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Although the court does not have a duty to correct the error or transfer the case to the proper division
since the duty falls on the one who caused such fault, it can waive mere technicalities in lieu of the speedy
administration of justice.
The court disregarded the technicalities because
1. The negligence of their counsel resulted in the deprivation of petitioners property rights.
2. The court is not a slave of technical rules, shorn of discretion. If the application of rules would tend
to frustrate rather than promote justice, it is always within this Courts power to suspend the rules or
except a particular case from its application.
3. This labor dispute has taken over 10 years already. Petitioners have already waited too long for
what is due to them under the law.

The labor arbiter in its computation of the monetary award abused its jurisdiction when it lowered
the year from 1999 to 1995 because the CA decision in the prior case was already final and executory.
Hence such decision is null and void.


Petitioners Azucena Magallanes, Evelyn Bacolod Judith Cotecson (represented by her heirs), Grace
Gonzales and Bella Gonzales were all teachers at Sun Yat Sen Elementary School in Surigao City that
were dismissed on May 22, 1994 for which the petitioners filed an action in the NLRC for illegal
dismissal, underpayment, payment of backwages, 13th month pay, ECOLA, separation pay, moral
damages and attys fees.
Labor arbiter decided in favor of petitioners, NLRC reversed it.
CA (16th division) reinstated Labor Arbiters ruling but deleted moral and exemplary damages and
further ruled that G. Gonzales and B. Gonzales have no cause of action because they have not passed the
probationary period of 3 years of service hence their dismissal is valid.
Petitioners filed a motion for execution of decision. Labor Arbiter computed the damages but
lowered amount up to 1995 when CA said 1999. Petitioners filed certiorari to the CA BUT they got the
GR number and the division wrong. They indicated GR number and division that applied to the
proceedings stated above, this new appeal was raffled to 7th division under a different docket number.
The CA (7th division) dismissed the appeal due to the procedural mishaps. Hence this case.

(1) whether the Court of Appeals (Seventh Division) erred in holdingthat affixing a wrong docket number
on a motion renders it "non-existent;
(2) whether the issuance by the NLRC of the Order dated March 30,2001, amending the amounts of
separation pay and backwages, awardedby the Court of Appeals (Sixteenth Division) to petitioners and
computedby the Labor Arbiter, is tantamount to grave abuse of discretion amountingto lack or excess of
WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition.
1. Court of Appeals (Seventh Division) is correct when itruled that petitioners motion for
reconsideration of its Resolution datedOctober 29, 2001 in CA-G.R. SP No. 67068 is "non-existent."
Petitionerscounsel placed a wrong case number in their motion. Where a pleadingbears an erroneous
docket number and thus "could not be attached to thecorrect case," the said pleading is, for all intents
and purposes, "non-existent." It has neither the duty nor the obligation to correct the error orto
transfer the case to the Seventh Division. However, we opt for liberalityin the application of the rules
to the instant case in light of the followingconsiderations. First, the rule that negligence of counsel
binds the clientmay be relaxed where adherence thereto would result in outrightdeprivation of the
clients liberty or property or where the interests of justice so require. Second, this Court is not a
slave of technical rules, shornof judicial discretion in rendering justice; it is guided by the norm
that onthe balance, technicalities take a backseat against substantive rights. Thus, if the application of
the rules would tend to frustrate rather thaN romote justice, it is always within this Courts power to
suspend the rulesor except a particular case from its application
2. .2. We sustain petitioners contention that the NLRC, in modifying theaward of the Court of Appeals,
committed grave abuse of discretionamounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Quasi-judicial
agencies haveneither business nor power to modify or amend the final and executoryDecisions of the
appellate courts. Under the principle of immutability of judgments, any alteration or amendment
which substantially affects a finaland executory judgment is void for lack of jurisdiction. We thus
rule that the Order dated March 30, 2001 of the NLRC directing that the monetaryaward should be
computed from June 1994, the date petitioners were dismissed from the service, up to June 20, 1995
only, is void

The leading doctrine on compensability is that laid down in the case of Raro v. Employees' Compensation
Commission, where this court said "There is a widespread misconception that the poor employee is still
arrayed against the might and power of his rich corporate employer. Hence, he must be given all kinds of
favorable presumptions. This is fallacious. It is now the trust fund and not the employer which suffers if
benefits are paid to claimants who are not entitled under the law. The employer joins the employee in
trying to have their claims approved. The employer is spared the problem of proving a negative
proposition that the disease was not caused by employment." The decision of this Court in Raro v. ECC
(172 SCRA 845) in effect supersedes the cases with conclusions different from that stated therein, such as
Nemaria v. ECC, 155 SCRA 166 (1987); Ovenson v. ECC, 156 SCRA 21 (1987); Mercado v. ECC, 127
SCRA 664 (1984). The reason behind the present doctrine is that the New Labor Code has abolished the
presumption of compensability for illness contracted by a worker during employment. To be entitled to
disability benefits, the claimant has to present evidence to prove that his ailment was the result of, or the
risk of contracting the same were aggravated by working conditions or the nature of his work.
Article 4 of the New Labor Code which states that "all doubts in the implementation and interpretation of
the provisions of the Labor Code including its implementing rules and regulations shall be resolved in
favor of labor. The policy is to extend the applicability of PD 626 to a greater number of employees who
can avail of the benefits under the law, which is in consonance with the avowed policy of the state to give
maximum aid and protection to labor.

Mrs. Carmen A. Santos filed a claim for the death benefit of her husband, Francisco, on January 28, 1987,
pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 626, as amended. However, on a letter dated April 30, 1987, the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), denied the claim on the ground that upon proofs and
evidence submitted.
Francisco Santos as employed as welder at the Philippine Navy and its Naval Shipyard, On December
29, 1986 he was admitted on complaint that he was having epigastric pain and been vomiting blood 2
days prior to his hospitalization. His case was diagnosed as bleeding Peptic Ulcer disease (PUD),
cholelithiasis and diabetes mellitus. On January 11, 1987, he died, the cause of which as indicated in the
Death Certificate was liver cirrhosis.
After the rejection of GSIS, Mrs. Santos sought the help of Commander of NASCOM, PN, who in turn
wrote the GSIS requesting for a favorable action on her claim. Said letter also substantiated petitioner's
claim that her husband's duties allowed him to be exposed to heat and inhalation of burning chemical
substances and gas fumes coming from burning welding electrodes. Despite of issuing the letter GSIS
stood by its former decision.
Mrs Santos then appealed to ECC which at first affirmed with the decision of GSIS but later on found
merit to the petitioners claim.
For sickness and the resulting death of an employee to be compensable, the claimant must show either:
(1) that it is a result of an occupational disease listed under Annex A of the Amended Rules on Employees'
Compensation with the conditions set therein satisfied; or (2) if not so listed, that the risk of contracting
the disease is increased by the working conditions.
Premises considered, ECC found the petition meritorious. Liver cirrhosis, although not one among those
listed as compensable ailment, as considered in the case at bar as covered under the Act, on the ground
that the nature of the work of petitioner's husband, exposed him to the risk of contracting the same
ECC reversed the previous decision and granted Carmen Santos petition.


DOMINGO VICENTE employed as a nursing attendant at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center
in Quezon City. Applied for an optional retirement on AUGUST 5, 1981 under the provisions of Section
12(c) of Republic Act No. 1616, giving as reason therefore his inability to continue working as a result of
his physical disability. The petitioner also applied for "income benefits claim for payment" in GSIS both
applications were accompanied by the necessary supporting papers which classified him as someone
whos under "permanent total disability. The petitioners application for income benefits claim payment
was granted but only for permanent partial disability (PPD) compensation or for a period of nineteen
months, petitioner therefore elevated its concern to ECC saying that his condition is under permanent
total disability

Whether or not the petitioner suffers from permanent total disability

YES. The decision of the respondent Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) was set aside.

petitioners permanent total disability is established beyond doubt by several factors and circumstances.
Noteworthy is the fact that from all available indications, it appears that the petitioners application for
optional retirement on the basis of his ailments had been approved. Considering that the petitioner was
only 45 years old when he retired and still entitled, under good behavior, to 20 more years in service, the
approval of his optional retirement application proves that he was no longer fit to continue in his
employment. For optional retirement is allowed only upon proof that the employee-applicant is already
physically incapacitated to render sound and efficient service.

The sympathy of law on social security is towards its beneficiaries and the law by its own terms, requires
a construction of utmost liberality in its favor.


On January 26, 1980, petitioner Francisco Tantuico Jr., was appointed Chairman of the Commission on
Audit (COA) to serve a term of seven years expiring on January 26, 1987. Petitioner had discharged the
functions of Chairman of the COA in an acting capacity since 1975. After the EDSA Revolution,
petitioner submitted his courtesy resignation and relinquished his office to the newly appointed Chairman
Guingona and applied for retirement effective immediately.

Respondent Chairman Hon. Eufemio Domingo later endorsed petitioners retirement application to the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), certifying, among other matters, that petitioner was
cleared of money and property accountability. The application was returned to the COA pursuant to R.A.
No. 1568, which vests in the COA the final approval thereof. Afterwards, the inventory committee
submitted a report, recommending petitioners clearance from property accountability inasmuch as there
was no showing that he personally gained from the missing property or was primarily liable for the loss

Hon. Domingo then issued a Memorandum directing the inventory committee to explain why no action
should be filed against its members for, inter alia, exceeding their authority in recommending clearances
for petitioner and Chairman Guingona. Respondent chairman later created a special audit team for the
purpose of conducting a financial and compliance audit of the COA transactions and accounts during the
tenure of petitioner. When the special audit team submitted its report, it did not make any
recommendation, but instead mentioned several officials and employees, including petitioner Tantuico,
who may be responsible or accountable for the questioned transactions.

Respondent Chairman Domingo thereafter informed petitioner of the approval of his application for
retirement under R.A. No. 1568 however, respondent Chairman added that in view of the audit findings
and inventory report, payment of only one-half of the money value of the benefits due will be allowed.
Petitioner Tantuico submitted a letter-complaint, wherein he cited certain defects in the manner the audit
was conducted. He further claimed that the re-audit was not authorized by law since it covered closed and
settled accounts.

Can respondent Chairman Domingo withhold the benefits due petitioner Tantuico under the retirement
No. Pension in this case is a bounty flowing from the graciousness of the Government intended to reward
past services and, at the same time, to provide the pensioner with the means with which to support
himself and his family. Unless otherwise clearly provided, the pension should inure wholly to the benefit
of the pensioner. It is true that the withholding and application of the amount involved was had under
Section 624 of the Administrative Code and not by any judicial process.
Facts: Eriks Pte. Ltd. is a non-resident foreign corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of
elements used in sealing pumps, valves and pipes for industrial purposes, valves and control equipment
used for industrial fluid control and PVC pipes and fittings for industrial uses. On various dates covering
the period January 17 August 16, 1989, Delfin Enriquez, Jr., doing business under the name and style
of Delrene EB Controls Center and/or EB Karmine Commercial, ordered and received from Eriks Pte.
Ltd. various elements used in sealing pumps, valves, pipes and control equipment, PVC pipes and fittings.
The transfers of goods were perfected in Singapore, for Enriquez's account, F.O.B. Singapore, with a 90-
day credit term. Subsequently, demands were made by Eriks upon Enriquez to settle his account, but the
latter failed/refused to do so. On 28 August 1991, Eriks filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati,
Branch 138, Civil Case 91-2373 for the recovery of S$41,939.63 or its equivalent in Philippine currency,
plus interest thereon and damages. Enriquez responded with a Motion to Dismiss, contending that Eriks
had no legal capacity to sue. In an Order dated 8 March 1993, the trial court dismissed the action on the
ground that Eriks is a foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines without a license.

On appeal and on 25 January 1995, the appellate court (CA GR CV 41275) affirmed said order as it
deemed the series of transactions between Eriks and Enriquez not to be an "isolated or casual
transaction." Thus, the appellate court likewise found Eriks to be without legal capacity to sue. Eriks filed
the petition for review.

Issue: Whether a foreign corporation which sold its products 16 times over a five-month period to the
same Filipino buyer without first obtaining a license to do business in the Philippines, is prohibited from
maintaining an action to collect payment therefor in Philippine courts.

Held: Section 133 of the Corporation Code provides that "No foreign corporation transacting business in
the Philippines without a license, or its successors or assigns, shall be permitted to maintain or intervene
in any action, suit or proceeding in any court or administrative agency of the Philippines; but such
corporation may be sued or proceeded against before Philippine courts or administrative tribunals on any
valid cause of action recognized under Philippine laws." The provision prohibits, not merely absence of
the prescribed license, but it also bars a foreign corporation "doing business" in the Philippines without
such license access to Philippine courts. A foreign corporation without such license is not ipso facto
incapacitated from bringing an action. A license is necessary only if it is "transacting or doing business" in
the country. However, there is no definitive rule on what constitutes "doing," "engaging in," or
"transacting" business. The Corporation Code itself does not define such terms.


On or about 13 January 1967, S. Kajita & Co., on behalf of Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development
Corporation, shipped on board the SS Eastern Jupiter from Osaka, Japan, 2,361 coils of Black Hot Rolled
Copper Wire Rods. The said VESSEL is owned and operated by Eastern Shipping Lines. The shipment
was covered by Bill of Lading O-MA-9, with arrival notice to Phelps Dodge Copper Products
Corporation of the Philippines at Manila. The shipment was insured with the Home Insurance Company
against all risks in the amount of P1,580,105.06 under its Insurance Policy AS-73633. The coils
discharged from the VESSEL numbered 2,361, of which 53 were in bad order. What the Phelps Dodge
ultimately received at its warehouse was the same number of 2,361 coils, with 73 coils loose and partly
cut, and 28 coils entangled, partly cut, and which had to be considered as scrap. Upon weighing at Phelps
Dodge's warehouse, the 2,361 coils were found to weight 263,940.85 kilos as against its invoiced weight
of 264,534.00 kilos or a net loss/shortage of 593.15 kilos, or 1,209,56 lbs., according to the claims
presented by the Phelps Dodge against Home Insurance, the Eastern Shipping, and Angel Jose
Transportation Inc. For the loss/damage suffered by the cargo, Home Insurance paid the Phelps Dodge
under its insurance policy the amount of P3,260.44, by virtue of which Home Insurance became
subrogated to the rights and actions of the Phelps Dodge. Home Insurance made demands for payment
against the Eastern Shipping and the Angel Jose Transportation for reimbursement of the aforesaid
amount but each refused to pay the same.

When the insurance contracts which formed the basis of these cases were executed, Home Insurance had
not yet secured the necessary licenses and authority; but when the complaints in these two cases were
filed, Home Insurance had already secured the necessary license to conduct its insurance business in the
Philippines. In both cases, Home Insurance made the averment regarding its capacity to sue, as that it "is a
foreign insurance company duly authorized to do business in the Philippines through its agent, Mr. Victor
H. Bello, of legal age and with office address at Oledan Building, Ayala Avenue, Makati, Rizal." The
Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XVII, however, dismissed the complaints in both cases, on the
ground that Home Insurance had failed to prove its capacity to sue. Home Insurance filed the petitions for
review on certiorari, which were consolidated.

Issue: Whether Home Insurance, a foreign corporation licensed to do business at he time of the filing of
the case, has the capacity to sue for claims on contracts made when it has no license yet to do business in
the Philippines.

Held: As early as 1924, the Supreme Court ruled in the leading case of Marshall Wells Co. v. Henry W.
Elser & Co. (46 Phil. 70) that the object of Sections 68 and 69 of the Corporation Law was to subject the
foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines to the jurisdiction of Philippine courts. The
Corporation Law must be given a reasonable, not an unduly harsh, interpretation which does not hamper
the development of trade relations and which fosters friendly commercial intercourse among countries.
The objectives enunciated in the 1924 decision are even more relevant today when we commercial
relations are viewed in terms of a world economy, when the tendency is to re-examine the political
boundaries separating one nation from another insofar as they define business requirements or restrict
marketing conditions. The court distinguished between the denial of a right to take remedial action and
the penal sanction for non-registration. Insofar as transacting business without a license is concerned,
Section 69 of the Corporation Law imposed a penal sanction imprisonment for not less than 6 months
nor more than 2 years or payment of a fine not less than P200.00 nor more than P1,000.00 or both in the
discretion of the court. There is a penalty for transacting business without registration. And insofar as
litigation is concerned, the foreign corporation or its assignee may not maintain any suit for the recovery
of any debt, claim, or demand whatever. The Corporation Law is silent on whether or not the contract
executed by a foreign corporation with no capacity to sue is null and void ab initio. Still, there is no
question that the contracts are enforceable. The requirement of registration affects only the remedy.
Significantly, Batas Pambansa 68, the Corporation Code of the Philippines has corrected the ambiguity
caused by the wording of Section 69 of the old Corporation Law. Section 133 of the present Corporation
Code provides that "No foreign corporation transacting business in the Philippines without a license, or its
successors or assigns, shall be permitted to maintain or intervene in any action, suit or proceeding in any
court or administrative agency in the Philippines; but such corporation may be sued or proceeded against
before Philippine courts or administrative tribunals on any valid cause of action recognized under
Philippine laws." The old Section 69 has been reworded in terms of non-access to courts and
administrative agencies in order to maintain or intervene in any action or proceeding. The prohibition
against doing business without first securing a license is now given penal sanction which is also
applicable to other violations of the Corporation Code under the general provisions of Section 144 of the
Code. It is, therefore, not necessary to declare the contract null and void even as against the erring foreign
corporation. The penal sanction for the violation and the denial of access to Philippine courts and
administrative bodies are sufficient from the viewpoint of legislative policy. Herein, the lack of capacity
at the time of the execution of the contracts was cured by the subsequent registration is also strengthened
by the procedural aspects of these cases. Home Insurance averred in its complaints that it is a foreign
insurance company, that it is authorized to do business in the Philippines, that its agent is Mr. Victor H.
Bello, and that its office address is the Oledan Building at Ayala Avenue, Makati. These are all the
averments required by Section 4, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court. Home Insurance sufficiently alleged its
capacity to sue.


Equitables insurance policy covered indemnities for bodily injuries and deaths, however, it never
specificed an amount to be given in case of a persons death by drowning. It specified amounts from
1,000 to 3,000 for other causes of death, however Francisico del Rosario died from drowning after
jumping from a sinking ship. The insurer, Equitable, agreed to pay Php 1,000 as the claim for an accident.
His attorney, howvever, contended that he amount should be greater under section 2, Php 1500. The issue
was resolved in the Insurance Commison, where it was held that Section 1, under the provisions applied.
(Php 1,000 as indemnity) The lawyer still didint agree and instituted a suit. The trail court held that the
company had the discretion to pay from Php 1,000 to 3,000 for death by drowning since there was no
fixed amount for this type of death. The amended decision ordered the company to pay Php 2,000
Whether or not Simeon is entitled to recover 3000 php
terms in an insurance policy, which are ambiguous, equivocal or uncertain are to be construed strictly
against, the insurer, and liberally in favor of the insured so as to effect the dominant purpose of indemnity
or payment to the insured, especially where a forfeiture is involved
reason for this rule is that the "insured usually has no voice in the selection or arrangement of the words
employed and that the language of the contract is selected with great care and deliberation by expert and
legal advisers employed by, and acting exclusively in the interest of, the insurance company


Federico Songco owned a private jeepney. OnSeptember 15, 1960, he was induced by
Fieldmen'sinsurance agent Benjamin Sambat to apply for aCommon Carrier's Liability Insurance Policy
coveringhis motor vehicle. He was issued a Common CarriersAccident Insurance Policy. On the next
year, herenewed the policy by paying the annual premium.During the effectivity of the renewed policy,
theinsured vehicle collided with another car while beingdriven by Rodolfo Songco, a duly licensed driver
andson of Federico (the vehicle owner). As a result,Federico Songco (father) and Rodolfo Songco
(son)died, along with other passengers.
A claim was filed but was denied by the insurancecompany on the pretext that what was insured was
aprivate vehicle and not a common carrier. During thetrial, it was declared by a witness that when
insuranceagent Benjamin Sambat was inducing Songco to insurehis vehicle, the latter butted in saying,
Our vehicle isa private vehicle and not for passengers. But theagent replied: Regardless of whether
your vehicle wasan owner-type or for passengers, it could still beinsured because our company is not
owned by theGovernment. And the Government has nothing to dowith our company.
The Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the claimants. It held that where inequitable conduct
isshown by an insurance firm, it is estopped fromenforcing forfeitures in its favor, in order to
forestallfraud or imposition on the insured. After Fieldmen'sInsurance Co. had led the insured Songco to
believethat he could qualify under the common carrier liabilityinsurance policy, it could not, thereafter, be
permittedto change its stand to the detriment of the heirs of theinsured. The failure to apply the Doctrine
of Estoppel inthis case would result in a gross travesty of justice

Whether or not the Songcos can claim the insurance proceeds despite the fact that the vehicle concerned
was an owner and not a common carrier.
The fact that the insured owned a private vehicle, nota common carrier, was something which the
companyknew all along. In fact, it exerted the utmost pressureon the insured, a man of scant education, to
enter intothe contract of insurance. The Court of Appeals alsoheld that since some of the conditions
contained in thepolicy were impossible to comply with under theexisting conditions at the time, the
insurer is estoppedfrom asserting breach of such conditions. The Supreme Court, in affirming the decision
of theCourt of Appeals, took judicial notice of the fact thatnowadays, monopolies, cartels and
concentration of capital, endowed with overwhelming economic power,manage to impose upon parties
dealing with them cunningly prepared agreements that the weakerparty may not change one whit, his
participation in the agreement being reduced to the alternative of take itor leave it labelled since
Raymond Saleilles as contracts by adherence ( contrats d'adhesion), incontrast to those entered into by
parties bargaining onan equal footing, such contracts (i.e. insurance policies& international bills of
lading) obviously call for greaterstrictness and vigilance on the part of courts of justicewith a view to
protecting the weaker party fromabuses. Citing the case of Qua Chee Gan vs. Law Union &
Rock\Insurance, "The contract of insurance is one of perfect good faith (uberima fides) not for the
insuredalone but equally so for the insurer; in fact, it is more so for the latter, since its dominant
bargaining position carries with it stricter responsibility.


The holographic will of Annie San was submitted for probate.
Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that: neither the testaments body nor the signature
therein was in decedents handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed
by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue influence.

The petition was also contested by Dr. Ajero with respect to the disposition in the will of a house and lot.
He claimed that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety, as she was not its sole

However, the trial court still admitted the decedents holographic will to probate.
The trial court held that since it must decide only the question of the identity of the will, its due execution
and the testamentary capacity of the testatrix, it finds no reason for the disallowance of the will for its
failure to comply with the formalities prescribed by law nor for lack of testamentary capacity of the

On appeal, the CA reversed said Decision holding that the decedent did not comply with Articles 313 and
314 of the NCC. It found that certain dispositions in the will were either unsigned or undated, or signed
by not dated. It also found that the erasures, alterations and cancellations made had not been authenticated
by decedent.

whether said will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law

The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and
fraud; accordingly, laws on this subject should be interpreted to attain these primordial ends.
In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that they be totally
authographic or handwritten by the testator himself. Failure to strictly observe other formalities will no
result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionable handwritten by the testator.