pending in the NLRC. - The three criminal cases should be suspended until the completion of the compulsory arbitration proceedings in the NLRC, conformably to the policy embodied in Circular No. 15, series of 1982, and Circular No. 9, series of 1986, issued by the Ministry of Justice in connection with the implementation of B.P. Blg. 227. These circulars, briefly stated, require fiscals and other government prosecutors to first secure the clearance of the Ministry of Labor and/or the Office of the President "before taking cognizance of complaints for preliminary investigation and the filing in court of the corresponding informations of cases arising out of or related to a labor dispute," including "allegations of violence, coercion, physical injuries, assault upon a person in authority and other similar acts of intimidation obstructing the free ingress to and egress from a factory or place of operation of the machines of such factory, or the employer's premises." - It does not appear from the record that such clearance was obtained, conformably to the procedure laid down "to attain the industrial peace which is the primordial objectives of this law," before the three criminal cases were filed.

PCIB V JACINTO GANCAYCO; May 6, 1991 FACTS - Nilda S. Jacinto is a PCI Bank (NAIA branch) customer relation assistant (CRA) who acts as alternate FX Clerk or Teller. - 1 May 1984: PCIB discovered the loss of some travelers checks amounting to P 25,325.00 in peso equivalent transacted 30 April 1984. As Jacinto acted as FX clerk on said day, an investigation was conducted by PCIB allowing Jacinto and other personnel to explain their side. - Jacinto was found guilty of gross negligence, meted a 10-day suspension w/o pay (7-20 May 1984), and required to pay the loss by way of salary deductions (P200/month + 50% of mid-year & Xmas bonus and profit sharing). She was transferred to the Baclaran branch, 21 May 1984. - 14 Aug 1986: Jacinto filed a complaint with NLRC questioning her suspension, penalty and transfer of assignment. - 19 Feb 1988: The labor arbiter found the 10day suspension and the deductions to be unjustified and ordered PCIB to erase from Jacinto's 201 file said suspension and to return to her the amount so far deducted from her salary, bonuses and 13th month pay. PCIB was further directed to return Jacinto to her former assignment at MIA branch, if she so prefers. PCIB appealed. - 23 Oct 1989: NLRC affirmed the appealed decision with the only modification that the transfer of Jacinto was found to be an appropriate prerogative of management. Hence, this petition for certiorari with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. ISSUE [responsibility of a bank employee for the loss of certain funds of the bank] WON NLRC gravely abused its discretion in holding that gross negligence cannot be attributed to Jacinto as she was not formally designated to perform the functions of an FX clerk HELD 1. YES Ratio Any employee who is entrusted with responsibility by his employer should perform the task assigned to him with care and dedication. The lack of a written or formal designation should not be an excuse to disclaim any responsibility for any damage suffered by the employer due to his negligence. The measure of the responsibility of an employee is that if he performed his assigned task efficiently and according to the usual standards, then he may not be held personally liable for any damage arising therefrom. Failing in this, the employee must suffer the consequences of his negligence if not lack of due care in the performance of his duties. - NAIA branch OIC, Mr. Gilberto C. Marquez, verbally requested Jacinto to assume the duties of the FX Clerk who was on leave (no written memo of assignment). Jacinto accepted the request; she herself stated that she received the travellers checks, made the proof sheet thereof, and thereafter pllaced the checks and proof sheet in the FX cash box. The following day, she reported the loss of said travellers checks from the FX cash box. - Although she claimed to have prepared the proof sheet, none was found in the box. She did not microfilm the checks as a matter of course. She did not formally endorse the FX box to the night shift FX clerk or to the cashier. More so, considering that she knew the lock of the box was defective. By and large, the finding of PCIB that Jacinto was grossly negligent is well-taken. - Jacinto's 10-day suspension w/o pay is a proper penalty in accordance with the prescribed rules of PCIB. But, since PCIB is guilty of contributory negligence in failing to have the lock of FX box fixed and to have taken other security measures in the bank premises, the penalty of reimbursement of the full value of the loss is mitigated by requiring Jacinto to reimburse the petitioner only 1/2 of the loss by way of salary deduction. Disposition Petition GRANTED. NLRC decision reversed and set aside. Jacinto's complaint dismissed. Pebalty modified: Jacinto is required to indemnify PCIB the amount of P 12,600.00 through regular payroll deductions.

LAGNITON V NLRC CRUZ; February 5, 1993 NATURE Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission FACTS - On August 18, 1986, the private respondents filed with the MOLE a complaint for illegal dismissal against petitioner Arturo S. Lagniton, Sr., proprietor of a company manufacturing shoes and other leather products. - In his defense, Lagniton argued that complainant Generoso Ambrosio was not employed by the company but a mere sub-contractor. Even if considered a regular employee, he was nevertheless validly dismissed because of his poor workmanship, which amounted to serious misconduct or gross and habitual neglect. The other complainants, although concededly employees, were not dismissed but simply discontinued reporting for work beginning August 11, 1986, and thus abandoned their employment. - Labor Arbiter Isabel P. Ortiguerra rendered a decision holding that Ambrosio was an employee of the company because his work as a sole-stitcher was necessary to its business and that he worked regular hours under its supervision and control. He and the other complainants, whose status as regular employees was not questioned, had indeed not abandoned their work but were in fact illegally dismissed by Lagniton. This decision was affirmed in toto by the NLRC in a resolution dated September 14, 1988. It is contended that the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter committed grave abuse of discretion in the finding that the private respondents were illegally dismissed and were entitled to separation pay and the ECOLA. ISSUE 1. WON the complainants were illegally dismissed 2. WON the complainants are entitled to the ECOLA HELD 1. NO Ratio The complaint for illegal dismissal was filed only seven days after the complainants allegedly abandoned their work on August 11, 1986. Such dispatch in protesting their separation belies the claimed abandonment. We also agree that given the hardship of the times, the complainants would not simply have left their work unless they were transferring to other employment offering better terms and conditions. There is no evidence of such transfer. As it has been established that the workers did not abandon their work, it follows that their dismissal was illegal for lack of notice and hearing. 2. YES Ratio The position of the petitioner is that the complainants (who did not have fixed salaries and were paid by the piece) are not entitled to this benefit because it is available only to workers earning less than P1,500.00 a month. Since, by the complainants' own admission, they were earning an average of P1,000.00 a week, they are clearly not covered by P.D. 1634. Under that decree, only workers earning a monthly salary of not more than P1,500.00 may claim payment of the ECOLA. However, the figure cited by the petitioner represents only the peak income of the workers and does not reflect their monthly pay during the lean seasons, when they did not produce as much and so earned less, at about P350.00 a week or P55.00 a day. On the average, as the NLRC determined, the complainants were receiving less than P1,500.00 a month and so came under the provision of the decree. Disposition Petition dismissed.

DMA SHIPPING PHILS INC V CABILLAR 452 SCRA 551 CALLEJO, SR; February 28, 2005 NATURE Petition for Review FACTS - Henry Cabillar was hired by Monsoon, through DMA Shipping, as Chief Officer of the M/V Eagle Moon. - After three (3) months, Cabillar wrote the manager of Monsoon, requesting for an early repatriation and for his reliever grounded on the failure of DMA Shipping to give the promised additional allowance. Monsoon approved an increase in Cabillars wage and the latter withdrew his request for repatriation. - While the vessel was docked in India, the gantry crane operators refused to work and demanded for an increase in their allowance. The master of the M/V Eagle Moon instructed Cabillar to talk to the crew members under his immediate supervision to convince them not to proceed with the intended strike and have the matter discussed with the management when the vessel returns to Singapore. - Instead of talking to the crew members, Cabillar himself joined the strike. Monsoon expressed its displeasure on Cabillar for joining the strike. Nevertheless, Monsoon agreed to the demands of the striking crew members to avert any further losses. - When the vessel arrived at Singapore, officers of Monsoon informed Cabillar that he has been separated from his employment because of the incident in Calcutta. - Cabillar filed a complaint with the POEA against DMA and Monsoon seeking payment for the unexpired portion of his contract. - The Executive Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of Cabillar declaring his dismissal as illegal. The NLRC and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Hence this petition. ISSUES 1. WON the respondent was dismissed by the petitioner Monsoon and 2. If so, WON his dismissal was for a valid cause 3. WON the respondent is entitled to backwages, damages and attorneys fees HELD 1. Petitioner was dismissed. Ratio WON the respondent was dismissed or that he resigned as chief officer of the vessel is a question of fact. The labor arbiter ruled that the respondent was dismissed. The NLRC and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Petitioners failed to make a clear showing that the findings were are arbitrary and bereft of any rational basis. Reasoning - The entry in the logbook of the vessel shows that the ship captain, for and in behalf of the petitioners, dismissed the respondent for joining the strike. - The petitioners failed to adduce documentary evidence to prove their allegation that (1) they and the respondent agreed that in consideration for the respondents resignation, they would give him a very good rating (2) they defrayed his plane fare back to the Philippines (3) they paid for his hotel bills in Singapore. 2. Respondent was dismissed for just cause. Ratio Under their employment contracts, the crew and officers of the vessel bound themselves to follow certain procedures for their grievances. Reasoning - The crew and the respondent refused to follow the procedure and stop the strike. - They may have a valid grievance against the petitioners but they are bound to follow the procedures set forth in their contracts of employment to address said grievances. 3. Petitioners are to pay indemnity. Ratio The petitioners themselves violated their contracts of employment with the respondent and the crew because the captain of the vessel failed to comply with the disciplinary procedures. Reasoning - The respondent was not furnished with any written notice of any charges against him. - There was no formal investigation of the charges.

- Respondent was not furnished with a copy of the written notice of the penalty imposed on him. - For such violation, petitioners are liable for moral damages or for indemnity of P30,000, if the respondent fails to prove such moral damages.1 In this case, the respondent failed to prove such moral damages. Disposition AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioners are ordered to pay P30,000 by way of indemnity. The awards for other damages and attorneys fees are deleted.

Agabon v. NLRC, G.R. No. 158693, 442 SCRA 573, Nov. 17, 2004.

UY V BUENO 484 SCRA 628 PUNO; March 14, 2006 NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA FACTS - Amalia Bueno was the Manager of Countrywide Rural Bank of La Carota, Inc. (bank hereafter) Marbel Branch. She was verbally and summarily dismissed by Atty. Andrea Uy, interim President and Corporate Secretary of the bank, during a depositors' meeting. - Bueno filed a case for illegal dismissal and prayed for reinstatement with full backwages and damages. ISSUE WON Uy is an officer of the bank, making her soldarily liable with the corporation for illegal dismissal HELD NO - The minutes of the depositors' meeting clearly showed that Uy was a mere depositor of the bank. She was only elected as officer of the Interim Board of Directors craeted by the association of depositors with the sole task of rehabilitating the bank (which is under receivership). - There is no evidence that the association of depositors that elected the interim board was recognized by BSP. Hence, it had no legal authority to act for the bank. - The act of dismissing Bueno by Uy cannot be deemed as an act as an officer of the bank. Consequently, it cannot be held that there existed an employer-employee relationship between Uy and Bueno. - The requirement of employer-employee relationship is jurisdictional for the provisions of the Labor Code on Postemployment to apply. Since such relationship was not established, the labor arbiter never acquired jurisdiction over Uy. Disposition CA decision finding Uy solidarily liable with the bank reversed

LIGHT RAILWAY TRANSIT AUTHORITY V VENUS 485 SCRA 301 PUNO; March 24, 2006 FACTS - consolidated petitions of Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and Metro Transit Organization, Inc. (METRO), seeking the reversal of the Decision of the Court of Appeals directing them to reinstate private respondent workers to their former positions without loss of seniority and other rights and privileges, and ordering them to jointly and severally pay the latter their full back wages, benefits, and moral damages. The LRTA and METRO were also ordered to jointly and severally pay attorneys fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total money judgment. - Petitioner LRTA is a government-owned and controlled corporation created by Executive Order No. 603, Series of 1980, as amended, to construct and maintain a light rail transit system and provide the commuting public with an efficient, economical, dependable and safe transportation. Petitioner METRO, formerly Meralco Transit Organization, Inc., was a qualified transportation corporation duly organized in accordance with the provisions of the Corporation Code, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and existing under Philippine laws. petitioner LRTA, after a bidding process, entered into a ten (10)-year Agreement for the Management and Operation of the Metro Manila Light Rail Transit System from June 8, 1984 until June 8, 1994 with petitioner METRO. - The Agreement provided, among others, that 4. METRO shall be free to employ such employees and officers as it shall deem necessary in order to carry out the requirements of [the] Agreement. Such employees and officers shall be the employees of METRO and not of the AUTHORITY [LRTA]. METRO shall prepare a compensation schedule and the corresponding salaries and fringe benefits of [its] personnel in consultation with the AUTHORITY [LRTA] [par. 3.05]; - On July 25, 2000, the Union filed a Notice of Strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board National Capital Region against petitioner METRO on account of a deadlock in the collective bargaining negotiation. On the same day, the Union struck. They completely paralyzed the operations of the entire light rail transit system. As the strike adversely affected the mobility of the commuting public, then Secretary of Labor Bienvenido E. Laguesma issued on that same day an assumption of jurisdiction order [3] directing all the striking employees to return to work immediately upon receipt of this Order and for the Company to accept them back under the same terms and conditions of employment prevailing prior to the strike - Despite the issuance, posting, and publication of the assumption of jurisdiction and return to work order, the Union officers and members failed to return to work. Thus, effective July 27, 2000, private respondents, were considered dismissed from employment - Workers filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. On October 1, 2001, Labor Arbiter Luis D. Flores rendered a consolidated judgment in favor of the private respondent workers - On May 29, 2002, on appeal, the NLRC found that the striking workers failed to heed the return to work order and reversed and set aside the decision of the labor arbiter. The suit against LRTA was dismissed since LRTA is a government-owned and controlled corporation created by virtue of Executive Order No. 603 with an original charter and it ha[d] no participation whatsoever with the termination of complainants employment. In fine, the cases against the LRTA and METRO were dismissed, respectively, for lack of jurisdiction and for lack of merit. - On a petition for certiorari however, the Court of Appeals reversed the NLRC and reinstated the Decision rendered by the Labor Arbiter. Public respondent appellate court declared the workers dismissal as illegal, pierced the veil of separate corporate personality and held the LRTA and METRO as jointly liable for back wages. ISSUE WON LRTA should be held liable for the illegal dismissal of employees HELD NO - petitioner LRTA argues that it has no employer-employee relationship with private respondent workers as they were hired by petitioner METRO alone pursuant to its ten (10)-year Agreement for the Management and Operation of the Metro Manila Light Rail Transit System with petitioner METRO. Piercing the corporate veil of METRO was unwarranted, as there was no competent and convincing evidence of any wrongful, fraudulent or unlawful act on the part of METRO, and, more so, on the part of LRTA. - Petitioner LRTA further contends that it is a government-owned and controlled corporation with an original charter, Executive Order No. 603, Series of 1980, as amended, and thus under the exclusive jurisdiction only of the Civil Service Commission, not the NLRC.

- We agree with petitioner LRTA. Section 2 (1), Article IX B, 1987 Constitution, expressly provides that [t]he civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. Corporations with original charters are those which have been created by special law and not through the general corporation law. - In Philippine National Oil Company Energy Development Corporation v. Hon. Leogrado- under the present state of the law, the test in determining whether a government-owned or controlled corporation is subject to the Civil Service Law is the manner of its creation such that government corporations created by special charter are subject to its provisions while those incorporated under the general Corporation Law are not within its coverage. - There should be no dispute then that employment in petitioner LRTA should be governed only by civil service rules, and not the Labor Code and beyond the reach of the Department of Labor and Employment, since petitioner LRTA is a government-owned and controlled corporation with an original charter, Executive Order No. 603, Series of 1980 - In contrast, petitioner METRO is covered by the Labor Code despite its later acquisition by petitioner LRTA. In Lumanta v. National Labor Relations Commission, this Court ruled that labor law claims against governmentowned and controlled corporations without original charter fall within the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment and not the Civil Service Commission - We therefore hold that the employees of petitioner METRO cannot be considered as employees of petitioner LRTA. The employees hired by METRO are covered by the Labor Code and are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment, whereas the employees of petitioner LRTA, a government-owned and controlled corporation with original charter, are covered by civil service rules. Herein private respondent workers cannot have the best of two worlds, e.g., be considered government employees of petitioner LRTA, yet allowed to strike as private employees under our labor laws.

EBRO III V NLRC (INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC MIGRATION COMMISSION) 261 SCRA 399 MENDOZA; September 4, 1996 NATURE Petition for review on certiorari to set aside the order dated October 13, 1992 and the resolution dated March 3, 1993 of the National Labor Relations Commission. FACTS - Private respondent International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) is a non-profit agency engaged in international humanitarian and voluntary work. It is duly registered with the United National Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and enjoys Consultative Status, Category II. It was one of the agencies accredited by the Philippine Government to operate the refugee processing center at Sabang, Morong, Bataan. - On June 24, 1985, private respondent ICMC employed petitioner Jose G. Ebro III to teach "English as a Second Language and Cultural Orientation Training Program" at the refugee processing center. The employment contract provided in pertinent part: Salary: Your monthly salary for the first 6 months probationary period is P3,155.00 inclusive of cost of living allowance. Upon being made regular after successful completion of the six (6) months probationary period your monthly salary will be adjusted to P3,445.00 inclusive of cost of living allowance If either party wishes to terminate employment, a notice of two (2) weeks should be given in writing to the party. - After six months, ICMC notified petitioner that effective December 21, 1985, the latter's services were terminated for his failure to meet the requirements of "1. classroom performance . . . up to the standards set in the Guide for Instruction; 2. regular attendance in the mandated teacher training, and in the schedule team meetings, one-on-one conferences with the supervisor, etc.; and 3. compliance with ICMC and PRPC policies and procedures." - On February 4, 1986, petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, unfair labor practice, underpayment of wages, accrued leave pay, 14th month pay, damages, attorney's fees, and expenses of litigation. Petitioner alleged that there was no objective evaluation of his performance to warrant his dismissal and that he should have been considered a regular employee from the start because ICMC failed to acquaint him with the standards under which he must qualify as such. He prayed for reinstatement with backwages; P3,155.00 for probationary and P3,445.00 for regular salary adjustments; value of lodging or dormitory privileges; cost of insurance coverage for group life, medical, death, dismemberment and disability benefits; moral, and exemplary, and nominal damages plus interest on the above claims with attorney's fees. - Answering the complaint, ICMC claimed that petitioner failed to quality for regular employment because he showed no interest in improving his professional performance both in and out of the classroom after he had been periodically evaluated; that petitioner was paid his salary up to December 31, 1985, two weeks pay in lieu of notice, and 14th month pay pro-rata; and that his accrued leave balance already been converted to cash. - After the parties had formally offered their evidence, private respondents submitted their memorandum on July 31, 1989 in which, among other things, they invoked ICMC's diplomatic immunity on the basis of the Memorandum of Agreement signed on July 15, 1988 between the Philippines government and ICMC. - The Labor Arbiter held that ICMC's legal immunity under the Memorandum could not be given retroactive effect since "[that would] deprive complainant's property right without due process and impair the obligation of contract of employment." He also expressed doubt on the ground that it was provided for by agreement and not through an act of Congress. Accordingly, the Labor Arbiter ordered ICMC to reinstate petitioner as regular teacher without loss of seniority rights and to pay him one year backwages, other benefits, and ten percent attorney's fees for a total sum of P70,944.85. - Both parties appealed to the NLRC. On August 13, 1990, petitioner moved to dismiss private respondent's appeal because of the latter's failure to post a cash/surety bond. In its order of October 13, 1992, however, the NLRC ordered the case dismissed on the ground that, under the Memorandum of Agreement between the Philippine government and ICMC, the latter was immune from suit. ISSUE WON the Memorandum of Agreement executed on July 15, 1988 granted ICMC immunity from suit

HELD YES Ratio The grant of immunity from local jurisdiction to ICMC . . . is clearly necessitated by their international character and respective purposes. The objective is to avoid the danger of partiality and interference by the host country in their internal workings. The exercise of jurisdiction by the Department of Labor in these instances would defeat the very purpose of immunity, which is to shield the affairs of international organizations, in accordance with international practice, from political pressure or control by the host country to the prejudice of member State of the organization, and to ensure the unhampered performance of their functions. (International Catholic Migration Commission v. Calleja) Reasoning - The grant of immunity to ICMC is in virtue of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of Specialized Agencies of the United Nations, adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 21, 1947, and concurred in by the Philippine Senate on May 17, 1949. This Convention has the force and effect of law, considering that under the Constitution, the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. - The scope of immunity of the ICMC contained in the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations is instructive. Art. III, 4 of the Convention provides for immunity from "every form of legal process." Thus, even if private respondents had been served summons and subpoenas prior to the execution of the Memorandum, they, as officers of ICMC, can claim immunity under the same in order to prevent enforcement of an adverse judgment, since a writ of execution is "a legal process" within the meaning of Article III, 4. - Art III 4 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations requires that the waiver of the privilege must be express. There was no such waiver of immunity in this case. Nor can ICMC be estopped from claiming diplomatic immunity since estoppel does not operate to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal that has none over a cause of action. - Finally, neither can it be said that recognition of ICMC's immunity from suit deprives petitioner of due process. As pointed out in ICMC v. Calleja, petitioner is not exactly without remedy for whatever violation of rights it may have suffered for the following reason: Section 31 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations provides that "each specialized agency shall make provision for appropriate modes of settlement of: (a) disputes arising out of contracts or other disputes of private character to which the specialized agency is a party." Moreover, pursuant to Article IV of the Memorandum of Agreement between ICMC and the Philippine Government, whenever there is any abuse of privilege by ICMC, the Government is free to withdraw the privileges and immunities accorded. Disposition Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

CHIANG KAI SHEK COLLEGE V CA (NLRC, CALAYLAY, AQUINO, GACUTAN, BELO) 437 SCRA 171 DAVIDE, JR; August 24, 2004 FACTS - In 1992, Ms. Diana Belo, a teacher of Chiang Kai Shek College since 1977, applied for a leave of absence for the school year 1992-1993. Upon submitting her application, she was informed of the school policy that if she takes a leave of absence, she is not assured of a teaching load upon her return. She was likewise informed that only teachers in active service may enjoy the privilege and benefits provided by the school, such as free tuition for the teachers children. - Ms. Belo, nonetheless, took her leave of absence. In May 1993, she attempted to return to CKSC and signified her readiness to teach for the coming school year. However, she was not allowed to return. Hence, she filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, among others, against CKSC. - The Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint but the NLRC disagreed. The Court of Appeals upheld the NLRCs ruling. Hence, this petition. ISSUE WON private respondent was constructively dismissed HELD YES - Under the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, for a private school teacher to acquire a permanent status of employment and, therefore, be entitled to a security of tenure, the following requisites must concur: (a) the teacher is a full-time teacher; (b) the teacher must have rendered three consecutive years of service; and (c) such service must have been satisfactory. Since Ms. Belo has measured up to these standards, she therefore enjoys security of tenure. - Constructive dismissal is defined as a cessation from work because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay or both; or when a clear discrimination, insensibility, or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee. - Ms. Belo was constructively dismissed when the petitioners, in implementing their policies, effectively barred her from teaching for the school year 1993-1994. The three policies are (1) the non-assurance of a teaching load to a teacher who took a leave of absence; (2) the hiring of non-permanent teachers in April to whom teaching loads were already assigned when Ms. Belo signified in May 1993 her intention to teach; and (3) the non-applicability to children of teachers on leave of the free tuition fee benefits extended to children of teachers in service. - Ms. Belo was definitely singled out in the implementation of a future policy (i.e., the policy that employees not in service are not entitled to any benefit extended by the school). The petitioners did not take heed of the principle enshrined in our labor laws that policies should be adequately known to the employees and uniformly implemented to the body of employees as a whole and not in isolation. - The continued employment of Ms. Belo was also rendered unlikely by the insistence of the petitioners in implementing the alleged policy that a teacher who goes on leave for one year is not assured of a teaching load. While this alleged policy was mentioned in Mr. Chiens letter of 9 June 1992, it was not included in the schools written statement of policies dated 13 March 1992. Hence, it was then a non-existent policy. When a non-existent policy is implemented and, in this case, only to Ms. Belo, it constitutes a clear case of discrimination. - Petitioners invocation of the third policy that of giving teaching assignments to probationary teachers in April to justify their refusal to provide Ms. Belo a teaching load is a lame excuse that rings of untruth and dishonesty. Patently clear is the illegal manner by which the petitioners eased out Ms. Belo from the teaching corps. - Likewise, we do not find merit in petitioners assertion that the Court of Appeals should not have passed upon the illegality of the school policy of non-assurance of a teaching load, since the alleged illegality was never raised as an issue before the respondent court or in the forums below. As pointed out by the private respondent, that policy was part of the defense invoked by the petitioners in the Arbiter level, in the NLRC, and in the respondent court to the charge of illegal dismissal; and, hence, it must necessarily be passed upon and scrutinized. Besides, that policy is intimately intertwined with the main issue of whether Ms. Belo was illegally dismissed. - This case is an exception to the general rule that the factual findings and conclusions of the Labor Arbiter are accorded weight and respect on appeal, and even finality. For one thing, the findings of the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter are contrary to each other; hence, the reviewing court may delve into the records and examine for itself the questioned findings. Disposition The Petition is DENIED.

AUSTRIA V NLRC (CENTRAL PHIL. UNION MISSION CORP. OF THE 7TH-DAY ADVENTIST) 312 SCRA 410 KAPUNAN; August 16, 1999 FACTS - Pastor Dionisio Austria worked with the Central Philippine Union Mission Corporation of the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) for 28 years from 1963 to 1991. He began his work with the SDA on 15 July 1963 as a literature evangelist, selling literature of the SDA over the island of Negros. From then on, he worked his way up the ladder and got promoted several times. In January, 1968, he became the Assistant Publishing Director in the West Visayan Mission. In July, 1972, he was elevated to the position of Pastor covering the island of Panay, and the provinces of Romblon and Guimaras. He held the same position up to 1988. Finally, in 1989, he was promoted as District Pastor of the Negros Mission of the SDA and was assigned at Sagay, Balintawak and Toboso, Negros Occidental, with 12 churches under his jurisdiction. In January, 1991, he was transferred to Bacolod City. He held the position of district pastor until his services were terminated on 31 October 1991. - On various occasions from August up to October, 1991, Eufronio Ibesate, the treasurer of the Negros Mission asked him to admit accountability and responsibility for the church tithes and offerings collected by his wife, Thelma Austria, in his district which amounted to P15,078.10, and to remit the same to the Negros Mission. Petitioner reasoned out that he should not be made accountable for the unremitted collections since it was Pastor Gideon Buhat and Ibesate who authorized his wife to collect the tithes and offerings since he was very sick to do the collecting at that time. - On 16 October 1991, petitioner went to the office of Pastor Buhat, the president of the Negros Mission. During said call, petitioner tried to persuade Pastor Buhat to convene the Executive Committee for the purpose of settling the dispute between him and Pastor David Rodrigo. The dispute between David Rodrigo and petitioner arose from an incident in which petitioner assisted his friend, Danny Diamada, to collect from Pastor Rodrigo the unpaid balance for the repair of the latter's motor vehicle which he failed to pay to Diamada. Due to the assistance of petitioner in collecting Pastor Rodrigo's debt, the latter harbored ill-feelings against petitioner. When news reached petitioner that Pastor Rodrigo was about to file a complaint against him with the Negros Mission, he immediately proceeded to the office of Pastor Buhat and asked the latter to convene the Executive Committee. Pastor Buhat denied the request of petitioner since some committee members were out of town and there was no quorum. Thereafter, the two exchanged heated arguments. Petitioner then left the office of Pastor Buhat. While on his way out, petitioner overheard Pastor Buhat saying "Pastor daw inisog na ina iya (Pastor you are talking tough)." Irked by such remark, petitioner returned to the office of Pastor Buhat, and tried to overturn the latter's table, though unsuccessfully, since it was heavy. Thereafter, petitioner banged the attache case of Pastor Buhat on the table, scattered the books in his office, and threw the phone. Fortunately, Pastors Yonillo Leopoldo and Claudio Montao were around and they pacified both. - On 17 October 1991, petitioner received a letter inviting him and his wife to attend the Executive Committee meeting. From October 21 to 22, the fact-finding committee conducted an investigation. Petitioner immediately wrote Pastor Rueben Moralde, president of the SDA and chairman of the fact-finding committee, requesting that certain members of the fact-finding committee be excluded in the investigation and resolution of the case. Out of the 6 members requested to inhibit themselves from the investigation and decision-making, only 2 were actually excluded: Pastor Buhat and Pastor Rodrigo. Subsequently, petitioner received a letter of dismissal citing misappropriation of denominational funds, willful breach of trust, serious misconduct, gross and habitual neglect of duties, and commission of an offense against the person of employer's duly authorized representative, as grounds for the termination of his services. ISSUES 1. WON the Labor Arbiter/NLRC has jurisdiction to try and decide the complaint filed by petitioner against the SDA 2. WON the termination of the services of petitioner is an ecclesiastical affair, and, as such, involves the separation of church and state 3. WON such termination is valid HELD 1. YES and 2. NO [Resolved jointly since they are related] Ratio An ecclesiastical affair is one that concerns doctrine, creed or form or worship of the church, or the adoption and enforcement within a religious association of needful laws and regulations for the government of the

membership, and the power of excluding from such associations those deemed unworthy of membership. Reasoning - Based on this definition, an ecclesiastical affair involves the relationship between the church and its members and relate to matters of faith, religious doctrines, worship and governance of the congregation. To be concrete, examples of this so-called ecclesiastical affairs to which the State cannot meddle are proceedings for excommunication, ordinations of religious ministers, administration of sacraments and other activities which attached religious significance. The case at bar does not even remotely concern any of the above cited examples. While the matter at hand relates to the church and its religious minister it does not ipso facto give the case a religious significance. Simply stated, what is involved here is the relationship of the church as an employer and the minister as an employee. It is purely secular and has no relation whatsoever with the practice of faith, worship or doctrines of the church. In this case, petitioner was not excommunicated or expelled from the membership of the SDA but was terminated from employment. - Aside from these, SDA admitted in a certification issued by its officer, Ibesate, that petitioner has been its employee for 28 years. SDA even registered petitioner with the SSS as its employee. The worker's records of petitioner have been submitted by private respondents as part of their exhibits. From all of these it is clear that when the SDA terminated the services of petitioner, it was merely exercising its management prerogative to fire an employee which it believes to be unfit for the job. As such, the State, through the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, has the right to take cognizance of the case. - Finally, private respondents are estopped from raising the issue of lack of jurisdiction for the first time on appeal. The active participation of a party coupled with his failure to object to the jurisdiction of the court or quasi-judicial body is tantamount to an invocation of that jurisdiction and a willingness to abide by the resolution of the case and will bar said party from later on impugning the court or body's jurisdiction. 3. NO. Reasoning - The issue being the legality of petitioner's dismissal, the same must be measured against the requisites for a valid dismissal, namely: (a) the employee must be afforded due process, i.e., he must be given an opportunity to be heard and to defend himself, and; (b) the dismissal must be for a valid cause as provided in Article 282 of the Labor Code. Without the concurrence of these twin requirements, the termination would, in the eyes of the law, be illegal. As to Due Process - Article 277(b) of the Labor Code further require the employer to furnish the employee with 2 written notices, to wit: (a) a written notice served on the employee specifying the ground or grounds for termination, and giving to said employee reasonable opportunity within which to explain his side, and, (b) a written notice of termination served on the employee indicating that upon due consideration of all the circumstances, grounds have been established to justify his termination. - The first notice, which may be considered as the proper charge, serves to apprise the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought. The second notice on the other hand seeks to inform the employee of the employer's decision to dismiss him. This decision, however, must come only after the employee is given a reasonable period from receipt of the first notice within which to answer the charge and ample opportunity to be heard and defend himself with the assistance of a representative, if he so desires. Non-compliance therewith is fatal because these requirements are conditions sine quo non before dismissal may be validly effected. - SDA failed to substantially comply with the above requirements. With regard to the first notice, the letter dated 17 October 1991, which notified petitioner and his wife to attend the meeting on 21 October 1991, cannot be construed as the written charge required by law. A perusal of the said letter reveals that it never categorically stated the particular acts or omissions on which his impending termination was grounded. In fact, the letter never even mentioned that he would be subject to investigation. The letter merely mentioned that he and his wife were invited to a meeting wherein what would be discussed were the alleged unremitted church tithes and the events that transpired on 16 October 1991. For this reason, it cannot be said that petitioner was given enough opportunity to properly prepare for his defense. While admittedly, SDA complied with the second requirement, the notice of termination, this does not cure the initial defect of lack of the proper written charge required by law. As to Just Cause - Private respondents allege that they have lost their confidence in petitioner for his failure, despite demands, to remit the tithes and offerings which were collected in his district. Settled is the rule that under Article 282 (c) of the Labor Code, the breach of trust must be willful. A breach is willful if it is done intentionally, knowingly and purposely, without justifiable excuse, as distinguished from an act done carelessly, thoughtlessly, heedlessly or inadvertently. It must rest on substantial grounds and not on the employer's arbitrariness, whims, caprices or suspicion, otherwise, the employee would eternally remain at the mercy of the employer. It should be genuine and

not simulated. This ground has never been intended to afford an occasion for abuse, because of its subjective nature. The records show that there were only 6 instances when petitioner personally collected and received from the church treasurers the tithes, collections, and donations for the church. The testimony of Naomi Geniebla, the Negros Mission Church Auditor and a witness for private respondents, show that Pastor Austria was able to remit all his collections to the treasurer of the Negros Mission. Private respondents try to pin on petitioner the alleged nonremittance of the tithes collected by his wife. In the absence of conspiracy and collusion, which private respondents failed to demonstrate, between petitioner and his wife, he cannot be made accountable for the alleged infraction committed by his wife. After all, they still have separate and distinct personalities. Thus, the allegation of breach of trust has no leg to stand on. - Misconduct has been defined as improper or wrong conduct. It is the transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment. For misconduct to be considered serious it must be of such grave and aggravated character and not merely trivial or unimportant. Based on this standard, we believe that the act of petitioner in banging the attache case on the table, throwing the telephone and scattering the books in the office of Pastor Buhat, although improper, cannot be considered as grave enough to be considered as serious misconduct. After all, as correctly observed by the Labor Arbiter, though petitioner committed damage to property, he did not physically assault Pastor Buhat or any other pastor present during the incident of 16 October 1991. In fact, the alleged offense committed upon the person of the employer's representatives was never really established or proven by private respondents. Hence, there is no basis for the allegation that petitioner's act constituted serious misconduct or that the same was an offense against the person of the employer's duly authorized representative. - The final ground alleged by private respondents, gross and habitual neglect of duties, does not requires an exhaustive discussion. All private respondents had were allegations but not proof. Aside from merely citing the said ground, private respondents failed to prove culpability. In fact, the evidence on record shows otherwise. Petitioner's rise from the ranks proves that he was actually a hard-worker. Private respondents' evidence, which consisted of petitioner's Worker's Reports, revealed how petitioner travelled to different churches to attend to the faithful under his care. Indeed, he labored hard for the SDA, but, in return, he was rewarded with a dismissal from the service for a non-existent cause. Disposition Finding of the Labor Arbiter that petitioner was terminated from service without just or lawful cause is SUSTAINED. Petitioner is entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority right and the payment of full backwages without any deduction corresponding to the period from his illegal dismissal up to the actual reinstatement. Challenged Resolution of NLRC is NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE.

SONZA V ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION 431 SCRA 587 CARPIO; June 10, 2004 NATURE Petition for review on certiorari FACTS - ABS-CBN signed Agreement with Mel and Jay Management and Devt Corp (MJMDC), which agreed to provide Sonzas services exclusively to the network as talent for radio and TV. - Sonza resigned and complained that network didnt pay his salaries, separation pay, service incentive leave pay, etc. ABS filed Motion to Dismiss because there was no employer-employee relationship. ABS continued to remit Sonzas monthly talent fees. - Labor Arbiter dismissed complaint because of lack of jurisdiction. NLRC affirmed Arbiters decision. Sonza filed certiorari action with CA, which dismissed the case. Hence this petition. ISSUE WON there was an employer-employee relationship between ABS-CBN and Sonza HELD NO - This is the first Court resolution on nature of relationship between a station and a talent. - There are 4 elements of employer-employee relationship: 1. Selection of employee - if Sonza didnt possess his skills, talents and celebrity status, ABS-CBN would not have entered into agreement with him but would have hired him through personnel department 2. Payment of wages - whatever Sonza received arose from the contract and not from the employer-employee relation - the talent fee is so huge that it indicates more a contractual than an employment relationship 3. Power to dismiss - ABS-CBN coulnt retrench Sonza because it is obligated to pay talent fees for duration of contract 4. Control on employee on means and methods - also called control test; most impt to determine relationship - Sonza contends ABS exercised control over means and methods of his work. Court said ABS merely reserved the right to modify the program format and airtime schedule. Its sole concern was the quality of the show and the ratings. How Sonza appeared, sounded, etc. is outside control of ABS. - Sonza contends that ABS exercised control in providing equipment and crew. Court said these are not tools needed by Sonza. What he needed were his talent, skills, costume. - Sonza contends that ABS subjected him to rules and standards. Court said that the rules are the TV and Radio Code of the Kapisanan ng Broadcaster sa Pilipinas, merely adopted by ABS as its code of ethics. It applies to broadcasters, not just to ABS employees. Besides, these rules are merely guidelines. - Sonza said his exclusivity is a form of control by ABS. Court said exclusivity is a widespread practice in entertainment industry, as protection of investment in building up a talent. Besides, the huge talent fees of an exclusive talent compensates for exclusivity. - Arbiter ruled that as talent of MJMDC, Sonza is not an employee of ABS. Sonza insists that MJMDC is a laboronly contractor and ABS is his employer. In labor-only contract, there are 3 parties the contractor, employee and the principal (deemed the real employer). Under this, the contractor is the agent of the principal. If Sonzas argument was true, then MJMDC turns to be the agent of both Sonza and ABS. Besides, in the Agreement, there were only two parties mentioned Sonza and ABS, with MJMDC as Sonzas agent. - Sonza argues Policy Instruction No. 40 by Minister of Labor said the types of employees in broadcast are the station and program employees. Court said this instruction is a mere executive issuance not binding on the Court. - Court also said that Arbiter can decide a case without a formal trial. - Sonza argues that treating talents as contractors violates right to security of tenure. Court said this right exists only if there is an employer-employee relation. Besides, law also protects rights of talents to contract. Besides, if hosts were employees, managers can dictate what hosts will say, and this is not conducive to press freedom. - Difference in tax treatment also showed that theres no employer-employee relation. - Sonzas claim is based on their agreement. Therefore, action should not be based on Labor Code but on breach of contract.

DUNCAN ASSOCIATION OF DETAILMAN-PTGWO V GLAXO WELLCOME PHILIPPINES INC 438 SCRA 343 TINGA; September 17, 2004 NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals FACTS - Petitioner Tecson was hired by respondent Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc. (Glaxo) as medical representative after Tecson had undergone training and orientation. Thereafter, Tecson signed a contract of employment which stipulates, among others, that he agrees to study and abide by existing company rules; to disclose to management any existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or employees of competing drug companies and should management find that such relationship poses a possible conflict of interest, to resign from the company. - The Employee Code of Conduct of Glaxo similarly provides that an employee is expected to inform management of any existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or employees of competing drug companies. If management perceives a conflict of interest or a potential conflict between such relationship and the employees employment with the company, the management and the employee will explore the possibility of a transfer to another department in a non-counterchecking position or preparation for employment outside the company after six months. - Tecson was initially assigned to market Glaxos products in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area. Subsequently, Tecson entered into a romantic relationship with Bettsy, an employee of Astra Pharmaceuticals (Astra), a competitor of Glaxo. Bettsy was Astras Branch Coordinator in Albay. She supervised the district managers and medical representatives of her company and prepared marketing strategies for Astra in that area. Even before they got married, Tecson received several reminders from his District Manager regarding the conflict of interest which his relationship with Bettsy might engender. Still, love prevailed, and Tecson married Bettsy. - Tecsons superiors informed him that his marriage to Bettsy gave rise to a conflict of interest. Tecsons superiors reminded him that he and Bettsy should decide which one of them would resign from their jobs, although they told him that they wanted to retain him as much as possible because he was performing his job well. - Tecson requested for time to comply with the company policy against entering into a relationship with an employee of a competitor company. He explained that Astra, Bettsys employer, was planning to merge with Zeneca, another drug company; and Bettsy was planning to avail of the redundancy package to be offered by Astra. With Bettsys separation from her company, the potential conflict of interest would be eliminated. At the same time, they would be able to avail of the attractive redundancy package from Astra. - Tecson again requested for more time resolve the problem. Tecson applied for a transfer in Glaxos milk division, thinking that since Astra did not have a milk division, the potential conflict of interest would be eliminated. His application was denied in view of Glaxos least-movement-possible policy. Glaxo transferred Tecson to the Butuan City-Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area. Tecson asked Glaxo to reconsider its decision, but his request was denied. - Tecson sought Glaxos reconsideration regarding his transfer and brought the matter to Glaxos Grievance Committee. Glaxo, however, remained firm in its decision and gave Tecson time to comply with the transfer order. Tecson defied the transfer order and continued acting as medical representative in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area. - During the pendency of the grievance proceedings, Tecson was paid his salary, but was not issued samples of products which were competing with similar products manufactured by Astra. He was also not included in product conferences regarding such products. - Because the parties failed to resolve the issue at the grievance machinery level, they submitted the matter for voluntary arbitration. Glaxo offered Tecson a separation pay of one-half month pay for every year of service, or a total of P50,000.00 but he declined the offer. The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) rendered its Decision declaring as valid Glaxos policy on relationships between its employees and persons employed with competitor companies, and affirming Glaxos right to transfer Tecson to another sales territory. - Aggrieved, Tecson filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals assailing the NCMB Decision. The Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision denying the Petition for Review on the ground that the NCMB did not err in rendering its Decision. The appellate court held that Glaxos policy prohibiting its employees from having personal relationships with employees of competitor companies is a valid exercise of its management prerogatives. Tecson

filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the appellate courts Decision, but the motion was denied by the appellate court. ISSUES 1. WON the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that Glaxos policy against its employees marrying employees from competitor companies is valid, and in not holding that said policy violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution 2. WON petitioner was constructively dismissed HELD 1. NO - Glaxo has a right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing strategies and other confidential programs and information from competitors, especially so that it and Astra are rival companies in the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry. - The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with employees of competitor companies upon Glaxos employees is reasonable under the circumstances because relationships of that nature might compromise the interests of the company. In laying down the assailed company policy, Glaxo only aims to protect its interests against the possibility that a competitor company will gain access to its secrets and procedures. - That Glaxo possesses the right to protect its economic interests cannot be denied. No less than the Constitution recognizes the right of enterprises to adopt and enforce such a policy to protect its right to reasonable returns on investments and to expansion and growth. Indeed, while our laws endeavor to give life to the constitutional policy on social justice and the protection of labor, it does not mean that every labor dispute will be decided in favor of the workers. The law also recognizes that management has rights which are also entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of fair play. - The challenged company policy does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution as petitioners erroneously suggest. It is a settled principle that the commands of the equal protection clause are addressed only to the state or those acting under color of its authority. Corollarily, it has been held in a long array of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that the equal protection clause erects no shield against merely private conduct, however, discriminatory or wrongful. The only exception occurs when the state in any of its manifestations or actions has been found to have become entwined or involved in the wrongful private conduct. Obviously, however, the exception is not present in this case. Significantly, the company actually enforced the policy after repeated requests to the employee to comply with the policy. Indeed, the application of the policy was made in an impartial and evenhanded manner, with due regard for the lot of the employee. - In any event, from the wordings of the contractual provision and the policy in its employee handbook, it is clear that Glaxo does not impose an absolute prohibition against relationships between its employees and those of competitor companies. Its employees are free to cultivate relationships with and marry persons of their own choosing. What the company merely seeks to avoid is a conflict of interest between the employee and the company that may arise out of such relationships. - The Court of Appeals also correctly noted that the assailed company policy which forms part of respondents Employee Code of Conduct and of its contracts with its employees, such as that signed by Tecson, was made known to him prior to his employment. Tecson, therefore, was aware of that restriction when he signed his employment contract and when he entered into a relationship with Bettsy. Since Tecson knowingly and voluntarily entered into a contract of employment with Glaxo, the stipulations therein have the force of law between them and, thus, should be complied with in good faith. He is therefore estopped from questioning said policy. 2. NO - Constructive dismissal is defined as a quitting, an involuntary resignation resorted to when continued employment becomes impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or diminution in pay; or when a clear discrimination, insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to the employee. None of these conditions are present in the instant case. The record does not show that Tecson was demoted or unduly discriminated upon by reason of such transfer. Glaxo properly exercised its management prerogative in reassigning Tecson to the Butuan City sales area. When the problem could not be resolved after several years of waiting, Glaxo was constrained to reassign Tecson to a sales area different from that handled by his wife for Astra. Notably, Glaxo did not terminate Tecson from employment but only reassigned him to another area where his home province, Agusan del Sur, was included. In effecting Tecsons transfer, Glaxo even considered the welfare of Tecsons family. Clearly, the foregoing dispels any suspicion of unfairness and bad faith on the part of Glaxo.

ASIAN TRANSMISSION CORP V CA (BISIG NG ASIAN TRANSMISSION LABOR UNION) 425 SCRA 478 CARPIO-MORALES; March 15, 2004 NATURE Petition for certiorari seeking the nullification of the March 28, 2000 Decision of the Court of Appeals FACTS - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through Undersecretary Cresenciano B. Trajano, issued an Explanatory Bulletin dated March 11, 1993, wherein it clarified, that employees are entitled to 200% of their basic wage on April 9, 1993, which, apart from being Good Friday, and, therefore, a legal holiday, is also Araw ng Kagitingan, which is also a legal holiday, even if unworked. - Said bulletin was reproduced on January 23, 1998, when April 9, 1998 was both Maundy Thursday and Araw ng Kagitingan - Despite the explanatory bulletin, petitioner Asian Transmission Corporation opted to pay its daily paid employees only 100% of their basic pay on April 9, 1998. - Respondent Bisig ng Asian Transmission Labor Union (BATLU) protested. - In accordance with Step 6 of the grievance procedure of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) existing between petitioner and BATLU, the controversy was submitted for voluntary arbitration. - On July 31, 1998, the Office of the Voluntary Arbitrator rendered a decision directing petitioner to pay its covered employees "200% and not just 100% of their regular daily wages for the unworked April 9, 1998 - Subject of interpretation in the case at bar is Article 94 2 of the Labor which was amended by Executive Order No. 2033 - In deciding in favor of the Bisig ng Asian Transmission Labor Union (BATLU), the Voluntary Arbitrator held that Article 94 of the Labor Code provides for holiday pay for every regular holiday, the computation of which is determined by a legal formula which is not changed by the fact that there are two holidays falling on one day; and that that the law, as amended, enumerates ten regular holidays for every year, and should not be interpreted as authorizing a reduction to nine the number of paid regular holidays "just because April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan) in certain years, like 1993 and 1998, is also Holy Friday or Maundy Thursday." - The Court of Appeals upheld the findings of the Voluntary Arbitrator, holding that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between petitioner and BATLU, the law governing the relations between them, clearly recognizes their intent to consider Araw ng Kagitingan and Maundy Thursday, on whatever date they may fall in any calendar year, as paid legal holidays during the effectivity of the CBA and that "there is no condition, qualification or exception for any variance from the clear intent that all holidays shall be compensated. - The Court of Appeals further held that "in the absence of an explicit provision in law which provides for [a] reduction of holiday pay if two holidays happen to fall on the same day, any doubt in the interpretation and implementation of the Labor Code provisions on holiday pay must be resolved in favor of labor." - Hence, this petition. ISSUE WON daily-paid employees are entitled to be paid for two regular holidays which fall on the same day HELD YES - Holiday pay is a legislated benefit enacted as part of the Constitutional imperative that the State shall afford protection to labor. Its purpose is not merely "to prevent diminution of the monthly income of the workers on account of work interruptions. In other words, although the worker is forced to take a rest, he earns what he should earn, that is, his holiday pay."8 It is also intended to enable the worker to participate in the national celebrations held during the days identified as with great historical and cultural significance.
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ART. 94. Right to holiday pay. (a) Every worker shall be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays, except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than ten (10) workers; (b) The employer may require an employee to work on any holiday but such employee shall be paid a compensation equivalent to twice his regular rate; and (c) As used in this Article, "holiday" includes: New Years Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the ninth of April, the first of May, the twelfth of June, the fourth of July, the thirtieth of November, the twenty-fifth and thirtieth of December and the day designated by law for holding a general election

regular holidays are now:1. New Years Day January 1; 2. Maundy Thursday Movable Date; 3. Good Friday Movable Date; 4. Araw ng Kagitingan April 9 (Bataan and Corregidor Day); 5. Labor Day May 1; 6. Independence Day June 12; 7. National Heroes Day Last Sunday of August; 8. Bonifacio Day November 30; 9. Christmas Day December 25; 10. Rizal Day December 30

- Independence Day (June 12), Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9), National Heroes Day (last Sunday of August), Bonifacio Day (November 30) and Rizal Day (December 30) were declared national holidays to afford Filipinos with a recurring opportunity to commemorate the heroism of the Filipino people, promote national identity, and deepen the spirit of patriotism. Labor Day (May 1) is a day traditionally reserved to celebrate the contributions of the working class to the development of the nation, while the religious holidays designated in Executive Order No. 203 allow the worker to celebrate his faith with his family. - As reflected above, Art. 94 of the Labor Code, as amended, affords a worker the enjoyment of ten paid regular holidays. The provision is mandatory, regardless of whether an employee is paid on a monthly or daily basis. Unlike a bonus, which is a management prerogative, holiday pay is a statutory benefit demandable under the law. Since a worker is entitled to the enjoyment of ten paid regular holidays, the fact that two holidays fall on the same date should not operate to reduce to nine the ten holiday pay benefits a worker is entitled to receive. - It is elementary, under the rules of statutory construction, that when the language of the law is clear and unequivocal, the law must be taken to mean exactly what it says. In the case at bar, there is nothing in the law which provides or indicates that the entitlement to ten days of holiday pay shall be reduced to nine when two holidays fall on the same day. - In any event, Art. 4 of the Labor Code provides that all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of its provisions, including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor. For the working mans welfare should be the primordial and paramount consideration. - Moreover, Sec. 11, Rule IV, Book III of the Omnibus Rules to Implement the Labor Code provides that "Nothing in the law or the rules shall justify an employer in withdrawing or reducing any benefits, supplements or payments for unworked regular holidays as provided in existing individual or collective agreement or employer practice or policy. - From the pertinent provisions of the CBA entered into by the parties, petitioner had obligated itself to pay for the legal holidays as required by law. Disposition Petition is dismissed.

DE LEON V NLRC (LA TONDENA) 176 SCRA 615 FERNAN; August 21, 1989 NATURE Petition for certiorari seeking to annul and set aside: (1) majority decision of the NLRC, which reversed the Order of Labor Arbiter Hernandez; and, (2) the Resolution denying petitioner's MFR FACTS - DE LEON was employed by LA TONDENA (business of manufacture and distillery of wines and liquors) on Dec 11, 1981, at the Maintenance Section of its Engineering Dept in Tondo. - His work consisted mainly of painting company building and equipment, and other odd jobs relating to maintenance. He was paid on a daily basis through petty cash vouchers. - After service of more than 1 year, DE LEON requested that he be included in the payroll of regular workers. LA TONDENA responded by dismissing him from work. - Weeks after this, he was re-hired indirectly through the Vitas-Magsaysay Village Livelihood Council, a labor agency of respondent, and was made to perform tasks he used to do. - Having been refused reinstatement despite repeated demands, petitioner filed a complaint before the Office of the Labor Arbiter. - LA TONDENA claimed he was a casual worker hired only to paint a certain bldg in the company premises, and such work terminated upon completion of the painting job. - Labor Arbiter Hernandez ordered reinstatement and payment of backwages to petitioner. Complainant's being hired on casual basis did not dissuade from the cold fact that such jobs he performed related to maintenance as a maintenance man is necessary and desirable to the better operation of the business company. - On appeal, NLRC reversed such decision because his job cannot be considered necessary in the usual trade of employer: "Painting the business or factory building is not a part of the respondent's manufacturing or distilling process of wines and liquors. ISSUE WON petitioner is a regular employee HELD 1. YES Ratio An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by Art.281 4 of Labor Code: provided, That any employee who has rendered at least one year of service, whether such service is continuous or broken, shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such actually exists. Reasoning - During petitioner's period of employment, the records reveal that the tasks assigned to him included not only painting of company buildings, equipment and tools but also cleaning and oiling machines, even operating a drilling machine, and other odd jobs assigned to him when he had no painting job. - It is not the will and word of the employer that determines whether a certain employment is regular or casual, to which the desperate worker often accedes, but the nature of the activities performed in relation to the particular business or trade considering all circumstances, and in some cases the length of time of its performance and its continued existence. Disposition Petition is GRANTED.

Art. 281. Regular and casual employment. The provisions of a written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreements of the parties, an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season.

SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION V NLRC (GUZMAN) 297 SCRA 277 QUISUMBING; October 7, 1998 NATURE Petition for certiorari. FACTS - In November 1990, Francisco De Guzman, JR. was hired by SMC as helper/bricklayer for a specific project, the repair and upgrading of furnace C at its Manila Glass Plant. His contract of employment provided that said temporary employment was for a specific period of approximately 4 months. On April 30, 1991, De Guzman was able to complete the repair and upgrading of furnace C. Thus, his services were terminated on that same day as there was no more work to be done. His employment contract also ended that day. - On May 10, 1991, De Guzman was again hired for a specific job which involved the draining/cooling down of fuenace F and the emergency repair of furnace E. This project was for a specific period of approximately 3 months. After the completion of this task, at the end of July 1991, DE Guzman's services were terminated. - On Aug.1, 1991, complainant saw his name in a Memorandum posted at the Company's Bulletin Board as among those who were considered dismissed. - On Aug.12, 1994, or after the lapse of more than 3 years from the completion of the last undertaking for which De Guzman was hired, he filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against SMC. - On June 30, 1995, labor Arbiter Felipe Garduque II rendered the decision dismissing said complaint for lack of merit, sustaining SMC's argument that DE Guzman was a project employee. The position of a helper does not fall within the classification of regular employees. Hence, complainant never attained regular employment status. Moreover, his silence for more than three (3) years without any reasonable explanation tended to weaken his claim. - Upon appeal, NLRC reversed Labor Arbiter Garduque's decision. In its ruling, NLRC stated that SMCs scheme of subsequently re-hiring complainant after only 10 days from the last day of the expiration of his contract of employment for a specific period, and giving him again another contract of employment for another specific period cannot be countenanced. This is one way of doing violence to the employee's constitutional right to security of tenure under which even employees under probationary status are amply protected. - SMCs MFR was denied by NLRC. Hence, this petition. ISSUES 1. WON De Guzman is a regular employee/. 2. WON De Guzman was illegally dismissed HELD 1. NO Art. 280 of the Labor Code defines regular, project and casual employment as follows: An employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceding paragraph: Provided, That, any employee who has rendered at least one year of service, whether such service is continuous or broken, shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such actually exists. - The above mentioned provision reinforces the Constitutional mandate to protect the interest of labor as it sets the legal framework for ascertaining one's nature of employment, and distinguishing different kinds of employees. Its language manifests the intent to safeguard the tenurial interest of worker who may be denied the enjoyment of the rights and benefits due to an employee, regardless of the nature of his employment, by virtue of lopsided agreements which the economically powerful employer who can maneuver to keep an employee on a casual or contractual status for as long as it is convenient to the employer. - Thus, under Article 280 of the Labor Code, an employment is deemed regular when the activities performed by the employee are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer even if the parties enter into an agreement stating otherwise. But considered not regular under said Article (1) the so-called "project employment" the termination of which is more or less determinable at the time of employment, such as those connected, which by its nature is only for one season of the year and the employment is limited for the duration of that season, such as the Christmas holiday season. Nevertheless, an exception to this exception is made: any

employee who has rendered at least 1 year of service, whether continuous or intermitent, with respect to the activity he performed and while such activity actually exists, must be deemed regular. - Following Article 280, whether one is employed as a project employee or not would depend on whether he was hired to carry out a "specific project or undertaking", the duration and scope of which were specified at the time his services were engaged for that particular project. Another factor that may be undertaken by the employee in relation to the usual trade or business of the employer, if without specifying the duration and scope, the work to be undertaken is usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, then it is regular employment and not just "project" must less "casual" employment. - Thus, the nature of one's employment does not depend on the will or word of the employer. Nor on the procedure of hiring and the manner of designating the employee, but on the nature of the activities to be performed by the employee, considering the employer's nature of business and the duration and scope of the work to be done. - Project could refer to 2 distinguishable types of activity. Firstly, a project could refer to a particular job or undertaking that is within the regular or usual business of the employer company, but which is distinct at separate, and identifiable as such, from the other undertakings of the company. Such job or undertaking begins and ends at determined or determinable times. . . . Secondly, a project could refer to a particular job or undertaking that is not within the regular business of the corporation. Such a job or undertaking must also be identifiably separate and distinct from the ordinary or regular business operations of the employer. The job or undertaking also begins and ends at determined or determinable times . . - The plant where De Guzman was employed for only 7 months is engaged in the manufacturer of glass, an integral component of the packaging and manufacturing business of petitioner. The process of manufacturing glass requires a furnace, which has a limited operating life. SMC resorted to hiring project or fixed term employees in having said furnaces repaired since said activity is not regularly performed. Said furnaces are to be repaired or overhauled only in case of need and after being used continuously for a varying period of 5-10 years. In 1990, one of the furnaces of petitioner required repair and upgrading. This was an undertaking distinct and separate from SMC's business of manufacturing glass. For this purpose, SMC must hire workers to undertake the said repair and upgrading. De Guzman was, thus, hired by SMC on November 28, 1990 on a "temporary status for a specific job" for a determined period of approximately four months - Upon completion of the undertaking, or on April 30, 1991, DE Guzman's services were terminated. A few days, thereafter, two of SMC's furnaces required "draining/coolong down" and "emergency repair". De Guzman was again hired on May 10, 1991 to help in the new undertaking, which would take approximately 3 months to accomplish. Upon completion of the second undertaking, private respondent's services were likewise terminated. He was not hired a third time, and his two engagements taken together did not total one full year in order to qualify him as an exception to the exception falling under the cited proviso in the second paragraph of Art. 280 of the Labor Code. 2. NO - De Guzman was hired for a specific project that was not within the regular business of the corporation. For SMC is not engaged in the business of repairing furnaces. Although the activity was necessary to enable petitioner to continue manufacturing glass, the necessity therefor arose only when a particular furnace reached the end of its life or operating cycle. Or, as on the second undertaking, when a particular furnace required an emergency repair. In other words, the undertakings where he was hired primarily as helper/bricklayer have specified goals and purpose which are fulfilled once the designated work was completed. Moreover, such undertakings were also identifiably separate and distinct from the usual, ordinary or regular business operations of petitioner, which is glass manufacturing. These undertakings, the duration and scope of which had been determined and made known to private respondent at the time of his employment clearly indicated the nature of his employment as a project employee. Thus, his services were terminated legally after the completion of the project. - If NLRCs decision is upheld, it would amount to negating the distinction made in Article 280 of the Labor Code. It would shunt aside the rule that since a project employee's work defends on the availability of a project, necessarily, the duration of his employment is coterminous with the project to which he is assigned. It would become a burden for an employer to retain an employee and pay him his corresponding wages it there was no project for him to work on. - 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 dispute will be automatically decided in favor of labor. Management has also rights, which, as such, are entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of fair play. Although the SC has inclined more often than not toward the worker and has upheld has cause in his conflicts with the employer, such favoritism has no blinded the Court to the rule that justice is in avery case for the deserving, to be dispensed in the light of the established facts and the applicable law and doctrine.

Disposition Petition is hereby GRANTED. The decision of respondent NLRC is hereby REVERSED, and the judgment of the Labor Arbiter REINSTATED. AUDION ELECTRIC CO INC V NLRC (MADOLID) 308 SCRA 340 GONZAGA-REYES; June 17, 1999 NATURE Petition for certiorari, seeking annulment of resolution of the NLRC (of which the presiding officer was our very own Dean Carale ) FACTS - Madolid was employed by Audion Electric Co. on June 30, 1976 as fabricator and continuously rendered service in different offices and projects as helper technician, stockman, and timekeeper. He rendered 13 years of service with a clean record. On August 3, Madolid received a letter informing him that he will be considered terminated after the turnover of materials, including companys tools and equipments not later than August 15, 1989. - Madolid claims that he was dismissed without justifiable cause and due process and that his dismissal was done in bad faith which renders the dismissal illegal. For this reason, he claims that he is entitled to reinstatement with full backwages, and moral and exemplary damages. He also includes payment of his overtime pay, project allowance, minimum wage increase adjustment, proportionate 13th month pay and attorney's fees. Audion rebuts his allegations by saying that the employment contract of Madolid was one that was co-terminus with the project, thus he should not be considered as a regular employee. Also, the company contends that it had paid all the alleged unpaid wages. - The Labor arbiter decided the case in favor of Madolid, ordering Audion to pay him backwages, OT pay, project allowances, min. wage increase adjustment, 13th month pay, and awarding him moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. Appeal to NLRC was dismissed. ISSUES 1. WON Madolid was a regular employee, thus entitling him to backwages, etc. 2. WON Audion was denied due process with the award of all the claims of Madolid HELD 1. YES Ratio Where the employment of project employees is extended long after the supposed project has been finished, the employees are removed from the scope of project employees and considered regular employees. Reasoning - (citing NLRCs decision): Audions assigning Madolid to its various projects did not make him a project worker. As found by the Labor Arbiter, it appears that complainant was employed by respondent xxx as fabricator and or projects as helper electrician, stockman and timekeeper.' Simply put, complainant was a regular non-project worker. - Madolids employment status was established by the Certification of Employment dated April 10, 1989 issued by Audion which certified that private respondent is a bonafide employee from June 30, 1976 up to the time of issuance on April 10, 1989. This showed that his exposure to their field of operation was as fabricator, helper/electrician, stockman/timekeeper. This proves that he was regularly and continuously employed by Audion in various job assignments from 1976 to 1989, for a total of 13 years. The alleged gap in employment service does not defeat his regular status as he was rehired for many more projects without interruption and performed functions which are vital, necessary and indispensable to the usual business of petitioner. - Audion could have presented substantial evidence to support its claim that Madolid was a project worker, like the employment contract (which stated the employees nature of employment) or reports of termination (which were required by DOLE upon termination of the project, and failure to submit this is an indication of regular status of an employee as held in cases), but it did not. 2. NO Ratio Due process is not denied when one is afforded the opportunity to be heard and present his case, but the same decided not to take the opportunity. Reasoning - Madolid clearly specified in his affidavit the specific dates in which he was not paid overtime pay, project allowances, 13th month pay, and wage adjustments. The claim of Audion that it paid him such must be proved by evidence, which it did not do (despite of having the burden to prove the claim). - In fact, records show that the company did not appear in hearings, which the court took to be a waiver of its right to be heard.

- However, award to moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees are deleted for being devoid of moral basis. Disposition Petition denied, resolutions affirmed with modifications (deletion of award of damages and attorneys fees) UNIVERSAL ROBINA CORPORATION V CATAPANG 473 SCRA 189 CALLEJO, SR; October 14, 2005 FACTS - Petitioner Universal Robina Corporation is a corporation duly organized and existing under the Philippine laws, while petitioner Randy Gregorio is the manager of the petitioner companys duck farm in Calauan, Laguna. - The individual respondents were hired by the petitioner company on various dates from 1991 to 1993 to work at its duck farm in Barangay Sto. Tomas, Calauan, Laguna. The respondents were hired under an employment contract which provided for a five-month period. After the expiration of the said employment contracts, the petitioner company would renew them and re-employ the respondents. This practice continued until sometime in 1996, when the petitioners informed the respondents that they were no longer renewing their employment contracts. - In October 1996, the respondents filed separate complaints for illegal dismissal, reinstatement, backwages, damages and attorneys fees against the petitioners. The complaints were later consolidated. On March 30, 1999, after due proceedings, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of the respondents, which NLRC and the CA affirmed. - On appeal, the petitioners submit that the respondents are not regular employees. They aver that it is of no moment that the respondents have rendered service for more than a year since they were covered by the five-month individual contracts to which they duly acquiesced. The petitioners contend that they were free to terminate the services of the respondents at the expiration of their individual contracts. The petitioners maintain that, in doing so, they merely implemented the terms of the contracts. - The petitioners assert that the respondents contracts of employment were not intended to circumvent security of tenure. They point out that the respondents knowingly and voluntarily agreed to sign the contracts without the petitioners having exercised any undue advantage over them. Moreover, there is no evidence showing that the petitioners exerted moral dominance on the respondents.[\ ISSUE WON the respondent employees of the corporation are regular employees and therefore their termination for causes outside of the Labor Code is patently illegal HELD YES Ratio An employee shall be deemed to be of regular status when he has been performing a job for at least one year even if the performance is not continuous and merely intermittent. Reasoning - In any case, we find that the CA, the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter correctly categorized the respondents as regular employees of the petitioner company. In Abasolo v. National Labor Relations Commission, the Court reiterated the test in determining whether one is a regular employee: - The primary standard, therefore, of determining regular employment is the reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual trade or business of the employer. The test is whether the former is usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. The connection can be determined by considering the nature of work performed and its relation to the scheme of the particular business or trade in its entirety. Also, if the employee has been performing the job for at least a year, even if the performance is not continuous and merely intermittent, the law deems repeated and continuing need for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity if not indispensability of that activity to the business. Hence, the employment is considered regular, but only with respect to such activity and while such activity exists. - It is obvious that the said five-month contract of employment was used by petitioners as a convenient subterfuge to prevent private respondents from becoming regular employees. Such contractual arrangement should be struck down or disregarded as contrary to public policy or morals. To uphold the same would, in effect, permit petitioners to avoid hiring permanent or regular employees by simply hiring them on a temporary or casual basis, thereby violating the employees security of tenure in their jobs. Petitioners act of repeatedly and continuously hiring private respondents in a span of 3 to 5 years to do the same kind of work negates their contention that private respondents were hired for a specific project or undertaking only.

- Further, factual findings of labor officials who are deemed to have acquired expertise in matters within their respective jurisdiction are generally accorded not only respect but even finality, and bind us when supported by substantial evidence. Disposition petition is DENIED DUE COURSE. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.