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Republic of the Philippines Respondent denied the charge and claimed that

SUPREME COURT the 119 union members were more than the
Manila 20% requirement for union registration. The
document "Sama-Samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi
THIRD DIVISION sa Unyon" which it presented in its petition for
certification election5 supported their claim of
119 members. Respondent also contended that
G.R. No. 196276 June 4, 2014
petitioner was estopped from assailing its legal
personality as it agreed to a certification election
TAKATA (PHILIPPINES) and actively participated in the pre-election
CORPORATION, Petitioner, conference of the certification election
vs. proceedings.6 Respondent argued that the union
BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS and members were informed of the contents of the
SAMAHANG LAKAS MANGGAGAWA NG documents they signed and that the 68
TAKATA (SALAMAT), Respondents. attendees to the organizational meeting
constituted more than 50% of the total union
DECISION membership, hence, a quo rumexisted for the
conduct of the said meeting.7
PERALTA, J.:
On August 27, 2009, DOLE Regional Director,
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari Atty. Ricardo S. Martinez, Sr., issued a
filed by petitioner TAKATA Philippines Decision8 granting the petition for cancellation of
Corporation assailing the Decision1 dated respondent's certificate of registration, the
December 22, 2010 and the Resolution 2 dated dispositive portion of which reads:
March 28, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. SP No. 112406. WHEREFORE, from the foregoing considerations,
the petition is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly,
On July 7, 2009, petitioner filed with the the respondent Union Certificate of Registration
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) No. RO400A-2009-05-01-UR-LAG, dated May
Regional Office a Petition3for Cancellation of the 19, 2009 is hereby REVOCKED (sic) and /or
Certificate of Union Registration of Respondent CANCELLED pursuant to paragraph (a) & (b),
Samahang Lakas Manggagawa ng Takata Section 3, Rule XIV of Department Order No.
(SALAMA1) on the ground that the latter is 40-03 and the Samahang Lakas ng Manggagawa
guilty of misrepresentation, false statement and ng TAKATA (SALAMAT) is hereby delisted from
fraud with respect to the number of those who the roll of legitimate labor organization of this
participated in the organizational meeting, the office.9
adoption and ratification of its Constitution and
By-Laws, and in the election of its officers. It In revoking respondent's certificate of
contended that in the May 1, 2009 registration, the Regional Director found that the
organizational meeting of respondent, only 68 68 employees who attended the organizational
attendees signed the attendance sheet, and meeting was obviously less than 20% of the
which number comprised only 17% of the total total number of 396 regular rank-and-file
number of the 396 regular rank- and-file employees which respondent sought to
employees which respondent sought to represent, hence, short of the union registration
represent, and hence, respondent failed to requirement; that the attendance sheet which
comply with the 20% minimum membership contained the signatures and names of the
requirement. Petitioner insisted that the union members totalling to 68 contradicted the
document "Pangalan ng mga Kasapi ng Unyon" list of names stated in the document
bore no signatures of the alleged 119 union denominated as "Pangalan ng mga Kasaping
members; and that employees were not given Unyon." The document "Sama-Samang Pahayag
sufficient information on the documents they ng Pagsapi" was not attached to the application
signed; that the document "Sama-Samang for registration as it was only submitted in the
Pahayag ng Pagsapi" was not submitted at the petition for certification election filed by
time of the filing of respondent's application for respondent at a later date. The Regional
union registration; that the 119 union members Director also found that the proceedings in the
were actually only 117; and, that the total cancellation of registration and certification
number of petitioner's employees as of May 1, elections are two different and entirely separate
2009 was 470, and not 396 as respondent and independent proceedings which were not
claimed.4 dependent on each other.
Dissatisfied, respondent, through Bukluran ng and that there was no requirement for
Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Paralegal Officer, signatures opposite the names of the union
Domingo P. Mole, filed a Notice and members; and there was no evidence showing
Memorandum of Appeal10 with the Bureau of that the employees assailed their inclusion in
Labor Relations (BLR). However, on September the list of union members.
28,2009, respondent, through its counsels,
Attys. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration,
which was denied by the BLR in a
Napoleon C. Banzuela, Jr. and Jehn Louie W. Resolution16 dated January 8, 2010.
Velandrez, filed an Appeal Memorandum with
Formal Entry of Appearance11 to the Office of the Undaunted, petitioner went to the CA via a
DOLE Secretary, which the latter eventually petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
referred to the BLR. Petitioner filed an
Opposition to the Appeals12 praying for their
After the submission of the parties' respective
dismissal on the ground of forum shopping as
pleadings, the case was submitted for decision.
respondent filed two separate appeals in two
separate venues; and for failing to avail of the
correct remedy within the period; and that the On December 22, 2010, the CA rendered its
certificate of registration was tainted with fraud, assailed decision which denied the petition and
misrepresentation and falsification. affirmed the decision of the BLR. Petitioner's
motion for reconsideration was denied in a
Resolution dated March 29, 2011.
In its Answer,13 respondent claimed that there
was no forum shopping as BMP's Paralegal
Officer was no longer authorized to file an Hence this petition for review filed by petitioner
appeal on behalf of respondent as the latter's raising the following issues, to wit:
link with BMP was already terminated and only
the Union President was authorized to file the THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
appeal; and that it complied with Department COMMITTED GRAVE AND SERIOUS ERROR IN
Order No. 40-03. AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF PUBLIC
RESPONDENT BLR AND NOT FINDING ANY
On December 9, 2009, after considering VIOLATION BY SAMAHANG LAKAS
respondent's Appeal Memorandum with Formal MANGGAGAWA SA TAKATA (SALAMAT) OF THE
Entry of Appearance and petitioner's Answer, the RULE ON FORUM SHOPPING IN THE FILING OF
BLR rendered its Decision14 reversing the Order TWO VERIFIED APPEALS FOR AND ITS BEHALF.
of the Regional Director, the decretal portion of BOTH OF THE APPEALS SHOULD HAVE BEEN
which reads: DISMISSED OUTRIGHT BY PUBLIC RESPONDENT
BLR, ON GROUND OF FORUM SHOPPING.
WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby GRANTED.
The Decision of Regional Director Ricardo S. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
Martinez, Sr., dated 27 August 2009, is hereby SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE
REVERSEDand SET ASIDE. APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF
SAMAHANG LAKAS MANGGAGAWA SA TAKATA
(SALAMAT) WAS COMPLIANT WITH THE LAW.
Accordingly, Samahang Lakas Manggagawa ng
CONSIDERING THE CIRCUMSTANCES
TAKATA (SALAMAT) shall remain in the roster of
OBTAINING IN THE REGISTRATION OF
labor organizations.15
SALAMAT, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SAME IS
TAINTED WITH FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION
In reversing, the BLR found that petitioner failed AND FALSIFICATION. SALAMAT DID NOT
to prove that respondent deliberately and POSSESS THE REQUIREDNUMBER OF MEMBERS
maliciously misrepresented the number of rank- AT THE TIME OF FILING OF ITS APPLICATION
and-file employees. It pointed out petitioner's FOR REGISTRATION, HENCE, IT SHOULD BE
basis for the alleged noncompliance with the HELD GUILTY OF MISREPRESENTATION, AND
minimum membership requirement for FALSE STATEMENTS AND FRAUD IN
registration was the attendance of 68 members CONNECTION THEREWITH.17
to the May 1, 2009 organizational meeting
supposedly comprising only 17% of the total
Anent the first issue, petitioner contends that
396 regular rank-and-file employees. However,
respondent had filed two separate appeals with
the BLR found that the list of employees who
two different representations at two different
participated in the organizational meeting was a
venues, in violation of the rule on multiplicity of
separate and distinct requirement from the list
suits and forum shopping, and instead of
of the names of members comprising at least
dismissing both appeals, the appeal erroneously
20% of the employees in the bargaining unit;
filed before the Labor Secretary was the one Banzuela and Associates, which the Labor
held validly filed, entertained and even granted; Secretary referred to the BLR was the only
that it is not within the discretion of BLR to existing appeal with the BLR for resolution.
choose which between the two appeals should There is, therefore, no merit to petitioner's claim
be entertained, as it is the fact of the filing of that BLR chose the appeal of Banzuela and
the two appeals that is being prohibited and not Associates over Mole's appeal.
who among the representatives therein
possessed the authority. The case of Abbott Laboratories Philippines, Inc.
v. Abbott Laboratories Employees Union20 cited
We are not persuaded. by petitioner is not at all applicable in this case
as the issue therein is the authority of the Labor
We find no error committed by the CA in finding Secretary to review the decision of the Bureau
that respondent committed no forum shopping. of Labor Relations rendered in the exercise of its
As the CA correctly concluded, to wit: appellate jurisdiction over decision of the
Regional Director in cases involving
cancellations of certificate of registration of
It is undisputed that BMP Paralegal Officer
labor unions. We found no grave abuse of
Domingo P. Mole was no longer authorized to file
discretion committed by the Secretary of Labor
an appeal on behalf of union SALAMAT and that
in not acting on therein petitioner's appeal. The
BMP was duly informed that its services was
decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations on
already terminated. SALAMAT even submitted
cases brought before it on appeal from the
before the BLR its "Resolusyon Blg. 01-2009"
Regional Director are final and executory.
terminating the services of BMP and revoking
Hence, the remedy of the aggrieved party is to
the representation of Mr. Domingo Mole in any
seasonably avail of the special civil action of
of the pending cases being handled by him on
certiorari under Rule 65 and the Rules of Court.
behalf of the union. So, considering that BMP
In this case, after the Labor Secretary motu
Paralegal Officer Domingo P. Mole was no longer
propio referred respondent's appeal filed with it
authorized to file an appeal when it filed the
to the BLR which rendered its decision reversing
Notice and Memorandum of Appeal to DOLE
the Regional Director, petitioner went directly to
Regional Office No. IV-A, the same can no
the CA via a petition for certiorari under Rule
longer be treated as an appeal filed by union
65.
SALAMAT. Hence, there is no forum shopping to
speak of in this case as only the Appeal
Memorandum with Formal Entry of Appearance As to the second issue, petitioner seeks the
filed by Atty. Napoleon C. Banzuela, Jr. and Atty. cancellation of respondent's registration on
Jehn Louie W. Velandrez is sanctioned by grounds offraud and misrepresentation bearing
SALAMAT.18 on the minimum requirement of the law as to its
membership, considering the big disparity in
numbers, between the organizational meeting
Since Mole's appeal filed with the BLR was not
and the list of members, and so misleading the
specifically authorized by respondent, such
BLR that it obtained the minimum required
appeal is considered to have not been filed at
number of employees for purposes of
all. It has been held that "if a complaint is filed
organization and registration.
for and in behalf of the plaintiff who is not
authorized to do so, the complaint is not
deemed filed. We find no merit in the arguments.

An unauthorized complaint does not produce Art. 234 of the Labor Code provides:
any legal effect."19
ART. 234. Requirements of Registration. - A
Respondent through its authorized federation, national union or industry or trade
representative filed its Appeal Memorandum union center or an independent union shall
with Formal Entry of Appearance before the acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to
Labor Secretary, and not with the BLR. As the the rights and privileges granted by law to
appeal emanated from the petition for legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of
cancellation of certificate of registration filed the certificate of registration based on the
with the Regional Office, the decision canceling following requirements:
the registration is appealable to the BLR, and
not with the Labor Secretary. However, since the (a) Fifty pesos (P50.00)registration fee;
Labor Secretary motu propio referred the appeal
with the BLR, the latter can now act on it. (b) The names of its officers, their
Considering that Mole's appeal with the BLR was addresses, the principal address of the
not deemed filed, respondents appeal, through
labor organization, the minutes of the circumstances and evidence.21 We find no
organizational meetings and the list of evidence on record to support petitioner's
the workers who participated in such accusation.
meetings;
Petitioner's allegation of misrepresentation and
(c) In case the applicant is an fraud is based on its claim that during the
independent union, the names of all its organizational meeting on May 1, 2009, only 68
members comprising at least twenty employees attended, while respondent claimed
percent (20%) of all the employees in that it has 119 members as shown in the
the bargaining unit where it seeks to document denominated as "Pangalan ng mga
operate; Kasapi ng Unyon;" hence, respondent
misrepresented on the 20% requirement of the
(d) If the applicant union has been in law as to its membership.
existence for one or more years, copies
of its annual financial reports; and We do not agree.

(e) Four copies of the constitution and It does not appear in Article 234 (b) of the
by-laws of the applicant union, minutes Labor Code that the attendees in the
of its adoption or ratification, and the list organizational meeting must comprise 20% of
of the members who participated in it." the employees in the bargaining unit. In fact,
even the Implementing Rules and Regulations of
And after the issuance of the certificate of the Labor Code does not so provide. It is only
registration, the labor organization's registration under Article 234 (c) that requires the names of
could be assailed directly through cancellation of all its members comprising at least twenty
registration proceedings in accordance with percent (20%) of all the employees in the
Articles 238 and 239 of the Labor Code. And the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate.
cancellation of union certificate of registration Clearly, the 20% minimum requirement pertains
and the grounds thereof are as follows: to the employees membership in the union and
not to the list of workers who participated in the
organizational meeting. Indeed, Article 234 (b)
ART. 238. Cancellation of Registration. - The
and (c) provide for separate requirements,
certificate of registration of any legitimate labor
which must be submitted for the union's
organization, whether national or local, may be
registration, and which respondent did submit.
cancelled by the Bureau, after due hearing, only
Here, the total number of employees in the
on the grounds specified in Article 239 hereof.
bargaining unit was 396, and 20% of which was
about 79. Respondent submitted a document
ART. 239. Grounds for Cancellation of Union entitled "Pangalan ng Mga Kasapi ng Unyon"
Registration. - The following may constitute showing the names of 119 employees as union
grounds for cancellation of union registration: members, thus respondent sufficiently complied
even beyond the 20% minimum membership
(a) Misrepresentation, false statement or requirement. Respondent also submitted the
fraud in connection with the adoption or attendance sheet of the organizational meeting
ratification of the constitution and by- which contained the names and signatures of
laws or amendments thereto, the the 68 union members who attended the
minutes of ratification, and the list of meeting. Considering that there are 119 union
members who took part in the members which are more than 20% of all the
ratification; employees of the bargaining unit, and since the
law does not provide for the required number of
(b) Misrepresentation, false statements members to attend the organizational meeting,
or fraud in connection with the election the 68 attendees which comprised at least the
of officers, minutes of the election of majority of the 119 union members would
officers, and the list of voters; already constitute a quorum for the meeting to
proceed and to validly ratify the Constitution
(c) Voluntary dissolution by the and By-laws of the union. There is, therefore, no
members. basis for petitioner to contend that grounds
exist for the cancellation of respondent's union
registration. For fraud and misrepresentation to
Petitioner's charge that respondent committed
be grounds for cancellation of union registration
misrepresentation and fraud in securing its
under Article 239 of the Labor Code, the nature
certificate of registration is a serious charge and
of the fraud and misrepresentation must be
must be carefully evaluated. Allegations thereof
should be compounded with supporting
grave and compelling enough to vitiate the organization. For fraud and misrepresentation to
consent of a majority of union members.22 be grounds for cancellation of union registration
under the Labor Code, the nature of the fraud
Petitioner's claim that the alleged union and misrepresentation must be grave and
members signed documents without adequate compelling enough to vitiate the consent of a
information is not persuasive. The one who majority of union members.1wphi1
alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and a
mere allegation is not evidence.23 In fact, we In this case, we agree with the BLR and the CA
note that not one of those listed in the that respondent could not have possibly
document denominated as "Pangalan ng Mga committed misrepresentation, fraud, or false
Kasaping Unyon" had come forward to deny statements. The alleged failure of respondent to
their membership with respondent. Notably, it indicate with mathematical precision the total
had not been rebutted that the same union number of employees in the bargaining unit is of
members had signed the document entitled no moment, especially as it was able to comply
"Sama-Samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi," thus, with the 20% minimum membership
strengtheningtheir desire to be members of the requirement. Even if the total number of rank-
respondent union. and-file employees of petitioner is 528, while
respondent declared that it should only be 455,
Petitioner claims that in the list of members, it still cannot be denied that the latter would
there was an employee whose name appeared have more than complied with the registration
twice and another employee who was merely a requirement.25
project employee. Such could not be considered
a misrepresentation in the absence of showing WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition
that respondent deliberately did so for the for review is DENIED. The Decision dated
purpose of increasing their union membership. December 22, 2010 and the Resolution dated
In fact, even if those two names were not March 28, 2011 of the Court of Appeals, in CA-
included in the list of union members, there G.R. SP No. 112406, are AFFIRMED.
would still be 117 members which was still more
than 20% of the 396 rank-and-file employees. SO ORDERED.

As to petitioner's argument that the total


number of its employees as of May 1, 2009 was
470, and not396 as respondent claimed, still the
117 union members comprised more than the
20% membership requirement for respondent's
registration.

In Mariwasa Siam Ceramics v. Secretary of the


Department of Labor and Employment, 24 we
said:

For the purpose of de-certifying a union such as


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

The bare fact that two signatures appeared


twice on the list of those who participated in the
organizational meeting would not, to our mind,
provide a valid reason to cancel respondents
certificate of registration. The cancellation of a
unions registration doubtless has an impairing
dimension on the right of labor to self-
FIRST DIVISION 3) The Constitution and by Laws submitted in
[G.R. No. 115077. April 18, 1997] support of its petition were not properly
PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT acknowledged and notarized.[3]
CORPORATION-PIZZA HUT, petitioner, vs. On August 30, 1993, petitioner filed a
HON. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, in his Petition[4] seeking the cancellation of the Union's
capacity as Undersecretary of Labor, and registration on the grounds of fraud and
NAGKAKAISANG LAKAS NG MANGGAGAWA falsification, docketed as BIR Case No. 8-21-83.
(NLM)-KATIPUNAN, respondents. [5]
Motion was likewise filed by petitioner with
DECISION the Med-Arbiter requesting suspension of
KAPUNAN, J.: proceedings in the certification election case
On July 9, 1993, Nagkakaisang Lakas ng until after the prejudicial question of the Union's
Manggagawa (NLM)-Katipunan (respondent legal personality is determined in the
Union) filed a petition for certification election proceedings for cancellation of registration.
with the Department of Labor (National Capital However, in an Order dated September 29,
Region) in behalf of the rank and file employees 1993,[6] Med-Arbiter Rasidali C. Abdullah
of the Progressive Development Corporation directed the holding of a certification election
(Pizza Hut) docketed as NCR Case No. NCR-OD- among petitioner's rank and file employees. The
M-9307-020.[1] Order explained:
Petitioner filed on August 20, 1993, a verified x x x Sumasaklaw sa Manggagawa ng Pizza Hut
Motion to Dismiss the petition alleging fraud, is a legitimate labor organization in
falsification and misrepresentation in the contemplation of law and shall remain as such
respondent Union's registration making it void until its very charter certificate is canceled or
and invalid. The motion specifically alleged that: otherwise revoked by competent authority. The
a) respondent Union's registration was tainted alleged misrepresentation, fraud and false
with false, forged, double or multiple signatures statement in connection with the issuance of the
of those who allegedly took part in the charter certificate are collateral issues which
ratification of the respondent Union's could be properly ventilated in the cancellation
constitution and by-laws and in the election of proceedings.[7]
its officers that there were two sets of supposed On appeal to the office of the Secretary of
attendees to the alleged organizational meeting Labor, Labor Undersecretary Bienvenido E.
that was alleged to have taken place on June Laguesma in a Resolution dated December 29,
26, 1993; that the alleged chapter is claimed to 1993[8] denied the same.
have been supported by 318 members when in A motion for reconsideration of the public
fact the persons who actually signed their respondent's resolution was denied in his
names were much less; and b) while the Order[9] dated January 27, 1994, hence, this
application for registration of the charter was special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of
supposed to have been approved in the the Revised Rules of Court where the principal
organizational meeting held on June 27, 1993, issue raised is whether or not the public
the charter certification issued by the federation respondent committed grave abuse of discretion
KATIPUNAN was dated June 26, 1993 or one (1) in affirming the Med-Arbiter's order to conduct a
day prior to the formation of the chapter, thus, certification election among petitioner's rank
there were serious falsities in the dates of the and file employees, considering that: (1)
issuance of the charter certification and the respondent Union's legal personality was
organization meeting of the alleged chapter. squarely put in issue; (2) allegations of fraud
Citing other instances of misrepresentation and and falsification, supported by documentary
fraud, petitioner, on August 29, 1993, filed a evidence were made; and (3) a petition to
Supplement to its Motion to Dismiss,[2] claiming cancel respondent Union's registration is
that: pending with the regional office of the
1) Respondent Union alleged that the election of Department of Labor and Employment.[10]
its officers was held on June 27, 1993; however, We grant the petition.
it appears from the documents submitted by In the public respondent's assailed Resolution
respondent union to the BIR-DOLE that the dated December 29, 1993, the suggestion is
Union's constitution and by-laws were adopted made that once a labor organization has filed
only on July 7, 1993, hence, there was no bases the necessary documents and papers and the
for the supposed election of officers on June 27, same have been certified under oath and
1993 because as of this date, there existed no attested to, said organization necessarily
positions to which the officers could be validly becomes clothed with the character of a
elected; legitimate labor organization. The resolution
2) Voting was not conducted by secret ballot in declares:
violation of Article 241, section (c) of the Labor Records show that at the time of the filing of the
Code; subject petition on 9 July 1993 by the petitioner
NLM-KATIPUNAN, for and in behalf of its local
affiliate Sumasaklaw sa Manggagawa ng Pizza adoption or ratification, and the list of the
Hut, the latter has been clothed with the status members who participated in it.
and/or character of a legitimate labor A more than cursory reading of the aforecited
organization. This is so, because on 8 July 1993, provisions clearly indicates that the
petitioner submitted to the Bureau of Labor requirements embodied therein are intended as
Relations (BLR), this Department, the following preventive measures against the commission of
documents: Charter Certificate, Minutes of the fraud. After a labor organization has filed the
Organizational Meeting, List of Officers, and necessary papers and documents for
their respective addresses, financial statement, registration, it becomes mandatory for the
Constitution and By-Laws (CBL, and the minutes Bureau of Labor Relations to check if the
of the ratification of the CBL). Said documents requirements under Article 234 have been
(except the charter certificate) are certified sedulously complied with. If its application for
under oath and attested to by the local union's registration is vitiated by falsification and
Secretary/Treasurer and President, respectively. serious irregularities, especially those appearing
As to the contention that the certification on the face of the application and the supporting
election proceedings should be suspended in documents, a labor organization should be
view of the pending case for the cancellation of denied recognition as a legitimate labor
the petitioner's certificate of registration, let it organization. And if a certificate of recognition
be stressed that the pendency of a cancellation has been issued, the propriety of the labor
case is not a ground for the dismissal or organization's registration could be assailed
suspension of a representation proceedings directly through cancellation of registration
considering that a registered labor organization proceedings in accordance with Articles 238 and
continues to be a legitimate one entitled to all 239 of the Labor Code, or indirectly, by
the rights appurtenant thereto until a final valid challenging its petition for the issuance of an
order is issued canceling such registration.[11] order for certification election.
In essence, therefore, the real controversy in These measures are necessary - and may be
this case centers on the question of whether or undertaken simultaneously - if the spirit behind
not, after the necessary papers and documents the Labor Code's requirements for registration
have been filed by a labor organization, are to be given flesh and blood. Registration
recognition by the Bureau of Labor Relations requirements specifically afford a measure of
merely becomes a ministerial function. protection to unsuspecting employees who may
We do not agree. be lured into joining unscrupulous or fly-by-
In the first place, the public respondent's views night unions whose sole purpose is to control
as expressed in his December 29, 1993 union funds or use the labor organization for
Resolution miss the entire point behind the illegitimate ends.[12] Such requirements are a
nature and purpose of proceedings leading to valid exercise of the police power, because the
the recognition of unions as legitimate labor activities in which labor organizations,
organizations. Article 234 of the Labor Code associations and unions of workers are engaged
provides: directly affect the public interest and should be
Art. 234. Requirements of registration. - Any protected.[13]
applicant labor organization, association or Thus, in Progressive Development Corporation
group of unions or workers shall acquire legal vs. Secretary of Labor and Employment,[14] we
personality and shall be entitled to the rights held:
and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor The controversy in this case centers on the
organizations upon issuance of the certificate of requirements before a local or chapter of a
registration based on the following federation may file a petition for certification
requirements: election and be certified as the sole and
(a) Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee; exclusive bargaining agent of the petitioner's
(b) The names of its officers, their addresses, employees.
the principal address of the labor organization, xxx
the minutes of the organizational meetings and But while Article 257 cited by the Solicitor
the list of the workers who participated in such General directs the automatic conduct of a
meetings; certification election in an unorganized
(c) The names of all its members comprising at establishment, it also requires that the petition
least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees for certification election must be filed by a
in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate; legitimate labor organization. xxx
(d) If the applicant union has been in existence xxx
for one or more years, copies of its annual xxx. The employer naturally needs assurance
financial reports; and that the union it is dealing with is a bona-fide
(e) Four (4) copies of the constitution and by- organization, one which has not submitted false
laws of the applicant union, minutes of its statements or misrepresentations to the
Bureau. The inclusion of the certification and
attestation requirements will in a marked degree the allegations of fraud and falsification were
allay these apprehensions of management. Not adequately supported by documentary evidence.
only is the issuance of any false statement and The Labor Code requires that in organized and
misrepresentation or ground for cancellation of unorganized[15] establishments, a petition for
registration (see Article 239 (a), (c) and (d)); it certification election must be filed by a
is also a ground for a criminal charge of perjury. legitimate labor organization. The acquisition of
The certification and attestation requirements rights by any union or labor organization,
are preventive measures against the particularly the right to file a petition for
commission of fraud. They likewise afford a certification election, first and foremost,
measure of protection to unsuspecting depends on whether or not the labor
employees who may be lured into joining organization has attained the status of a
unscrupulous or fly-by-night unions whose sole legitimate labor organization.
purpose is to control union funds or to use the In the case before us, the Med-Arbiter
union for dubious ends. summarily disregarded the petitioner's prayer
xxx that the former look into the legitimacy of the
xxx. It is not this Court's function to augment respondent Union by a sweeping declaration
the requirements prescribed by law in order to that the union was in the possession of a charter
make them wiser or to allow greater protection certificate so that "for all intents and purposes,
to the workers and even their employer. Our Sumasaklaw sa Manggagawa sa Pizza Hut (was)
only recourse is, as earlier discussed, to exact a legitimate labor organization."[16] Glossing over
strict compliance with what the law provides as the transcendental issue of fraud and
requisites for local or chapter formation. misrepresentation raised by herein petitioner,
xxx Med-Arbiter Rasidali Abdullah held that:
The Court's conclusion should not be The alleged misrepresentation, fraud and false
misconstrued as impairing the local union's right statement in connection with the issuance of the
to be certified as the employees' bargaining charter certificate are collateral issues which
agent in the petitioner's establishment. We are could be ventilated in the cancellation
merely saying that the local union must first proceedings.[17]
comply with the statutory requirements in order It cannot be denied that the grounds invoked by
to exercise this right. Big federations and petitioner for the cancellation of respondent
national unions of workers should take the lead Union's registration fall under paragraph (a) and
in requiring their locals and chapters to faithfully (c) of Article 239 of the Labor Code. to wit:
comply with the law and the rules instead of (a) Misrepresentation, false statement or fraud
merely snapping union after union into their in connection with the adoption or ratification of
folds in a furious bid with rival federations to get the constitution and by-laws or amendments
the most number of members. thereto, the minutes of ratification, the list of
Furthermore, the Labor Code itself grants the members who took part in the ratification of the
Bureau of Labor Relations a period of thirty (30) constitution and by-laws or amendments
days within which to review all applications for thereto, the minutes of ratification, the list of
registration.Article 235 provides: members who took part in the ratification;
"Art. 235. Action on application. - The Bureau xxx
shall act on all applications for registration (c) Misrepresentation, false statements or fraud
within thirty (30) days from filing. in connection with the election of officers,
All requisite documents and papers shall be minutes of the election of officers, the list of
certified under oath by the secretary or the voters, or failure to submit these documents
treasurer of the organization, as the case may together with the list of the newly elected-
be, and attested to by its president." appointed officers and their postal addresses
The thirty-day period in the aforecited provision within thirty (30) days from election
ensures that any action taken by the Bureau of xxx
Labor Relations is made in consonance with the The grounds ventilated in cancellation
mandate of the Labor Code, which, it bears proceedings in accordance with Article 239 of
emphasis, specifically requires that the basis for the Labor Code constitute a grave challenge to
the issuance of a certificate of registration the right of respondent Union to ask for
should be compliance with the requirements for certification election. The Med-Arbiter should
recognition under Article 234. Since, obviously, have looked into the merits of the petition for
recognition of a labor union or labor cancellation before issuing an order calling for
organization is not merely a ministerial function, certification election. Registration based on false
the question now arises as to whether or not the and fraudulent statements and documents
public respondent committed grave abuse of confer no legitimacy upon a labor organization
discretion in affirming the Med-Arbiter's order in irregularly recognized, which, at best, holds on
spite of the fact that the question of the Union's to a mere scrap of paper. Under such
legitimacy was squarely put in issue and that circumstances, the labor organization, not being
a legitimate labor organization, acquires no THIRD DIVISION
rights, particularly the right to ask for G.R. No. 183317 December 21,
certification election in a bargaining unit. 2009
As we laid emphasis in Progressive MARIWASA SIAM CERAMICS,
Development Corporation Labor,[18] "[t]he INC., Petitioner,
employer needs the assurance that the union it vs.
is dealing with is a bona fide organization, one THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
which has not submitted false statements or LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, CHIEF OF THE
misrepresentations to the Bureau." Clearly, BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS,
fraud, falsification and misrepresentation in DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND
obtaining recognition as a legitimate labor EMPLOYMENT, REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF
organization are contrary to the Med-Arbiter's DOLE REGIONAL OFFICE NUMBER IV-A &
conclusion not merely collateral issues. The SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA
invalidity of respondent Union's registration MARIWASA SIAM CERAMICS, INC. (SMMSC-
would negate its legal personality to participate INDEPENDENT), Respondents.
in certification election. DECISION
Once a labor organization attains the status of a NACHURA, J.:
legitimate labor organization it begins to
possess all of the rights and privileges granted This is a petition for review on certiorari1 under
by law to such organizations. As such rights and Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to annul
privileges ultimately affect areas which are the Decision2 dated December 20, 2007 and the
constitutionally protected, the activities in which Resolution3 dated June 6, 2008 of the Court of
labor organizations, associations and unions are Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 98332.
engaged directly affect the public interest and The antecedent facts are as follows
should be zealously protected. A strict On May 4, 2005, respondent Samahan Ng Mga
enforcement of the Labor Code's requirements Manggagawa Sa Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc.
for the acquisition of the status of a legitimate (SMMSC-Independent) was issued a Certificate
labor organization is in order. of Registration4 as a legitimate labor
Inasmuch as the legal personality of respondent organization by the Department of Labor and
Union had been seriously challenged, it would Employment (DOLE), Region IV-A.
have been more prudent for the Med-Arbiter and On June 14, 2005, petitioner Mariwasa Siam
public respondent to have granted petitioner's Ceramics, Inc. filed a Petition for Cancellation of
request for the suspension of proceedings in the Union Registration against respondent, claiming
certification election case, until the issue of the that the latter violated Article 2345 of the Labor
legality of the Union's registration shall have Code for not complying with the 20%
been resolved. Failure of the Med-Arbiter and requirement, and that it committed massive
public respondent to heed the request fraud and misrepresentation in violation of
constituted a grave abuse of discretion. Article 2396 of the same code. The case was
docketed as Case No. RO400-0506-AU-004.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the On August 26, 2005, the Regional Director of
instant petition is GRANTED and the Resolution DOLE IV-A issued an Order granting the petition,
and Order of the public respondent dated revoking the registration of respondent, and
December 29, 1993 and January 24, 1994, delisting it from the roster of active labor
respectively, are hereby SET ASIDE. unions.
The case is REMANDED to the Med-Arbiter to Aggrieved, respondent appealed to the Bureau
resolve with reasonable dispatch petitioner's of Labor Relations (BLR).
petition for cancellation of respondent Union's In a Decision7 dated June 14, 2006, the BLR
registration granted respondents appeal and disposed as
follows
SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal
by Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Mariwasa Siam
Ceramics, Inc. (SMMSC-Independent) is hereby
GRANTED, and the Decision dated 26 August
2005 by DOLE-Region-IV-A Director Maximo B.
Lim is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Mariwasa Siam
Ceramics, Inc. (SMMSC-Independent), under
Registration Certificate No. RO400-200505-UR-
002, remains in the roster of legitimate labor
Republic of the Philippines organizations.
SUPREME COURT SO DECIDED.8
Manila
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration but The first common allegation in the affidavits is a
the BLR denied it in a Resolution9 dated declaration that, in spite of his hesitation, the
February 2, 2007. affiant was forced and deceived into joining the
Petitioner sought recourse with the Court of respondent union. It is worthy to note, however,
Appeals (CA) through a Petition for Certiorari; that the affidavit does not mention the identity
but the CA denied the petition for lack of merit. of the people who allegedly forced and deceived
Petitioners motion for reconsideration of the CA the affiant into joining the union, much less the
Decision was likewise denied, hence, this circumstances that constituted such force and
petition based on the following grounds deceit. Indeed, not only was this allegation
Review of the Factual Findings of the Bureau of couched in very general terms and sweeping in
Labor Relations, adopted and confirmed by the nature, but more importantly, it was not
Honorable Court of Appeals is warranted[;] supported by any evidence whatsoever.
The Honorable Court of Appeals seriously erred The second allegation ostensibly bares the
in ruling that the affidavits of recantation cannot affiants regret for joining respondent union and
be given credence[;] expresses the desire to abandon or renege from
The Honorable Court of Appeals seriously erred whatever agreement he may have signed
in ruling that private respondent union complied regarding his membership with respondent.
with the 20% membership requirement[; and] Simply put, through these affidavits, it is made
The Honorable Court of Appeals seriously erred to appear that the affiants recanted their
when it ruled that private respondent union did support of respondents application for
not commit misrepresentation, fraud or false registration.
statement.10 In appreciating affidavits of recantation such as
The petition should be denied. these, our ruling in La Suerte Cigar and
The petitioner insists that respondent failed to Cigarette Factory v. Director of the Bureau of
comply with the 20% union membership Labor Relations11 is enlightening, viz.
requirement for its registration as a legitimate On the second issuewhether or not the
labor organization because of the disaffiliation withdrawal of 31 union members from NATU
from the total number of union members of 102 affected the petition for certification election
employees who executed affidavits recanting insofar as the 30% requirement is concerned,
their union membership. We reserve the Order of the respondent Director
It is, thus, imperative that we peruse the of the Bureau of Labor Relations, it appearing
affidavits appearing to have been executed by undisputably that the 31 union members had
these affiants. withdrawn their support to the petition before
the filing of said petition. It would be otherwise
The affidavits uniformly state if the withdrawal was made after the filing of the
Ako, _____________, Pilipino, may sapat na petition for it would then be presumed that the
gulang, regular na empleyado bilang Rank & File withdrawal was not free and voluntary. The
sa Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc., Bo. San presumption would arise that the withdrawal
Antonio, Sto. Tomas, Batangas, matapos na was procured through duress, coercion or for
makapanumpa ng naaayon sa batas ay malaya valuable consideration. In other words, the
at kusang loob na nagsasaad ng mga distinction must be that withdrawals made
sumusunod: before the filing of the petition are presumed
1. Ako ay napilitan at nilinlang sa pagsapi sa voluntary unless there is convincing proof to the
Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Mariwasa contrary, whereas withdrawals made after the
Siam Ceramics, Inc. o SMMSC-Independent sa filing of the petition are deemed involuntary.
kabila ng aking pag-aalinlangan[;] The reason for such distinction is that if the
2. Aking lubos na pinagsisihan ang aking withdrawal or retraction is made before the filing
pagpirma sa sipi ng samahan, at handa ako[ng] of the petition, the names of employees
tumalikod sa anumang kasulatan na aking supporting the petition are supposed to be held
nalagdaan sa kadahilanan na hindi angkop sa secret to the opposite party. Logically, any such
aking pananaw ang mga mungkahi o adhikain withdrawal or retraction shows voluntariness in
ng samahan. the absence of proof to the contrary. Moreover,
SA KATUNAYAN NANG LAHAT, ako ay lumagda it becomes apparent that such employees had
ng aking pangalan ngayong ika-____ ng not given consent to the filing of the petition,
______, 2005 dito sa Lalawigan ng Batangas, hence the subscription requirement has not
Bayan ng Sto. Tomas. been met.
____________________ When the withdrawal or retraction is made after
Nagsasalaysay the petition is filed, the employees who are
Evidently, these affidavits were written and supporting the petition become known to the
prepared in advance, and the pro forma opposite party since their names are attached to
affidavits were ready to be filled out with the the petition at the time of filing. Therefore, it
employees names and signatures. would not be unexpected that the opposite party
would use foul means for the subject employees merely requires a 20% minimum membership
to withdraw their support.12 during the application for union registration. It
In the instant case, the affidavits of recantation does not mandate that a union must maintain
were executed after the identities of the union the 20% minimum membership requirement all
members became public, i.e., after the union throughout its existence.141avvphi1
filed a petition for certification election on May Respondent asserts that it had a total of 173
23, 2005, since the names of the members were union members at the time it applied for
attached to the petition. The purported registration. Two names were repeated in
withdrawal of support for the registration of the respondents list and had to be deducted, but
union was made after the documents were the total would still be 171 union members.
submitted to the DOLE, Region IV-A. The logical Further, out of the four names alleged to be no
conclusion, therefore, following jurisprudence, is longer connected with petitioner, only two
that the employees were not totally free from names should be deleted from the list since
the employers pressure, and so the Diana Motilla and T.W. Amutan resigned from
voluntariness of the employees execution of the petitioner only on May 10, 2005 and May 17,
affidavits becomes suspect. 2005, respectively, or after respondents
It is likewise notable that the first batch of 25 registration had already been granted. Thus, the
pro forma affidavits shows that the affidavits total union membership at the time of
were executed by the individual affiants on registration was 169. Since the total number of
different dates from May 26, 2005 until June 3, rank-and-file employees at that time was 528,
2005, but they were all sworn before a notary 169 employees would be equivalent to 32% of
public on June 8, 2005. the total rank-and-file workers complement, still
There was also a second set of standardized very much above the minimum required by law.
affidavits executed on different dates from May For the purpose of de-certifying a union such as
26, 2005 until July 6, 2005. While these 77 respondent, it must be shown that there was
affidavits were notarized on different dates, 56 misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in
of these were notarized on June 8, 2005, the connection with the adoption or ratification of
very same date when the first set of 25 was the constitution and by-laws or amendments
notarized. thereto; the minutes of ratification; or, in
Considering that the first set of 25 affidavits was connection with the election of officers, the
submitted to the DOLE on June 14, 2005, it is minutes of the election of officers, the list of
surprising why petitioner was able to submit the voters, or failure to submit these documents
second set of affidavits only on July 12, 2005. together with the list of the newly elected-
Accordingly, we cannot give full credence to appointed officers and their postal addresses to
these affidavits, which were executed under the BLR.15
suspicious circumstances, and which contain The bare fact that two signatures appeared
allegations unsupported by evidence. At best, twice on the list of those who participated in the
these affidavits are self-serving. They possess organizational meeting would not, to our mind,
no probative value. provide a valid reason to cancel respondents
A retraction does not necessarily negate an certificate of registration. The cancellation of a
earlier declaration. For this reason, retractions unions registration doubtless has an impairing
are looked upon with disfavor and do not dimension on the right of labor to self-
automatically exclude the original statement or organization. For fraud and misrepresentation to
declaration based solely on the recantation. It is be grounds for cancellation of union registration
imperative that a determination be first made as under the Labor Code, the nature of the fraud
to which between the original and the new and misrepresentation must be grave and
statements should be given weight or accorded compelling enough to vitiate the consent of a
belief, applying the general rules on evidence. In majority of union members.
this case, inasmuch as they remain bare In this case, we agree with the BLR and the CA
allegations, the purported recantations should that respondent could not have possibly
not be upheld.13 committed misrepresentation, fraud, or false
Nevertheless, even assuming the veracity of the statements. The alleged failure of respondent to
affidavits of recantation, the legitimacy of indicate with mathematical precision the total
respondent as a labor organization must be number of employees in the bargaining unit is of
affirmed. While it is true that the withdrawal of no moment, especially as it was able to comply
support may be considered as a resignation with the 20% minimum membership
from the union, the fact remains that at the requirement. Even if the total number of rank-
time of the unions application for registration, and-file employees of petitioner is 528, while
the affiants were members of respondent and respondent declared that it should only be 455,
they comprised more than the required 20% it still cannot be denied that the latter would
membership for purposes of registration as a have more than complied with the registration
labor union. Article 234 of the Labor Code requirement.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The On 21 June 1996,[7] the Regional Director of the
assailed December 20, 2007 Decision and the Bureau of Labor Relations decreed the
June 6, 2008 Resolution of the Court of Appeals cancellation of ALEU's registration certificate No.
are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. NCR-UR-II-1585-95.[8] In its decision, the
SO ORDERED. Regional Director adopted the 13 June
1996[9] findings and recommendations of the
Med-Arbiter. It ruled that the union has failed to
FIRST DIVISION sliow that the rank-and-file employees in the
[G.R. No.131374. January 26, 2000] manufacturing unit of ABBOTT were bound by a
ABBOTT LABORATORIES PHILIPPINES, common interest to justify the formation of a
INC., petitioner, vs. ABBOTT bargaining unit separate from those belonging
LABORATORIES EMPLOYEES UNION, MR. to the sales and office staff units. There was,
CRESENCIANO TRAJANO, in his capacity as therefore, sufficient reason to assume that the
Acting Secretary of The Department of entire membership of the rank-and-file
Labor and Employment and MR. consisting of 286 employees or the "employer
BENEDICTO ERNESTO BITONIO, JR., in his unit" make up the appropriate bargaining unit.
capacity as Director IV of the Bureau of However, it was clear on the record that the
Labor Relations, respondents. ULANDU union's application for registration was
DECISION supported by 30 signatures of its members or
DAVIDE, JR., C.J.: barely constituting 10% of the entire rank-and-
This special civil action file employees of ABBOTT. Thus the Regional
for certiorari and mandamus assails the action Director found that for ALEU's failure to satisfy
of the then Acting Secretary of Labor and the requirements of union registration under
Employment Cresenciano. B. Trajano contained Article 234 of the Labor Code; the cancellation
in its letter dated 19 September 1997, of its certificate of registration was in order.
[1]
informing petitioner Abbott Laboratories Forthwith, on 19 August 11996,[10] ALEU
Philippines, Inc. (hereafter ABBOTT), thru its appealed said cancellation to the Office of the
counsel that the Office of the Secretary of Labor Secretary of Labor and Employment, which
cannot act on ABBOTT's appeal from the referred the same to the Director of the Bureau
decision of 31 March 1997[2] and the Order of 9 of Labor Relations. The said appeal was
July 1997[3] of the Bureau of Labor Relations, for docketed as Case No. BLR-A-10-25-96.
lack of appellate jurisdiction. On 31 March 1997,[11] the Bureau of Labor
ABBOTT is a corporation engaged in the Relations rendered judgment reversing the 21
manufacture and distribution of pharmaceutical June 1996 decision of the Regional Director,
drugs. On 22 February 1996,[4] the Abbott thus:
Laboratories Employees Union (hereafter ALEU) WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED and the
represented by its president, Alvin B. Buerano, decision of the Regional Director dated 21 June
filed an application for union registration in the 1996 is hereby REVERSED. Abbott Laboratories
Department of Labor and Employment. ALEU Employees Union shall remain in the roster of
alleged in the application that it is a labor legitimate labor organizations, with all the
organization with members consisting of 30 rights, privileges and obligations appurtenant
rank-and-file employees in the manufacturing thereto.[12]
unit of ABBOTT and that there was no certified It gave the following reasons to justify the
bargaining agent in the unit it sought to reversal: ( 1) Article 234 of the Labor Code does
represent, namely, the manufacturing unit. not require an applicant union to show proof of
On 28 February 1996,[5] ALEU's application was the "desirability of more than one Ibargaining
approved by the Bureau of Labor Relations, unit within an employer unit," and the absence
which in due course issued Certificate of of such proof is not a ground for the cancellation
Registration No. NCR-UR-2-1638-96. of a union's registration pursuant to Article 239
Consequently, ALEU became a legitimate labor of Book V, Rule II of the implementing rules of
organization. the Labor Code; (2) the issue pertaining to the
On 2 April 1996,[6] ABBOTT filed a petition for appropriateness of a bargaining unit cannot be
cancellation of the Certificate of Registration No. raised in a cancellation proceeding but may be
NCR-UR-2-1638-96 in the Regional Office of the threshed out in the exclusion-inclusion process
Bureau of Labor Relations. This case was during a certification election; and (3) the "one-
docketed as Case No. OD-M-9604-006. ABBOTT bargaining unit, one-employer unit policy" must
assailed the certificate of registration since not be interpreted in a manner that shall
ALEU's application was not signed by at least derogate the right of the employees to self-
20% of the total 286 rank-and-file employees of organization and freedom of association as
the entire employer unit; and that it omitted to guaranteed by Article III, Section 8 of the 1987
submit copies of its books of account. LEX Constitution and Article II of the International
Labor Organization's Convention No.87. Jj sc
Its motion to reconsider the 31 March 1997 the Secretary of Labor and Employment. Its
decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations having refusal to take cognizance of ALEU's appeal from
been denied for lack of merit in the Order[13] of 9 the decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations is
July 1997, ABBOTT appealed to the Secretary of in accordance with the provisions of Rule VIII,
Labor and Employment. However, in its letter Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the
dated 19 September 1997,[14] addressed to Labor Code as amended by Department Order
ABBOTT's counsel, the Secretary of Labor and No. 09.[15] The rule governing petitions for
Employment refused to act on ABBOTT's appeal cancellation of registration of any legitimate
on the ground that it has no jurisdiction to labor organization or worker association, as it
review the decision of the Bureau of Labor now stands, provides:
Relations on iappeals in cancellation cases SECTION 1. Venue of Action --If the respondent
emanating from the Regional Offices. The to the petition is a local/chapter, affiliate, or a
decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations therein workers' association with operations limited to
is final and executory under Section 4, Rule III, one region, the petition shall be filed with the
Book V of the Rules and Regulations Regional Office having jurisdiction over the place
Implementing thc Labor Code, as amended by where the respondent principally operates.
Department Order No. 09, s. of 1997. Finally, Petitions filed against federations, national or
the Secretary stated: industry unions, trade union centers, or workers'
It has always been the policy of this Office that associations operating in more than one regional
pleadings denominated as appeal thereto over jurisdiction, shall be filed with the Bureau.
decisions of the BLR in cancellation cases SECTION 3. Cancellation of registration;. nature
coming from the Regional Offices are referred and grounds. -- Subject to the requirements of
back to the BLR, so that the same may be notice and due process, the registration of any
treated as motions for reconsideration and legitimate labor organization or worker's
disposed of accordingly. However, since your association may be cancelled by the Bureau or
office has already filed a motion for the Regional Office upon the filing of an
reconsideration with the BLR which has been independent petition for cancellation based on
denied in its Order dated 09 July 1997, your any of the following grounds:
recourse should have been a special civil action (a) Failure to comply with any of the
for certiorari with the Supreme Court. requirements prescribed under Articles 234, 237
In view of the foregoing, please be informed and 238 of the Code;
that the Office of the Secretary cannot act upon (b) Violation of any of the provisions of Article
your Appeal, except to cause the BLR to include 239 of the Code;
it in the records of the case. (b) Commission of any of the acts enumerated
Hence, this petition. ABBOTT premised its under Article 241 of the Code; provided, that no
argument on the authority of the Secretary of petition for cancellation based on this ground
Labor and Employment to review the decision of may be granted unless supported by at least
the Bureau of Labor Relations and at the same thirty percent (30%) of all the members of the
time raised the issue on the validity of ALEU's respondent labor organization or workers'
certificate of registration. association.
We find no merit in this petition. Section 4. Action on the petition; appeals -- The
At the outset, it is wortl1y to note that the Regional or Bureau Director, as the case may
present petition assails only the letter of the be, shall have thirty (30) days from submission
then Secretary of Labor & Employment refusing of the case for resolution within which to resolve
to take cognizance of ABBOTT's appeal for lack the petition. The decision of the Regional or
of appellate jurisdiction. Hence, in the resolution Bureau Director may be appealed to the Bureau
of the present petition, it is just appropriate to or the Secretary, as the case may be, within ten
limit the issue on the power of the Secretary of (10) days from receipt thereof by the aggrieved
Labor and Employment to review the decisions party on the ground of grave abuse of discretion
of the Bureau of Labor Relations rendered in the or any violation of these Rules.
exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over The Bureau or the Secretary shall have fifteen
decisions of the Regional Director in cases ( 15) days from receipt of the records of the
involving cancellations of certificates of case within which to decide the appeal. The
registration of labor unions. The issue anent the decision of the Bureau or the Secretary shall be
validity of ALEU's certificate of registration is final and executory. Sj cj
subject of the Bureau of Labor Relations Clearly, the Secretary of Labor and Employment
decision dated 31 March 1997. However, said has no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal of
decision is not being assailed in the present ABBOTT. The appellate jurisdiction of the
petition; hence, we are not at liberty to review Secretary .of Labor and Employment is limited
the same. Sc jj only to a review of cancellation proceedings
Contrary to ABBOTT's contention, there has decided by the Bureau of Labor Relations in the
been no grave abuse of discretion on the part of exercise of its exclusive and original jurisdiction.
The Secretary of Labor and Employment has no Labor Code, as amended by Department Order
jurisdiction over decisions of the Bureau of No. 09, petitions for cancellation of union
Labor Relations rendered in the exercise of its registration may be filed with a Regional office,
appellate power to review the decision of the or directly, with the Bureau of Labor Relations.
Regional Director in a petition to cancel the Appeals from the decision of a Regional Director
union's certificate of registration, said decisions may be filed with the BLR Director whose
being final and inappealable.[16] We sustain the decision shall be final and executory. On the
analysis and interpretation of the OSG on this other hand, appeals from the decisions of the
matter, to wit: BLR may be filed with the Secretary of Labor
From the foregoing, the Office of the Secretary whose decision shall be final and executory .
correctly maintained that it cannot take Thus, under Sections 7 to 9 of the Omnibus
cognizance of petitioner's appeal from the Rules and under Sections 3 and 4 of the
decision of BLR Director Bitonio. Sections 7 to Implementing Rules (as amended by
9[17] (of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Department Order No. 09), the finality of the
Code) thus provide for two situations: BLR decision is dependent on whether or not the
(1) The first situation involves a petition for petition for cancellation was filed with the BLR
cancellation of union registration which is filed directly. Under said Rules, if the petition for
with a Regional Office. A decision of a Regional cancellation is directly filed with the BLR, its
Office cancelling a union's certificate of decision cancelling union registration is not yet
registration may be appealed to the BLR whose final and executory as it may still be appealed to
decision on the matter shall be final and the Office of the Secretary. However, if the
inappealable. petition for cancellation was filed with the
(2) The second situation involves a petition for Regional Office, the decision of the BLR
cancellation of certificate of union registration resolving an appeal of the decision of said
which is filed directly with the BLR. A decision of Regional Office is final and executory.[18] Court
the BLR cancelling a union's certificate of It is clear then that the Secretary of Labor and
registration may be appealed to the Secretary of Employment did not commit grave abuse of
Labor whose decision on the matter shall be discretion in not acting on ABBOTT's appeal. The
final and inappealable. decisions of the Bureau of Labor Relations on
Respondent Acting Labor Secretary's ruling cases brought before it on appeal from the
--that the BLR's decision upholding the validity Regional Director are final and executory.
of respondent union's certificate of registration Hence, the remedy of the aggrieved party is to
is final and inappealable --is thus in accordance seasonably avail of the special civil action
with aforequoted Omnibus Rules because the of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
petition for cancellation of union registration was [19]

filed by petitioner with a Regional Office, Even if we relaxed the rule and consider the
specifically, with the Regional Office of the BLR, present petition as a petition for certiorari not
National Capital Region (vide pp.1-2, Annex 2, only of the letter of the Secretary of Labor and
Petition). The cancellation proceedings initiated Employment but also of the decision of the
by petitioner before the Regional Office is Bureau of the Labor Relations which overruled
covered by the first situation contemplated by the order of cancellation of ALEU's certificate of
Sections 7 to 9 of the Omnibus Rules. Hence, an registration, the same would still be dismissable
appeal from the decision of the Regional Office for being time-barred. Under Sec. 4 of Rule 65
may be brought to the BLR whose decision on of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court the special
the matter is final and inappealable. Supreme civil action for certiorari should be instituted
In the instant case, upon the cancellation of within a period of sixty (60) days from notice of
respondent union's registration by the Regional the judgment, order or resolution sought to be
Office, respondent union incorrectly appealed assailed. ABBOTT received the decision of the
said decision to the Office of the Secretary. Bureau of Labor Relations on 14 April 1997 and
Nevertheless, this situation was immediately the order denying its motion for reconsideration
rectified when the Office of the Secretary motu of the said decision on 16 July 1997. The
proprio referred the appeal to the BLR However, present petition was only filed on 28 November
upon reversal by the BLR of the decision of the 1997, after the laps of more than four months.
Regional Office cancelling registration, petitioner Thus, for failure to avail of the correct remd4y
should have immediately elevated the BLR within the period provided by law, the decision
decision to the Supreme Court in a special civil of the Bureau of Labor Relations has become
action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules final and executory. WHEREFORE, the Petition
of Court. is DENIED. The challenged order in BLR-A-10-
Under Sections 3 and 4, Rule VIII of Book V of 25-96 of the SoLE embodied in its 19September
the Rules and Regulations implementing the letter is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.