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DELICIOSO CORPORATION CA-G.R. SP No. 12345-MIN REPRESENTED BY WILHELMINA (VA CASE NO. RB 000 AC 522-88-123GOMEZ, BOARD CHAIRMAN, 10) ALL REPRESENTED BY JUANITO ZULUETA, Petitioner, -versusSPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI WITH APPLICATION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF DELICIOSO EMPLOYEES UNION PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND – ALU, REPRESENTED BY TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER EDGAR DIZON, UNION PRESIDENT (PRIVATE RESPONDENT) AND HONORABLE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR SEVERINO NATUTO, OFFICE OF THE ACCREDITED VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR, NATIONAL CONCILIATION AND MEDIATION BOARD, REGIONAL BRANCH NO. XII (PUBLIC RESPONDENT), Respondents.
FOR THE PETITIONER
COMES NOW, Petitioner, through the undersigned counsel and to the Honorable Court of Appeals, most respectfully avers that:
1. On June 23, 2010, the Petitioner through counsel received copy of the Notice of Resolution dated May 19, 2010 with the attached Resolution requiring the parties to submit their respective
Memoranda within fifteen (15) days from notice;
2. Hence, this submission;
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Petitioner operates as an exporter of pineapples. To meet the market demands for these pineapples, Petitioner LFC procures pineapples from its own farms, from the farms leased from several landowners, and from growers of these pineapples. In its banana operations in Tampakan, South Cotabato, the Petitioner entered into Joint Production Agreements with several landowners wherein the landowners receive guaranteed income and production incentives. However, sometime in the first quarter of year 2008, the management of the Petitioner had decided to close down operations covering one hundred five (105) hectares of unproductive lands in Tampakan, South Cotabato. The Petitioner had to return these 105 hectares and close operations insofar as these areas are concerned because the cost of producing pineapples increased dramatically but the production in these areas could not cope up with the costs. Consequently, the Petitioner signed Agreements to Pre-terminate Contract with the affected landowners over the 105 hectares. Sample copies of the Agreement to Pre-terminate Contract are attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEXES “E” to “E-1”. As a consequence, the Petitioner had to decrease its manpower and to retrench employees working in the 105 hectares as the manpower would then be in excess of what was reasonably required by the operations. The Petitioner informed the affected employees of the eventual return of the 105 hectares to the landowners and the consequent termination of the employees working in the said 105 hectares. The Petitioner told the Private Respondent that it would pay separation pay of one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service. Afterwards, several meetings between the Petitioner and the 2
demanded for separation pay of one (1) month salary for every year of service for the employees affected. On July 24, 2008, the Petitioner through its Production Manager Nilo Yambao served notices of termination to the affected employees, copy furnished the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The termination was to be effective August 24, 2008. The fact of the termination of the affected employees was also furnished to the DOLE. In the said notices, the affected employees were informed that they would be paid separation pay equivalent to one-half month salary for every year of service inasmuch as all of them had rendered services of not less than one (1) year. Sample copies of the notices of termination are attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEXES “F” to “F-17” and copies of the report to the DOLE are attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEXES “G” to “G-5”.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
The Private Respondent lodged a complaint before the Office of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) because it demanded for the payment of separation pay of 100% or 1 month salary for every year of service but that the Petitioner could only afford to pay 50% or ½ month salary for every year of service. No settlement was reached. In the last scheduled hearing on August 20, 2009 before the NCMB, the Petitioner maintained that it would only pay ½ month salary for every year of service while the Private Respondent also remained resolute on its demand for 1 month salary for every year of service. The NCMB then suggested to the parties to submit the case to voluntary arbitration. However, the Petitioner refused because the issue on whether or not the separation pay should be ½ month salary for every year of service or 1 month salary for every year of service, is not within the jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator. The Petitioner manifested that it is willing to meet the issue in the proper forum which is the Labor Arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Copy of the Minutes of the conference before the NCMB is 3
Pursuant to the Notice to Arbitrate. On September 17. 2008. 2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “N”. Copy of the Notice to Arbitrate is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX“I”. the Petitioner filed a Manifestation reiterating its stand not to pursue voluntary arbitration because the issue involved is a termination dispute which is within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. 2008. 2008. 2008 setting the meeting for the selection of a Voluntary Arbitrator on August 28. On August 28. the NCMB issued another Notice of Conference setting a second meeting for the selection of voluntary arbitrator on September 3. a Notice to Arbitrate was filed by the Private Respondent raising as issue the Redundancy Program of the Petitioner. 2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “J”. 2008. 2008. 2008. 2008. the NCMB through its Officer-in-Charge SID TOLERO replied to the Petitioner’s series of Manifestations essentially saying that the Petitioner may raise its objections upon the commencement of the voluntary arbitration meeting but not yet within the level of the NCMB. the termination of the employees in the 105 hectares became effective pursuant to the Notice of Termination issued to the same employees on July 24. Copy of the Notice of Conference dated August 28. Copy of the Notice of Conference dated August 22. Copy of the Manifestation is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “K”. Copy of the Supplemental Manifestation is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “M”. On August 21. the NCMB issued a Notice of Conference on August 22. On August 24. 2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “L”. the Petitioner filed a Supplemental Manifestation before the NCMB again reiterating its stand that it prefers to have the matter resolved by the Labor Arbiter which has jurisdiction over the issue. 4 . Copy of the letter dated September 17.attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “H”. Thus. 2008. On August 28.
2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “R”. 2008. 2009. Copy of the Order dated October 12. The Petitioner also manifested that from the very beginning at the level of the NCMB. 2008. the Petitioner received copy of the Private Respondent’s Position Paper and on January 5. the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator stated that he will consider the letter of the Petitioner as its Position Paper. the parties were directed to submit their respective Position Papers within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of the Order.” In the same Order. Copy of the Order dated November 11. SEVERINO NATUTO. 2008. 2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “Q”. In an Order dated November 11. the only issue in the case referred to him was “WHETHER OR NOT THE PAYMENT OF SEPARATION PAY IN THE REDUNDANCY OF THE AFFECTED NINETY TWO (92) WORKERS OF DELICIOSO CORPORATION IS 100% OR ONE (1) MONTH SALARY PER YEAR OF SERVICE OR 50% OR ½ MONTH SALARY PER YEAR OF SERVICE. the Voluntary Arbitrator issued an Order stating that after going over the Submission Agreement. the NCMB proceeded to select a voluntary arbitrator in the person of HON. 2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “O”. the Petitioner replied to the letter dated September 17. Copy of the letter dated October 31. On October 31.Despite the objections of the Petitioner. 2008 clarifying its position that the case is not within the jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator and requesting for a ruling on the issue of whether or not the voluntary arbitrator has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the termination dispute. the Petitioner sent a letter to the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator explaining that there was no Submission Agreement because the Petitioner did not agree to refer the matter to voluntary arbitration. the Petitioner 5 . On October 12. Copy of the letter dated October 6. the Petitioner had objected to a referral to voluntary arbitration because the issue involved is not within the jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator. 2008. On December 3. 2008. 2008 is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “P”. On October 6.
Copies of the Private Respondent’s Position Paper and Supplement to the Position Paper are attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEXES “S” and “S-1”. demands. and discharged the Petitioner and held the Petitioner free and harmless from any and all claims. Release and Quitclaims are attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEXES “U” to “U-4”. d. MIGUELITO VALERA – as of the present. Sample copies of the vouchers evidencing payment are attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEXES “T” to “T-4” while sample copies of the Waiver. c. he is still processing the signing of his clearance for the purpose of 6 . all employees received their separation pay and signed the corresponding Waiver. Release and Quitclaim. and other benefits. h. demised. Only the following persons did not yet receive their separation pay: a. FELIX UNO MORGANO TABO ROEL LOCSIN ANANIAS MESA JUVY UY NESTOR CONANAN BENJIE JOAQUIN– as of the present. g. In the meantime while the case was pending. allowances. he is still processing the signing of his clearance for the purpose of accepting his separation pay of ½ month salary for every year of service and signing the corresponding Waiver. damages or other causes of action arising out of their employment with the Petitioner by way of salaries. e.received a Supplement to the Position Paper also filed by the Private Respondent. f. wages. b. Release and Quitclaims wherein the separated employees released.
on December 27.” The Petitioner received a copy of the Decision dated December 27. on January 9. Copy of the Motion for Reconsideration is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “V”. 2008. Then. 2009. 2008. who are affected by its cessation of operation pursuant to the notices of company cessation of operation. 2009. the Petitioner received a copy of the Order issued by the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator on June 15. 2009. the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “X”. a copy of which is attached to the Petition for Certiorari as ANNEX “W”. 2009. On June 22. 2008 the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator rendered a Decision. dated July 24. 2009 denying the Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration and directing that a writ of execution be issued to enforce the Decision dated December 27.accepting his separation pay of ½ month salary for every year of service and signing the Waiver. Release and Quitclaim. the Private Respondent filed a Comment/Opposition to the Motion for Reconsideration with Motion for Execution. as amended. copy of which is attached to ISSUES 7 . The Petitioner filed a Reply on March 23. On March 17. the dispositive portion of which provides: “WHEREFORE PREMISES CONSIDERED. based on Article 283 of the Labor Code of the Philippines. the Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Those employees who are affected by this case who only rendered less than a year shall only be entitled to one-half (1/2) month retirement pay. On January 19. 2008. respondent DELICIOSO CORPORATION is directed to pay members of the DELICIOSO EMPLOYEES UNION. 2009.
and 3. Whether or not the Decision of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator in VA Case No. instant case due to lack of jurisdiction. As early as when the instant case was still under conciliation/mediation with the NCMB and until the instant case was referred by the NCMB to the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator. to the selection of a voluntary arbitrator. the Petitioner never wavered in its objection to the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator’s assumption of jurisdiction. and to any other proceeding that will be undertaken in the level of the voluntary arbitrator. the Petitioner requested the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator to dismiss the However. the Honorable .Consolidating involved are: the matters raised by the parties in their respective pleadings in the instant Petition for Certiorari. Whether or not the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the case lodged by the Private Respondents. Whether or not the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ruling that the Private Respondents are entitled to 100% or 1 month salary for every year of service despite the clear mandate of Article 283 of the Labor Code. 2. AC-522-88-123-10 has become final and executory. the Petitioner had consistently manifested its continuing objection to the referral of the case to voluntary arbitration. ARGUMENTS/DISCUSSIONS WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR ACTED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF HIS JURISDICTION IN TAKING COGNIZANCE OF THE CASE LODGED BY THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS From the very beginning. 8 In fact. the issues 1.
the Honorable Voluntary Arbiter merely stated in the Decision dated December 27. 442. CIR (69 PHIL. 2008. 4) The evidence must be substantial. 2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented. 3) The decision must have something to support itself. and where in the Labor Code did he base his authority. or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. No. which includes the right to present one’s case and submit evidence in support thereof. we believe and submit that we have jurisdiction over this case pursuant to Article 283 of the Labor Code as amended provides: “ Clearly. INC. the Supreme Court laid down the cardinal rights of parties in administrative proceedings.R. No. as amended. 2008 that: “After going over the Labor Code of the Philippines P. the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator arrogated unto himself jurisdiction over the case without even clearly saying why. in resolving the question of jurisdiction. 5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing.D. 635) and reiterated in the recent case of SOLID HOMES. how.. Then.Voluntary Arbiter still proceeded to take cognizance of the case which culminated in the issuance of the Decision dated December 27. April 8. as follows: “1) The right to a hearing. 2008) . 166051. 6) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy and not simply 9 . In the landmark case of ANG TIBAY V. EVELINA LASERNA and GLORIA CAJIPE (G. vs.
the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator did not even bother to state why it has jurisdiction pursuant to the Labor Code of the Philippines. gross violations of Collective Bargaining Agreement 10 . the Labor Code of the Philippines clearly shows that the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator has no jurisdiction. and the reason for the decision rendered. parties various in to all the controversial question. For purposes of this article. 7) The a board manner can or body the the should. . except those which are gross in character. Accordingly. On the contrary. render its decision in such that know proceeding issues involved.” (Emphasis supplied) In the questioned Decision. shall no longer be treated as unfair labor practice and shall be resolved as grievances under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. To be precise. 261.The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies referred to in the immediately preceding article. violations of a Collective Bargaining Agreement.accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. Jurisdiction of Voluntary Arbitrators or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. viz: “Art. Article 261 of the Labor Code plainly provides that the jurisdiction of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator is limited to hearing and deciding all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies.
This issue is essentially a terminate dispute. The Commission. COURT OF APPEALS (G. No. As stated by the High Court: “Private respondents attempt to justify the conferment of jurisdiction over the case on the Voluntary Arbitrator on the ground that the issue involves the proper interpretation and implementation of the Grievance Procedure found in the CBA. They point out that when petitioner sought the assistance of his Union to avail of the grievance machinery.R.shall mean flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions of such agreement. this cannot be considered an issue pertaining to an interpretation or implementation of a provision in the Collective bargaining Agreement (CBA). 138938. grievances or matters under the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators and shall immediately dispose and refer the same to the Grievance Machinery or Voluntary Arbitration provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 11 . its Regional Offices and the Regional Directors of the Department of Labor and Employment shall not entertain disputes. 2000). (Emphasis supplied) It is very clear that the issue raised by the Private Respondent Union in the Notice to Arbitrate pertains to the Redundancy Program implemented by the Petitioner and specifically refers to the amount of separation pay that its members are claiming. the Supreme Court held that if the issue is the termination of employees. In the case of CELESTINO VIVIERO vs. October 24. he in effect submitted himself to the procedure set forth in the CBA regarding submission of unresolved grievances to a Voluntary Arbitrator.
Absent such express stipulation. i. This was clearly discussed and explained by the Supreme Court in the case of CELESTINO VIVIERO vs. The issue of whether there was proper interpretation provisions and implementation into play only of the CBA the comes because grievance procedure provided for in the CBA was not observed after he sought his Union’s assistance in contesting his termination.. stipulation in There is a need for an express the CBA that illegal termination disputes should be resolved by a Voluntary Arbitrator or Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. then there would be no reason to invoke the need to interpret and implement the CBA provisions properly. It is clear from the claim/assistance request submitted petitioner to AMOSUP that he was challenging the legality of his dismissal for lack of cause and lack of due process. since the same fall within a special class of disputes that are generally within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters by express provision of law. COURT OF APPEALS. the question to be resolved necessarily springs from the primary issue of whether there was a valid termination. to wit: “XXX.The argument is untenable. supra. contract- 12 .e. without this.” Moreover. The form case is by primarily a termination dispute. the phrase “all disputes” does not embrace termination disputes without an express stipulation that it should extend to termination disputes. the phrase "all disputes" should be construed as limited to the areas of conflict traditionally within the jurisdiction of Voluntary Arbitrators. Thus. even if the CBA provides that all disputes shall be settled through the grievance machinery and eventually by voluntary arbitration. disputes relating to contract-interpretation.
NLRC. benefits. promotions. the matter of giving one half month salary for every year of service to the employees terminated by reason of retrenchment does not involve a company personnel policy. transfer and other personnel movements. As discussed by the Supreme Court in the case of UNION OF NESTLE WORKERS CAGAYAN DE ORO FACTORY vs. Furthermore. of employees and include.not falling within any of these categories .” The instant case does not involve a procedure in the administration of wages. Illegal termination disputes .R. this Court held: “Company personnel policies are guiding principles stated in broad. 13 .should then be considered as a special area of interest governed by a specific provision of law. INC. promotions. No. 148303. vs..implementation. October 17. benefits. transfer personnel movements which are usually not spelled out in the collective agreement. In San Miguel Corp. and among other others. (G. long-range terms that express the philosophy or beliefs of an organization’s top authority regarding personnel matters. or interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies. NESTLE PHILPPINES. Rather. 2002): “XXX. it is a termination issue involving the retrenchment of employees and the separation pay that must be given them. They the deal with matter affecting efficiency and well-being procedure in the administration of wages.
1998): “However. The dismissal of the petitioner does not call for the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies but is a termination dispute which comes under the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. "Since there has been an actual termination. 142244. 2002 ) where the Supreme Court held that: 14 .R. November 18. INC. xxx As we ruled in Sanyo. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (G. June 5. Note the phrase "unresolved grievances." The aforequoted doctrine is applicable foursquare in petitioner's case.” The same pronouncement was reiterated in the case of ATLAS FARMS. the issue ceased to be an unresolved grievance. vs. the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the labor Arbiter. NATIONAL RELATIONS MANILA MIDTOWN HOTEL (G. the termination of petitioner is not an unresolved grievance.R. 2008. No." In the case at bar. Thus. Article 217 (c) should be read in conjunction with Article 261 of the Labor Code which grants to voluntary arbitrators original and exclusive jurisdiction grievances to hear of and from the decide the all unresolved or bargaining arising interpretation implementation collective agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies. No. As held by the Supreme Court in the LABOR case of ROSARIO COMMISSION MANEJA and vs. there is no longer room for interpretation or implementation of the collective bargaining agreement and for the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies.When the affected employees were eventually terminated on August 24. 124013.
in the absence of a submission agreement conformed to by the Petitioner.” In addition. Rather. where there with was already violation actual of the termination. it is already cognizable by the labor arbiter. Where the dispute is just in the interpretation. thus placing them within the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter. Even if voluntary arbitration is preferred by the Private Respondent. no party should be compelled to submit to the same if the issues can be effectively addressed by the appropriate forum. The Private Respondent has other remedies before the proper forum and it is not precluded from availing of those remedies. Article 283 of the Labor Code merely provides for the right of the employer to terminate an employee due to the installation of laborsaving devices. Voluntary arbitration is essentially what its nomenclature suggests --that it is voluntary. But. Article 283 of the Labor Code relied upon by the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator as basis of his taking cognizance of the case does not mention at all the jurisdiction of voluntary arbitrators. and the separation pay that must be paid in these situations. alleged employee’s rights. implementation or enforcement stage. Thus. or brought to voluntary arbitration. Thus. it can be said that the cases were effectively removed from the jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator. this alone would not suffice because the preference of the Petitioner should also be considered. redundancy. He is rather part of a system of self- 15 . retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation.“Given the fact of dismissal. An arbitrator is not a public tribunal imposed upon the parties by a superior authority which the parties are obliged to accept. it may be referred to the grievance machinery set up in the CBA. He has no general character to administer justice for a community which transcends the parties. Likewise significant is the fact that the Petitioner did not sign any Submission Agreement in the instant case. there is no basis in referring the instant case to voluntary arbitration.
New York. 73). WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN RULING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO 100% OR 1 MONTH SALARY FOR EVERY YEAR OF SERVICE DESPITE THE CLEAR MANDATE OF ARTICLE 283 OF THE LABOR CODE The Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator arbitrarily. the union already lost representation of these affected employees unless the employees themselves gave a special power of attorney authorizing the Private Respondent union to represent them. With respect to the persons of the affected employees themselves. The representation of the Private Respondent union insofar as the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Petitioner is concerned. The records show that no such special power of attorney exists. MORGANO TABO. by the actual termination of the affected employees. are not interested to pursue the case because they already accepted their separation pay and signed their Waiver. the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator has no jurisdiction to award to them the separation pay of 100% or 1 month pay for every year of service because as already discussed above. Release and Quitclaims (ANNEXES “U” to “U-4” of the Petition for Certiorari) even while the case was pending before the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator. is only with respect to unresolved grievances. the issue ceased to be an unresolved grievance. ANANIAS MESA. p. 1974. Instead. American Management Association. Arbitration of Labor Management Disputes. except for FELIX UNO. the records would show that the affected employees. 16 . ROEL LOCSIN. Trotta.government created by and confined to the parties ( Maurice S. JUVY UY and NESTOR CONANAN. Hence. by the eventual termination of these employees. capriciously. and whimsically ruled that Private Respondents are entitled to 100% or 1 month salary for every year of service despite the clear mandate of Article 283 of the Labor Code.
to wit: a. based on the conciliation and mediation proceedings as well as the Position Paper filed by the Private Respondent. the Private Respondent does not dispute the fact that the Petitioner terminated employees. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. redundancy. it is not disputed by the Private Respondent that the terminated employees came from the 105 hectares which were returned to the landowners.Again. c. Third. the Petitioner would like to point out the admitted and established facts. However. Without prejudice to the Petitioner’s objection to the jurisdiction of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator. Fourth. The Petitioner does not dispute the application of Article 283 of the Labor Code insofar as the payment of separation pay is concerned. Article 283 of the Labor Code provides that: “Art. b. the resolution of this issue should properly be referred to the Labor Arbiter. the Petitioner in fact relied on Article 283 as its basis in the termination of the effected employees and the computation of separation pay. — The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor saving devices. and d. taking into account that the issue is a termination dispute. its is not disputed by the Private Respondent that the Petitioner ceased operations in Tampakan. retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of 17 . South Cotabato over 105 hectares. 283. Second. Taking into account the foregoing facts.
whichever is higher. whichever is higher. whichever is higher. he should be paid equivalent to 1 month pay because if the computation is ½ month pay for every year of service. he is entitled to ½ month pay for every year of service because it is higher than 1 month’s pay. the separated employee is given at least 1 month pay because it is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or under taking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses. if the cessation of business operations is not due to serious business losses or financial reverses. If the employee has served for two years or more. Hence. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year. If the closure or cessation of business operations is due to serious business losses or financial reverses. the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service . In the case of GALAXIE STEEL WORKERS UNION (GSWU-NAFLU18 . the computation of separation pay should be one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service.operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title. Meaning. In case of termination due to the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy.” (Underlining supplied) Based on the afore-cited provision of law. the Labor Code does not impose any obligation upon the employer to pay separation benefits. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year. the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service. by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. if the employee concerned has served for one (1) year or less. the latter would yield a lower result.
2006). 165757. vs. recognizes “the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments. To require an employer to be generous when it is no longer in a position to do so. No. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. in Cama v.” In line with this protection afforded to business by the fundamental law. the Supreme Court held: “In North Davao Mining Corporation v.. Explaining the policy distinction in Article 283 of the Labor Code. In other words. Article 283 of the Labor Code does not obligate an employer to pay separation benefits when the closure is due to serious losses. GALAXIE STEEL CORPORATION and RICARDO CHENG (G. and the law in protecting the rights of the working man. while affording full protection to labor. National Labor Relations Commission. declared: The Constitution. the closure then is due to serious business losses. would be unduly oppressive. Article 283 of the Labor Code clearly makes a policy distinction. Ours is a system of laws. nonetheless. and to expansion and growth. ET.R. and unfair to the employer. unjust. in our view. Joni’s Food Services. Inc.KMU). It is only in instances of “retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses” that employees whose employment has been terminated as a result are entitled to separation pay. 19 . October 17. AL. this Court. this Court held that Article 283 governs the grant of separation benefits "in case of closures or cessation of operation" of business establishments "NOT due to serious business losses or financial reverses x x x" Where. the Labor Code does not impose any obligation upon the employer to pay separation benefits.
there is no need for the Petitioner to furnish the Private Respondent the audited financial statements inasmuch as the Petitioner’s financial standing is no longer in issue. ET. and with all due respect. Rather. To interpret Article 283 to mean as mandating 1 month salary for every year of service or ½ month pay for every year of service. whichever is higher. whichever is higher. would lead to absurd results.” It should be noted and considered that even if the cessation of the Petitioner’s operations over the 105 hectares was due to serious business losses and therefore the Petitioner is legally not obligated to pay separation pay as held in the case of GALAXIE STEEL WORKERS UNION (GSWU-NAFLU-KMU).authorizes neither the oppression nor the selfdestruction of the employer. there would have been no more need for Article 283 to use the words “whichever is higher” because “1 month salary for every year of service” is always higher than “½ month pay for every year of service. This is obviously. The financial standing of the employer would only be an issue if the employer will 20 . No. With this. The payment of 1 month pay is not for every year of service. it is paid only when the employee has rendered service of 1 year or less. Had this been the interpretation or intention of the law. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. vs. the Petitioner. October 17.R. still offered to pay ½ month salary for every year of service. 165757. GALAXIE STEEL CORPORATION and RICARDO CHENG (G. the offer was to pay ½ month salary for every year of service to all because all the affected employees rendered service for more than one (1) year. One month pay is the minimum that the separated employee is entitled to receive. the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator interpreted Article 283 as authorizing the payment of 1 month salary for every year of service or ½ month pay for every year of service. 2006). To clarify. out of generosity. an erroneous interpretation. AL. x x x (Emphasis supplied)” However.
supra: “To require an employer to be generous when it is no longer in a position to do so. It would be grossly unfair for the Petitioner to be penalized on the basis of its past generosity. would be unduly oppressive. and the law in protecting the rights of authorizes oppression nor the self-destruction of the employer.allege that it will not pay separation pay due to serious business losses. Lastly. Ours is a system of neither the laws. there is no previous company practice of paying 1 month pay for every year of service to all separated employees. whichever is higher. Whatever generosity which the Petitioner might have extended in the past should not be used against it now in compelling it to give more than what the law provides. AC-522-88-123-10 HAS BECOME FINAL AND EXECUTORY 21 . GALAXIE STEEL CORPORATION and RICARDO CHENG. in our view. and unfair to the employer. What the Petitioner company takes into consideration is what the law mandates and its own financial capability to give over and above what the law provides. vs. offered to pay ½ month pay for every year of service even if it is already suffering losses. the working man. ET. x x x” WHETHER OR NOT THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR IN VA CASE NO. Hence. with or without the Petitioner’s audited financial statements. To reiterate the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of GALAXIE STEEL WORKERS UNION (GSWU-NAFLU-KMU). NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. the payment of ½ month salary for every year of service is in accordance with law. AL. unjust. However. the Petitioner in the instant case. in cases of cessation or closure of operations not due to serious business losses or financial reverses. because Article 283 authorizes the payment of 1 month pay or ½ month pay for every year of service.
although the Employees Compensation Commission is also provided for in the Labor Code. viz: “The voluntary arbitrator no less performs a state function pursuant to a governmental power delegated to him under the provisions therefor in the Labor Code and he falls. not yet final and executory after ten (10) days. 129 whose orders. which is the forerunner of the present Revised Administrative Circular No.The Private Respondents aver that the Decision of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator in VA Case No.R. within the contemplation of the term "instrumentality" in the aforequoted Sec. ASSOCIATION OF LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK EMPLOYEES (G. 1995) and reiterated in several recent jurisprudence. it has been clarified as early as in the case of LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK vs. therefore. 120319 October 6. Such contention of the Respondents is misplaced. 191. 9 of B.P. The fact that his functions and powers are provided for in the Labor Code does not place him within the exceptions to said Sec. 129. decisions. laid down the procedure for the appealability of its decisions to the 22 . It will be noted that. First. AC-522-88-123-10 has become final and executory because the Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration did not toll the running of the prescriptive period within which to file an appropriate appeal by petition for review and that the Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is an erroneous remedy because the proper mode should have been a Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. that the decisions of the Voluntary Arbitrators are in reality. No. Circular No. 1-95. or resolutions can still be elevated to the Court of Appeals. The remedies provided for under the Rules of Court would still apply inasmuch as Voluntary Arbitrators are covered by the term “instrumentality” mentioned in Batas Pambansa Blg. 9 since he is a quasi-judicial instrumentality as contemplated therein.
2007).P. the Supreme Court clarified that a party aggrieved by a decision of the Voluntary Arbitrator has the remedy of either a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court or a 23 . notwithstanding the language of Department Order No. the decision or award of the voluntary arbitrator or panel of arbitrators should likewise be appealable to the Court of Appeals. No. the original purpose of Circular No. 9 of B. 157775. 129.Court of Appeals under the foregoing rationalization.” (Emphasis supplied) Thus. in line with the procedure outlined in Revised Administrative Circular No. and this was later adopted by Republic Act No. A fortiori. vs LEYECO IV EMPLOYEES UNION-ALU (G. Nor will it run counter to the legislative intendment that decisions of the NLRC be reviewable directly by the Supreme Court since. boards and commissions enumerated therein. the cases within the adjudicative competence of the voluntary arbitrator are excluded from the jurisdiction of the NLRC or the labor arbiter. 1-95. This would be in furtherance of. not by Department Order No. In the case of LEYTE IV ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE. 40-03 but by the Rules of Court and the reglementary period for such review is likewise governed. 40-03 but by the Rules of Court . October 19. 7902 in amending Sec. 129 by either the Constitution or another statute. 9 of B. 1-91 to provide a uniform procedure for the appellate review of adjudications of all quasi-judicial entities not expressly excepted from the coverage of Sec. it is very clear that a review of the decisions of Voluntary Arbitrators is governed not by Department Order No. 4003 relied upon by the Respondents. and consistent with. precisely.R. INC. just like those of the quasi-judicial agencies.P.
Earlier. we emphasized thus: [I]t has been said that a wide breadth of discretion is granted a court of justice in certiorari proceedings. Thus.” So it is that the writ will be 24 . The cases in which certiorari will issue cannot be defined. People.special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the proper remedy for one who complains that the tribunal. board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions Court acted in in total disregard v. because to do so would be to destroy its comprehensiveness and usefulness. As this elucidated Garcia National Relations Commission – [I]n Ong v. we ruled that certiorari can be properly resorted to where the factual findings complained of are not supported by the evidence on record. to wit: “This ruling has been repeatedly reiterated in subsequent cases and continues to be the controlling doctrine. So wide is the discretion of the court that authority is not wanting to show that certiorari is more discretionary than either prohibition or mandamus. in Gutib v. we are to be guided by all the circumstances of each particular case “as the ends of justice may require. Court of Appeals. the general rule is that the proper remedy from decisions of voluntary arbitrators is a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. of evidence Labor material to or decisive of the controversy. Nonetheless. In the exercise of our superintending control over inferior courts.
169332.” This same ruling was also made in the case of ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION vs.. Semana. Court of Appeals. is a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. Borromeo . we hold the same to be in accordance with the Constitution and jurisprudence. and Nippon Paint Employees Union-Olalia v. (G. No. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice and to settle actual and to controversies involving rights which are legally demandable enforceable. These cases held that the proper remedy from the adverse decision of a voluntary arbitrator. petitioner's contention that it may avail of a petition for review under Rule 43 under the circumstances of this case is correct. WORLD INTERACTIVE NETWORK SYSTEMS (WINS) JAPAN CO. 2008). Section 1 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides that: SECTION 1. LTD. determine whether or not there has been 25 .granted where necessary to prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial justice.R. viz: This rule was cited in Sevilla Trading Company v. wherein the Supreme Court enumerated the instances when Rule 65 may be resorted to. Thus. February 11. Manila Midtown Hotel v. As to petitioner's arguments that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 may also be resorted to.. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. if errors of fact and/or law are raised.
or mixed questions of fact and law. (2) a petition for review in the CA under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court on and 26 questions of fact. Any agreement stipulating that the decision of the arbitrator shall be final and unappealable and that no further judicial recourse if either party disagrees with the whole or any part of the arbitrator's award may be availed of cannot be held to preclude in proper cases the power of judicial review which is inherent in courts. We will not hesitate to review a voluntary arbitrator's award where there is a showing of grave abuse of authority or discretion and such is properly raised in a petition for certiorari and there is no appeal. Significantly. (Emphasis supplied) As may be gleaned from the above stated provision. such as a voluntary arbitrator. it is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether any instrumentality of the Government. Far East Bank and Trust Company definitively outlined several judicial remedies an aggrieved party to an arbitral award may undertake: (1) a petition in the proper RTC to issue an order to vacate the award on the grounds provided for in Section 24 of RA 876. speedy remedy in the course of law. . of law.a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. has gravely abused its discretion in the exercise of its functions and prerogatives. nor any plain. Insular Savings Bank v.
2008). to wit: “We are not unmindful of instances when certiorari was granted despite the availability of appeal. vs. the Supreme Court likewise recognized that a Petition for Certiorari would be granted if the following circumstances are present.” Then.(3) a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court should the arbitrator have acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction or to lack or with grave excess of abuse of discretion amounting jurisdiction. or (d) when the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority. such as (a) when public welfare and the advancement of public policy dictates. INC. NACINO (G. which is a termination dispute.R. February 12. XXX” It bears emphasizing that the Decision dated December 27. As already discussed above. CHELLY P. Article 261 of the Labor Code plainly provides that the jurisdiction of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator is limited to hearing and deciding all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those 27 . in the case of AMA COMPUTER COLLEGE-SANTIAGO CITY. This was the consistent objection raised by the Petitioner from the very beginning that the Respondents insisted to refer the case to voluntary arbitration. (c) when the writs issued are null and void. 2008 issued by the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator is being assailed as null and void because the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the issue raised therein. No. (b) when the broader interest of justice so requires. 162739.
The Petitioner filed his Petition for Certiorari only on July 27. the Petitioner therein also filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision of the Voluntary Arbitrator on April 11. Hence.arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies. LEYECO IV EMPLOYEES UNION-ALU. as amended pursuant to A. because of the nullity of the questioned Decision as having been issued without jurisdiction. INC. 2002. 2007. The Petitioner by filing a motion for reconsideration. was merely requesting the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator to rectify the error it committed before the Petitioner will avail of the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. In fact.M. None of these instances are present in the instant case. 2002. it was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator to have insisted his jurisdiction when he clearly did not have jurisdiction. There was likewise no Submission Agreement to which the Petitioner was a signatory. 2001 which motion was denied by the Voluntary Arbitrator in a Resolution which was received by the Petitioner on June 27. supra. In the said case. in the same case of LEYTE IV ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE. Jurisdiction was not legally conferred upon the Voluntary Arbitrator just because the Respondents insisted to refer the case to voluntary arbitration. vs. the deprivation of due process on the part of the Petitioner. which states that: 28 . and the total disregard by the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator of evidence material to or decisive of the controversy. the proper remedy is not a Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court but Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the same rules. the Supreme Court considered the motion for reconsideration as having tolled the reglementary period because it counted the reglementary period only upon the receipt by the Petitioner therein of the Voluntary Arbitrator’s Resolution denying the Motion for Reconsideration. 07-7-12-SC issued on December 4. In the instant case. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. No. That the reglementary period shall be counted only from the receipt of the resolution on the motion for reconsideration is likewise clear under Section 4.
3) To permanently enjoin the Public and Private Respondents from implementing or executing the Decision dated December 27. The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment. it is incorrect to say that the Decision of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator already became final and executory ten (10) days from receipt thereof by the parties. 40-03. When and where to file the petition.” (Emphasis supplied) Thus. 2009 of the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator. annul and set aside the Decision dated December 27. PRAYER WHEREFORE. premises considered. The instant Petition being made to the Honorable Court of Appeals. whether such motion is required or not.“Sec. 2) To review. 2009. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed. 2008 and the Order dated June 15. 2009. not Department Order No. the petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days counted from the notice of the denial of the motion. the proper procedure that should govern is that laid down under the Rules of Court. 4. 2008 and the Order dated June 15. order or resolution. 29 . 2008 and the Order dated June 15. it is most respectfully prayed that the Honorable Court of Appeals would grant the following relief to the Petitioner: 1) To find that the Honorable Voluntary Arbitrator SEVERINO NATUTO acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction in issuing the Decision dated December 27. reverse.
Philippines. By: ________________________________ Counsel for the Petitioner 30 . 2010. Respectfully submitted this 8th day of July.4) To grant such other reliefs which are just and equitable in the premises. at Davao City (for Cagayan de Oro City).
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