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MARIWASA v.

SECRETARY

December 21, 2009|Nachura


By: Justin
SUMMARY: the union in this case was issued a certificate of registration.
The employer, Mariwasa filed a petition to cancel registration on the
ground that it failed to meet the 20% requirement under the labor code
since some union members recanted their membership with the union
after the union filed its petition for registration. Mariwasa also alleged that
it committed fraud and misrepresentation. Regional director granted the
petition but this was reversed by the BLR which in turn was affirmed by the
CA. Hence this petition by Mariwasa.
SC: the union met the requirement. The affidavits of recantation were
issued under suspicious circumstances and should have no probative
value. noteworthy is the fact that the affidavits were notarized on the same
day. Even assuming that the affidavits were true, the unions registration
must be affirmed since the Art. 234 only requires 20% at the time of
registration and it does not necessarily require for that 20% to be
maintained throughout the existence of the union. For the purpose of decertifying a union the fraud and misrepresentation must be grave and
compelling enough to vitiate consent of the employee.

DOCTRINE:
Article 234 of the Labor Code merely requires a 20%
minimum membership during the application for union
registration. It does not mandate that a union must maintain
the 20% minimum membership requirement all throughout
its existence
For the purpose of de-certifying a union such as respondent,
it must be shown that there was misrepresentation, false
statement or fraud in connection with the adoption or
ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments
thereto; the minutes of ratification; or, in connection with
the election of officers, the minutes of the election of
officers, the list of voters, or failure to submit these
documents together with the list of the newly electedappointed officers and their postal addresses to the BLR
The nature of the fraud and misrepresentation should be
grave and compelling enough to vitiate consent of union
members
1

MARIWASA SIAM CERAMICS, INC., Petitioner, vs. THE


SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND
EMPLOYMENT, CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS,
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, REGIONAL
DIRECTOR OF DOLE REGIONAL OFFICE NUMBER IV-A &
SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA MARIWASA SIAM
CERAMICS, INC. (SMMSC-INDEPENDENT), Respondents.

FACTS:
Samahan Ng Mga Manggagawa Sa Mariwasa Siam Ceramics,
Inc. (SMMSC-Independent) was issued a Certificate of
Registration as a legitimate labor organization by the DOLE
Region IV-A
Mariwasa filed a petition for cancellation of Union
Registration against the union claiming that it violated the
20% requirement under Art. 234 of the Labor code and that
it also committed massive fraud and misrepresentation in
violation of Art. 239.
Regional director issued an order granting the petition.
Bureau of Labor Relations: granted the unions appeal. MR
by Mariwasa was denied
CA: denied petition of Mariwasa for lack of merit. MR denied.
ISSUES/HELD:
1. Whether CA erred in ruling for the Union.
RATIO:
1. NO.
Mariwasa was relying on the fact that 102 of the employees
executed affidavits recanting their union membership in
alleging that the union failed to meet the 20% requirement.

It was noteworthy that the affidavits were written in


advance and were ready to be filled out with name of the
employee and signature
o

It alleged that the employee was forced and


deceived into joining the union but did not state who
in fact forced and deceived them.

The affidavit also alleged that they regret joining the


union and wish to abandon or renege from the
agreement it had with the union.

In appreciating affidavits of recantation the court cited its


ruling in La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette factory v. Dir. Of
Bureau of Labor Relations:
o

If the recantation was done after the filing of petition


(for registration) there will be a presumption that the

withdrawal was procured under duress, coercion or


for valuable consideration.
o

Withdrawals made before the filing of the petition are


presumed voluntary unless there is convincing proof
to the contrary, whereas withdrawals made after the
filing of the petition are deemed involuntary.

Reason: if the recantation is done before the filing of


petition, it shows voluntariness since their names
have not yet been disclosed to the other party
(employer). While if the recantation was done after
the petition was filed, their names have become
known to the other party- it would not be unexpected
that the other party would use foul means for the
employee to withdraw their support.

In this case the affidavits were executed after the names


have been already disclosed. The logical conclusion
following from the earlier ruling is that the employees were
not totally free from employers pressure, and so the
voluntariness of the employees execution of the affidavits
become suspect.

There were 2 batches of affidavits (each executed on


different dates) presented as evidence and yet all of these
affidavits were notarized on the same day. Despite this, the
2 batches of affidavits were not filed simultaneously
o

SC: they were executed under suspicious


circumstances, and which contain allegations
unsupported by evidence. At best, these affidavits
are self-serving. They possess no probative value.

Retractions are looked upon with disfavor and do not


automatically exclude the original statement or declaration
based solely on the recantation. It is imperative that a
determination be first made as to which between the
original and the new statements should be given weight or
accorded belief, applying the general rules on evidence

Even assuming the veracity of the affidavits, the legitimacy


of respondent as a labor organization must be affirmed.

The fact remains that at the time of the unions application


for registration, the affiants were members of respondent
and they comprised more than the required 20%
membership for purposes of registration as a labor union.
Article 234 of the Labor Code merely requires a 20%
minimum membership during the application for
union registration. It does not mandate that a union
must maintain the 20% minimum membership
requirement all throughout its existence

the total union membership at the time of registration was


169. Since the total number of rank-and-file employees at
that time was 528, 169 employees would be equivalent to
32% of the total rank-and-file workers complement, still very
much above the minimum required by law.

For the purpose of de-certifying a union such as respondent,


it must be shown that there was misrepresentation, false
statement or fraud in connection with the adoption or
ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments
thereto; the minutes of ratification; or, in connection with
the election of officers, the minutes of the election of
officers, the list of voters, or failure to submit these
documents together with the list of the newly electedappointed officers and their postal addresses to the BLR
o

The fact that 2 signatures appeared twice is not


enough reason to cancel registration. The nature of
the fraud and misrepresentation should be grave and
compelling enough to vitiate consent of union
members

Petition denied