G.R. No.

152322

February 15, 2005

2. Creating distrust or loss of trust and confidence of members in the Association; 3. Creating dissension among the members; 4. Circulating false rumors about the work of the Association or sabotaging the same; 5. Withholding from the Association and/or members material information as to their rightful entitlement to benefits and/or money claims; 6. Acting as a spy against the Association or divulging confidential matters to persons not entitled thereto; 7. Such other offenses, which may injure or disrupt the functions of the Association.4 Through a collective reply dated 19 September 1997, private respondents denied the allegations. Thereafter, on 23 September 1997, they sent a letter dated 22 September 1997 to the Chairman and Members of UEEA’s Disciplinary Committee, informing them that the Memorandum of 15 September 1997 was vague and without legal basis, therefore, no intelligent answer may be made by them. They likewise stated that any sanction that will be imposed by the committee would be violative of their right to due process.5 The Disciplinary Committee issued another Memorandum, dated 24 September 1997, giving the respondents another seventy-two hours from receipt within which to properly reply, explaining that the collective reply letter and supplemental answer which were earlier submitted were not responsive to the first Memorandum. Their failure would be construed as an admission of the truthfulness and veracity of the charges.6 On 01 October 1997, the respondents issued a denial for the second time, and inquired from the Disciplinary Committee as to whether they were being formally charged.7 On 09 October 1997, Ernesto Verceles, in his capacity as president of the association, through a Memorandum, informed Rodel

ERNESTO C. VERCELES, DIOSDADO F. TRINIDAD, SALVADOR G. BLANCIA, ROSEMARIE DE LUMBAN, FELICITAS F. RAMOS, MIGUEL TEAÑO, JAIME BAUTISTA and FIDEL ACERO, as Officers of the University of the East Employees’ Association, petitioners, vs. BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS-DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT-NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, RODEL E. DALUPAN, EFREN J. DE OCAMPO, PROCESO TOTTO, JR., ELIZABETH ALARCA, ELVIRA S. MANALO, and RICARDO UY, respondents. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: Before Us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, assailing the Decision1 and Resolution2 rendered by the Court of Appeals, dated 24 October 2001 and 15 February 2002, respectively. The Facts Private respondents Rodel E. Dalupan, Efren J. De Ocampo, Proceso Totto, Jr., Elizabeth Alarca, and Elvira S. Manalo are members of the University of the East Employees’ Association (UEEA). On 15 September 1997, they each received a Memorandum from the UEEA charging them with spreading false rumors and creating disinformation among the members of the said association. They were given seventy-two hours from receipt of the Memorandum to submit their Answer.3 The acts of the respondents allegedly fall under General Assembly Resolution No. 4, Series of 1979, to wit: 1. Circulating false rumors about the progress of the negotiations for collective bargaining;

Dalupan, et al., that their membership in the association has been suspended and shall take effect immediately upon receipt thereof. Verceles said he was acting upon the disciplinary committee’s finding of aprima facie case against them.8 Respondent Ricardo Uy also received a similar memorandum on 03 November 1997.9 On 01 December 1997, a complaint10 for illegal suspension, willful and unlawful violation of UEEA constitution and by-laws, refusal to render financial and other reports, deliberate refusal to call general and special meetings, illegal holdover of terms and damages was filed by the respondents against herein petitioners Ernesto C. Verceles, Diosdado F. Trinidad, Salvador G. Blancia, Rosemarie De Lumban, Felicitas Ramos, Miguel Teaño, Jaime Bautista and Fidel Acero before the Department of Labor and Employment, National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR). A few days after the filing of the complaint, i.e., on 10 December 1997, a resolution11 was passed by UEEA which reads as follows: RESOLUTION WHEREAS, the Association has gone thru a most arduous, difficult, and trying times in working to obtain the best terms and conditions of employment for its members, specifically for the period 1992 to 1996; WHEREAS, said difficulties are in the form of near strikes, cases with the Department of Labor and Employment and its agencies, as well as with the Supreme Court; WHEREAS, the general membership (has) shown exceptional patience and perseverance and generally (had) demonstrated full trust and confidence in the Association officers and accordingly approved the manner and/or actions undertaken in pursuing said difficult task of arriving at a most beneficial agreement for the general membership; NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved that: ...

b) the general membership reiterate its loyalty to the Association and commends the Association officers for their effort expended in working for the benefit of the whole membership. APPROVED. Manila. 10 December 1997. On 22 November 1999, a decision12 was rendered by Regional Director Maximo B. Lim, adverse to petitioners, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, respondent[s] [are] hereby ordered: 1. to immediately lift suspension imposed upon the complainants; 2. to hold a general membership meeting wherein they (respondents) make open and available the union’s/association’s books of accounts and other documents pertaining to the union funds [and] thereby explain the financial status of the union; 3. to regularly conduct special and general membership meetings in accordance with the union’s constitution and bylaws; 4. to immediately hold/conduct an election of officers in accordance with the union’s constitution and by-laws. Accordingly, the claims of complainants for damages [are] hereby ordered dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. However, within ten (10) days upon receipt of this Order, the complainants are hereby directed to submit a written report whether or not the respondents had complied with this Order. The petitioners appealed to the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment (BLR-DOLE). During the pendency of this appeal, or on 07 April 2000, an election of officers

was held by the UEEA. The appeal, however, was dismissed for lack of merit in a Resolution13 dated 22 September 2000, the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit and the decision dated 22 (November) 1999 of Regional Director Maximo B. Lim, DOLE-NCR, is AFFIRMED. Meanwhile, Resolution No. 8, Series of 2000, was passed by the UEEA, wherein the members allegedly reiterated their support and approval of the acts and collateral actions of the officers.14 A Motion for Reconsideration15 was filed by the petitioners with the BLR-DOLE, but was denied in a Resolution16dated 15 January 2001. A special civil action for certiorari17 was thereafter filed before the Court of Appeals citing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. In a Resolution18 dated 22 February 2001, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition outright for failure to comply with the provisions of Section 1, Rule 65 in relation to Section 3, Rule 46 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. A Motion for Reconsideration19 was filed which was granted in a Resolution20 dated 24 April 2001, thus, reinstating the petition.1awphi1.nét On 24 October 2001, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision21 dismissing the petition, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs. A Motion for Reconsideration22 was thereafter filed by the petitioners. In a Resolution23 dated 15 February 2002, the Court of Appeals modified its earlier decision. The decretal portion of which states: WHEREFORE, the questioned decision of this court is MODIFIED. The 22 September 2000 and 15 January 2001 resolutions of the BLR insofar as they affirmed the part of the 22 November 1999 decision of the Regional Director of DOLE-NCR ordering the immediate holding

of election are HEREBY ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. All the other aspects of the assailed Resolutions are AFFIRMED. Not satisfied, the petitioners filed a petition for review on certiorari24 before this Court. The Issues The petitioners raise the following issues: 1. WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS REVERSIBLE ERROR IN THE COURT OF APPEALS’ UPHOLDING THE DOLE-NCR AND BLR-DOLE DECISIONS BASED ONLY ON THE COMPLAINT AND ANSWER; 2. WHETHER OR NOT IT IS REVERSIBLE ERROR FOR THE COURT OF APPEALS TO HOLD THE ELECTION OF APRIL 7, 2000 AS INVALID AND A NULLITY; 3. WHETHER OR NOT IT IS REVERSIBLE ERROR TO UPHOLD BLR-DOLE’S FINDING THAT THE SUSPENSION WAS ILLEGAL; and 4. WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEGED NON-HOLDING OF MEETINGS AND ALLEGED NON-SUBMISSION OF REPORTS ARE MOOT AND ACADEMIC, AND WHETHER THE DECISION TO HOLD MEETINGS AND SUBMIT REPORTS CONTRADICT AND OVERRIDE THE SOVEREIGN WILL OF THE MAJORITY.25 The Court’s Rulings We shall discuss the issues in seriatim. First Issue: was the court a quo correct in upholding the DOLE-NCR and BLR-DOLE decisions based only on the complaint and answer? Petitioners contend that the complaint filed by the private respondents in DOLE-NCR was a mere recital of bare, self serving and unsubstantiated allegations. Both parties did not submit position papers, and the DOLE-NCR resolved the case based only on the

thus: It is apparent. We cannot accept petitioners’ line of reasoning that since no position papers were submitted. as found in the last paragraph of Article 241 of the Labor Code. Bureau of Labor Relations38 that the 30% requirement is not mandatory. the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. and the delay in the proceedings before the DOLE-NCR was clearly attributable to them. with the least attention to technicalities but without sacrificing the fundamental requisites of due process. As ruled by Regional Director Maximo B. speaking through Chief Justice Andres R. petitioners prayed for another extension of time. made this observation. however.37 we likewise cannot sanction the petitioners. on the other hand. answer and available exhibits or annexes integrated with the aforesaid pleadings. is not applicable to them because their complaint was primordially predicated on their suspension while the rest of the causes of action were mere collateral consequences of the principal cause of action. underscored the negligence of herein petitioners not only in the submission of their pleadings but also in attending the hearings called for the purpose.26 They further argue that the private respondents did not exhaust administrative remedies and that the requirement of support by at least 30% of the members of the association pursuant to Section 1. no decision may be made by the adjudicating body.29 The respondents also point out that the thirty percent (30%) support requirement pursuant to Section 1. petitioners again moved for extension of time to file the same. private respondents (complainants therein) moved for the submission of the case based on their complaint. they nonetheless moved that the case be resolved by DOLE-NCR based on the complaint. petitioners finally filed not their position paper but their answer. Article I.31 Even the Court of Appeals.35 In this case. Narvasa. the respondents have chronicled from the very beginning that they were indefinitely suspended without the benefit of a formal charge sufficient in form and substance.28 The principle of nonexhaustion of administrative remedies that would warrant the dismissal of the case should not operate against them because they were deprived of their right to due process when they were indefinitely suspended without the benefit of a formal charge which is sufficient in form and substance. On the matter concerning the 30% support requirement needed to report violations of rights and conditions of union membership. In this case. Hence. in its decision. reiterated their earlier motion to have the case resolved based on available pleadings. the Court. Rule XIV.32 The Court of Appeals was justified in upholding the DOLE-NCR and BLR-DOLE decisions based on the complaint and answer.33 Labor laws mandate the speedy disposition of cases.36 In this case. it cannot be said that there was a denial of due process on the part of the petitioners because they were given all the chances to refute the allegations of the private respondents. that petitioners were to blame for their predicament.) After six (6) months or so. assert that the records show that despite their failure to submit their position papers.27 Private respondents. the complaint and the answer thereto were adopted as the parties’ position papers. Therefore. The argument that there was failure to exhaust administrative remedies cannot be sustained. Department Order No.39 held in part: . and requested for extension of time to file its answer.34 The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. Thereafter. asked for resetting of hearings.30 It is worthy to note that the BLR-DOLE. When another notice was given to the parties to comply with the directive. however. (Private respondents. when they again did not attend a hearing on a date they themselves asked for. 9. by failing to submit a reply to the answer. in its Resolution dated 22 September 2000. the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies cannot squarely apply to them. We have already made our pronouncement in the case of Rodriguez v. They repeatedly failed to appear in a series of conferences scheduled by the DOLE-NCR. Rule XIV. One of the instances when the rule of exhaustion of administrative remedies may be disregarded is when there is a violation of due process. 9 of DOLE. in effect admitted the petitioners’ controversion of the charges. Department Order No. Director. Also. was not complied with. private respondents.complaint and answer. Article I. Lim in his decision. When DOLE-NCR directed the parties to submit their respective position papers. position paper and annexes attached thereto.

ordered petitioners. by secret ballots at intervals of five (5) years." And further confirmation that the assent of 30% of the union members is not a factor in the acquisition of jurisdiction by the Bureau of Labor Relations is furnished by Article 226 of the same Labor Code. despite of this finding. the BLR-DOLE affirmed the decision of the DOLENCR. however. but due to the appeal of the petitioners questioning the BLR-DOLE’s order.42 The private respondents. reversible error in the BLR-DOLE’s adding to the DOLE-NCR’s decision. and all disputes. the supposed election conducted on (07) April 2000 is null and void and cannot produce legal effects adverse to appellants. . The BLR–DOLE should have limited itself to affirming. that the assent of 30% of the union membership. The election was held because the term of the petitioners (extended for five years under Republic Act No. the election of UEEA officers on 7 April 2000 cannot acquire a semblance of legality. point out that the 07 April 2000 election. but with the pronouncement that ". and the original complaint before the DOLE-NCR was filed on 01 December 1997. The appeal effectively suspended the effect of the DOLE-NCR Regional Director’s order for the immediate holding of election of officers in accordance with the union’s constitution and by-laws. insofar as it affirmed this particular order." The use of the permissive "may" in the provision at once negates the notion that the assent of 30% of all the members is mandatory. an election of officers was held on 07 April 2000. It just so happened that the holding of the election coincided with the DOLE-NCR decision. and the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR)-Department of Labor and Employment. in answer to this. the Regional Director of DOLE-NCR erred in ordering the immediate holding of election of officers of UEEA. was set aside not on the flimsy reason that there was no complaint to invalidate it. and the Labor Relations Division in the Regional Offices of the Department of Labor.The respondent Director’s ruling. grievances or problems arising from or affecting labor management relations. it must be recalled. During the pendency of the appeal. which grants original and exclusive jurisdiction to the Bureau. Nonetheless. There was. Subsequently. . modifying or setting aside and canceling the provisions of the dispositive portion of the DOLE-NCR’s decision which was subject of the appeal. the officials mentioned are given the power to act "on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts (1) " upon request of either or both parties" as well as (2) "at their own initiative. . over "all inter-union and intra-union conflicts. 671541 ) expired on 07 April 2000. mentioned in Article 242 of the Labor Code. however. among other things. was mandatory and essential to the filing of a complaint for any violation of rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization (such as the arbitrary and oppressive increase of union dues here complained of). ." Petitioners. paragraph (c) of Article 241 of the Labor Code now reads: (c) The members shall directly elect their officers in the local union.43 On this matter. appealed from the DOLE-NCR decision to the BLR-DOLE. First."40 The petitioners contend that since the election was held on 07 April 2000. to "immediately hold/conduct an election of officers . the nullification of the 07 April 2000 election. as well as their national officers in the national union or federation to which they or their local union is affiliated. the former could not have been the subject of the complaint. It states that a report of a violation of rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization maybe made by "(a)t least thirty percent (30%) of all the members of a union or any member or members specially concerned. More decisive is the fact that the provision expressly declares that the report may be made. it was conducted pursuant to the aforesaid (erroneous) order of the . alternatively by "any member or members specially concerned. the Court of Appeals made the following observation: Consequently." Second Issue: was the election held on 07 April 2000 valid or a nullity? This issue arose from the fact that the original decision of the DOLENCR dated 22 November 1999. The very article relied upon militates against the proposition. Indeed. As amended by Republic Act 6715. as appearing in the 22 September 2000 Resolution of the BLR-DOLE. committed an act amounting to grave abuse of discretion. cannot be affirmed and will be reversed." making no reference whatsoever to any such 30%-support requirement. according to petitioners.

6715. But as rightfully observed by the BLR-DOLE: . shall not be disturbed. The petitioners posit the theory that the records do not support the findings of the BLR-DOLE that no investigation was conducted making the suspension illegal because of lack of due process. it is obvious that the general membership meeting and election of officers was done purposely to pre-empt our resolution of this case and. we affirm the foregoing findings of the court a quo. This issue was precipitated by the Court of Appeals decision affirming the order of DOLE Regional Director Maximo B.Regional Director as manifested by the petitioners. The records show that the petitioners questioned this order of the Regional Director before the BLR-DOLE by way of appeal. Lim for the petitioners to hold a general membership meeting wherein they make open and available the union’s/association’s books of accounts and other documents pertaining to the union funds. To hold otherwise would be to dispossess the BLR of its inherent power to control the conduct of the proceedings of cases pending before it for resolution. the participation of appellees in the election. .45 and yet. more importantly. A careful review of the pleadings before Us reveals that the decision and resolutions of the concerned agencies were correctly anchored in law and on substantial evidence. Third. The exceptions49 to this rule find no application here. allegedly because it was due under Republic Act No. and to regularly conduct special and general membership meetings in accordance with the union’s constitution and by-laws. This being the case.44 Based on the prevailing facts of this case. Petitioners do not hide the fact that they belatedly submitted their financial reports and the minutes of their meetings to the DOLE. Said election was perceptibly done to hinder any resolution or decision that would be made by BLR-DOLE. We cannot hold the election of 07 April 2000 valid as this would make us condone an iniquitous act.47 The instant case is a petition for review on certiorari48 where only questions of law may be raised. is not a trier of facts.50 Fourth Issue: is the non-holding of meetings and non-submission of reports by the petitioners moot and academic.51 It is to be recalled that the private respondents. as we have held in a long line of decisions. the findings of fact of the DOLE-NCR and the BLRDOLE as affirmed by the Court of Appeals to the effect that no investigation was conducted. This cannot be tolerated. Second. they conducted the election. when they filed a complaint before the DOLENCR also complained of petitioners’ refusal to render financial and other reports. As properly held by the court a quo: Petitioners have failed to show that the findings of facts and conclusions of law of both the DOLE-NCR and BLR-DOLE were arrived at with grave abuse of discretion or without substantial evidence. Why this was done by the petitioners escapes us. It was simply improper for the petitioners to implement the said order which was then one of the subjects of their appeal in the BLR. and deliberate refusal to call general and special meetings. The .46 Third Issue: was the indefinite suspension of the private respondents illegal? We rule in the affirmative. while the BLR was wrong in affirming the order of the Regional Director for the immediate holding of election. The Regional Director indeed ordered the immediate holding of an election in its Order dated 22 November 1999. . Thus. it was right in nullifying the 7 April 2000 UEEA election of officers. it was purposely done to pre-empt the resolution of the case by the BLR and to deprive private respondents their substantial right to participate in the election. It is best to remind the petitioners that this Court. for this would go against the principle of fair play. and whether the decision to hold meetings and submit reports contradict and override the sovereign will of the majority? We do not believe so. Indeed. petitioners cannot be allowed to take an inconsistent position to later on claim that the election of 7 April 2000 was held because it was already due while previously declaring that it was made in line with the order of the Regional Director.

52 Moreover. Costs against the petitioners. are affirmed. This is not only true with UEEA. SO ORDERED.531awphi1. but likewise with other unions/associations. The passage of General Assembly Resolution No. Besides. following the application of the principle that the sovereign majority rules. 10 dated 10 December 1997 and Resolution No. WHEREFORE. transparency in the official undertakings of union officers will bolster genuine trade unionism in the country. Undeniably. the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals subjects of the instant case.54 The last association’s meeting was conducted on 21 April 1995. as what happened in this case.55 which supposedly cured the lapses committed by the association’s officers and reiterated the approval of the general membership of the acts and collateral actions of the association’s officers cannot redeem the petitioners from their predicament. Prompt compliance in rendering financial reports together with the holding of regular meetings with the submission of the minutes thereon with the BLR-DOLE and DOLE-NCR shall negate any suspicion of dishonesty on the part of UEEA’s officers. according to the petitioners.issue of belatedly submitting these reports. 8. and the copy of the minutes thereon was submitted to BLR-DOLE only on 24 February 1998. this has been the practice of the association.nét As found by the Court of Appeals. . shall not release them from the obligation to accomplish these things in the future. 10 dated 10 December 1997 and Resolution No. The obligation to hold meetings and render financial reports is mandated by UEEA’s constitution and by-laws. had been rendered moot and academic by their eventual compliance. as this matter is imbued with public interest. the petitioners likewise maintain that the passage of General Assembly Resolution No. Series of 2000. cured any liability that may have been brought about by their belated actions. Their eventual compliance. 8. the financial statements for the years 1995 up to 1997 were submitted to DOLE-NCR only on 06 February 1998 while that for the year 1998 was submitted only on 16 March 1999. Series of 2000. in view of all the foregoing. This fact was never denied by the petitioners.

Of this number. with a total of 528 objectors and a remainder of 272 supporters. filed a motion/complaint for intervention therein in two groups of 161 and 94. 1 Among the compensation benefits granted to the employees was a general salary increase to be given in lump sum including recomputation of actual commissions earned based on the new rates of increase. the pertinent facts are as follows: On October 12. as the collective bargaining agent of all regular salesmen. 672 members originally authorized the 10% special assessment. and COCACOLA BOTTLERS (PHILIPPINES). As embodied in the Board Resolution of the Union dated September 29.00 every payday or P20. consultants and others. 5 On account of the above-mentioned disauthorization. from the CBA lump-sum pay granted to the union members. No. turned the tide in favor of disauthorization for the special assessment. and for the payment for services rendered by union officers. Wellington B. or having signed one. way of special assessment.G. filed an action for interpleader with the Bureau of Labor Relations in order to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties concerned. 1987. respondents." This "Authorization and CBA Ratification" was obtained by the Union through a secret referendum held in separate local membership meetings on various dates.. J. notwithstanding a subsequent disauthorization of the same by a majority of the union members? This is the main issue for resolution in the instant petition for certiorari.R. petitioners. 1987. added to the original oppositors of 173. subsequently withdrew or retracted their signatures therefrom. They claimed to be among those union members who either did not sign any individual written authorization. 1990 CARMELITO L. GANCAYCO. the respondent Manila CCBPI Sales Force Union (hereinafter referred to as the Union). PALACOL. who are regular rank-and-file employees of the Company and bona fide members of the Union. 10% by . 3 The total membership of the Union was about 800. respectively. in addition. regular helpers. numbering 355 in all (170 + 185).. 85333 February 26. and relief helpers of the Manila Plant and Metro Manila Sales Office of the respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers (Philippines). being in a quandary as to whom to remit the payment of the questioned amount. Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations." 2 There was also an additional proviso stating that the "matter of allocation . 185 other union members submitted similar documents expressing the same intent. MANILA CCBPI SALES FORCE UNION. The last one among the aforementioned is the subject of the instant petition. As gleaned from the records of the case. Later. On the same day.. Petitioners. the purpose of the special assessment sought to be levied is "to put up a cooperative and credit union. Guerzon for respondent Union. they are withdrawing or disauthorizing the deduction of any amount from their CBA lump sum. vs. These members. Adolpho M. Lachica for petitioners. shall be at the discretion of our incumbent Union President. the president of the Union submitted to the Company the ratification by the union members of the new CBA and authorization for the Company to deduct union dues equivalent to P10. granted under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). while 173 opposed the same.: Can a special assessment be validly deducted by a labor union from the lump-sum pay of its members. 4 Subsequently however. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA.. one hundred seventy (170) members of the Union submitted documents to the Company stating that although they have ratified the new CBA. the Company.00 every month and. Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the Company) concluded a new collective bargaining agreement with the latter. purchase vehicles and other items needed for the benefit of the officers and the general membership. ET AL. INC.

petitioners cited Galvadores v. 241. the purpose of the special assessment or fees and the recipient of such assessments or fees. Cruz ruled in favor of petitioners in an order dated February 15. — xxx xxx xxx (n) No special assessment or other extraordinary fees may be levied upon the members of a labor organization unless authorized by a written resolution of a majority of all the members at a general membership meeting duly called for the purpose. negotiation fees or any other extraordinary fees may be checked off from any amount due to an employee without an individual written authorization duly signed by the employee.Petitioners assailed the 10% special assessment as a violation of Article 241(o) in relation to Article 222(b) of the Labor Code. no special assessments. negotiation fees or similar charges of any kind arising from any collective bargaining negotiations or conclusion of the collective agreement shall be imposed on any individual member of the contracting union. however. Appearances and Fees. On the other hand. Any contract. 241. The record shall be attested to by the president. — xxx xxx xxx (b) No attorney's fees. but likewise complied with the legal requirements of Article 241 (n) and (o) of the Labor Code in that the board resolution of the Union imposing the questioned special assessment had been duly approved in a general membership meeting and that the collection of a special fund for labor education and research is mandated. Med-Arbiter Manases T. agreement or arrangement of any sort to the contrary shall be null and void. and beneficiary of the deduction. however. the order of the Med-Arbiter was reversed and set aside by the respondentDirector in a resolution dated August 19. 1988 whereby he directed the Company to remit the amount it had kept in trust directly to the rank-and-file personnel without delay. that attorney's fees may be charged against union funds in an amount to be agreed upon by the parties. Rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. purpose and beneficiary of the deduction. The secretary of the organization shall record the minutes of the meeting including the list of all members present. 6 wherein it was ruled that no check-offs from any amount due employees may be effected without individual written authorizations duly signed by the employees specifically stating the amount. purpose. 222. the Union countered that the deductions not only have the popular indorsement and approval of the general membership. On appeal to the Bureau of Labor Relations. Rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. As authority for their contention. attorney's fees. The authorization should specifically state the amount. Provided. — xxx xxx xxx (o) Other than for mandatory activities under the Code. In its answer. Trajano. Article 241(o) mandates that: ART. 1988 upholding the claim of . the votes cast. Article 241(n) of the Labor Code states that — ART. Article 222(b) provides as follows: ART.

the instant petition. (4) failing to have the list of members present included in the minutes of the meetings. the Union obviously failed to comply with the requirements of paragraph (n). on different dates and at various venues. 9 The respondent-Union brushed aside the defects pointed out by petitioners in the manner of compliance with the legal requirements as "insignificant technicalities. the Union has nevertheless failed to comply with the procedure to legitimize the questioned special assessment by: (1) presenting mere minutes of local membership meetings instead of a written resolution. the Union must submit to the Company a written resolution of a majority of all the members at a general membership meeting duly called for the purpose. the minutes of three of those local meetings held were recorded by a union director and not by the union secretary. 7 Petitioners concluded their argument by citing Galvadores. and that the Union has complied with the requirements therein. Hence. The reason advanced is that a special assessment is not a matter of major policy affecting the entire union membership but is one which concerns the individual rights of union members. Their express consent is required. Under paragraph (n). The principle "that employees are protected by law from unwarranted practices that diminish their compensation without their known edge and consent" 8 is in accord with the constitutional principle of the State affording full protection to labor. must include. The applicable provisions are clear. the only conclusion that may be made therefrom is that there was no valid levy of the special assessment pursuant to paragraph (n) of Article 241 of the Labor Code. Petitioners are correct in citing the ruling of this Court in Galvadores which is applicable to the instant case. the secretary of the organization must record the minutes of the meeting which. According to petitioners. the list of all the members present as well as the votes cast. Both provisions must be complied with. It held local membership meetings on separate occasions. The Union itself admits that both paragraphs (n) and (o) of Article 241 apply. Petitioners further assert that assuming arguendo that Article 241(n) should prevail over paragraph (o). among others. Paragraph (n) refers to "levy" while paragraph (o) refers to "check-off" of a special assessment. The minutes submitted to the Company contained no list of the members present and no record of the votes cast. Worse still. As earlier outlined by petitioners. the failure of the Union to comply strictly with the requirements set out by the law invalidates the questioned special assessment. Petitioners allege that the respondent-Director committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she held Article 241 (n) of the Labor Code to be the applicable provision instead of Article 222(b) in relation to Article 241(o) of the same law. After a careful review of the records of this case. The contention of the Union that "the local membership meetings are precisely the very general meetings required by law" 10 is untenable because the law would not have specified a general membership meeting had the legislative intent been to allow local meetings in lieu of the latter. and (5) failing to present a record of the votes cast. and not by the union secretary as required. Since it is quite evident that the Union did not comply with the law at every turn. We are convinced that the deduction of the 10% special assessment by the Union was not made in accordance with the requirements provided by law. which must be followed to the letter. In addition.the Union that the special assessment is authorized under Article 241 (n) of the Labor Code. ." On the contrary. Substantial compliance is not enough in view of the fact that the special assessment will diminish the compensation of the union members. a cursory examination and comparison of the two provisions of Article 241 reveals that paragraph (n) cannot prevail over paragraph (o). in turn. contrary to the express requirement that there must be a general membership meeting. (3) having the minutes of three (3) local membership meetings recorded by a union director. and this consent must be obtained in accordance with the steps outlined by law. No shortcuts are allowed. It submitted only minutes of the local membership meetings when what is required is a written resolution adopted at the general meeting. (2) failing to call a general membership meeting.

Thus. believing that their regular union dues are adequate for the purposes stated by the respondent. there being no showing that the latter are not sufficient to cover the same... as we have earlier mentioned. The collection of the special assessment partly for the payment for services rendered by union officers. as embodied in the board resolution of the Union. A withdrawal of individual authorizations is equivalent to no authorization at all. Moreover. as they are "mere bunches of randomly procured signatures. negotiations fees and similar charges arising out of the conclusion of a collective bargaining agreement from being imposed on any individual union member. There is no reason shown that the regular union dues being now implemented is not sufficient for the alleged expenses.. and granting that individual written authorizations were obtained by the Union. albeit unproven. Such a proviso may open the door to abuse by the officers of the Union considering that the total amount of the special assessment is quite considerable — P1. The two other purposes." 11 The contention deserves no merit for the simple reason that the documents containing the disauthorizations have the signatures of the union members. . while the latter is being held in trust by the Company. it is well-settled that "all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code . as shown by the circumstances of the instant petition. Furthermore. To ignore the mandate of the rank and file would enure to destabilizing industrial peace and harmony within the rank and file and the employer's fold. the rank and file have spoken in withdrawing their consent to the special assessment.694. or subsequently retracted their authorizations. should be supported by the regular union dues." 12 And as previously stated. 13 The former amount had already been remitted to the Union.863. nevertheless there can be no valid check-off considering that the majority of the union members had already withdrawn their individual authorizations. There is an additional proviso giving the Union President unlimited discretion to allocate the proceeds of the special assessment. as employees of the Company. Of the stated purposes of the special assessment. The Union points out. that said disauthorizations are not valid for being collective in form. The Court finds these retractions to be valid. the same may even be taken to reflect their dissatisfaction with their bargaining representative.. as correctly pointed out by the Union. labor in this case refers to the union members. within the coverage of the prohibition in the aforementioned article. Moreover.267. shall be resolved in favor of labor. and with good reason. " is applicable. Hence. On the contrary.39 from those who did not authorize the same. cannot be construed against them in relation to the legality of the questioned special assessment. only the collection of a special fund for labor and education research is mandated. Article 222 (b) prohibits attorney's fees. their sentiments should be respected. the respondent-Union. Their mere desire to establish a separate bargaining unit. it will be recalled that precisely union dues are collected from the union members to be spent for the purposes alluded to by respondent. under loose sheets of paper. consultants and others. Even assuming that the special assessment was validly levied pursuant to paragraph (n).33 collected from those union members who originally authorized the deduction. which we cannot countenance.Paragraph (o) on the other hand requires an individual written authorization duly signed by every employee in order that a special assessment may be validly checked-off." But there is no question that it is an exaction which falls within the category of a "similar charge. namely. The contention is impressed with merit. the ruling in Galvadores that "no check-offs from any amounts due employees may be effected without an individual written authorization signed by the employees . therefore. and the payment of services rendered by union officers. the purchase of vehicles and other items for the benefit of the union officers and the general membership. There is nothing in the law which requires that the disauthorization must be in individual form. the rank and file having spoken and. The last stated purpose is contended by petitioners to fall under the coverage of Article 222 (b) of the Labor Code. The Med-Arbiter correctly ruled in his Order that: The mandate of the majority rank and file have (sic) to be respected considering they are the ones directly affected and the realities of the high standards of survival nowadays. however." and. and P1. consultants and others may not be in the category of "attorney's fees or negotiations fees.027.

1988 is reinstated. the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. therefore. . WHEREFORE. This decision is immediately executory. Inc. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. is hereby ordered to immediately remit the amount of P1. and Article 222 (b) of the Labor Code. while the order of the Med-Arbiter dated February 17.39 to the respective union members from whom the said amount was withheld.863.The Court. The Order of the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated August 19. and the respondent Coca-Cola Bottlers (Philippines). stakes down the questioned special assessment for being a violation of Article 241.267. paragraphs (n) and (o). 1988 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

the revocation of its registration based on non-compliance with the 20% .5 In compliance with registration requirements.: In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. and SMBP.12 On 14 July 2000. However. it declared: As a chartered local union. petitioner filed with the DOLE-NCR a petition seeking the cancellation of respondent's registration and its dropping from the rolls of legitimate labor organizations.G. affirming the Decision3 dated 19 February 2001 of the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which upheld the Certificate of Registration of respondent SAN MIGUEL PACKAGING PRODUCTS EMPLOYEES UNION–PAMBANSANG DIWA NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (SMPPEU–PDMP). including the Metal Closure and Lithography Plant in Laguna. denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of the aforementioned Decision. Moreover. petitioner accused respondent of committing fraud and falsification.6 Upon submission of its charter certificate and other documents. SP No.13 Respondent appealed to the BLR. PDMP issued Charter Certificate No. respondent1. 112 to respondent on 15 June 1999. 171153 September 12. on the ground that the separate petitions fragmented a single bargaining unit. DOLE-NCR Regional Director Maximo B. Regional Director Lim further ruled that respondent is allowed to directly create a local or chapter. In its petition. The petition was docketed as Case No.7 Thereafter. No. and non-compliance with registration requirements in obtaining its certificate of registration. 66200. (b) and (c)10 and 234(c)11 of the Labor Code. and the San Miguel Packaging Products (SMPP). SAN MIGUEL PACKAGING PRODUCTS EMPLOYEES UNION– PAMBANSANG DIWA NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (SMPPEU–PDMP). in all offices and plants of SMC. hence. he found that respondent did not comply with the 20% membership requirement and.R. appellant is not required to submit the number of employees and names of all its members comprising at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate. thus. it cannot directly create a local or chapter. It raised allegations that respondent violated Articles 239(a). three separate petitions for certification election to represent SMPP.8 All three petitions were dismissed. Thus. petitioner.9 On 17 August 1999. vs.R. and (b) the Resolution4 dated 16 January 2006 of the Court of Appeals in the same case. 2007 SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION–PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS ORGANIZATION (SMCEU–PTGWO). Respondent is registered as a chapter of Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang Pilipino (PDMP). namely. Lim issued an Order dismissing the allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. The following are the antecedent facts: Petitioner is the incumbent bargaining agent for the bargaining unit comprised of the regular monthly-paid rank and file employees of the three divisions of San Miguel Corporation (SMC). respondent was issued Certificate of Creation of Local or Chapter PDMP-01 by the BLR on 6 July 1999. petitioner SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION-PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS ORGANIZATION (SMCEU-PTGWO) prays that this Court reverse and set aside the (a) Decision2 dated 9 March 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. It had been the certified bargaining agent for 20 years – from 1987 to 1997. San Miguel Brewing Philippines (SMBP). In a Decision dated 19 February 2001. petitioner claimed that PDMP is not a legitimate labor organization. NCR-OD9908-007-IRD. and irregularity in the submission of documents by respondent. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. SMCSU. ordered the cancellation of its certificate of registration and removal from the rolls of legitimate labor organizations. but a trade union center. respondent submitted the requisite documents to the BLR for the purpose of acquiring legal personality. J. respondent filed with the Med-Arbiter of the DOLE Regional Officer in the National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR). the San Miguel Corporate Staff Unit (SMCSU).

having been issued a charter certificate. the assailed decision and resolution of the BLR are AFFIRMED. 9. the appeal is hereby GRANTED. The present petition questions the legal personality of respondent as a legitimate labor organization. Upon complying with the documentary requirements. the BLR denied the Motion for Reconsideration and affirmed its Decision dated 19 February 2001. the local's constitution and bylaws. The Court of Appeals. citing Article 234(c) of the Labor Code which stipulates that any applicant labor organization. Appellant shall hereby remain in the roster of legitimate labor organizations. the local shall be issued a certificate and included in the roster of legitimate labor organizations. in a Decision dated 9 March 2005. petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure docketed as CA-G. in accordance with the provisions of Department Order No. Under the rules we have reviewed. association or group of unions or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration based on the following requirements: . 66200. Further. a registered federation or national union may directly create a local by submitting to the BLR copies of the charter certificate. Accordingly.15 Invoking the power of the appellate court to review decisions of quasi-judicial agencies. Hence. the decision of the Regional Director dated July 14. SP No.16 Subsequently. WHEREFORE.R. In a Resolution rendered on 19 June 2001 in BLR-A-C-64-05-9-00 (NCR-OD-9908-007-IRD).14 While the BLR agreed with the findings of the DOLE Regional Director dismissing the allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. it is a holder of Registration Certificate No.membership requirement does not have any basis in the rules. although PDMP is considered as a trade union center. there is no need for SMPPEU to show a membership of 20% of the employees of the bargaining unit in order to be recognized as a legitimate labor union. the Court of Appeals denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of the aforementioned Decision. xxxx In view of the foregoing. 2000. which bestowed upon it the status of a legitimate labor organization with all the rights and privileges to act as representative of its members for purposes of collective bargaining agreement. and the petition is DISMISSED. in a Resolution dated 16 January 2006. it reversed the Regional Director's ruling that the 20% membership is a requirement for respondent to attain legal personality as a labor organization. and the names of its officers and their addresses. On this basis. FED11558-LC issued by the BLR on 14 February 1991. the principal office address of the local. Petitioner posits that respondent is required to submit a list of members comprising at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit before it may acquire legitimacy. this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court where petitioner raises the sole issue of: WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RULING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AND NAMES OF ALL ITS MEMBERS COMPRISING AT LEAST 20% OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE BARGAINING UNIT WHERE IT SEEKS TO OPERATE. and in upholding that PDMP can directly create a local or a chapter. 9. PDMP can charter or create a local. ruling as follows: In Department Order No. Petitioner thereafter filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the BLR. dismissed the petition and affirmed the Decision of the BLR. The [herein respondent] is an affiliate of a registered federation PDMP. canceling the registration of appellant San Miguel Packaging Products Employees Union-Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang Pilipino (SMPPEU-PDMP) is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

including Metal Closure and Lithography Plant located at Canlubang. Hence.17 Petitioner also insists that the 20% requirement for registration of respondent must be based not on the number of employees of a single division. Rizal Park. Registration requirements are intended to afford a measure of protection to unsuspecting employees who may be lured into joining unscrupulous or fly-by-night unions whose sole purpose is to control union funds or use the labor organization for illegitimate ends. c. respondent was directly chartered by PDMP. Appropriate Bargaining Unit.) Petitioner thus maintains that respondent. namely. The names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate. The appropriate bargaining unit covered by this Agreement consists of all regular rank and file employees paid on the basis of fixed salary per month and employed by the COMPANY in its Corporate Staff Units (CSU).O. The names of its officers. minutes of its adoption or ratification and the list of the members who participated in it. Petitioner refers to Section 1.18 quoted hereunder: ARTICLE 1 SCOPE Section 1. . There is merit in petitioner's contentions. the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings. and again by Department Order No. d. and includes any branch or local thereof. The Implementing Rules as amended by D. a plant within the territory covered by this Agreement is transferred outside but within a radius of fifty (50) kilometers from the Rizal Monument.24 The acquisition of rights by any union or labor organization. San Miguel Brewing Products (SMBP) and San Miguel Packaging Products (SMPP) and in different operations existing in the City of Manila and suburbs.22 Legitimate labor organizations have exclusive rights under the law which cannot be exercised by non-legitimate unions.00) registration fee. failed to meet this 20% membership requirement since it based its membership on the number of employees of a single division only. 9 which took effect on 21 June 1997. first and foremost. the employees in the transferred plant shall remain in the bargaining unit covered by this Agreement. and e.21 and are involved in activities directly affecting matters of public interest. Laguna subject to the provisions of Article XV of this Agreement provided however. particularly the right to file a petition for certification election. b. the SMPP. (Emphasis supplied. depends on whether or not the labor organization has attained the status of a legitimate labor organization. 40 dated 17 February 2003. No.25 A perusal of the records reveals that respondent is registered with the BLR as a "local" or "chapter" of PDMP and was issued Charter Certificate No. copies of its annual financial reports. as amended by Department Order No. in any case. the principal address of the labor organization."20 The mandate of the Labor Code is to ensure strict compliance with the requirements on registration because a legitimate labor organization is entitled to specific rights under the Labor Code. If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more years. Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union. A legitimate labor organization19 is defined as "any labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment. that if during the term of this Agreement. but in all three divisions of the company in all the offices and plants of SMC since they are all part of one bargaining unit. Fifty pesos (P50. 112 on 15 June 1999. The procedure for registration of a local or chapter of a labor organization is provided in Book V of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code. one of which is the right to be certified as the exclusive representative23 of all the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining.a. Metro Manila. Article 1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). their addresses.

association or group of unions or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration based on the following requirements: (a) Fifty pesos (P50. (d) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more years. the creation of a branch. A duly constituted local or chapter created in accordance with the foregoing shall acquire legal personality from the date of filing of the complete documents with the BLR. Such legal personality is acquired from the filing of the complete documentary requirements enumerated in Section 1.30 Petitioner insists that Section 3 of the Implementing Rules.00) registration fee.9 should govern the resolution of the petition at bar since respondent's petition for certification election was filed with the BLR in 1999. (b) The names of its officers. However.) It is emphasized that the foregoing pertains to the registration of an independent labor organization. association or group of unions or workers. violated Article 234 of the Labor Code when it provided for less stringent requirements for the creation of a chapter or local. Secretary. Article 234 of the Labor Code provides that an independent labor organization acquires legitimacy only upon its registration with the BLR: Any applicant labor organization. involves the direct creation of a local or a chapter through the process of chartering. their addresses. and (c) The local/chapter's constitution and by-laws.31 declared that when an unregistered union becomes a . 9. Department of Labor and Employment. copies of its annual financial reports. That where the local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as that of the federation or national union. 9. This Court. and that of petitioner on 17 August 1999. finding application in the instant petition. Rule VI.28 The Implementing Rules stipulate that a local or chapter may be directly created by a federation or national union. as amended by Department Order No.27 A duly registered federation or national union may directly create a local or chapter by submitting to the DOLE Regional Office or to the BLR two copies of the following: (a) A charter certificate issued by the federation or national union indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter. the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings. This Court disagrees. (Italics supplied. this fact shall be indicated accordingly. and (e) Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union. and the list of the members who participated in it. and the principal office of the local/chapter. (b) The names of the local/chapter's officers. their addresses.26 The applicable Implementing Rules enunciates a two-fold procedure for the creation of a chapter or a local. (c) The names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate. All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested to by its President. the principal address of the labor organization. The second. minutes of its adoption or ratification. The first involves the affiliation of an independent union with a federation or national union or industry union. Provided. in the landmark case ofProgressive Development Corporation v. local or chapter is treated differently.29 The issuance of the certificate of registration by the BLR or the DOLE Regional Office is not the operative act that vests legal personality upon a local or a chapter under Department Order No.

and is duly registered with the DOLE in accordance with Rule III. Firstly. albeit indirectly. a trade union center is any group of registered national unions or federations organized for the mutual aid and protection of its members. that a direct challenge to the legitimacy of a labor organization based on fraud and misrepresentation in securing its certificate of registration is a serious allegation which deserves careful scrutiny. 9 was directly put in issue. among other things. for PDMP cannot create a local or chapter as it is not a legitimate labor organization. this Court is not a trier of facts. however.35 This Court emphasizes. but may be questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance with these Rules. The records of the case are devoid of such evidence. standards. This Court had. The law is very clear on this matter. 9. defines a legitimate labor organization37 as "any labor organization duly registered with the DOLE. Whereas an applicant for registration of an independent union is mandated to submit.39 The Implementing Rules stipulate that a labor organization shall be deemed registered and vested with legal personality on the date of issuance of its certificate of registration. as amended. As to petitioner's claims that respondent obtained its Certificate of Registration through fraud and misrepresentation. Anent the foregoing. or for participating in the formulation of social and employment policies. some of the aforementioned requirements for registration are no longer necessary or compulsory. holds on to a mere scrap of paper. this line of reasoning attempts to predicate that a trade union center is not a legitimate labor organization."38 On the other hand. acquires no rights. are generally accorded not only great respect but even finality. Once a certificate of registration is issued to a union. the same is no longer required of a branch. as provided under Article 234 of the Labor Code and Section 2 of Rule III. at best. Effect of registration.branch.36 Still.40 It may be questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance with Section 5 of Rule V. such as the BLR. which. this Court finds that the imputations are not impressed with merit. Secondly. Trajano34 where the validity of Department Order No. this Court was unequivocal in finding that there is no inconsistency between the Labor Code and Department Order No. local or chapter. on several occasions. the labor organization. v. and this doctrine applies with greater force in labor cases. not being a legitimate labor organization. local or chapter. pronounced that registration based on false and fraudulent statements and documents confer no legitimacy upon a labor organization irregularly recognized. it being a trade union center. cannot be subject to a collateral attack. and includes any branch or local thereof. Findings of fact of administrative agencies and quasijudicial bodies. Such legal personality cannot thereafter be subject to collateral attack. Petitioner's argument creates a predicament as it hinges on the legitimacy of PDMP as a labor organization.32 The intent of the law in imposing less requirements in the case of a branch or local of a registered federation or national union is to encourage the affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union in order to increase the local union's bargaining powers respecting terms and conditions of labor. Article 212 (h) of the Labor Code. for assisting such members in collective bargaining. the legitimacy of PDMP is being impugned. in Pagpalain Haulers. . indeed. petitioner postulates that respondent was not validly and legitimately created. the number of employees and names of all its members comprising at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate. proof to declare that respondent committed fraud and misrepresentation remains wanting. which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters. the legal personality of a legitimate labor organization. Under such circumstances. Furthermore. Allegations thereof should be compounded with supporting circumstances and evidence. Section 2 of the Implementing Rules. such as PDMP. Inc. Book V of the Implementing Rules. In the instant case. The aforementioned provision is enunciated in the following: Sec. the same contention premises that a trade union center cannot directly create a local or chapter through the process of chartering. Book V of the Implementing Rules.33 Subsequently. In the process. as has been held in a long line of cases. 5. its legal personality cannot be subject to collateral attack. The labor organization or workers' association shall be deemed registered and vested with legal personality on the date of issuance of its certificate of registration. and programs.

in the case of an industry union. This Court reverses the finding of the appellate court and BLR on this ground. This being a collateral attack. which is to apply the law.47 Evidently.45 the provisions of the Labor Code and the Implementing Rules have been subject to several amendments. standards. Once a union acquires legitimate status as a labor organization. approved by the Board of Directors of such union. FED-11558-LC by the BLR on 14 February 1991. The Labor Code was first amended by Republic Act No.49 . on the other hand. (c) The name and principal address of the applicant. 442. 6715. 9. 9. is composed of a group of registered national unions or federations.48 a trade union center. this Court is without jurisdiction to entertain questions indirectly impugning the legitimacy of PDMP. by Republic Act No. the industry where the union seeks to operate. Section 2 of the Implementing Rules. each of which must be a duly certified or recognized collective bargaining agent. provided that where the ratification was done simultaneously with the organizational meeting. The solemn power and duty of the Court to interpret and apply the law does not include the power to correct by reading into the law what is not written therein. After an exhaustive study of the governing labor law provisions. and programs. both statutory and regulatory. considering that labor plays a major role as a socio-economic force. the term trade union center was never mentioned under Presidential Decree No. it shall be sufficient that the fact of ratification be included in the minutes of the organizational meeting. the minutes of its organizational meeting/s. or for participating in the formulation of social and employment policies. even as it was amended by Republic Act No. and (d) A copy of its constitution and by-laws and minutes of its ratification by a majority of the presidents of the member organizations. while a "national union" or "federation" is a labor organization with at least ten locals or chapters or affiliates. and they continue to evolve. it continues to be recognized as such until its certificate of registration is cancelled or revoked in an independent action for cancellation. the names of its officers and their addresses. 6715.43 we find no legal justification to support the conclusion that a trade union center is allowed to directly create a local or chapter through chartering.44 Presidential Decree No. 9481. a trade union center is any group of registered national unions or federations organized for the mutual aid and protection of its members. better known as the Labor Code. Until the certificate of registration of PDMP is cancelled. Culling from its definition as provided by Department Order No. and recently.46 The same rule provides that the application for registration of an industry or trade union center shall be supported by the following: (a) The list of its member organizations and their respective presidents and. PDMP is granted all the rights and privileges appurtenant to a legitimate labor organization.42 and continues to be recognized as such until its certificate of registration is successfully impugned and thereafter cancelled or revoked in an independent action for cancellation. and rules that PDMP cannot directly create a local or chapter. (b) The resolution of membership of each member organization. Corollarily. Apropos. under Department Order No. Being a legislation on social justice. 442. it being a trade union center. was enacted in 1972. Incidentally. we take this occasion to reiterate the first and fundamental duty of this Court. and is duly registered with the DOLE in accordance with Rule III. We now proceed to the contention that PDMP cannot directly create a local or a chapter. its legal personality as a legitimate labor organization subsists. The term trade union center was first adopted in the Implementing Rules. for assisting such members in collective bargaining.41 It bears to emphasize that what is being directly challenged is the personality of respondent as a legitimate labor organization and not that of PDMP. and the list of member organizations and their representatives who attended such meeting/s.PDMP was registered as a trade union center and issued Registration Certificate No.

9. — A federation. as amended. Section 2-E of these Rules. A new provision is hereby inserted into the Labor Code as Article 234-A to read as follows: ART. 442. As Amended. – A duly registered federation or national union may directly create a local/chapter by submitting to the Regional Office or to the Bureau two (2) copies of the following: (a) A charter certificate issued by the federation or national union indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter. the names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate. Chartering and creation of a local/chapter. SECTION 2. provided that where the local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as that of the federation or national union. the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings. Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. minutes of its adoption or ratification. 9481 or "An Act Strengthening the Workers' Constitutional Right to Self-Organization. as amended by Department Order No. (b) The names of its officers. their addresses. and (c) The local/chapter's constitution and by-laws. (c) In case the applicant is an independent union. Article 234 of Presidential Decree No. the principal address of the labor organization.00) registration fee.53 This law further amends the Labor Code provisions on Labor Relations. and the list of the members who participated in it. The provision reads: Section 1.51 Republic Act No. — A duly registered federation or national union may directly create a local chapter by issuing a charter certificate indicating the establishment of the . this fact shall be indicated accordingly. otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. Pertinent amendments read as follows: SECTION 1. is hereby further amended to read as follows: ART. and the principal office of the local/chapter. All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested to by its President. 9 mentions two labor organizations either of which is allowed to directly create a local or chapter through chartering – a duly registered federation or a national union. Department Order No. (b) The names of the local/chapter's officers. provide that "a duly registered federation or national union" may directly create a local or chapter. (d) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more years. 442. national union or industry or trade union center or an independent union shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration based on the following requirements: (a) Fifty pesos (P50. 234. Requirements of Registration. issued by a duly registered federation or national union and reported to the Regional Office in accordance with Rule III. and (e) Four copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union. their addresses. 9 defines a "chartered local" as a labor organization in the private sector operating at the enterprise level that acquired legal personality through a charter certificate. copies of its annual financial reports. Chartering and Creation of a Local Chapter.50 Department Order No. 234-A.The Implementing Rules. Otherwise Known as the Labor Code of the Philippines" lapsed52 into law on 25 May 2007 and became effective on 14 June 2007.

62 As a legitimate labor organization is entitled to specific rights under the Labor Code and involved in activities directly affecting public interest. Therefore. the provision indicating the procedure for chartering or creating a local or chapter.61 The mandate of the Labor Code in ensuring strict compliance with the procedural requirements for registration is not without reason. Casus omissus pro omisso habendus est. and the principal office of the chapter. their addresses. The ruling of this Court in the instant case is not a departure from the policy of the law to foster the free and voluntary organization of a strong and united labor movement. That where the chapter's constitution and by-laws are the same as that of the federation or the national union. If its intent were otherwise. Our only recourse. it is necessary that the law afford utmost protection to the parties affected. it is not this Court's function to augment the requirements prescribed by law. but interestingly. or will. by interpretation or construction.56 Such is the case here.63 However. which is basic to free unionism. If a statute specifies one exception to a general rule or assumes to specify the effects of a certain provision. and (b) The chapter's constitution and by-laws: Provided. The additional supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by the secretary or treasurer of the chapter and attested by its president. A person. the law could have so easily and conveniently included "trade union centers" in identifying the labor organizations allowed to charter a chapter or local. it becomes a convenient device for a small group of employees to foist a not-so-desirable federation or union on unsuspecting co-workers and pare the need for wholehearted voluntariness. object or thing omitted must have been omitted intentionally. This Court deems it proper to apply the Latin maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius. the expression of one thing is the exclusion of another.) Article 234 now includes the term trade union center. it may not. an intention to exclude all others from its operation may be inferred.57 The rule is restrictive in the sense that it proceeds from the premise that the legislating body would not have made specific enumerations in a statute if it had the intention not to restrict its meaning and confine its terms to those expressly mentioned. still makes no mention of a "trade union center. as this Court has enunciated in Progressive Development Corporation v. Anything that is not included in the enumeration is excluded therefrom. The chapter shall be entitled to all other rights and privileges of a legitimate labor organization only upon the submission of the following documents in addition to its charter certificate: (a) The names of the chapter's officers. then a trade union center is without authority to charter directly.local chapter.58 Expressium facit cessare tacitum. (Emphasis ours. Under this maxim of statutory interpretation.54 there was no mention of a trade union center as being among the labor organizations allowed to charter. since under the pertinent status and applicable implementing rules. is to exact strict compliance with what the law provides as requisites for local or chapter formation. The chapter shall acquire legal personality only for purposes of filing a petition for certification election from the date it was issued a charter certificate. be extended to other matters. namely Article 234-A. Absent the institution of safeguards. and a meaning that does not appear nor is intended or reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be placed therein.55 Where the terms are expressly limited to certain matters. When certain persons or things are specified in a law. other exceptions or effects are excluded. as previously discussed.64 . this fact shall be indicated accordingly. the power granted to labor organizations to directly create a chapter or local through chartering is given to a federation or national union.60 and thus assure the rights of workers to self-organization." Also worth emphasizing is that even in the most recent amendment of the implementing rules.59 What is expressed puts an end to what is implied. contract. It has been observed that the formation of a local or chapter becomes a handy tool for the circumvention of union registration requirements. Secretary of Department of Labor and Employment.

Thus. the instant Petition is GRANTED. SO ORDERED. it has no power to directly create a local or chapter. and SMPPEU-PDMP DROPPED from the rolls of legitimate labor organizations. Costs against petitioner. The Decision dated 09 March 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP No. SMPPEU-PDMP cannot be created under the more lenient requirements for chartering.In sum. WHEREFORE. but must have complied with the more stringent rules for creation and registration of an independent union. The Certificate of Registration of San Miguel Packaging Products Employees Union–Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang Pilipino is ORDERED CANCELLED. although PDMP as a trade union center is a legitimate labor organization. 66200 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. including the 20% membership requirement. .

132400 January 31. MA. Rodel Aligan. UST and USTFU. at around eleven in the morning (11:00 a. Cardenas and Aseron. NCR-OD-M-9610001. vs. Med-Arbiter Tomas Falconitin issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in Case No. the UST Faculty Union (USTFU) entered into an initial collective bargaining agreement with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) wherein UST undertook to provide USTFU with a free office space at Room 302 of its Health Center Building. the officers and directors of USTFU scheduled a general membership meeting on 5 October 1996 for the election of the union officers. issued a Memorandum to the Deans.11 On 5 February 1997. only the office messenger was in the office at the time. entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for a period of five (5) years from 1 June 1996 up to 31 May 2001. Gamilla and some of the faculty members present in the 4 October 1996 faculty convocation proceeded with the election of the USTFU officers. served a letter of even date on petitioners Mariño and Alamis. MELVYN P. Fr. ALAMIS and UST FACULTY UNION. enjoining the holding of the election of the USTFU officers and directors. Principals and Heads of Departments regarding the holding of a faculty convocation on 4 October 1996. O.9 In another front.7 In the succeeding week.R. injunction. MARIÑO. respondents Gamilla. 2005 EDUARDO J.: This is a petition for review under Rule 45 assailing the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.). 43701. However. demanding that the latter vacate the premises located at Room 302. Two months later.G. Secretary General of the UST. respondents through a consolidated motion to dismiss sought the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of forumshopping and prayed that the trial court suspend the application for injunctive relief until it shall have resolved the motion to dismiss. petitioners filed with the DOLE a petition for prohibition. JR. DUPONT ASERON and JUSTINO CARDENAS.P. Gamilla and company padlocked the door leading to the union’s office.6 On 4 October 1996.10 On 27 January 1997. respondent Gamilla and some faculty members filed a Petition4 with the Med-Arbitration Unit of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) seeking to stop the holding of the USTFU election. The facts of the case are as follows: Sometime in May 1986. After coercing the office messenger to step out of the office.13l^vvphi1. GIL GAMILLA. petitioners. denying the TRO they themselves sought. with some other persons.. represented by Gamilla and his co-officers. However. on 4 December 1996.. on 11 October 1996.8 seeking to invalidate the election held on 4 October 1996. respondents.5 Meanwhile. On the other hand. enjoining Gamilla and his fellow officers to "cease and desist from performing any and all acts pertaining to the duties and functions of the officers and directors" of USTFU.net . However. UST—the Office of USTFU. the Med-Arbiter issued a TRO dated 11 December 1996. No. J.R. Regents.m. Rev. SP No.2 setting aside the order and the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction issued by the lower court. the scheduled election for 5 October 1996 did not push through by virtue of the TRO. At the 11 February 1997 hearing on the application for TRO before the trial court. on 2 October 1996.3 On 21 September 1996. Health Center Building. with prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. DECISION TINGA. The CBA was ratified on 12 December 1996. petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila a Complaint12 for injunction and damages with a prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order over the use of the USTFU office.

respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari20 before the Court of Appeals. as the determination of the legality and propriety of padlocking the doors of the USTFU office and preventing the free and unhampered ingress to and egress from the said premises. 97-81928. after petitioners as plaintiffs therein had posted the requisite bond. this petition. upon plaintiff’s filing a bond in the amount of P50. the RTC issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.16 The Court promulgated its decision." which however. 1997) and the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction (dated March 5.. premises considered. NCR-OD-M-9610-016 appear to be the same. claiming that the orders dated 3 and 5 March 1997 were void ab initio for lack of jurisdiction and on the ground that they were issued in violation of due process of law. It also cited the prohibition against the issuance of injunction in any case involving or growing out of a labor dispute.28 Petitioners add that not all controversies involving members of the same union are to be decided by the labor tribunal. are matters incapable of pecuniary estimation. Med-Arbiter Falconitin rendered a decision. unless otherwise provided by law. 97-81928.18 to wit: WHEREFORE.00. 254 of the Labor Code31 on prohibition against injunctions is not applicable to the instant case since the controversy cannot be categorized as a labor dispute. They argue that the injunction was called for considering that they "have rights to be protected and preserved. Health Center Bldg. 97-81928. 97-81928 and Case No. On 5 March 1997. with the observation that the civil case merely "grew out" from the labor case. which issue was then being litigated before the DOLE.30 Anent the ruling of the Court of Appeals on the writ of injunction issued by the trial court.25 (Emphasis in the original. Petitioners assert that the RTC has jurisdiction to decide Civil Case No. defendants are hereby ordered to submit their answer to the complaint within fifteen (15) days from receipt hereof. España. as alleged in the complaint. the petition is hereby GRANTED—and the assailed order (dated March 3.000. They add that in the instant case.14 declaring the 4 October 1996 election and its results null and void ab initio. The appellate court held that Civil Case No.19 On 19 March 1997. They stress that the causes of action involve a tortious act and the corresponding claim for damages that are both governed by the civil law and fall under the jurisdiction of regular courts. SO ORDERED. UST. . they claim that the civil case was premised on causes of action belonging to the USTFU which are to be resolved not by reference to the Labor Code or other labor relations statutes.21 The Court of Appeals stated that the basic issue of the case was whether the RTC of Manila had jurisdiction over the subject matter of Civil Case No. In the meantime. On 3 March 1997.22 It agreed with respondents’ disquisition that petitioners’ cause of action in the complaint before the trial court is inextricably linked and intertwined with the issue of who are the legitimate officers of the USTFU. the RTC issued the assailed order. 1997) SET ASIDE—and the respondent judge ordered to DISMISS Civil Case No. The decision was appealed to the Bureau of Labor Relations which affirmed the same.) Petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration26 was denied. petitioners state that Art. Hence.23 It added that it would have been more appropriate for the RTC to determine whether it had jurisdiction over the subject case before issuing the assailed orders.On the same date.27 Moreover.15 Respondents brought the matter to this Court via a special civil action for certiorari. the pendency of the labor case should not militate against the civil case they filed since the criminal and civil aspects of a violation of Article 241 of the Labor Code29 can be litigated separately and independently from the administrative aspect of a breach of the rights and conditions of membership. let a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction issue requiring defendants their representatives and agents or other persons acting in their behalf to remove the padlocks on the door of the UST Faculty Union office located at Room 302.17 dismissing the petition on 16 November 1999.24 The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. Manila and to refrain from preventing/disturbing in any manner whatsoever the plaintiffs in entering the said premises.

. 43701 was pro-forma. It ruled that respondents were denied their day in court.38 Respondents submit that the only issue in the instant petition is whether the RTC has jurisdiction over Civil Case No.43 Another reason that militates against the trial court’s assumption of jurisdiction over the case is Article 254 of the Labor Code that states: . Cardenas was the chief of the security force in the university and not a faculty member.39 There is merit in the petition but only in part. and. 97-81928 and Case No. the complaint filed with the trial court was branded ‘injunction and damages’. said case clearly falls outside of the competence of the trial court. 1996 invalidated and declared null and void. It ruled that Civil Case No. Cardenas and Aseron had no right to act for and in behalf of the USTFU for the following reasons. 254 of the Labor Code is applicable to the matters involved in Civil Case No.R. 97-81928.The two cases (Civil Case No. Civil Case No. II. which was then the subject of another case before the DOLE. petitioners assert that the Court of Appeals erred and gravely abused its discretion when: I. with the plaintiff therein (respondent herein) seeking to enjoin them (petitioners herein) from claiming and acting as such (elected officers of the union) and to have the election proceedings of October 4. but respondents chose not to avail of this opportunity. 97-81928 is "inextricably linked and intertwined with the issue as to who are the lawful officers of the USTFU. and ordered the dismissal of the civil case. SP No. 97-81928. . the Court of Appeals held: . the action challenged the legitimacy of petitioners’ election as officers of the UST Faculty Union. 97-81928 appear (sic) to have grown out therefrom—hence.36 On the other hand.41 Central to the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is its adoption of respondents’ argument that the issue in Civil Case No. 97-81928.32 Petitioners claim that respondents were not denied their day in court when the trial court did not resolve the issue of jurisdiction before proceeding with the hearing on the application for injunctive order. It ruled that the Motion for Reconsideration filed in CA-G.33 Lastly.37 Furthermore. 43701. respondents insist that the trial court violated their right to due process when it refused to determine the issue of jurisdiction before issuing its assailed orders. Taking note of plaintiffs’ (private respondents’) previous moves before the Department of Labor."were violated. invaded and trampled upon" by respondents through the acts complained of. respondents maintain that the regional trial court had no jurisdiction over the issue as to who has the right to use the union office because the same is inextricably linked and intertwined with the issue as to who are the legitimate and duly elected officers of the USTFU. SP No. V. Jurisdiction over a subject matter is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint40 and the character of the relief sought. It granted the petition for certiorari in CA-G. petitioners claim that USTFU was improperly included as petitioner in the petition35 before the Court of Appeals." 42 Specifically. IV. respondents were given the chance to present their evidence in support of their opposition to the injunction and TRO. 97-81928 is a labor dispute cognizable by the DOLE. they add that respondents Gamilla. Aseron was a Barangay Chairman and not a member of the UST faculty. It ruled that Art.R. . According to them." which is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of Labor. While ostensibly. to wit: Gamilla’s claim to the USTFU presidency was declared non-existent by the labor tribunals. and VI. NCROD-M-9610-016) appear the same. Accordingly. It ruled that the regional trial court had no jurisdiction over Civil Case No. irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein.34 Thus. set aside the orders issued by the trial court. III. and that "the use of the union office is a mere incident of the labor dispute.

Necessarily. Fundamentally. documents and records needed in the on-going cases both in the DOLE and in the complaint a quo. and. the Court of Appeals erroneously categorized the instant matter as a labor dispute. an intra-union dispute refers to any conflict between and among union members. It is vested in the Bureau of Labor Relations Divisions in the regional offices of the Department of Labor. v.Art. petitioners filed before the Med-Arbitration Unit of the DOLE-NCR a petition for prohibition. Mariño. Prior to the institution of the civil case. et al. the civil case a quo seeks two reliefs¾one is for the removal of the padlocks on the office door and restraining respondents from blocking petitioners’ access to the premises. Such labor dispute includes any controversy or matter concerning terms or conditions of employment or the association or representation of persons in negotiating. et al.50 The petition with the Med-Arbiter was filed ahead of the complaint in the civil case before the RTC. exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employer-employee relations is vested in Labor Arbiters and the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). jurisdiction over intra-union and inter-union disputes does not pertain to the regular courts. Petitioners alleged respondents’ act of padlocking the office was without lawful basis. except as otherwise provided in Articles 218 and 264 of this Code. jurisdiction over the injunction and restraining order prayed for had already been lodged . therefore. Gil Gamilla. not excepting cases arising from chartering or affiliation of labor organizations or from any violation of the rights and conditions of union membership provided for in the Labor Code. NCR-OD-M-9610-016 entitled "Eduardo J. et al.441awphi1. Injunction prohibited. and thereafter padlocked the room. the trial court has no jurisdiction over the case insofar as the prayer for the removal of the padlocks and the issuance of an injunctive writ is concerned.46 On the other hand. The propriety of padlocking the union’s office. fixing. Jr.45 Jurisdiction over labor disputes. 97-81928 entitled Eduardo J. The complaint essentially bears the following allegations: that despite an outstanding temporary restraining order prohibiting the holding of an election of officers. and had prevented them from entering the office premises. Gil Gamilla. Mariño.. an inter-union dispute refers to any conflict between and among legitimate labor organizations involving questions of representation for purposes of collective bargaining. et al. it includes all other conflicts which legitimate labor organizations may have against each other based on any violations of their rights as labor organizations.48Like labor disputes. that there was a case pending before the DOLE questioning the validity of the supposed election. including claims for actual. with an accompanying application for injunction. Case No." before the BLR is neither a labor nor an interunion dispute. respondent Gamilla and others proceeded to hold a purported election. It encompasses all disputes or grievances arising from any violation of or disagreement over any provision of the constitution and by-laws of a union. maintaining. Jr. moral.. continues until the case is finally terminated.nét As pointed out by petitioners. when the petitioners filed their complaint a quo.49 on the other hand. once acquired.47 In contrast. thereby denying them access to personal effects. regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee. and ultimately precluding the union from serving its members. injunction with a prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order against herein respondents for the latter’s assumption of office as elected USTFU officers. they prayed that respondents be enjoined from claiming to be the duly elected officers of the union and from performing acts for and in behalf of the union. changing or arranging the terms and conditions of employment. the relief sought by the petitioner in the civil case. Specifically. 254. which was then pending before the Med-Arbiter. that respondent Gamilla with two other persons (later learned to be respondents Aseron and Cardenas) compelled the office messenger to vacate the premises of the USTFU office. is interwoven with the issue of legitimacy of the assumption of office by the respondents in light of the violation of the union’s constitution and by-laws. Civil Case No. is a simple case for damages. v. It is a settled rule that jurisdiction.—No temporary or permanent injunction or restraining order in any case involving or growing out of labor disputes shall be issued by any court or other entity. It is clearly an intra-union dispute. As such. The case before the trial court. while the other is for the recovery of moral and exemplary damages.

nét Administrative agencies are tribunals of limited jurisdiction and as such. hence. At this juncture. or any collective bargaining agreement. other labor statutes. Art. Jr. Thus. 241 of the Labor Code ordains the separate institution before the regular courts of criminal and civil liabilities arising from violations of the rights and conditions of union membership. The Court has consistently held that where no employer-employee exists between the parties and no issue is involved which may be resolved by reference to the Labor Code. A review of the complaint shows that petitioners disclosed the existence of the petition pending before the Med-Arbiter and even attached a copy thereof. No costs. Art. the complaint a quo could not have validly proceeded at the time of its filing of the said case due to petitioners’ lack of cause of action. declaring the supposed union officers’ election void ab initio and ordering respondents to cease and desist from discharging the duties and functions of the legitimate officers of the USTFU. grievances or problems arising from or affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces whether agricultural or non-agricultural.with the Med-Arbiter.551awphi1. petitioners do not seek any relief under the Labor Code but the payment of a sum of money as damages on account of respondents’ alleged tortuous conduct. et al. Petitioners. The removal of padlocks and the access to the office premises is necessarily included in petitioners’ prayer to enjoin respondents from performing acts pertaining to union officers and on behalf of the union.53 In that case.51 The trial court was also aware of the decision of the Med-Arbiter dated 11 February 1997.56 While the trend is towards vesting administrative bodies with the power to adjudicate matters coming under their particular specialization. exemplary and other forms of damages. v. have the right to represent USTFU in the proceedings.52 Still. it continued the hearing on the application for injunction and eventually issued the assailed orders. unlike the NLRC which is explicitly vested with the jurisdiction over claims for actual. suffice it to say that the right to use the union’s name as well as to represent it has been settled by our decision in UST Faculty Union. thus: The Bureau of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Divisions in the regional offices of the Department of Labor shall have original and exclusive authority to act. jurisdiction over the case belongs to the regular courts. Jr. Nevertheless. As to the alleged inclusion of the USTFU as petitioner in the petition before the Court of Appeals. on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts. can exercise only those powers which are specifically granted to them by their enabling statutes. as the rightful officers of the USTFU. The trial court even obtained a copy of the said decision two (2) days after its promulgation. and not respondents. matters over which they are not granted authority are beyond their competence. to ensure a more knowledgeable solution of the problems submitted to them. Let us go back to the claim for damages before the lower court. moral. SO ORDERED. The case is REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with this Decision. et al. the Court notes that a key question in this case has already been settled by the Court in its decision in UST Faculty Union. Bitonio. 226 of the Labor Code provides. et al. . and all disputes. Consequently. it was ruled that the 04 October 1996 election was void for having been conducted in violation of the union’s constitution and by-laws. the Petition is hereby GRANTED IN PART. except those arising from the implementation or interpretation of collective bargaining agreements which shall be the subject of grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration. v. Bitonio.. it is the regional trial court that has jurisdiction. The action is within the realm of civil law and.57In their complaint in the civil case. at their own initiative or upon request of either or both parties..54 the BLR is not specifically empowered to adjudicate claims of such nature arising from intra-union or inter-union disputes. this should not deprive the courts of justice their power to decide ordinary cases in accordance with the general laws that do not require any particular expertise or training to interpret and apply. it is clear that the RTC should not have exercised jurisdiction over the provisional reliefs prayed for in the complaint. et al. In observance of the principle of adherence of jurisdiction. In fact. The Decision of the Court of Appeals setting aside the Order dated 3 March 1997 and the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction dated 5 March 1997 is hereby AFFIRMED.58 WHEREFORE.

Benjamin C. The antecedent facts are as follows: Sometime in the latter part of 1981.. VIII. the dispositive portion of which states: Wherefore. their written authorization in violation of Article 242(o) of the Labor Code. Rule No. that the ten percent (10%) attorney's fees was in relation to the claim of the local union for payment of emergency cost of living allowance before the Ministry of Labor which is totally distinct and separate from the negotiation of the CBA. Ramon Moises. Rafael Wagas and 80 others (Vengco. the Management of the AngloAmerican Tobacco Corporation and the Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF) entered into a compromise agreement whereby the company will pay to the union members the sum of P150. Thereafter. 150. for short) rendered a decision. Rodriguez issued an Order dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. for short) who is the union president received the money which was paid in installments. for short) who are union members noted that Timbungco was not authorized by the union workers to get the money. Med-Arbiter Willie B. 1986 denying the motion for reconsideration of the Order dated May 23. On July 19. RAFAEL WAGAS and 80 others per attached list.: This is a petition for certiorari which seeks to annul: (1) the Order of respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated May 23. 1982. 1983 in BLR Case No. Book No. 1983. respondents.000. Emmanuel Timbungco" setting aside the decision dated December 29. 74453 May 5. So. EUGENIA REYES. he distributed the amount among the union members. (p. they demanded from Timbungco an accounting of how the P150. Jose T. p. respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations Cresenciano B. et al. 33. No." (Memorandum for Petitioners. et al. III of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Labor Code and therefore.R. Maghari for petitioners. that he was authorized by a resolution signed by the majority of the union members to receive and distribute the P150.00 among the workers. in his capacity as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations and EMMANUEL TIMBUNGCO. no authorization from the union members is required.000.00. In his answer with counterclaim. and (2) the Order dated April 2. 1989 AMBROCIO VENGCO. TRAJANO. Respondent Emmanuel Timbungco (Timbungco.000. (2) an order to require Timbungco to render an accounting of how the P150. Trajano (Trajano.000. appealed the aforesaid order to the Bureau of Labor Relations.000. et al. RAMON MOISES. Timbungco did not give in to their demand. Petitioners Ambrocio Vengco. On December 29. petitioners vs. (Rollo). Accordingly. and (3) an order to require private respondent to publish in the bulletin board the list of the members and the corresponding amount they each received from the P150.00 had been deducted to pay for attorney's fees without . 1982. that the computation of the benefits was based on the payroll of the company.G.00 for their claims arising from the unpaid emergency cost of living allowance (ECOLA) and other benefits which were the subject of their complaint before the Ministry of Labor. filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labor praying for: "(1) the expulsion of Emmanuel Timbungco as president of the union for violation of (the) union constitution and by-laws and the rights and conditions of union members under the Labor Code. 1982. and that the ten percent (10%) deduction was in accordance with Section II. CRESENCIANO B. J.000. et al.00 was distributed. Thus Vengco. Rollo) Vengco.00 was distributed to the members. the instant appeal is hereby granted and the Med-Arbiter's Order dated 19 July 1982 hereby set aside. Sebastian for private respondent. premises considered. A-0179-82 entitled "Ambrocio Vengco. Timbungco alleged among others. HON. respondent Emmanuel Timbungco is hereby ordered to render a full accounting of the One Hundred Fifty Thousand MEDIALDEA. and that ten percent (10%) of the P150. vs.

(p. filed their opposition to the said motion. Rollo) The Solicitor General. Atty. Likewise. 1986.000. On April 2.Pesos (P150. 121. et al. Timbungco reiterates the defenses he raised in his answer to the complaint filed against him before the Med-Arbiter In addition. Rollo) The petition is meritorious. respondent is hereby expelled as president of the Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Anglo American Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF). Further. Rollo) Timbungco filed a reply to the aforesaid comment of the solicitor General which restates the arguments raised in his comment. We required the respondents to comment on the petition. The issues raised in this case are as follows: (1) Whether or not Timbungco is guilty of illegally deducting 10% attorneys' fees from petitioners' backwages. sought reconsideration of the aforementioned order. . Officer-in-Charge Victoriano R.00 with the Bureau of Labor Relations which enumerated the names of the workers and the corresponding amounts they received with their respective signatures opposite their names.00 received by him. and recommends that the petition be given due course. 100. Trajano issued an order which affirmed the resolution of May 23.000. in his comment. (p.) Timbungco filed a motion for reconsideration of the abovequoted decision while Vengco. the counterclaim interposed by the respondent's counsel. (p. 151. 1986.00) he received from the management of Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation in behalf of the members of the Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF) and to publish in the union's bulletin board the list of all recipient union members and the respective amounts they have received. 58. Rollo) In the resolution of June 4. They contended that the examination of the books of accounts of the union is irrelevant considering that the issue involved in the case does not consist of union funds but back pay received by the union members from the company. the amount was not entered in the records of the union. the sub-total of the amount of benefits received per department and the grand total of the amount distributed duly certified by the Union Treasurer and Secretary and duly noted by Timbungco as Union President. agrees with Vengco. thus: Wherefore premises considered. he claims that he already filed an accounting report on the P150. within ten (10) days from receipt hereof. 1983 and denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. In his comment. 1983. Rollo) Hence. Calaycay issued an Order which held.000. (p. Lastly. 73. our resolution dated 29 December 1982 is hereby set aside. (p. and (2) Whether or not Trajano gravely abused his discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in ordering examination of union books instead of affirming his previous Order expelling Timbungco from the union and ordering him to render an accounting of P150. So decided. On May 23. et al. the present recourse by Vengco. However. et al. (p. Benjamin Sebastian is hereby ordered dismissed. an audit examination of the Books of Account of Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Associated AngloAmerican Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF) is hereby ordered. SO RESOLVED. Rollo. Rollo) Vengco. (P. et al. 50. they pointed out that Timbungco did not give the money to the union treasurer and consequently. 62.

75. Not only that it is not dated but also that. x x x. Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations. the alleged signatories were not properly apprised thereof. Contrary to his claim.1981 submitted by Timbungco belied his claim that he was authorized by the union workers to receive the sum of P150. (p. 45. He. But this case never reached its conclusion in view of the parties' agreement. the amicable settlement entered into by the management and the union can not be considered as a mandatory activity under the Code.00 on their behalf The pertinent portion of the said "Kapasiyahan" provides: 3. Rollo) Moreover. It requires the individual written authorization of each employee concerned. (p. the deduction was not valid. (o) Other than for mandatory activities under the Code. exceeded his authority as President of the Union. G. to make the deduction of attorney's fees valid.000. It is not also shown from the records that Atty. truth in complainant's contention that they never authorized. purpose and beneficiary of the deduction. — The following are the rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization.Article 241 (o) of the Labor Code provides: ART. et al. the undated "Kapasiyahan" or resolution did not confer upon him the power to deduct 10% of the P150. Cresenciano B. Likewise. vs. Clearly. et al. no special assessment. Rollo) yields the same conclusion arrived at by Trajano who declared it defective. 47.000.R. Benjamin Sebastian was instrumental in forging the said agreement on behalf of the union members. this statement can not be construed to confer upon Timbungco the authority to receive the fringe benefits for the workers. attorney's fees. L-70067. 1981 at ito'y ipinaalam namin sa Pangulo ng Kapisanan na si Ginoong Emmanuel Timbungco. September 15. We find that the other "Kapasiyahan" dated September 18. therefore. Trajano. Consequently. 1981 and to inform Timbungco of their intention. Timbungco maintains that the "Kapasiyahan" gave him the authority to make the deduction This contention is unfounded.00 despite the alleged approval of the majority of the union workers. 241. a cursory examination of the alleged resolution shows that it is quite defective. There is. A mandatory activity has been defined as a judicial process of settling dispute laid down by the law. the law is explicit. Na sa dahilang hindi bigla ang pagbabayad sa nasabing "CLAIM" bukod pa sa marami kaming naghati-hati sa nasabing halaga ipinapasiya naming na kusang-loob na kunin ang aming bahagi sa aming kapisanan sa unang linggo ng Disyembre. The authorization should specifically state the amount. the remaining pages were not captioned and did not state the very purpose for which it was prepared. It is very clear from the above-quoted provision that attorney's fees may not be deducted or checked off from any amount due to an employee without his written consent except for mandatory activities under the Code.. It is true that the union filed a claim for emergency cost of living allowance and other benefits before the Ministry of Labor. Rollo) The above-quoted statement merely indicated the intention of the workers to get their claim on the first week of December. No. 144 SCRA 138). A reading of the said resolution (p. Rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. therefore. with the exception of the first page. In the instant case. Thus. Timbungco should not have kept the money to himself but should have turned it over to the Union Treasurer. . 1986. negotiation fees or any other extraordinary fees may be checked off from any amount due an employee without an individual written authorization duly signed by an employee. (Carlos P. they had no knowledge of the deduction of 10% attorney's fees until it was actually effected. We quote with approval Trajano's findings on this point: Further. Galvadores. more so. x x x. Absent such authority.

1987. the petition is granted. 127 SCRA 691). Rule VIII. 1986 of respondent Director Cresenciano B.Moreover. G. 1986 were issued with grave abuse of discretion. Calaycay of the Bureau of Labor Relations. No. 156 SCRA 629). University of Pangasinan.000. the money was not turned over by Timbungco to the Union Treasurer. SO ORDERED. In the herein case.R. 1983 of Officer-in-Charge Victoriano R. The assailed Orders dated May 23. In addition. Such issue does not touch on union dues or funds. . L-63122. 1982 is hereby reinstated. We find that the penalty of expulsion from the union presidency imposed upon Timbungco is justified. and April 2. the sum of P150. No. In view of the foregoing. No costs. ACCORDINGLY. Upon termination of the proceedings. The herein controversy involves the propriety of the 10% deduction from the fringe benefits of the union workers which they received from the management in settlement of their claims. L-58870.00 is of no moment in the face of our findings that the deduction of 10% for attorney's fees is illegal and void for failure to comply with the requirements of the law. G. the fringe benefits received by the union members consist of back payments of their unpaid emergency cost of living allowances which are totally distinct from their wages.R. as earlier stated. the law allows a deduction for attorney's fees of 10% from the total amount due to a winning party. Consequently the said Orders have no basis. Book III. Besides. Considering the aforestated violations of Timbungco.00 was not entered into the records of the Union since. The submission by Timbungco of an accounting report on the distribution of P 150. Section II of the Implementing Rules cited by Timbungco which dispenses with the required written authorization from the employees concerned does not apply in this case. We hold that the Orders dated May 23. 1984. Trajano of the same Bureau are REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the latter's decision dated December 29. This provision envisions a situation where there is a judicial or administrative proceedings for recovery of wages. the payment of the fringe benefits were effected through an amicable settlement and not in an administrative proceeding. 1983 and April 2. there can be no question that he should bear the consequences of his acts. We have held that such allowances are excluded from the concept of salaries or wages (Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) vs. February 20. Ople. Allowances are benefits over and above the basic salaries of the employees (University of Pangasinan Faculty Union vs.000. December 18.

RESOLUTION The amount shall be 10% of any improvement. and other fringe benefits. MANGGAGAWA NG KOMUNIKASYON SA PILIPINAS (FIWU). there were improvements obtained from PLDT's "last offer.. Jose C. of the PLDT's last offer to the deadlock in CBA negotiations which we know will result in a compulsory arbitration.R. he was hired on a case to case contingent fee basis. petitioner Carlos Galvadores assailing the imposition of P130. the Minister of Labor awarded across-theboard wage increases of P 330/month effective November 9. 1983. Espinas (hereinafter referred to as "Respondent Counsel") from the monetary benefits awarded to PLDT employees in a deadlocked collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the PLDT and the Union." On October 29. . Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations. ESPINAS. Dante A. 2 On September 9. more or less. Respondents Union and Counsel. CRESENCIANO B. and JOSE C. 1986 CARLOS P. The case stemmed from the following facts: Respondent Counsel has been the legal counsel of respondent Union since 1964. Annexed to the complaint were the written statements of the employee authorizing Galvadores to act for and in their behalf. on the other hand. petitioners initially numbering 600 and finally 5. Espinas for respondents. ET AL.00) per employee as attorney's fees of respondents counsel.00 per employee for the legal services extended to the Union by respondent Counsel. in addition to the Christmas bonus of 1/2 month pay per employee effective December. with retroactive effect. TRAJANO. question the legality of the check-off for attorney's fees amounting to P1M. On September 7. and P155/month effective November 9. On November 2.G. 1982. Carandang for petitioners.00 (later corrected to P155. 1984. GALVADORES. the union binds itself to compensate you for your fees and expenses therein on a contingent basis. now the Manggagawa ng Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas (simply referred to hereinafter as the Union). 1983. and P90 for the third year. A supporting board resolution will later confirm the letter.258. of respondent Atty. petitioners. 1983. 1983.: Petitioner employees of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and members of respondent Free Telephone Workers Union. As will be noted. P155/month effective November 9. Petitioners took the position that the attorney's fees of respondent counsel were not only unreasonable but also violative of Article 242(o) of the Labor Code. 70067 September 15. respondents. For his services. he received a letter from the Union President reading: The Free Telephone Workers Union once again request you to appear as counsel in the on going labor dispute at PLDT. Jose C. In consideration of your services therein. 1983. and that he deductions cannot given legal effect by a mere Board resolution but needs the ratification by the general membership of the Union. the Executive Board of the Union passed a resolution requesting PLDT to deduct P115. proferred the argument that the attorney s fees being exacted pertained to his MELENCIO-HERRERA. J. vs. 1983. PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE COMPANY (PLDT). 1983. filed a letter-complaint before the MOLE through their authorized representative. On October 23. No. P100 for the second year. the Minister of Labor and Employment assumed jurisdiction over all unresolved issues in the bargaining deadlock between PLDT and the Union and proceeded to resolve the same by compulsory arbitration. 1 PLDT's "last offer" referred to on the wage increases was: P230 for the first year of the proposed CBA.

under the condition that P lM of the same would be made available for the Union's housing project. he appeared continuously from September 8. PLDT filed notice that assessment had been withheld from the differential pay due petitioners but that the same would not be turned over to the Union without prior MOLE authority so as not to involve management in the intra-union disagreement. on November 4. negotiation fees or similar charges of any kind arising from any collective bargaining negotiations or conclusion of the collective . Appearance and Fees. the Solicitor General agrees with petitioners that the issue presented is squarely covered by Article 222(b) of the Labor Code. February 13. Do you approve of the use of P1 million (P500. 1984. and that the Union members approved the questioned deduction in the plebiscite of January. which reads: Question No. 1985.00 per employee. if legally payable. 1983 until the decision in the case was rendered on October 23. the same should be taken from Union funds. as amended by P.000. 1983. can only be charged against Union funds. 2. respondents Union and Counsel argue that compulsory arbitration is a "mandatory activity" and an exception to Article 242(o) of the Labor Code. No.00 to be withdrawn from PECCI and another P500. 2. 1984. Counsel moved for the payment of his legal fees under the September 7. On the basis thereof. xxx xxx xxx (b) No attorney's fees. On March 22. the Minister of Labor referred the dispute to the Bureau of Labor Relations for being intra-union nature. 1984. but Respondent Counsel refused.067 members of the Union ratified the October 29." It is this Decision that is assailed by petitioners principally on the ground that the individual written authorization of an the employees must first be obtained before any assessment can be made against the monetary benefits awarded to them pursuant to Article 242(o) of the Labor Code. The Court resolved to give due course. respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations dismissed petitioners' complaint for lack of merit reasoning that "the outcome of the plebiscite negates any further question on the right of the union counsel to collect the amount of P115 from each of the employees involved. Several hearings were held by that Bureau.000. Petitioners proposed a solution offering to pay P10. Petitioners questioned the plebiscite on the ground that Question No. 1691 so that attorney's fees.D. On February 18.00 from IBAA) from our CBA negotiation fund together with the attorney's fees (P1 million) that was collected and to be loaned to the MKP/FTWU as our counterpart of the seed money to start the housing program as agreed by the PLDT management and our union panel and included in the award of the MOLE? was misleading and deceptive as it assumed that there was no dispute regarding the deduction of attorney's fees from the monetary benefits awarded to PLDT employees. In his Comment. the Union filed a Manifestation to the effect that about 6. Article 222(b) of the Labor Code provides: Article 222. and that assuming that Respondent Counsel is entitled to attorney's fees. In their Comment. In the meantime. 1983. 1983 contract.services during compulsory arbitration proceedings and cannot be considered as negotiation fees or attorney's fees within the context of Article 242(o) of the Labor Code and that contrary to petitioners' claim that Respondent Counsel surfaced only as lawyer of the Union when the employees themselves engaged in mass action to force a solution to the deadlock in their negotiations. 1983 resolution of the legislative council in a plebiscite called for that purpose.

besides not being explicit. SO ORDERED. Article 222(b) does not except a CBA. 3 The provisions are clear. The authorization should specifically state the amount. is hereby SET ASIDE. the assailed Decision of February 18. Provided. The attorney's fees herein involved may be charged against Union funds pursuant to Article 222(b) of the Labor Code. agreement or arrangement of any sort to the contrary shall be null and void. negotiation fees or any other extraordinary fees may be checked off "from any amount due an employee without individual written authorization duly signed by the employee. no special assessment. assumed that there was no dispute relative to attorney's fees. It is a judicial process of settling disputes laid down by law. In fact. attorney's fees. This is not the "mandatory activity" under the Code which dispenses with individual written authorizations for check-offs. The question asked in the plebiscite. as may be agreed upon between them. petitioner employees are vigorously objecting. however. later placed under compulsory arbitration. The cardinal principle should be borne in mind that employees are protected by law from unwarranted practices that diminish their compensation without their knowledge and consent. Rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. The required individual authorizations in this case are wanting. purpose and beneficiary of the deduction.bargaining agreement shall be imposed on any individual member of the contracting union. purpose and beneficiary of the deduction. . Besides. The Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code also provide that deductions from wages of the employees may only be made by the employer in cases authorized by law. that attorney's fees may be charged against union funds in an amount to be agreed upon by the parties. notwithstanding its "compulsory" nature. 4 ACCORDINGLY. the benefits awarded to PLDT employees still formed part of the collective bargaining negotiations although placed already under compulsory arbitration. including deductions for insurance premiums advanced by the employer on behalf of the employees as well as union dues where the right to check-off is authorized in writing by the individual employee himself. 1985 rendered by respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations. Contrary to respondent Union's and Counsel's stand. While Article 242 of the same Code reads: Art. The following are the rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization: xxx xxx xxx (o) Other than for mandatory activities under the Code. No check-offs from any amounts due employees may be effected without individual written authorizations duly signed by the employee specifically stating the amount. Any contract. from the ambit of its prohibition. 242.

Jose T." (Memorandum for Petitioners. 33. 1983 in BLR Case No. 1983. 74453 May 5. Emmanuel Timbungco" setting aside the decision dated December 29.00. J.00 had been deducted to pay for attorney's fees without . VIII. filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labor praying for: "(1) the expulsion of Emmanuel Timbungco as president of the union for violation of (the) union constitution and by-laws and the rights and conditions of union members under the Labor Code.000. Med-Arbiter Willie B. Rule No.00 was distributed to the members. premises considered. A-0179-82 entitled "Ambrocio Vengco. vs. respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations Cresenciano B. that the ten percent (10%) attorney's fees was in relation to the claim of the local union for payment of emergency cost of living allowance before the Ministry of Labor which is totally distinct and separate from the negotiation of the CBA. and (3) an order to require private respondent to publish in the bulletin board the list of the members and the corresponding amount they each received from the P150. for short) rendered a decision. respondent Emmanuel Timbungco is hereby ordered to render a full accounting of the One Hundred Fifty Thousand MEDIALDEA. Petitioners Ambrocio Vengco. the Management of the AngloAmerican Tobacco Corporation and the Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF) entered into a compromise agreement whereby the company will pay to the union members the sum of P150. Trajano (Trajano. On July 19. Maghari for petitioners. and that the ten percent (10%) deduction was in accordance with Section II.000. they demanded from Timbungco an accounting of how the P150. et al. et al. et al. et al. 150.000. and that ten percent (10%) of the P150. for short) who is the union president received the money which was paid in installments. No. the dispositive portion of which states: Wherefore. 1989 AMBROCIO VENGCO. and (2) the Order dated April 2.. Rollo) Vengco. Thereafter. Benjamin C. Ramon Moises.R. appealed the aforesaid order to the Bureau of Labor Relations. in his capacity as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations and EMMANUEL TIMBUNGCO. that the computation of the benefits was based on the payroll of the company. no authorization from the union members is required.000. RAMON MOISES. Rodriguez issued an Order dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. EUGENIA REYES.G. petitioners vs. respondents. 1982. Accordingly. for short) who are union members noted that Timbungco was not authorized by the union workers to get the money.: This is a petition for certiorari which seeks to annul: (1) the Order of respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated May 23. Thus Vengco. 1982. Rafael Wagas and 80 others (Vengco. 1986 denying the motion for reconsideration of the Order dated May 23. Timbungco alleged among others.000. 1982. (p. Sebastian for private respondent. RAFAEL WAGAS and 80 others per attached list. p. he distributed the amount among the union members. CRESENCIANO B. (2) an order to require Timbungco to render an accounting of how the P150.00 for their claims arising from the unpaid emergency cost of living allowance (ECOLA) and other benefits which were the subject of their complaint before the Ministry of Labor. On December 29. that he was authorized by a resolution signed by the majority of the union members to receive and distribute the P150. So. Book No. III of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Labor Code and therefore. Timbungco did not give in to their demand. TRAJANO. Respondent Emmanuel Timbungco (Timbungco. (Rollo).000. In his answer with counterclaim. the instant appeal is hereby granted and the Med-Arbiter's Order dated 19 July 1982 hereby set aside.00 among the workers.00 was distributed. their written authorization in violation of Article 242(o) of the Labor Code. The antecedent facts are as follows: Sometime in the latter part of 1981. HON.

1986. Trajano issued an order which affirmed the resolution of May 23. and (2) Whether or not Trajano gravely abused his discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in ordering examination of union books instead of affirming his previous Order expelling Timbungco from the union and ordering him to render an accounting of P150. 50. in his comment.00 with the Bureau of Labor Relations which enumerated the names of the workers and the corresponding amounts they received with their respective signatures opposite their names. an audit examination of the Books of Account of Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Associated AngloAmerican Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF) is hereby ordered. filed their opposition to the said motion. 62. et al. Calaycay issued an Order which held. On May 23. Officer-in-Charge Victoriano R. In his comment.) Timbungco filed a motion for reconsideration of the abovequoted decision while Vengco. So decided.00) he received from the management of Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation in behalf of the members of the Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF) and to publish in the union's bulletin board the list of all recipient union members and the respective amounts they have received. Rollo) The petition is meritorious. 1983. Rollo) Vengco. 151. 121. Rollo) Hence.000. the present recourse by Vengco. they pointed out that Timbungco did not give the money to the union treasurer and consequently. The issues raised in this case are as follows: (1) Whether or not Timbungco is guilty of illegally deducting 10% attorneys' fees from petitioners' backwages. respondent is hereby expelled as president of the Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Anglo American Tobacco Corporation (FOITAF). the counterclaim interposed by the respondent's counsel. . he claims that he already filed an accounting report on the P150. Timbungco reiterates the defenses he raised in his answer to the complaint filed against him before the Med-Arbiter In addition. Rollo) In the resolution of June 4. Rollo) Timbungco filed a reply to the aforesaid comment of the solicitor General which restates the arguments raised in his comment. thus: Wherefore premises considered. (p. our resolution dated 29 December 1982 is hereby set aside. However. 1986. They contended that the examination of the books of accounts of the union is irrelevant considering that the issue involved in the case does not consist of union funds but back pay received by the union members from the company. sought reconsideration of the aforementioned order. (p.000. (p.00 received by him. (p. Likewise. agrees with Vengco. the amount was not entered in the records of the union. On April 2. Rollo. the sub-total of the amount of benefits received per department and the grand total of the amount distributed duly certified by the Union Treasurer and Secretary and duly noted by Timbungco as Union President. Lastly. 100. 73. (p. et al. within ten (10) days from receipt hereof. SO RESOLVED. Rollo) The Solicitor General. and recommends that the petition be given due course. 58.000. 1983 and denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.Pesos (P150. Further. Benjamin Sebastian is hereby ordered dismissed. (p. Atty. et al. et al. (P. We required the respondents to comment on the petition.

attorney's fees. Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations. truth in complainant's contention that they never authorized. G. Contrary to his claim. 144 SCRA 138). Likewise. (Carlos P. We find that the other "Kapasiyahan" dated September 18. the law is explicit. Trajano. with the exception of the first page.1981 submitted by Timbungco belied his claim that he was authorized by the union workers to receive the sum of P150. (p. Timbungco should not have kept the money to himself but should have turned it over to the Union Treasurer. Consequently. (o) Other than for mandatory activities under the Code. Rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. the remaining pages were not captioned and did not state the very purpose for which it was prepared. A reading of the said resolution (p. the undated "Kapasiyahan" or resolution did not confer upon him the power to deduct 10% of the P150. In the instant case. The authorization should specifically state the amount. the amicable settlement entered into by the management and the union can not be considered as a mandatory activity under the Code. Clearly. et al. Galvadores. . therefore. the alleged signatories were not properly apprised thereof. x x x. Na sa dahilang hindi bigla ang pagbabayad sa nasabing "CLAIM" bukod pa sa marami kaming naghati-hati sa nasabing halaga ipinapasiya naming na kusang-loob na kunin ang aming bahagi sa aming kapisanan sa unang linggo ng Disyembre. It requires the individual written authorization of each employee concerned. It is not also shown from the records that Atty. the deduction was not valid.00 on their behalf The pertinent portion of the said "Kapasiyahan" provides: 3. Rollo) yields the same conclusion arrived at by Trajano who declared it defective. Rollo) Moreover. this statement can not be construed to confer upon Timbungco the authority to receive the fringe benefits for the workers. et al. (p. 45. Cresenciano B. negotiation fees or any other extraordinary fees may be checked off from any amount due an employee without an individual written authorization duly signed by an employee. 75. vs. Not only that it is not dated but also that. they had no knowledge of the deduction of 10% attorney's fees until it was actually effected.000. We quote with approval Trajano's findings on this point: Further. therefore. Thus. 241. 1986. 1981 at ito'y ipinaalam namin sa Pangulo ng Kapisanan na si Ginoong Emmanuel Timbungco. It is very clear from the above-quoted provision that attorney's fees may not be deducted or checked off from any amount due to an employee without his written consent except for mandatory activities under the Code. September 15. a cursory examination of the alleged resolution shows that it is quite defective. It is true that the union filed a claim for emergency cost of living allowance and other benefits before the Ministry of Labor. x x x.. Absent such authority. L-70067. But this case never reached its conclusion in view of the parties' agreement. 1981 and to inform Timbungco of their intention. — The following are the rights and conditions of membership in a labor organization. He. Benjamin Sebastian was instrumental in forging the said agreement on behalf of the union members. No. purpose and beneficiary of the deduction. to make the deduction of attorney's fees valid. Rollo) The above-quoted statement merely indicated the intention of the workers to get their claim on the first week of December. A mandatory activity has been defined as a judicial process of settling dispute laid down by the law.R. exceeded his authority as President of the Union. no special assessment. more so.00 despite the alleged approval of the majority of the union workers. 47.Article 241 (o) of the Labor Code provides: ART. Timbungco maintains that the "Kapasiyahan" gave him the authority to make the deduction This contention is unfounded. There is.000.

1986 of respondent Director Cresenciano B. We find that the penalty of expulsion from the union presidency imposed upon Timbungco is justified. December 18. Consequently the said Orders have no basis.00 is of no moment in the face of our findings that the deduction of 10% for attorney's fees is illegal and void for failure to comply with the requirements of the law. Trajano of the same Bureau are REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the latter's decision dated December 29. G. the petition is granted. Section II of the Implementing Rules cited by Timbungco which dispenses with the required written authorization from the employees concerned does not apply in this case.R. Allowances are benefits over and above the basic salaries of the employees (University of Pangasinan Faculty Union vs. there can be no question that he should bear the consequences of his acts. No. The herein controversy involves the propriety of the 10% deduction from the fringe benefits of the union workers which they received from the management in settlement of their claims.000. 1987. the fringe benefits received by the union members consist of back payments of their unpaid emergency cost of living allowances which are totally distinct from their wages. Rule VIII. the sum of P150. ACCORDINGLY. Calaycay of the Bureau of Labor Relations. We hold that the Orders dated May 23. the money was not turned over by Timbungco to the Union Treasurer. We have held that such allowances are excluded from the concept of salaries or wages (Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) vs. The assailed Orders dated May 23. This provision envisions a situation where there is a judicial or administrative proceedings for recovery of wages. Such issue does not touch on union dues or funds. In the herein case. In addition. L-63122. 156 SCRA 629). the law allows a deduction for attorney's fees of 10% from the total amount due to a winning party. G. No costs. In view of the foregoing. 1986 were issued with grave abuse of discretion. L-58870.Moreover. 127 SCRA 691). as earlier stated. 1982 is hereby reinstated. Ople.000. 1983 and April 2. . No. Book III.00 was not entered into the records of the Union since. Besides. February 20. and April 2. SO ORDERED. University of Pangasinan. 1983 of Officer-in-Charge Victoriano R. the payment of the fringe benefits were effected through an amicable settlement and not in an administrative proceeding. The submission by Timbungco of an accounting report on the distribution of P 150. Upon termination of the proceedings.R. Considering the aforestated violations of Timbungco. 1984.

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