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against them in the City Court of Cebu: one involving Arizala and Maribao 6 and the other,

Joven and Bulandus. 7

G.R. Nos. 43633-34 September 14, 1990


PABLO ARIZALA, SERGIO MARIBAO, LEONARDO JOVEN, and FELINO
BULANDUS, petitioners,
vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

Both criminal actions resulted in the conviction of the accused in separate decisions. 8 They
were each sentenced "to pay a fine of P 500.00 or to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case
of insolvency." They appealed to the Court of Appeals. 9 Arizala's and Maribao's appeal was
docketed as CA-G.R. No. 14724-CR; that of Joven and Bulandus, as CA-G.R. No. 14856-CR.

Januario T. Seno for petitioners.


The appeals were consolidated on motion of the appellants, and eventuated in a judgment
promulgated on January 29, 1976 affirming the convictions of all four appellants. The
appellants moved for reconsideration. They argued that when the so called "1973
Constitution" took effect on January 17, 1973 pursuant to Proclamation No. 1104, the case of
Arizala and Maribao was still pending in the Court of Appeals and that of Joven and
Bulandus, pending decision in the City Court of Cebu; that since the provisions of that
constitution and of the Labor Code subsequently promulgated (eff., November 1, 1974),
repealing the Industrial Peace Act-placed employees of all categories in government-owned
or controlled corporations without distinction within the Civil Service, and provided that the
terms and conditions of their employment were to be "governed by the Civil Service Law,
rules and regulations" and hence, no longer subject of collective bargaining, the appellants
ceased to fall within the coverage of the Industrial Peace Act and should thus no longer
continue to be prosecuted and exposed to punishment for a violation thereof. They pointed
out further that the criminal sanction in the Industrial Peace Act no longer appeared in the
Labor Code. The Appellate Court denied their plea for reconsideration.

NARVASA, J.:
Under the Industrial Peace Act, 1 government-owned or controlled corporations had the duty
to bargain collectively and were otherwise subject to the obligations and duties of employers
in the private sector. 2 The Act also prohibited supervisors to become, or continue to be,
members of labor organizations composed of rank-and-file employees, 3 and prescribed
criminal sanctions for breach of the prohibition. 4
It was under the regime of said Industrial Peace Act that the Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS, for short) became bound by a collective bargaining agreement executed
between it and the labor organization representing the majority of its employees, the GSIS
Employees Association. The agreement contained a "maintenance-of-membership"
clause, 5 i.e., that all employees who, at the time of the execution of said agreement, were
members of the union or became members thereafter, were obliged to maintain their union
membership in good standing for the duration of the agreement as a condition for their
continued employment in the GSIS.

Hence, the present petition for review on certiorari.


The crucial issue obviously is whether or not the petitioners' criminal liability for a violation of
the Industrial Peace Act may be deemed to have been obliterated in virtue of subsequent
legislation and the provisions of the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions.

There appears to be no dispute that at that time, the petitioners occupied supervisory
positions in the GSIS. Pablo Arizala and Sergio Maribao were, respectively, the Chief of the
Accounting Division, and the Chief of the Billing Section of said Division, in the Central
Visayas Regional Office of the GSIS. Leonardo Joven and Felino Bulandus were,
respectively, the Assistant Chief of the Accounting Division (sometimes Acting Chief in the
absence of the Chief) and the Assistant Chief of the Field Service and Non-Life Insurance
Division (and Acting Division Chief in the absence of the Chief), of the same Central Visayas
Regional Office of the GSIS. Demands were made on all four of them to resign from the GSIS
Employees Association, in view of their supervisory positions. They refused to do so.
Consequently, two (2) criminal cases for violation of the Industrial Peace Act were lodged

The petitioners' contention that their liability had been erased is made to rest upon the
following premises:
1. Section 1, Article XII-B of the 1973 Constitution does indeed provide that the "Civil Service
embraces every branch, agency, subdivision and instrumentality of the government, including
government-owned or controlled corporations, .. administered by an independent Civil
Service Commission.

2. Article 292 of the Labor Code repealed such parts and provisions of the Industrial Peace
Act as were "not adopted as part" of said Code "either directly or by reference." The Code did
not adopt the provision of the Industrial Peace Act conferring on employees of governmentowned or controlled corporations the right of self-organization and collective bargaining; in
fact it made known that the "terms and conditions of employment of all government
employees, including employees of government-owned and controlled corporations," would
thenceforth no longer be fixed by collective bargaining but "be governed by the Civil Service
Law, rules and regulations." 10

But those "employed in governmental functions" were forbidden to "strike for the purpose of
securing changes or modification in their terms and conditions of employment" or join labor
organizations which imposed on their members the duty to strike. The reason obviously was
that the terms and conditions of their employment were "governed by law" and hence could
not be fixed, altered or otherwise modified by collective bargaining.
Supervisory employees were forbidden to join labor organizations composed of employees
under them, but could form their own unions. Considered "supervisors' were those 'having
authority in the interest of an employer to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge,
assign, recommend, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, and to
adjust their grievance or effectively to recommend such acts if, in connection with the
foregoing, the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but
requires the use of independent judgment." 13

3. The specific penalty for violation of the prohibition on supervisors being members in a labor
organization of employees under their supervision has disappeared.
4. The Code also modified the concept of unfair labor practice, decreeing that thenceforth, "it
shall be considered merely as an administrative offense rather than a criminal offense (and
that) (u)nfair labor practice complaints shall x x be processed like any ordinary labor
disputes." 11

Republic Act No. 2260


Similar provisions were found in R.A. No. 2260, the Civil Service Act of 1959. This Act
declared that the "Philippine Civil Service ... (embraced) all branches, subdivisions and
instrumentalities of
the
government including
government-owned
and controlled
corporations." 14

On the other hand, in justification of the Appellate Tribunal's affirmance of the petitioners'
convictions of violations of the Industrial Peace Act, the People1) advert to the fact that said Labor Code also states that "all actions or claims accruing prior
to ... (its) effectivity ... shall be determined in accordance with the laws in force at the time of
their accrual;" and

It prohibited such civil service employees who were "employed in governmental functions" to
belong to any labor organization which imposed on their members "the obligation to strike or
to join strikes." And one of the first issuances of the President after the proclamation of
martial law in September, 1972, was General Order No. 5 which inter alia banned strikes in
vital industries," as well as 'all rallies, demonstrations and other forms of group actions." 15

2) argue that the legislature cannot generally intervene and vacate the judgment of the
courts, either directly or indirectly, by the repeal of the statute under which said judgment has
been rendered.

Not so prohibited, however, were those "employed in proprietary functions of the Government
including, but not limited to, governmental corporations." 16 The Act also penalized any person
who "violates, refuses or neglects to comply with any ... provisions (of the Act) or rules
(thereunder promulgated) ... by a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos or by imprisonment
not exceeding six months or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court." 17

The legal principles governing the rights of self-organization and collective bargaining of rankand-file employees in the government- particularly as regards supervisory, and high level or
managerial employees have undergone alterations through the years.
Republic Act No. 875

The 1973 Constitution


12

As already intimated, under RA 875 (the Industry Peace Act), persons "employed in
proprietary functions of the Government, including but not limited to governmental
corporations," had the right of self-organization and collective bargaining, including the right
to engage in concerted activities to attain their objectives, e.g. strikes.

The 1973 Constitution laid down the broad principle that "(t)he State shall assure the rights of
workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane
conditions of work," 18 and directed that the "National Assembly shall provide for the
standardization of compensation of government officials and employees,including those in

government-owned or controlled corporations, taking into account the nature of the


responsibilities pertaining to, and the qualifications required for, the positions concerned." 19

with their respective employers through their labor organizations, and corollarily engage in
strikes and other concerted activities in an attempt to bring about changes in the conditions of
their work. They could not however do so under the Labor Code and its Implementing Rules
and Regulations; these provided that "government employees, including employees of
government-owned and/or controlled corporations," without distinction as to function, were
"exempted" (excluded is the better term) from "the right to self-organization and to form, join
or assist labor organizations for purposes of collective bargaining," and by implication,
excluded as well from the right to engage in concerted activities, such as strikes, as coercive
measures against their employers.

PD 442, The Labor Code


The Labor Code of the Philippines, Presidential Decree No. 442, enacted within a year from
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, 20 incorporated the proposition that the "terms and
conditions of employment of all government employees, including employees of governmentowned and controlled corporations ... (are) governed by the Civil Service Law, rules and
regulations." 21 It incorporated, too, the constitutional mandate that the salaries of said
employees "shall be standardized by the National Assembly."
The Labor Code, 22 however "exempted" government employees from the right to selforganization for purposes of collective bargaining. While the Code contained provisions
acknowledging the right of "all persons employed in commercial, industrial and agricultural
enterprises, including religious, medical or educational institutions operating for profit" to "selforganization and to form, join or assist labor organizations for purposes of collective
bargaining," they "exempted from the foregoing provisions:

Members of supervisory unions who were not managerial employees, were declared by the
Labor Code to be "eligible to join or assist the rank and file labor organization, and if none
exists, to form or assist in the forming of such rank and file organization " 24 Managerial
employees, on the other hand, were pronounced as 'not eligible to join, assist or form any
labor organization." 25 A "managerial employee" was defined as one vested with power or
prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend,
lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees, or to effectively recommend such
managerial actions." 26

a) security guards;

Presidential Decree No. 807

b) government employees, including employees of government government-owned and/ or


controlled corporations;

Clarification of the matter seems to have been very shortly attempted by the Civil Service
Decree of the Philippines, Presidential Decree No. 807 (eff., Oct. 6,1975) which superseded
the Civil Service Law of 1959 (RA 2260) 27 and repealed or modified "all laws, rules and
regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions" thereof. The Decree categorically
described the scope and coverage of the "Civil Service" as embracing 44 every branch,
agency, subdivision, and instrumentality of the government, including every government
owned or controlled corporation whether performing governmental or propriety
function. 28 The effect was seemingly to prohibit government employees (including those
"employed in proprietary functions of the Government") to "strike for the purpose of securing
changes of their terms and conditions of employment," 29 something which, as aforestated,
they were allowed to do under the Civil Service Act of 1959. 30

c) managerial employees; and


d) employees of religious, charitable, medical and educational institutions not operating for
profit, provided the latter do not have existing collective agreements or recognized unions at
the time of the effectivity of the code or have voluntarily waived their exemption." 23
The reason for denying to government employees the right to "self-organization and to form,
join or assist labor organizations for purposes of collective bargaining" is presumably the
same as that under the Industrial Peace Act, i.e., that the terms and conditions of government
employment are fixed by law and not by collective bargaining.

Be this as it may it seems clear that PD 807 (the Civil Service Decree) did not modify the
declared ineligibility of "managerial employees" from joining, assisting or forming any labor
organization.

Some inconsistency appears to have arisen between the Labor Code and the Civil Service
Act of 1959. Under the Civil Service Act, persons "employed in proprietary functions of the
government including, but not limited to, governmental corporations'-not being within "the
policy of the Government that the employees therein shall not strike for the purpose of
securing changes in their terms and conditions of employment"-could legitimately bargain

Executive Order No. 111

including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters;" 36such


employees "shall not be discriminated against in respect of their employment by reason of
their membership in employees' organizations or participation in the normal activities of their
organization x x (and their) employment shall not be subject to the condition that they shall
not join or shall relinquish their membership in the employees' organizations. 37

Executive Order No. 111, issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on December 24, 1986 in
the exercise of legislative powers under the Freedom Constitution, modified the general
disqualification above mentioned of 'government employees, including employees of
government-owned and/or controlled corporations" from "the right to self-organization and to
form, join or assist labor organizations for purposes of collective bargaining.' It granted to
employees "of government corporations established under the Corporation Code x x the right
to organize and to bargain collectively with their respective employers." 31 To all 'other
employees in the civil service, ... (it granted merely) the right to form associations for
purposes not contrary to law," 32 not for "purposes of collective bargaining."

However, the concept of the government employees' right of self-organization differs


significantly from that of employees in the private sector. The latter's right of self-organization,
i.e., "to form, join or assist labor organizations for purposes of collective bargaining,"
admittedly includes the right to deal and negotiate with their respective employers in order to
fix the terms and conditions of employment and also, to engage in concerted activities for the
attainment of their objectives, such as strikes, picketing, boycotts. But the right of government
employees to "form, join or assist employees organizations of their own choosing" under
Executive Order No. 180 is not regarded as existing or available for "purposes of collective
bargaining," but simply "for the furtherance and protection of their interests." 38

The 1987 Constitution


The provisions of the present Constitution on the matter appear to be somewhat more
extensive. They declare that the "right to self organization shall not be denied to government
employees;" 33 that the State "shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization,
collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities,including the right to
strike in accordance with law;" and that said workers "shall be entitled to security of tenure,
humane conditions of work, and a living wage, ... (and) also participate in policy and decisionmaking processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law. 34

In other words, the right of Government employees to deal and negotiate with their respective
employers is not quite as extensive as that of private employees. Excluded from negotiation
by government employees are the "terms and conditions of employment ... that are fixed by
law," it being only those terms and conditions not otherwise fixed by law that "may be subject
of negotiation between the duly recognized employees' organizations and appropriate
government authorities," 39 And while EO No. 180 concedes to government employees, like
their counterparts in the private sector, the right to engage in concerted activities, including
the right to strike, the executive order is quick to add that those activities must be
exercised in accordance with law, i.e. are subject both to "Civil Service Law and rules" and
"any legislation that may be enacted by Congress," 40 that "the resolution of complaints,
grievances and cases involving government employees" is not ordinarily left to collective
bargaining or other related concerted activities, but to "Civil Service Law and labor laws and
procedures whenever applicable;" and that in case "any dispute remains unresolved after
exhausting all available remedies under existing laws and procedures, the parties may jointly
refer the dispute to the (Public Sector Labor-Management) Council for appropriate
action." 41 What is more, the Rules and Regulations implementing Executive Order No. 180
explicitly provide that since the "terms and conditions of employment in the government,
including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof and government-owned and
controlled corporations with original charters are governed by law, the employees
therein shall not strike for the purpose of securing changes thereof. 42

CSC Memorandum Circular No. 6


Memorandum Circular No. 6 of the Civil Service Commission, issued on April 21, 1987
enjoined strikes by government officials and employees, to wit: 35
... Prior to the enactment by Congress of applicable laws concerning strike by
government employees, and considering that there are existing laws which
prohibit government officials and employees from resorting to strike, the
Commission enjoins, under pain of administrative sanctions, all government
officers and employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves,
walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary
stoppage or disruption of public services. To allow otherwise is to undermine
or prejudice the government system.
Executive Order No. 180
The scope of the constitutional right to self-organization of "government employees" above
mentioned, was defined and delineated in Executive Order No. 180 (eff. June 1, 1987).
According to this Executive Order, the right of self-organization does indeed pertain to all
"employees of all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the Government,

On the matter of limitations on membership in labor unions of government employees,


Executive Order No. 180 declares that "high level employees whose functions are normally
considered as policy making or managerial, or whose duties are of a highly confidential

nature shall not be eligible to join the organization of rank-and-file government


employees. 43 A "high level employee" is one "whose functions are normally considered policy
determining, managerial or one whose duties are highly confidential in nature. A managerial
function refers to the exercise of powers such as: 1. To effectively recommend such
managerial actions; 2. To formulate or execute management policies and decisions; or 3. To
hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, dismiss, assign or discipline employees. 44

that "is not inherently or exclusively a governmental function, ... (but) is on the contrary, in
essence and practice, of a private nature and interest." 52
1. The petitioners contend that the right of self-organization and collectivebargaining had
been withdrawn by the Labor Code from government employees including those in
government-owned and controlled corporations- chiefly for the reason that the terms and
conditions of government employment, all embraced in civil service, may not be modified by
collective bargaining because set by law. It is therefore immaterial, they say, whether
supervisors are members of rank-and-file unions or not; after all, the possibility of the
employer's control of the members of the union thru supervisors thus rendering collective
bargaining illusory, which is the main reason for the prohibition, is no longer of any
consequence.

Republic Act No. 6715


The rule regarding membership in labor organizations of managerial and supervisory
employees just adverted to, was clarified and refined by Republic Act No. 6715, effective on
March 21, 1989, further amending the Labor Code.
Under RA 6715 labor unions are regarded as organized either (a) "for purposes of
negotiation," or (b) "for furtherance and protection"of the members' rights. Membership in
unions organized "for purposes of negotiation" is open only to rank-and-file employees.
"Supervisory employees" are ineligible "for membership in a labor organization of the rankand-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor organizations of their own,"
i.e., one organized "for furtherance and protection" of their rights and interests. However,
according to the Rules implementing RA 6715, "supervisory employees who are included in
an existing rank-and- file bargaining unit, upon the effectivity of Republic Act No. 6715 shall
remain in that unit ..." Supervisory employees are "those who, in the interest of the employer,
effectively recommend such managerial actions 45 if the exercise of such authority is not
merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use of independent judgment. 46

This was true, for a time. As already discussed, both under the Labor Code and PD 807,
government employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations,
were indeed precluded from bargaining as regards terms and conditions of employment
because these were set by law and hence could not possibly be altered by negotiation.

Membership in employees' organizations formed for purposes of negotiation are open to


rank-and-file
employees
only,
as
above
mentioned,
and
not
to high
47
level employees. Indeed, "managerial employees" or "high level employees" are, to repeat,
"not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization" at all. 48 A managerial employee is
defined as "one who is vested with powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute,
management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or
discipline employees." 49

2. The petitioners appear to be correct in their view of the disappearance from the law of the
prohibition on supervisors being members of labor organizations composed of employees
under their supervision. The Labor Code (PD 442) allowed supervisors (if not managerial) to
join rank-and-file unions. And under the Implementing Rules of RA 6715, supervisors who
were members of existing labor organizations on the effectivity of said RA 6715 were
explicitly authorized to "remain therein."

But EO 111 restored the right to organize and to negotiate and bargain of employees of
"government corporations established under the Corporation Code." And EO 180, and
apparently RA 6715, too, granted to all government employees the right of collective
bargaining or negotiation except as regards those terms of their employment which were
fixed by law; and as to said terms fixed by law, they were prohibited to strike to obtain
changes thereof.

This is how the law now stands, particularly with respect to supervisory employees vis a
vis labor organizations of employees under them.

3. The correctness of the petitioners' theory that unfair labor practices ceased to be crimes
and were deemed merely administrative offenses in virtue of the Labor Code, cannot be
gainsaid. Article 250 of the Labor Code did provide as follows:

Now, the GSIS performs proprietary functions. It is a non-stock corporation, managed by a


Board of Trustees exercising the "usual corporate powers." 50 In other words, it exercises all
the powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law in so far as they are not otherwise
inconsistent with other applicable law. 51 It is engaged essentially in insurance, a business

ART. 250. Concept of unfair labor practice.-The concept of unfair labor


practice is hereby modified. Henceforth, it shall be considered merely as an
administrative offense rather than a criminal offense. Unfair labor practice
complaints shall, therefore, be processed like any ordinary labor disputes.

But unfair labor practices were declared to be crimes again by later amendments of the Labor
Code effected by Batas Pambansa Blg. 70, approved on May 1, 1980. As thus amended, the
Code now pertinently reads as follows:

saving clause would not destroy criminal liability. But not a single sentence in
either derision indicates that there was any desire to hold that a person could
be prosecuted convicted, and punished for acts no longer criminal.

ART. 248. Concept of unfair labor practice and procedure for


prosecution thereof. Unfair labor practices violate the right of workers and
employees to self organization, are inimical to the legitimate interests of both
labor and management including their right to bargain collectively and
otherwise deal with each other in an atmosphere of freedom and mutual
respect, and hinder the promotion of healthy and stable labor management
relations. Consequently, unfair labor practices are not only violations of the
civil rights of both labor and management but are also offenses against the
State which shall be subject to prosecution and punishment as herein
provided.

There is no question that at common law and in America a much more


favorable attitude towards the accused exists relative to statutes that have
been repealed than has been adopted here. Our rule is more in conformity
with the Spanish doctrine, but even in Spain, where the offense ceased to be
criminal, petition cannot be had (1 Pacheco, Commentaries, 296).
The repeal here was absolute and not a reenactment and repeal by
implication. Nor was there any saving clause. The legislative intent as shown
by the action of the municipal is that such conduct, formerly denounced, is no
longer deemed criminal, and it would be illogical for this court to attempt to
sentence appellant for the offense that no longer exists.

xxx xxx xxx


We are therefore of the opinion that the proceedings against appellant must
be dismissed.

Recovery of civil liability in the administrative proceedings shall bar recovery


under the Civil Code.

To the same effect and in even more unmistakable language is People v. Almuete 54 where
the defendants-appellees were charged under section 39 of Republic Act No. 1199, as
amended (the Agricultural Land Tenancy Law of 1954) which penalized pre-threshing by
either agricultural tenant or his landlord. They sought and secured a dismissal on the ground,
among others, that there was no law punishing the act charged-a reference to the fact that
Republic Act No. 1199 had already been superseded by the Agricultural Land Reform Code of
1963 which instituted the leasehold system and abolished share tenancy subject to certain
conditions. On appeal by the Government, this Court upheld the dismissal, saying:

No criminal prosecution under this title may be instituted without a final


judgment, finding that an unfair labor practice was committed having been
first obtained in the preceding paragraph. ...
The decisive consideration is that at present, supervisors who were already members of a
rank-and-file labor organization at the time of the effectivity of R.A. No. 6715, are authorized
to "remain therein." It seems plain, in other words, that the maintenance by supervisors of
membership in a rank-and-file labor organization even after the enactment of a statute
imposing a prohibition on such membership, is not only not a crime, but is explicitly allowed,
under present law.

The legislative intent not to punish anymore the tenant's act of pre-reaping
and pre-threshing without notice to the landlord is inferable from the fact that,
as already noted, the Code of Agrarian Reforms did not reenact section 39 of
the Agricultural Tenancy Law and that it abolished share tenancy which is the
basis for penalizing clandestine pre-reaping and pre-threshing.

Now, in a case decided as early as 1935, People v. Tamayo, 53 where the appellants had
appealed from a judgment convicting them of a violation of a municipal -ordinance, and while
their appeal was pending, the ordinance was repealed such that the act complained of
ceased to be a criminal act but became legal, this Court dismissed the criminal proceedings,
pronouncing the effects of the repeal to be as follows:

xxx xxx xxx


As held in the Adillo case, 55 the act of pre-reaping and pre-threshing without
notice to the landlord, which is an offense under the Agricultural Tenancy
Law, had ceased to be an offense under the subsequent law, the Code of
Agrarian Reforms. To prosecute it as an offense when the Code of Agrarian

In the leading case of the United States vs. Cuna (12 Phil. 241), and Wing
vs. United States (218 U.S. 272), the doctrine was clearly established that in
the Philippines repeal of a criminal act by its reenactment, even without a

Reforms is already in force would be repugnant or abhorrent to the policy


and spirit of that Code and would subvert the manifest legislative intent not to
punish anymore pre-reaping and pre-threshing without notice to the
landholder.
xxx xxx xxx
The repeal of a penal law deprives the courts of jurisdiction to punish
persons charged with a violation of the old penal law prior to its repeal
(People vs. Tamayo, 61 Phil. 225; People vs. Sindiong and Pastor, 77 Phil.
1000; People vs. Binuya, 61 Phil. 208; U.S. vs. Reyes, 10 Phil. 423; U.S. vs.
Academia, 10 Phil. 431. See dissent in Lagrimas vs. Director of Prisons, 57
Phil. 247, 252, 254).

G.R. No. 79025. December 29, 1989.


BENGUET
ELECTRIC
COOPERATIVE,
INC., petitioner,
vs.
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, and
BENECO EMPLOYEES LABOR UNION, respondents.
E.L. Gayo & Associates for petitioner.

The foregoing precedents dictate absolution of the appellants of the offenses imputed to
them.

CORTES, J.:
On June 21, 1985 Beneco Worker's Labor Union-Association of Democratic Labor
Organizations (hereinafter referred to as BWLU- ADLO) filed a petition for direct certification
as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all the rank and file employees of
Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as BENECO) at Alapang, La
Trinidad, Benguet alleging, inter alia, that BENECO has in its employ two hundred and
fourteen (214) rank and file employees; that one hundred and ninety-eight (198) or 92.5% of
these employees have supported the filing of the petition; that no certification election has
been conducted for the last 12 months; that there is no existing collective bargaining
representative of the rank and file employees sought to represented by BWLU- ADLO; and,
that there is no collective bargaining agreement in the cooperative.
An opposition to the petition was filed by the Beneco Employees Labor Union (hereinafter
referred to as BELU) contending that it was certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining
representative of the subject workers pursuant to an order issued by the med-arbiter on
October 20,1980; that pending resolution by the National Labor Relations Commission are
two cases it filed against BENECO involving bargaining deadlock and unfair labor practice;
and, that the pendency of these cases bars any representation question.
BENECO, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss the petition claiming that it is a nonprofit electric cooperative engaged in providing electric services to its members and patronconsumers in the City of Baguio and Benguet Province; and, that the employees sought to be
represented by BWLU-ADLO are not eligible to form, join or assist labor organizations of their
own choosing because they are members and joint owners of the cooperative.
On September 2, 1985 the med-arbiter issued an order giving due course to the petition for
certification election. However, the med-arbiter limited the election among the rank and file
employees of petitioner who are non-members thereof and without any involvement in the
actual ownership of the cooperative. Based on the evidence during the hearing the med-

WHEREFORE, the judgments of conviction in CA-G.R. No. 14724-CR and CA-G.R. No.
14856-CR, subject of the appeal, as well as those in Crim. Case No. 5275-R and Crim. Case
No. 4130-R rendered by the Trial Court, are REVERSED and the accused-appellants
ACQUITTED of the charges against them, with costs de officio.
SO ORDERED.
Cruz, Gancayco, Grio-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.

arbiter found that there are thirty-seven (37) employees who are not members and without
any involvement in the actual ownership of the cooperative. The dispositive portion of the
med-arbiter's order is as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, a certification election should be as it is hereby ordered
to be conducted at the premises of Benguet, Electric Cooperative, Inc., at Alapang, La
Trinidad, Benguet within twenty (20) days from receipt hereof among all the rank and file
employees (non-members/consumers and without any involvement in the actual ownership of
the cooperative) with the following choices:
1. BENECO WORKERS LABOR UNION-ADLO
2. BENECO EMPLOYEES LABOR UNION
3. NO UNION
The payroll for the month of June 1985 shall be the basis in determining the qualified voters
who may participate in the certification election to be conducted.
SO ORDERED. [Rollo, pp. 22-23.]
BELU and BENECO appealed from this order but the same was dismissed for lack of merit
on March 25,1986. Whereupon BENECO filed with this Court a petition for certiorari with
prayer for preliminary injunction and /or restraining order, docketed as G.R. No. 74209, which
the Supreme Court dismissed for lack of merit in a minute resolution dated April 28, 1986.
The ordered certification election was held on October 1, 1986. Prior to the conduct thereof
BENECO's counsel verbally manifested that "the cooperative is protesting that employees
who are members-consumers are being allowed to vote when . . . they are not eligible to be
members of any labor union for purposes of collective bargaining; much less, to vote in this
certification election." [Rollo, p. 28]. Petitioner submitted a certification showing that only four
(4) employees are not members of BENECO and insisted that only these employees are
eligible to vote in the certification election. Canvass of the votes showed that BELU garnered
forty-nine (49) of the eighty-three (83) "valid" votes cast.
Thereafter BENECO formalized its verbal manifestation by filing a Protest. Finding, among
others, that the issue as to whether or not member-consumers who are employees of
BENECO could form, assist or join a labor union has been answered in the affirmative by the
Supreme Court in G.R. No. 74209, the med-arbiter dismissed the protest on February 17,
1987. On June 23, 1987, Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) director Pura Ferrer-Calleja
affirmed the med-arbiter's order and certified BELU as the sole and exclusive bargaining
agent of all the rank and file employees of BENECO.
Alleging that the BLR director committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction BENECO filed the instant petition for certiorari. In his Comment the
Solicitor General agreed with BENECO's stance and prayed that the petition be given due
course. In view of this respondent director herself was required by the Court to file a
Comment. On April 19, 1989 the Court gave due course to the petition and required the
parties to submit their respective memoranda.
The main issue in this case is whether or not respondent director committed grave abuse of
discretion in certifying respondent BELU as the sole and exclusive bargaining representtative
of the rank and file employees of BENECO.

Under Article 256 of the Labor Code [Pres. Decree 442] to have a valid certification election,
"at least a majority of all eligible voters in the unit must have cast their votes. The labor union
receiving the majority of the valid votes cast shall be certified as the exclusive bargaining
agent of all workers in the unit." Petitioner BENECO asserts that the certification election held
on October 1, 1986 was null and void since members-employees of petitioner cooperative
who are not eligible to form and join a labor union for purposes of collective bargaining were
allowed to vote therein.
Respondent director and private respondent BELU on the other hand submit that members of
a cooperative who are also rank and file employees are eligible to form, assist or join a labor
union [Comment of Respondent Director, p. 4; Rollo, p. 125; Comment of BELU, pp. 9-10;
Rollo pp. 99-100].
The Court finds the present petition meritorious.
The issue of whether or not employees of a cooperative are qualified to form or join a labor
organization for purposes of collective bargaining has already been resolved and clarified in
the case of Cooperative Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. vs. Ferrer Calleja, et al. [G.R. No.
7795, September 26,1988] and reiterated in the cases ofBatangas-Electric Cooperative
Labor Union v. Young, et al. [G.R. Nos. 62386, 70880 and 74560 November 9, 1988]
and San Jose City Electric Service Cooperative, Inc. v. Ministry of Labor and Employment, et
al. [G.R. No. 77231, May 31, 1989] wherein the Court had stated that the right to collective
bargaining is not available to an employee of a cooperative who at the same time is a
member and co-owner thereof. With respect, however, to employees who are neither
members nor co-owners of the cooperative they are entitled to exercise the rights to selforganization, collective bargaining and negotiation as mandated by the 1987 Constitution and
applicable statutes.
Respondent director argues that to deny the members of petitioner cooperative the right to
form, assist or join a labor union of their own choice for purposes of collective bargaining
would amount to a patent violation of their right to self-organization. She points out that:
Albeit a person assumes a dual capacity as rank and file employee and as member of a
certain cooperative does not militate, as in the instant case, against his/her exercise of the
right to self-organization and to collective bargaining guaranteed by the Constitution and
Labor Code because, while so doing, he/she is acting in his/her capacity as rank and file
employee thereof. It may be added that while the employees concerned became members of
petitioner cooperative, their status employment as rank and filers who are hired for fixed
compensation had not changed. They still do not actually participate in the management of
the cooperative as said function is entrusted to the Board of Directors and to the elected or
appointed officers thereof. They are not vested with the powers and prerogatives to lay down
and execute managerial policies; to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign
or discipline employees; and/or to effectively recommend such managerial functions
[Comment of Respondent Director, p. 4; Rollo, p. 125.]
Private respondent BELU concurs with the above contention of respondent director and,
additionally, claims that since membership in petitioner cooperative is only nominal, the rank
and file employees who are members thereof should not be deprived of their right to selforganization.
The above contentions are untenable. Contrary to respondents' claim, the fact that the
members-employees of petitioner do not participate in the actual management of the

cooperative does not make them eligible to form, assist or join a labor organization for the
purpose of collective bargaining with petitioner. The Court's ruling in the Davao City case that
members of cooperative cannot join a labor union for purposes of collective bargaining was
based on the fact that as members of the cooperative they are co-owners thereof. As such,
they cannot invoke the right to collective bargaining for "certainly an owner cannot bargain
with himself or his co-owners." [Cooperative Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. v. Ferrer-Calleja,
et al., supra]. It is the fact of ownership of the cooperative, and not involvement in the
management thereof, which disqualifies a member from joining any labor organization within
the cooperative. Thus, irrespective of the degree of their participation in the actual
management of the cooperative, all members thereof cannot form, assist or join a labor
organization for the purpose of collective bargaining.
Respondent union further claims that if nominal ownership in a cooperative is "enough to take
away the constitutional protections afforded to labor, then there would be no hindrance for
employers to grant, on a scheme of generous profit sharing, stock bonuses to their
employees and thereafter claim that since their employees are not stockholders [of the
corporation], albeit in a minimal and involuntary manner, they are now also co-owners and
thus disqualified to form unions." To allow this, BELU argues, would be "to allow the
floodgates of destruction to be opened upon the rights of labor which the Constitution
endeavors to protect and which welfare it promises to promote." [Comment of BELU, p. 10;
Rollo, p. 100].
The above contention of respondent union is based on the erroneous presumption that
membership in a cooperative is the same as ownership of stocks in ordinary corporations.
While cooperatives may exercise some of the rights and privileges given to ordinary
corporations provided under existing laws, such cooperatives enjoy other privileges not
granted to the latter [See Sections 4, 5, 6, and 8, Pres. Decree No. 175; Cooperative Rural
Bank of Davao City v. Ferrer-Calleja, supra]. Similarly, members of cooperatives have rights
and obligations different from those of stockholders of ordinary corporations. It was precisely
because of the special nature of cooperatives, that the Court held in the Davao City case that
members-employees thereof cannot form or join a labor union for purposes of collective
bargaining. The Court held that:
A cooperative ... is by its nature different from an ordinary business concern being run either
by persons, partnerships, or corporations. Its owners and/or members are the ones who run
and operate the business while the others are its employees. As above stated, irrespective of
the number of shares owned by each member they are entitled to cast one vote each in
deciding upon the affairs of the cooperative. Their share capital earn limited interest. They
enjoy special privileges as-exemption from income tax and sales taxes, preferential right to
supply their products to State agencies and even exemption from the minimum wage laws.
An employee therefore of such a cooperative who is a member and co-owner thereof cannot
invoke the right to collective bargaining for certainly an owner cannot bargain with himself or
his co-owners.
It is important to note that, in her order dated September 2, 1985, med-arbiter Elnora V.
Balleras made a specific finding that there are only thirty-seven (37) employees of petitioner
who are not members of the cooperative and who are, therefore, the only employees of
petitioner cooperative eligible to form or join a labor union for purposes of collective
bargaining [Annex "A" of the Petition, p. 12; Rollo, p. 22]. However, the minutes of the

certification election [Annex "C" of the Petition: Rollo, p. 28] show that a total of eighty-three
(83) employees were allowed to vote and of these, forty-nine (49) voted for respondent union.
Thus, even if We agree with respondent union's contention that the thirty seven (37)
employees who were originally non-members of the cooperative can still vote in the
certification election since they were only "forced and compelled to join the cooperative on
pain of disciplinary action," the certification election held on October 1, 1986 is still null and
void since even those who were already members of the cooperative at the time of the
issuance of the med-arbiter's order, and therefore cannot claim that they were forced to join
the union were allowed to vote in the election.
Article 256 of the Labor Code provides, among others, that:
To have a valid, election, at least a majority of all eligible voters in the unit must have cast
their votes. The labor union receiving the majority of the valid votes cast shall be certified as
the exclusive bargaining agent of all workers in the unit . . . [Italics supplied.]
In this case it cannot be determined whether or not respondent union was duly elected by the
eligible voters of the bargaining unit since even employees who are ineligible to join a labor
union within the cooperative because of their membership therein were allowed to vote in the
certification election. Considering the foregoing, the Court finds that respondent director
committed grave abuse of discretion in certifying respondent union as the sole and exclusive
bargaining representative of the rank and file employees of petitioner cooperative.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed resolution of respondent
director is ANNULLED. The certification election conducted on October 1, 1986, is SET
ASIDE. The Regional Office No. 1 of San Fernando, La Union is hereby directed to
immediately conduct new certification election proceedings among the rank and file
employees of the petitioner who are not members of the cooperative.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 107610 November 25, 1994


CRUZVALE,
INC., petitioner,
vs.
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, UNDERSECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, MED-ARBITER ANGELI M. TUYAY AND UNION OF
FILIPINO WORKERS (UFW), respondents.
Soo, Gutierrez, Leogardo & Lee for petitioner.
QUIASON, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court, with prayer for a
writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order, to reverse and set aside the
Decision dated September 25, 1992 of respondent Undersecretary of Labor and Employment
and his Order dated October 13, 1992 in OS-MA-A-11-334-91.
I
On July 23, 1991, private respondent, a labor union, filed with the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE), Regional Office No. IV, a petition for certification election among the
regular rank-and-file workers of petitioner, docketed as Case No. RO-400-9107-RU-0107.
On August 27, 1991, petitioner filed its comment to the petition for certification election. It
sought the denial of the petition on the following grounds:
(a) That no charter certificate evidencing the organization of a local union therein was
attached to the petition or submitted to the DOLE at the time the petition was filed;
(b) That the respondent Union has not presented any proof that it is a legitimate labor
organization; and
(c) That the Regional Office No. IV of the DOLE has no jurisdiction over the petition since
petitioner Company's place of business is located at Cubao, Quezon City, which is outside
the jurisdiction of the said Regional Office. Consequently, it is the National Capital Region or
NCR of the DOLE which has jurisdiction over said petition (Rollo, p. 7).
On September 27, 1991, respondent Med-Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of private
respondent, pertinent portion of which reads as follows:

10

Anent the first issue on the status of the petitioner, it is established that the petitioner is a
legitimate organization with Dole Registration Certificate No. 11106 LC (FED) and has a local
chapter in the respondent's company located at Cainta, Rizal. The existence of a local union
is likewise undisputed as the same is evidenced by Charter Certificate No. 82 issued to it by
the petitioner, United Filipino Workers, and submitted to this Office which automatically forms
part of the records of this case.
As regards the second and third issues on whether or not the herein petition is duly filed or
not, the allegation of the respondent that the same is defective in form and substance since
no charter certificate and signatories were attached thereto at the time of filing of this petition
is unmeritorious and without legal basis.
The respondent is an unorganized establishment which is governed by Article 257 of the
Labor Code, as amended by R.A. No. 6715, which read as follows:
Petitions in unorganized establishments. In any establishment where there is no certified
bargaining agent, a certification election shall automatically be conducted by the Med-Arbiter
upon the filing of a petition by a legitimate labor organization (Rollo, pp. 74-75).
Petitioner appealed the said order to the DOLE. The latter, thru respondent Undersecretary,
upheld the order of respondent Med-Arbiter.
Not satisfied with the decision of the DOLE, petitioner filed the instant petition and assigned
the following errors:
1
RESPONDENT UNDERSECRETARY GRAVELY ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AMOUNTING
TO LACK OF JURISDICTION IN AFFIRMING A PATENTLY NULL AND VOID DECISION OF
THE MED-ARBITER HOLDING THAT THE PETITION FOR CERTIFICATION ELECTION
WAS FILED BY A LEGITIMATE LABOR ORGANIZATION.
2
RESPONDENT UNDERSECRETARY GRAVELY ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND
COMMITTED A SERIOUS LEGAL ERROR IN LIMITING THE CERTIFICATION ELECTION
TO PETITIONER'S EMPLOYEES AT CAINTA, THEREBY DISENFRANCHISING THE
OTHER REGULAR RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES OF PETITIONER COMPANY AND
INSPITE OF A FINAL ORDER CALLING FOR A CERTIFICATION ELECTION TO BE
PARTICIPATED IN BY ALL REGULAR RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES.
3
RESPONDENT UNDERSECRETARY ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION WHEN HE AMENDED OUT OF HIS OWN WILL
AND DERIVED A PROVISION OF THE IMPLEMENTING RULES WITHOUT ANY BASIS OR
AUTHORITY IN THE LABOR CODE, AS AMENDED.
II
As to the first assigned error, petitioner avers that private respondent is not a legitimate labor
organization, "considering that its local or chapter, at the time said petition was filed, did not
undergo the rudiments of registration required under Section 3, Rule II, Book V of the
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code and the pronouncements made by
this Court in Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary, Department of Labor and
Employment (205 SCRA 802) . . ." (Rollo, pp. 13-14).

The Med-Arbiter found that private respondent was issued Certificate of Registration No.
11106 and Charter Certificate No. 82.
Findings of fact of labor officials are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court when
supported by substantial evidence (Five J Taxi v. National Labor Relations Commission, 212
SCRA 225 [1992]).
Progressive Development Corporation, (supra.) is inappropriate to the case at bench.
Thereat, the union failed to show that it had complied with the statutory requirements of
Section 3, Rule II, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. The copy of
the constitution and by-laws and list of officers submitted to the Bureau of Labor Relations by
the union were not certified under oath by the union secretary.
As to the second assigned error, petitioner claims that respondent Undersecretary should not
have limited the certification election to petitioner's employees at the garment factory in
Cainta but should have also covered those employed in the cinema business.
We agree with the following observation made by respondent Undersecretary in his Decision
dated September 25, 1992:
As regards the question on the composition of the bargaining unit, we stress once more that
the call for the conduct of election covers all the regular rank-and-file employees of Cruzvale,
Inc. at its garment manufacturing corporation. The use of the pronoun "all" in our decision
dated 16 December 1991 refers to all aforementioned employees at the garment
manufacturing operation based on the finding that they were the ones sought to be
represented by the petitioner as clearly reflected on the face of the petition and as embodied
in the Order of the Med-Arbiter dated 24 April 1992 which was affirmed by this Office on
appeal.
Moreover, as stated in the questioned Decision the employees at the Cinema operation and
those at the garment manufacturing operation do not share commonality of interest as the
former clearly perform work entirely different from that of the latter. Thus, their separation into
two (2) distinct bargaining units is proper. This is in accordance with the decision of the
Supreme Court in the case of Belyca Corporation v. Dir. Pura Ferrer-Calleja, et al., G.R. No.
77395,
26
November
1988
(Rollo,
p. 42; Emphasis supplied).
As to the third assigned error, petitioner contends that the petition for certification election
should have been filed with the regional office which has jurisdiction over the principal office
of the employer in accordance with Section 1, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules
Implementing the Labor Code (Rollo, p. 27). Said section provides:
Where to file. A petition for certification election shall be filed with the Regional Office which
has jurisdiction over the principal office of the Employer. The petition shall be in writing and
under oath (Emphasis supplied).
The word "jurisdiction" as used in said provision refers to the venue where the petition for
certification must be filed. Unlike jurisdiction, which implies the power of the court to decide a
case, venue merely refers to the place where the action shall be brought (Sulo ng Bayan, Inc.
v. Araneta, Inc., 72 SCRA 347 [1976]). Venue touches more the convenience of the parties
rather than the substance of the case (Consolidated Bank v. Intermediate Appellate Court,
198 SCRA 34 [1991]).

11

Section 1, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code refers only to
cases where the place of work of the employees and the place of the principal office of the
employer are within the same territorial jurisdiction of the Regional Office where the petition
for certification election is filed. The said provision does not apply to the filing of petitions for
certification election where the place of work of the employees and the place of principal
office of the employer are located within the territorial jurisdictions of different regional offices.
We assume that in the drafting of the Omnibus Rules, the Secretary of Labor and
Employment took into consideration the fact that there are many companies with factories
located in places different from places where the corporate offices are located.
The worker, being the economically-disadvantaged party whether as complainant, petitioner
or respondent, as the case may be, the nearest governmental machinery to settle a labor
dispute must be placed at his immediate disposal and the employer must in no case be
allowed a choice in favor of another competent agency sitting in another place to the
inconvenience of the worker (Nestle Philippines, Inc. v. National Labor Relations
Commission, 209 SCRA 834 [1992]).
Petitioner has not shown how it will be prejudiced by the hearing on the petition for
certification election before the Regional Office No. IV, which has its offices in Quezon City,
the same city where the principal place of business of petitioner is located. Petitioner is,
therefore, being unreasonable in demanding that the petition for certification election be filed
with the National Capital Region Office, which holds offices in Manila.
Unlike in the Rules governing the procedure before Regional Offices, the New Rules of
Procedure of the National Labor Relations Commission prescribes that all cases in which
labor arbiters have jurisdiction should be filed in the branch office which has territorial
jurisdiction over the "workplace of the complainant/petitioner" (Rule IV, Sec. 1[a]). The NLRC
Rules defines the workplace as follows:
For purposes of venue, workplace shall be understood as the place or locality where the
employee is regularly assigned when the cause of action arose. It shall include the place
where the employee is supposed to report back after a temporary detail, assignment or travel.
...
The Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code has no provision as to when an objection
to improper venue may be raised. The Med-Arbiter ruled that where the employer had
appeared twice at the hearing of the petition for certification election without questioning the
venue, said employer was barred from raising the issue in the subsequent proceedings. He
observed:
. . . This practice of deliberately delaying the legal proceedings cannot be countenanced any
further, otherwise, the ends of justice will forever be defeated. We don't see any reason for
the respondent to delay as it did, the proceedings of the case only to assail later on the
jurisdiction of the office. This issue could have been brought up or objected to during the
initial hearing (Rollo, p. 77).
The stance of the Med-Arbiter, that the question of the venue in representation cases should
be raised at the first hearing, was accepted by respondent Undersecretary. We are not
prepared to say that said administrative Officials have gravely abused their discretion.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the temporary restraining order is LIFTED.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. Nos. 94929-30 March 18, 1992


PORT
WORKERS
UNION
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES
(PWUP), petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE UNDERSECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT BIENVENIDO
E. LAGUESMA, ATTY. ANASTACIO L. BACTIN, MED-ARBITER NCR-DOLE, Public
Respondents; INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL SERVICES, INC., (ICTSI) and
ASSOCIATED PORT CHECKERS AND WORKERS UNION (APCWU), Private
Respondents; SANDIGAN NG MANGGAGAWA SA DAUNGAN (SAMADA) and PORT
EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION AND LABOR UNION (PEALU), Nominal Private
Respondents, respondents.
CRUZ, J.:
There was muffled excitement among the workers of the International Container Terminal
Services, Inc. (ICTSI) because its collective bargaining agreement with private respondents
Associate Port Checkers and Workers Union (APCWU), the incumbent union, was due to
expire on April 14, 1990. Other unions were seeking to represent the laborers in the
negotiation of the next CBA and were already plotting their moves.
The first challenge to APCWU was hurled on March 14, 1990, when the Sandigan ng
Manggagawa sa Daungan (SAMADA) filed a petition for certification election. The consent
signatures of at least 25% of the employees in the bargaining unit were submitted on March
26, 1990, or eleven days after the petition.
On April 2, 1990, herein petitioner Port Workers Union of the Philippines (PWUP) filed a
petition for intervention.
Still another petition for certification election was filed by the Port Employees Association and
Labor Union (PEALU), on April 6, 1990. The consent signatures were submitted on May 11,
1990, or thirty-five days after the filing of the petition.
The petitions of SAMADA and PEALU were consolidated for joint decision. On April 26, 1990,
APCWU filed a motion to dismiss them on the ground that they did not comply with the
requirement set forth in Section 6, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules, quoted in part
as follows:
In a petition involving an organized establishment or enterprise where the majority status of
the incumbent collective bargaining union is questioned through a verified petition by a
legitimate labor organization, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order the certification election

12

by secret ballot if the petition is filed during the last sixty (60) days of the collective bargaining
agreement and supported by the written consent of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of all
the employees in the bargaining unit. Any petition filed before or after the sixty-day freedom
period shall be dismissed outright. The twenty-five percent (25%) requirement shall be
satisfied upon the filing of the petition, otherwise the petition shall be dismissed . (Emphasis
supplied.)
Specifically, APCWU faulted both petitions for non-compliance with the requirement for the
25% consent signatures at the time of filing. This contention was upheld by the Med-Arbiter in
an order dated June 5, 1990, dismissing the consolidated petitions. 1
PWUP appealed to the Secretary of Labor on June 28, 1990, arguing that Article 256 of the
Labor Code did not require the written consent to be submitted simultaneously with the
petition for certification election. The principal petitioners did not appeal. On August 21, 1990,
DOLE Undersecretary Bienvenido Laguesma affirmed the order of the Med-Arbiter and
dismissed PWUP's appeal. 2
Thereafter, ICTSI and APCWU resumed negotiations for a new collective bargaining
agreement, which was concluded on September 28, 1990. This was ratified on October 7,
1990, by a majority of the workers in the bargaining unit, i.e., 910 out of the 1,223 members,
and subsequently registered with the DOLE.
PWUP is now before us, claiming grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public
respondent in the application of Article 256 of the Labor Code. The article provides in part as
follows:
Art. 256. Representation issue in organized establishments. In organized establishments,
when a verified petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent is
filed before the Department of Labor and Employment within the sixty-day period before the
expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the Med-Arbiter shall automatically order an
election by secret ballot when the verified petition is supported by the written consent of at
least twenty-five (25%) percent of all the employees in the bargaining unit to ascertain the will
of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit. . . .
The petitioner argues that under this article, the Med-Arbiter should automatically order
election by secret ballot when the petition is supported by at least 25% of all employees in the
bargaining unit. SAMADA and PEALU substantially complied with the law when they
submitted the required consent signatures several days after filing the petition. The petitioner
complains that the dismissal of the petitions for certification election, including its own petition
for intervention, had the effect of indirectly certifying APCWU as the sole and exclusive
bargaining representative of the ICTSI employees.
Private respondent ICTSI maintains that the dismissal was based on Article 256 of the Labor
Code as implemented by Section 6, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules, quoted
above. Moreover, under Section 10, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules, decisions of
the Secretary in certification election cases shall be final and unappealable.
ICTSI also cites the following ruling of this Court in Tupas v. Inciong: 3
We find no merit in the petition. As observed by the Solicitor General, while the petition of
TUPAS for a certification election may have the written support of 30 per cent of all the
workers of the bargaining unit, it is also an undisputed fact that UMI (the rival union of
TUPAS) has a clear majority of the said workers, as shown by the fact that 499 workers out of

the total working force of 641 have not only ratified the collective bargaining agreement
concluded between UMI and LUSTEVECO, but also affirmed their membership in UMI so
that there is no more need for holding a certification election. (Emphasis supplied.)
For its part, APCWU questions PWUP's personality in these proceedings in view of the lack
of consent signatures in its petition, and argues as well that the petitioner has no authority to
represent SAMADA or PEALU, which had not appealed. The private respondent also invokes
Tupas and maintains that the ratification of the new CBA by the majority of the workers was
an affirmation of their membership in the union that negotiated that agreement.
In his own Comment, the Solicitor General agrees with the petitioner that there has been
substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. He submits that Article 256 should
be liberally interpreted pursuant to Article 4 of the Labor Code, stating as follows:
Art. 4. Construction in favor of labor. All doubts in the implementation and interpretation of
the provisions of this Code including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved
in favor of labor.
The Court has deliberated on the arguments of the parties in their respective pleadings and
finds for the petitioner.
We have held that pursuant to the constitutional provision guaranteeing workers the right to
self-organization and collective bargaining, "the constant and unwavering policy of this Court"
has been "to require a certification election as the best means of ascertaining which labor
organization should be the collective bargaining representative." 4
The certification election is the most democratic and expeditious method by which the
laborers can freely determine the union that shall act as their representative in their dealings
with the establishment where they are working. 5 As we stressed in Belyca Corporation vs.
Ferrer-Calleja, 6 the holding of a certification election is a statutory policy that should not be
circumvented.
This Court also held in Western Agusan Workers Union-Local 101 of the United Lumber and
General Workers of the Philippines vs. Trajano: 7
. . . it has long been settled that the policy of the Labor Code is indisputably partial to the
holding of a certification election so as to arrive in a manner definitive and certain concerning
the choice of the labor organization to represent the workers in a collective bargaining unit.
Conformably to said basic concept, this Court recognized that the Bureau of Labor Relations
in the exercise of sound discretion, may order a certification election notwithstanding the
failure to meet the 30% requirement. (Scout Ramon V. Albano Memorial College v. Noriel, 85
SCRA 494 [1978]; Vicmico Industrial Wokers Asso. v. Noriel, 131 SCRA 569 [1984])
In line with the policy, we feel that the administrative rule requiring the simultaneous
submission of the 25% consent signatures upon the filing of petition for certification election
should not be strictly applied to frustrate the determination of the legitimate representative of
the workers. Significantly, the requirement in the rule is not found in Article 256, the law it
seeks to implement. This is all the more reason why the regulation should at best be given
only a directory effect. Accordingly, we hold that the mere filing of a petition for certification
election within the freedom period is sufficient basis for the issuance of an order for the
holding of a certification election, 8 subject to the submission of the consent signatures within
a reasonable period from such filing.

13

This interpretation is consonant with Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions v. Bureau of
Labor Relations, 9where we declared:
. . . even conceding that the statutory requirement of 30% of the labor force asking for a
certification election had not been strictly complied with, respondent Director is still
empowered to order that it be held precisely for the purpose of ascertaining which (of the
contending labor organizations) shall be the exclusive collective bargaining representative.
(National Mines and Allied Workers Union v. Luna, et al., 83 SCRA 607)
It is not denied that the petition to intervene filed by PWUP did not carry the 25% consent
signatures, but that the requirement is in fact not applicable to a petition in intervention. We
so held in PAFLU v. Ferrer-Calleja thus: 10
It is crystal clear from the said provisions that the requisite written consent of at least 20% of
the workers in the bargaining unit applies to petitioners for certification election only and not
to motions for intervention. . . . As long as the motion for intervention has been properly and
timely filed and the intervention would not cause any injustice to anyone, it should not be
denied and this is so even if the eventual purpose of the Motion for Intervention is to
participate in the Certification Election. After all, the original applicant had already met the
20% requirement.
The contention that the petitioners had no right to represent the principal petitioners which
had not appealed the dismissal order is also not acceptable. We repeat that the certification
election is not litigation but a mere investigation of a non-adversary character where the rules
of procedure are not strictly applied. 11 Technical rules and objections should not hamper the
correct ascertainment of the labor union that has the support of confidence of the majority of
the workers and is thus entitled to represent them in their dealings with management.
The above-quoted decision affirms the right of PWUP to call for the holding of the election
although it was initially only an intervenor. That recognition should not be defeated by the
circumstance that the other petitioning unions have not seen fit to appeal the dismissal of
their petitions even if such dismissal was questionable and is in fact being reversed here. The
petition for intervention was viable at the time it was filed because the principal petitions had
complied with the requirement for the consent signatures as specified by Article 256. Hence,
its intervention should not be disallowed simply because of the withdrawal or failure to appeal
of SAMADA and PEALU.
It is correct to say that as a matter of strict procedure, a petition for intervention should be
deemed automatically dismissed where the principal petition itself fails. However, that
technical rule should be allowed to prevent a correct determination of the real representative
of the workers in line with their constitutional rights to self-organization and collective
bargaining.
Regarding the invocation of Inciong by the private respondents, the Court has modified that
decision inAssociated Labor Unions vs. Calleja, 12 where we held:
Finally, the petitioner assails the decision of the respondent Director on the ground that "the
ratification of the collective bargaining agreement renders the certification election moot and
academic."
This contention finds no basis in law.
The petitioner was obviously referring to the contract-bar rule where the law prohibits the
holding of certification elections during the lifetime of the collective bargaining agreement.

Said agreement was hastily and prematurely entered into apparently in an attempt to avoid
the holding of a certification election.
Deviation from the contract-bar rule is justified only where the need for industrial stability is
clearly shown to be imperative. 13 Subject to this singular exception, contracts where the
identity of the authorized representative of the workers is in doubt must be rejected in favor of
a more certain indication of the will of the workers. As we stated in Philippine Association of
Free Labor Union vs. Estrella, 14 any stability that does not establish the type of industrial
peace contemplated by the law must be subordinated to the employees' freedom to choose
their real representative.
The private respondents contend that the overwhelming ratification of the CBA is an
affirmation of their membership in the bargaining agent, rendering the representation issue
moot and academic and conclusively barring the holding of a certification election thereon.
That conclusion does not follow. Even Tupas did not say that the mere ratification of the CBA
by the majority of the workers signified their affirmation of membership in the negotiating
union. That case required, first, ratification of the CBA, the second, affirmation of membership
in the negotiating union. The second requirement has not been established in the case at bar
as the record does not show that the majority of the workers, besides ratifying the new CBA,
have also formally affiliated with APCWU.
Section 4, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules implementing the Labor Code provides that
the representation case shall not be adversely affected by a collective agreement submitted
before or during the last 60 days of a subsisting agreement or during the pendency of the
representation case. As the new CBA was entered into at the time when the representation
case was still pending, it follows that it cannot be recognized as the final agreement between
the ICTSI and its workers.
On the allegation that the decision of the Secretary of Labor on certification election is final
and inappealable, this Court held in San Miguel Corp. v. Secretary of Labor 15 that:
It is generally understood that as to administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial or
legislative power there is an underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of such
agencies on questions of law and jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by
statute. (73, C.J.S. 506, note 56). . . . judicial review is proper in case of lack of jurisdiction,
grave abuse of discretion. error of law, fraud or collusion (Timbancaya v. Vicente, 82 O.G.
9424; Macatangay v. Secretary of Public Works and Communication, 63 O.G. 11236; Ortua v.
Singson Encarnacion, 59 Phil. 440).
There was indeed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of public respondents when they dismissed the petitions for certification election because
the consent signatures had not been submitted simultaneously with the petition. The issue of
majority representation thus remains open and awaits settlement. Following the rulings
above-quoted, we hereby declare that the newly-concluded CBA cannot constitute a bar to
the holding of a certification election.
It is possible that the APCWU will prevail in the certification election, in which event the new
CBA it concluded with ICTSI will be upheld and recognized. It is also possible that another
union will be chosen, in which event it will have to enter into its own negotiations with ICTSI
that may result in the adoption of a new CBA. In the meantime, however, the old CBA having
expired, it is necessary to lay down the rules regulating the relations of the workers with the
management. For this reason, the Court hereby orders that the new CBA concluded by ICTSI

14

and APCWU shall remain effective between the parties, subject to the result and effects of
the certification election to be called.
The certification election is the best method of determining the will of the workers on the
crucial question of who shall represent them in their negotiations with the management for a
collective bargaining agreement that will best protect and promote their interests. It is
essential that there be no collusion against this objective between an unscrupulous
management and a union covertly supporting it while professing its loyalty to labor, or at least
that the hopes of labor be not frustrated because of its representation by a union that does
not enjoy its approval and support. It is therefore sound policy that any doubt regarding the
real representation of the workers be resolved in favor of the holding of the certification
election. This is preferable to the suppression of the voice of the workers through the prissy
observance of technical rules that will exalt procedure over substantial justice.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The challenged order dated August 21, 1990, is
REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the public respondent is DIRECTED to schedule and hold
certification election among the workers of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc.,
this to be done with all possible dispatch. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 75810 September 9, 1991


KAISAHAN NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (KAMPIL-KATIPUNAN), petitioner,
vs.
HON. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO in his capacity as Director, Bureau of Labor
Relations, and VIRON GARMENTS MFG., CO., INC., respondents.
Esteban M. Mendoza for petitioner.
R E S O LU T I O N
NARVASA, J.:p
The propriety of holding a certification election is the issue in the special civil action
of certiorari at bar.
By virtue of a Resolution of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated February 27, 1981, the
National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) was declared the exclusive bargaining
representative of all rank-and-file employees of Viron Garments Manufacturing Co., Inc.
(VIRON).
More than four years thereafter, or on April 11, 1985, another union, the Kaisahan ng
Manggagawang Pilipino KAMPIL Katipunan filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a petition
for certification election among the employees of VIRON. The petition allegedly counted with
the support of more than thirty percent (30%) of the workers at VIRON.
NAFLU opposed the petition, as might be expected. The Med-Arbiter however ordered, on
June 14, 1985, that a certification election be held at VIRON as prayed for, after ascertaining
that KAMPIL had complied with all the requirements of law and that since the certification of
NAFLU as sole bargaining representative in 1981, no collective bargaining agreement had
been executed between it and VIRON.
NAFLU appealed. It contended that at the time the petition for certification election was filed
on April 11, 1985, it was in process of collective bargaining with VIRON; that there was in fact
a deadlock in the negotiations which had prompted it to file a notice of strike; and that these
circumstances constituted a bar to the petition for election in accordance with Section 3, Rule
V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, 1 reading as follows:

15

SEC. 3. When to file. In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement submitted in


accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification election may be filed at any
time. However, no certification election may be held within one year from the date of issuance
of declaration of a final certification election result. Neither may a representation question be
entertained if, before the filing of a petition for certification election, a bargaining deadlock to
which an incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a party had been submitted to conciliation
or arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout.
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in accordance with Article 231
of the Code, a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be
entertained within sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of such agreement.
Finding merit in a NAFLU's appeal, the Director of Labor Relations rendered a Resolution on
April 30, 1986 setting aside the Med-Arbiter's Order of June 14, 1985 and dismissing
KAMPIL's petition for certification election. This disposition is justified in the Resolution as
follows:
... While it may be true that the one-year period (mentioned in Section 3 above quoted) has
long run its course since intervenor NAFLU was certified on February 27, 1981, it could not
be said, however, that NAFLU slept on its right to bargain collectively with the employer. If a
closer look was made on the history of labor management relations in the company, it could
be readily seen that the delay in the negotiations for and conclusion of a collective agreement
the object of the one-year period could be attributed first, on the exhaustion of all legal
remedies in the representation question twice initiated in the company before the filing of the
present petition and second, to management who had been resisting the representations of
NAFLU in collective bargaining.
The one-year period therefore, should not be applied literally to the present dispute,
especially considering that intervenor had to undergo a strike to bring management to the
negotiation table. ...
KAMPIL moved for reconsideration, and when this was denied, instituted in this Court the
present certiorari action.
It is evident that the prohibition imposed by law on the holding of a certification election
"within one year from the date of issuance of declaration of a final certification election result'
in this case, from February 27, 1981, the date of the Resolution declaring NAFLU the
exclusive bargaining representative of rank-and-file workers of VIRON can have no
application to the case at bar. That one-year period-known as the "certification year" during
which the certified union is required to negotiate with the employer, and certification election
is prohibited 2 has long since expired.
Thus the question for resolution is whether or not KAMPIL's petition for certification election is
barred because,before its filing, a bargaining deadlock between VIRON and NAFLU as the
incumbent bargaining agent, had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become
the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout, in accordance with Section 3, Rule V, Book V
of the Omnibus Rules above quoted.
Again it seems fairly certain that prior to the filing of the petition for election in this case, there
was no such "bargaining deadlock ... (which) had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration
or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout." To be sure, there are in the
record assertions by NAFLU that its attempts to bring VIRON to the negotiation table had

been unsuccessful because of the latter's recalcitrance and unfulfilled promises to bargain
collectively; 3 but there is no proof that it had taken any action to legally coerce VIRON to
comply with its statutory duty to bargain collectively. It could have charged VIRON with unfair
labor practice; but it did not. It could have gone on a legitimate strike in protest against
VIRON's refusal to bargain collectively and compel it to do so; but it did not. There are
assertions by NAFLU, too, that its attempts to bargain collectively had been delayed by
continuing challenges to the resolution pronouncing it the sole bargaining representative in
VIRON; but there is no adequate substantiation thereof, or of how it did in fact prevent
initiation of the bargaining process between it and VIRON.
The stark, incontrovertible fact is that from February 27, 1981 when NAFLU was
proclaimed the exclusive bargaining representative of all VIRON employees to April 11,
1985 when KAMPIL filed its petition for certification election or a period of more than four
(4) years, no collective bargaining agreement was ever executed, and no deadlock ever
arose from negotiations between NAFLU and VIRON resulting in conciliation proceedings or
the filing of a valid strike notice.
The respondents advert to a strike declared by NAFLU on October 26, 1986 for refusal of
VIRON to bargain and for violation of terms and conditions of employment, which was settled
by the parties' agreement, and to another strike staged on December 6, 1986 in connection
with a claim of violation of said agreement, a dispute which has since been certified for
compulsory arbitration by the Secretary of Labor & Employment. 4 Obviously, however, these
activities took place after the initiation of the certification election case by KAMPIL, and it was
grave abuse of discretion to have regarded them as precluding the holding of the certification
election thus prayed for.
WHEREFORE, it being apparent that none of the proscriptions to certification election set out
in the law exists in the case at bar, and it was in the premises grave abuse of discretion to
have ruled otherwise, the contested Resolution of the respondent Director of the Bureau of
Labor Relations dated April 30, 1986 in BLR Case No. A-7-139-85 (BZEO-CE-04-004-85) is
NULLIFIED AND SET ASIDE. Costs against private respondent.
SO ORDERED.
Cruz, Grio-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.

16

G.R. No. L-67485 April 10, 1992


NATIONAL CONGRESS OF UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES
(NACUSIP)-TUCP,petitioner,
vs.
DIR. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO, Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of Labor and
Employment, Manila, FEDERATION OF UNIONS OF RIZAL (FUR)-TUCP, and CALINOG
REFINERY CORPORATION (NASUREFCO),respondents.
MEDIALDEA, J.:
This petition for certiorari seeks to annul and set aside the decision rendered by the
respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano of the Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of
Labor and Employment, dated November 18, 1983 affirming the order of Med-Arbiter
Demetrio Correa dated May 2, 1983 giving due course to the petition for certification election
filed by private respondent Federation of Unions of Rizal (FUR)-TUCP; and the order dated
March 21, 1984 denying the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
The antecedent facts are as follows:
Petitioner National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP)TUCP is the certified exclusive bargaining representative of the rank and file workers of
Calinog Refinery Corporation. Private respondent Federation of Unions of Rizal (FUR)-TUCP
is a labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment while
private respondent Calinog Refineries Employees Union (CREU)-NACUSIP is the certified
exclusive bargaining representative of the rank and file workers of the private respondent
Calinog Refinery Corporation by virtue of the certification election held on March 30, 1981.
On June 21, 1982, petitioner union filed a petition for deadlock in collective bargaining with
the Ministry of Labor and Employment (now Department of Labor and Employment). In order
to obviate friction and tension, the parties agreed to submit the petition for deadlock to
compulsory arbitration on July 14, 1982 and was docketed as RAB Case No. VI-0220-82.
On July 21, 1982, private respondent FUR-TUCP filed with the Regional Office No. VI, MOLE
(now DOLE), Iloilo City a petition for certification election among the rank and file employees
of private respondent company, alleging that: (1) about forty-five percent (45%) of private
respondent company's employees had disaffiliated from petitioner union and joined private
respondent union; (2) no election had been held for the past twelve (12) months; and (3)

17

while petitioner union had been certified as the sole collective bargaining agent, for over a
year it failed to conclude a collective bargaining agreement with private respondent company.
Petitioner union filed a motion to intervene in the petition for certification election filed by
private respondent union.
By order dated July 23, 1982, the Acting Med-Arbiter Pacifico V. Militante dismissed the
petition for certification election for lack of merit since the petition is barred by a pending
bargaining deadlock.
On August 25, 1982, private respondent union filed an appeal to the Bureau of Labor
Relations, Manila.
The Bureau of Labor Relations through respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano rendered
a decision on September 30, 1982 setting aside the order of the Acting Med-Arbiter and
remanding the case to Regional Office VI, Iloilo City for hearing and reception of evidence.
On May 2, 1983, Honorable Med-Arbiter Demetrio Correa issued an order in LRD Case No.
4293 giving due course to the petition of private respondent FUR-TUCP and ordering that an
election be held within 20 days from receipt of the order.
From the order of Med-Arbiter Correa, petitioner interposed an appeal to the Bureau of Labor
Relations.
During the pendency of the appeal or on September 10, 1983, a collective bargaining
agreement was entered and executed by the management of the National Sugar Refineries
Co., Inc. and petitioner union and was subsequently ratified by a majority of the rank and file
employees. On the basis of the concluded CBA, the Honorable Executive Labor Arbiter
Celerino Grecia II issued an award dated September 12, 1983 adopting the submitted
agreement as the CBA between the parties.
On November 18, 1983, respondent Director Trajano rendered a decision affirming with
qualification the order of Med-Arbiter Correa dated May 2, 1983, the pertinent portions of
which provide as follows:
It appears that the Calinog Refinery Employees, Union-NACUSIP-TUCP no longer
commands the support of the majority of the employees. This observation is buttressed by
the fact that more than seventy five percent (75%) of the workers have disaffiliated from the
intervenor and joined the ranks of the petitioner. Thus, intervenor's status as sole and
exclusive bargaining representative is now of doubtful validity.
For the above-mentioned reason, we stand obliged to resort to the most expeditious, practical
and democratic option open to us, that is, the conduct of a certification election. Through this
forum, the true sentiments of the workers as to which labor organization deserves their loyalty
can be fairly ascertained. In any event, it is our view that the 10 September 1983 collective
agreement should be respected by the union that shall prevail in the election not only
because it is an arbitration award but also because substantial benefits are provided
thereunder. Otherwise stated, the winning union shall administer said agreement. In passing,
it may be pointed out that CAREFCO has been included as one of the contending parties in
the election. We feel that it is error for the acting Med-Arbiter to do so considering that the
company is a mere bystander in this representation dispute.
WHEREFORE, as above qualified, the Order dated 2 May 1983 is affirmed.
SO DECIDED. (Rollo, pp. 40-41)

From the decision of respondent Director Trajano, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
dated December 6, 1983.
The respondent Director in his order dated March 21, 1984 denied the motion for
reconsideration for lack of merit and affirmed the Bureau's decision of November 18, 1983.
Hence, this petition.
This Court in a resolution dated December 10, 1984 resolved to grant the urgent motion of
petitioner for the issuance of a restraining order and issued a temporary restraining order
enjoining the respondents from conducting and holding the certification election on December
17, 1984 among the rank and file employees of respondent company (see Rollo, p. 99).
Petitioner maintains that respondent Director Trajano committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it rendered a decision affirming the order of MedArbiter Correa finding that the deadlock is "nothing but a mere subterfuge to obstruct the
exercise of the workers of their legitimate right to self-organization, a last minute maneuver to
deny the workers the exercise of their constitutional rights" (Rollo, p. 28) and ordering a
certification election among the rank and file workers of respondent company.
Furthermore, petitioner stresses that the finding that the contract (deadlock) bar rule has no
room for application in the instant case, runs counter to the provision of Section 3 of the
Rules Implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 130 which prohibits the filing of a petition for
certification election during the pendency of a bargaining deadlock.
In conformity with the petitioner's contentions, the Solicitor General insists that the
respondent Director has acted arbitrarily in issuing the assailed decision and order. In
addition, it argues that the CBA concluded on September 10, 1983 has a life span of three (3)
years and constitutes a bar to the petition for certification election pursuant to Section 3 of the
Rules Implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 130.
The pivotal issue therefore, is whether or not a petition for certification election may be filed
during the pendency of a bargaining deadlock submitted to arbitration or conciliation.
After a careful review of the records of this case, the Court finds the petition meritorious and
holds that the respondent Director gravely abused his discretion when he affirmed the order
of Med-Arbiter Correa calling for a certification election among the rank and file workers of
private respondent company.
The law on the matter is Section 3, Book V, Rule V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the
Labor Code, to wit:
Sec. 3. When to file. In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement duly registered in
accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification election may be filed at any
time. However, no certification election may be held within one year from the date of issuance
of a final certification election result. Neither may a representation question be entertained if,
before the filing of a petition for certification election, a bargaining deadlock to which an
incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a party had been submitted to conciliation or
arbitration or had become the subject of valid notice or strike or lockout.
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in accordance with Article 231
of the Code, a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be
entertained within sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of such agreement.

18

The clear mandate of the aforequoted section is that a petition for certification election may
be filed at any time, in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the
rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election in the following cases:
(1) during the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the freedom
period;
(2) within one (1) year from the date of issuance of declaration of a final certification election
result; or
(3) during the existence of a bargaining deadlock to which an incumbent or certified
bargaining agent is a party and which had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had
become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout.
The Deadlock Bar Rule simply provides that a petition for certification election can only be
entertained if there is no pending bargaining deadlock submitted to conciliation or arbitration
or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout. The principal purpose is to
ensure stability in the relationship of the workers and the management.
In the case at bar, a bargaining deadlock was already submitted to arbitration when private
respondent FUR-TUCP filed a petition for certification election. The same petition was
dismissed for lack of merit by the Acting Med-Arbiter in an order dated July 23, 1982 on the
sole ground that the petition is barred by a pending bargaining deadlock. However,
respondent Director set aside the same order and subsequently affirmed an order giving due
course to the petition for certification election and ordering that an election be held.
The law demands that the petition for certification election should fail in the presence of a
then pending bargaining deadlock.
A director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, by the nature of his functions, acts in a quasijudicial capacity. We find no reason why his decision should be beyond this Court's review.
Administrative officials, like the director of the Bureau of Labor Relations are presumed to act
in accordance with law but this Court will not hesitate to pass upon their work where there is a

showing of abuse of authority or discretion in their official acts or when their decisions or
orders are tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness.
Noteworthy is the fact that a certification was issued by Executive Labor Arbiter Celerino
Grecia II on October 21, 1982 certifying that the petition for deadlock in RAB Case No. VI0220-82 was forwarded to the Executive Labor Arbiter for compulsory arbitration (see Rollo,
p. 19). The respondent Director erred in finding that the order issued by the Med-Arbiter
dismissing the petition for certification election was irregular and was merely based on
information.
All premises considered, the Court is convinced that the assailed decision and order of the
respondent Director is tainted with arbitrariness that would amount to grave abuse of
discretion.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED; the decision dated November 18, 1983 and order
dated March 21, 1984 of the respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano are hereby nullified
and the order of Med-Arbiter Militante dated July 23, 1982 dismissing the petition for
certification election is hereby reinstated.
SO ORDERED.

19