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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 96425 February 4, 1992
PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, MEDARBITER EDGARDO DELA CRUZ and PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG PAGGAWA
(KILUSAN)-TUCP, respondents.
Beltran, Bacungan & Candoy for petitioner.
Jimenez & Associates co-counsel for petitioner.

requirements provided by the rules. Additionally, it prayed that Med-Arbiter Edgardo dela
Cruz inhibit himself from handling the case for the reason that he allegedly had prejudged
the same.
In his September 5, 1990 resolution, Med Arbiter dela Cruz held that there was substantial
compliance with the requirements for the formation of the chapter. He further stated that
mere issuance of the charter certificate by the federation was sufficient compliance with the
rules. Considering that the establishment was unorganized, he maintained that a
certification election should be conducted to resolve the question of representation.
Treating the motion for reconsideration filed by the PDC as an appeal to the Office of the
Secretary, Undersecretary Laguesma held that the same was merely a "reiteration of the
issues already ventilated in the proceedings before the Med-Arbiter, specifically, the matter
involving the formal organization of the chapter." (Rollo, p. 20) PDC's motion for
reconsideration from the aforementioned ruling was likewise denied. Hence, this petition.
In an order dated February 25, 1991, the Court resolved to issue a temporary restraining
order enjoining the public respondents from carrying out the assailed resolution and orders
or from proceeding with the certification election. (Rollo, pp. 37-39)

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:


The controversy in this case centers on the requirements before a local or chapter of a
federation may file a petition for certification election and be certified as the sole and
exclusive bargaining agent of the petitioner's employees.
Petitioner Progressive Development Corporation (PDC) filed this petition for certiorari to set
aside the following:
1) Resolution dated September 5, 1990, issued by respondent Med-Arbiter Edgardo dela
Cruz, directing the holding of the certification election among the regular rank-and-file
employees of PDC:
2) Order dated October 12, 1990, issued by the respondent Secretary of Labor and
Employment, denying PDC's appeal; and
3) Order dated November 12, 1990, also issued by the respondent Secretary, denying the
petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration.
On June 19, 1990, respondent Pambansang Kilusan ng Paggawa (KILUSAN) -TUCP
(hereinafter referred to as Kilusan) filed with the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) a petition for certification election among the rank-and-file employees of the
petitioner alleging that it is a legitimate labor federation and its local chapter, Progressive
Development Employees Union, was issued charter certificate No. 90-6-1-153. Kilusan
claimed that there was no existing collective bargaining agreement and that no other
legitimate labor organization existed in the bargaining unit.
Petitioner PDC filed its motion to dismiss dated July 11, 1990 contending that the local
union failed to comply with Rule II Section 3, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor
Code, as amended, which requires the submission of: (a) the constitution and by-laws; (b)
names, addresses and list of officers and/or members; and (c) books of accounts.
On July 16 , 1990, respondent Kilusan submitted a rejoinder to PDC's motion to dismiss
claiming that it had submitted the necessary documentary requirements for registration,
such as the constitution and by-laws of the local union, and the list of officers/members with
their addresses. Kilusan further averred that no books of accounts could be submitted as
the local union was only recently organized.
In its "Supplemental Position Paper" dated September 3, 1990, the petitioner insisted that
upon verification with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), it found that the alleged minutes
of the organizational meeting was unauthenticated, the list of members did not bear the
corresponding signatures of the purported members, and the constitution and by-laws did
not bear the signature of the members and was not duly subscribed. It argued that the
private respondent therefore failed to substantially comply with the registration

It is the petitioner's contention that a labor organization (such as the Kilusan) may not
validly invest the status of legitimacy upon a local or chapter through the mere expedient of
issuing a charter certificate and submitting such certificate to the BLR (Rollo, p. 85)
Petitioner PDC posits that such local or chapter must at the same time comply with the
requirement of submission of duly subscribed constitution and by-laws, list of officers and
books of accounts. (Rollo, p. 35) PDC points out that the constitution and by-laws and list of
officers submitted were not duly subscribed. Likewise, the petitioner claims that the mere
filing of the aforementioned documents is insufficient; that there must be due recognition or
acknowledgment accorded to the local or chapter by BLR through a certificate of
registration or any communication emanating from it. (Rollo, p. 86)
The Solicitor General, in behalf of the public respondent, avers that there was a substantial
compliance with the requirements for the formation of a chapter. Moreover, he invokes
Article 257 of the Labor Code which mandates the automatic conduct by the Med-Arbiter of
a certification election in any establishment where there is no certified bargaining
agreement.
The Court has repeatedly stressed that the holding of a certification election is based on a
statutory policy that cannot be circumvented. (Airtime Specialists, Inc. v. Ferrer-Calleja, 180
SCRA 749 [1989]; Belyca Corporation v. Ferrer-Calleja, 168 SCRA 184 [1988]; George and
Peter Lines, Inc. v. Associated Labor Unions, 134 SCRA 82 [1986]). The workers must be
allowed to freely express their choice in a determination where everything is open to their
sound judgment and the possibility of fraud and misrepresentation is eliminated.
But while Article 257 cited by the Solicitor General directs the automatic conduct of a
certification election in an unorganized establishment, it also requires that the petition for
certification election must be filed by a legitimate labor organization. Article 242 enumerates
the exclusive rights of a legitimate labor organization among which is the right to be certified
as the exclusive representative of all the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining
unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
Meanwhile, Article 212(h) defines a legitimate labor organization as "any labor organization
duly registered with the DOLE and includes any branch or local thereof." (Emphasis
supplied) Rule I, Section 1 (j), Book V of the Implementing Rules likewise defines a
legitimate labor organization as "any labor organization duly registered with the DOLE
and includes any branch, local or affiliate thereof. (Emphasis supplied)
The question that now arises is: when does a branch, local or affiliate of a federation
become a legitimate labor organization?
Ordinarily, a labor organization acquires legitimacy only upon registration with the BLR.
Under Article 234 (Requirements of Registration):

Any applicant labor organization, 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 (P50.00) registration fee;
(b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address
of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational meeting
and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings;
(c) The names of all its members comprising at least twenty 20%
percent of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seek to
operate;
(d) If the applicant has been in existence for one or more years,
copies , of its annual financial reports; and
(e) Four copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant
union, the minutes of its adoption or ratification and the list of the
members who participated in it.
And under Article 235 (Action on Application)

of a certificate of registration, is a reasonable regulation for the


benefit of the members of the organization, considering that the
same generally solicits funds or membership, as well as oftentimes
collects, on behalf of its members, huge amounts of money due to
them or to the organization. (Emphasis supplied)
But when an unregistered union becomes a branch, local or chapter of a federation, some
of the aforementioned requirements for registration are no longer required. The provisions
governing union affiliation are found in Rule II, Section 3, Book V of the Implementing
Rules, the relevant portions of which are cited below:
Sec. 3. Union affiliation; direct membership with national union.
An affiliate of a labor federation or national union may be a local or
chapter thereof or an independently registered union.
a) The labor federation or national union concerned shall issue a
charter certificate indicating the creation or establishment of a local
or chapter, copy of which shall be submitted to the Bureau of
Labor Relations within thirty (30) days from issuance of such
charter certificate.
b) An independently registered union shall be considered an
affiliate of a labor federation or national union after submission to
the Bureau of the contract or agreement of affiliation within thirty
(30) days after its execution.

The Bureau shall act on all applications for registration within thirty
(30) days from filing.

xxx xxx xxx

All requisite documents and papers shall be certified under oath by


the secretary or the treasurer of the organization, as the case may
be, and attested to by its president.

e) The local or chapter of a labor federation or national union shall


have and maintain a constitution and by laws, set of officers and
books and accounts. For reporting purposes, the procedure
governing the reporting of independently registered unions,
federations or national unions shall be observed.

Moreover, section 4 of Rule II, Book V of the Implementing Rules requires that the
application should be signed by at least twenty percent (20%) of the employees in the
appropriate bargaining unit and be accompanied by a sworn statement of the applicant
union that there is no certified bargaining agent or, where there is an existing collective
bargaining agreement duly submitted to the DOLE, that the application is filed during the
last sixty (60) days of the agreement.
The respondent Kilusan questions the requirements as too stringent in their application but
the purpose of the law in prescribing these requisites must be underscored. Thus,
in Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions v.Secretary of Labor, 27 SCRA 40 (1969),
the Court declared:
The theory to the effect that Section 23 of Republic Act No. 875
unduly curtails the freedom of assembly and association
guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is devoid of factual basis. The
registration prescribed in Paragraph (b) of said section is not a
limitation to the right of assembly or association, which may be
exercised with or without said registration. The latter is merely a
condition sine qua nonfor the acquisition of legal personality by the
labor organizations, associations or unions and the possession of
the "rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor
organizations." The Constitution does not guarantee these rights
and the privileges, much less said personality, which are mere
statutory creations, for the possession and exercise of
which registration is required to protect both labor and the public
against abuses, fraud or impostors who pose as organizers,
although not truly accredited agents of the union they purport to
represent. Such requirement is a valid exercise of the police
power, because the activities in which labor organizations,
associations and unions of workers are engaged affect public
interest, which should be protected. Furthermore, the obligation to
submit financial statements, as a condition for the non-cancellation

Paragraph (a) refers to the local or chapter of a federation which did not undergo the
rudiments of registration while paragraph (b) refers to an independently registered union
which affiliated with a federation. Implicit in the foregoing differentiation is the fact that a
local or chapter need not be independently registered. By force of law (in this case, Article
212[h]); such local or chapter becomes a legitimate labor organization upon compliance
with the aforementioned provisions of Section 3.
Thus, several requirements that are otherwise required for union registration are omitted, to
wit:
(1) The requirement that the application for registration must be signed by at least 20% of
the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit;
2) The submission of officers' addresses, principal address of the labor organization, the
minutes of organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such
meetings;
3) The submission of the minutes of the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by
the laws and the list of the members who participated in it.
Undoubtedly, the intent of the law in imposing lesser requirements in the case of the branch
or local of a registered federation or national union is to encourage the affiliation of a local
union with the federation or national union in order to increase the local union's bargaining
powers respecting terms and conditions of labor.

The petitioner maintains that the documentary requirements prescribed in Section 3(c),
namely: the constitution and by-laws, set of officers and books of accounts, must follow the
requirements of law. Petitioner PDC calls for the similar application of the requirement for
registration in Article 235 that all requisite documents and papers be certified under oath by
the secretary or the treasurer of the organization and attested to by the president.
In the case at bar, the constitution and by-laws and list of officers submitted in the BLR,
while attested to by the chapter's president, were not certified under oath by the secretary.
Does such defect warrant the withholding of the status of legitimacy to the local or chapter?
In the case of union registration, the rationale for requiring that the submitted documents
and papers be certified under oath by the secretary or treasurer, as the case may be, and
attested to by president is apparent. The submission of the required documents (and
payment of P50.00 registration fee) becomes the Bureau's basis for approval of the
application for registration. Upon approval, the labor union acquires legal personality and is
entitled to all the rights and privileges granted by law to a legitimate labor organization. The
employer naturally needs assurance that the union it is dealing with is a bona
fide organization, one which has not submitted false statements or misrepresentations to
the Bureau. The inclusion of the certification and attestation requirements will in a marked
degree allay these apprehensions of management. Not only is the issuance of any false
statement and misrepresentation a ground for cancellation of registration (see Article 239
(a), (c) and (d)); it is also a ground for a criminal charge of perjury.
The certification and attestation requirements are preventive measures against the
commission of fraud. They likewise 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 to use the union for dubious ends.
In the case of the union affiliation with a federation, the documentary requirements are
found in Rule II, Section 3(e), Book V of the Implementing Rules, which we again quote as
follows:
(c) The local chapter of a labor federation or national union shall
have and maintain a constitution and by-laws, set of officers and
books of accounts. For reporting purposes, the procedure
governing the reporting of independently registered unions,
federations or national unions shall be observed.(Emphasis
supplied)
Since the "procedure governing the reporting of independently registered unions" refers to
the certification and attestation requirements contained in Article 235, paragraph 2, it
follows that the constitution and by-laws, set of officers and books of accounts submitted by
the local and chapter must likewise comply with these requirements. The same rationale for
requiring the submission of duly subscribed documents upon union registration exists in the
case of union affiliation. Moreover, there is greater reason to exact compliance with the
certification and attestation requirements because, as previously mentioned, several
requirements applicable to independent union registration are no longer required in the
case of formation of a local or chapter. The policy of the law in conferring greater bargaining
power upon labor unions must be balanced with the policy of providing preventive
measures against the commission of fraud.
A local or chapter therefore becomes a legitimate labor organization only upon submission
of the following to the BLR:
1) A charter certificate, within 30 days from its issuance by the labor federation or national
union, and
2) The constitution and by-laws, a statement on the set of officers, and the books of
accounts all of which are certified under oath by the secretary or treasurer, as the case may
be, of such local or chapter, and attested to by its president.
Absent compliance with these mandatory requirements, the local or chapter does not
become a legitimate labor organization.

In the case at bar, the failure of the secretary of PDEU-Kilusan to certify the required
documents under oath is fatal to its acquisition of a legitimate status.
We observe that, as borne out by the facts in this case, the formation of a local or chapter
becomes a handy tool for the circumvention of union registration requirements. Absent the
institution of safeguards, 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 which is basic to free unionism. The records show that on
June 16, 1990, Kilusan met with several employees of the petitioner. Excerpts of the
"Minutes of the Organizational/General Membership Meeting of Progressive Development
Employees Union (PDEU) Kilusan," are quoted below:
The meeting was formally called to order by Bro. Jose V.
Parungao, KILUSAN secretary for organization by explaining to
the general membership the importance of joining the union. He
explained to the membership why they should join a union, and
briefly explained the ideology of the Pambansang Kilusan ng
Paggawa-TUCP as a democratically based organization and then
read the proposed Constitution and By-Laws, after which said
Constitution and By-Laws was duly and unanimously ratified after
some clarification.
Bro. Jose Parungao was also unanimously voted by the group to
act as the chairman of the COMELEC in holding the organizational
election of officers of the union.
Bro. Jose Parungao, officially opened the table for nomination of
candidates after which the election of officers followed by secret
balloting and the following were the duly elected officers. (Original
Record, p. 25)
The foregoing shows that Kilusan took the initiative and encouraged the formation of a
union which automatically became its chapter. On June 18, 1990, Kilusan issued a charter
certificate in favor of PDEU-KILUSAN (Records, page 1). It can be seen that Kilusan was
moving very fast.
On June 19, 1990, or just three days after the organizational meeting, Kilusan filed a
petition for certification election (Records, pages 2 and 3) accompanied by a copy each of
the charter certificate, constitution and by-laws and minutes of the organizational meeting.
Had the local union filed an application for registration, the petition for certification election
could not have been immediately filed. The applicant union must firstly comply with the
"20% signature" requirement and all the other requisites enumerated in Article 234.
Moreover, since under Article 235 the BLR shall act on any application for registration within
thirty (30) days from its filing, the likelihood is remote that, assuming the union complied
with all the requirements, the application would be approved on the same day it was filed.
We are not saying that the scheme used by the respondents is per se illegal for precisely,
the law allows such strategy. It is not this Court's function to augment the requirements
prescribed by law in order to make them wiser or to allow greater protection to the workers
and even their employer. Our only recourse is, as earlier discussed, to exact strict
compliance with what the law provides as requisites for local or chapter formation.
It may likewise be argued that it was Kilusan (the mother union) and not the local union
which filed the petition for certification election and, being a legitimate labor organization,
Kilusan has the personality to file such petition.

At this juncture, it is important to clarify the relationship between the mother union and the
local union. In the case of Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union v. Liberty Cotton Mills, Inc.,
66 SCRA 512 [1975]), the Court held that the mother union, acting for and in behalf of its
affiliate, had the status of an agent while the local union remained the basic unit of the
association, free to serve the common interest of all its members subject only to the
restraints imposed by the constitution and by-laws of the association. Thus, where as in this
case the petition for certification election was filed by the federation which is merely an
agent, the petition is deemed to be filed by the chapter, the principal, which must be a
legitimate labor organization. The chapter cannot merely rely on the legitimate status of the
mother union.
The Court's conclusion should not be misconstrued as impairing the local union's right to be
certified as the employees' bargaining agent in the petitioner's establishment. We are
merely saying that the local union must first comply with the statutory requirements in order
to exercise this right. Big federations and national unions of workers should take the lead in
requiring their locals and chapters to faithfully comply with the law and the rules instead of
merely snapping union after union into their folds in a furious bid with rival federations to get
the most number of members.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed resolution and orders of respondent
Med-Arbiter and Secretary of Labor and Employment, respectively, are hereby SET ASIDE.
The temporary restraining order dated February 25, 1991 is made permanent.
SO ORDERED.
Feliciano, Bidin, Davide, Jr. and Romero, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 121241 December 10, 1997
FURUSAWA RUBBER PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner,
vs.
HON. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT and FURUSAWA EMPLOYEES
UNION-INDEPENDENT (FEU-IND), respondents.
BELLOSILLO, J.:
This petition for certiorari assails the resolution of respondent Secretary of Labor and
Employment dated 28 June 1995 which affirmed the order of the Med-Arbiter dated 3 April
1995 allowing a certification election to be conducted among the regular rank and file
employees of petitioner Furusawa Rubber Philippines, Inc., (FURUSAWA). The subsequent
order of the Secretary of Labor dated 26 July 1995 denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration is likewise challenged herein.
On 8 March 1995 private respondent Furusawa Employees Union Independent (FEUIND) filed a petition for certification election among the rank and file employees of
Furusawa Rubber Philippines, Inc., a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture of
rubber and other related products for export. On 3 April 1995 petitioner herein moved to
dismiss the petition for certification election on the ground that respondent FEU-IND was
not a legitimate labor organization not having complied with all the requisites of law.
The main issue presented by petitioner was whether a photocopy of its certificate of
registration submitted by the petitioning union which has not been duly authenticated and
not supported by any other documentary evidence constitutes conclusive proof that FEUIND has acquired legitimate status and therefore entitled to pursue its petition for
certification election.
On 3 April 1995 the Med-Arbiter ruled in the affirmative thus

It appearing from the records of the case that the petitioner union is a
legitimate labor organization as evidenced by the attached xerox copy of the
certificate of registration, the instant petition therefore is hereby given due
course.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereby ordered that a certification
election be conducted among the regular rank and file employees of Furusawa
Rubber Philippines Corporation. The eligible voters shall be based on the
Company payroll three (3) months prior to the filing of the petition. The
representation Officer of the Office is hereby directed to conduct the usual preelection conference.
The choices in the certification election are as follows:
(1) Furusawa Employees Union Independent (FEU-IND); and, (2) No
union. 1
FURUSAWA appealed to the Secretary of Labor but the latter affirmed the order of the
Med-Arbiter. On 13 July 1995 FURUSAWA moved for reconsideration but the motion was
again denied.
The main contention of petitioner is that FEU-IND is not a legitimate labor organization so
that, under the law, it could not file a petition for certification election. The basis of this
argument is the failure of the petitioning union to submit an original copy of its certificate of
registration.
We cannot sustain petitioner. We agree with respondent Secretary of Labor and
Employment that FEU-IND is a legitimate labor organization. As such, it enjoys all the rights
and privileges recognized by law. 2 The fact that FEU-IND has been issued Certificate of
Registration No. RO-400-9502-UR-003 by Regional Office No. 14 of the Department of
Labor and Employment (DOLE) is sufficient proof of its legitimacy. The presentation of the
xerox copy of the certificate of registration to support its claim of being a duly registered
labor organization instead of the submission of the original certificate is not a fatal defect
organization conferred by its registration with DOLE. The issuance of the certificate of
registration evidently shows that FEU-IND has complied with the requirements of Art. 234 of
the Labor Code. The requirements for registration being mandatory, they are complied with
before any labor organization, association or group of unions or workers acquires legal
personality and be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor
organizations.
One of the rights of a legitimate labor organization is to represent its members in collective
bargaining agreements; 3 also, to be certified as the exclusive representative of all
employees in an appropriate unit for purposes of collective bargaining. 4 Hence the petition
of FEU-IND, as a legitimate labor organization, for certification election may rightfully be
granted. 5
FEU-IND filed a petition for certification election precisely to determine the will of the
employees for purposes of collective bargaining. Basically, a petition for certification
election is principally the concern of the workers. 6 The only exception is where the
employer has to file a petition for certification election so that it can bargain collectively as
mandated by Art. 258 of the Labor Code. Thereafter, the role of the employer in the
certification process ceases. It becomes merely a by-stander. In one case this court ruled
that since the petition for certification election was filed by a legitimate labor organization
under Art. 258 of the Labor Code, the employer should not have involved itself in the
process. 7

To circumvent the law on the fundamental right of the workers to self-organization would
render such constitutional provision meaningless. Section 3, Art. XIII, of the 1987
Constitution underscores the right of the workers to organize with others or to join any labor
organization which he believes can assist and protect him in the successful pursuit of his
daily grind. The choice is his. Any attempt on the part of management or employers to
curtail or stifle this right of the workers will be deemed unconstitutional and considered as
unfair labor practice on the part of management. Briefly, this right to self organization is a
fundamental right to give the workers the freedom to form or join any labor organization
voluntarily without fear of suppression or reprisal from management. PD No. 828
encourages trade unionism to supplement and strengthen the exercise of the workers' right
to self-organization. 8
We quote with emphasis our ruling in Filipino Metal Corp. v. Ople, 9
that
. . . this Court has authoritatively laid down the controlling doctrine as to when
an employer may have an interest sufficient in law enabling him to contest a
certification election. There is relevance to this excerpt from Consolidated
Farms, Inc. v. Noriel (No. L-47752, 31 July 1978, 84 SCRA 469, 473.): "The
record of this proceeding leaves no doubt the all the while the party that
offered the most obdurate resistance to the holding of a certification election is
management . . . . That circumstance of itself militated against the success of
this petition. On a matter that should be the exclusive concern of labor, the
choice of a collective bargaining representative, the employer is definitely an
intruder. His participation, to say the least, deserves no encouragement. This
court should be the last agency to lend support to such an attempt at
interference with a purely internal affair of labor' (emphasis supplied).
Petitioner FURUSAWA further argues that the Med-Arbiter ignored the fact that FEU-IND
does not represent at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit which is seeks to
represent. Public respondent however has found the petition to be sufficient in form and
substance, there being compliance with the required 20% support signatures. Article 257 of
the Labor Code provides that in an unorganized establishment where there is no certified
bargaining agent, a certification election shall automatically be conducted by the MedArbiter upon filing of a petition by a legitimate labor organization for a certification
election. 10
The alleged termination of the union members who are signatories to the petition for
certification election was not substantiated by hard evidence. It in fact further indicated the
need to hold such certification election which is the best and most appropriate means of
ascertaining the will of the employees as to their choice of an exclusive bargaining
representative. That there are no competing unions involved should not alter this means,
the freedom of choice by the employees being the primordial consideration and the fact that
the employees can still choose between FEU-IND and NO UNION. 11 Moreover, even on the
assumption that the evidence is clearly insufficient and the number of signatories less than
30%, in this case, 20% this cannot militate against the favorable response to such petition
for certification election.
We find no merit in the petition. The issue on the legitimacy of the petitioning union should
be settled in its favor. The submission of a xerox copy of the union's certificate of
registration to prove its legitimacy is sufficient, hence, the Med-Arbiter correctly granted the
petition for certification election. As it been held in a long line of cases, a certification
proceeding is not a litigation in the sense that the term is ordinarily understood, but an
investigation of a fact-finding and non-adversarial character. It is not covered by the
technical ruled of evidence. Thus, as provided in Art. 221 of the Labor Code, proceedings
before the National Labor Relations Commission are not covered by the technical rules of
evidence and procedure. The court has already construed Art. 221 of the Labor Code in
favor of allowing the NLRC or the labor arbiter to decide the case on the basis of position
papers and other documents submitted without resorting to technical rules of evidence as
observed in regular courts of justice.12 Indeed, the technical rules of evidence do not apply if
the decision to grant the petition proceeds from an examination of its sufficiency as well as
a careful look into the arguments contained in position papers and other documents. In this
regard, the factual findings of the Med-Arbiter appear to be supported by substantial
evidence, hence, we must accord them great weight and respect.

Under the premises, or at the very least, when conflicting interests of labor and capital are
to be weighed on the scales of social justice, the heavier influence of the latter should be
balanced by sympathy and compassion which the law must accord the underprivileged
worker. This is only in keeping with the constitutional mandate that the State shall afford full
protection to labor. 13
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The assailed resolution and order dated
28 June 1995 and 26 July 1995, respectively, of respondent Secretary of Labor and
Employment are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., Vitug and Kapunan, JJ., concur.
SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 152356. August 16, 2005]
SAN

MIGUEL
CORPORATION
(MANDAUE
PACKAGING
PRODUCTS
PLANTS), petitioner, vs. MANDAUE PACKING PRODUCTS PLANTS-SAN
PACKAGING PRODUCTS SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION MONTHLIES
RANK-AND-FILE
UNION

FFW
(MPPP-SMPP-SMAMRFUFFW), respondent.
DECISION

TINGA, J.:
The central question in this Petition for Review is on what date did respondent
Mandaue Packing Products Plants-San Miguel Packaging ProductsSan Miguel
Corporation Monthlies Rank-And-File UnionFFW acquire legal personality in accordance
with the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code. The matter is crucial since respondent filed
a petition for certification election at a date when, it is argued, it had yet to acquire the
requisite legal personality. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the
Court of Appeals both ruled that respondent had acquired legal personality on the same day
it filed the petition for certification election. The procedure employed by the respondent did
not strictly conform with the relevant provisions of law. But rather than insist on an overly
literal reading of the law that senselessly suffocates the constitutionally guaranteed right to
self-organization, we uphold the assailed decisions and the liberal spirit that animates them.
Antecedent Facts
The present petition assailed the Decision dated 7 June 2001 rendered by the Court
of Appeals Eighth Division[1] which in turn affirmed aDecision dated 22 Feburary 1999 by
the DOLE Undersecretary for Labor Relations, Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, ordering the
immediate conduct of a certification election among the petitioners rank-and-file
employees, as prayed for by respondent. The following facts are culled from the records.
On 15 June 1998, respondent, identifying itself as an affiliate of Federation of Free
Workers (FFW), filed a petition for certification election with the DOLE Regional Office No.
VII. In the petition, respondent stated that it sought to be certified and to represent the
permanent rank-and-file monthly paid employees of the petitioner. [2] The following
documents were attached to the petition: (1) a Charter Certificate issued by FFW on 5 June
1998 certifying that respondent as of that date was duly certified as a local or chapter of
FFW; (2) a copy of the constitution of respondent prepared by its Secretary, Noel T. Bathan
and attested by its President, Wilfred V. Sagun; (3) a list of respondents officers and their
respective addresses, again prepared by Bathan and attested by Sagun; (4) a certification
signifying that respondent had just been organized and no amount had yet been collected
from its members, signed by respondents treasurer Chita D. Rodriguez and attested by
Sagun; and (5) a list of all the rank-and-file monthly paid employees of the Mandaue
Packaging Products Plants and Mandaue Glass Plant prepared by Bathan and attested by
Sagun.[3]

The petition was assigned to Mediator-Arbiter Achilles V. Manit of the DOLE


Regional Office No. VII, and docketed as Case No. R0700-9806-RU-013.[4]
On 27 July 1998, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the petition for certification
election on the sole ground that herein respondent is not listed or included in the roster of
legitimate labor organizations based on the certification issued by the Officer-In-Charge,
Regional Director of the DOLE Regional Office No. VII, Atty. Jesus B. Gabor, on 24 July
1998.
On 29 July 1998, respondent submitted to the Bureau of Labor Relations the same
documents earlier attached to its petition for certification. The accompanying letter, signed
by respondents president Sagun, stated that such documents were submitted in
compliance with the requirements for the creation of a local/chapter pursuant to the Labor
Code and its Implementing Rules; and it was hoped that the submissions would facilitate
the listing of respondent under the roster of legitimate labor organizations. [5] On 3 August
1998, the Chief of Labor Relations Division of DOLE Regional Office No. VII issued
a Certificate of Creation of Local/Chapter No. ITD. I-ARFBT-058/98, certifying that from 30
July 1998, respondent has acquired legal personality as a labor organization/workers
association, it having submitted all the required documents.[6]
Opting not to file a comment on the Motion to Dismiss,[7] respondent instead filed
a Position Paper wherein it asserted that it had complied with all the necessary
requirements for the conduct of a certification election, and that the ground relied upon in
the Motion to Dismiss was a mere technicality.[8]

1.

2.

MANDAUE PACKAGING PRODUCT PLANT SAN MIGUEL


PACKAGING PRODUCTS SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION
MONTHLIES RANK AND FILE UNIONFFW (MPPPSMPP-SMCMRFUFFW),
NO UNION.

Pursuant to Rule XI, Section 11.1 of the New Implementing Rules, the company is hereby
directed to submit to the office of origin the certified list of current employees in the
bargaining unit, along with the payrolls covering the members of the bargaining unit for the
last three months prior to the issuance of this decision.
SO DECIDED.[13]
These two conclusions of the DOLE were affirmed in the assailed Decision of the
Court of Appeals. It is now our task to review whether these conclusions are warranted
under law and jurisprudence. First, we shall discuss the aspect of respondents legal
personality in filing the petition for certification election.
First Issue: On the Acquisition of
Legal Personality by Respondent
Statutory Provisions for Registration Of

In turn, petitioner filed a Comment, wherein it reiterated that respondent was not a
legitimate labor organization at the time of the filing of the petition. Petitioner also
propounded that contrary to respondents objectives of establishing an organization
representing rank-and-file employees, two of respondents officers, namely Vice-President
Emannuel L. Rosell and Secretary Bathan, were actually supervisory employees. In support
of this allegation, petitioner attached various documents evidencing the designation of
these two officers in supervisory roles, as well as their exercise of various supervisory
functions.[9] Petitioner cited Article 245 of the Labor Code, which provides that supervisory
employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the rank-and-file
employees.[10]
On 20 August 1998, petitioner filed a petition to cancel the union registration of
respondent. However, this petition was denied, and such denial was subsequently affirmed
by the Court of Appeals in a decision that has since become final.[11]
In the meantime, on 15 September 1998, Med-Arbiter Manit issued
an Order dismissing respondents petition for certification election. The sole ground relied
upon for the dismissal was the Med-Arbiters Opinion that as of the date of filing of the
petition on 15 June 1998, respondent did not have the legal personality to file the said
petition for certification election.[12] No discussion was adduced on petitioners claims that
some of respondents officers were actually supervisory employees.
Respondent promptly appealed the 15 September 1998 Order to the DOLE. On 22
February 1999, DOLE Undersecretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz rendered
a Decision reversing the Order. Undersecretary Baldoz concluded that respondent acquired
legal personality as early as 15 June 1998, the date it submitted the required documents,
citing Section 3, Rule VI of the New Rules Implementing the Labor Code (Implementing
Rules) which deems that a local/chapter acquires legal personality from the date of filing of
the complete documentary requirements as mandated in the Implementing Rules. The
DOLE also ruled that the contention that two of respondents officers were actually
supervisors can be threshed out in the pre-election conferences where the list of qualified
voters is to be determined. The dispositive portion of the DOLE Decision stated:
WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED. The order dated 15 September 1999 of the MedArbiter is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, let the records of the case be
remanded to the office of origin for the immediate conduct of certification election, subject to
the usual pre-election conference, among the monthly-paid rank-and-file employees of the
Mandaue Packaging Products Plant San Miguel Corporation, with the following choices:

Local/Chapter of Federation or National Union


Before we proceed to evaluate the particular facts of this case, it would be useful to
review the statutory paradigm that governs the establishment and acquisition of legal
personality by a local/chapter of a labor organization. The applicable rules have undergone
significant amendments in the last decade, thus a recapitulation of the framework is in
order.
The Labor Code defines a labor organization as any union or association of
employees which exists in whole or in part for the purpose of collective bargaining or of
dealing with employers concerning terms and conditions of employment, [14] and a
legitimate labor organization as any labor organization duly registered with the DOLE,
including any branch or local thereof.[15] Only legitimate labor organizations may file a
petition for certification election.[16]
Article 234 of the Labor Code enumerates the requirements for registration of an
applicant labor organization, association, or group of unions or workers in order that such
entity could acquire legal personality and entitlement to the rights and privileges granted by
law to legitimate labor organizations. These include a registration fee of fifty pesos
(P50.00); a list of the names of the members and officers, and copies of the constitution
and by-laws of the applicant union.[17]
However, the Labor Code itself does not lay down the procedure for the registration
of a local or chapter of a labor organization. Such has been traditionally provided instead in
the Implementing Rules, particularly in Book V thereof. However, in the last decade or so,
significant amendments have been introduced to Book V, first by Department Order No. 9
which took effect on 21 June 1997, and again by Department Order No. 40 dated 17
February 2003. The differences in the procedures laid down in these various versions are
significant. However, since the instant petition for certification was filed in 1998, the
Implementing Rules, as amended by Department Order No. 9, should govern the resolution
of this petition.[18]

Preliminarily, we should note that a less stringent procedure obtains in the


registration of a local or chapter than that of a labor organization. Undoubtedly, the intent of
the law in imposing lesser 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.[19] This policy has remained consistent despite the succeeding
amendments to Book V of the Omnibus Implementing Rules, as contained in Department
Orders Nos. 9 and 40.
The case of Progressive Development Corp. v. Secretary of Labor,[20] applying
Section 3, Rule II, Book V of the Implementing Rules, in force before 1997, ruled that "a
local or chapter therefore becomes a legitimate labor organization only upon submission of
the following to the BLR: (1) a charter certificate, within thirty (30) days from its issuance by
the labor federation or national union; and (2) The constitution and by-laws, a statement of
the set of officers, and the books of accounts all of which are certified under oath by the
secretary or treasurer, as the case may be, of such local or chapter, and attested to by its
president.[21] The submission by the local/chapter of duly certified books of accounts as a
prerequisite for registration of the local/chapter was dropped in Department Order No. 9,
[22]
a development noted by the Court in Pagpalain Haulers v. Hon. Trajano,[23] wherein it
was held that the previous doctrines requiring the submission of books of accounts as a
prerequisite for the registration of a local/chapter are already pass and therefore, no
longer applicable.[24]
Department Order No. 40, now in effect, has eased the requirements by which a
local/chapter may acquire legal personality. Interestingly, Department Order No. 40 no
longer uses the term local/chapter, utilizing instead chartered local, which is defined as a
labor organization in the private sector operating at the enterprise level that acquired legal
personality through the issuance of a charter certificate by a duly registered federation or
national union, and reported to the Regional Office. [25] Clearly under the present rules, the
first step to be undertaken in the creation of a chartered local is the issuance of a charter
certificate by the duly registered federation or national union. Said federation or national
union is then obligated to report to the Regional Office the creation of such chartered local,
attaching thereto the charter certificate it had earlier issued.[26]
But as stated earlier, it is Department Order No. 9 that governs in this case. Section
1, Rule VI thereof prescribes the documentary requirements for the creation of a
local/chapter. It states:
Section 1. Chartering and creation of a local chapter 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;

(b)

The names of the local/chapter's officers, their addresses, and the principal
office of the local/chapter;

(c)

The local/chapter's constitution and by-laws; provided that where the


local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as that of the
federation or national union, this fact shall be indicated accordingly.

All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by the Secretary or
Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested by its President.
In contrast, an independent union seeking registration is further required under
Dept. Order No. 90 to submit the number and names of the members, and annual financial
reports.[27]
Section 3, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9 provides when the local/chapter
acquires legal personality.
Section 3. Acquisition of legal personality by local chapter. A local/chapter constituted in
accordance with Section 1 of this Rule shall acquire legal personality from the date of filing

of the complete documents enumerated therein. Upon compliance with all the documentary
requirements, the Regional Office or Bureau shall issue in favor of the local/chapter a
certificate indicating that it is included in the roster of legitimate labor organizations.
It is evident based on this rule that the local/chapter acquires legal personality from
the date of the filing of the complete documentary requirements, and not from the issuance
of a certification to such effect by the Regional Office or Bureau. On the other hand, a labor
organization is deemed to have acquired legal personality only on the date of issuance of
its certificate of registration, [28] which takes place only after the Bureau of Labor Relations or
its Regional Offices has undertaken an evaluation process lasting up until thirty (30) days,
within which period it approves or denies the application. [29] In contrast, no such period of
evaluation is provided in Department Order No. 9 for the application of a local/chapter, and
more importantly, under it such local/chapter is deemed to acquire legal personality from
the date of filing of the documents enumerated under Section 1, Rule VI, Book V.
Apart from promoting a policy of affiliation of local unions with national unions,
there is a practical reason for sanctioning a less onerous procedure for the registration of
a local/chapter, as compared to the national union. The local/chapter relies in part on the
legal personality of the federation or national union, which in turn, had already undergone
evaluation and approval from the Bureau of Legal Relations or Regional Office. In fact, a
federation or national union is required, upon registration, to establish proof of affiliation of
at least ten (10) locals or chapters which are duly recognized as the collective bargaining
agent in the establishment or industry in which they operate; and the names and addresses
of the companies where the locals or chapters operate and the list of all the members in
each of the companies.[31] Once the national union or federation acquires legal personality
upon the issuance of its certificate or registration, [32] its legal personality cannot be subject
to collateral attack.[33]
[30]

The fact that the local/chapter acquires legal personality from the moment the
complete documentary requirements are submitted seems to imply that the duty of the
Bureau or Regional Office to register the local/chapter is merely ministerial. However,
in Progressive DevelopmentCorporation v. Laguesma,[34] the Court, in ruling against a
petition for certification filed by a chapter, held that the mere submission of the documentary
requirements does not render ministerial the function of the Bureau of Labor Relations in
according due recognition to the labor organization.[35] Still, that case was decided before
the enactment of Department Order No. 9, including the aforestated Section 3. Should we
consider the said 1997 amendments as having obviated our characterization
in Progressive of the Bureaus duty as non-ministerial?
Notwithstanding the amendments, it still is good policy to maintain that per
Department Order No. 9, the duty of the Bureau of Labor Relations to recognize the
local/chapter upon the submission of the documentary requirements is not ministerial,
insofar as the Bureau is obliged to adjudge the authenticity of the documents required to be
submitted. For example, the Bureau is not mandated to accept just any purported charter
certificate matter how spurious it is in appearance. It is empowered to ascertain whether
the submitted charter certificate is genuine, and if finding that said certificate is fake, deny
recognition to the local/chapter.
However, in ascertaining whether or not to recognize and register the local/chapter,
the Bureau or Regional Office should not look beyond the authenticity and due execution of
the documentary requirements for the creation of the local/chapter as enumerated under
Section 1, Rule VI, Book V of Department Order No. 9. Since the proper submission of
these documentary requirements is all that is necessary to recognize a local/chapter, it is
beyond the province of the Bureau or Regional Offices to resort to other grounds as basis
for denying legal recognition of the local/chapter. For example, Department Order No. 9
does not require the local/chapter to submit the names of its members as a condition
precedent to its registration.[36] It therefore would be improper to deny legal recognition to a
local/chapter owing to questions pertaining to its individual members since the local/chapter
is not even obliged to submit the names of its individual members prior to registration.
Certainly, when a local/chapter applies for registration, matters raised against the
personality of the federation or national union itself should not be acted upon by the Bureau
or Regional Office, owing to the preclusion of collateral attack. Instead, the proper matter
for evaluation by the Bureau or Regional Office should be limited to whether the
local/chapter is indeed a duly created affiliate of the national union or federation.

Parenthetically, under the present Implementing Rules as amended by Department


Order No. 40, it appears that the local/chapter (or now, chartered local) acquires legal
personality upon the issuance of the charter certificate by the duly registered federation or
national union.[37]This might signify that the creation of the chartered local is within the sole
discretion of the federation or national union and thus beyond the review or interference of
the Bureau of Labor Relations or its Regional Offices. However, Department Order No. 40
also requires that the federation or national union report the creation of the chartered local
to the Regional Office.
Acquisition by Respondent of Legal Personality
We now proceed to determine if and when the respondent acquired legal personality
under the procedure laid down by the rules then in effect, Department Order No. 9, that is.
At the onset, the arguments raised by petitioner on this point are plainly erroneous.
Petitioner cites the case of Toyota Motor Philippines v. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation
Labor Union,[38] and the purported holding therein that [if] it is true that at the time of the
filing of the petition, the said registration certificate has not been approved yet, then,
petitioner lacks the legal personality to file the petition. [39] However, an examination of the
case actually reveals that the cited portion was lifted from one of the antecedent rulings of
the Med-Arbiter in that case which had not even been affirmed or reinstated by the Court on
review.[40] Moreover, such pronouncement made prior to the enactment of Department
Order No. 9 squarely contradicts Section 3, Rule VI thereof, which provides that legal
personality of the local/chapter is vested upon the submission of the complete documentary
requirements.
It is also worth noting that petitioner union in Toyota was an independent labor
union, and not a local/chapter, and under Department Order No. 9, independent labor
unions, unlike local/chapters, acquire legal personality only upon issuance of the certificate
of registration by the Bureau or Regional Office. Still, petitioner cites in its favor Section 5,
Rule V of Dept. Order No. 9, which states that 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. Again, the citation is obviously misplaced, as
respondent herein is a local/chapter, the acquisition of its legal personality being governed
instead by Section 3, Rule VI.
It is thus very clear that the issuance of the certificate of registration by the Bureau
or Regional Office is not the operative act that vests legal personality upon a local/chapter
under Department Order No. 9. Such legal personality is acquired from the filing of the
complete documentary requirements enumerated in Section 1, Rule VI. Admittedly, the
manner by which respondent was deemed to have acquired legal personality by the DOLE
and the Court of Appeals was not in strict conformity with the provisions of Department
Order No. 9. Nonetheless, are the deviations significant enough for the Court to achieve a
different conclusion from that made by the DOLE and the Court of Appeals?
In regular order, it is the federation or national union, already in possession of legal
personality, which initiates the creation of the local/chapter. It issues a charter certificate
indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter. It then submits this charter
certificate, along with the names of the local/chapters officers, constitution and by-laws to
the Regional Office or Bureau. It is the submission of these documents, certified under
oath by the Secretary or Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested by the President, which
vests legal personality in the local/chapter, which is then free to file on its own a petition for
certification election.
In this case, the federation in question, the FFW, did not submit any of these
documentary requirements to the Regional Office or Bureau. It did however issue a charter
certificate to the putative local/chapter (herein respondent). Respondent then submitted the
charter certificate along with the other documentary requirements to the Regional Office,
but not for the specific purpose of creating the local/chapter, but for filing the petition for
certification election.
It could be properly said that at the exact moment respondent was filing the petition
for certification, it did not yet possess any legal personality, since the requisites for
acquisition of legal personality under Section 3, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9 had not
yet been complied with. It could also be discerned that the intention of the Labor Code and

its Implementing Rules that only those labor organizations that have acquired legal
personality are capacitated to file petitions for certification elections. Such is the general
rule.
Yet there are peculiar circumstances in this case that allow the Court to rule that
respondent acquired the requisite legal personality at the same time it filed the petition for
certification election. In doing so, the Court acknowledges that the strict letter of the
procedural rule was not complied with. However, labor laws are generally construed
liberally in favor of labor, especially if doing so affirms the constitutionally guaranteed right
to self-organization.
True enough, there was no attempt made by the national federation, or the
local/chapter for that matter, to submit the enumerated documentary requirements to the
Regional Office or Bureau for the specific purpose of creating the local/chapter. However,
these same documents were submitted by the local/chapter to the Regional Office as
attachments to its petition for certification election. Under Section 3, Rule VI of Department
Order No. 9, it is the submission of these same documents to the Regional Office or Bureau
that operates to vest legal personality on the local/chapter.
Thus, in order to ascertain when respondent acquired legal personality, we only
need to determine on what date the Regional Office or Bureau received the complete
documentary requirements enumerated under Section 1, Rule VI of Department Order No.
9. There is no doubt that on 15 June 1998, or the date respondent filed its petition for
certification election, attached thereto were respondents constitution, the names and
addresses of its officers, and the charter certificate issued by the national union FFW. The
first two of these documents were duly certified under oath by respondents secretary
Bathan and attested to by president Sagun.[41]
It may be noted though that respondent never submitted a separate by-laws, nor
does it appear that respondent ever intended to prepare a set thereof. Section 1(c), Rule VI,
Book V of Department Order No. 9 provides that the submission of both a constitution and a
set of by-laws is required, or at least an indication that the local/chapter is adopting the
constitution and by-laws of the federation or national union. A literal reading of the provision
might indicate that the failure to submit a specific set of by-laws is fatal to the recognition of
the local/chapter. A more critical analysis of this requirement though is in order, especially
as it should apply to this petition.
By-laws has traditionally been defined as regulations, ordinances, rules or laws
adopted by an association or corporation or the like for its internal governance, including
rules for routine matters such as calling meetings and the like. [42] The importance of by-laws
to a labor organization cannot be gainsaid. Without such provisions governing the internal
governance of the organization, such as rules on meetings and quorum requirements, there
would be no apparent basis on how the union could operate. Without a set of by-laws which
provides how the local/chapter arrives at its decisions or otherwise wields its attributes of
legal personality, then every action of the local/chapter may be put into legal controversy.
However, if those key by-law provisions on matters such as quorum requirements,
meetings, or on the internal governance of the local/chapter are themselves already
provided for in the constitution, then it would be feasible to overlook the requirement for bylaws. Indeed in such an event, to insist on the submission of a separate document
denominated as By-Laws would be an undue technicality, as well as a redundancy.
An examination of respondents constitution reveals it sufficiently comprehensive in
establishing the necessary rules for its operation. Article IV establishes the requisites for
membership in the local/chapter. Articles V and VI name the various officers and what their
respective functions are. The procedure for election of these officers, including the
necessary vote requirements, is provided for in Article IX, while Article XV delineates the
procedure for the impeachment of these officers. Article VII establishes the standing
committees of the local/chapter and how their members are appointed. Article VIII lays
down the rules for meetings of the union, including the notice and quorum requirements
thereof. Article X enumerates with particularity the rules for union dues, special
assessments, fines, and other payments. Article XII provides the general rule for quorum in
meetings of the Board of Directors and of the members of the local/chapter, and cites the
applicability of the Roberts Rules of Order [43] in its meetings. And finally, Article XVI
governs and institutes the requisites for the amendment of the constitution.

Indeed, it is difficult to see in this case what a set of by-laws separate from the
constitution for respondent could provide that is not already provided for by the
Constitution. These premises considered, there is clearly no need for a separate set of bylaws to be submitted by respondent.
The Court likewise sees no impediment in deeming respondent as having acquired
legal personality as of 15 June 1998, the fact that it was the local/chapter itself, and not the
FFW, which submitted the documents required under Section 1, Rule VI of Department
Order No. 9. The evident rationale why the rule states that it is the federation or national
union that submits said documents to the Bureau or Regional Office is that the creation of
the local/chapter is the sole prerogative of the federation or national union, and not of any
other entity. Certainly, a putative local/chapter cannot, without the imprimatur of the
federation or national union, claim affiliation with the larger unit or source its legal
personality therefrom.
In the ordinary course, it should have been FFW, and not respondent, which should
have submitted the subject documents to the Regional Office. Nonetheless, there is no
good reason to deny legal personality or defer its conferral to the local/chapter if it is evident
at the onset that the federation or national union itself has already through its own means
established the local/chapter. In this case, such is evidenced by the Charter Certificate
dated 9 June 1998, issued by FFW, and attached to the petition for certification election.
The Charter Certificate expressly states that respondent has been issued the said
certificate to operate as a local or chapter of the [FFW]. The Charter Certificate expressly
acknowledges FFWs intent to establish respondent as of 9 June 1998. [44] This being the
case, we consider it permissible for respondent to have submitted the required documents
itself to the Regional Office, and proper that respondents legal personality be deemed
existent as of 15 June 1998, the date the complete documents were submitted.
Second Issue: On the Alleged Presence
Of Supervisory Employees as
Officers of the Respondent
The second issue hinges on a point of some controversy and frequent discussion in
recent years. Petitioner claims error in the common pronouncement in the assailed
decisions that the matter concerning the two officers who are allegedly supervisory
employees may be threshed out during pre-election conferences. Petitioner cites the cases
of Toyota
Motors and Progressive
Development
Corporation-Pizza
Hut
v.
Ledesma[45] wherein the Court ruled that the question of prohibited membership of both
supervisory and rank-and-file employees in the same union must be inquired into anterior to
the granting of an order allowing a certification election; and that a union composed of both
of these kinds of employees does not possess the requisite personality to file for recognition
as a legitimate labor organization. It should be noted though that in the more recent case
of Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club v. Tagaytay Highlands Employees Union,
[46]
the Court, notwithstandingToyota and Progressive, ruled that after a certificate of
registration is issued to a union, its legal personality cannot be subject to collateral attack,
but questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation.[47]
There is no need to apply any of the above cases at present because the question
raised by petitioner on this point is already settled law, as a result of the denial of the
independent petition for cancellation filed by petitioner against respondent on 20 August
1998. The ground relied upon therein was the alleged fraud, misrepresentation and false
statement in describing itself as a union of rank and file employees when in fact, two of its
officers, Emmanuel Rosell and Noel Bathan, were occupying supervisory positions.[48] Said
petition was denied by the Regional Director, this action was affirmed by the DOLE, the
Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.[49] The denial made by the Court of Appeals and
the Supreme Court may have been based on procedural grounds, [50] but the prior decisions
of the Regional Director and the DOLE ruled squarely on the same issue now raised by the
petitioner. We quote from the Resolution of the DOLE dated 29 December 1998:
. . . . [The] substantive issue that is now before us is whether or not the inclusion of the two
alleged supervisory employees in appellee unions membership amounts to fraud,
misrepresentation, or false statement within the meaning of Article 239(a) and (c) of the
Labor Code.

We rule in the negative.


Under the law, a managerial employee is one who is vested with powers or prerogatives to
lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall,
discharge, assign or discipline employees. A supervisory employee is one who, in the
interest of the employer, effectively recommends managerial actions if the exercise of such
recommendatory authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use
of independent judgment. Finally, all employees not falling within the definition of
managerial or supervisory employee are considered rank-and-file employees. It is also
well-settled that the actual functions of an employee, not merely his job title, are
determinative in classifying such employee as managerial, supervisory or rank and file.
In the case of Emmanuel Rossell, appellants evidence shows that he undertakes the filling
out of evaluation reports on the performance of mechanics, which in turn are used as basis
for reclassification. Given a ready and standard form to accomplish, coupled with the nature
of the evaluation, it would appear that his functions are more routinary than
recommendatory and hardly leave room for independent judgment. In the case of Noel
Bathan, appellants evidence does not show his job title although it shows that his
recommendations on disciplinary actions appear to have carried some weight on higher
management. On this limited point, he may qualify as a supervisory employee within the
meaning of the law. This may, however, be outweighed by his other functions which are not
specified in the evidence.
Assuming that Bathan is a supervisory employee, this does not prove the existence of
fraud, false statement or misrepresentation. Because good faith is presumed in all
representations, an essential element of fraud, false statement and misrepresentation in
order for these to be actionable is intent to mislead by the party making the representation.
In this case, there is no proof to show that Bathan, or appellee union for that matter,
intended to mislead anyone. If this was appellee unions intention, it would have refrained
from using a more precise description of the organization instead of declaring that the
organization is composed of rank and file monthlies. Hence, the charge of fraud, false
statement or misrepresentation cannot be sustained.
Appellants reliance on the Toyota case must be tempered by the peculiar circumstances of
the case. Even assuming that Bathan, or Rossel for that matter, are supervisory employees,
the Toyota case cannot certainly be given an interpretation that emasculates the right to
self-organization and the promotion of free trade unionism. We take administrative notice of
the realities in union organizing, during which the organizers must take their chances,
oftentimes unaware of the fine distinctions between managerial, supervisory and rank and
file employees. The grounds for cancellation of union registration are not meant to be
applied automatically, but indeed with utmost discretion. Where a remedy short of
cancellation is available, that remedy should be preferred. In this case, no party will be
prejudiced if Bathan were to be excluded from membership in the union. The vacancy he
will thus create can then be easily filled up through the succession provision of appellee
unions constitution and by-laws. What is important is that there is an unmistakeable intent
of the members of appellee union to exercise their right to organize. We cannot impose
rigorous restraints on such right if we are to give meaning to the protection to labor and
social justice clauses of the Constitution.[51]
The above-cited pronouncement by Bureau of Labor Relations Director Benedicto
Ernesto R. Bitonio, Jr. in BLR-A-C-41-11-11-98 was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and
the Supreme Court. Hence, its pronouncement affirming, notwithstanding the questions on
the employment status of Rossell and Bathan, the legitimacy of the respondent, stands as a
final ruling beyond the ambit of review, thus warranting the Courts respect. There may be
a difference between this case, which involves a petition for certification election, and the
other case, which concerns a petition for cancellation. However, petitioner opposes the
petition for certification election on the ground of the illegitimacy of respondent, owing to the
alleged supervisory nature of the duties of Rossell and Bathan. That matter has already
been settled in the final disposition of the petition for cancellation, and thus cannot be
unsettled by reason of this present petition.
Effect of Respondents Manifestation
Of Subsequent Developments

A final note. In its Memorandum, petitioner alleges that the bargaining unit that
respondent sought to represent is no longer the same because of the dynamic nature of
petitioners business, a lot of changes having occurred in the work environment, and that
four of respondents officers are no longer connected with petitioner.[52] Assuming that these
manifestations are true, they have no effect on the Courts ruling that a certification election
should be immediately conducted with respondent as one of the available choices.
Petitioners bare manifestations adduce no reason why the certification election should not
be conducted forthwith. If there are matters that have arisen since the filing of the petition
that serve to delay or cancel the election, these can be threshed out during the pre-election
conferences. Neither is the fact that some of respondents officers have since resigned
from petitioner of any moment. The local/chapter retains a separate legal personality from
that of its officers or members that remains viable notwithstanding any turnover in its
officers or members.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner.

In its petition, docketed Case No. RO6-MA-021-89, NACUSIP-TUCP averred that it was a
legitimate national labor organization; that LSC was employing 55 supervisory employees,
the majority of whom were members of the union; that no other labor organization was
claiming membership over the supervisory employees; that there was no existing collective
bargaining agreement covering said employees; and that there was no legal impediment
either to a direct certification of NACUSIP-TUCP or to the holding of a certification
election. 1
In its comment and opposition, dated 14 August 1989, LSC contended, among other things,
that the petition was bereft of any legal or factual basis; that the petition was nothing more
than a useless scrap of paper designed to harass the company; and that its employees
above the rank-and-file category were in truth unaware of the petition. 2
On 18 August 1989, the Commercial and Agro-Industrial Labor Organization ("CAILO"), a
registered labor organization also claiming to count substantial membership among the
LSC supervisory employees, moved to intervene. 3 The motion was granted. 4

SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., and Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.

On 22 August 1989, NACUSIP-TUCP submitted Charter Certificate No. 003-89, dated 20


July 1989, of the NACUSIP-TUCP Lopez Sugar Central Supervisory Chapter. 5 LSC, on its
part, submitted a list of its employees above the rank-and-file status preparatory to the
inclusion/exclusion proceedings. 6

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

On 13 September 1989, one Carlos S. Gevero, asserting a right to represent the


"supervisors of LSC," filed a motion to dismiss the petition for lack of interest on the part of
the supervisory employees. 7

THIRD DIVISION

At the hearing of 20 September 1989, both NACUSIP-TUCP and CAILO failed to appear.
Hearing was re-set for 29 September 1989 8 but, again, neither NACUSIP-TUCP nor CAILO
appeared. On 16 October 1989, nonetheless, Med-Arbiter Felizardo T. Serapio issued an
Order 9 granting the petition. He ruled that under Article 257 of the Labor Code, as
amended, the Med-Arbiter was left with no option but to order the conduct of a certification
election immediately upon the filing of the petition, holding that the subsequent disaffiliation
or withdrawals of members did not adversely affect the standing of the petition. The
dispositive portion of his Order read:

G.R. No. 93117 August 1, 1995


LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
HON. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF
UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES (NACUSIP) and
COMMERCIAL AND AGRO-INDUSTRIAL LABOR ORGANIZATION
(CAILO), respondents.

VIEWED IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, the petition for


certification election among the supervisory employees of the
Lopez Sugar Central, filed by the NACUSIP-TUCP is, as it is
hereby GRANTED with the following choices:
1) National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Phils.
(NACUSIP-TUCP);

VITUG, J.:
2) Commercial and Agro-Industrial Labor Organization (CAILO);
The decision of public respondent, assailed in this petition for certiorari, is anchored on
Article 257 of the Labor Code, as amended, which provides:
Art. 257. Petitions in unorganized establishments. In any
establishment where there is no certified bargaining agent, a
certification election shall automatically be conducted by the MedArbiter upon the filing of a petition by a legitimate labor
organization.
The Med-Arbiter, sustained by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, has
ruled that the above provision is mandatory and gives him no other choice than
to conduct a certification election upon the receipt of the corresponding
petition.
On 26 July 1989, private respondent National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of
the Philippines-TUCP ("NACUSIP-TUCP") filed with the Department of Labor and
Employment ("DOLE") Regional Office No. VI, Bacolod City, a petition for direct certification
or for certification election to determine the sole and exclusive collective bargaining
representative of the supervisory employees of herein petitioner, Lopez Sugar Corporation
("LSC"), at its sugar central in Fabrica, Sagay, Negros Occidental.

3) No Union.
The designated representation officer is hereby directed to call the
parties to a pre-election conference to thresh out the mechanics of
the certification election, including the inclusion and exclusion of
voters and to conduct the election within twenty (20) days from
receipt by the parties of this Order. The list submitted by the
Employer (LSC Employees other than rank and file) shall be used
to determine the eligible voters.
SO ORDERED. 10
LSC appealed to the DOLE and asseverated that the order was a patent nullity
and that the Med-Arbiter acted with grave abuse of discretion. 11
In denying the appeal, the Secretary of Labor, in his Decision of 06 March 1990, has
likewise ruled that the holding by the Med-Arbiter of a certification election is mandatory
under Article 257 of the Labor Code; that the subsequent withdrawals and

disauthorization/disaffiliation of some supervisory personnel in the petition for certification


election could not bar its being granted; and that a certification election is still the most
appropriate means to finally settle the issue of representation. 12

federations or national unions shall be observed. (Emphasis


supplied)
Since the "procedure governing the reporting of independently
registered unions" refers to the certification and attestation
requirements contained in Article 235, paragraph 2, it follows that
the constitution and by-laws, set of officers and books of accounts
submitted by the local and chapter must likewise comply with
these requirements. The same rationale for requiring the
submission of duly subscribed documents upon union registration
exists in the case of union affiliation. Moreover, there is greater
reason to exact compliance with the certification and attestation
requirements because, as previously mentioned, several
requirements applicable to independent union registration are no
longer required in the case of the formation of a local or chapter.
The policy of the law in conferring greater bargaining power upon
labor unions must be balanced with the policy of providing
preventive measures against the commission of fraud.

Hence, this petition for certiorari; it is argued that


Public Respondent Honorable Secretary of Labor and Employment
(has) committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction when it refused to dismiss a petition for certification
election despite clear lack of legal and factual basis for holding the
same. 13
The Solicitor General agrees with public respondent in arguing that the tenor of Article 257
(supra) of the Labor Code is one of command. He cites paragraph 2, Section 6, Rule V,
Book V, of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code, to the effect that
once "a petition (is) filed by a legitimate organization involving an unorganized
establishment, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order the conduct of a certification
election," which is designed, he continues, to give substance to the workers' right to selforganization. 14 Petitioner promptly retorts that it has no quarrel with public respondent on
the objectives of the law but it points out that the application of Article 257 clearly must first
be occasioned by a genuine petition from a legitimate labor organization.

A local or chapter therefore becomes a legitimate labor


organization only upon submission of the following to the BLR:
1) A charter certificate, within 30 days from its issuance by the
labor federation or national union, and

Not too long ago, the Court already had an opportunity to pass upon this very issue
in Progressive Development Corporation vs. Secretary, Department of Labor and
Employment, 15 where we said:
But while Article 257 cited by the Solicitor General directs the
automatic conduct of a certification election in an unorganized
establishment, it also requires that the petition for certification
election must be filed by a legitimate labor organization. Article 242
enumerates the exclusive rights of a legitimate labor organization
among which is the right to be certified as the exclusive
representative of all the employees in an appropriate collective
bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
Meanwhile, Article 212(h) defines a legitimate labor organization
as "any labor organization duly registered with the DOLE
and includes any branch or local thereof." (Emphasis supplied)
Rule I, Section 1(j), Book V of the Implementing Rules likewise
defines a legitimate labor organization as "any labor organization
duly registered with the DOLE and includes any branch, local or
affiliate thereof." (Emphasis supplied)
Indeed, the law did not reduce the Med-Arbiter to an automaton which can instantly be set
to impulse by the mere filing of a petition for certification election. He is still tasked to satisfy
himself that all the conditions of the law are met, and among the legal requirements is that
the petitioning union must be a legitimate labor organization in good standing.
The petition for certification election, in the case at bench, was filed by the NACUSIPTUCP, a national labor organization duly registered with the DOLE render Registration
Certificate No. FED-402-6390-IP. The legitimate status of NACUSIP-TUCP might be
conceded; being merely, however, an agent for the local organization (the NACUSIP-TUCP
Lopez Sugar Central Supervisory Chapter), the federation's bona fide status alone would
not suffice. The local chapter, as its principal, should also be a legitimate labor organization
in good standing. Accordingly, in Progressive Development, we elucidated:
In the case of union affiliation with a federation, the documentary
requirements are found in Rule II, Section 3(e), Book V of the
implementing Rules, which we again quote as follows:
(c) The local or chapter of a labor federation or national union shall
have and maintain a constitution and by-laws, set of officers and
books of accounts. For reporting purposes, the procedure
governing the reporting of independently registered unions,

2) The constitution and by-laws, a statement on the set of officers,


and the books of accounts all of which are certified under oath by
the secretary or treasurer, as the case may be, of such local or
chapter, and attested to by its president.
Absent compliance with these mandatory requirements, the local
or chapter does not become a legitimate labor organization. 16
The only document extant on record to establish the legitimacy of the NACUSIP-TUCP
Lopez Sugar Central Supervisory Chapter is a charter certificate and nothing else. The
instant petition, at least for now, must thus be GRANTED.
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Secretary of Labor, dated 06 March 1990,
affirming that of the Med-Arbiter, is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The petition for
certification election is dismissed. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Feliciano, Romero and Melo, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 157146. April 29, 2005
LAGUNA AUTOPARTS MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, Petitioners,
vs.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT (DOLE)
and LAGUNA AUTOPARTS MANUFACTURING CORPORATION OBRERO PILIPINOLAMCOR CHAPTER, Respondents.
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:

This is a petition for review of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No.
67424 dated September 13, 2002, and the Resolution dated February 5, 2003 denying the
motion for reconsideration thereof. The assailed decision affirmed in toto the decision of the
Secretary of Labor and Employment, granting the petition for certification election filed by
respondent Laguna Autoparts Manufacturing Corporation Obrero Pilipino-LAMCOR
Chapter.
On May 3, 1999, the respondent union filed a petition for certification election before the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Regional Office No. IV, Calamba, Laguna.
In its petition, the respondent union alleged that Obrero Pilipino was a legitimate labor
organization under Registration Certificate No. NCR-LF-11-04-92 issued by DOLE on
November 11, 1992 and that its chapter affiliate, LAMCOR Chapter, had been assigned
Control No. RO400-9807-CC-030 dated March 23, 1999. A copy of the respondent unions
Certificate of Creation was attached to the petition. The petition further alleged that the
bargaining unit sought to be represented was composed of all the rank-and-file employees
in the petitioner company, more or less, 160 employees. It averred that the said bargaining
unit is unorganized and that there has been no certification election conducted for the past
12 months prior to the filing of the petition.2
The petitioner company moved to dismiss the petition for certification election. It claimed
that the respondent union was not a legitimate labor organization for failure to show that it
had complied with the registration requirements, such as the submission of the following
requirements to the Regional Office or the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR):
a) Proof of payment of registration fee;
b) List of officers and their addresses, and the address of the principal place of business of
the union;
c) Minutes of the organizational meeting and the list of workers who participated in the said
meeting;
d) Names of the members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in
the bargaining unit where the union seeks to operate;
e) Copies of financial reports or books of accounts; and
f) Copies of petitioners constitution and by-laws, minutes of its adoption or ratification, and
list of members who participated in it.3
The petitioner company further asserted in the said motion that even if the respondent
union was issued a certificate of registration, it could not file a petition for certification
election since its legal personality was at question.4
On October 24, 2000, Med-Arbiter Anastasio L. Bactin dismissed the petition for certification
election for the respondent unions lack of legal personality. The Med-Arbiter found that the
respondent union had not yet attained the status of a legitimate labor organization because
it failed to indicate its principal office on the documents it submitted to the Regional Office.
He opined that this was a fatal defect tantamount to failure to submit the complete
requirements, which warranted the dismissal of the petition for certification election.5
The respondent union appealed the case to the Secretary of Labor and Employment,
Patricia A. Sto. Tomas, who ruled as follows:
WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED. The order dated 24 October 2000 of the MedArbiter is REVERSED andSET ASIDE. Accordingly, let the entire records of this case be
remanded to the regional office of origin for the immediate conduct of a certification
election, subject to the usual pre-election conference, among the rank-and-file employees
of Laguna Auto Parts Manufacturing Corporation (LAMCOR), with the following choices:
1. Obrero Pilipino LAMCOR Chapter; and
2. No Union
Pursuant to Section 11.1, Rule XI of the New Implementing Rules, the employer is hereby
directed to submit to the regional office of origin the certified list of current employees in the
bargaining unit for the last three months prior to the issuance of this decision.
SO DECIDED.6

Finding no cogent reason to alter her decision, the Secretary of Labor and Employment
denied the motion for reconsideration thereof.7
Not convinced, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the CA on the following
grounds:
I. PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN FINDING
THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT HAS COMPLIED WITH ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR
REGISTRATION;
II. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN
FINDING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT IS A LEGITIMATE LABOR UNION DESPITE
LACK OF REGISTRATION AS SUCH.8
On September 13, 2002, the CA rendered a Decision in favor of the respondent union, thus:
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed decision of the
Secretary of Labor and Employment is AFFIRMED in toto.
SO ORDERED.9
The CA stressed that a local or chapter need not be registered to become a legitimate labor
organization. It pointed out that a local or chapter acquires legal personality as a labor
organization from the date of filing of the complete documents enumerated in Section 110 of
Rule VI of the Implementing Rules of Book V (as amended by Department Order [D.O.] No.
9). The CA held that the findings of the Labor Secretary was amply supported by the
records; such findings would not be reversed since she is considered to have acquired
expertise as her jurisdiction is confined to specific matters. The CA, citing the case
of Pagpalain Haulers, Inc. vs. Trajano,11 also upheld the validity of D.O. No. 9 since the
petitioner failed to show that it was contrary to law or the Constitution.
Finally, the CA noted that it was the employer which offered the most tenacious resistance
to the holding of a certification election among its regular rank-and-file employees. It opined
that this must not be so for the choice of a collective bargaining agent was the sole concern
of the employees, and the employer should be a mere bystander.12
The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA decision, but the same was
likewise denied in a Resolution dated February 5, 2003.
Hence, this petition for review wherein the petitioner relies on the sole ground
WITH DUE RESPECT, THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE
ERRORS OF FACTS AND LAW WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION DATED JULY 5,
2001 OF THE HON. SECRETARY PATRICIA STO. TOMAS IN THE CASE IN RE:
PETITION FOR CERTIFICATION ELECTION AMONG THE RANK- AND-FILE
EMPLOYEES OF LAGUNA AUTO PARTS MFTG. CORP. CASE NO. RO400-9905-RU-001
WHEN IT RENDERED ITS DECISION DATED SEPTEMBER 13, 2002.13
The issues are the following: (a) whether or not the respondent union is a legitimate labor
organization; (b) whether or not a chapters legal personality may be collaterally attacked in
a petition for certification election; and (c) whether or not the petitioner, as the employer,
has the legal standing to oppose the petition for certification election.
The petitioner submits that there is no law prohibiting it from questioning and impugning the
status of the respondent union even in a petition for certification election. It stresses that the
right to file a petition for certification election is a mere statutory right and, to enjoy such
right, the respondent union must comply with the requirements provided under the law,
particularly the requirement that the applicant must be a legitimate labor organization. In
this case, the Med-Arbiter found that the respondent union, which is a local or chapter, had
not yet attained the status of a legitimate labor organization for failure to indicate its
principal office on the list of officers it submitted to the Regional Office. The petitioner insists
that substantial compliance with the requirements is not sufficient; as such, even if such
address was indicated in the other documents submitted to the Regional Office, the
requirement would still not be considered fulfilled. The petitioner concludes that the
respondent union, therefore, does not have the right to file a petition for certification
election.
The petitioner further postulates that in order to be considered legitimate, a labor
organization must be issued a certificate of registration. It contends that D.O. No. 9, insofar
as it requires that the mere submission of documentary requirements as sufficient to give

legitimate personality to a labor organization, is ultra vires. The petitioner avers that the said
Department Order could not amend Article 234 of the Labor Code which clearly states that
the registration of a union is the operative act that imbues it with legitimate personality.
The petitioner then argues that since the mere submission of documents does not vest
legitimate status on a local or chapter, it follows that such status may be questioned
collaterally in a petition for certification election. It adds that the issue of whether or not the
respondent union has the legal personality must first be resolved before the petition for
certification election should be granted.
Finally, the petitioner maintains that in a number of cases,14 the employer was allowed to
question the status of the union-applicant in a petition for certification election.15
For its part, the respondent union avers that the petitioners active participation in the
representation proceedings was an act of intervention of the employees right to selforganization. It asserts that the CA was correct in finding that the petitioner did not observe
a strictly hands-off policy in the representation proceedings, in violation of established
jurisprudence. It argues that the petitioners alleged violation of the requirements of D.O.
No. 9, for failure to indicate its principal address, has already been resolved by the decision
of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.16
The petition is unmeritorious.
In a petition for review on certiorari as a mode of appeal under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, a petitioner can raise only questions of law the Supreme Court is not the proper
venue to consider a factual issue as it is not a trier of facts.17 Findings of fact of
administrative agencies and quasi-judicial bodies, which have acquired expertise because
their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters, are generally accorded not only great
respect but even finality.18 This is particularly true where the CA affirms such findings of fact.
In this case, the CA affirmed the finding of the Secretary of Labor and Employment that the
respondent union is a legitimate labor organization.
Indeed, a local or chapter need not be independently registered to acquire legal personality.
Section 3, Rule VI of the Implementing Rules of Book V, as amended by D.O. No. 9 clearly
states
SEC. 3. Acquisition of legal personality by local/chapter. A local/chapter constituted
in accordance with Section 1 of this Rule shall acquire legal personality from the date of
filing of the complete documents enumerated therein. Upon compliance with all
documentary requirements, the Regional Office or Bureau shall issue in favor of the
local/chapter a certificate indicating that it is included in the roster of legitimate labor
organizations.19
As gleaned from the said provision, the task of determining whether the local or chapter has
submitted the complete documentary requirements is lodged with the Regional Office or the
BLR, as the case may be. The records of the case show that the respondent union
submitted the said documents to Regional Office No. IV and was subsequently issued the
following certificate:
CERTIFICATE OF CREATION OF LOCAL/ CHAPTER NO.
This certifies that as of July 16, 1998 the OBRERO PILIPINO-LAMCOR submitted to this
Office Charter Certificate No. 07-98 issued by OBRERO PILIPINO with complete
supporting documents. From said date, it has acquired legal personality as a labor
organization. It shall have the right to represent its members for all purposes not contrary to
law or applicable regulations and to its constitution and by-laws.
The legitimate personality of OBRERO PILIPINO-LAMCOR CHAPTER is without prejudice
to whatever grounds for revocation or cancellation as may be prescribed by applicable laws
and regulations.
March 23, 1999
Date
By:
(SGD.)

RAYMUNDO G. AGRAVANTE
Labor Relations Division Chief20
Hence, the Regional Office, through the Labor Relations Division Chief, has determined
that the respondent union complied with the requirements under the law. It, therefore,
declared that the respondent union has acquired legal personality as a labor organization.
Absent any pronouncement to the contrary, such determination of the Labor Relations
Division Chief will stand, on the presumption that the duty of determining whether the
respondent union submitted the complete documentary requirements has been regularly
performed.
We rule, however, that such legal personality may not be subject to a collateral attack but
only through a separate action instituted particularly for the purpose of assailing it. This is
categorically prescribed by Section 5, Rule V of the Implementing Rules of Book V, which
states as follows:
SEC. 5. Effect of registration. 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. Such legal personality cannot thereafter be subject to collateral
attack but may be questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance
with these Rules.21
Hence, to raise the issue of the respondent unions legal personality is not proper in this
case. The pronouncement of the Labor Relations Division Chief, that the respondent union
acquired a legal personality with the submission of the complete documentary requirement,
cannot be challenged in a petition for certification election.
The discussion of the Secretary of Labor and Employment on this point is also enlightening,
thus:
Section 5, Rule V of D.O. 9 is instructive on the matter. It provides that the legal
personality of a union cannot be the subject of collateral attack in a petition for certification
election, but may be questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation of union
registration. This has been the rule since NUBE v. Minister of Labor, 110 SCRA 274 (1981).
What applies in this case is the principle that once a union acquires legitimate status as a
labor organization, it continues as such until its certificate of registration is cancelled or
revoked in an independent action for cancellation.
Equally important is Section 11, Paragraph II, Rule IX of D.O. 9, which provides for the
dismissal of a petition for certification election based on the lack of legal personality of a
labor organization only in the following instances: (1) appellant is not listed by the Regional
Office or the BLR in its registry of legitimate labor organizations; or (2) appellants legal
personality has been revoked or cancelled with finality. Since appellant is listed in the
registry of legitimate labor organizations, and its legitimacy has not been revoked or
cancelled with finality, the granting of its petition for certification election is proper. 22
Finally, on the issue of whether the petitioner has the legal standing to oppose the petition
for certification election, we rule in the negative. Our ruling in San Miguel Foods, Inc.-Cebu
B-Meg Feed Plant v. Laguesma23 is still sound, thus:
In any case, this Court notes that it is petitioner, the employer, which has offered the most
tenacious resistance to the holding of a certification election among its monthly-paid rankand-file employees. This must not be so, for the choice of a collective bargaining agent is
the sole concern of the employees. The only exception to this rule is where the employer
has to file the petition for certification election pursuant to Article 258 of the Labor Code
because it was requested to bargain collectively, which exception finds no application in the
case before us. Its role in a certification election has aptly been described in Trade Unions
of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS) v. Trajano, as that of a mere bystander. It
has no legal standing in a certification election as it cannot oppose the petition or appeal
the Med-Arbiters orders related thereto. 24
In conclusion, we find no reversible error in the CAs decision dismissing the petition
for certiorari for the nullification of the decision of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
It should be stressed that certiorari will issue only to correct errors of jurisdiction and not to
correct errors of judgment or mistakes in the tribunals findings and conclusions. 25 The
petitioner failed to demonstrate any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Secretary of
Labor and Employment in granting the petition for certification election.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED DUE COURSE. The Decision
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 67424 and the Resolution dated February 5,
2003 are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Tinga, and Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.

Footnotes

PUBLIC RESPONDENT HON. SECRETARY OF LABOR ACTED


IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION AND/OR COMMITTED GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN HE VIOLATED PETITIONER'S
RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS, PUBLIC RESPONDENT
COMPLETELY IGNORED THE LATTER'S EVIDENCE AND
ISSUED THE QUESTIONED AWARDS ON THE BASIS OF
ARBITRARY GUESSWORKS, CONJECTURES AND
INFERENCES.
II

Penned by Associate Justice Buenaventura J. Guerrero, with Associate


Justices Eloy R. Bello, Jr. and Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr., concurring.
1

10
SECTION 1. Chartering and creation of a local/chapter. 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;
(b) The names of the local/chapters officers, their addresses, and the principal
office of the local/chapter; and
(c) The local/chapters constitution and by-laws; provided that where the
local/chapters constitution and by-laws is the same as that of the federation or
national union, this fact shall be indicated accordingly.
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.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 99395 June 29, 1993
ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL CENTER, INC., petitioner,
vs.
HON. RUBEN O. TORRES and ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL CENTER ASSOCIATIONALLIANCE OF FILIPINO WORKERS ("SLMCEA-AFW"), respondents.
Sofronio A. Ona for petitioner.
Edgar R. Martir for respondent union.
MELO, J.:
In response to the mandate under Article 263(g) of the Labor Code and amidst the labor
controversy between petitioner St. Luke's Medical Center and private respondent St. Luke's
Medical Center Employees Association-Alliance of Filipino Workers (SLMCEA-AFW), then
Secretary of Labor Ruben D. Torres, issued the Order of January 28, 1991 requiring the
parties to execute and finalize their 1990-1993 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to
retroact to the expiration of the anterior CBA. The parties were also instructed to
incorporate in the new CBA the disposition on economic and non-economic issues spelled
out in said Order (p. 48, Rollo). Separate motions for re-evaluation from the parties were to
no avail; hence, the petition at bar premised on the following ascriptions of error, to wit:
I

PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF


DISCRETION WHEN HE CURTAILED THE PARTIES' RIGHT TO
FREE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, AND WHEN HE GRANTED
MONETARY AWARDS AND ADDITIONAL BENEFITS TO THE
EMPLOYEES GROSSLY DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE
OPERATING INCOME OF PETITIONER.
III
PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION WHEN HE ADOPTED/CONSIDERED THE
ALLEGATIONS OF THE UNION THAT THE HOSPITAL OFFERED
SALARY AND MEAL ALLOWANCE INCREASES IN THE
AMOUNT OF P1,140,00 FOR THE FIRST YEAR AND P700.00
ACROSS THE BOARD MONTHLY SALARY INCREASES FOR
THE SECOND AND THIRD YEARS OF THE NEW CBA.
IV
FINALLY, PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE
OF DISCRETION WHEN HE GAVE HIS AWARD RETROACTIVE
EFFECT.
When the collective bargaining agreement for the period August 1, 1987 to July 30, 1990
was forged between petitioner and private respondent, the incumbent national president of
AFW, the federation to which the local union SLMCEA is affiliated, was Gregorio del Prado.
Before the expiration of the 1987-90 CBA, the AFW was plagued by internal squabble
splitting its leadership between Del Prado and Purita Ramirez, resulting in the filing by AFW
and Del Prado of a petition later docketed before the Department of Labor as NCR-00-M90-05-077, where a declaration was sought on the legitimacy of Del Prado's faction
as bona fide officers of the federation. Pending resolution of said case, herein private
respondent SLMCEA-AFW brought to the attention of petitioner via a letter dated July 4,
1990 that the 1987-1990 was about to expire, and manifested in the process that private
respondent wanted to renew the CBA. This development triggered round-table talks on
which occasions petitioner proposed, among other items, a maximum across-the-board
monthly salary increase of P375.00 per employee, to which proposal private respondent
demanded a P1,500.00 hike or 50% increase based on the latest salary rate of each
employee, whichever is higher.
In the meantime, relative to the interpleader case (NCR-00-M-90-05-070) initiated by
petitioner to settle the question as to who between Del Prado and Diwa was authorized to
collect federation dues assessed from hospital employees, the Med-Arbiter recognized Del
Prado's right (p. 423, Rollo). This resolution of July 31, 1990 was elevated to the Labor
Secretary.
That talks that then ensued between petitioner and private respondent were disturbed anew
when the other wing in the AFW headed by Purita Ramirez, expressed its objections to the
on-going negotiations, and when a petition for certification election was filed by the
Association of Democratic Labor Organization of petitioner. However, private respondent
emerged victorious after the elections and was thus certified as the exclusive bargaining
entity of petitioner's rank and file employees.

Following the decision dated September 14, 1990 in NCR-00-M-90-05-077 (pp. 444445, Rollo) which upheld the legitimacy of Del Prado's
status including the other officers, Bayani Diwa of the Ramirez Wing
appealed; the two cases NCR-00-M-90-05-070 for interpleader and NCR-00-90-05-077
were consolidated.
On September 17, 1990, private respondent wrote petitioner for the resumption of their
negotiations concerning the union's proposed CBA. Petitioner reacted by writing a letter on
September 20, 1990 expressing willingness to negotiate a new CBA for the rank and file
employees who are not occupying confidential positions. Negotiations thus resumed.
However, a deadlock on issues, especially that bearing on across-the-board monthly and
meal allowances followed and to pre-empt the impending strike as voted upon by a majority
of private respondent's membership, petitioner lodged the petition below. The Secretary of
Labor immediately assumed jurisdiction and the parties submitted their respective
pleadings.
On January 22, 1991, a resolution was issued in the consolidated cases which eventually
declared Gregorio del Prado and his group as the legitimate officials of the AFW and the
acknowledged group to represent AFW (pp. 320-321, Rollo).
On January 28, 1991, public respondent Secretary of Labor issued the Order now under
challenge. Said Order contained a disposition on both the economic and non-economic
issues raised in the petition. On the economic issues, he thus ruled:
First year P1,140.00 broken down as follows: P510.00 in
compliance with the government mandated daily salary increase of
P17.00; and P630.00 CBA across the board monthly salary
increase.
Second year P700.00 across the board monthly salary
increase.
Third year P700.00 across the board monthly salary increase.
It is understood that the second and third year salary increases
shall not be chargeable to future government mandated wage
increases. (p. 47, Rollo.)
As earlier stated, both parties moved for reconsideration of the above order, but both
motions were denied. Consequently, petitioner St. Luke's filed the instant petition, a special
civil action on certiorari.

St. Luke's respectfully offers to give an increase to all its rank and
file employees computed as follows:
First Year P900 (P700.00 basic +
P200.00 food allowance) for an over all
total food allowance of P320.00.
Second Year P400
Third Year P400
plus the union will be allowed to operate and manage one (1)
canteen for free to augment their funds. Although the profit shall be
divided equally between union and SLMC, the operation of the
canteen will generate for them a monthly income of no less than
P15,000.00, and likewise provide cheap and subsidized food to
Union members.
The wage increase as proposed shall be credited to whatever
increases in the minimum wage or to any across the board
increases that may be mandated by the government or the DOLE.
(pp. 20-21,Rollo.)
Petitioner charges that public respondent, in making such award, erroneously relied on the
extrapolated figures provided by respondent SLMCEA-AFW, which grossly inflated
petitioner St. Luke's net income. Petitioner contends that if the disputed award are
sustained, the wage increases and benefits shall total approximately P194,403,000.00
which it claims is excessive and unreasonable, considering that said aggregate amount is
more than its projected income for the next three years. To illustrate its point, petitioner
submits the following computation:
YR I
A. P1,40 added to basic pay
a) P1,140 x 1,500 (no. of employees) x 12 (months) P
20,520,000
b) 13th month pay: P1,140 x 1,500 1,710,000
c) Overtime pay, 20% of payroll 4,104,000

In assailing the Order of January 28, 1991, petitioner St. Luke's focuses on public
respondent's disposition of the economic issues.
First, petitioner finds highly questionable the very basis of public respondent's decision to
award P1,140.00 as salary and meal allowance increases for the first year and P700.00
across-the-board monthly salary increases for the succeeding second and third years of the
new CBA. According to petitioner, private respondent SLMCEA-AFW misled public
respondent into believing that said amounts were the last offer of petitioner St. Luke's
immediately prior to the deadlock. Petitioner vehemently denies having made such offer,
claiming that its only offer consists of the following:
Non-Economic Issues:
St. Luke's submits that it is adopting the non-economic issues
proposed and agreed upon in its Collective Bargaining Agreement
with SLMCEA-AFW for the period covering 1987, 1990. Copy of
the CBA is attached as Annex "F" hereof.

d) Holiday pay, PM/Night pay 1,026,000


e) Sick leave 855,000
f) Funeral, Paternity, Maternity leaves, retirement
pay 820,000
B. P230 added to meal allowance
a) P230 x 1,500 x 12 4,140,000
C. One day added to sick leave
a) (Ave. pay P3,000 = P1,140) divided by 30 x 1,500 222,000
D. Sick leave cash conversion base reduced from 60 to 45 days

Economic Issue
a) (P3,300 = P1,140)/30 x 1,200 2,664,000

E. Retirement benefits adjustment 500,000

FIRST YEAR ADDITIONAL COST P


36,561,000

Petitioner argues further that since no formal negotiations were conducted, it could not have
possibly made an offer of P1,140.00 as salary and meal allowance increases for the first
year and an increase of P700.00 across-the-board monthly salary for the second and third
years of the new CBA. It raises doubts on the veracity of the minutes presented by private
respondent SLMCEA-AFW to prove that negotiations were held, particularly on October 26,
1990, when petitioner allegedly made said offer as its last ditch effort for a compromise
prior to the deadlock. According to petitioner, these minutes, unsigned by petitioner, were
merely concocted by private respondent SLMCEA-AFW.

YR II
A. Yr I increase except sick leave cash conversion

Finally, petitioner attacks the Order of January 28, 1991 for being violative of Article 253-A
of the Labor Code, particularly its provisions on retroactivity. Said Article pertinently
provides:

from 60 to 45 P33,897,000
xxx xxx xxx
B. P700 added to monthly basic pay
a) P700 x 1,500 x 12 2,600,000
b) 13th month pay: P700 x 1,500 1,050,000
c) Overtime, pay, 20% of P12.6 M 2,520,000
d) Holiday pay, PM/Night pay 630,000
e) Sick leave: 15 days x 700/30 x 1,500 525,000
f) Funeral, paternity, maternity leaves, retirement pay 504,000

SECOND YEAR ADDITIONAL COST P51,726,000


YR III
A. Yr I and Yr II increases 88,287,000

Any agreement on such other provisions of the collective


bargaining agreement entered into within six (6) months from the
date of expiry of the term of such other provisions as fixed in the
collective bargaining agreement, shall retroact to the day
immediately following such date. If any such agreement is entered
into beyond six months, the parties shall agree on the duration of
retroactivity thereof. In case of a deadlock in the renegotiation of
the collective bargaining agreement, the parties may exercise their
rights under this Code.
Petitioner argues that in granting retroactive effect to the enforceability of the CBA, public
respondent committed an act contrary to the above provision of law, pointing out that the
old CBA expired on July 30, 1990 and the questioned order was issued on January 28,
1991. Petitioner theorizes that following Article 13 of the Civil Code which provides that
there are 30 days in one month, the questioned Order of January 28, 1991 was issued
beyond the six-month period, graphically shown thus:

B. P700 added to basic pay


July 30, 1990 Expiration
a) P700 x 1,500 x 12 12,600,000
b) 13th month pay: P700 x 1,500 1,050,000
c) Overtime pay, 20% of P12.6 M 2,520,000
d) Holiday pay, PM/Night pay 630,000
e) Sick leave 525,000
f) Funeral, paternity, maternity, leaves,
retirement pay 504,000

THIRD YEAR ADDITIONAL COST 106,116,000

July 31 = 1 day
August 1-31, 1990 = 31 days
September 1-30, 1990 = 30 days
October 1-31, 1990 = 31 days
November 1-30, 1990 = 30 days
December 1-31, 1990 = 31 days
January 1-28, 1991 = 28 days

TOTAL = 182 days

TOTAL THREE-YEAR ADDITIONAL

(6 months and 2 days)

BENEFIT/WAGES 194,403,000
(pp. 14-16, Rollo).
On the basis of the foregoing, petitioner St. Luke's concludes that it would be in a very poor
position to even produce the resources necessary to pay the wage increases of its rank and
file employees.
Petitioner also impugns public respondent's awards on grounds of prematurity, emphasizing
that the awards in question even preceded collective bargaining negotiations which have to
take place first between both litigants. It denies entering into a round of negotiations with
private respondent SLMCEA-AFW on the theory that the meetings referred to by the latter
were merely informal ones, without any binding effect on the parties because AFW is torn
between two factions vying for the right to represent it. Thus, petitioner maintains that
nothing conclusive on the terms and conditions of the proposed CBA could be arrived at
when the other party, private respondent SLMCEA-AFW is confronted with an unresolved
representation issue.

(p. 34, Rollo.)


Traversing petitioner's arguments, private respondent SLMCEA-AFW contends that the
formulation of the terms and conditions of the CBA awards is well supported by the factual
findings of public respondent which established that petitioner failed to refute private
respondent's allegation that during their last meeting on October 26, 1990, petitioner stood
pat on its offer of P1,140.00 as salary and meal allowance increases for the first year of the
new CBA and P700.00 across-the-board salary increases for the second and third years
thereof. Said awards, it said, are well within the means of petitioner because its reported
net income of P15 million, P11 million, and 13 million for 1987, 1988, and 1989,
respectively, have been actually understated. Moreover, private respondent claims that
petitioner, in actual terms, does not have to pay the alleged amount of P194,403,000.00 for
wages and benefits in favor of its employees. Such amount, according to private
respondent, is bloated and excessive. Private respondent in substantiating such claim
made the following analysis:
First P1,140.00 total salary increase for the first year (1990-1991)
of the new CBA is divided into: P510.00 in compliance with the

government mandated daily salary increase of P17.00 and


P630.00 CBA across the board monthly salary increase, thus, the
whole P1,140.00 salary increase is payable only beginning August
1, 1990 (reckoned from the CBA July 30, 1990 expiry date) up to
October 31, 1990 only following the November 1, 1990 effectivity
of WAGE ORDER NO. NCR-01 which granted the said P17.00
daily wage increase or P510.00 monthly of
which herein petitioner promptly complied with and paid to its
employees and therefore deductible from P1,140.00 total monthly
salary increase (Annex "A" Petitioner and Annex "13" hereof);
Second, the remaining P630.00 CBA across the board monthly
salary increase takes effect on November 1, 1990 up to January 7,
1991 only following the January 8, 1991 effectivity of WAGE
ORDER NO. NCR-02 which mandated P12.00 daily wage increase
or P630.00 monthly, hence, reducing the P630.00 CBA monthly
salary increase to P270.00 CBA monthly salary increase effective
January 8, 1991 and onwards till July 31, 1991 (Annexes "22" and
"23" hereof);
Third, that out of an estimated workforce of 1,264 regular
employees inclusive of about 209 supervisors, unit, junior area,
division department managers and top level executives, all
occupying permanent positions, and approximately 55 regular but
highly confidential employees, only 1,000 rank-and-file
regular/permanent employees (casuals, contractuals, probies and
security guards excluded) are entitled to the CBA benefits for three
(3) years (1990-1993) (as private respondent SLMCEA-AFW
gathered and analyzed from the petitioner's Personnel Strength
Report hereto attached as Annex "28" hereof) vis-a-vis the
generalized and inflated 1,500 employees as total workforce
purportedly entitled to CBA benefits per its self-serving and
incredible computation;
Fourth, the petitioner's computed 20% overtime pay of the basic
salary is unrealistic and overstated in view of its extreme costcutting/ savings measures on all expenditures, most specially, on
overtime work adopted since last year and a continuing
management priority project up to the present; and
Fifth, due to the above consideration, the total real award of wages
and fringe benefits is far less than the true annual hefty operating
net income of the petitioner.
The net result is that the first year award of P1,140.00 monthly
salary increase of which P510.00 monthly salary increase is made
in compliance with the P510.00 monthly wage increase at P17.00
daily wage increase effective November 1, 1990 under Wage
Order No. NCR-01 (Annex "13" hereof) or with the intended
P630.00 CBA monthly salary increase is further reduced by
P360.00 monthly wage increase at P12.00 daily wage increase
effective January 8, 1991 under Wage Order No.
NCR-02 (Annex "22" hereof), thereby leaving a downgraded or
watered down CBA monthly increase of P270.00 only.
Comparatively speaking, the 13% monthly salary increase of each
employee average basic monthly salary of P2,500.00 in 1987 or
P325.00 monthly salary increase granted by the petitioner under
the first old CBA (1987-1990) is better than the much diluted
P270.00 CBA monthly salary increase (in lieu of the awarded
P630.00 CBA monthly salary increase for the first year of the new
CBA under Order, dated January 28, 1991, of public respondent).
(Annexes "A" and "G" Petition). (pp. 390-391, Rollo.)

Private respondent concludes that petitioner's version that it will have to pay
P194,403,000.00 is not true because this will be drastically reduced by 40% to 60% in real
terms due to a smaller number of employees covered. It is further explained that the
government-decreed wage increases abovementioned already form part of the P1,140.00
wage and meal allowance increases, not to mention the strict cost-cutting measures and
practices on overtime and expense items adopted by petitioner since 1990.
With respect to public respondent's ruling that the CBA awards should be given retroactive
effect, private respondent agrees with the Labor Secretary's view that Article 253-A of the
Labor Code does not apply to arbitral awards such as those involved in the instant case.
According to private respondent, Article 253-A of the Labor Code is clear and plain on its
face as referring only to collective bargaining agreements entered into by management and
the certified exclusive bargaining agent of all rank-and-file employees therein within six (6)
months from the expiry of the old CBA.
These foregoing contentions and arguments of private respondent have been similarly put
forward by the Office of the Solicitor General in its Consolidated Comment filed on
November 23, 1991. The Solicitor General share a the views of private respondent
SLMCEA-AFW.
We are now tasked to rule on the petition. Do petitioner's evidence and arguments provide
adequate basis for the charge of alleged grave abuse of discretion committed by public
respondent in his Order of January 28, 1991 as to warrant its annulment by this Court? This
is the sole issue in the case at bar. Consequently, this Court would apply the following
yardstick in resolving the aforestated issue: that public respondent, in the exercise of his
power to assume over subject labor dispute, acted whimsically, capriciously, or in an
arbitrary, despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility which was so patent
and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a
duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law (San Sebastian College vs. Court of
Appeals, 197 SCRA 138 [1991]).
Subjected to and measure by this test, the challenged Order, we believe, can withstand
even the most rigorous scrutiny.
Petitioner assails the Order of January 28, 1991 on three grounds:
(a) unreasonable and baselessness; (b) prematurity; and (c) violation of Article 253-A of the
Labor Code.
We rule that the Order, particularly in its disposition on the economic issues, was not
arbitrarily imposed by public respondent. A perusal of the Order shows that public
respondent took into consideration the parties' respective contentions, a clear indication
that he was keenly aware of their contrary positions. Both sides having been heard, they
were allowed to present their respective evidence. The due process requirement was thus
clearly observed. Considering public respondent's expertise on the subject and his
observance of the cardinal principles of due process, the assailed Order deserves to be
accorded great respect by this Court.
Equally worth mentioning is the fact that in resolving the economic issues, public
respondent merely adopted in toto petitioner's proposals. Consequently, petitioner cannot
now claim that the awards are unreasonable and baseless. Neither can it deny having
made such proposals, as it attempted to do in its Motion for Reconsideration of the
challenged Order before public respondent and which it continues to pursue in the instant
petition. It is too late in the day for such pretense, especially so because petitioner failed to
controvert private respondent's allegation contained in its Comment to the petition before
the Labor Secretary that petitioner had offered as its last proposal said salary and meal
allowance increases. As correctly pointed out by public respondent, petitioner failed, when it
had the chance, to rebut the same in its Reply to said Comment, considering that the
resolution of the labor dispute at that was still pending. Any objection on this point is thus
deemed waived.
We do not see merit in petitioner's theory that the awards were granted prematurely. In its
effort to persuade this Court along this point, petitioner denies having negotiated with
private respondent SLMCEA-AFW. Petitioner collectively refers to all the talks conducted
with private respondent as mere informal negotiations due to the representation issue
involving AFW. Petitioner thus argues that in the absence of any formal negotiations, no

collective bargaining could have taken place. Public respondent, petitioner avers, should
have required the parties instead to negotiate rather than prematurely issuing his order.
We cannot agree with this line of reasoning. It is immaterial whether the representation
issue within AFW has been resolved with finality or not. Said squabble could not possibly
serve as a bar to any collective bargaining since AFW is not the real party-in-interest to the
talks; rather, the negotiations were confined to petitioner and the local union SLMCEA
which is affiliated to AFW. Only the collective bargaining agent, the local union SLMCEA in
this case, possesses legal standing to negotiate with petitioner. A duly registered local union
affiliated with a national union or federation does not lose its legal personality or
independence (Adamson and Adamson, Inc. vs. The Court of Industrial Relations and
Adamson and Adamson Supervising Union (FFW), 127 SCRA 268 [1984]). InElisco-Elirol
Labor Union (NAFLU) vs. Noriel (180 SCRA 681 [1977]), then Justice Teehankee re-echoed
the words of Justice Esguerra in Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union vs. Liberty Cotton
Mills, Inc. (66 SCRA 512 [1975]), thus:
(T)he locals are separate and distinct units primarily designed to
secure and maintain an equality of bargaining power between the
employer and their employee-members in the economic struggle
for the fruits of the joint productive effort of labor and capital;
and the association of the locals into the national union (as
PAFLU) was in furtherance of the same end. These associations
are consensual entities capable of entering into such legal
relations with their members. The essential purpose was the
affiliation of the local unions into a common enterprise to increase
by collective action the common bargaining power in respect of the
terms and conditions of labor. Yet the locals remained the basic
units of association, free to serve their own and the common
interest of all, subject to the restraints imposed by the Constitution
and By-Laws of the Association, and free also to renounce the
affiliation for mutual welfare upon the terms laid down in the
agreement which brought it into existence. (at p. 688; emphasis in
the original.)
Appending "AFW" to the local union's name does not mean that the federation absorbed
the latter. No such merger can be construed. Rather, what is conveyed is the idea of
affiliation, with the local union and the larger national federation retaining their separate
personalities.
Petitioner cannot pretend to be unaware of these legal principles since they enjoy the
benefit of legal advice from their distinguished counsel. Thus, we are constrained to agree
with the position of the Solicitor General that petitioner conveniently used the representation
issue within AFW to skirt entering into bargaining negotiations with the private respondent.
Too, petitioner is in error in contending that the order was prematurely issued. It must be
recalled that immediately after the deadlock in the talks, it was petitioner which filed a
petition with the Secretary of Labor for the latter to assume jurisdiction over the labor
dispute. In effect, petitioner submitted itself to the public respondent's authority and
recognized the latter's power to settle the labor dispute pursuant to article 263(g) of the
Labor Code granting him the power and authority to decide the dispute. It cannot, therefore,
be said that public respondent's decision to grant the awards is premature and pre-emptive
of the parties' right to collectively bargain, simply because the Order of January 28, 1991
was unfavorable to one or the other party, for as we held in Saulog Transit, Inc. vs.Lazaro,
(128 SCRA 591 [1984]):
It is a settled rule that a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a
court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent and after
failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same
jurisdiction. A party cannot invoke jurisdiction at one time and
reject it at another time in the same controversy to suit its interests
and convenience. The Court frowns upon and does not tolerate the
undesirable practice of same litigants who submit voluntarily a
cause and then accepting the judgment when favorable to them
and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction when adverse. (Tajonera v.

Lamaroxa, 110 SCRA 447, citing Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 23 SCRA


35). (at p. 601.)
Finally, the effectivity of the Order of January 28, 1991, must retroact to the date of the
expiration of the previous CBA, contrary to the position of petitioner. Under the
circumstances of the case, Article 253-A cannot be property applied to herein case. As
correctly stated by public respondent in his assailed Order of April 12, 1991 dismissing
petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration
Anent the alleged lack of basis for the retroactivity provisions
awarded, we would stress that the provision of law invoked by the
Hospital, Article 253-A of the Labor Code, speak of agreements by
and between the parties, and not arbitral awards . . . (p.
818, Rollo.)
Therefore, in the absence of a specific provision of law prohibiting retroactivity of the
effectivity of arbitral awards issued by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to Article 263 (g) of
the Labor Code, such as herein involved, public respondent is deemed vested with plenary
and discretionary powers to determine the effectivity thereof.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Feliciano, Bidin and Davide, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 157117

November 20, 2006

COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC., Petitioner,


vs.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR and EMPLOYMENT OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. SUPERVISORY UNION-APSOTEU, and
COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. RANK-AND-FILE UNION-ALUTUCP, Respondents.
DECISION
QUISUMBING, J.:
For review on certiorari is the Court of Appeals Decision1 dated August 31, 2001, in CAG.R. SP No. 54128 and the Resolution2 dated February 5, 2003, denying petitioners
motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals had affirmed the Decision3 dated March
15, 1999 of the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reversing
the Mediator Arbiters dismissal of private respondents petitions for certification election.
The facts are as follows:
On July 8, 1998, private respondents Coastal Subic Bay Terminal, Inc. Rank-and-File Union
(CSBTI-RFU) and Coastal Subic Bay Terminal, Inc. Supervisory Union (CSBTI-SU) filed
separate petitions for certification election before Med-Arbiter Eladio de Jesus of the
Regional Office No. III. The rank-and-file union insists that it is a legitimate labor
organization having been issued a charter certificate by the Associated Labor Union (ALU),
and the supervisory union by the Associated Professional, Supervisory, Office and
Technical Employees Union (APSOTEU). Private respondents also alleged that the
establishment in which they sought to operate was unorganized.
Petitioner Coastal Subic Bay Terminal, Inc. (CSBTI) opposed both petitions for certification
election alleging that the rank-and-file union and supervisory union were not legitimate labor
organizations, and that the proposed bargaining units were not particularly described.

Without ruling on the legitimacy of the respondent unions, the Med-Arbiter dismissed,
without prejudice to refiling, both petitions which had been consolidated. The Med-Arbiter
held that the ALU and APSOTEU are one and the same federation having a common set of
officers. Thus, the supervisory and the rank-and-file unions were in effect affiliated with only
one federation.4

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RELYING ON THE


"1989 REVISED RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING RA 6715" AS
BASIS TO RECOGNIZE PRIVATE RESPONDENT APSOTEUS
REGISTRATION BY THE DOLE REGIONAL DIRECTOR.
II

The Med-Arbiter ruled as follows:


Viewed in the light of all the foregoing, this Office finds the simultaneous filing of the instant
petitions to be invalid and unwarranted. Consequently, this Office has no recourse but to
dismiss both petitions without prejudice to the refiling of either.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, let the instant petitions be, as they are hereby
DISMISSED.

III
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS DID NOT DECIDE IN ACCORD
WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT AFFIRMED PUBLIC
RESPONDENTS APPLICATION OF THE "UNION AUTONOMY" THEORY.

SO ORDERED.5
Both parties appealed to the Secretary of Labor and Employment, who reversed the
decision of the Med-Arbiter. The Secretary thru Undersecretary R. Baldoz, ruled that
CSBTI-SU and CSBTI-RFU have separate legal personalities to file their separate petitions
for certification election. The Secretary held that APSOTEU is a legitimate labor
organization because it was properly registered pursuant to the 1989 Revised Rules and
Regulations implementing Republic Act No. 6715, the rule applicable at the time of its
registration. It further ruled that ALU and APSOTEU are separate and distinct labor unions
having separate certificates of registration from the DOLE. They also have different sets of
locals. The Secretary declared CSBTI-RFU and CSBTI-SU as legitimate labor
organizations having been chartered respectively by ALU and APSOTEU after submitting all
the requirements with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR). Accordingly, the Secretary
ordered the holding of separate certification election, viz:
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Med-Arbiter, Regional Office No. III is hereby
REVERSED. Let separate certification elections be conducted immediately among the
appropriate employees of CSBTI, after the usual pre-election conference, with the following
choices:
I. For all rank and file employees of CSBTI:
1. COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. RANK-AND-FILE
UNION-ALU-TUCP; and
2. NO UNION.
II. For all supervisory employees of CSBTI:
1. COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. SUPERVISORY
EMPLOYEES UNION-APSOTEU; and
2. NO UNION.
The latest payroll of the employer, including its payrolls for the last three months
immediately preceding the issuance of this decision, shall be the basis for determining the
qualified list of voters.
SO DECIDED.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT AFFIRMED


PUBLIC RESPONDENTS APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF STARE
DECISIS TO HASTILY DISPOSE OF THE LEGAL PERSONALITY ISSUE OF
APSOTEU.

IV
IN AFFIRMING PUBLIC RESPONDENTS FINDING THAT PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS ARE "SEPARATE FEDERATIONS," THE HONORABLE
COURT OF APPEALS:
(1) IGNORED JURISPRUDENCE RECOGNIZING THE BINDING
NATURE OF A MED-ARBITERS FACTUAL FINDINGS; AND
(2) DISREGARDED EVIDENCE ON RECORD OF "ILLEGAL
COMMINGLING."11
Plainly, the issues are (1) Can the supervisory and the rank-and-file unions file separate
petitions for certification election?; (2) Was the Secretarys decision based on stare
decisis correct?; and (3) Were private respondents engaged in commingling?
The issue on the status of the supervisory union CSBTI-SU depends on the status of
APSOTEU, its mother federation.
Petitioner argues that APSOTEU improperly secured its registration from the DOLE
Regional Director and not from the BLR; that it is the BLR that is authorized to process
applications and issue certificates of registration in accordance with our ruling in Phil.
Association of Free Labor Unions v. Secretary of Labor;12 that the certificates of registration
issued by the DOLE Regional Director pursuant to the rules are questionable, and possibly
even void ab initio for being ultra vires; and that the Court of Appeals erred when it ruled
that the law applicable at the time of APSOTEUs registration was the 1989 Revised
Implementing Rules and Regulations of Rep. Act No. 6715.
Petitioner insists that APSOTEU lacks legal personality, and its chartered affiliate CSBTISU cannot attain the status of a legitimate labor organization to file a petition for certification
election. It relies on Villar v. Inciong,13where we held therein that Amigo Employees Union
was not a duly registered independent union absent any record of its registration with the
Bureau.
Pertinent is Article 23514 of the Labor Code which provides that applications for registration
shall be acted upon by the Bureau. "Bureau" as defined under the Labor Code means the
BLR and/or the Labor Relations Division in the Regional Offices of the Department of
Labor.15 Further, Section 2, Rule II, Book V of the 1989 Revised Implementing Rules of the
Labor Code (Implementing Rules) provides that:

The motion for reconsideration was also denied.7


On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Secretary.8 It held that there
was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Secretary; its findings are supported by
evidence on record; and thus should be accorded with respect and finality.9
The motion for reconsideration was likewise denied.10 Hence, the instant petition by the
company anchored on the following grounds:
I

Section 2. Where to file application; procedure Any national labor organization or labor
federation or local union may file an application for registration with the Bureau or the
Regional Office where the applicants principal offices is located. The Bureau or the
Regional Office shall immediately process and approve or deny the application. In case of
approval, the Bureau or the Regional Office shall issue the registration certificate within
thirty (30) calendar days from receipt of the application, together with all the requirements
for registration as hereinafter provided. 16
The Implementing Rules specifically Section 1, Rule III of Book V, as amended by
Department Order No. 9, thus:

SECTION 1. Where to file applications. The application for registration of any


federation, national or industry union or trade union center shall be filed with the Bureau.
Where the application is filed with the Regional Office, the same shall be immediately
forwarded to the Bureau within forty-eight (48) hours from filing thereof, together with all the
documents supporting the registration.
The applications for registration of an independent union shall be filed with and acted upon
by the Regional Office where the applicants principal office is located .

union, and reported to the Regional Office in accordance with the rules implementing the
Labor Code.25 A local union does not owe its existence to the federation with which it is
affiliated. It is a separate and distinct voluntary association owing its creation to the will of
its members. Mere affiliation does not divest the local union of its own personality, neither
does it give the mother federation the license to act independently of the local union. It only
gives rise to a contract of agency, where the former acts in representation of the
latter.26 Hence, local unions are considered principals while the federation is deemed to be
merely their agent.27 As such principals, the unions are entitled to exercise the rights and
privileges of a legitimate labor organization, including the right to seek certification as the
sole and exclusive bargaining agent in the appropriate employer unit.1wphi1

xxxx
The DOLE issued Department Order No. 40-03, which took effect on March 15, 2003,
further amending Book V of the above implementing rules. The new implementing rules
explicitly provide that applications for registration of labor organizations shall be filed either
with the Regional Office or with the BLR.17
Even after the amendments, the rules did not divest the Regional Office and the BLR of
their jurisdiction over applications for registration by labor organizations. The amendments
to the implementing rules merely specified that when the application was filed with the
Regional Office, the application would be acted upon by the BLR.
The records in this case showed that APSOTEU was registered on March 1, 1991.
Accordingly, the law applicable at that time was Section 2, Rule II, Book V of the
Implementing Rules, and not Department Order No. 9 which took effect only on June 21,
1997. Thus, considering further that APSOTEUs principal office is located in Diliman,
Quezon City, and its registration was filed with the NCR Regional Office, the certificate of
registration is valid.
The petitioner misapplied Villar v. Inciong.18 In said case, there was no record in the BLR
that Amigo Employees Union was registered.19
Did the Court of Appeals err in its application of stare decisis when it upheld the Secretarys
ruling that APSOTEU is a legitimate labor organization and its personality cannot be
assailed unless in an independent action for cancellation of registration certificate?20
We think not.
Section 5, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules states:
Section 5. Effect of registration 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. Such legal personality cannot thereafter be subject to collateral
attack, but maybe questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance
with these Rules.21
Thus, APSOTEU is a legitimate labor organization and has authority to issue charter to its
affiliates.22 It may issue a local charter certificate to CSBTI-SU and correspondingly, CSBTISU is legitimate.
Are ALU, a rank-and-file union and APSOTEU, a supervisory union one and the same
because of the commonalities between them? Are they commingled?

A word of caution though, under Article 245 of the Labor Code,28 supervisory employees are
not eligible for membership in a labor union of rank-and-file employees. The supervisory
employees are allowed to form their own union but they are not allowed to join the rankand-file union because of potential conflicts of interest.29 Further, to avoid a situation where
supervisors would merge with the rank-and-file or where the supervisors labor union would
represent conflicting interests, a local supervisors union should not be allowed to affiliate
with the national federation of unions of rank-and-file employees where that federation
actively participates in the union activity within the company.30 Thus, the limitation is not
confined to a case of supervisors wanting to join a rank-and-file union. The prohibition
extends to a supervisors local union applying for membership in a national federation the
members of which include local unions of rank-and-file employees.31 In De La Salle
University Medical Center and College of Medicine v. Laguesma, we reiterated the rule that
for the prohibition to apply, it is not enough that the supervisory union and the rank-and-file
union are affiliated with a single federation. In addition, the supervisors must have direct
authority over the rank-and-file employees.32
In the instant case, the national federations that exist as separate entities to which the rankand-file and supervisory unions are separately affiliated with, do have a common set of
officers. In addition, APSOTEU, the supervisory federation, actively participates in the
CSBTI-SU while ALU, the rank-and-file federation, actively participates in the CSBTI-RFU,
giving occasion to possible conflicts of interest among the common officers of the federation
of rank-and-file and the federation of supervisory unions. For as long as they are affiliated
with the APSOTEU and ALU, the supervisory and rank-and-file unions both do not meet the
criteria to attain the status of legitimate labor organizations, and thus could not separately
petition for certification elections.1wphi1
The purpose of affiliation of the local unions into a common enterprise is to increase the
collective bargaining power in respect of the terms and conditions of labor. 33 When there is
commingling of officers of a rank-and-file union with a supervisory union, the constitutional
policy on labor is circumvented. Labor organizations should ensure the freedom of
employees to organize themselves for the purpose of leveling the bargaining process but
also to ensure the freedom of workingmen and to keep open the corridor of opportunity to
enable them to do it for themselves.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated August 31,
2001, in CA-G.R. SP No. 54128 and the Resolution dated February 5, 2003 are SET
ASIDE. The decision of the Med-Arbiter is herebyAFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate Justice
WE CONCUR:

The petitioner contends that applying by analogy, the doctrine of piercing the veil of
corporate fiction, APSOTEU and ALU are the same federation. Private respondents
disagree.
First, as earlier discoursed, once a labor union attains the status of a legitimate labor
organization, it continues as such until its certificate of registration is cancelled or revoked
in an independent action for cancellation.23 In addition, the legal personality of a labor
organization cannot be collaterally attacked.24 Thus, when the personality of the labor
organization is questioned in the same manner the veil of corporate fiction is pierced, the
action partakes the nature of a collateral attack. Hence, in the absence of any independent
action for cancellation of registration against either APSOTEU or ALU, and unless and until
their registrations are cancelled, each continues to possess a separate legal personality.
The CSBTI-RFU and CSBTI-SU are therefore affiliated with distinct and separate
federations, despite the commonalities of APSOTEU and ALU.
Under the rules implementing the Labor Code, a chartered local union acquires legal
personality through the charter certificate issued by a duly registered federation or national

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate Justice

DANTE O. TINGA
Associate Justice

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.


Associate Justice
ATT E STATI O N
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before
the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate Justice
Chairperson

PURISIMA, J.:

C E RTI F I CATI O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairpersons
Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts
Division.
ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN
Chief Justice

At bar is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court seeking to
annul and set aside the Decision 1 of the National Labor Relations Commission, 2 dated
September 29, 1993, in NLRC NCR CA No. 003806-92, which reversed the Decision 3 of
the Labor Arbiter, 4 dated August 31, 1992, in NLRC Case No. 4-1309-86, disposing thus:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal of complainant
corporation is hereby dismissed for lack of merit; the appeal of
Atty. Lerum and NLU is hereby granted, and the Decision dated
August 31, 1992 is hereby annulled and set side, and a new
judgment is hereby entered declaring the complaint below
dismissed for lack of merit insofar as respondent NLU and Atty.
Lerum are concerned.

Footnotes
SO ORDERED. 5
ART. 235. Action on application. The Bureau shall act on all applications
for registration within thirty (30) days from filing.
14

All requisite documents and papers shall be certified under oath by


the secretary or the treasurer of the organization, as the case may
be, and attested to by its president.
17

Rule III, Section 1 in relation to Rule I, Section 1(f).


Rule III, Section 1. Where to file. Applications for registration of
independent labor unions, chartered locals, workers associations
shall be filed with the Regional Office where the applicant
principally operates. It shall be processed by the Labor Relations
Division at the Regional Office in accordance with Sections 2-A, 2C, and 2-E of this Rule.
Applications for registration of federations, national unions or
workers associations operating in more than one region shall be
filed with the Bureau or the Regional Offices, but shall be
processed by the Bureau in accordance with Sections 2-B and 2-D
of this Rule.

ART 231. Registry of unions and file of collective agreements. - The


Bureau shall keep a registry of legitimate labor organizations .
28
ART. 245. Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any labor
organization; right of supervisory employees. Managerial employees are
not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization. Supervisory
employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the
rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor
organizations of their own.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 115180 November 16, 1999


FILIPINO PIPE AND FOUNDRY CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, NATIONAL LABOR UNION TUCP,
and EULOGIO LERUM,respondents.

The antecedent facts can be culled as follows:


On February 10, 1986, respondent National Labor Union-Trade Union Trade Union
Congress of the Philippines (NLU-TUCP), a national federation of labor unions, filed with
the then Ministry of Labor and Employment, in behalf of its local chapter, the Filipino Pipe
Workers Union-National Labor Union (FPWU-NLU, hereinafter referred to as Union), a
notice of strike signed by its national president, Atty. Eulogio R. Lerum, against the
petitioner, Filipino Pipe and Foundry Corporation, alleging as grounds therefor union
busting and non-implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 6
The initial conciliation conference was set on February 24, 1986 but due to lack of notice
thereof to petitioner company, as well as the failure of FPWU-NLU to furnish the latter a
copy of the notice of strike, the initial conciliation conference was re-set to March 3, 1986.
In the early morning of March 3, 1986, however, without waiting for the outcome of the
conciliation conference scheduled on said date, the FPWU-NLU staged the strike in
question which lasted until June 13, 1986, when a return to work agreement was reached
by the union and petitioner company. 7
On April 8, 1986, petitioner company interposed before the Arbitration Branch of the then
Ministry of Labor and Employment, a petition to declare the strike illegal with prayer for
damages against FPWU-NLU, NLU-TUCP and its national president, Atty. Eulogio Lerum.
On December 23, 1988, petitioner company moved for the partial dismissal of the
Complaint against forty-three (43) officers and members of FPWU-NLU, but maintained the
action against the NLU-TUCP and Atty. Eulogio Lerum. 8
On August 31, 1992, the Labor Arbiter came out with a decision for petitioner company,
ruling as follows:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered declaring that the
strike staged by respondents from March 3, 1986 to June 13, 1986
was ILLEGAL. Accordingly and in conformity with the Return-toWork Agreement, respondent National Labor Union-TUCP is
hereby directed to pay the complainant company the following:
a) Actual damages in the form of loss of revenue during the
duration of the strike which lasted for 100 days or in the amount of
ONE MILLION PESOS (P1,000, 000. 00);
b) Damages to the good business standing and commercial credit
of the company in the amount of THREE HUNDRED FIFTY
THOUSAND PESOS (P350,000.00); and
c) Exemplary damages to deter others similarly inclined from
committing similar acts and to serve as an example for the public

good, in the amount of TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND


PESOS (P250,000.00).
Further, respondent NLU is hereby directed to pay the attorney's
fees equivalent to 10% of the actual damages, or the amount of
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00).
For lack of showing that respondent Lerum acted in his personal
capacity, he is hereby ABSOLVED from any liability.
Pursuant to the Agreement, the complaint against all the other
individual respondents are hereby DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED. 9
Therefrom, both parties appealed to the NLRC which on September 29, 1993, rendered the
assailed decision. Dissatisfied therewith, the petitioner company found its way to this Court
via the present petition; theorizing that:
I
PUBLIC RESPONDENT NATIONAL
LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
ERRED IN LAW, CAPRICIOUSLY AND
WHIMSICALLY DISREGARDED THE
EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN THE CASE
AND GRAVELY ABUSED ITS
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK
AND/OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
WHEN IT HELD THAT PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS NATIONAL LABOR
UNION (NLU)-TUCP AND ATTY.
EULOGIO LERUM ARE NOT PRIMARILY
RESPONSIBLE AND, THEREFORE,
NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES
SUFFERED BY PETITIONER ON
ACCOUNT OF THE ILLEGAL STRIKE
THEY HAD DIRECTLY AIDED,
ASSISTED, ABETTED AND
PARTICIPATED IN.
II
PUBLIC RESPONDENT NATIONAL
LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK AND/OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION AND
ACTED CAPRICIOUSLY AND
WHIMSICALLY IN TOTAL DISREGARD
OF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED IN
THE CASE WHEN IT HELD THAT
PRIVATE RESPONDENTS MERELY
ASSISTED THE LOCAL CHAPTER AND
ITS MEMBERS IN STAGING A STRIKE
AGAINST PETITIONER AND THAT
SUCH ASSISTANCE WAS NOT THE
CAUSE NOR WAS IT AN
INDESPENSABLE ELEMENT OF THE
STRIKE.
III

PUBLIC RESPONDENT NATIONAL


LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
GRAVELY ERRED IN LAW AND
GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK AND/OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT
CONCLUDED THAT PETITIONER LOST
ITS CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST
PRIVATE RESPONDENTS AFTER THE
LOCAL UNION HIRED A NEW COUNSEL
AND PETITIONER MOVED FOR
PARTIAL DISMISSAL OF ITS
COMPLAINT AGAINST THE STRIKING
WORKERS INASMUCH AS PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS ARE MERE THIRD
PARTIES. 10
Rule XXII, Book V, of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code, provides:
Sec. 1. Grounds for strike and lockout. A strike or lockout may
be declared in cases of bargaining deadlocks and unfair labor
practices. Violations of collective bargaining agreements, except
flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with its economic
provisions, shall not be considered unfair labor practice and shall
not be strikeable. No strike or lockout may be declared on grounds
involving inter-union and intra-union disputes or on issues brought
to voluntary or compulsory arbitration.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 3. Notice of strike or lockout. In cases of bargaining
deadlocks, a notice of strike or lockout shall be filed with the
regional branch of the Board at least thirty (30) days before the
intended date thereof, a copy of said notice having been served on
the other party concerned. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 6. Conciliation. Upon receipt of the notice, the regional
branch of the Board shall exert all efforts at mediation and
conciliation to enable the parties to settle the dispute amicably.
The regional branch of the Board may, upon consultation,
recommend to the parties that the notice be treated as a
preventive mediation case. It shall also encourage the parties to
submit the dispute to voluntary arbitration.
During the proceedings, the parties shall not do any act which may
disrupt or impede the early settlement of the dispute. They are
obliged as part of the duty to bargain collectively in good faith, to
participate fully and promptly in the conciliation meetings called by
the regional branch of the board. The regional branch of the Board
shall have the power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance
of the parties to the meetings. . . .
Applying the aforecited provision of law in point to the case under consideration, the Court
is of the finding and conclusion that the strike staged by FPWU-NLU was illegal for want of
any legal basis. Contrary to the grounds advanced by the union in the notice of strike, it
turned out during the March 3, 1986 conciliation conference that the purpose of the strike
was to pressure the petitioner company to:
1) include in the salary of the strikers the P3.00 wage
increase 11 effective March 1, 1986.

2) compute their backwages covering the period from December 1,


1980 to February 28, 1986, including vacation leave and sick
leave.
A thorough sifting of the pertinent records discloses that the alleged union
busting was not substantiated and the supposed non-implementation of the
collective bargaining agreement was groundless because the demands of
FPWU-NLU, at the time the notice of strike was filed and at the time the by the
union actually struck, were the subject of a pending application for a writ of
execution filed by the union in Case No. AB-7933-80 (NCR-CA-8-674-80),
which application was granted on April 4, 1986 by the Labor Arbiter. 12 Verily,
the strike staged by FPWU-NLU was baseless since it was still pre-mature then
for the union to insist on the implementation of the adverted provision of the
collective bargaining agreement, which was the subject of a pending writ of
execution.

Treasure Arsenio Agustin


Auditor Genaro Gabule
Board Members:
1. Eduardo Cenina 4. Felimon Simborio
2. Dante Canete 5. Joseph Olazo
3. Reynaldo Adelante 6. Virgilio Elnar
Shop Stewards:
1. Pablito Fajardo

Then too, the failure of the union to serve petitioner company a copy of the notice of strike
is a clear violation of Section 3 of the aforestated Rules. The constitutional precepts of due
process mandate that the other party be notified of the adverse action of the opposing
party. So also, the same Section provides for a mandatory thirty (30) day cooling-off period
which the union ignored when it struck on March 3, 1986, before the 30th day from the time
the notice of strike was filed on February 10, 1986.
What is more, the same strike blatantly disregarded the prohibition on the doing of any act
which may impede or disrupt the conciliation proceedings, when the union staged the strike
in the early morning of March 3, 1986, the very same day the conciliation conference was
scheduled by the former Ministry of Labor.
In light of the foregoing, it is beyond cavil that subject strike staged by the union was illegal.
Anent the responsibility for the damages allegedly sustained by petitioner company on
account of the illegal strike, the latter theorized that the liability therefor should be borne by
NLU-TUCP and its national president, Atty. Eulogio Lerum, for having directly participated in
aiding and abetting the illegal strike. It is argued that FPWU-NLU is a mere agent of
respondent NLU-TUCP, because FPWU-NLU, which was formed by respondent NLU-TUCP
is not registered as a local unit or chapter but directly affiliated with the latter and therefore,
could not have acted on its own. Otherwise stated, petitioner is of the view that FPWU-NLU,
a local union, cannot act as the principal of respondent NLU-TUCP, a mother federation,
because it is not a legitimate labor organization. 13 In support of this stance, petitioner cited
the following letter of Atty. Lerum to the company, to wit:
NATIONAL LABOR UNION
An Affiliate of the Trade Union of the Philippines
3199 RAMON MAGSAYSAY BLVD., MANILA, PHILIPPINES

2. Ruperto Manlangit
3. Ruben Bongaos
We have given them full authority to deal with you on all matters
covered by our authority as sole collective bargaining
representative of your rank and file workers.
Very Truly Yous,
EULOGIO R. LERUM
National President

In Progressive Development Corporation vs. Secretary, Department of Labor and


Employment, 15 the Court explained the nature of the relationship between a mother
union/federation and a local union, thus:
At this juncture, it is important to clarify the relationship between
the mother union and the local union. In the case of Liberty Cotton
Mills Workers Union v. Liberty Cotton Mills, Inc., 66 SCRA 512
[1975], the Court held that the mother union, acting for and in
behalf of its affiliate, had the status of an agent while the local
union remained the basic unit of the association free to serve the
common interest of all its members subject only to the restraints
imposed by the constitution and by-laws of the association. . . . 16

Tel. 61-42-65
The same is true even if the local union is not a legitimate labor organization.
Conformably, in the abovecited case the Court ruled that the mother federation
was a mere agent and the local chapter/union was the principal,
notwithstanding the failure of the local union to comply with the procedural
requirements that would make it a legitimate labor organization.

March 29, 1983


Dear Sirs:
Please be informed that we have formed a local union in your
company and the officers thereof are the following:
President Virgilio Bernal
Vice-Pres. Ramon Alborte
Secretary Ernesto Ballesteros

Evidently, in the case under scrutiny, whether or not FPWU, the local chapter, complied with
the procedural requirements that would make it a legitimate labor organization is
immaterial. It would not affect its status as the principal and basic unit of the association.
The requirement laid down in the Progressive Development case, that the local union must
be a legitimate labor organization, pertains to the conditions before a union may file a
petition for certification election and to be certified as sole and exclusive bargaining agent.
In the present case, there is no dispute that FPWU-NLU is the sole and exclusive
bargaining representative of the rank and file employees of petitioner company. The union's
status as a legitimate labor organization is therefore of no moment in the resolution of the
controversy here. As the local union, it is considered as the principal; the entity which

staged the illegal strike and the one responsible for the resulting damages allegedly
sustained by petitioner company.
Furthermore, the petitioner company is now estopped from reneging on the recognition it
extended to the FPUW-NLU as the bargaining representative of its rank and file workers, by
belatedly attacking its status which petitioner company had voluntarily recognized. It should
be noted that even as early as 1981, when the collective bargaining agreement sought to
be implemented by the union was entered into, the latter was already the bargaining
representative of the employees concerned. It is not, therefore, true that it was respondent
NLU-TUCP which formed FPWU. At most, the entry into the picture of the private
respondent on March 23, 1983, merely affirmed the status of FPWU as the recognized
bargaining representative of the rank and file employees of petitioner company.
Evidently, direct and primary responsibility for the damages allegedly caused by the illegal
strike sued upon fall on the local union FPWU, being the principal, and not on respondent
NLU-TUCP, a mere agent of FPWU-NLU which assisted the latter in filing the notice of
strike. Being just an agent, the notice of strike filed by Atty. Eulogio Lerum, the national
president of NLU-TUCP, is deemed to have been filed by its principal, the FPWU-NLU.
Having thus dismissed the claim for damages against the principal, FPWU-NLU, the action
for damages against its agent, respondent NLU-TUCP, and Atty. Lerum, has no more leg to
stand on and should also be dismissed.
Premises studiedly considered, the Court is of the ineluctable conclusion, and so holds, that
the National Labor Relations Commission did not act with grave abuse of discretion in
reversing the Decision of the Labor Arbiter in NLRC CASE No. 4-1309-86.
WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the Petition is DISMISSED, and the Decision of the
National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC NCR CA No. 003806-92 AFFIRMED. No
pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
Melo, Vitug, Panganiban and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 113907

February 28, 2000

MALAYANG SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA M. GREENFIELD (MSMG-UWP),


ITS PRESIDENT BEDA MAGDALENA VILLANUEVA, MARIO DAGANIO, DONATO
GUERRERO, BELLA P. SANCHEZ, ELENA TOBIS, RHODA TAMAYO, LIWAYWAY
MALLILIN, ELOISA SANTOS, DOMINADOR REBULLO, JOSE IRLAND, TEOFILA
QUEJADA, VICENTE SAMONTINA, FELICITAS DURIAN, ANTONIO POLDO, ANGELINA
TUGNA, SALVADOR PENALOSA, LUZVIMINDA TUBIG, ILUMINADA RIVERA, ROMULO
SUMILANG, NENITA BARBELONIA, LEVI BASILIA, RICARDO PALAGA, MERCY
ROBLES, LEODEGARIO GARIN, DOMINGO ECLARINAL, MELCHOR GALLARDO,
MARCELO GARIN, ROSALINA BAUTISTA, MARY ANN TALIGATOS, ALEJANDRO
SANTOS, ANTONIO FRAGA, LUZ GAPULTOS, MAGDALENA URSUA, EUGENIO
ORDAN, LIGAYA MANALO, PEPITO DELA PAZ, PERLITA DIMAQUIAT, MYRNA
VASQUEZ, FLORENTINA SAMPAGA, ARACELI FRAGA, MAXIMINA FAUSTINO, MARINA
TAN, OLIGARIO LOMO, PRECILA EUSEBIO, SUSAN ABOGANO, CAROLINA
MANINANG, GINA GLIFONIA, OSCAR SOTTO, CELEDONA MALIGAYA, EFREN
VELASQUEZ, DELIA ANOVER, JOSEPHINE TALIMORO, MAGDALENA TABOR,
NARCISA SARMIENTO, SUSAN MACASIEB, FELICIDAD SISON, PRICELA CARTA, MILA
MACAHILIG, CORAZON NUNALA, VISITACION ELAMBRE, ELIZABETH INOFRE,
VIOLETA BARTE, LUZVIMINDA VILLOSA, NORMA SALVADOR, ELIZABETH BOGATE,
MERLYN BALBOA, EUFRECINA SARMIENTO, SIMPLICIA SIMPLICIA BORLEO,
MATERNIDAD DAVID, LAILA JOP, POTENCIANA CULALA, LUCIVITA NAVARRO,
ROLANDO BOTIN, AMELITA MAGALONA, AGNES CENA, NOLI BARTOLAY, DANTE
AQUINO, HERMINIA RILLON, CANDIDA APARIJADO, LYDIA JIMENEZ, ELIZABETH

ANOCHE, ALDA MURO, TERESA VILLANUEVA, TERESITA RECUENCO, ELIZA


SERRANO, ESTELLA POLINAR, GERTRUDES NUNEZ, FELIPE BADIOLA, ROSLYN
FERNANDEZ, OSCAR PAGUTA, NATIVIDAD BALIWAS, ELIZABETH BARCIBAL,
CYNTHIA ESTELLER, TEODORA SANTOS, ALICIA PILAR, MILA PATENO, GLORIA
CATRIZ, MILA MACAHILIG, ADELAIDA DE LEON, ROSENDO EDILO, ARSENIA
ESPIRITU, NUMERIANO CABRERA, CONCEPSION ARRIOLA, PAULINA DIMAPASOK,
ANGELA SANGCO, PRESILA ARIAS, ZENAIDA NUNES, EDITHA IGNACIO, ROSA
GUIRON, TERESITA CANETA, ALICIA ARRO, TEOFILO RUWETAS, CARLING AGCAOILI,
ROSA NOLASCO, GERLIE PALALON, CLAUDIO DIRAS, LETICIA ALBOS, AURORA
ALUBOG, LOLITA ACALEN, GREGORIO ALIVIO, GUILLERMO ANICETA, ANGELIE
ANDRADA, SUSAN ANGELES, ISABELITA AURIN, MANUELA AVELINA, CARLING
AGCAOILI, TERESITA ALANO, LOLITA AURIN, EMMABETH ARCIAGA, CRESENCIA
ACUNA, LUZVIMINDA ABINES, FLORENCIA ADALID, OLIVIA AGUSTIN, EVANGELINE
ALCORAN, ROSALINA ALFERES, LORNA AMANTE, FLORENTINA AMBITO, JULIETA
AMANONCO, CARMEN AMARILLO, JOSEFINA AMBAGAN, ZENAIDA ANAYA, MARIA
ANGLO, EDITHA ANTA ZO, MARY JANE ANTE, ANDREA AQUINO, ROWENA ARABIT,
MARIETA ARAGON, REBECCA ARCENA, LYDIA ARCIDO, FERNANDO ARENAS,
GREGORIO ARGUELLES, EDITHA ARRIOLA, EMMA ATIENZA, EMMA ATIENZA, TEODY
ATIENZA, ELIZABETH AUSTRIA, DIOSA AZARES, SOLIDA AZAINA, MILAGROS BUAG,
MARIA BANADERA, EDNALYN BRAGA, OFELIA BITANGA, FREDISMINDA BUGUIS,
VIOLETA BALLESTEROS, ROSARIO BALLADJAY, BETTY BORIO, ROMANA BAUTISTA,
SUSARA BRAVO, LILIA BAHINGTING, ENIETA BALDOZA, DAMIANA BANGCORE,
HERMINIA BARIL, PETRONA BARRIOS, MILAGROS BARRAMEDA, PERLA BAUTISTA,
CLARITA BAUTISTA, ROSALINA BAUTISTA, ADELINA BELGA, CONSOLACION BENAS,
MARIA BEREZO, MERCEDES BEREBER, VIOLETA BISCOCHO, ERNESTO BRIONES,
ALVINA BROSOTO, AGUSTINA BUNYI, CARMEN BUGNOT, ERLINDA BUENAFLOR,
LITA BAQUIN, CONSEJO BABOL, CRISANTA BACOLOD, CELIA DE BACTAT, MAZIMA
BAGA, ELENA BALADAD, ROSARIO BALADJAY, AMALIA BALAGTAS, ANITA BALAGTAS,
MARIA BALAKIT, RUFINA BALATAN, REBECCA BALDERAMA, AMELIA BALLESTER,
BELEN BARQUIO, BERNANDITA BASILIDES, HELEN BATO, HELEN BAUTISTA,
ROMANA BAUTISTA, ALMEDA BAYTA, AVELINA BELAYON, NORMA DE BELEN,
THELMA DE BELEN, JOCELYN BELTRAN, ELENA BENITEZ, VIRGINIA BERNARDINO,
MERLINA BINUYAG, LINA BINUYA, BLESILDA BISNAR, SHIRLEY BOLIVAR,
CRESENTACION MEDLO, JOCELYN BONIFACIO, AMELIA BORBE, AMALIA BOROMEO,
ZENAIDA BRAVO, RODRIGO BEULDA, TERESITA MENDEZ, ELENA CAMAN, LALIANE
CANDELARIA, MARRY CARUJANO, REVELINA CORANES, MARITESS CABRERA,
JUSTINA CLAZADA, APOLONIA DELA CRUZ, VICTORIA CRUZ, JOSEFINA DELA CRUZ,
MARITESS CATANGHAL, EDNA CRUZ, LUCIA DE CASTRO, JOSIE CARIASO, OFELIA
CERVANTES, MEDITA CORTADO, AMALIA CASAJEROS, LUCINA CASTILIO, EMMA
CARPIO, ANACORITA CABALES, YOLANDA CAMO, MILA CAMAZUELA, ANITA CANTO,
ESTELA CANCERAN, FEMENCIA CANCIO, CYNTHIA CAPALAD, MERLE CASTILLO,
JESUSA CASTRO, CECILIA CASTILLO, SILVERITA CASTRODES, VIVIAN CELLANO,
NORMA CELINO, TERESITA CELSO, GLORIA COLINA, EFIPANIA CONSTANTINO,
SALVACION CONSULTA, MEDITA CORTADO, AIDA CRUZ, MARISSA DELA CRUZ,
EDITO CORCILLES, JELYNE CRUZ, ROSA CORPOS, ROSITA CUGONA, ELSIE
CABELLES, EMMA CADUT, VICTORIA CALANZA, BARBARA CALATA, IMELDA
CALDERON, CRISTINA CALIDGUID, EMMALINDA CAMALON, MARIA CAMERINO,
CARMENCITA CAMPO, CONNIE CANEZO, LOURDES CAPANANG, MA. MILAGROS
CAPILI, MYRNA T. CAPIRAL, FLOR SAMPAGA, SUSAN B. CARINO, ROSARIO
CARIZON, VIRGINIA DEL CARMEN, EMMA CARPIO, PRESCILA CARTA, FE CASERO,
LUZ DE CASTRO, ANNA CATARONGAN, JOSEFINA CASTISIMO, JOY MANALO, EMMIE
CAWALING, JOVITA CARA, MARINA CERBITO, MARY CAREJANO, ESTELA R.
CHAVEZ, CONCEPCION PARAJA, GINA CLAUDIO, FLORDELIZA CORALES, EDITO
CORCIELER, ROSA C. CORROS, AMELIA CRUZ, JELYNE CRUZ, WILFREDO DELA
CRUZ, REINA CUEVAS, MARILOU DEJECES, JOSEPHINE DESACULA, EDITHA DEE,
EDITHA DIAZ, VIRGIE DOMONDON, CELSA DOROPAW, VIOLETA DUMELINA,
MARIBEL DIMATATAC, ELBERTO DAGANIO, LETECIA DAGOHOY, DINDO DALUZ,
ANGELITA DANTES, GLORIA DAYO, LUCIA DE CASTRO, CARLITA DE GUZMAN,
CARMEN DELA CRUZ, MERCY DE LEON, MARY DELOS REYES, MARIETA DEPILO,
MATILDE DIBLAS, JULIETA DIMAYUGA, TEODORA DIMAYUGA, YOLANDA DOMDOM,
LUCITA DONATO, NELMA DORADO, RITA DORADO, SUSAN DUNTON, HERMINIA SAN
ESTEBAN, AMALI EUGENIO, OLIVIA EUSOYA, ERNESTO ESCOBIN, EVELYN
ESCUREL, LYDIA ESCOBIN, VICENTE E. ELOIDA. ELENA EGAR, GLORIA ERENO,
NORMA ESPIRIDION, ARSENIA ESPIRITU, AURORA ESTACIO, DEMETRIA ESTONELO,
MILAGROS FONSEGA, LYDIA FLORENTINO, JULIA FARABIER, TRINIDAD FATALLA,
IMELDA FLORES, JESSINA FRANCO, MA. CRISTINA FRIJAS, ESPECTACION FERRER,
BERDENA FLORES, LEONILA FRANCISCO, BERNARDA FAUSTINO, DOLORES

FACUNDO, CRETITA FAMILARAN, EMELITA FIGUERAS, MA. VIRGINIA FLORENDO,


AURORA FRANCISCO, MA. JESUSA FRANCISCO, NENITA FUENTES, MARILOU
GOLINGAN, JUANITA GUERRERO, LYDIA GUEVARRA, SOCORRO GONZAGA,
PATRICIA GOMEO, ROSALINDA GALAPIN, CARMELITA GALVEZ, TERESA GLE, SONIA
GONZALES, PRIMITA GOMEZ, THERESA GALUA, JOSEFINA GELUA, BRENDA
GONZAGA, FLORA GALLARDO, LUCINDA GRACILLA, VICTORIA GOZUM, NENITA
GAMAO, EDNA GARCIA, DANILO GARCIA, ROSARIO GIRAY, ARACELI GOMEZ,
JOEMARIE GONZAGA, NELIA GONZAGA, MARY GRANCE GOZON, CARMEN
GONZALES, MERLITA GREGORIO, HERMINIA GONZALES, CARLITA DE GUZMAN,
MODESTA GABRENTINA, EDITHA GADDI, SALVACIO GALIAS, MERLINDA GALIDO,
MELINDA GAMIT, JULIETA GARCIA, EMELITA GAVINO, CHARITO GILLIA, GENERA
GONEDA, CRESTITA GONZALES, FRANCISCA GUILING, JULIAN HERNANDEZ,
HERRADURA, SUSANA HIPOLITO, NERISSA HAZ, SUSAN HERNAEZ, APOLONIA
ISON, SUSAN IBARRA, LUDIVINA IGNACIO, CHOLITA INFANTE, JULIETA ITURRIOS,
ANITA IBO, MIRASOL INGALLA, JULIO JARDINIANO, MERLITA JULAO, JULIETA
JULIAN, MARIBETH DE JOSE, JOSEPHINE JENER, IMELDA JATAP, JULIETA JAVIER,
SALOME JAVIER, VICTORIA JAVIER, SALVACION JOMOLO, EDNA JARNE, LYDIA
JIMENEZ, TERESITA DE JUAN, MARILYN LUARCA, ROSITA LOSITO, ROSALINA
LUMAYAG, LORNA LARGA, CRESTETA DE LEON, ZENAIDA LEGASPI, ADELAIDA
LEON, IMELDA DE LEON, MELITINA LUMABI, LYDIA LUMABI, ASUNCION LUMACANG,
REGINA LAPIADRIO, MELANIA LUBUGUAN, EVANGELINE LACAP, PELAGIA LACSI,
LORNA LAGUI, VIRGIE LAITAN, VIRGINIA LEE, CRESTELITA DE LEON, FELICISIMA
LEONERO, DIOSA LOPE, ANGELITA LOPEZ, TERESITA LORICA, JUANITA MENDIETA,
JUANITA MARANQUEZ, JANET MALIFERO, INAS MORADOS, MELANIE MANING,
LUCENA MABANGLO, CLARITA MEJIA, IRENE MENDOZA, LILIA MORTA, VIGINIA
MARAY, CHARITO MASINAHON, FILMA MALAYA, LILIA MORTA, VIRGINIA MARAY,
CHARITO MASINAHON, FILMA MALAYA, LILIA MORTA, ROSITA MATIBAG, LORENZA
MLINA, SABINA DEL MUNDO, EDITHA MUYCO, NARCISA MABEZA, MA. FE
MACATANGAY, CONCEPCION MAGDARAOG, IMELDA MAHIYA, ELSA MALLARI,
LIGAYA MANAHAN, SOLEDA MANLAPAS, VIRGINIA MAPA, JOSEI MARCOS, LIBRADA
MARQUEZ, VIRGINIA MAZA, JULIANITA MENDIETA, EDILBERTA MENDOZA, IRENE
MERCADO, HELEN MEROY, CRISTINA MEJARES, CECILIA MILLET, EMELITA MINON,
JOSEPHINE MIRANA, PERLITA MIRANO, EVANGELINE MISBAL, ELEANOR MORALES,
TERESITA MORILLA, LYDIA NUDO, MYRIAM NAVAL, CAROLINA NOLIA, ALICIA NUNEZ,
MAGDALENA NAGUIDA, ELSA NICOL, LILIA NACIONALES, MA. LIZA MABO,
REMEDIOS NIEVES, MARGARITA NUYLAN, TERESITA NIEVES, PORFERIA NARAG,
RHODORA NUCASA, CORAZON OCRAY, LILIA OLIMPO, VERONA OVERENCIA,
FERMIN OSENA, FLORENCIA OLIVAROS, SOLEDAD OBEAS, NARISSA OLIVEROS,
PELAGIA ORTEGA, SUSAN ORTEGA, CRISTINA PRENCIPE, PURITA PENGSON,
REBECCA PACERAN, EDNA PARINA, MARIETA PINAT, EPIFANIA PAJERLAN,
ROSALINA PASIBE, CECILIA DELA PAZ, LORETA PENA, APOLONIA PALCONIT,
FRANCISCO PAGUIO, LYDIA PAMINTAHON, ELSIE PACALDO, TERESITA PADILLA,
MYRNA PINEDA, MERCEIDTA PEREZ, NOVENA PORLUCAS, TERESITA PODPOD,
ADORACION PORNOBI, ALICIA PERILLO, HELEN JOY PENDAL, LOURDES PACHECO,
LUZVIMINDA PAGALA, LORETA PAGAPULAN, FRANCISCO PAGUIO, PRISCO PALACA,
FLORA PAMINTUAN, NOEMI PARISALES, JOSEPHINE PATRICIO, CRISTINA PE
BENITO, ANGELA PECO, ANGELITA PENA, ESTER PENONES, NORMA PEREZ,
MAURA PERSEVERANCIA, MARINA PETILLA, JOSIE PIA, ZULVILITA PIODO, REBECCA
PACERAN, CLARITA POLICARPIO, MAXIMO POTENTO, PORFIRIO POTENTO,
FLORDELIZA PUMARAS, FERNANDO QUEVEDO, JULIANA QUINDOZA, CHARITO
QUIROZ, CARMELITA ROSINO, RODELIA RAYONDOYON, FLORENCIA RAGOS,
REBECCA ROSALES, ROSALYN RIVERO, FRANCISCO RUIZ, FRANCIA ROSERO,
EMELY RUBIO, EDILBERTO RUIO, JUANA RUBY, RAQUEL REYES, MERCY ROBLES,
ESTELA RELANO, ROSITA REYES NIMFA RENDON, EPIFANIO RAMIRO, MURIEL
REALCO, BERNARDITA RED, LEONITA RODIL, BENITA REBOLA, DELMA REGALARIO,
LENY REDILLAS, JULIETA DELA ROSA, FELICITAS DELA ROSA, SUSAN RAFALLO,
ELENA RONDINA, NORMA RACELIS, JOSEPHINE RAGEL, ESPERANZA RAMIREZ,
LUZVIMINDA RANADA, CRISTINA RAPINSAN, JOCELYN RED, ORLANDO REYES,
TERESITA REYES, ANGELITA ROBERTO, DELIA ROCHA, EDLTRUDES ROMERO,
MELECIA ROSALES, ZENAIDA ROTAO, BELEN RUBIS, FE RUEDA, SYLVIA
SONGCAYAWON, CRISTINA SANANO, NERCISA SARMIENTO, HELEN SIBAL,
ESTELITA SANTOS, NORMA SILVESTRE, DARLITA SINGSON, EUFROCINA
SARMIENTO, MYRNA SAMSON, EMERLINA SADIA, LORNA SALAZAR, AVELINA
SALVADOR, NACIFORA SALAZAR, TITA SEUS, MARIFE SANTOS, GRACIA
SARMIENTO, ANGELITA SUMANGIL, ELIZABETH SICAT, MA. VICTORIA SIDELA,
ANALITA SALVADOR, MARITES SANTOS, VIRGINIA SANTOS, THELMA SARONG,
NILDA SAYAT, FANCITA SEGUNDO, FYNAIDA SAGUI, EDITHA SALAZAR, EDNA

SALZAR, EMMA SALENDARIO, SOLEDAD SAMSON, EDNA SAN DIEGO, TERESITA


SAN GABRIEL, GERTRUDES SAN JOSE, EGLECERIA OSANCHEZ, ESTRELLA
SANCHEZ, CECILIA DELOS SANTOS, LUISA SEGOVIA, JOCELYN SENDING, ELENA
SONGALIA, FELICITAS SORIANO, OFELIA TIBAYAN, AIDA TIRNIDA, MONICA TIBAYAN,
CRISTETA TAMBARAN, GLORIA TACDA, NENVINA, FELINA TEVES, ANTONINA DELA
TORRE, MAXIMA TANILON, NENA TABAT, ZOSIMA TOLOSA, MARITA TENOSO, IMELDA
TANIO, LUZ TANIO, EVANGELINE TAYO, JOSEFINA TINGTING, ARSENIA TISOY,
MAGDALENA TRAJANO, JOSEFINA UBALDE, GINA UMALI, IRMA VALENZUELA, FELY
VALDEZ, PAULINA VALEZ, ROSELITA VALLENTE, LOURDES VELASCO, AIDA VILLA,
FRANCISCA VILLARITO, ZENAIDA VISMONTE, DELIA VILLAMIEL, NENITA VASQUEZ,
JOCELYN VILLASIS, FERMARGARITA VARGAS, CELIA VALLE, MILA CONCEPCION
VIRAY, DOMINGA VALDEZ, LUZVIMINDA VOCINA, MADELINE VIVERO, RUFINA
VELASCO, AUREA VIDALEON, GLORIA DEL VALLE, THELMA VALLOYAS, CYNTHIA
DELA VEGA, ADELA VILLAGOMEZ, TERESITA VINLUAN, EUFEMIA VITAN, GLORIA
VILLAFLORES, EDORACION VALDEZ, ANGELITA VALDEZ, ILUMINADA VALENCI,
MYRNA VASQUEZ, EVELNYN VEJERAMO, TEODORA VELASQUEZ, EDAN
VILLANUEVA, PURITA VILLASENOR, SALVADOR WILSON, EMELINA YU, ADELFA YU,
ANA ABRIGUE, VIRGINIA ADOBAS, VICTORIA ANTIPUESTO, MERCEDITA CASTILLO,
JOCELYN CASTRO, CREMENIA DELA CRUZ, JOSEPHINE IGNACIO, MELITA
ILILANGOS, LIGAYA LUMAYAT, DELIA LUMBES, ROSITA LIBRADO, DELIA
LAGRAMADA, GEMMA MAGPANTAY, EMILY MENDOZA, FIDELA PANGANIBAN,
LEONOR RIZALDO, ILUMINDA RIVERA, DIVINA SAMBAYAN, ELMERITA SOLAYAO,
NANCY SAMALA, JOSIE SUMARAN, LUZVIMINDA ABINES, ALMA ACOL, ROBERTO
ADRIATICO, GLORIA AGUINALDO, ROSARIO ALEYO, CRISTETA ALEJANDRO, LILIA
ALMOGUERA, CARMEN AMARILLO, TRINIDAD ARDANIEL, CERINA AVENTAJADO,
ZENAIDA AVAYA, LOLITA ARABIS, MARIA ARSENIA, SOFIA AGUINALDO, SALVE ABAD,
JOSEFINA AMBANGAN EMILIA AQUINO, JOSEFINA AQUINO, JULIANA AUSAN,
AMERCIANA ACOSTA, CONCEPCION ALEROZA, DIANA ADOVOS, FELY ADVINCULA,
SEOMINTA ARIAS, JOSEPHINE ARCEDE, NORMA AMISTOSO, PRESENTACION
ALONOS, EMMA ATIENZA, LEONIDA AQUINO, ANITA ARILLON, ADELAIDA ARELLANO,
NORMA AMISTOSO, JOSEPHINE ARCEDE, SEMIONITA ARIAS, JOSEFINA BANTUG,
LOLITA BARTE, HERMINIA BASCO, MARGARITA BOTARDO, RUFINO BUGNOT, LOLITA
BUSTILLO, ISABEL BALAKIT, ROSARIO BARRERO, TESSIE BALBOS, NORMA
BENISANO, GUILLERMA BRUGES, BERNADETTE BARTOLOME, SHIRLEY
BELMONTE, MERONA BELZA, AZUCENA BERNALES, JOSE BASCO, NIMPHA
BANTOG, BENILDA BUBAN, REGINA BUBAN, SALOME BARRAMEDA, IRENE BISCO,
FELICITAS BAUTISTA, VIOLETA BURA, LINA BINUYA, BIBIANA BAARDE, ELSA BAES,
ANASTACIA BELONZO, SONIA BENOYO, ELIZABETH BACUNGAN, PATRICIA
BARRAMEDA, ERLINDA BARCELONA, EMMA BANICO, APOLONIA BUNAO, LUCITA
BOLEA, PACIFICA BARCELONA, EDITHA BASIJAN, RENITA BADAMA, ELENA
BALADAD, CRESENCIA BAJO, BERNADITA BASILID, MELINDA BEATO, YOLANDA
BATANES, EDITHA BORILLA, ANITA BAS, ELSA CALIPUNDAN, MARIA
CAMERINO,VIRGINIA CAMPOSANO, MILAGROS CAPILI, CARINA CARINO, EUFEMIA
CASIHAN, NENITA CASTRO, FLORENCIA CASUBUAN, GIRLIE CENTENO, MARIANITA
CHIQUITO, IMELDA DELA CRUZ, TEODOSIA GONG, TEOFILA CARACOL, TERESITA
CANTA, IRENEA CUNANAN, JULITA CANDILOSAS, VIOLETA CIERES, MILAGROS DELA
CRUZ, FLOREPES CAPULONG, CARMENCITA CAMPO, MARILYN CARILLO, RUTH
DELA CRUZ, RITA CIJAS, LYDIA CASTOR, VIRGIE CALUBAD, EMELITA CABERA,
CRISTETA CRUZ, ERLINDA COGADAS, IMELDA CALDERON, SUSIE LUZ CEZAR,
ESTELA CHAVEZ, NORMA CABRERA, ELDA DAGATAN, LEONISA DIMACUNA, ERNA
DUGTONG, FLORDELISA DIGMA, VIRGILIO DADIOS, LOLITA DAGTA, ADELAIDA
DORADO, CELSA DATUMANONG, VIRGINIA DOCTOLERO, EDNA SAN DIEGO,
JULIETA DANG, JULIETA DORANTINAO, LOLITA DAGANO, JUDITH DIAZ, MARIA
ENICANE, MARITA ESCARDE, ENRIMITA ESMAYOR, ROSARIO EPIRITU, REMEDIOS
EMBOLTORIO, IRENE ESTUITA, TERESITA ERESE, ERMELINDA ELEZO, MARIA
ESTAREJA, MERLITA ESQUERRA, YOLANDA FELICITAS, FRUTO FRANCIA, MARTHA
FRUTO, LILIA FLORES, SALVACION FORTALESA, JUDITH FAJARDO, SUSANA
FERNANDO, EDWIN FRANCISCO, NENITA GREGORY, ROSA CAMILO, MARIVIC
GERRARDO, CHARITA GOREMBALEM, NORMA GRANDE, DOLORES GUTIERREZ,
CHARLIE GARCIA, LUZ GALVEZ, ADELAIDA GAMILLA, LUZ GAPULTOS, ERLINDA
GARCIA, HELEN GARCIA, ERLINDA GAUDIA, FRANCISCA GUILING, MINTA HERRERA,
ASUNCION HONOA, JUAN HERNANDEZ, LUCERIA ANNA MAE HERNANDEZ, JULIANA
HERNANDEZ, EDITHA IGNACIO, ANITA INOCENCIO, EULALIA INSORIO, ESTELITA
IRLANDA, MILAGROS IGNACIO, LINDA JABONILLO, ADELIMA JAEL, ROWENA
JARABJO, ROBERT JAVILINAR, CLARITA JOSE, CARMENCITA JUNDEZ, SOFIA
LALUCIS, GLORIA LABITORIA, ANGELITA LODES, ERLINDA LATOGA, EVELYN
LEGASPI, ROMEO LIMCHOCO, JESUS LARA, ESTRELLA DE LUNA, LORETA LAREZA,

JOSEPHINE ALSCO, MERCY DE LEON, CONSOLACION LIBAO, MARILYN LIWAG,


TERESITA LIZAZO, LILIA MACAPAGAL, SALVACION MACAREZA, AMALIA MADO,
TERESITA MADRIAGA, JOVITA MAGNAYE, JEAN MALABAD, FRANCISCA MENDOZA,
NELCITA MANGANTANG, TERESITA NELLA, GENEROZA MERCADO, CRISTETA
MOJANA, BERNARDA MONGADO, LYDIA MIRANDA, ELISA MADRILEJOS, LOIDA
MAGSINO, AMELIA MALTO, JULITA MAHIBA, MYRNA MAYORES, LUISA MARAIG,
FLORENCIA MARAIG, EMMA MONZON, IMELDA MAGDANGAN, VICTORIA MARTIN,
NOEMI MANGUILLO, BASILIZA MEDINA, VICTORIO MERCADO, ESTELA MAYPA,
EMILIA MENDOZA, LINA MAGPANTAY, FELICIANA MANLOLO, ELENA MANACOP,
WILMA MORENO, JUANA MENDOZA, EVELYN DEL MUNDO, ROSIE MATUTINA,
MATILDE MANALO, TERESITA MENDEZ, FELIPINA MAGONCIA, MARIA MANZANO,
LIGAYA MANALO, LETICIA MARCHA, MARINA MANDIGMA, LETICIA MANDASOC,
PRESCILLA MARTINEZ, JULIA MENDOZA, PACITA MAGALLANES, ANGELINA MARJES,
SHIRLEY MELIGRITO, IRENE MERCADO, ELISA MAATUBANG, MARCELINA NICOLAS,
AGUSTINA NICOLAS, ROSA NOLASCO, WILMA NILAYE, VIOLETA ORACION, ANGELA
OSTAYA, JUANITA OSAYOS, MAGDALENA OCAMPO, MARDIANA OCTA, ROSELA
OPAO, LIBRADA OCAMPO, YOLANDA OLIVER, MARCIA ORLANDA, PAGDUNAN, RITA
PABILONA, MYRA PALACA, BETHLEHEM PALINES, GINA PALIGAR, NORMA PALIGAR,
DELMA PEREZ, CLAUDIA PRADO, JULIE PUTONG, LUDIVINA PAGSALINGAN,
MERLYN PANALIGAN, VIOLETA PANAMBITAN, NOREN PAR, ERLINDA PARAGAS, MILA
PARINO, REBECCA PENAFLOR, IMELDA PENAMORA, JERMICILLIN PERALTA,
REBECCA PIAPES, EDITHA PILAR, MAROBETH PILLADO, DIOSCORO PIMENTEL,
AURORA LAS PINAS, EVANGELINA PINON, MA. NITA PONDOC, MA. MERCEDES
PODPOD, ANGELITO PANDEZ, LIGAYA PIGTAIN, LEONILA QUIAMBAO, ELENA QUINO,
MARITESS QUIJANO, CHOLITA REBUENO, LOLITA REYES, JOCELYN RAMOS, ROSITA
RAMIREZ, ELINORA RAMOS, ISABEL RAMOS, ANNABELLE RESURRECCION, EMMA
REYES, ALILY ROXAS, MARY GRACE DELOS REYES, JOCELYN DEL ROSARIO,
JOSEFINA RABUSA, ANGELITA ROTAIRO, SAMCETA ROSETA, EDERLINA RUIZ,
ZENAIDA ROSARIO, BENITA REBOLA, ROSITA REVILLA, ROSITA SANTOS, ROWENA
SALAZAR, EMILYN SARMIENTO, ANA SENIS, ELOISA SANTOS, NARCISA SONGLIAD,
ELMA SONGALIA, AMPARA SABIO, JESSIE SANCHEZ, VIVIAN SAMILO, GLORIA
SUMALINOG, ROSALINA DELOS SANTOS, MARIETA SOMBRERO, HELEN
SERRETARIO, TEODORO SULIT, BELLA SONGUINES, LINDA SARANTAN, ESTELLA
SALABAR, MILAGROS SISON, GLORIA TALIDAGA, CECILIA TEODORO, ROMILLA
TUAZON, AMELITA TABULAO, MACARIA TORRES, LUTGARDA TUSI, ESTELLA
TORREJOS, VICTORIA TAN, MERLITA DELA VEGA, WEVINA ORENCIA, REMEDIOS
BALECHA, TERESITA TIBAR, LACHICA LEONORA, JULITA YBUT, JOSEFINA ZABALA,
WINNIE ZALDARIAGA, BENHUR ANTENERO, MARCELINA ANTENERO, ANTONINA
ALAPAN, EDITHA ANTOZO, ROWENA ARABIT, ANDRA AQUINO, TERESITA ANGULO,
MARIA ANGLO, MYRNA ALBOS, ELENITA AUSTRIA, ANNA ABRIGUE, VIRGINIA
ADOBAS, VICTORIA ANTIPUESTO, REMEDIOS BOLECHE, MACARIA BARRIOS,
THELMA BELEN, ESTELLA BARRETTO, JOCELYN CHAVEZ, VIRGINIA CAPISTRANO,
BENEDICTA CINCO, YOLLY CATPANG, REINA CUEVAS, VICTORIA CALANZA, FE
CASERO, ROBERTA CATALBAS, LOURDES CAPANANG, CLEMENCIA CRUZ, JOCELYN
COSTO, MERCEDITA CASTILLO, EDITHA DEE, LUCITA DONATO NORMA ESPIRIDION,
LORETA FERNANDEZ, AURORA FRANCISCO, VILMA FAJARDO, MODESTA
GABRENTINA, TERESITA GABRIEL, SALVACION GAMBOA, JOSEPHINE IGNACIO,
SUSAN IBARRA, ESPERANZA JABSON, OSCAR JAMBARO, ROSANNA JARDIN,
CORAZON JALOCON, ZENAIDA LEGASPI, DELLA LAGRAMADA, ROSITA LIBRANDO,
LIGAYA LUMAYOT, DELIA LUMBIS, LEONORA LANCHICA, RELAGIA LACSI, JOSEFINA
LUMBO, VIOLETA DE LUNA, EVELYN MADRID, TERESITA MORILLA, GEMMA
MAGPANTAY, EMILY MENDOZA, IRENEA MEDINA, NARCISA MABEZA, ROSANNA
MEDINA, DELIA MARTINEZ, ROSARIO MAG-ISA, EDITHA MENDOZA, EDILBERTA
MENDOZA, FIDELA PANGANIBAN, OFELIA PANGANIBAN, AZUCENA POSTGO,
LOURDES PACHECO, LILIA PADILLA, MARISSA PEREZ, FLORDELIZA PUMARES, LUZ
REYES, NORMA RACELIS, LEONOR RIZALDO, JOSIE SUMASAR, NANCY SAMALA,
EMERLITA SOLAYAO, MERCEDITA SAMANIEGO, BLANDINA SIMBULAN, JOCELYN
SENDING, LUISITA TABERRERO, TERESITA TIBAR, ESTERLINA VALDEZ, GLORIA
VEJERANO, ILUMINADA VALENCIA, MERLITA DELA VEGA, VIRGIE LAITAN, JULIET
VILLARAMA, LUISISTA OCAMPO, NARIO ANDRES, ANSELMA TULFO, GLORIA MATEO,
FLANIA MENDOZA, CONNIE CANGO, EDITHA SALAZAR, MYRNA DELOS SANTOS,
TERESITA SERGIO, CHARITO GILLA, FLORENTINA HERNAEZ, BERNARDINO
VIRGINIA, AMPO ANACORITA, SYLVIA POASADAS, ESTRELLA ESPIRITU,
CONCORDIA LUZURIAGA, MARINA CERBITO, EMMA REYES, NOEMI PENISALES,
CLARITA POLICARPIO, BELEN BANGUIO, HERMINIA ADVINCULA, LILIA MORTA,
REGINA LAPIDARIO, LORNA LARGA, TERESITA VINLUAN, MARITA TENOSO, NILDS
SAYAT, THELMA SARONG, DELMA REGALIS, SUSAN RAFAULO, ELENA RONDINA,

MYRNA PIENDA, VIOLETA DUMELINA, FLORENCIA ADALID, FILMA MELAYA, ERLINDA


DE BAUTISTA, MATILDE DE BLAS, DOLORES FACUNDO, REBECCA LEDAMA, MA. FE
MACATANGAY, EMELITA MINON, NORMA PAGUIO, ELIZA VASQUEZ, GLORIA
VILLARINO, MA. JESUS FRANCISCO, TERESITA GURPIDO, LIGAYA MANALO, FE
PINEDA, MIRIAM OCMAR, LUISA SEGOVIA, TEODY ATIENZA, SOLEDA AZCURE,
CARMEN DELA CRUZ, DMETRIA ESTONELO, MA. FLORIDA LOAZNO, IMELDA
MAHIYA, EDILBERTA MENDOZA, SYLVIA POSADAS, SUSANA ORTEGA, JOSEPHINE
D. TALIMORO, TERESITA LORECA, ARSENIA TISOY, LIGAYA MANALO, TERESITA
GURPIO, FE PINEDA, and MARIA JESUS FRANCISCO, petitioners,
vs.
HON. CRESENCIO J. RAMOS, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, M.
GREENFIELD (B), INC., SAUL TAWIL, CARLOS T. JAVELOSA, RENATO C. PUANGCO,
WINCEL LIGOT, MARCIANO HALOG, GODOFREDO PACENO, SR., GERVACIO
CASILLANO, LORENZO ITAOC, ATTY. GODOFREDO PACENO, JR., MARGARITO
CABRERA, GAUDENCIO RACHO, SANTIAGO IBANEZ, AND RODRIGO
AGUILING, respondents.
PURISIMA, J.:
At bar is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court to annul the
decision of the National Labor Relations Commission in an unfair labor practice case
instituted by a local union against its employer company and the officers of its national
federation.
The petitioner, Malayang Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa M. Greenfield, Inc., (B)
(MSMG), hereinafter referred to as the "local union", is an affiliate of the private respondent,
United Lumber and General Workers of the Philippines (ULGWP), referred to as the
"federation". The collective bargaining agreement between MSMG and M. Greenfield, Inc.,
names the parties as follows:
This agreement made and entered into by and between:
M. GREENFIELD, INC. (B) a corporation duly organized in accordance with the
laws of the Republic of the Philippines with office address at Km. 14, Merville
Road, Paraaque, Metro Manila, represented in this act by its General
manager, Mr. Carlos T. Javelosa, hereinafter referred to as the Company;
-andMALAYANG SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA M. GREENFIELD (B)
(MSMG)/UNITED LUMBER AND GENERAL WORKERS OF THE
PHILIPPINES (ULGWP), a legitimate labor organization with address at Suite
404, Trinity Building, T. M. Kalaw Street, Manila, represented in this act by a
Negotiating Committee headed by its National President, Mr. Godofredo
Paceno, Sr., referred to in this Agreement as the UNION.1
The CBA includes, among others, the following pertinent provisions:
Art. II-Union Security
Sec. 1. Coverage and Scope. All employees who are covered by this
Agreement and presently members of the UNION shall remain members of the
UNION for the duration of this Agreement as a condition precedent to
continued employment with the COMPANY.
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Sec. 4. Dismissal. Any such employee mentioned in Section 2 hereof, who fails
to maintain his membership in the UNION for non-payment of UNION dues, for
resignation and for violation of UNION's Constitution and By-Laws and any new
employee as defined in Section 2 of this Article shall upon written notice of
such failure to join or to maintain membership in the UNION and upon written
recommendation to the COMPANY by the UNION, be dismissed from the

employment by the COMPANY; provided, however, that the UNION shall hold
the COMPANY free and blameless from any and all liabilities that may arise
should the dismissed employee question, in any manner, his
dismissal; provided, further that the matter of the employee's dismissal under
this Article may be submitted as a grievance under Article XIII and, provided,
finally, that no such written recommendation shall be made upon the
COMPANY nor shall COMPANY be compelled to act upon any such
recommendation within the period of sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of
this Agreement conformably to law.
Art. IX
Sec. 4. Program Fund The Company shall provide the amount of
P10,000.00 a month for a continuing labor education program which shall be
remitted to the Federation . . .2
On September 12, 1986, a local union election was held under the auspices of the ULGWP
wherein the herein petitioner, Beda Magdalena Villanueva, and the other union officers
were proclaimed as winners. Minutes of the said election were duly filed with the Bureau of
Labor Relations on September 29, 1986.
On March 21, 1987, a Petition for Impeachment was filed with the national federation
ULGWP by the defeated candidates in the aforementioned election.
On June 16, 1987, the federation conducted an audit of the local union funds. The
investigation did not yield any unfavorable result and the local union officers were cleared of
the charges of anomaly in the custody, handling and disposition of the union
funds.1wphi1.nt
The 14 defeated candidates filed a Petition for Impeachment/Expulsion of the local union
officers with the DOLE NCR on November 5, 1987, docketed as NCR-OD-M-11-780-87.
However, the same was dismissed on March 2, 1988, by Med-Arbiter Renato Parungo for
failure to substantiate the charges and to present evidence in support of the allegations.
On April 17, 1988, the local union held a general membership meeting at the Caruncho
Complex in Pasig. Several union members failed to attend the meeting, prompting the
Executive Board to create a committee tasked to investigate the non-attendance of several
union members in the said assembly, pursuant to Sections 4 and 5, Article V of the
Constitution and By-Laws of the union, which read:
Seksyon 4. Ang mga kinukusang hindi pagdalo o hindi paglahok sa lahat ng
hakbangin ng unyon ng sinumang kasapi o pinuno ay maaaring maging sanhi
ng pagtitiwalag o pagpapataw ng multa ng hindi hihigit sa P50.00 sa bawat
araw na nagkulang.
Seksyon 5. Ang sinumang dadalo na aalis ng hindi pa natatapos ang pulong ay
ituturing na pagliban at maparusahan itong alinsunod sa Article V, Seksyong 4
ng Saligang Batas na ito. Sino mang kasapi o pisyales na mahuli and dating sa
takdang oras ng di lalampas sa isang oras ay magmumulta ng P25.00 at
babawasin sa sahod sa pamamagitan ng salary deduction at higit sa isang
oras ng pagdating ng huli ay ituturing na pagliban.3
On June 27, 1988, the local union wrote respondent company a letter requesting it to
deduct the union fines from the wages/salaries of those union members who failed to attend
the general membership meeting. A portion of the said letter stated:
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In connection with Section 4 Article II of our existing Collective Bargaining


Agreement, please deduct the amount of P50.00 from each of the union
members named in said annexes on the payroll of July 2-8, 1988 as fine for
their failure to attend said general membership meeting.4

In a Memorandum dated July 3, 1988, the Secretary General of the national federation,
Godofredo Paceo, Jr. disapproved the resolution of the local union imposing the P50.00
fine. The union officers protested such action by the Federation in a Reply dated July 4,
1988.
On July 11, 1988, the Federation wrote respondent company a letter advising the latter not
to deduct the fifty-peso fine from the salaries of the union members requesting that:
. . . any and all future representations by MSMG affecting a number of
members be first cleared from the federation before corresponding action by
the Company.5
The following day, respondent company sent a reply to petitioner union's request in a letter,
stating that it cannot deduct fines from the employees' salary without going against certain
laws. The company suggested that the union refer the matter to the proper government
office for resolution in order to avoid placing the company in the middle of the issue.
The imposition of P50.00 fine became the subject of bitter disagreement between the
Federation and the local union culminating in the latter's declaration of general autonomy
from the former through Resolution No. 10 passed by the local executive board and ratified
by the general membership on July 16, 1988.
In retaliation, the national federation asked respondent company to stop the remittance of
the local union's share in the education funds effective August 1988. This was objected to
by the local union which demanded that the education fund be remitted to it in full.
The company was thus constrained to file a Complaint for Interpleader with a Petition for
Declaratory Relief with the Med-Arbitration Branch of the Department of Labor and
Employment, docketed as Case No. OD-M-8-435-88. This was resolved on October 28,
1988, by Med-Arbiter Anastacio Bactin in an Order, disposing thus:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereby ordered:
1. That the United Lumber and General Workers of the Philippines (ULGWP)
through its local union officers shall administer the collective bargaining
agreement (CBA).
2. That petitioner company shall remit the P10,000.00 monthly labor education
program fund to the ULGWP subject to the condition that it shall use the said
amount for its intended purpose.
3. That the Treasurer of the MSMG shall be authorized to collect from the 356
union members the amount of P50.00 as penalty for their failure to attend the
general membership assembly on April 17, 1988.
However, if the MSMG Officers could present the individual written
authorizations of the 356 union members, then the company is obliged to
deduct from the salaries of the 356 union members the P50.00 fine.6
On appeal, Director Pura-Ferrer Calleja issued a Resolution dated February 7, 1989, which
modified in part the earlier disposition, to wit:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed portion is hereby modified
to the extent that the company should remit the amount of five thousand pesos
(P5,000.00) of the P10,000.00 monthly labor education program fund to
ULGWP and the other P5,000.00 to MSMG, both unions to use the same for its
intended purpose.7
Meanwhile, on September 2, 1988, several local unions (Top Form, M. Greenfield, Grosby,
Triumph International, General Milling, and Vander Hons chapters) filed a Petition for Audit
and Examination of the federation and education funds of ULGWP which was granted by
Med-Arbiter Rasidali Abdullah on December 25, 1988 in an Order which directed the audit
and examination of the books of account of ULGWP.

On September 30, 1988, the officials of ULGWP called a Special National Executive Board
Meeting at Nasipit, Agusan del Norte where a Resolution was passed placing the MSMG
under trusteeship and appointing respondent Cesar Clarete as administrator.
On October 27, 1988, the said administrator wrote the respondent company informing the
latter of its designation of a certain Alfredo Kalingking as local union president and
"disauthorizing" the incumbent union officers from representing the employees. This action
by the national federation was protested by the petitioners in a letter to respondent
company dated November 11, 1988.
On November 13, 1988, the petitioner union officers received identical letters from the
administrator requiring them to explain within 72 hours why they should not be removed
from their office and expelled from union membership.
On November 26, 1988, petitioners replied:
(a) Questioning the validity of the alleged National Executive Board Resolution
placing their union under trusteeship;
(b) Justifying the action of their union in declaring a general autonomy from
ULGWP due to the latter's inability to give proper educational, organizational
and legal services to its affiliates and the pendency of the audit of the
federation funds;
(c) Advising that their union did not commit any act of disloyalty as it has
remained an affiliate of ULGWP;
(d) Giving ULGWP a period of five (5) days to cease and desist from further
committing acts of coercion, intimidation and harassment.8
However, as early as November 21, 1988, the officers were expelled from the ULGWP. The
termination letter read:
Effective today, November 21, 1988, you are hereby expelled from UNITED
LUMBER AND GENERAL WORKERS OF THE PHILIPPINES (ULGWP) for
committing acts of disloyalty and/or acts inimical to the interest and violative to
the Constitution and by-laws of your federation.

the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). In the said demand letter,
ULGWP informed us that as of November 21, 1988, you were expelled from
the said federation "for committing acts of disloyalty and/or acts inimical to the
interest of ULGWP and violative to its Constitution and By-laws particularly
Article V, Section 6, 9, and 12, Article XIII, Section 8.
In subsequent letters dated 21 February and 4 March 1989, the ULGWP
reiterated its demand for your dismissal, pointing out that notwithstanding your
expulsion from the federation, you have continued in your employment with the
company in violation of Sec. 1 and 4 of Article II of our CBA, and of existing
provisions of law.
In view thereof, we are left with no alternative but to comply with the provisions
of the Union Security Clause of our CBA. Accordingly, we hereby serve notice
upon you that we are dismissing you from your employment with M. Greenfield,
Inc., pursuant to Sections 1 and 4, Article II of the CBA effective immediately. 10
On that same day, the expelled union officers assigned in the first shift were physically or
bodily brought out of the company premises by the company's security guards. Likewise,
those assigned to the second shift were not allowed to report for work. This provoked some
of the members of the local union to demonstrate their protest for the dismissal of the said
union officers. Some union members left their work posts and walked out of the company
premises.
On the other hand, the Federation, having achieved its objective, withdrew the Notice of
Strike filed with the NCMB.
On March 8, 1989, the petitioners filed a Notice of Strike with the NCMB, DOLE, Manila,
docketed as Case No. NCMB-NCR-NS-03-216-89, alleging the following grounds for the
strike:
(a) Discrimination
(b) Interference in union activities
(c) Mass dismissal of union officers and shop stewards
(d) Threats, coercion and intimidation

You failed and/or refused to offer an explanation inspite of the time granted to
you.
Since you are no longer a member of good standing, ULGWP is constrained to
recommend for your termination from your employment, and provided in Article
II Section 4, known as UNION SECURITY, in the Collective Bargaining
agreement.9
On the same day, the federation advised respondent company of the expulsion of the 30
union officers and demanded their separation from employment pursuant to the Union
Security Clause in their collective bargaining agreement. This demand was reiterated twice,
through letters dated February 21 and March 4, 1989, respectively, to respondent company.
Thereafter, the Federation filed a Notice of Strike with the National Conciliation and
Mediation Board to compel the company to effect the immediate termination of the expelled
union officers.
On March 7, 1989, under the pressure of a threatened strike, respondent company
terminated the 30 union officers from employment, serving them identical copies of the
termination letter reproduced below:
We received a demand letter dated 21 November 1988 from the United
Lumber and General Workers of the Philippines (ULGWP) demanding for your
dismissal from employment pursuant to the provisions of Article II, Section 4 of

(e) Union busting


The following day, March 9, 1989, a strike vote referendum was conducted and out of 2,
103 union members who cast their votes, 2,086 members voted to declare a strike.
On March 10, 1989, the thirty (30) dismissed union officers filed an urgent petition,
docketed as Case No. NCMB-NCR-NS-03-216-89, with the Office of the Secretary of the
Department of Labor and Employment praying for the suspension of the effects of their
termination from employment. However, the petition was dismissed by then Secretary
Franklin Drilon on April 11, 1989, the pertinent portion of which stated as follows:
At this point in time, it is clear that the dispute at M. Greenfield is purely an
intra-union matter. No mass lay-off is evident as the terminations have been
limited to those allegedly leading the secessionist group leaving MSMGULGWP to form a union under the KMU. . . .
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WHEREFORE, finding no sufficient jurisdiction to warrant the exercise of our


extraordinary authority under Article 277 (b) of the Labor Code, as amended,
the instant Petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.11

On March 13 and 14, 1989, a total of 78 union shop stewards were placed under preventive
suspension by respondent company. This prompted the union members to again stage a
walk-out and resulted in the official declaration of strike at around 3:30 in the afternoon of
March 14, 1989. The strike was attended with violence, force and intimidation on both sides
resulting to physical injuries to several employees, both striking and non-striking, and
damage to company properties.
The employees who participated in the strike and allegedly figured in the violent incident
were placed under preventive suspension by respondent company. The company also sent
return-to-work notices to the home addresses of the striking employees thrice successively,
on March 27, April 8 and April 31, 1989, respectively. However, respondent company
admitted that only 261 employees were eventually accepted back to work. Those who did
not respond to the return-to-work notice were sent termination letters dated May 17, 1989,
reproduced below:

The complaint for unfair labor practice was assigned to Labor Arbiter Manuel Asuncion but
was thereafter reassigned to Labor Arbiter Cresencio Ramos when respondents moved to
inhibit him from acting on the case.
On December 15, 1992, finding the termination to be valid in compliance with the union
security clause of the collective bargaining agreement, Labor Arbiter Cresencio Ramos
dismissed the complaint.
Petitioners then appealed to the NLRC. During its pendency, Commissioner Romeo Putong
retired from the service, leaving only two commissioners, Commissioner Vicente Veloso III
and Hon. Chairman Bartolome Carale in the First Division. When Commissioner Veloso
inhibited himself from the case, Commissioner Joaquin Tanodra of the Third Division was
temporarily designated to sit in the First Division for the proper disposition of the case.
The First Division affirmed the Labor Arbiter's disposition. With the denial of their motion for
reconsideration on January 28, 1994, petitioners elevated the case to this Court, attributing
grave abuse of discretion to public respondent NLRC in:

M. Greenfield Inc., (B)


Km. 14, Merville Rd., Paraaque, M.M.

I. UPHOLDING THE DISMISSAL OF THE UNION OFFICERS BY


RESPONDENT COMPANY AS VALID;

May 17, 1989


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On March 14, 1989, without justifiable cause and without due notice, you left
your work assignment at the prejudice of the Company's operations. On March
27, April 11, and April 21, 1989, we sent you notices to report to the Company.
Inspite of your receipt of said notices, we have not heard from you up to this
date.
Accordingly, for your failure to report, it is construed that you have effectively
abandoned your employment and the Company is, therefore, constrained to
dismiss you for said cause.
Very truly yours,
M. GREENFIELD, INC., (B)

II. HOLDING THAT THE STRIKE STAGED BY THE PETITIONERS AS


ILLEGAL;
III. HOLDING THAT THE PETITIONER EMPLOYEES WERE DEEMED TO
HAVE ABANDONED THEIR WORK AND HENCE, VALIDLY DISMISSED BY
RESPONDENT COMPANY; AND
IV. NOT FINDING RESPONDENT COMPANY AND RESPONDENT
FEDERATION OFFICERS GUILTY OF ACTS OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE.
Notwithstanding the several issues raised by the petitioners and respondents in the
voluminous pleadings presented before the NLRC and this Court, they revolve around and
proceed from the issue of whether or not respondent company was justified in dismissing
petitioner employees merely upon the labor federation's demand for the enforcement of the
union security clause embodied in their collective bargaining agreement.
Before delving into the main issue, the procedural flaw pointed out by the petitioners should
first be resolved.

By:
WENZEL STEPHEN LIGOT
Asst. HRD Manager12
On August 7, 1989, the petitioners filed a verified complaint with the Arbitration Branch,
National Capital Region, DOLE, Manila, docketed as Case No. NCR-00-09-04199-89,
charging private respondents of unfair labor practice which consists of union busting, illegal
dismissal, illegal suspension, interference in union activities, discrimination, threats,
intimidation, coercion, violence, and oppression.
After the filing of the complaint, the lease contracts on the respondent company's office and
factory at Merville Subdivision, Paraaque expired and were not renewed. Upon demand of
the owners of the premises, the company was compelled to vacate its office and factory.
Thereafter, the company transferred its administration and account/client servicing
department at AFP-RSBS Industrial Park in Taguig, Metro Manila. For failure to find a
suitable place in Metro Manila for relocation of its factory and manufacturing operations, the
company was constrained to move the said departments to Tacloban, Leyte. Hence, on
April 16, 1990, respondent company accordingly notified its employees of a temporary
shutdown in operations. Employees who were interested in relocating to Tacloban were
advised to enlist on or before April 23, 1990.

Petitioners contend that the decision rendered by the First Division of the NLRC is not valid
because Commissioner Tanodra, who is from the Third Division, did not have any lawful
authority to sit, much less write theponencia, on a case pending before the First Division. It
is claimed that a commissioner from one division of the NLRC cannot be assigned or
temporarily designated to another division because each division is assigned a particular
territorial jurisdiction. Thus, the decision rendered did not have any legal effect at all for
being irregularly issued.
Petitioners' argument is misplaced. Article 213 of the Labor Code in enumerating the
powers of the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission provides that:
The concurrence of two (2) Commissioners of a division shall be necessary for
the pronouncement of a judgment or resolution. Whenever the required
membership in a division is not complete and the concurrence of two (2)
commissioners to arrive at a judgment or resolution cannot be obtained, the
Chairman shall designate such number of additional Commissioners from the
other divisions as may be necessary.
It must be remembered that during the pendency of the case in the First Division of the
NLRC, one of the three commissioners, Commissioner Romeo Putong, retired, leaving
Chairman Bartolome Carale and Commissioner Vicente Veloso III. Subsequently,
Commissioner Veloso inhibited himself from the case because the counsel for the
petitioners was his former classmate in law school. The First Division was thus left with only

one commissioner. Since the law requires the concurrence of two commissioners to arrive
at a judgment or resolution, the Commission was constrained to temporarily designate a
commissioner from another division to complete the First Division. There is nothing irregular
at all in such a temporary designation for the law empowers the Chairman to make
temporary assignments whenever the required concurrence is not met. The law does not
say that a commissioner from the first division cannot be temporarily assigned to the
second or third division to fill the gap or vice versa. The territorial divisions do not confer
exclusive jurisdiction to each division and are merely designed for administrative efficiency.

The power to dismiss is a normal prerogative of the employer. However, this is


not without limitation. The employer is bound to exercise caution in terminating
the services of his employees especially so when it is made upon the request
of a labor union pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, . . .
Dismissals must not be arbitrary and capricious. Due process must be
observed in dismissing an employee because it affects not only his position but
also his means of livelihood. Employers should respect and protect the rights of
their employees, which include the right to labor.

Going into the merits of the case, the court finds that the Complaint for unfair labor practice
filed by the petitioners against respondent company which charges union busting, illegal
dismissal, illegal suspension, interference in union activities, discrimination, threats,
intimidation, coercion, violence, and oppression actually proceeds from one main issue
which is the termination of several employees by respondent company upon the demand of
the labor federation pursuant to the union security clause embodied in their collective
bargaining agreement.

In the case under scrutiny, petitioner union officers were expelled by the federation for
allegedly committing acts of disloyalty and/or inimical to the interest of ULGWP and in
violation of its Constitution and By-laws. Upon demand of the federation, the company
terminated the petitioners without conducting a separate and independent investigation.
Respondent company did not inquire into the cause of the expulsion and whether or not the
federation had sufficient grounds to effect the same. Relying merely upon the federation's
allegations, respondent company terminated petitioners from employment when a separate
inquiry could have revealed if the federation had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in
expelling the union officers. Respondent company's allegation that petitioners were
accorded due process is belied by the termination letters received by the petitioners which
state that the dismissal shall be immediately effective.

Petitioners contend that their dismissal from work was effected in an arbitrary, hasty,
capricious and illegal manner because it was undertaken by the respondent company
without any prior administrative investigation; that, had respondent company conducted
prior independent investigation it would have found that their expulsion from the union was
unlawful similarly for lack of prior administrative investigation; that the federation cannot
recommend the dismissal of the union officers because it was not a principal party to the
collective bargaining agreement between the company and the union; that public
respondents acted with grave abuse of discretion when they declared petitioners'
dismissals as valid and the union strike as illegal and in not declaring that respondents
were guilty of unfair labor practice.
Private respondents, on the other hand, maintain that the thirty dismissed employees who
were former officers of the federation have no cause of action against the company, the
termination of their employment having been made upon the demand of the federation
pursuant to the union security clause of the CBA; the expelled officers of the local union
were accorded due process of law prior to their expulsion from their federation; that the
strike conducted by the petitioners was illegal for noncompliance with the requirements; that
the employees who participated in the illegal strike and in the commission of violence
thereof were validly terminated from work; that petitioners were deemed to have abandoned
their employment when they did not respond to the three return to work notices sent to
them; that petitioner labor union has no legal personality to file and prosecute the case for
and on behalf of the individual employees as the right to do so is personal to the latter; and
that, the officers of respondent company cannot be liable because as mere corporate
officers, they acted within the scope of their authority.
Public respondent, through the Labor Arbiter, ruled that the dismissed union officers were
validly and legally terminated because the dismissal was effected in compliance with the
union security clause of the CBA which is the law between the parties. And this was
affirmed by the Commission on appeal. Moreover, the Labor Arbiter declared that
notwithstanding the lack of a prior administrative investigation by respondent company,
under the union security clause provision in the CBA, the company cannot look into the
legality or illegality of the recommendation to dismiss by the union nd the obligation to
dismiss is ministerial on the part of the company.13
This ruling of the NLRC is erroneous. Although this Court has ruled that union security
clauses embodied in the collective bargaining agreement may be validly enforced and that
dismissals pursuant thereto may likewise be valid, this does not erode the fundamental
requirement of due process. The reason behind the enforcement of union security clauses
which is the sanctity and inviolability of contracts14 cannot override one's right to due
process.
In the case of Cario vs. National Labor Relations Commission,15 this Court pronounced
that while the company, under a maintenance of membership provision of the collective
bargaining agreement, is bound to dismiss any employee expelled by the union for
disloyalty upon its written request, this undertaking should not be done hastily and
summarily. The company acts in bad faith in dismissing a worker without giving him the
benefit of a hearing.

As held in the aforecited case of Cario, "the right of an employee to be informed of the
charges against him and to reasonable opportunity to present his side in a controversy with
either the company or his own union is not wiped away by a union security clause or a
union shop clause in a collective bargaining agreement. An employee is entitled to be
protected not only from a company which disregards his rights but also from his own union
the leadership of which could yield to the temptation of swift and arbitrary expulsion from
membership and mere dismissal from his job.
While respondent company may validly dismiss the employees expelled by the union for
disloyalty under the union security clause of the collective bargaining agreement upon the
recommendation by the union, this dismissal should not be done hastily and summarily
thereby eroding the employees' right to due process, self-organization and security of
tenure. The enforcement of union security clauses is authorized by law provided such
enforcement is not characterized by arbitrariness, and always with due process.16 Even on
the assumption that the federation had valid grounds to expel the union officers, due
process requires that these union officers be accorded a separate hearing by respondent
company.
In its decision, public respondent also declared that if complainants (herein petitioners)
have any recourse in law, their right of action is against the federation and not against the
company or its officers, relying on the findings of the Labor Secretary that the issue of
expulsion of petitioner union officers by the federation is a purely intra-union matter.
Again, such a contention is untenable. While it is true that the issue of expulsion of the local
union officers is originally between the local union and the federation, hence, intra-union in
character, the issue was later on converted into a termination dispute when the company
dismissed the petitioners from work without the benefit of a separate notice and hearing. As
a matter of fact, the records reveal that the termination was effective on the same day that
the termination notice was served on the petitioners.
In the case of Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union vs. Liberty Cotton Mills, Inc.17, the Court
held the company liable for the payment of backwages for having acted in bad faith in
effecting the dismissal of the employees.
. . . Bad faith on the part of the respondent company may be gleaned from the
fact that the petitioner workers were dismissed hastily and summarily. At best, it
was guilty of a tortious act, for which it must assume solidary liability, since it
apparently chose to summarily dismiss the workers at the union's instance
secure in the union's contractual undertaking that the union would hold it "free
from any liability" arising from such dismissal.
Thus, notwithstanding the fact that the dismissal was at the instance of the federation and
that it undertook to hold the company free from any liability resulting from such a dismissal,

the company may still be held liable if it was remiss in its duty to accord the would-be
dismissed employees their right to be heard on the matter.
Anent petitioners contention that the federation was not a principal party to the collective
bargaining agreement between the company and the union, suffice it to say that the matter
was already ruled upon in the Interpleader case filed by respondent company. Med-Arbiter
Anastacio Bactin thus ruled:
After a careful examination of the facts and evidences presented by the parties,
this Officer hereby renders its decision as follows:
1.) It appears on record that in Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which
took effect on July 1, 1986, the contracting parties are M. Greenfield, Inc. (B)
and Malayang Samahan ng Mga Manggagawa sa M. Greenfield, Inc. (B)
(MSMG)/United Lumber and General Workers of the Philippines (ULGWP).
However, MSMG was not yet registered labor organization at the time of the
signing of the CBA. Hence, the union referred to in the CBA is the ULGWP. 18
Likewise on appeal, Director Pura Ferrer-Calleja put the issue to rest as follows:
It is undisputed that ULGWP is the certified sole and exclusive collective
bargaining agent of all the regular rank-and-file workers of the company, M.
Greenfield, Inc. (pages 31-32 of the records).
It has been established also that the company and ULGWP signed a 3-year
collective bargaining agreement effective July 1, 1986 up to June 30, 1989.19
Although the issue of whether or not the federation had reasonable grounds to expel the
petitioner union officers is properly within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the
Bureau of Labor Relations, being an intra-union conflict, this Court deems it justifiable that
such issue be nonetheless ruled upon, as the Labor Arbiter did, for to remand the same to
the Bureau of Labor Relations would be to intolerably delay the case.
The Labor Arbiter found that petitioner union officers were justifiably expelled from the
federation for committing acts of disloyalty when it "undertook to disaffiliate from the
federation by charging ULGWP with failure to provide any legal, educational or
organizational support to the local. . . . and declared autonomy, wherein they prohibit the
federation from interfering in any internal and external affairs of the local union."20
It is well-settled that findings of facts of the NLRC are entitled to great respect and are
generally binding on this Court, but it is equally well-settled that the Court will not uphold
erroneous conclusions of the NLRC as when the Court finds insufficient or insubstantial
evidence on record to support those factual findings. The same holds true when it is
perceived that far too much is concluded, inferred or deduced from the bare or incomplete
facts appearing of record.21
In its decision, the Labor Arbiter declared that the act of disaffiliation and declaration of
autonomy by the local union was part of its "plan to take over the respondent federation."
This is purely conjecture and speculation on the part of public respondent, totally
unsupported by the evidence.
A local union has the right to disaffiliate from its mother union or declare its autonomy. A
local union, being a separate and voluntary association, is free to serve the interests of all
its members including the freedom to disaffiliate or declare its autonomy from the federation
to which it belongs when circumstances warrant, in accordance with the constitutional
guarantee of freedom of association.22
The purpose of affiliation by a local union with a mother union or a federation.
. . . is to increase by collective action the bargaining power in respect of the
terms and conditions of labor. Yet the locals remained the basic units of
association, free to serve their own and the common interest of all, subject to
the restraints imposed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association, and

free also to renounce the affiliation for mutual welfare upon the terms laid down
in the agreement which brought it into existence.23
Thus, a local union which has affiliated itself with a federation is free to sever such affiliation
anytime and such disaffiliation cannot be considered disloyalty. In the absence of specific
provisions in the federation's constitution prohibiting disaffiliation or the declaration of
autonomy of a local union, a local may dissociate with its parent union.24
The evidence on hand does not show that there is such a provision in ULGWP's
constitution. Respondents' reliance upon Article V, Section 6, of the federation's constitution
is not right because said section, in fact, bolsters the petitioner union's claim of its right to
declare autonomy:
Sec. 6. The autonomy of a local union affiliated with ULGWP shall be
respected insofar as it pertains to its internal affairs, except as provided
elsewhere in this Constitution.
There is no disloyalty to speak of, neither is there any violation of the federation's
constitution because there is nothing in the said constitution which specifically prohibits
disaffiliation or declaration of autonomy. Hence, there cannot be any valid dismissal
because Article II, Section 4 of the union security clause in the CBA limits the dismissal to
only three (3) grounds, to wit: failure to maintain membership in the union (1) for nonpayment of union dues, (2) for resignation; and (3) for violation of the union's Constitution
and By-Laws.
To support the finding of disloyalty, the Labor Arbiter gave weight to the fact that on
February 26, 1989, the petitioners declared as vacant all the responsible positions of
ULGWP, filled these vacancies through an election and filed a petition for the registration of
UWP as a national federation. It should be pointed out, however, that these occurred after
the federation had already expelled the union officers. The expulsion was effective
November 21, 1988. Therefore, the act of establishing a different federation, entirely
separate from the federation which expelled them, is but a normal retaliatory reaction to
their expulsion.
With regard to the issue of the legality or illegality of the strike, the Labor Arbiter held that
the strike was illegal for the following reasons: (1) it was based on an intra-union dispute
which cannot properly be the subject of a strike, the right to strike being limited to cases of
bargaining deadlocks and unfair labor practice (2) it was made in violation of the "no strike,
no lock-out" clause in the CBA, and (3) it was attended with violence, force and intimidation
upon the persons of the company officials, other employees reporting for work and third
persons having legitimate business with the company, resulting to serious physical injuries
to several employees and damage to company property.
On the submission that the strike was illegal for being grounded on a non-strikeable issue,
that is, the intra-union conflict between the federation and the local union, it bears
reiterating that when respondent company dismissed the union officers, the issue was
transformed into a termination dispute and brought respondent company into the picture.
Petitioners believed in good faith that in dismissing them upon request by the federation,
respondent company was guilty of unfair labor practice in that it violated the petitioner's
right to self-organization. The strike was staged to protest respondent company's act of
dismissing the union officers. Even if the allegations of unfair labor practice are
subsequently found out to be untrue, the presumption of legality of the strike prevails. 25
Another reason why the Labor Arbiter declared the strike illegal is due to the existence of a
no strike no lockout provision in the CBA. Again, such a ruling is erroneous. A no strike, no
lock out provision can only be invoked when the strike is economic in nature, i.e. to force
wage or other concessions from the employer which he is not required by law to
grant.26 Such a provision cannot be used to assail the legality of a strike which is grounded
on unfair labor practice, as was the honest belief of herein petitioners. Again, whether or not
there was indeed unfair labor practice does not affect the strike.
On the allegation of violence committed in the course of the strike, it must be remembered
that the Labor Arbiter and the Commission found that "the parties are agreed that there
were violent incidents . . . resulting to injuries to both sides, the union and

management."27 The evidence on record show that the violence cannot be attributed to the
striking employees alone for the company itself employed hired men to pacify the strikers.
With violence committed on both sides, the management and the employees, such violence
cannot be a ground for declaring the strike as illegal.
With respect to the dismissal of individual petitioners, the Labor Arbiter declared that their
refusal to heed respondent's recall to work notice is a clear indication that they were no
longer interested in continuing their employment and is deemed abandonment. It is
admitted that three return to work notices were sent by respondent company to the striking
employees on March 27, April 11, and April 21, 1989 and that 261 employees who
responded to the notice were admitted back to work.
However, jurisprudence holds that for abandonment of work to exist, it is essential (1) that
the employee must have failed to report for work or must have been absent without valid or
justifiable reason; and (2) that there must have been a clear intention to sever the
employer-employee relationship manifested by some overt acts.28 Deliberate and unjustified
refusal on the part of the employee to go back to his work post amd resume his
employment must be established. Absence must be accompanied by overt acts unerringly
pointing to the fact that the employee simply does not want to work anymore.29 And the
burden of proof to show that there was unjustified refusal to go back to work rests on the
employer.
In the present case, respondents failed to prove that there was a clear intention on the part
of the striking employees to sever their employer-employee relationship. Although
admittedly the company sent three return to work notices to them, it has not been
substantially proven that these notices were actually sent and received by the employees.
As a matter of fact, some employees deny that they ever received such notices. Others
alleged that they were refused entry to the company premises by the security guards and
were advised to secure a clearance from ULGWP and to sign a waiver. Some employees
who responded to the notice were allegedly told to wait for further notice from respondent
company as there was lack of work.
Furthermore, this Court has ruled that an employee who took steps to protest his lay-off
cannot be said to have abandoned his work.30 The filing of a complaint for illegal dismissal
is inconsistent with the allegation of abandonment. In the case under consideration, the
petitioners did, in fact, file a complaint when they were refused reinstatement by respondent
company.
Anent public respondent's finding that there was no unfair labor practice on the part of
respondent company and federation officers, the Court sustains the same. As earlier
discussed, union security clauses in collective bargaining agreements, if freely and
voluntarily entered into, are valid and binding. Corollary, dismissals pursuant to union
security clauses are valid and legal subject only to the requirement of due process, that is,
notice and hearing prior to dismissal. Thus, the dismissal of an employee by the company
pursuant to a labor union's demand in accordance with a union security agreement does
not constitute unfair labor practice.31
However, the dismissal was invalidated in this case because of respondent company's
failure to accord petitioners with due process, that is, notice and hearing prior to their
termination. Also, said dismissal was invalidated because the reason relied upon by
respondent Federation was not valid. Nonetheless, the dismissal still does not constitute
unfair labor practice.
Lastly, the Court is of the opinion, and so holds, that respondent company officials cannot
be held personally liable for damages on account of the employees' dismissal because the
employer corporation has a personality separate and distinct from its officers who merely
acted as its agents.
It has come to the attention of this Court that the 30-day prior notice requirement for the
dismissal of employees has been repeatedly violated and the sanction imposed for such
violation enunciated in Wenphil Corporation vs.NLRC32 has become an ineffective
deterrent. Thus, the Court recently promulgated a decision to reinforce and make more
effective the requirement of notice and hearing, a procedure that must be observed before
termination of employment can be legally effected.

In Ruben Serrano vs. NLRC and Isetann Department Store (G.R. No. 117040, January 27,
2000), the Court ruled that an employee who is dismissed, whether or not for just or
authorized cause but without prior notice of his termination, is entitled to full backwages
from the time he was terminated until the decision in his case becomes final, when the
dismissal was for cause; and in case the dismissal was without just or valid cause, the
backwages shall be computed from the time of his dismissal until his actual reinstatement.
In the case at bar, where the requirement of notice and hearing was not complied with, the
aforecited doctrine laid down in the Serrano case applies.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED; the decision of the National Labor Relations
Commission in Case No. NCR-00-09-04199-89 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE; and the
respondent company is hereby ordered to immediately reinstate the petitioners to their
respective positions. Should reinstatement be not feasible, respondent company shall pay
separation pay of one month salary for every year of service. Since petitioners were
terminated without the requisite written notice at least 30 days prior to their termination,
following the recent ruling in the case of Ruben Serrano vs. National Labor Relations
Commission and Isetann Department Store, the respondent company is hereby ordered to
pay full backwages to petitioner-employees while the Federation is also ordered to pay full
backwages to petitioner-union officers who were dismissed upon its instigation. Since the
dismissal of petitioners was without cause, backwages shall be computed from the time the
herein petitioner employees and union officers were dismissed until their actual
reinstatement. Should reinstatement be not feasible, their backwages shall be computed
from the time petitioners were terminated until the finality of this decision. Costs against the
respondent company.1wphi1.nt
SO ORDERED.
Gonzaga-Reyes, J., concur.
Melo. J., in the result.
Vitug, J., I reiterate my separate opinion in Seranno vs. NLRC (G.R. No. 114070, 27 Jan.
2000).
Panganiban, J., I reiterate my Separate Opinion in Seranno vs. NLRC. G.R. No. 117040
Jan 27, 2000.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 37687 March 15, 1982
PEOPLE'S INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS
ORGANIZATION (FFW), ERNESTO PAGAYATAN, ANTONIO ERIO, RODRIGO BOADO
AND LINO FRANCISCO, petitioners,
vs.
PEOPLE'S INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL CORPORATION, FEDERATION OF
TENANTS AND LABORERS ORGANIZATION, and THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL
RELATIONS, respondents.

GUERRERO, J.:
Petition for review of the decision and en banc resolution of the Court of Industrial Relations
dated April 2, 1973 and October 3, 1973, respectively, promulgated in three (3)
consolidated cases. 1
The decision penned by Associate Judge Alberto S. Veloso adopting in full the report of CIR
Hearing Examiner Atty. Francisco de los Reyes made the following dispositive portion, thus

After a careful review, scrutiny and evaluation of the records of


these cases, as well as of every piece of evidence adduced by the
parties, pro and con, this court finds the findings of facts and
conclusions of law contained in the aforequoted Report to be
amply substantiated, and, therefore, adopts the same as its own.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, above- entitled cases
should therefore be, as they are hereby ordered DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
This petition limits itself to the controversy in Case No. 4498-ULP filed by People's
Industrial and Commercial Employees and Workers Organization against People's
Industrial and Commercial Corporation and the Federation of Tenants and Laborers
Organization.
On the basis of the Examiner's Report, the following facts appear: On April 30, 1964, the
Federation of Tenants and Laborers Organization, Rizal Chapter, FTLO for short, entered
into a collective bargaining agreement with respondent People's Industrial and Commercial
Corporation, hereafter referred to as PINCOCO, (Exhibits "2" and "G"). At the time the
agreement was consummated, herein individual petitioners, Ernesto Pagayatan, Antonio
Erio, Rodrigo Boado and Lino Francisco, who were also the individual complainants in
Case No. 4498-ULP, together with those mentioned in Annex "A" of the complaint (List of
some forty-five [45] other employees), were employees of PINCOCO and members of
FTLO. The relevant portions of the working agreement stipulate:
xxx xxx xxx
Art. II. Union Security Maintenance Shop. Those who are
members in good standing of the Union before the signing of this
working agreement, shall continue to be union members in good
standing as a prerequisite for continued employment in the
company.
xxx xxx xxx
Any employee covered by this agreement who during its term,
should resign from the union or shall be expelled therefrom
according to its normal procedures for any of the causes hereafter
enumerated, shall upon written notice by the union directorate, be
discharged from employment, provided that the causes for
expulsion from the Union be any of the following:
1. Working in the interest of any labor organization other than the
Union which claims or exercises jurisdiction similar to that claimed
or exercised by the Union;
2. Refusal to pay or non-payment of Union dues and Assessment;

to the same sanctions as a violation of the duty to bargain


collectively.
A stoppage of work or cessation of operation due to poor sales, lack of raw material, or any
other business reason, or to force majeure shall not be deemed a lockout for the purpose of
the preceding paragraph. In any case that the COMPANY should stop operations due to
any of the foregoing reasons, adequate notice shall be given to the UNION whenever
possible.
xxx xxx xxx
Art. XI. Duration of the Agreement. This agreement shall take
effect this day of April, 1964 and shall only be in effect for a
period of one (1) year thereafter. Unless written notice of a desire
to terminate or modify the same is given by either party to the
other at least thirty (30) days before its expiration, this agreement
shall be deemed to be renewed for another year.
xxx xxx xxx
On October 18, 1964, it appears that with the knowledge of PINCOCO, an election of union
officers of the Rizal Chapter of FTLO was conducted by virtue of a resolution (Exhibit "2FFW", t.s.n., pp. 24-31, October 10, 1969) and that individual petitioners were elected as
the new officers with Ernesto Pagayatan as chapter president (Exhibits "4-FFW" and "5FFW"). On January 10, 1965, individual petitioners together with fifty-one (51) other
employees executed a Certification (Exhibit "3-FFW") stating that they are members of the
Federation of Tenants and Laborers Organization, but as of the above date, they have
changed the name of their union to People's Industrial and Commercial Employees and
Workers Organization (PICEWO) and have affiliated this new union with the Federation of
Free Workers, Ernesto Pagayatan was again made the president of the new union
(PICEWO) together with the set of officers elected with him in the last election retaining
their respective positions. Further, in the same certification, the union counsel of FTLO, Atty.
David Advincula, was disauthorized to represent the signatories. The certification contains
no specific reason or cause for the change of union name. On February 10, 1965, the new
union was granted a certificate of registration by the Department of Labor (Exhibit " 1-FFW
"),
On March 23, 1965, Ernesto Pagayatan, assuming the capacity of chapter president of
FTLO and not as a president of PICEWO, notified in writing respondent PINCOCO of their
desire to terminate the working agreement. Later, a set of collective bargaining proposals
was sent in the name of PICEWO (Exhibits "e", "10" and " 11 "). PINCOCO replied this
wise:
xxx xxx xxx
That in view of the study effected by the management as to its
stand with regard to the said proposals and further submission of
the same to our legal counsel for consultation and advice and
considering that April 15, 1965 is a legal holiday we cannot serve
you, our formal reply within the period specified by existing statute.

3. Disloyalty to the Union;


4. Separation from the Union for cause.
xxx xxx xxx
Art. VIII. No Strike, No Lockout. For the duration of the Agreement,
the COMPANY shall not lockout its employees, nor shall the
UNION or any employee stage any strike, picket or other
concerted activity other than in protest of unfair labor practice, and
the court decision in the case that may be filed in this connection
shall determine the propriety of such concerned activity under the
Agreement. Violation of this paragraph shall be treated as subject

However, we assure you of our formal reply to your proposal on


April 14, 1965 and that management will endeavor to avail of the
remedies within the financial capacity of the company and other
factors to be considered to meet the terms of your proposal.
On April 13, 1965, FTLO passed a resolution expelling petitioners Ernesto Pagayatan,
Antonio Erio Rodrigo Boado and Lino Francisco from the Federation of Tenants and
Laborers Organization (FTLO) on grounds of disloyalty and working for the interest of
another labor federation (Exhibit "F"). On April 22, 1965, Ernesto Pagayatan, this time as
president of PICEWO filed a notice of strike, alleging as cause thereof respondent
employer's refusal to bargain. (Exhibit "9-H"). On April 29,1965, prompted by the demand of
the majority of the FTLO directorate to enforce the maintenance of membership shop of the
working agreement, respondent PINCOCO dismissed Ernesto Pagayatan and his

companions from employment (Exhibits "12- FFW "12-A-FFW" to "12-CFFW"). On May 1,


1965, the FTLO and respondent PINCOCO executed a collective bargaining agreement for
a period of three (3) years (Exhibits "A-CO" and "D").
Meantime, on April 30, 1965, PICEWO, led by individual petitioners struck. Thereafter, at
the behest of the FTLO, respondent PINCOCO posted a notice for the strikers to return to
work within a period of five (5) or ten (10) days or else they shall be considered to have
abandoned their work. None of the strikers returned and picketing went on for a period of
six (6) months. Later, PINCOCO again posted a notice that it had decided to resume
operation on March 9, 1966, and between March 7 and 8 of the same year, all employees
were advised to signify their ability to work at which time they will be required to submit
police clearances and to medical and physical examination by the company physician,
otherwise their failure to return within the period shall be considered as abandonment of
work. On March 31, 1966 petitioner-union, through its president, signified the intention to
return to work beginning April 4, 1966. None of the strikers, however, were allowed to work.
From the preceding developments, three separate cases were filed with the Court of
Industrial Relations. In Case No. 4428-ULP, FTLO indicted herein individual petitioners for
unfair labor practice in staging an illegal strike after they were already dismissed from the
company. In Case No. 167-INJ, FTLO sought for the issuance of a permanent injunction to
stop the alleged illegal strike. In Case No. 4498-ULP, PICEWO sued PINCOCO and FTLO
for unfair labor practice, alleging that by illegally dismissing petitioners, the company
discriminated against them in regard to hire, tenure and/or other conditions of employment
by unlawfully acceding and effecting the request of FTLO without proper investigation
thereof, with no just reason but to encourage membership in the FTLO; and that respondent
federation, in recommending and insisting on the dismissal of individual petitioners, had
interfered in their right to self-organization. (Annex "C", p. 39, Rollo)
After the reception of evidence, the Hearing Examiner designated by the Court of Industrial
Relations, reported that the petitioners were, beyond doubt, members of the FTLO when
the Working Agreement of April 30, 1964 took effect and that the working agreement
required in Article II thereof maintenance of membership in the federation as condition for
continued employment in the company. Since the specific causes for expulsion from
membership have been enumerated, particularly that of working for the interest of another
organization and disloyalty to the union, the Hearing Examiner concluded that petitioners'
conduct is within the said causes expressed in the agreement. The Report also established
that FTLO is the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the employees which
entered into a bona fide agreement, putting a limitation of petitioners' right to leave the
union and join another. The Examiner found no unfair labor practice committed by either the
FTLO or PINCOCO, and that the strike staged by petitioners was not on account of any
unfair labor practice, but, rather, done to force recognition.
Based on the above findings, respondent court dismissed the three cases. On April 10,
1973, petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration; same was denied in the en
banc resolution of October 3, 1973. Petitioners now raise the following assignment of
errors:
a) The respondent court erred in holding that the Motion for Reconsideration and the
Memorandum in support of the Motion for Reconsideration were filed out of time;
b) The respondent court erred in holding that the strike declared by herein petitioners was
intended only to force recognition;
c) The respondent court erred in not declaring both respondent Corporation and respondent
Federation guilty of committing unfair labor practice;
d) The respondent court erred in not declaring as illegal the dismissal from employment of
individual petitioners; and
e) Respondent court erred in not ordering the return to work of the striking members of
petitioner Union with backwages and other fringe benefits from April 30, 1965 until their
actual reporting for work.

The last day for filing the motion for reconsideration was April 9, 1973 which was a holiday
(BATAAN DAY), and the last day for filing the arguments in support of the motion for
reconsideration, ten days after, was April 19, 1973, also a holiday (MAUNDY THURSDAY).
Since petitioners have filed their pleadings on the next respective business days, that is,
April 10, 1973, for the motion for reconsideration and April 23 for the arguments in support
thereof (April 20 to 22 not being business days), the pleadings were, therefore, filed on
time. On this procedural aspect, the resolution of October 3, 1973 has erred. It is the policy
of the law to disregard technicalities in procedure so as not to deprive the litigant's pursuit
of his substantial rights under the Rules.
Under Article 13, last paragraph, of the Civil Code, in computing the period, the first day
shall be excluded, and the last day included. And under Rule 28 of the Rules of Court,
Section 1, time is computed thus
Sec. 1. How to compute time.-In computing any period of time
prescribed or allowed by these rules, by order of court, or by any
applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default after the
designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The
last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a
Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the time shall run until
the end of the next day which is neither a Sunday nor a holiday.
Under the second assignment of error, the question to be resolved is whether or not the
petitioners' act of disaffiliating themselves from the mother federation constitutes an act of
disloyalty to the union which would warrant their expulsion and consequently their dismissal
from the company in pursuance to the union security clause embodied in the CBA.
Petitioners contend that no disloyalty is involved since what they did on January 10, 1965
was merely to change, as they did change, the name of Rizal Chapter of the Federation of
Tenants and Laborers Organization FTLO to People's Industrial and Commercial
Employees and Workers Organization (PICEWO).
While We are not convinced with the petitioners' argument that the only act that they have
done was to change the name of their union for they have registered the new union and
affiliated it with the Federation of Free Workers, We rule that individual petitioners do not
merit the dismissals meted by the company.
In Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union vs. Liberty Cotton Mills, 2 We held that the validity of
the dismissals pursuant to the security clause of the CBA hinges on the validity of the
disaffiliation of the local union from the federation. It was further held in this case that
PAFLU (the federation) had the status of an agent while the local union remained the basic
unit of association free to serve the common interest of all its members including the
freedom to disaffiliate when the circumstances warrant such an act. The Supreme Court,
speaking thru Justice Esguerra, said:
All these questions boil down to the single issue of whether or not
the dismissal of the complaining employees, petitioners herein,
was justified or not. The resolution of this question hinges on a
precise and careful analysis of the Collective Bargaining
Agreements. (Exhs. "H" and "l"). In these contracts it appears that
PAFLU has been recognized as the sole bargaining agent for all
the employees of the Company other than its supervisors and
security guards. Moreover it likewise appears that "PAFLU,
represented in this Act by its National Treasurer, and duly
authorized representative, ... (was) acting for and in behalf of its
affiliate, the Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union and the employees
of the Company, etc." In other words, the PAFLU, acting for and in
behalf of its affiliate, had the status of an agent while the local
union remained the basic unit of the association free to serve the
common interest of all its members including the freedom to
disaffiliate when the circumstances warrant. This is clearly
provided in its Constitution and By-Laws, specifically Article X on
Union Affiliation, supra. At this point, relevant is the ruling in an
American case. (Harker et al. vs. Mckissock et al., 81A 2d 480,
482).

The locals are separate and distinct units primarily designed to


secure and maintain an equality of bargaining power between the
employer and their employee-members in the economic struggle
for the fruits of the joint productive effort of labor and capital; and
the association of the locals into the national union (as PAFLU)
was in furtherance of the same end. These associations are
consensual entities capable of entering into such legal relations
with their members. The essential purpose was the affiliation of the
local unions into a common enterprise to increase by collective
action the common bargaining power in respect of the terms and
conditions of labor. Yet the locals remained the basic units of
association, free to serve their own and the common interest of all,
subject to the restraints imposed by the Constitution and By-Laws
of the Association, and free also to renounce the affiliation for
mutual welfare upon the terms laid down in the agreement which
brought it into existence.
The right of the local members to withdraw from the federation and to form a new local
depends upon the provisions of the union's constitution, by- laws and charter. In the
absence of enforceable provisions in the federation's constitution preventing disaffiliation of
a local union, a local may sever its relationship with its parent.
There is nothing shown in the records nor is it claimed by respondent federation that the
local union was expressly forbidden to disaffiliate from the federation. Except for the union
security clause, the federation claims no other ground in expelling four of the fifty-one who
signed the certification.
Fifty-one out of sixty employees is equivalent to eighty five percent (85%) of the total
working force. This is not a case where one or two members of the old union decided to
organize another union in order to topple down the former, but it is a case where majority of
the union members decided to reorganize the union and to disaffiliate from the mother
federation.
There is no merit to the contention of the respondent federation that the act of disaffiliation
is disloyalty to the union. The federation and the union are two different entities and it was
the federation which actively initiated the dismissal of the individual petitioners. A local
union does not owe its existence to the federation to which it is affiliated. It is a separate
and distinct voluntary association owing its creation and continued existence to the will of its
members. The very essence of self-organization is for the workers to form a group for the
effective enhancement and protection of their common interests.
The third, fourth and fifth assignment of errors maybe resolved on the same issue which is
the legality of the strike and the consequences thereof.
Petitioners allege that the strike which was started on April 30, 1965 was staged because of
the unfair labor practice of the respondent company in refusing to bargain collectively with
PICEWO and in dismissing individual petitioners. The Hearing Officer in his Report which
was adopted in full by the Court of Industrial Relations settled the legality of the strike in the
following manner:
xxx xxx xxx
While the reply of respondent PINCOCO to the proposal of the
new union evokes ambiguity, the same may not be treated as a
refusal to bargain. At the time the letter proposal was sent, the
presumed bargaining agent was the FTLO. No showing had been
made that the PICEWO, upon its organization was should should
have been accorded the status of a majority bargaining
representative. The letter reply of PINCOCO, although it seem to
cast doubt as to its motivation, should not be held and taken
against it as a positive design to discriminate in the absence of any
additional or corroborative showing that the new union actually
represented the majority of the employees in the unit and that this
fact was known to the management.

The strike therefore of the PICEWO was not on account of any


unfair labor practice acts committed by the respondent PINCOCO.
It seem to have been more of a strike to force recognition.
xxx xxx xxx
We do not agree with the finding of the Hearing Officer that the strike was staged to force
recognition. The chain of events which preceded the strike belie this conclusion. On April 5,
1965, Ernesto Pagayatan, the president of PICEWO sent to the management a set of
proposals for a collective bargaining agreement. The management on April 13, 1965 replied
that the formal reply to the proposals cannot be made within the reglementary period
because they will submit the said proposals to their legal counsel for further study and
instead their reply would be made on April 19, 1965. No reply was made on that date. On
April 29, 1965, individual petitioners were dismissed. A strike was staged the next day. One
day after the petitioners struck, a new collective bargaining agreement was signed by the
respondent company and the FTLO.
The respondent company knew that a new union was formed composed of about 85% of
the total number of its employees. It was furnished a copy of the certification that the
majority of the FTLO members are forming a new union called PICEWO. The set of
bargaining proposals were in the name of the new union. While a company cannot be
forced to sit down and bargain collectively with the new union since it had no notice of the
union's official capacity to act as the bargaining agent, the respondent company cannot
deny that it had factual knowledge of the existence of a majority union. It could have asked
for further proof that the new union was indeed the certified bargaining agent. It did not.
Instead, it dismissed individual petitioners and signed a new CBA the day after the
expiration of the old CBA, on the pretext that FTLO was presumed to be the certified
bargaining agent. Such pretext does not seem justified nor reasonable in the face of the
established fact that a new union enjoyed a majority status within the company.
On the belief that the respondent company refused to bargain collectively with PICEWO,
individual petitioners together with the other members staged a strike. We have in several
cases ruled that a strike may be considered legal when the union believed that the
respondent company committed unfair labor acts and the circumstances warranted such
belief in good faith although subsequently such allegation of unfair labor practices are found
out as not true.
Thus, in Norton and Harrison Co. and Jackbilt Blocks company Labor Union (NLU) vs.
Norton and Harrison, et al.,3 We held that "the act of the company in dismissing Arcaina
done without the required fair hearing, and, therefore, not tenable even under strict legal
ground, induced the union and its members to believe that said company was guilty of
unfair labor practice although viewed now in retrospect said act would fall short of unfair
labor practice. Since the strike of the union was in response to what it was warranted in
believing in good faith to be unfair labor practice on the part of the management, said strike
following the berrer ruling did not result in the termination of the striking members' status as
employees and therefore, they are still entitled to reinstatement without backwages."
The Ferrer 4 ruling was also upheld in Shell Oil Workers Union vs. Shell Company of the
Phil. Ltd. 5 where We stated that "(i)t is not even required that there be in fact an unfair labor
practice committed by the employer. It suffices, if such a belief in good faith is entertained
by labor as the inducing factor for staging a strike. So it was clearly stated by the present
Chief Justice while still an Associate Justice of this Court: 'As a consequence, we hold that
the strike in question had been called to offset what petitioners were warranted in believing
in good faith to be unfair labor practices on the part of Management, that petitioners were
not bound, therefore, to wait for the expiration of thirty (30) days from notice of strike before
staging the same, that said strike was not, accordingly, illegal and that the strikers had not
thereby lost their status as employees of respondents herein.
The Ferrer ruling was promulgated in 1966, that in the Shell Oil case in 1971. In 1980, there
was the case ofPepito vs. Secretary of Labor, L-49418, Feb. 29, 1980, where petitioner
therein was separated for having been implicated in a pilferage case by a co-employee but
was later absolved from the charge. The Supreme Court thru Chief Justice Fernando ruled
that the cause for his dismissal was proved non-existent or false and thus ordered his
reinstatement with three years backwages, without deduction and qualification.

We adopt the Pepito ruling and We hold that the petitioners in the case at bar are entitled
not only to reinstatement but also to three years backwages without deduction and
qualification. This is . justified and proper since the strike was proved and We held the
same to be not illegal but was induced in the honest belief that management had committed
unfair labor practices and, therefore, the cause of their dismissal from employment was
non-existent. It is clear that management gave cause or reason to induce the staging of the
strike by improperly refusing to recognize the new union formed by petitioners. It has been
twelve (12) years since petitioners were dismissed from their employment and in their
destitute and deplorable condition, to them the benign provisions of the New Constitution
for the protection of labor, assuring the rights of workers to self- organization, collective
bargaining and security of tenure would be useless and meaningless. Labor, being the
weaker in economic power and resources than capital, deserve protection that is actually
substantial and material.
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision under review is hereby SET
ASIDE. The respondent company is hereby ordered to reinstate individual petitioners and
other striking members within thirty (30) days from notice of this decision, with backwages
equivalent, to three (3) years at the rates actually received by them before their dismissal
without deduction and qualification.
In view of the length of time that this dispute has been pending, this decision shall be
immediately executory upon promulgation and notice to the parties. Without
pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
Teehankee (Chairman), Makasiar, Fernandez, Melencio-Herrera and Plana, JJ., concur.

Footnotes
4 In Ferrer, et al. vs. CIR, et al., L-242678, May 31, 1966, 17
SCRA 532, We held: ... both parties had performed acts which
understandably induced each other to believe that the other was
guilty of such practices, although as we now analyze the whole
situation, without the excitement, the labor dispute at the peak
thereof, such belief may not turn out to be borne by the objective
realities and both were reasonably justified in taking countermeasures adopted by them. As a consequence we hold that the
strike in question had been called to offset what petitioners were
warranted in believing in good faith to be unfair labor practices on
the part of the management, that petitioners were not bound
therefore to wait for the expiration of the 30 days from notice of
strike before staging the same, that said strike was not,
accordingly, illegal and that the strikers had not thereby lost their
status as the employees of the respondent herein. Upon the other
hand, considering that the latter had been absolved from the
charge of unfair labor practice, the reinstatement of the workers
must be without backpay.