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G.R. No.

L-62306 January 21, 1985

KAPISANAN NG MANGGAGAWANG PINAGYAKAP (KMP), ISAGANI GUTIERREZ, FLORENCIA CARREON, JOSE


FLORES, DENNIS ALINEA, ELADIO DE LUNA and CRISANTO DE VILLA, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE CRESENCIANO TRAJANO, DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, CATALINO
SILVESTRE, and CESAR ALFARO, respondents.

Jose C. Espinas for petitioners.

Balagtas P. Ilagan for private respondents.

RELOVA, J.:

Petitioners seek to annul the resolution and order, dated August 13 and October 19, 1982, respectively, of public
respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano of the Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of Labor and Employment, in BLR
Case No. A-0100-82 (RO4-A-LRD-M-9-35-81), entitled: "Catalino Silvestre, et al., vs. Kapisanan ng Manggagawang
Pinagyakap (KMP) Labor Union and its Officers" affirming Med-Arbiter Antonio D. Cabibihan's order dated April 28, 1982,
directing the said Union to hold and conduct, pursuant to its constitution and by-laws and under the supervision of the
Bureau of Labor Relations, a general membership meeting, to vote for or against the expulsion or suspension of the
herein petitioner union officers.

Records show that on June 30, 1981 a written request for accounts examination of the financial status of the Kapisanan
ng Manggagawang Pinagyakap (KMP) Labor Union (Union for brevity), the existing labor union at Franklin Baker
Company in San Pablo City, was filed by private respondent Catalino Silvestre and thirteen (13) other employees, who are
also members of the said Union. Acting on said request, Union Account Examiner Florencio R. Vicedo of the Ministry of
Labor and Employment conducted the necessary investigation and, thereafter, submitted a report, with the following
findings:

A. Disallowed expenditures P1,278.00, as reflected in the following breakdown:

B. Respondent union officers failed to keep, maintain and submit for verification the records of union
accounts for the years 1977, and 1978, 1979, or purposely suppressed the same;

C. Respondent union officers failed to maintain segregated disbursement receipts in accordance with the
five (5) segregated union funds (general fund, educational funds, mutual aid fund, burial assistance fund
and union building fund) for which they maintained a distinct and separate bank accounts for each.

D. The Union's constitution and by-laws is not ratified by the general membership hence, illegal. (pp. 27-
28, Rollo)

Based on the foregoing revelations, private respondents filed with the Regional Office No. IV-A, Quezon City, Ministry of
Labor and Employment, a petition docketed as R04-ALRD-M- 9-35-81, for the expulsion of the union officers on the
ground that they committed gross violation of the Labor Code, specifically paragraphs (a), (b), (g), (h), (j) and (k) of Article
242; and, the constitution and by-laws of the Union, particularly the provisions of Sections 6 and 7 thereof.

In their Answer, the union officers denied the imputation and argued that the disallowed expenditures were made in good
faith; that the same conduced to the benefit of the members; and, that they are willing to reimburse the same from their
own personal funds. They likewise asserted that they should not be held accountable for the non-production of the books
of accounts of the Union for the years 1977, 1978 and 1979 because they were not the officers then and not one of the
former officers of the Union had turned over to them the records in question. Further, they averred that the non-ratification
of the constitution and by-laws of the Union and the non-segregation of the Union funds occurred before they became
officers and that they have already been correcting the same.

On April 28, 1982, Med-Arbiter Antonio D. Cabibihan ordered the holding of a referendum, to be conducted under the
supervision of the Bureau of Labor Relations, to decide on the issue of whether to expel or suspend the union officers
from their respective positions.

Petitioners appealed the said order of Med-Arbiter Cabibihan to herein public respondent Director Trajano of the Bureau
of Labor Relations, Ministry of Labor, Manila, claiming that the same is not in accordance with the facts contained in the
records and is contrary to law. They pointed out that the disallowed expenditures of P1,278.00 were made in good faith
and not used for the personal benefit of herein union officers but, instead, contributed to the benefit of the members. On
the alleged failure to maintain and submitted the books of accounts for the years 1977, 1978 and 1979, they argued that
they were elected in 1980 only and, therefore, they could not be made responsible for the omissions of their predecessors
who failed to turn over union records for the questioned period. Anent their alleged failure to maintain segregated
disbursement receipts in accordance with the five (5) segregated funds, petitioners maintained that the same did not
result to any loss of funds and such error in procedure had already been corrected. They also demonstrated that there
would be a general election on October 4, 1982, at which time, both the election and the desired referendum could be
undertaken to determine the membership at minimum expense. They prayed that the resolution on the issue be held in
abeyance.

Private respondents, on the other hand, claimed that the Med-Arbiter erred in calling a referendum to decide the issue.
They reiterated that the appropriate action should be the expulsion of the herein union officers.

On August 13, 1982, public respondent Director Trajano dismissed both appeals of petitioners and private respondents
and affirmed in toto the order of Med-Arbiter Cabibihan.

Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of August 13, 1982 of Public respondent Director Trajano,
reiterating their arguments in their appeal and further clarifying that what the Union Account Officer Florencio R. Vicedo
found was that the amount of P1,278.00 was not supported by official receipts and therefore should not be allowed as
disbursement from the union funds; and that he did not say that the amount was converted by them for their own personal
benefit. They, likewise, informed public respondent Director Trajano that in the general election held on October 4, 1982,
all of them, except petitioners Ambrocio dela Cruz and Eliseo Celerio, who ran for the positions of Vice-President and
member of the Board of Directors, respectively, were elected by the overwhelming majority of the members, while private
respondents Catalino Silvestre and Cesar Alfaro who also ran for the position of Auditor, lost. Thereafter, they moved for
the dismissal of the appeal for having been rendered moot and academic by their re-election.

On October 19, 1982, public respondent Director Trajano issued the second questioned order denying petitioners' Motion
for Reconsideration.

Hence, this petition which We find meritorious for the following reasons:

1. If herein union officers (also petitioners) were guilty of the alleged acts imputed against them, said public respondent
pursuant to Article 242 of the New Labor Code and in the light of Our ruling in Duyag vs. Inciong, 98 SCRA 522, should
have meted out the appropriate penalty on them, i.e., to expel them from the Union, as prayed for, and not call for a
referendum to decide the issue;

2. The alleged falsification and misrepresentation of herein union officers were not supported by substantial evidence. The
fact that they disbursed the amount of P1,278.00 from Union funds and later on was disallowed for failure to attach
supporting papers thereon did not of itself constitute falsification and/or misrepresentation. The expenditures appeared to
have been made in good faith and the amount spent for the purpose mentioned in the report, if concurred in or accepted
by the members, are reasonable; and

3. The repudiation of both private respondents to the highly sensitive position of auditor at the October 4, 1982 election, is
a convincing manifestation and demonstration of the union membership's faith in the herein officers' leadership on one
hand and a clear condonation of an act they had allegedly committed.

By and large, the holding of the referendum in question has become moot and academic. This is in line with Our ruling
in Pascual vs. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, 106 Phil. 471, which We quote:

The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do
otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people have
elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and
that they disregarded or forgave Ms faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the
court, by reason of such faults or misconduct to practically overrule the will of the people.

ACCORDINGLY, the resolution and order, dated August 13 and October 19, 1982, respectively, of public respondent
Director Cresenciano B. Trajano of the Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of Labor, Manila in BLR Case No. A-0100-82
(RO4-A-LRD-M-9-35-81) are SET ASIDE and, the petition for expulsion of herein union officers in R04-A-LRD-M-9-35-81
is hereby DISMISSED for having been rendered moot and academic by the election of herein union officers in the general
membership meeting/election held on October 4, 1982.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. Nos. 81852-53 March 5, 1993

ILAW AT BUKLOD NG MANGGAGAWA (IBM), petitioner,


vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, LABOR ARBITER MANUEL P. ASUNCION, ABUNDIO IBASCO,
ANTONIO MAGSIPOC, CARLOS VILLARANTE and BIENVENIDO RAMIREZ, respondents.

Potenciano A. Flores, Jr. for the petitioner.

Gilbert P. Lorenzo for respondents A. Ibasco and A. Magsipoc.

Renato Ramos for respondent Carlos Villarante.

MELO, J.:

Before us is a petition for certiorari seeking the annulment of the order dated February 4, 1987, of respondent Labor
Arbiter, the decision dated May 29, 1987 rendered by said respondent, and the resolutions dated October 12, 1987, and
January 11, 1988, of the respondent National Labor Relations Commission.

The relevant facts as established by the record are as follows:

Petitioner, a duly-registered labor union, is the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all daily-paid workers of the
Metro Manila plants of San Miguel Corporation, hereinafter referred to as SMC.

On December 3, 1986, petitioner and SMB entered into a Memorandum of Agreement on Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA). The National Council of petitioner called a general meeting on December 7, 1986 for the ratification of
the CBA. On the morning of December 7, 1986, the National Council held a special meeting wherein the members
present unanimously passed "Resolusyon Blg. 265, Serye 1986" (Annex G, Petition, p. 52, Rollo). It was agreed at said
meeting to submit the resolution to the general membership for approval.

Two thousand two hundred forty three (2,243) members attended the general meeting. Said Resolusyon Blg. 265 was
submitted to the general assembly for approval. Two Thousand one hundred seven (2,107) members voted in favor and
thirty six (36) voted against the resolution. In said general membership meeting the 1986 CBA was ratified by the
members.

Under said resolution, each member of the union was assessed P1,098.00 to be deducted from the lump sum of
P10,980.00 which each employee was to receive under the CBA. Private respondents protested the deduction and
refused to sign the authorization slip for the deduction. Petitioner passed a resolution on January 6, 1987, (Annex 9,
Private Respondents' Comment, p. 169, Rollo) expelling private respondents from the union. SMB held in trust the amount
of P1,098.00 pertaining to each private respondent.

On January 8, 1987, private respondents Antonio Magsipoc and Abundio Ibasco filed a complaint (Annex I, Petition, p.
59, Rollo) docketed as NLRC-NCR Case No. 1-092-87, before the Arbitration Branch, National Capital Region, National
Labor Relations Commission for illegal and exorbitant deduction and illegal expulsion from the union. In February, 1987, a
similar complaint docketed as NLRC Case No. 00-02-00731-87 was filed by private respondents Carlos Villarante and
Bienvenido Ramirez.

On January 29, 1987, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss (Annex A, Petition, pp. 34-35, Rollo) Case No. 1-092-87 on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction of NLRC. On February 4, 1987, respondent Labor Arbiter Manuel Asuncion issued an order
(Annex B, Petition, pp. 36-37, Rollo) denying the motion to dismiss. It appears that the two cases were consolidated, and
respondent Labor Arbiter proceeded to take cognizance of the cases and directed the parties to file their position papers.
Only private respondents filed their position paper with petitioner continuing to refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of the
Labor Arbiter.

On May 29, 1987, respondent Labor Arbiter rendered a decision (Annex C, Petition, pp. 39-43, Rollo) finding the
questioned assessment illegal and ordering petitioner and SMB to return the amount of P1,098.00 to each of private
respondents; declaring the expulsion of private respondents from the union null and void; and ordering petitioner to desist
from expelling the members who objected to the deduction of the questioned assessment from their CBA differentials.

Petitioner seasonably filed a notice of appeal (Annex K, Petition, p. 61, Rollo) with respondent National Labor Relations
Commission. On October 12, 1987, the NLRC issued a resolution (Annex D, Petition, pp. 44-46, Rollo) affirming the
decision of respondent Labor Arbiter and dismissing the appeal. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same
was denied in a resolution dated January 11, 1988. (Annex E, Petition, p. 47, Rollo).

Hence, the instant recourse under the following assigned errors:

1. The NLRC committed reversible error in assuming jurisdiction over the person of petitioner union;

2. The NLRC committed a reversible error in assuming jurisdiction over the nature of the action;

3. The NLRC committed reversible error in declaring the sum from which the special assessment is made,
is a wage, that it is a deduction from a wage and that it is an attorney's fee. (pp. 12-13, Rollo)

The second assigned error raising as it does the central issue of jurisdiction, attention must be focused on the same. It is
fundamental that jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law (Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy, 23 SCRA 29 [1968]) and
is determined by the allegations of the complaint, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all
or some of the claims asserted therein (Serrano vs. Muoz (Hi) Motors, Inc., 21 SCRA 1085 [1967]).

A perusal of the complaint (Annex I, Petition, p. 59, Rollo) clearly shows that the subject-matter concerns: (a) the
assessment and deduction of 10% from private respondents' CBA differential pay which were denounced by private
respondents as illegal and exorbitant and made against their will, and (b) private respondents' expulsion from the union.
The assessment and deduction of 10% from each employee's differential pay were imposed by petitioner through
Resolusyon Blg. 265 and the expulsion was adopted by petitioner through Resolusyon Blg. 15, dated January 6, 1987,
both of which were denounced by private respondents as illegal and violative of their rights as union members. Clearly
this is an intra-union dispute a dispute between a labor union and its members. "Internal Union Dispute" includes all
disputes or grievances arising from any violation of or disagreement over any provision of the constitution and by-laws of
a union, including any violation of the rights and conditions of union membership provided for in the Code (Book V, Rule I,
Section l(a), Omnibus Rules Implementing The Labor Code).

Article 226 of the Labor Code of the Philippines vests on the Bureau of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Divisions
jurisdiction to act on all inter-union or intra-union conflicts. Said Article thus provides:

Art. 226. Bureau of Labor Relations The Bureau of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Division in
the regional offices of the Department of Labor shall have original and exclusive authority to act, at their
own initiative or upon request of either or both parties, on all
inter-union and intra-union conflicts, and all disputes, grievances or problems arising from or affecting
labor-management relations in all work places whether agricultural or non-agricultural, except those
arising from the implementation or interpretation of collective bargaining agreements which shall be
subject of grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration.

Unquestionably, therefore, NLRC Case No. 1-092-87 and Case No.


00-02-00731-87, the subject of which is an intra-union dispute, fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the
Bureau of Labor Relations, and respondent Labor Arbiter and NLRC have no jurisdiction over said cases.

In view of the foregoing conclusion, there is no further need to discuss the other errors assigned by petitioner.

WHEREFORE, the order dated February 4, 1987 issued by respondent Labor Arbiter, the decision rendered on May 29,
1987, by said respondent, the resolution dated October 12, 1987, of respondent NLRC affirming the decision of
respondent Labor Arbiter and the resolution dated January 11, 1988, of respondent NLRC are hereby ANNULLED and
SET ASIDE. Respondent Labor Arbiter is hereby ordered to dismiss NLRC Case No. 1-072-87 and NLRC Case No. 00-
02-00731-87, without prejudice to private respondents' filing the same with the Bureau of Labor Relations.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-48367 January 16, 1979

ASSOCIATED TRADE UNIONS-ATU (ATU-KILUSAN), petitioner,


vs.
HON. CARMELO C. NORIEL, in his capacity as Director of THE BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, DEPARTMENT
OF LABOR, FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS (SYNTHETIC MARKETING AND INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION
CHAPTER), AND SYNTHETIC MARKETING AND INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, respondents.

Quintin B. Muning for petitioner.

Romeo P. Torres for respondent Federation, etc.

Simeon D. Canlas for respondent Corporation.

Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, Assistant Solicitor General Reynato S. Puno and Solicitor Jesus V. Diaz for Public
respondent.

FERNANDO J.:

Apparent mindful of the state of the law on the subject, petitioner Union, in this certiorari proceeding, took pains in a rather
eleborate pleading to justify its claim that there was a denial of procedural due process when respondent Director of the
Bureau of Labor Relations affirmed the actuation of a Med-Arbiter ordering a certification election. 1 Its labored effort, as
will be shown, was none too successful. It did try to impress on this Court that the Med-Arbiter was quite arbitrary in
granting respondent Union's plea for a certification election alleging that there was neither "prior inquiry nor investigation
of whatever kind. 2 There was nothing in the order of such official, annexed to its petition, that would support such a
contention. 3 Moreover, its main reliance was the operation of a contract-bar rule, but unfortunately for petitioner, the Med-
Arbiter ascertained that petitioner Union, without waiting for the expiration of the existing contract, and with the end in view
of avoiding a certification election, was able to persuade management to renew it. 4 It ought not to have been suprised
therefore, when respondent Director affirmed the order for the holding of a certification election on appeal and at the same
time decertified the new collective bargaining contract which was tainted by pre-maturity and, therefore, not entitled to
respect.

The Comment of the public respondent, filed by Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, 5 objectively clarified the relevant
facts in the following manner: "On September 13, 1977, the local chapter of the Federation of Free Workers (Synthetic
Marketing and Industrial Corporation Chapter) filed a petition for certification election among the regular rank-and-file
employees of the Synthetic Marketing and Industrial Corporation. The petition alleged, among others, that it commands
the great majority of the rank-and-file employees of the bargaining unit, and that more than 30 % of the total work force
supported its petition, attaching the signatures of said union members. The petition admitted the existence of another
union in the establishment, the Associated Trade Unions (ATU-KILUSAN) and the existence of a CBA to expire on
October 31, 1977. It was further alleged that there has been no certification election in the company for the last twelve
months preceding the filing of the petition. Both the Company and the Associated Trade Unions opposed the petition on
the ground that it is contract-barred by virtue of the existence of a duly registered CBA with the BLR entered into between
the parties on May 10, 1977. Petitioning union, on the other hand, assailed the validity of the said CBA on the ground that
the same had been executed five (5) months and twenty-one (21) days prior to the expiration of the old CBA which was
supposed to expired October 31, 1977 and was not ratified by the members of the bargaining unit. On January 9, 1977,
the Med-Arbiter assigned to the case issued an Order calling for a certification election * * *. From the aforesaid Order of
the Med-Arbiter, the Associated Trade Unions (ATU-KILUSAN) appealed to the Bureau of Labor Relations. In a resolution
dated May 29, 1978, BLR Director Carmelo C. Noriel affirmed the Order of the Med-Arbiter calling for an election, at the
same time setting aside its certification of the CBA concluded between the Synthetic Marketing and Industrial Corporation
and the Associated Trade Unions ***. Not satisfied with the Trade Unions (ATU-KILUSAN) filed the instant petition for last-
mentioned resolution of the BLR Director, the Associated review with prayer for preliminary injunction. 6

The lack of merit of this petition is thus quite manifest. It calls for dismissal.

1. It is true that where the challenged order of labor officials could be shown to be tainted by unfairness or arbitrariness,
whether in the procedural or substantive sense, a due process question arises. Clearly, then, the corrective power of this
tribunal to assure that an administrative agency adheres to such cardinal primary right 7comes into play. It is equally
undeniable that this Court has never allowed itself to be a party to any scheme, however ingeniously devised, to thwart
the clear intendment of the New Labor Code 8 to facilitate the holding of a certification election, the democratic means to
ascertain in a manner definitive and certain which labor organization will be chosen to represent the workers in a
collective bargaining unit. It is quite futile then for petitioner Union to hope that this Tribunal, contrary to a long line of
decisions 9 notable for their unanimity, would now gratify an aspiration devoid of legitimacy. It ought to have been
cautioned likewise by a realization that the matter sought to be litigated as to the requisite number of signatures being
factual, its chances of having a determination by the administrative agency concerned were less than minimal. 10

2. The point was likewise made that the contract-bar rule would preclude a certification election. That was to ignore the
decertification of the collective bargaining agreement which was hastily and prematurely entered into precisely for the
purpose of avoiding the holding of the certification election. This aspect of the case was extensively gone into in the
Comment of Solicitor General Mendoza. Thus: "The only issue to be determined in the instant case is whether or not the
renewed CB forged between the respondent company and petitioner union constitutes a bar to the holding of a
certification election. The record shows that the old CBA of petitioner ATU-KILUSAN with respondent Synthetic Marketing
and Industrial Corporation was to expire on October 31, 1977. However, 5 months and 21 days before its expiry date, or
on May 10, 1977, ATU-KILUSAN renewed the same with the consent and collaboration of management. The renewed
CBA was then submitted to the Bureau of Labor Relations for certification on July 8, 1977, or approximately 3 months
prior to the expiration of the outgoing CBA. In the meantime, on September 13, 1977 (48 days before the expiration of the
old CBA on October 31, 1977), a petition for certification election was filed by respondent union, the Federation of Free
Workers. Meanwhile, the renewed CBA between petitioner ATU-KILUSAN and respondent company was certified on
October 3, 1977 or twenty-eight days before their old CBA was to expire. From the foregoing facts, it is quite obvious that
the renewed CBA cannot substitute a bar to the instant petition for certification election. In the first place, the said CBA
was certified after the instant petition for certification had been filed by herein respondent union, and its certification was
conditioned upon the fact that there was no pending petition for certification election with the Bureau of Labor Relations * *
*. In the second place, the new CBA which was to expire on October 31, 1977. Hence, said new CBA was not yet in
existence when the instant petition for certification election was filed on September 13, 1977. Said new CBA was to
become effective on November 1, 1977 after the old CBA expires on October 31, 1977, and this, if no representation issue
had arisen in the meantime, which is not the case. Clearly, therefore, the contract-bar rule does not apply to the case at
bar. Finally it is undubitably clear from the facts heretofore unfolded that management and petitioner herein proceeded
with such indecent haste in renewing their CBA way ahead of the 'sixty-day freedom period' in their obvious desire to
frustrate the will of the rank-and-file employees in selecting their collective bargaining representative. To countenance the
actuation of the company and the petitioner herein would be violative of the employees' constitutional right to self-
organization. 11

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is dismissed for lack of merit. The temporary restraining order issued by resolution of
this Court of August 7, 1978 is hereby lifted and declared to be of no force and effect. The certification election should be
conducted as soon as possible. No costs.

Barredo, Antonio, Aquino, Concepcion Jr. and Santos, JJ., concur.


Buklod ng Saulog Transit v. Casalla

G.R. No. L-8049 (May 9, 1956)

Facts: Respondents filed a petition for a certification election for the purpose of determining the sole bargaining
representative of the employees in the Saulog Inc.

President of Buklod filed its answer stating that there is a CBA between the company and them.

Court rendered judgment directing a certification election be held among the employees and/or laborers of the Saulog
Transit Inc.

It was found that the CBA does not touch in substantial terms the rates of pay, wages, hours of employment and other
conditions of employment of all the employees in the company but seeks to establish merely a grievance procedure.

Issue: WON a CBA that is incomplete will constitute a bar to certification election

Held: No. The agreement being incomplete does not bar a certification election and even if there is a supplementary
agreement, it having been entered into after filing of the petition for a certification election, the same cannot and does not
bar a certification election.

G.R. No. L-77282 May 5, 1989

ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS (ALU) petitioner,


vs.
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of Labor and Employment;
PHILIPPINE SOCIAL SECURITY LABOR UNION (PSSLU); SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES FEDERATION OF LABOR
(SPFL) and GAW TRADING, INC., respondents.

Romeo S. Occena, Leonard U. Sawal, Edgemelo C. Rosales and Ernesto Carreon for petitioner.

Henrick F. Gingoyon for respondent SPFL.

Wilfredo L. Orcullo for respondent Southern Philippines Federation of Labor.

Miguel A. Enrique, Jr. for respondent GAW Trading, Inc.

REGALADO, J.:

Petitioner Associated Labor Unions (ALU, for brevity) instituted this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition to
overturn the decision of the respondent direcstor 1 dated December 10, 1986, which ordered the holding of a certification
election among the rank-and-file workers of the private respondent GAW Trading, Inc. The averments in the petition
therefor, which succinctly but sufficiently detail the relevant factual antecedents of this proceedings, justify their being
quoted in full, thus:

1. The associated Labor Unions (ALU) thru its regional Vice-Presidents Teofanio C. Nuez, in a letter
dated May 7, 1986 (ANNEX C) informed GAW Trading, Inc. that majority of the latter's employees have
authorized ALU to be their sole and exclusive bargaining representative, and requested GAW Trading
Inc., in the same Letter for a conference for the execution of an initial Collective Bargaining Agreement
(CBA);

2. GAW Trading Inc. received the Letter of ALU aforesaid on the same day of May 7, 1986 as
acknowledged thereunder and responded (sic) ALU in a letter dated May 12, 1986 (Annex D) indicating
its recognition of ALU as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for the majority of its employees and for
which it set the time for conference and/or negotiation at 4:00 P.M. on May 12, 1986 at the Pillsbury
Office, Aboitiz Building Juan Luna Street, Cebu City;

3. On the following day of May13, 1986, ALU in behalf of the majority of the employees of GAW Trading
Inc. signed and excuted the Collective Bargaining (ANNEX F) ...

4. On May 15, 1986, ALU in behalf of the majority of the employees of GAW Trading Inc. and GAW
Trading Inc. signed and executed the Collective Bargaining Agreements (ANNEX F) . . . .

5. In the meantime, at about 1:00 P.M. of May 9, 1986, the Southern Philippines Federation of Labor
(SPFL) together with Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa GAW (NAMGAW) undertook a ... Strike ... after it failed
to get the management of GAW Trading Inc. to sit for a conference respecting its demands presented at
11: A.M. on the same day in an effort to pressure GAW Trading Inc. to make a turnabout of its standign
recognition of ALU as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of its employees, as to which
strike GAW Trading Inc. filed a petition for Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction, dfated June 1, 1986
(Annex H) and which strike Labor Arbiter Bonifacio B. Tumamak held as illegal in a decision dated August
5, 1986 (ANNEX I);

6. On May 19, 1986, GAW Lumad Labor Union (GALLU-PSSLU) Federation ... filed a Certification
Election petition (ANNEX J), but as found by Med-Arbiter Candido M. Cumba in its (sic) Order dated Ju
ne 11, 1986 (ANNEX K), without having complied (sic) the subscription requirement for which it was
merely considered an intervenor until compliance thereof in the other petition for direct recogbnition as
bargaining agent filed on MAy 28, 1986 by southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) as found in
the same order (ANNEX K);

7. Int he meantime, the Collective Bargaining Agreement executed by ALU and GAW Trading Inc.
(ANNEX F) was duly filed May 27, 1986 with the Ministry of Labor and Employment in Region VII, Cebu
city;

8. Nevertheless, Med-Arbiter Candido M. Cumba in his order of June 11, 1986 (Annex K) ruled for the
holding of a ceritfication election in all branches of GAW Trading Inc. in Cebu City, as to which ALU filed a
Motion for Reconsideration dated June 19, 1986 (ANNEX L) which was treated as an appeal on that
questioned Order for which reason the entire record of subject certification case was forwarded for the
Director, Bureau of LAbor Relations, Ministry of Labor and Employment, Manila (ANNEX M);

9. Bureau of Labor Relations Director Cresencio B. Trajano, rendered a Decision on August 13, 1986
(Annex B) granting ALU's appeal (Motion for Reconsideration) and set aside the questioned Med-Arbiter
Order of June 11, 1986 (Annex K), on the ground that the CBA has been effective and valid and the
contract bar rule applicable;

10. But the same Decision of Director Crecensio B. Trajano was sought for reconsideratrion both by
Southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) on August 26, 1986 (ANNEX N), supplemented by the
'SUBMISSION OD ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE' dated September 29, 1986 (ANNEX O), and the Philppine
Social Security Labor Union (PSSLU) on October 2, 1986 (ANNEX P), which were opposed by both GAW
Trading, Inc. on September 2, 1986 (ANNEX Q) and ALU on September 12, 1986 (ANNEX R); 2

The aforesaid decision of then Director Trajano was thereafter reversed by respondent director in her aforecited decision
which is now assailed in this action. A motion for reconsideration of ALU 3 appears to have been disregarded, hence, its
present resort grounded on grave abuse of discretion by public respondent.

Public respondent ordered the holding of a certification election ruling that the "contract bar rule" relied upon by her
predecessor does not apply in the present controversy. According to the decision of said respondent, the collective
bargaining agreement involved herein is defective because it "was not duly submitted in accordance with Section I, Rule
IX, Book V of the Implementing Rules of Batas Pambansa Blg. 130." It was further observed that "(t)here is no proof
tending to show that the CBA has been posted in at least two conspicuous places in the 1 establishment at least five days
before its ratification and that it has been ratified by the majority of the employees in the bargaining unit."
We find no reversible error in the challenged decision of respondent director. A careful consideration of the facts culled
from the records of this case, especially the allegations of petitioner itself as hereinabove quoted, yields the conclusion
that the collective bargaining agreement in question is indeed defective hence unproductive of the legal effects attributed
to it by the former director in his decision which was subsequently and properly reversed.

We have previously held that the mechanics of collective bargaining are set in motion only when the following
jurisdictional preconditions are present, namely, (1) possession of the status of majority representation by the employees'
representative in accordance with any of the means of selection and/or designation provided for by the Labor Code; (2)
proof of majority representation; and (3) a demand to bargain under Article 251, paragraph (a), of the New Labor
Code. 4 In the present case, the standing of petitioner as an exclusive bargaining representative is dubious, to say the
least. It may be recalled that respondent company, in a letter dated May 12, 1986 and addressed to petitioner, merely
indicated that it was "not against the desire of (its) workers" and required petitioner to present proof that it was supported
by the majority thereof in a meeting to be held on the same date. 5 The only express recognition of petitioner as said
employees' bargaining representative that We see in the records is in the collective bargaining agreement entered into
two days thereafter. 6 Evidently, there was precipitate haste on the part of respondent company in recognizing petitioner
union, which recognition appears to have been based on the self-serving claim of the latter that it had the support of the
majority of the employees in the bargaining unit. Furthermore, at the time of the supposed recognition, the employer was
obviously aware that there were other unions existing in the unit. As earlier stated, respondent company's letter is dated
May 12, 1986 while the two other unions, Southern Philippine Federation of Labor (hereafter, SPFL and Philippine Social
Security Labor Union (PSSLU, for short), went on strike earlier on May 9, 1986. The unusual promptitude in the
recognition of petitioner union by respondent company as the exclusive bargaining representative of the workers in GAW
Trading, Inc. under the fluid and amorphous circumstances then obtaining, was decidedly unwarranted and improvident.

It bears mention that even in cases where it was the then Minister of Labor himself who directly certified the union as the
bargaining representative, this Court voided such certification where there was a failure to properly determine with legal
certainty whether the union enjoyed a majority representation. In such a case, the holding of a certification election at a
proper time would not necessarily be a mere formality as there was a compelling reason not to directly and unilaterally
certify a union. 7

An additional infirmity of the collective bargaining agreement involved was the failure to post the same in at least two (2)
conspicuous places in the establishment at least five days before its ratification. 8 Petitioners rationalization was that
"(b)ecause of the real existence of the illegal strike staged by SPFL in all the stores of GAW Trading, Inc. it had become
impossible to comply with the posting requirement in so far as the realization of tits purpose is concerned as there were
no impartial members of the unit who could be appraised of the CBA's contents. " 9 This justification is puerile and
unacceptable.

In the first place, the posting of copies of the collective bargaining agreement is the responsibility of the employer which
can easily comply with the requirement through a mere mechanical act. The fact that there were "no impartial members of
the unit" is immaterial. The purpose of the requirement is precisely to inform the employees in the bargaining unit of the
contents of said agreement so that they could intelligently decide whether to accept the same or not. The assembly of the
members of ALU wherein the agreement in question was allegedly explained does not cure the defect. The contract is
intended for all employees and not only for the members of the purpoted representative alone. It may even be said the the
need to inform the non-members of the terms thereof is more exigent and compelling since, in all likehood, their contact
with the persons who are supposed to represent them is limited. Moreover, to repeat, there was an apparent and
suspicious hurry in the formulation and finalization of said collective bargaining accord. In the sforementioned letter where
respondent company required petitioner union to present proof of its support by the employees, the company already
suggested that petitioner ALU at the same time submit the proposals that it intended to embody in the projected
agreement. This was on May 12, 1986, and prompltly on thre following day the negoltiation panel; furnish respondent
company final copies of the desired agreement whcih, with equal dispatch, was signed on May 15, 1986.

Another potent reason for annulling the disputed collective bargaining is the finding of respondent director that one
hundred eighty-one( 181) of the two hundred eighty-one (281) workers who "ratified" the same now " strongly and
vehemently deny and/or repudiate the alleged negotiations and ratification of the CBA. " 10 Although petitioner claims that
only sev en (7) of the repudiating group of workers belong to the total number who allegedly ratified the agreement,
nevertheless such substantiated contention weighed against the factujal that the controverted contract will not promote
industrial stability . The Court has long since declared that:

... Basic to the contract bar rule is the proposition that the delay of the right to select represen tatives can
be justified only where stability is deemed paramount. Excepted from the contract which do not foster
industrial stability, such as contracts where the identity of the representative is in doubt. Any stability
derived from such contracts must be subordinated to the employees' freedom of choice because it does
nto establish the type of industrial peace contemplated by the law. 11

At this juncture, petitioner should be reminded that the technical rules of rpocedure do not strictly apply in the adjudication
of labor disputes. 12 Consequently, its objection that the evidence with respect to the aforesaid repudiiation of the
supposed collective bargaining agreement cannot be considered for the first time on appeal on the Bureau of Labor
Relations should be disregarded, especially considering the weighty significance thereof.

Both petitioner and private respondent GAW Trading, Inc. allege that the employees of the latter are now enjoying the
benefits of the collective bargaining agreement that both parties had forged. However, We cannot find sufficient evidence
of record to support this contention. The only evidence cited by petitioner is supposed payment of union fees by said
employees, a premise too tenuous to sustain the desired conclusion. Even the actual number of workers in the
respondent company is not clear from the records. Said private respondent claims that it is two hundred eighty-one
(281) 13 but petitioner suggests that it is more than that number. The said parties should be aware that this Court is not an
adjudicator of facts. Worse, to borrow a trite but apt phrase, they would heap the Ossa of confusion upon the Pelion of
uncertainty and still expect a definitive ruling on the matter thus confounded.

Additionally, the inapplicability of the contract bar rule is further underscored by the fact that when the disputed agreement
was filed before the Labor Regional Office on May 27, 1986, a petition for certification election had already been filed on
May 19, 1986. Although the petition was not supported by the signatures of thirty percent (30%) of the workers in the
bargaining unit, the same was enough to initiate said certification election.

WHEREFORE, the order of the public respondent for the conduct of a certification election among the rank-and-file
workers of respondent GAW Trading Inc. is AFFIRMED. The temporary restraining order issued in this case pursuant to
the Resolution of March 25, 1987 is hereby lifted.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-45513-14 January 6, 1978

IN THE MATTER OF PETITION FOR DIRECT CERTIFICATION OR CERTIFICATION ELECTION. FIRESTONE TIRE &
RUBBER COMPANY EMPLOYEES' UNION (FEU), petitioner,
vs.
THE HON. FRANCISCO L. ESTRELLA, as Acting Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, FIRESTONE TIRE &
RUBBER COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES and ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS (ALU), respondents.

FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY EMPLOYEES UNION, represented by Romulo Ramos as
President,petitioner,
vs.
THE HON. FRANCISCO L. ESTRELLA, as Acting Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, and ASSOCIATED
LABOR UNIONS (ALU), respondents.

Avelino D. Latosa for petitioner.

Venerando B. Briones for private respondent.

ANTONIO, J.:

Petition to set aside two Resolutions issued by respondent Acting Director Francisco L. Estrella of the Bureau of Labor
Relations in BLR Cases Nos. A-070-76 and 2106-76.

The petition alleges that on June 21, 1973, the National Labor Relations Commission certified a three-year collective
bargaining agreement between respondents Associated Labor Union (ALU) and Firestone Tire & Rubber Company of the
Philippines. Said collective bargaining agreement was to be effective from February 1, 1973 to January 31, 1976.

On February 1, 1974, the aforementioned respondents entered into a "Supplemental Agreement" extending the fife of the
collective bargaining agreement for one year, making it effective up to January 31, 1977. The extension was not ratified by
the covered employees nor submitted to the Department of Labor for classification.

Within the sixty-day period prior to the original expiry date of the agreement, some 233 out of about 400 rank-and-file
employees of respondent Company resigned from respondent ALU. subsequently, the number of these employees who
resigned from the union was increased to 276 and, by way of letter to the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, they
requested for the issuance of a certificate of registration in favor of petitioner Firestone Tire & Rubber Company
Employees' Union (FEU).

On January 28, 1976, Registration Permit No. 8571-IP was issued to petitioner FEU. On February 10, 1976, ten (10) days
after the original expiry date of the collective bargaining agreement, petitioner FEU filed a petition with the Bureau of
Labor Relations for direct certification or certification election, 1 with the written consent of 308 employees, or 77% of the
400-man bargaining unit.

On February 20, 1976, respondent ALU filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a petition for the cancellation of the
registration certificate of petitioner FEU, 2 alleging that at the time of FEU's registration, respondent ALU was the
recognized and certified collective bargaining agent in the unit, and that FEU had not submitted the required sworn
statement that there is no recognized or certified collective bargaining agent therein.

On February 23, 1976, respondent ALU prayed for the dismissal of R04-MED-143-76 on the grounds, among others, that
it has a pending petition for the cancellation of FEU's registration certificate and that there is an existing collective
bargaining agreement, due to expire on January 31, 1977, which constitutes a valid bar to the holding of a certification
election.

Respondent Company likewise opposed the holding of a certification election on the ground, however, that the petition
therefor was filed late, considering that it was filed ten (10) days after the expiry date of the collective bargaining
agreement.

On April 6, 1976, the Med-Arbiter issued an Order granting the petition for certification election, Respondents ALU and the
Company filed separate appeals from the order before the Bureau of Labor Relations.

The Order of the Med-Arbiter was affirmed by the Honorable Director Carmelo C. Noriel on September 23, 1976, and
Motions for Reconsideration were filed by ALU and the Company on October 1, 1976.
On January 25, 1977, respondent Acting BLR Director Francisco L. Estrella issued a Resolution reversing the Order of the
Med-Arbiter which was affirmed by Director Noriel, and holding:

... that there indeed exists a prejudicial question involving the very legal personality of the petitioner union.
In BLR Case No. 210676, the validity of the registration certificate of petitioner is at issue. It is therefore
obvious that the present representation question should wait for the final disposition of the issue on
petitioner's legal personality, if only to forestall what may prove to be unnecessary proceedings. 3

The issue of whether or not there was an existing collective bargaining agreement which serves as a bar to the holding of
a certification election was not resolved by respondent Acting Director Francisco L. Estrella.

On June 8, 1976, BLR Case No. 2106-76 for the cancellation of petitioner FEU's certificate of registration was dismissed
by the Med-Arbiter. Respondents ALU and the Company appealed to the Bureau of Labor Relations, but the appeals were
dismissal by Director Carmelo C. Noriel. Motions for Reconsideration were filed by the same respondents and on January
25, 1977, respondent Acting Director Franco L. Estrella entered a Resolution reversing the decision of Director Noriel and
revoking the certificate of registration of petitioner FEU. Respondent Acting Director Estrella ruled that according to
Section 4, Rule II, Book V of the Rules of Implementing the Labor Code, no union may be registered when there is in the
bargaining unit a or certified collective bargaining agent. The Acting Director found that there was such a bargaining agent
in the unit (ALU), and that there was in fact a collective bargaining agreement which was yet to expire on January 31,
1977. On that score, it was held that FEU's application for registration was premature, and that it should have waited for
the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.

The two Resolution issued by Respondent Acting Director Francisco L. Estrella are subject of the instant petition for
review by way of certiorari.

It is petitioner's contention that the issue of whether or not there was an existing contract or collective agreement to
validity bar the holding of a certification election should have been resolved by respondent Acting Director in BLR Case
No. A-070-76, as it was already intertwined with the issue of petitioner's legal personality as assailed in BLR Case No.
2106-76. According to petitioner, 'if the petition for certification election in this case is not barred by the contract in
question, then the registration certificate of petitioner, acquired as it was within the sixty-day freedom period of such
contract must, of necessity, be likewise not barred or denied as premature." Likewise, petitioner alleges that 'there being
no pronouncement on the applicability of the 'contract bar' rule in this case, the cancellation of the registration certificate of
petitioner is devoid of legal basis, hence it was done by the respondent BLR Acting Director in grave abuse of discretion."

Further, it is petitioner's stand that the Acting Director erred in concluding that the collective bargaining agreement was to
expire on January 31, 1977, for which n he held that petitioner's application for registration was premature. The expiry
date of January 31, 1977, according to petitioner, was unauthorized because the extension of the contract for a period of
one year was not certified by the Department of Labor and was "used to foil the constitutional right of the workers to self-
organization and to engage in collective bargaining."

The petition prays that the Resolutions of respondent Acting Director, both dated January 25, 1977, be set aside, and the
orders/decisions of Director Carmelo C. Noriel, dated September 23, 1976 and October 8, 1976, be affirmed.

Respondent Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of the Philippines filed its Comment to the instant petition, contending,
mainly, that petitioner FEU had no legal personality as a union because its non-compliance with Section 4, Rule 11, Book
V of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code is sufficient ground for the cancellation of its registration
certificate.

Respondent ALU likewise filed its Comment, reiterating the contention that FEU had no legal personality to ask for a direct
certification or certification election because its certificate of registration was obtained fraudulently and has, in fact, been
cancelled.

In the meantime, due to the fact that the collective bargaining agreement had already expired, respondent ALU demanded
that respondent Company negotiate with it for a new agreement. The Company requested for specific advice on the
proper course of action from the department of Labor. In response to the request, the Department answered that "in the
absence of any adjudication from competent authority and in accordance with existing jurisprudence

... there is no legal impediment for (the) Company to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement
with the Associated Labor Unions.

Accordingly, a new collective bargaining agreement was entered into between ALU and the Company on April 1, 1977.

It appears that on January 31, 1977, FEU filed with Regional Office No. 4 Case No. R04-MED-808-77, a petition for direct
certification/certification election, utilizing its questioned Registration Permit No. 8571-IP, dated January 26, 1976.
We find this petition meritorious. In BLR Case No. 2160-76, Director Carmelo C. Noriel, resolving the pivotal issue of
whether or not the failure of FEU to submit "a sworn statement ... to the effect that there is no recognized or certified
collective bargaining agent in the bargaining unit condemned warrants the revocation of its registration, said:

This Bureau answers in the negative.

... notwithstanding the existence of a certified or recognized collective bargaining agent, the policy of this
Office sanctions a registration of new union during the freedom period especially if it has become
apparent that a substantial number of union members has decide(, to form a new labor organization, as
aptly illustrated in the case at bar. If the rule were otherwise, no recourse whatsoever hall be accorded to
members of a bargaining unit who would like to make a free choice of their bargaining representative,
thereby placing the constitutional rights of the workers to self-organization and collective bargaining in
mockery, if not, in utter illusion.

This view is supported by precedents, it seems to be the better view that a contract does not operate as a bar to
representation proceedings, where it is shown that because of a schism in the union the contract can no longer serve to
promote industrial stability, and the direction of the election is in the interest of industrial stability as well as in the interest
of the employees' right in the selection of their bargaining representatives. 4 Basic to the contract bar rule is the
proposition that the delay of the right to select representatives can be justified only where stability is deemed paramount.
Excepted from the contract bar rule are certain types of contracts which do not foster industrial stability, such as contracts
where the Identity of the representative is in doubt. Any stability derived from such contracts must be subordinated to the
employees' freedom of choice because it does not establish the type of industrial peace contemplated by the law. 5

In the case at bar, it is doubtful if any contract that may have been entered into between respondent ALU and respondent
Company will foster stability in the bargaining unit, in view of the fact that a substantial number of the employees therein
have resigned from ALU and joined petitioner FEU. At any rate, this is a matter that must be finally determined by means
of a certification election.

In Foamtex Labor Union-TUPAS vs. Noriel, 6 We said:

... The question of whether or not the disaffiliation was validly made appears not to be of much
significance, considering that the petition for direct certification is supported by eighty (80) out of a total of
one hundred twenty (120) of the rank and file employees of the unit. Pursuant to Article 256 of the Labor
Code, 'if there is any reasonable doubt as to whom the employees have chosen as their representative
for the purpose of collective bargaining, the Bureau shall order a secret ballot election to be conducted by
the Bureau to ascertain who is the freely chosen representative of the employees concerned, ... It is very
clear from the aforementioned circumstances that there is actually a reasonable doubt as to whom the
employees have chosen as their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

As to whether or not the disaffiliation was actually and validly made, or whether Foamtex Labor Union of
respondent Belga is the true collective bargaining representative of the employee are questions that need
not be resolved independently of each other. Such questions may be answered once and for all the
moment is determined, by means of the secret ballot election, the union to which the majority of the
employees have really reposed their allegiance. The important factor here is the true choice of the
employees, and . the most expeditious and effective manner of determining this is by means of the
certification election, as it is for this very reason that such procedure has been incorporated in the law. To
order that a separate secret ballot election be conducted for the purpose of determining the question of
policy, i.e., whether or not the majority of the employees desire to disaffiliate from the mother union,
should be merely a circuitous way of ascertaining the majority's true choice.

As observed PAFLU v. Bureau of labor Relation (69 SCRA 132, 139), a certification election for the
collective bargaining process is one of the fairest and most effective way of determining which labor
organization can truly represent the working force. It is a fundamental postulate that the will of the
majority, if given in an honest election with freedom on the part of the voters to make their choice, is
controlling. No better device can assure the institution of industrial democracy with the two parties to a
business enterprise, management and labor, establishing a regime of self-rule.

Similarly, in Philippine Labor Alliance Council (PLAC) vs. Bureau of Labor Relations, et al., 7 it was held that once the fact
of disaffiliation has been demonstrated beyond doubt, a certification election is the most expeditious way of determining
which labor organization is to be the exclusive bargaining representative.

It appearing that the extension of the life of the collective bargaining agreement for a period of one year was not certified
by the Bureau of Labor Relations, it cannot, therefore, also bar the certification election. Only a certified collective
bargaining agreement would serve as a bar to such election. 8
Corollarily, therefore, petitioner's application for registration was not premature, as it need not have waited for the
expiration of the one-year extension, the agreement having expired on January 31, 1976.

WHEREFORE the instant petition for certiorari is granted. The two Resolutions, both dated January 25, 1977 in BLR
Cases Nos. A060-76 and 2106-76 are hereby REVERSED and set aside. Costs against private respondents.