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VISAYAN STEVEDORE & TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, v.

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION
COMMISSION and JULIETA S. LABIYO

FACTS: Eduardo Labiyo was employed as engineer by Visayan Stevedore & Transportation. they
were given orders to tow barges to the ship and load it with cargoes. They also had to shift or bring
barges to dry dock at the company's compound in Iloilo. Aside from that, their other work was to
bring the barges from Jordan to Iloilo City, from the terminal to the middle of Guimaras Strait or to
bring workers, food and checkers to the ship and back. As a consequence of this work, they were
compelled to stay in the tugboat. On that fatal day of February 17 (1964), they had received
various orders. And at about 4 a.m. of the same day, they were towing barges from the Shell wharf
to Tabangao, and while they were navigating, Eduardo Labiyo visibly tired and in active duty asked
for permission to take a rest. When the tugboat reached Tabangao, workmate called Labiyo to start
the engine, there was no answer from Labiyo. Labiyo was attempted to be woken up, who at the
time was already dead.

A subsequent autopsy of the deceased's remains conducted by the assistant medicolegal officer of
the Iloilo City Police Department, traced the cause of Eduardo Labiyo's death to "bangungot".

respondent Julieta Labiyo, the widow, filed a claim for compensation with the Department of Labor,
Regional Office No. VII, Iloilo City. the acting referee of the Workmen's Compensation Unit
dismissed the case upon a finding that "the cause of death of Eduardo Labiyo did not arise out of
and was aggravated by the nature of his employment." Upon review this decision was set aside by
the Workmen's Compensation Commission in a decision dated June 16, 1966, ordering at the
same time the petitioner to pay compensation benefits, burial expenses and costs. Petitioner
thereafter moved to reconsider but the Commission, in a resolution en banc dated August 30,
1966, denied the motion.

Petitioner now assails the Commission's finding that Eduardo Labiyo "must have died due to over
fatigue or over exertion," arguing that said conclusion is not at all supported by the result of the
autopsy which traced the cause of the deceased's death to "bangungot."


ISSUE: whether or not the death of eduardo labiyo is compensable

HELD: yes. sc says that what makes it compensable is not the cause of death, but the fact that the
death occured during the course of employment. under section 44 of the Workmen's
Compensation Act, as amended, that the employee's death, supervening at the time of his
employment, either arose out of, or was at least aggravated by said employment. With this legal
presumption the burden of proof shifts to the employer, and the employee is relieved of the burden
to show causation. The mere opinion of doctors presented by petitioner as evidence cannot prevail
over the presumption established by law. when an employee undertakes to satisfy, in the course of
employment, certain human wants, i.e. eating, freshening up, sleeping and the like, "and
something takes place that may cause injury, harm or death to the employee or laborer, it is fair
and logical that the happening be considered as one occurring in the course of employment for
under the circumstances it cannot be undertaken in any other way", unless it can be clearly shown
that the mishap occurred because the employee acted beyond his duty or outside the course of
employment, which is not so in the case at bar.