This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
MARTINEZ, J.: Can the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), even without a complaint for illegal dismissal filed before the labor arbiter, entertain an action for injunction and issue such writ enjoining petitioner Philippine Airlines, Inc. from enforcing its Orders of dismissal against private respondents, and ordering petitioner to reinstate the private respondents to their previous positions? This is the pivotal issue presented before us in this petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court which seeks the nullification of the injunctive writ dated April 3,1995 issued by the NLRC and the Order denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration on the ground that the said Orders were issued in excess of jurisdiction. Private respondents are flight stewards of the petitioner. Both were dismissed from the service for their alleged involvement in the April 3, 1993 currency smuggling in Hong Kong. Aggrieved by said dismissal, private respondents filed with the NLRC a petition  for injunction praying that:
"I. Upon filing of this Petition, a temporary restraining order be issued, prohibiting respondents (petitioner herein) from effecting or enforcing the Decision dated Feb. 22, 1995, or to reinstate petitioners temporarily while a hearing on the propriety of the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is being undertaken; "II. After hearing, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction be issued ordering respondent to reinstate petitioners to their former positions pending the hearing of this case, or, prohibiting respondent from enforcing its Decision dated February 22,1995 while this case is pending adjudication; "III. After hearing, that the writ of preliminary injunction as to the reliefs sought for be made permanent, that petitioners be awarded full backwages, moral damages of PHP 500,000.00 each and exemplary damages of PHP 500,000.00 each, attorney‟s fees equivalent to ten percent of whatever amount is awarded, and the costs of suit."
On April 3, 1995, the NLRC issued a temporary mandatory injunction  enjoining petitioner to cease and desist from enforcing its February 22, 1995 Memorandum of dismissal. In granting the writ, the NLRC considered the following facts, to wit:
“x x x that almost two (2) years ago, i.e. on April 15, 1993, the petitioners were instructed to attend an investigation by respondent‟s „Security and Fraud Prevention Sub-Department‟ regarding an April 3, 1993 incident in Hongkong at which Joseph Abaca, respondent‟s Avionics Mechanic in Hongkong „was intercepted by the Hongkong Airport Police at Gate 05 xxx the ramp area of the Kai Tak International Airport while xxx about to exit said gate carrying a xxx bag said to contain some 2.5 million pesos in Philippine Currencies. That at the Police Station, Mr. Abaca claimed that he just found said plastic bag at the Skybed Section of the arrival flight PR300/03 April 93,‟ where petitioners served as flight stewards of said flight PR300; x x the petitioners sought „a more detailed account of what this HKG incident is all about‟; but instead, the petitioners were administratively charged, „a hearing‟ on which „did not push through‟ until almost two (2) years after, i.e. „on January 20, 1995 xxx where a confrontation between Mr. Abaca and petitioners herein was compulsorily arranged by the respondent‟s disciplinary board‟ at which hearing, Abaca was made to identify petitioners as co-conspirators; that despite the fact that the procedure of identification adopted by respondent‟s Disciplinary Board was anomalous „as there was no one else in the line-up (which could not be called one) but petitioners xxx Joseph Abaca still had difficulty in identifying petitioner Pineda as his co-conspirator, and as to petitioner Cabling, he was implicated and pointed by Abaca only after respondent‟s Atty. Cabatuando pressed the former to identify petitioner Cabling as co-conspirator‟; that with the hearing reset to January 25, 1995, „Mr. Joseph Abaca finally gave exculpating statements to the board in that he cleared petitioners from any participation or from being the owners of the currencies, and at which hearing Mr. Joseph Abaca volunteered the information that the real owner of said money was one who frequented his headquarters in Hongkong to which information, the Disciplinary Board Chairman, Mr. Ismael Khan,‟ opined „for the need for another hearing to go to the bottom of the incident‟; that from said statement, it appeared „that Mr. Joseph Abaca was the courier, and had another mechanic in Manila who hid the currency at the plane‟s skybed for Abaca to retrieve in Hongkong, which findings of how the money was found was previously confirmed by Mr. Joseph Abaca himself when he was first investigated by the Hongkong authorities‟; that just as petitioners „thought that they were already fully cleared of the charges, as they no longer received any summons/notices on the intended „additional hearings‟ mandated by the Disciplinary Board,‟ they were surprised to receive „on February 23, 1995 xxx a Memorandum dated February 22, 1995‟ terminating their services for
R. vs.1995. which. (3) the NLRC is empowered under Article 218 (e) of the Labor Code not only to restrain any actual or threatened commission of any or all prohibited or unlawful acts but also to require the performance of a particular act in any labor dispute. No.1993]. in violation of PAL's right to due process.. Juan Paraiso.in suspending the effects of termination when such action is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Labor. the NLRC adopted the view that: (1) private respondents cannot be validly dismissed on the strength of petitioner's Code of Discipline which was declared illegal by this Court in the case of PAL. Employees Union. if not restrained or performed forthwith. No. 1995. (2) the whimsical. 2. 1993. . . 107031. vs.alleged violation of respondent‟s Code of Discipline „effective immediately‟.A.R.DFA. January 25. Inc. . Chemo-Technische Mfg. amending Article 211 of the Labor Code. [G. that sometime xxx first week of March. likewise for violation of respondent‟s Code of Discipline. (G. x x x" In support of the issuance of the writ of temporary injunction. may cause grave or irreparable damage to any party.in ordering the reinstatement of private respondents on the basis of their mere allegations. Inc. . advising him of his termination effective February 3.in arrogating unto itself management prerogative to discipline its employees and divesting the labor arbiter of its original and exclusive jurisdiction over illegal dismissal cases. …in granting a temporary injunction order when the termination of private respondents have long been carried out. promulgated August 13. 5.. for the reason that it was formulated by the petitioner without the participation of its employees as required in R. 1995.. petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that the NLRC erred: 1. 4. …in granting a temporary injunction order when it has no jurisdiction to issue an injunction or restraining order since this may be issued only under Article 218 of the Labor Code if the case involves or arises from labor disputes. NLRC.. baseless and premature dismissals of private respondents which "caused them grave and irreparable injury" is enjoinable as private respondents are left "with no speedy and adequate remedy at law'"except the issuance of a temporary mandatory injunction. petitioner Pineda received another Memorandum from respondent Mr. 6715. 85985). and (4) the temporary mandatory power of the NLRC was recognized by this Court in the case of Chemo-Technicshe Mfg.al. On May 4.. 3. Inc. et.
three (3) years before it can be disposed of) while available as a remedy under Article 217 (a) of the Labor Code. what then is? xxx xxx xxx Anent respondent‟s second argument x x x. Chemo-Technishe Mfg..” (supra) and effectively enjoined one (1) month old dismissals by Chemo-Technische and that our aforesaid mandatory exercise of injunctive power. Inc. et. If security of tenure. the NLRC denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.. remedy at law. ruling: “The respondent (now petitioner). Employees Union-DFA et. Article 218 (e) of the Labor Code x x x empowered the Commission not only to issue a prohibitory injunction. for one. Ergo. a”(l) „Labor Dispute‟ includes any controversy or matter concerning terms or conditions of employment. but a mandatory (“to require the performance”) one as well. In requiring as a condition for the issuance of a 'temporary or permanent injunction'. when questioned through a petition for certiorari.6. Inc. is sought to be protected by our temporary mandatory injunction (the core of controversy in this case) is not a “term or condition of employment”. cannot validly claim that we cannot exercise our injunctive power under Article 218 (e) of the Labor Code on the pretext that what we have here is not a labor dispute as long as it concedes that as defined by law. which has been breached by respondent and which.1991) this temporary mandatory injunctive power in the case of “ChemoTechnische Mfg.. precisely. and not plain availability of a remedy at law as an alternative bar to the issuance of an injunction. is certainly not an 'adequate.'(4) That complainant has no adequate remedy at law. it cannot. xxx xxx xxx Respondent‟s fourth argument that petitioner's remedy for their dismissals is 'to file an illegal dismissal case against PAL which cases are within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter' is ignorant. Besides. al.in issuing the temporary injunction in the absence of any irreparable or substantial injury to both private respondents. was sustained by the Third Division of the Supreme court per its Resolution dated January 25. vs. as earlier discussed. as an ..' Article 218 (e) of the Labor Code clearly envisioned adequacy . An illegal dismissal suit (which takes.al.” . we already exercised (on August 23. On May 31.1995.1993. on its expeditious side. .
that reinstatement as well is the concern of said law. In labor cases.  Injunction is also a special equitable relief granted only in cases where there is no plain. through Article 218 (e) of the Labor Code (without need of an illegal dismissal suit under Article 217 (a) of the Code) if such whimsical and capricious act of illegal dismissal will 'cause grave or irreparable injury to a party'. bar our exercise of that injunctive power given us by Article 218 (e) of the Code. The essential conditions for granting such temporary injunctive relief are that the complaint alleges facts which appear to be sufficient to constitute a proper basis for injunction and that on the entire showing from the contending parties. after all. Actually. we have to stress that Article 279 does not speak alone of backwages as an obtainable relief for illegal dismissal. may cause grave and irreparable damage to any party'] stands as the sole 'adequate remedy at law' for petitioners here. enforceable when necessary. adequate and complete remedy at law. Generally. Article 218 (e). x x x "  Hence. It is not a cause of action in itself but merely a provisional remedy. and that consequently. xxx xxx xxx Thus. it can pay the latter its backwages. in its sixth argument claims that even if its acts of dismissing petitioners 'may be great. what respondent PAL argues here is that we need not interfere in its whimsical dismissals of petitioners as.alternative remedy. the respondent. still the same is capable of compensation'. Finally. Article 218 of the Labor Code empowers the NLRC- . as earlier discussed [which empowers this Commission 'to require the performance of a particular act' (such as our requiring respondent 'to cease and desist from enforcing' its whimsical memoranda of dismissals and 'instead to reinstate petitioners to their respective position held prior to their subject dismissals') in 'any labor dispute which. an adjunct to a main suit. injunction is a preservative remedy for the protection of one's substantive rights or interest. the injunction is reasonably necessary to protect the legal rights of the plaintiff pending the litigation. The application of the injunctive writ rests upon the existence of an emergency or of a special reason before the main case be regularly heard. 'injunction need not be issued where adequate compensation at law could be obtained'. if not xxx performed forthwith. the present recourse. It is resorted to only when there is a pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences which cannot be remedied under any standard of compensation. x x x But just the same.
1. may cause grave or irreparable damage to any party or render ineffectual any decision in favor of such party. which application if not granted "may cause grave or irreparable damage to any party or render ineffectual any decision in favor of such party. In the present case. Rule XI of the New Rules of Procedure of the NLRC. as amended. fixing. it is an essential requirement that there must first be a labor dispute between the contending parties before the labor arbiter. changing. Injunction in Ordinary Labor Dispute. if not restrained or performed forthwith. a civil action or suit. or arranging the terms and conditions of employment regardless of whether or not the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employers and employees. pertinently provides as follows: "Section 1." The term "controversy" is likewise defined as "a litigated question. which." (Emphasis Ours) Complementing the above-quoted provision." A "justiciable controversy" is "one involving an active antagonistic assertion of a legal right on one side and a denial thereof on the other concerning a real. when it is established on the bases of the sworn allegations in the petition that the acts complained of. either at law or in equity. if not restrained or performed forthwith. there is no labor dispute between the petitioner and . adversary proceeding in a court of law. may cause grave or irreparable damage to any party or render ineffectual any decision in favor of such party. and not a mere theoretical question or issue.  (Emphasis Ours) From the foregoing provisions of law.-A preliminary injunction or a restraining order may be granted by the Commission through its divisions pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (e) of Article 218 of the Labor Code. x x x." Taking into account the foregoing definitions. involving or arising from any labor dispute before the Commission. maintaining. Sec."(e) To enjoin or restrain any actual or threatened commission of any or all prohibited or unlawful acts or to require the performance of a particular act in any labor dispute which. a justiciable dispute." The term "labor dispute" is defined as "any controversy or matter concerning terms and conditions of employment or the association or representation of persons in negotiating. the power of the NLRC to issue an injunctive writ originates from "any labor dispute" upon application by a party thereof. xxx xxx xxx The foregoing ancillary power may be exercised by the Labor Arbiters only as an incident to the cases pending before them in order to preserve the rights of the parties during the pendency of the case. but excluding labor disputes involving strikes or lockout.
exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employer-employee relations. (2) Termination disputes.private respondents as there has yet been no complaint for illegal dismissal filed with the labor arbiter by the private respondents against the petitioner. social security. (3) If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement.  The jurisdiction conferred by the foregoing legal provision to the labor arbiter is both original and exclusive. hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment.00). rates of pay. and (6) Except claims for employees compensation.000. The petition for injunction directly filed before the NLRC is in reality an action for illegal dismissal. If one has already taken place at the time of assumption or certification. award of full backwages. the petition should have been filed with the labor arbiter who has the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases involving all workers. all striking or locked out . The only exceptions are where the Secretary of Labor and Employment or the NLRC exercises the power of compulsory arbitration. the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. (5) Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specified in the assumption or certification order. (4) Claims for actual. no other officer or tribunal can take cognizance of. involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P 5. moral and exemplary damages. hear and decide any of the cases therein enumerated. there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest. those cases that workers may file involving wages. As such. including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts. including those of persons in domestic or household service. whether or not accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. all other claims arising from employer-employee relations. This is clear from the allegations in the petition which prays for: reinstatement of private respondents. moral. and attorney's fees. or the parties agree to submit the matter to voluntary arbitration pursuant to Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code. the pertinent portions of which reads: "(g) When. in his opinion. whether agricultural or non-agricultural: (1) Unfair labor practice. meaning. medicare and maternity benefits.
"  It is a remedy which is equally beneficial. as shown earlier. the NLRC exceeded its jurisdiction when it issued the assailed Order granting private respondents' petition for injunction and ordering the petitioner to reinstate private respondents. the ordinary and proper recourse of an illegally dismissed employee is to file a complaint for illegal dismissal with the labor arbiter. has the ancillary power to issue preliminary injunctions or restraining orders as an incident in the cases pending before him in order to preserve the rights of the parties during the pendency of the case. Phipps. Under the Labor Code. The Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Commission may seek the assistance of law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with this provision as well as with such orders as he may issue to enforce the same. it is not susceptible of mathematical computation.employees shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. In Lamb vs. considering that Section 1 of Rule XI of the New Rules of Procedure of the NLRC makes injunction only an ancillary remedy in ordinary labor disputes"  Thus. An "adequate" remedy at law has been defined as one "that affords relief with reference to the matter in controversy. Furthermore. that is. the NLRC shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by labor arbiters as provided in Article 217(b) of the Labor Code. we ruled that if the remedy is specifically provided by law. The argument of the NLRC in its assailed Order that to file an illegal dismissal suit with the labor arbiter is not an "adequate" remedy since it takes three (3) years before it can be disposed of. the jurisdiction of the NLRC in illegal dismissal cases is appellate in nature and. It is considered irreparable injury when it cannot be adequately . therefore. xxx xxx xxx" On the other hand. it is presumed to be adequate. it cannot entertain the private respondents' petition for injunction which challenges the dismissal orders of petitioner. Article 218(e) of the Labor Code does not provide blanket authority to the NLRC or any of its divisions to issue writs of injunction. An injury is considered irreparable if it is of such constant and frequent recurrence that no fair and reasonable redress can be had therefor in a court of law. Moreover. and which is appropriate to the particular circumstances of the case. private respondents disregarded this rule and directly went to the NLRC through a petition for injunction praying that petitioner be enjoined from enforcing its dismissal orders. the preliminary mandatory injunction prayed for by the private respondents in their petition before the NLRC can also be entertained by the labor arbiter who. speedy and sufficient which will promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the acts complained of. In short.  In the case at bar. is patently erroneous. or where there is no standard by which their amount can be measured with reasonable accuracy. an examination of private respondents' petition for injunction reveals that it has no basis since there is no showing of any urgency or irreparable injury which the private respondents might suffer.
107031.. and the reply of the petitioners to private respondent's motion to dismiss the petition. there exists no "irreparable injury.1995. the issues raised and the arguments adduced in the petition for certiorari . we issued a Minute Resolution in the subject case stating as follows: "Considering the allegations contained.al. As correctly argued by the petitioner. as well as the comments of both public and private respondents thereon. WHEREFORE. Thus.. 000563-95. concur. vs. inclusive of allowances.R." It is clear from the above resolution that we did not in anyway sustain the action of the NLRC in issuing such temporary mandatory injunction but rather we dismissed the petition as the NLRC had yet to rule upon the motion for reconsideration filed by peitioner. are clearly absent in the present case. It has been the policy of the State to encourage the parties to use the nonjudicial process of negotiation and compromise. et. On January 25. Melo. SO ORDERED. Chemo-Technische Mfg. docketed as G. Article 279 of the Labor Code provides that an employee who is unjustly dismissed from employment shall be entitled to reinstatement. In the case at bar. mediation and arbitration. issued by the National Labor Relations Commission (First Division). The ruling of the NLRC that the Supreme Court upheld its power to issue temporary mandatory injunction orders in the case of Chemo-Technische Mfg. Inc.. however. and Mendoza. in NLRC NCR IC No. the petition is hereby GRANTED. Puno. Employees Union-DFA. no such pronouncement was made by this Court in said case. an injunction. and to other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. the alleged injury which private respondents stand to suffer by reason of their alleged illegal dismissal can be adequately compensated and therefore.al.compensated in damages due to the nature of the injury itself or the nature of the right or property injured or when there exists no certain pecuniary standard for the measurement of damages. Regalado (Chairman).1995 and May 31. JJ. is misleading. Finally. Inc. the Court Resolved to DENY the same for being premature. is not favored in labor law considering that it generally has not proved to be an effective means of settling labor disputes.  Thus. ." as defined above which would necessitate the issuance of the injunction sought for. as an extraordinary remedy. and to the payment of full backwages. injunctions may be issued only in cases of extreme necessity based on legal grounds clearly established. et.1993. No. without loss of seniority rights and other privileges. after due consultations or hearing and when all efforts at conciliation are exhausted which factors. are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.. the minute resolution denying the petition for being prematurely filed. The assailed Orders dated April 3.
tasked with the duties. 1999 denying petitioner‟s motion for reconsideration of said decision. petitioner.00 (P15.00 (P15.A. Linsangan. After proceedings duly undertaken by the parties. the dispositive portion of which reads: “WHEREFORE.00 x 36 mos. respondent. The Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC NCR CA No. In lieu of reinstatement. the respondent should also pay complainant profit sharing and unpaid fringe benefits. CLARITA T. among others. 00-06-03462-92. vs.000 x 28 mos. fringe benefits and attorney‟s fees filed by Clarita Tan Reyes against Prudential Bank and Trust Company (the Bank) before the labor arbiter. which is a complaint for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal with prayer for moral and exemplary damages.R.000. gratuity.PRUDENTIAL BANK and TRUST COMPANY. as mentioned at the outset. private respondent Reyes held the position of Assistant Vice President in the foreign department of the Bank. Prior to her dismissal. the Bank appealed to the NLRC which. 30607 and of its Resolution. Attorney‟s fees equivalent to ten (10%) percent of the total award should likewise be paid by respondent.: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision. in the amount of P420. The case stems from NLRC NCR Case No. J. Private respondent sought . 1999 of the Court of Appeals in C.). including the signing of transmittal letters covering the same. to collect checks drawn against overseas banks payable in foreign currency and to ensure the collection of foreign bills or checks purchased.” Not satisfied. judgment was rendered by Labor Arbiter Cornelio L. finding the dismissal of complainant to be without factual and legal basis. In addition. dated October 15. REYES. the respondent is also ordered to pay complainant separation pay equivalent to one month salary for every year of service.-G. SP No. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the respondent bank to pay her back wages for three (3) years in the amount of P540.000. SO ORDERED. reversed the Labor Arbiter‟s decision in its Resolution dated 24 March 1997.000. DECISION GONZAGA-REYES. reversing and setting aside the labor arbiter‟s decision and dismissing for lack of merit private respondent‟s complaint. dated December 6. 009364-95.).
1998. drawn by the Sanford Trading against Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. as it is complainant who . She then requested complainant to sign the said transmittal letters (Exhibits 1. In reply. for the purpose of sending out the two (2) HSBC checks for collection. a remittance clerk then assigned in the Foreign Department. complainant authorized the crediting of the account of Filipinas Tyrom in the amount of P4. Cecilia Joven.00.reconsideration which. (Exhibits 6.650. despite due notice. to the president. Aggrieved. a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court. dated March 14. pp. in the amount of US$115. In its assailed decision. she was constrained to make a general denial of any misfeasance or malfeasance on her part and asked that a formal investigation be made. As the complainant failed to attend and participate in the formal investigation conducted by the Committee on May 24. 11 March 1993. No. in accordance with the ruling in St. Martin Funeral Homes vs. 22 to 22-A and 23 to 23-A). were not sent out for collection to Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation on the alleged order of the complainant until the said checks became stale. 1998. the Committee proceeded with its hearings and heard the testimonies of several witnesses. received by the Bank on April 6. TSN. The Bank created a committee to investigate the findings of the auditors involving the two checks which were not collected and became stale. in favor of Filipinas Tyrom. and No.780. NLRC. On the same day. On the following day. On March 8.00. in the amount of US$109. however. The Committee‟s findings were: „a) The two (2) HSBC checks were received by the Foreign Department on 6 April 1989.70 corresponding to the face value of the checks. The subject petition was referred to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action and disposition per resolution of this Court dated November 25. 1991.000. the Court of Appeals adopted the following antecedent facts leading to Reyes‟s dismissal as summarized by the NLRC: “The auditors of the Bank discovered that two checks. 1989. was denied by the NLRC in its Resolution of 28 July 1998. Singapore.102. 011728-7232-146. complainant requested for an extension of one week to submit her explanation. In a subsequent letter. 1991. complainant stated that in view of the refusal of the Bank that she be furnished copies of the pertinent documents she is requesting and the refusal to grant her a reasonable period to prepare her answer. 42-52). 011730-7232-146. the president of the Bank issued a memorandum to the complainant informing her of the findings of the auditors and asked her to give her side. a transmittal letter was prepared by Ms. private respondent commenced on October 28. Jurong Branch. 1991. 7 and 25.
the Board of Directors of the Bank resolved not to re-elect complainant any longer to the position of assistant president pursuant to the Bank‟s By-laws. (See Exhibits 5 to 5-B). Magno advised that a demand letter be sent instead. On July 19. Joven relayed to the latter complainant‟s instruction (Exhibit 14. g) Complainant.gives her instructions directly concerning the transmittal of foreign bills purchased. Joven to just hold on to the letters and checks and await further instructions (ibid. complainant instructed her to withdraw the same for the purpose of changing the addressee thereon from American Express Bank to Bank of Hawaii (ibid.) under a special collection scheme (Exhibits 4 and 5 to 5-B). deliberately withheld Atty. 42). in a letter the text of which is quoted in full: . Magno‟s advice from her superior. e) When asked by Ms. Ms. Ms. Joven was transferred to another department. however. pp. responsibilities and functions. Analisa Castillo (Exhibit 14. Joven then returned to complainant for the latter to sign the new transmittal letters. d) In June 1989. her duties. Pablo Magno. h) On 10 July 1990. the Senior Vice-President. c) After complying with complainant‟s instruction.‟ After a review of the Committee‟s findings. Ms. 4 June 1993. 4 June 1993. However. Atty. the HSBC checks were finally sent for collection. including the responsibility over the two (2) HSBC checks.). Castillo about the two (2) HSBC checks. 1991. the new transmittal letters remained unsigned. All other transmittal letters are in fact signed by complainant. Hence. Mr. complainant was informed of her termination of employment from the Bank by Senior Vice President Benedicto L. Renato Santos and falsely informed the latter that Atty. p. thereby further delaying the collection of the HSBC checks. TSN. advised complainant to send the checks for collection despite the lapse of fifteen (15) months. TSN. but were returned on 16 July 1990 for the reason „account closed‟ (Exhibits 2 -A and 3-A). the said checks were discovered in the course of an audit conducted by the Bank ‟s auditors. 27-29). Ms. f) About fifteen (15) months after the HSBC checks were received by the Bank. b) After Ms. Thus. Santos. Joven delivered the transmittal letters and the checks to the Accounting Section of the Foreign Department. complainant told Ms. were turned over to another remittance clerk. the Bank‟s legal counsel.
1991. Accordingly. such filing not being a valid ground for her dismissal. the vice president and the auditors of the Bank.650. You deliberately withheld from Mr. your monetary and retirement benefits are forfeited except those that have vested in you.‟ In her position paper. when the said checks were finally sent to clearing after the lapse of 15 months from receipt of said checks. Hence. Senior Vice President.„Dear Mrs. Santos had asked you to seek. has found the following: 1. 2. Santos. they were returned for the reason „Account closed. had been credited with their peso equivalent. She further alleged that she was not afforded due process as she was not given the chance to refute the charges mentioned in the letter of dismissal. the value of said checks have not been paid by Filipinas Tyrom. which as payee of the checks.00 by giving instructions to the collection clerk not to send the checks for collection. Bank legal counsel. . she was illegally dismissed. These findings have given rise to the Bank‟s loss of trust and confidence in you. As a matter of fact. 11728 and 11730 of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in the total amount of US$224. Likewise. Magno. Furthermore. you even relayed a false advice which delayed further the sending of the two checks for collection. complainant alleged that the real reason for her dismissal was her filing of the criminal cases against the bank president. In view thereof. you refused to heed the advice of the Bank‟s legal counsel to send the checks for collection. the advice given by the legal counsel of the Bank which Mr. the Board has resolved not to re-elect you to the position of Assistant Vice President of the Bank. your services are terminated effective immediately. by asking him to do something allegedly upon instructions of a Senior Vice President of the Bank or else lose his job when in truth and in fact no such instructions was given. and 3. You have deliberately held the clearing of Checks Nos. the same being acts of serious misconduct in the performance of your duties resulting in monetary loss to the Bank. Pablo P. You tried to influence the decision of Atty.‟ To date. Reyes: After a thorough investigation and appreciation of the charges against you as contained in the Memorandum of the President dated March 8. In relation thereto. the Fact Finding Committee which was created to investigate the commission and/or omission of the acts alluded therein. In view thereof. she alleged that it would be self-serving for the respondent to state that she was found guilty of gross misconduct in deliberately withholding the clearing of the two dollar checks.
III. . THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED. LINSANGAN. for filing the clearly unfounded suit against the respondent„s officers. 1991 up to the finality of this judgment.” Hence. the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. THERE WAS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF RESPONDENT‟S MISCONDUCT JUSTIFYING THE BANK‟S LOSS OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE ON (sic) HER. To pay petitioner separation pay equivalent to one (1) month salary for every year of service in lieu of reinstatement. In effect. 2. accordingly. had just cause for terminating her services. in the light of the foregoing. and 3. EVEN ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT THE NLRC HAS JURISDICTION. Moreover. To pay attorney‟s fee equivalent to ten (10%) percent of the total award. IT IS THE SEC (NOW THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT) AND NOT THE NLRC WHICH HAS ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER CASES INVOLVING THE REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OF CORPORATE OFFICERS. the Court of Appeals reinstated the judgment of the labor arbiter with modification as follows: “WHEREFORE.” The Court of Appeals found that the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the dismissal of Reyes is valid. II. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondent Bank as follows: 1. SO ORDERED. complainant is liable to pay moral and exemplary damages and attorney‟s fees. In lieu thereof. the Bank‟s recourse to this Court contending in its memorandum that: “IN SETTING ASIDE THE DECISION DATED 24 MARCH 1997 AND THE RESOLUTION DATED 28 JULY 1998 OF THE NLRC AND REINSTATING WITH MODIFICATION THE DECISION DATED 20 JULY 1995 OF LABOR ARBITER CORNELIO L. IN VIEW OF THE FOLLOWING: I. To pay petitioner full backwages and other benefits from July 19.On the other hand. respondent argues that there were substantial bases for the Bank to lose its trust and confidence on the complainant and.
and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction when adverse. the NLRC and the Court of Appeals.” In sum. the Bank appealed to the NLRC. The Court therein stated: “This Court has time and again frowned upon the undesirable practice of a party submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment. the resolution of this petition hinges on (1) whether the NLRC has jurisdiction over the complaint for illegal dismissal. (2) whether complainant Reyes was illegally dismissed. only if favorable. an elective position which she held by virtue of her having been elected as such by the Board of Directors. this rule presupposes that laches or estoppel has not supervened. In this regard.” Undeterred.EVEN ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT RESPONDENT WAS ENTITLED TO BACKWAGES. petitioner contends that complainant is a corporate officer.” As far as the records before this Court reveal however. When the NLRC decided in its favor. Hence. is most enlightening. More specifically. Petitioner Bank can no longer raise the issue of jurisdiction under the principle of estoppel. The Bank actively participated in the proceedings before the Labor Arbiter. petitioner Bank has consistently asserted in all its pleadings at all stages of the proceedings that respondent held the position of Assistant Vice President. Bañaga vs. When the decision of the Labor Arbiter was adverse to it. such an assertion was made only in the appeal to the NLRC and raised again before the Court of Appeals. it never questioned the proceedings on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. the principle of estoppel lies. WHICH DECISION RESPONDENT HERSELF SOUGHT TO EXECUTE. an elective position under the corporate by-laws and her non-election is an intra-corporate controversy cognizable by the SEC invoking lengthily a number of this Court‟s decisions. petitioner seeks refuge behind the argument that the dispute is an intracorporate controversy concerning as it does the non-election of private respondent to the position of Assistant Vice-President of the Bank which falls under the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (now the Regional Trial Court) under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. Even before the Court of Appeals. the bank said nothing about jurisdiction. While it is true that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case may be raised at any time of the proceedings. a party may be estopped or barred from raising the question of jurisdiction for the first time in a petition before the Supreme Court when it failed to do so in the early stages of the proceedings. not for purposes of questioning . It was only when the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of private respondent did it raise the issue of jurisdiction. and (3) whether the amount of back wages awarded was proper. On the first issue. Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems. 902-A. The Bank participated in the proceedings from start to finish. It filed its position paper with the Labor Arbiter. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AWARDING UNLIMITED AND UNQUALIFIED BACKWAGES THEREBY GOING FAR BEYOND THE LABOR ARBITER‟S DECISION LIMITING THE SAME TO THREE YEARS. the Bank also contends that estoppel cannot lie considering that “from the beginning. Here.
On this point.” As Assistant VicePresident of the Foreign Department of the Bank she performs tasks integral to the operations of the bank and her length of service with the bank totaling 28 years speaks volumes of her status as a regular employee of the bank. Except for Joven‟s bare assertion to withhold the dollar checks per petitioner‟s instruction.00 falls short of the requisite proof to warrant petitioner‟s dismissal. it is no wonder then that the Bank endeavored to the very end to establish loss of trust and confidence and serious misconduct on the part of private respondent but. she is entitled to security of tenure. among others. her services may be terminated only for a just or authorized cause. she rose from the ranks and has been employed with the Bank since 1963 until the termination of her employment in 1991. that is.650. to collect checks drawn against overseas banks payable in foreign currency and to ensure the collection of foreign bills or checks purchased. It bears emphasizing that respondent Bank‟s witnesses merely corroborate Joven‟s testimony. As earlier stated. It has been stated that “the primary standard 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. It appears that private respondent was appointed Accounting Clerk by the Bank on July 14. We quote pertinent portions of the decision. as will be discussed later. This brings us to the second issue wherein the Bank insists that it has presented substantial evidence to prove the breach of trust on the part of private respondent warranting her dismissal. Then in 1982. to wit: “FIRST: Respondent Bank heavily relied on the testimony and affidavit of Remittance Clerk Joven in trying to establish loss of confidence. and that she was dismissed based on loss of trust and confidence. Additionally. 1991. she was appointed Assistant Vice-President which she occupied until her illegal dismissal on July 19.jurisdiction but to establish that private respondent‟s tenure was subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and that her non-reelection was a mere expiration of her term. the Court of Appeals disagreed and set aside the findings of the NLRC that Reyes deliberately withheld the release of the two dollar checks. In fine. to no avail. that she is guilty of conflict of interest that she waived her right to due process for not attending the hearing. she is tasked. not because of the mode or even the reason for hiring them. However. As Assistant Vice President of the foreign department of the Bank. Joven‟s allegation that petitioner instructed her to hold the subject two dollar checks amounting to $224. The Bank insists that private respondent was elected Assistant Vice President sometime in 1990 to serve as such for only one year. 1963. The bank‟s contention that she merely holds an elective position and that in effect she is not a regular employee is belied by the nature of her work and her length of service with the Bank. the rule that proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required to terminate an employee on the charge of loss of confidence and that it is sufficient that . as a regular employee. including the signing of transmittal letters covering the same. Upon this point. respondent Bank failed to adduce convincing evidence to prove bad faith and malice. This being in truth a case of illegal dismissal. “an employee is regular because of the nature of work and the length of service. From that position she rose to become supervisor. This argument will not do either and must be rejected.
it must be substantial and not arbitrary. For loss of trust and confidence to be valid ground for an employee‟s dismissal. Chairman of the Investigating Committee. Rollo). Joven was fully aware that the instruction. In this regard. the same should be respected by appellate tribunals since he is in a better position to assess and evaluate the credibility of the contending parties (Ala Mode Garments. Analiza Castillo. Jocson. It was incumbent upon Ms. the Court quotes with approval the following disquisition of Labor Arbiter Linsangan. vs.S. the issue boils down to who between complainant and Ms. 248 SCRA 183). Losada. On cross examination. Joven and respondent‟s other witnesses this Office finds the evidence still wanting in proof of complainant‟s guilt. supra) will rise or fall on the credibility of Miss Joven who undisputedly is the star witness for the bank. Joven is more credible. After painstakingly examining the testimonies of Ms. Respondent Bank‟s charge of deliberate withholding of the two dollar checks finds no support in the testimony of Atty. is not absolute. NLRC. Joven not only to disobey the . 18 Phil. This Office had closely observed the demeanor of Ms. 25-J. One thing was clearly established: that the legality of complainant‟s dismissal based on the first ground stated in respondent‟s letter of termination (exh.there is some basis for such loss of confidence. SECOND. THIRD. The allegation of Ms. Dante Castor and Antonio Ragasa pertaining to the non-release of the dollar checks and their corresponding transmittal letters were all anchored on what was told them by Ms. 90). 268 SCRA 497). Joven in that her non-release of the dollar checks was upon the instruction of complainant Reyes is extremely doubtful. Joven while testifying on the witness stand and was not impressed by her assertions. thus: This Office has repeatedly gone over the records of the case and painstakingly examined the testimonies of respondent bank‟s witnesses. The right of an employer to dismiss employees on the ground that it has lost its trust and confidence in him must not be exercised arbitrarily and without just cause. the said instruction constitutes a gross violation of the bank‟s standard operating procedure. vs. Moreover. Inc. Settled is the rule that when the conclusions of the Labor Arbiter are sufficiently substantiated by the evidence on record. the court must adopt the testimony which it believes to be true (U. NLRC. will greatly prejudice her employer bank. There being conflict in the statement of witnesses. 186-187. Ms. It will be observed that the testimonies of the bank‟s other witnesses. that is: she was instructed by complainant to hold the release of subject checks. and must be founded on clearly established facts sufficient to warrant the employee‟s separation from work (Labor vs. In the first place. therefore. Joven. In a nutshell. Atty. Jocson testified that the documents themselves do not show any direct withholding (pp. if carried out.
she said the same should be held as per instruction of Mrs. thus: „1. her mother.m. 1989 she immediately reported the matter to Vice President Santos. Our doubt on the veracity of Ms. In her affidavit Ms. 1989 at about 7:00 o‟clock in the evening. And as earlier mentioned. myself. Cecille Joven said: “Eh. how it came about that the two dollar checks which she was then holding with the transmittal letters. were found in a plastic envelope kept day-to-day by the former. was surprised and she said: “Ano. 3. Sometime on November 15.‟ . “14”. Ms. As to what prompted her to make her letter of explanation was not even mentioned. the complainant. Reyes. Castillo the former contented herself by continuously not taking any action on the two dollar checks. Joven‟s allegation even deepens as we consider the fact that when the non-release of the checks was discovered by Ms. Castillo regarding the non-release of the checks sometime in November. Clarita Tan Reyes and I were in the residence of one Ms. then a Processing Clerk in the Foreign Department of Prudential Bank. Castillo (sic) to ignore the two checks and just withhold their release.‟ (Exh. When complainant was informed by Mr. 4. Mrs. The evidence shows that it was only on 16 May 1990 that Ms.instruction but even to report the matter to management. accompanied by driver Celestino Banito. the actions taken by the complainant were spontaneous. Cecille Joven. In this regard. stated in his affidavit. Joven even impliedly told by Ms. Mother (Mrs. upon hearing those words. complainant went to the residence of Ms. When I asked Cecille Joven what I was supposed to do with those checks. complainant‟s driver. Head of the Foreign Department. It took Ms. 2. Tan Reyes had been intimately called Mother in the Bank) akala ko bouncing checks yon mga yon. 5. and Mrs. Cecille Joven. Mrs. Clarita Tan Reyes were seated in the sala when the latter asked the former. Cecille Joven turned pale and was not able to answer. if same was really given to her by complainant. papaano mong alam na bouncing na hindi mo pa pinadadala. Ms. Celestino Bonito. Castor and Ms. Ms. Joven to confront her. Hesitatingly. Cecille Joven. Joven eighteen (18) months before she explained her side on the controversy. went to her residence and confronted her regarding the non-release of the dollar checks. Joven broke her silence on the matter despite the fact that on 15 November 1989. Castillo said: „4. supra). On the other hand. at about 8:00 p. Worse. Mrs. Clarita Tan Reyes.
It clearly appears from the foregoing that the complainant herein has no knowledge of. The Court finds nothing confidential in the auditor‟s report and the affidavit of Transmittal Clerk Joven. Due process dictates that management accord the employees every kind of assistance to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense. that private respondent is not entitled to full backwages in view of the fact that she did not bother to appeal that portion of the labor arbiter‟s judgment awarding back wages limited to three years. the Bank questions the award of full backwages and other benefits from July 19. FOURTH. and attorney‟s fees equivalent to ten (10%) percent of the total award. The non-release of the dollar checks was reported to top management sometime on 15 November 1989 when complainant. Joven and we defer to the findings of the Labor Arbiter as confirmed and adopted by the Court of Appeals on the credibility of said witness. On the third issue. Incidentally. separation pay equivalent to one (1) month salary for every year of service in lieu of reinstatement. An ordinary appeal is distinguished from the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court in that in ordinary appeals it is settled that . after a lapse of sixteen (16) months from the time the non-release of the checks was reported to the Vice President. it was only on 08 March 1991. The delayed action taken by respondent against complainant lends credence to the assertion of the latter that her dismissal was a mere retaliation to the criminal complaints she filed against the bank‟s top officials. The charge was predicated on the testimony of Ms. It must be stressed that private respondent filed a special civil action for certiorari to review the decision of the NLRCand not an ordinary appeal. including legal representation.There are other factors that constrain this Office to doubt even more the legality of complainant‟s dismissal based on the first ground stated in the letter of dismissal. Respondent Bank having failed to furnish petitioner necessary documents imputing loss of confidence. The Bank argues. the non-release of the dollar checks under discussion. Joven is solely responsible for the same. accompanied by Supervisor Dante Castor and Analiza Castillo. This Court is not a trier of facts and will not weigh anew the evidence already passed upon by the Court of Appeals. petitioner was not amply afforded opportunity to prepare an intelligent answer. the Court finds it irrelevant to the charge.” We uphold the findings of the Court of Appeals that the dismissal of private respondent on the ground of loss of trust and confidence was without basis. much less participation in. that complainant was issued a memorandum directing her to submit an explanation. And yet. reported the matter to Vice President Santos. The issue of conflict of interest not having been covered by the investigation. she was not even reprimanded by the bank. 1991 up to the finality of this judgment. in the main. And it took the bank another four (4) months before it dismissed complainant. Ms.
6715 on March 21. Article 279 of Republic Act No. jurisprudence is clear on the amount of backwages recoverable in cases of illegal dismissal. NLRC Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa (IBM) vs. On the other hand. Vitug. 1991. Melo. concur. resort to a judicial review of the decisions of the National Labor Relations Commission in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of Rules of Court is confined to issues of want or excess of jurisdiction and grave abuse of discretion. Lastly. the appellate court awarded backwages in accordance with current jurisprudence. since private respondent was compelled to file an action for illegal dismissal with the labor arbiter. is AFFIRMED. as the Bank does here. 1989 are entitled to backwages up to three (3) years without deduction or qualification. dated October 15. There is no room to argue. the Court of Appeals found that the NLRC gravely abused its discretion in finding that the private respondent‟s dismissal was valid and so reversed the same. There is no showing that private respondent is partly at fault or that the Bank acted in good faith in terminating an employee of twenty-eight years. (Chairman). SO ORDERED.. Employees illegally dismissed prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. JJ. as a rule. Indeed. Since reinstatement is no longer viable. she is likewise entitled to attorney‟s fees at the rate above-mentioned. Panganiban. that its liability should be mitigated on account of its good faith and that private respondent is not entirely blameless. Corollary to the foregoing. Considering that private respondent was terminated on July 19. WHEREFORE.a party who did not appeal cannot seek affirmative relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below. Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa vs. 1999. is from the time of her illegal dismissal) up to the finality of this judgment (instead of reinstatement) considering that reinstatement is no longer feasible as correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals on account of the strained relations brought about by the litigation in this case. she is also entitled to separation pay equivalent to one (1) month salary for every year of service. and Sandoval-Gutierrez. the instant petition for review on certiorari is DENIED. NLRC 198 SCRA 586 (1991) .  In the instant case. and the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals. she is entitled to full backwages from the time her actual compensation was withheld from her (which. 6715 clearly and plainly provides for “full backwages” to illegally dismissed employees. while those illegally dismissed after are granted full backwages inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent from the time their actual compensation was withheld from them up to the time of their actual reinstatement. In any event.
if it remains unresolved. working at the various plants. Any dispute arising from wage distortions shall be resolved through the grievance procedure under their collective bargaining agreement and. Chapter I of these implementing rules. thereby implicitly excluding strikes or lockouts or other concerted activities as modes of settlement of the issue. Ruling: The strike involving the issue of wage distortion is illegal as a means of resolving it. through voluntary arbitration.Facts: The union known as Ilaw at Buklod Ng Manggagawa (IBM) said to represent 4. It shall be mandatory for the NLRC to conduct continuous hearings and decide any dispute arising under this Section within twenty (20) calendar days from the time said dispute is formally submitted to it for arbitration. if it remains unresolved after ten (10) calendar days of conciliation. In cases where there are no collective agreements or recognized labor unions. In the instance of "distortions of the wage structure within an establishment" resulting from "the application of any prescribed wage increase by virtue of a law or wage order. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties in writing. more or less. It goes without saying that these joint or coordinated activities may be forbidden or restricted by law or contract. The legislative intent that solution of the problem of wage distortions shall be sought by voluntary negotiation or arbitration. 6727 prescribes a specific. and warehouses located at the National Capital Region presented to the company a "demand" for correction of the significant distortion in the workers' wages. offices. In that demand. is made clear in the rules implementing RA 6727 issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment pursuant to the authority granted by Section 13 of the Act. lockouts. the Union explicitly invoked Section 4 (d) of RA 6727 which reads as follows: Where the application of the increases in the wage rates under this Section results in distortions as defined under existing laws in the wage structure within an establishment and gives rise to a dispute therein. Any dispute arising there from shall be settled through the National Conciliation and Mediation Board and. declares that. It shall be mandatory for the NLRC to conduct continuous hearings and decide the dispute within twenty (20) calendar days from the time said dispute is submitted for compulsory arbitration. the same shall be finally resolved through compulsory arbitration by the regional branches of the National Labor Relations Commission having jurisdiction over the workplace. Section 16. shall be referred to the appropriate branch of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).500 employees of San Miguel Corporation. and not by strikes. The legality of these activities is usually dependent on the legality of the purposes sought to be attained and the means employed therefore. detailed and comprehensive procedure for the correction thereof. after reiterating the policy that wage distortions be first settled voluntarily by the parties and eventually by compulsory arbitration. The pendency of a dispute arising from a wage distortion shall not in any way delay the applicability of any increase in prescribed wage rates pursuant to the provisions of law or Wage Order. The provision states that the employer and the union shall negotiate to correct the distortions. such dispute shall first be settled voluntarily between the parties and in the event of a deadlock. "Any issue involving wage distortion shall not be a ground for a strike/lockout. or other concerted activities of the employees or management." Section 3 of Republic Act No. the employers and workers shall endeavor to correct such distortions. such dispute shall be decided by the voluntary arbitrator or panel of voluntary arbitrators within ten (10) calendar days from the time said dispute was referred to voluntary arbitration. The pendency of a dispute arising from a wage distortion shall not in any way delay the applicability of the increase in the wage rates prescribed under this Section." . Issue: Whether or not the strike is legal in the resolution of wage distortion.
Ruben C. 1999. for the position. her employment record will be blemished with the notation „DISMISSED‟ spread thereon. she received a letter from Ruben C. On April 16. Cabansag to his office and demanded that she submit her letter of resignation. the Singapore PNB Branch was under the helm of Ruben C. 1999. 2001. Florence O. Tobias that she be given sufficient time to look for another job. She applied for employment as Branch Credit Officer. Ruben C. at a total monthly package of $SG4. 1999. In a Resolution dated June 29.500. Ruben C. FLORENCE O. she had to resign from her employment. she may be extended at the discretion of the Bank. She then asked Ruben C. Tobias told her that she should be „out‟ of her employment by May 15. Cabansag and adamantly ordered her to submit her letter of resignation.500.PNB vs CABANSAG Case Digest [G. in either way. Ruben C. as General Manager. Florence O. by the Bank. likewise. a letter to the President of the Bank in Manila. Tobias wrote a letter to Florence O. June 21. on April 19. with the Singapore Branch of the Philippine National Bank. petitioner.00. She applied for employment. No. 2005] PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK. an „Overseas Employment Certificate. She refused. On April 20. 157010. Ruben C. Tobias found her eminently qualified and wrote on October 26. with the information that a Chinese-speaking Credit Officer had already been hired and will be reporting for work soon.00. PNB appealed the labor arbiter‟s Decision to the NLRC. upon her successful completion of her probation to be determined solely. with the rank of Vice-President of the Bank. Tobias again summoned Florence O. However. Cabansag asked Ruben C. 1999. [herein Respondent Florence Cabansag] arrived in Singapore as a tourist. Cabansag and. At the time. FACTS In late 1998. a permanent appointment and that her temporary appointment was subject to certain terms and conditions. In the meantime. Cabansag accepted the position and assumed office. effective upon assumption of duties after approval. 1998. Tobias. She was warned that. recommending the appointment of Florence O. Cabansag offering her a temporary appointment. a month and. at a basic salary of Singapore Dollars 4. Ruben C. Cabansag. the Philippine Embassy in Singapore processed the employment contract of Florence O. Cabansag did not submit any letter of resignation. vs. Tobias terminating her employment with the Bank. as Credit Officer. respondent. 2000. On January 18. CABANSAG.R. On December 7. told Cabansag that the PNB Singapore Branch will be sold or transformed into a remittance office and that. 1999. . on March 8. Tobias. Barely three (3) months in office Tobias told Cabansag that her resignation was imperative as a „cost-cutting measure‟ of the Bank. a lawyer. Tobias flatly refused. the Labor Arbiter rendered judgment in favor of the Complainant and against the Respondents. with the pretext that he needed a Chinesespeaking Credit Officer to penetrate the local market. Without giving any definitive answer. unless she submitted her letter of resignation. However. Tobias again summoned Florence O. she was issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. the Commission affirmed that Decision. 1998. Tobias that she be furnished with a „Formal Advice‟ from the PNB Head Office in Manila.‟ certifying that she was a bona fide contract worker for Singapore.
assignment or travel. and report the results of their assignment to their employers. issued on March 8. declared her a bona fide contract worker for Singapore. this document authorized her working status in a foreign country and entitled her to all benefits and processes under our statutes. We are not unmindful of the fact that respondent was directly hired. At the time her employment was illegally terminated. Thus. The Certificate. common practices and customs prevailing in Singapore she subsequently became a contract worker or an OFW who was covered by Philippine labor laws and policies upon certification by the POEA. as well as ambulant or itinerant workers. workplace shall be understood as the place or locality where the employee is regularly assigned when the cause of action arose. For purposes of venue. HELD The jurisdiction of labor arbiters and the NLRC is specified in Article 217 of the Labor Code and more specifically. respondent was employed by petitioner in its branch office in Singapore. their workplace is where they are regularly assigned. she already possessed the POEA employment Certificate.” Undeniably. ISSUE Whether or not the arbitration branch of the NLRC in the National Capital Region has jurisdiction over the instant controversy. In the case of field employees. within ninety (90) calendar days after the filing of the complaint. Prior to employing respondent. 1999. even assuming arguendo that she was considered at the start of her employment as a “direct hire” governed by and subject to the laws. It shall include the place where the employee is supposed to report back after a temporary detail. labor arbiters clearly have original and exclusive jurisdiction over claims arising from employer-employee relations. Whether employed locally or overseas. a migrant worker “refers to a person who is to be engaged. Under the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995” (RA 8042). Based on the foregoing provisions. while on a tourist status in Singapore. petitioner had to obtain an employment pass for her from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower. by the PNB branch in that city state. Money Claims. Section 10 of RA 8042 reads in part: “SECTION 10. — Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. exemplary and other forms of damages. Securing the pass was a regulatory requirement pursuant to the immigration regulations of that country. to be used interchangeably with overseas Filipino worker. .Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which rendered a decision in favor of Florence Cabansag. moral. Under Philippine law. among whom are overseas Filipino workers (OFW). Noteworthy is the fact that respondent likewise applied for and secured an Overseas Employment Certificate from the POEA through the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a state of which he or she is not a legal resident. contract stipulations to the contrary notwithstanding. all Filipino workers enjoy the protective mantle of Philippine labor and social legislation. or where they are supposed to regularly receive their salaries/wages or work instructions from. the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. the claims arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment including claims for actual. including termination disputes involving all workers.
Admittedly. it was expressly understood and agreed that the EEs employed by the contractors were to be paid by the latter and that none of them were to be deemed EEs or agents of SanMig. this action. Hence. provided the controversy concerns. so court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of SMC's grievance. It was then demanded that the employment status of these workers be regularized.” SMC Employees Union v. ISSUE: WON RTC correctly assumed jurisdiction over the controversy and properly issued the Writ of Preliminary Injunction. which was denied by respondent Judge. which motion was opposed by SMC. Bersamira. and then a second notice. while appearing to be contractual workers of supposedly independent contractors. HELD: NO Re: Definition of Labor Dispute (p4 of Outline) Ratio A labor dispute can nevertheless exist “regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relationship of employer and employee. issued Injunction. on the one hand. RTC reasoned that the absence of ER-EE relationship negates the existence of labor dispute. and that there exists a "labor-only" contracting situation. And after several hearings. Union alleged that this group of EEs. 186 SCRA 496 (1990) FACTS: SMC entered into contracts for merchandising services with Lipercon and D'Rite (L&D). She thus falls within the category of “migrant worker” or “overseas Filipino worker. Petitioner SMCEU-PTWGO (Union) is duly authorized representative of the monthly paid rank-and-file EEs of SMC. or contract EEs are excluded from the bargaining unit and outside scope of CBA. Union filed a Motion to Dismiss SMC's Complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the case/nature of the action. independent contractors duly licensed by DOLE. the terms and . SMC RTC to enjoin the Union from: representing and or acting for and in behalf of the employees of L&D for the purposes of collective bargaining. and so Union filed a notice of strike. In said contracts. she is a Filipino and not a legal resident of that state. probationary. This was not acted upon by SMC. have been continuously working for SMC for a period of 6 months to 15 years and that their work is neither casual nor seasonal as they are performing work or activities necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of SMC. Union advised SMC that some L&D workers had signed up for union membership and sought the regularization of their employment with SMC. among others. Series of pickets were staged by L&D workers in various SMC plants and offices. and SMC on the other. among others. There was to be no employer-employee relation between the contractors and/or its workers. calling for and holding a strike vote to compel plaintiff to hire the employees or workers of L&D. Their CBA provides that temporary.
To allow the action filed below to prosper would bring about "split jurisdiction" which is obnoxious to the orderly administration of justice. or relates to a labor dispute. jurisdiction belongs to the labor tribunals. In this case. hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment. or is inconnection with. tenure and conditions of EE’s employment and the arrangement of those terms as well as the matter of representation bring these issues within the scope of a labor dispute. including the right to strike in accordance with law (S3. including questions involving the legality of striker and lockouts. A13. . Disposition Petition is GRANTED. collective bargaining and negotiations. However. the matter re terms. That claim for damages is interwoven with a labor dispute. [b] those that workers may file involving wages. and [c] cases arising from any violation of A265 LC. 20 and 21 of CC is not enough to keep the case within the jurisdictional boundaries of regular Courts. Those contending interests must be placed in proper perspective and equilibrium. 1987 Constitution)equally call for recognition and protection.conditions of employment or a "change" or "arrangement" thereof” The existence of a labor dispute is not negatived by the fact that the plaintiffs and defendants do not stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee. SC recognizes the proprietary right of SMC to exercise an inherent management prerogative and its best business judgment to determine whether it should contract out the performance of some of its work to independent contractors. is the matter of whether or not the case at bar involves. So. An affirmative answer would bring the case within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of labor tribunals to the exclusion of the regular Courts. the rights of all workers to self-organization. Labor Arbiters haveoriginal and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases involving all workers including: [a] unfair labor practice cases. and peaceful concerted activities. SMC’s claim that the action is for damages under A19. Hence it is the labor tribunals that have jurisdiction and not the regular courts Re: ER Functions and ULP (p30 of Outline) As the case is indisputably linked with a labor dispute. (A212 LC) Reasoning Crucial to the resolution of the question on jurisdiction.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.