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Yokohama Tire Phils. Vs. Yokohama Employees Union G.R. No.

163532, March 10, 2010 Facts: Yokohama Employees Union (YEU) is the labor organization of the rank-and-file employees of Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc. (YTPI). YEU was registered as a legitimate labor labor union on 10 September 1999. YEU filed before the Regional Office a petition for certification election. YTPI filed a petition in the Regional Office for the revocation of YEUs registration alleging fraud and misrepresentation. YTPI alleged that YEU violated Article 239(a) of the Labor Code: (1) YEU fraudulently included the signature of a certain Ronald O. Pineda (Pineda) in the organizational documents; (2) Pineda was not aware of any election of union officers; (3) YEU fraudulently obtained the employees signatures by making them believe that they were signing a petition for a 125% increase in the minimum wage, not a petition for registration; (4) the employees did not belong to a single bargaining unit; and (5) YEU fraudulently stated in its organizational meeting minutes that its second vice president was Bernard David, not Bernardo David. YTPIs petition was granted and YEU appealed to the BLR, which reversed the decision. The BLR found that (1) Pineda did not approach any officer of YEU to have his signature removed from the organizational documents; (2) Pinedas affidavit that no election of officers took place was unreliable and inconsistent with his earlier written statement; (3) the affidavit of a certain Rachelle Gonzales (Gonzales) that no election of officers took place was unreliable and inconsistent with her earlier resignation letter; (4) the affidavit of a certain Arthur Calma (Calma) did not state that no election of officers took place; (5) at least 82 other members of YEU did not question the legality of YEUs organization; and (6) 50 YEU members executed a Sama-Samang Pahayagwhich alleged that they have indeed attended a meeting for the purpose of organizing and ratifying their Union By Laws and that the employees did not question the legality of YEUs organization. The BLR also held that although the SamaSamang Pahayag did not specifically mention that an election took place during the organizational meeting, it may be possible that the same was conducted and that any infirmity in the election of union officers may be remedied under the last paragraph of Article 241 of the Labor Code and under Rule XIV of DOLE Department Order No. 9. YTPI filed for a motion for reconsideration before the BLR, which was denied. Then a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 was filed in the CA, the same was denied, as well as the motion for reconsideration. Issue: Did YEU commit fraud and misrepresentation? Ruling: No. Whether YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation in failing to remove signatures of some employees from the list of employees who supported YEUs application for registration and whether YEU conducted an election of its officers are questions of fact. YTPI, being the one which filed the petition for the revocation of YEUs registration, had the burden of proving that YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation. The CA already ruled that YTPI failed to prove that YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation.

Factual findings of the CA and other lower tribunals are binding on the Court. A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court should include only questions of law questions of fact are not reviewable. A question of law exists when the doubt centers on what the law is on a certain set of facts, while a question of fact exists when the doubt centers on the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. There is a question of law if the issue raised is capable of being resolved without need of reviewing the probative value of the evidence. Once the issue invites a review of the evidence, the question is one of fact. The cancellation of union registration at the empl oyers instance, while permitted, must be approached with caution and strict scrutiny in order that the right to belong to a legitimate labor organization and to enjoy the privileges appurtenant to such membership will not be denied to the employees. As the applicant for cancellation, the petitioner naturally had the burden to present proof sufficient to warrant the cancellation. The petitioner was thus expected to satisfactorily establish that YEU committed misrepresentations, false statements or fraud in connection with the election of its officers, or with the minutes of the election of officers, or in the list of votes, as expressly required in Art. 239, (c), Labor Code. But, as the respondent BLR Director has found and determined, and We fully agree with him, the petitioner simply failed to discharge its burden. The charge that a labor organization committed fraud and misrepresentation in securing its registration is a serious charge and deserves close scrutiny. It is serious because once such charge is proved, the labor union

acquires none of the rights accorded to registered organizations. Consequently, charges of this nature should be clearly established by evidence and the surrounding circumstances. Petition denied.