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DEL.0 St.

Martin Funeral Homes v NLRC


FACTS: Private respondent alleges that he started working as Operations Manager of petitioner St.
Martin Funeral Home on February 6, 1995. However, there was no contract of employment executed
between him and petitioner nor was his name included in the semi-monthly payroll. On January 22, 1996,
he was dismissed from his employment for allegedly misappropriating P38,000.00. Petitioner on the other
hand claims that private respondent was not its employee but only the uncle of Amelita Malabed, the
owner of petitioner St. Martins Funeral Home and in January 1996, the mother of Amelita passed away,
so the latter took over the management of the business. Amelita made some changes in the business
operation and private respondent and his wife were no longer allowed to participate in the management
thereof. As a consequence, the latter filed a complaint charging that petitioner had illegally terminated his
employment. The labor arbiter rendered a decision in favor of petitioner declaring that no employeremployee relationship existed between the parties and therefore his office had no jurisdiction over the
case.
ISSUE: Whether the decision of the NLRC are appealable to the Court of Appeals.
RULING: The Court ruled that all references in the amended Section 9 of B.P. No. 129 to supposed
appeals from the NLRC to the Supreme Court are interpreted and hereby declared to mean and refer to
petitions for certiorari under Rule 65. Consequently, all such petitions should henceforth be initially filed
in the Court of Appeals in strict observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of courts as the appropriate
forum for the relief desired. The Court of Appeals stated in its decision that the issue it had to resolve
waswhether or not the public respondent NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion when it declared
that no employer-employee relationship exists between the petitioner and the private respondents, since
the petitioner failed to prove such fact by substantial evidence. Errors of judgment, as distinguished
from errors of jurisdiction, are not within the province of a special civil action for certiorari, which is
merely confined to issues of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. The Court of Appeals, therefore,
could grant the petition for certiorari if it finds that the NLRC, in its assailed decision or resolution,
committed grave abuse of discretion. Necessarily, the appellate court can only evaluate the materiality or
significance of the evidence, which is alleged to have been capriciously, whimsically, or arbitrarily
disregarded by the NLRC, in relation to all other evidence on record. Thus, contrary to the contention of
petitioner, the Court of Appeals can review the finding of facts of the NLRC and the evidence of the
parties to determine whether the NLRC gravely abused its discretion in finding that no employeremployee relationship existed between petitioner and respondent.

DEL.1 Gonzales v. CAGR No. 59495-97


FACTS: The petitioner Gregorio Gonzales is the owner of an apartment located in Caloocan City. Three
doors were leased to the private respondents for less than P200.00 a month in rentals. Petitioner filed
three separate complaints for ejectment against the private respondents in the City Court now
Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC). According to him, he is in need of the premises for the use of his
married children who do not allegedly have residences of their own, which is a ground for ejectment
under the provisions of Batas Blg. 25. The private respondents duly filed their answers, after which the
cases were consolidated and then heard. MeTC rendered a decision ejecting the private respondents.
Respondents appealed to the Regional Trial Court. RTC affirmed the decision of MeTC. The Court of
Appeals (CA) dismissed the ejectment cases on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the MeTC for failure of the
parties to undergo a confrontation at the barangay level as required by P.D. No. 1508. Hence, the petition.

ISSUE: Whether CA is correct is correct in dismissing the case for failure of the parties to undergo the
conciliation process at the barangay level.

RULING: No. The decision of CA is set aside. Jurisdiction means the power to try and decide a case.
The lupon does not decide cases. It is vested only with conciliation functions. It is not a court of law. PD
No. 1508 does not vest jurisdiction in the lupong tagapayapa. In Ebol v. Amin, the Supreme Court held
that the conciliation process under PD 1508 is not jurisdictional. Jurisdiction is conferred by Batas Blg. 129
and the Judiciary Act of 1948, which states that MeTC has exclusive jurisdiction over forcible entry and
unlawful detainer cases. While in Royales v. Intermediate Appellate Court, the Supreme Court ruled that
"non-compliance with the condition precedent prescribed by P.D. 1508 could affect the sufficiency of the
plaintiff's cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable to dismissal on ground of lack of cause of
action or prematurity, however, "the same would not prevent a court of competent jurisdiction from exercising
its power of adjudication over the case before it, where the defendants, as in this case, failed to object to
such exercise of jurisdiction in their answer and even during the entire proceedings a quo. There is a
similar waiver in the cases at bar. There is no allegation in the private respondents' answers that the
petitioner failed to invoke the authority of the lupon tagapayapa before going to court. Moreover, they
took part in the trial, argued their case, and adduced their evidence. These amount to a waiver.