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Republic of the Philippines

Department of Labor and Employment


NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
QUEZON CITY

MARIE YVETTE QUEBRAL DELOS SANTOS,


Complainant/s,

-versus-

NLRC Case No. NCR 10-15143-17

TOYOTA COMMONWEALTH, INC./


TOYOTA FAIRVIEW, INC./
WILLIAM T. LI/ EVELYN C. LI/
AIMEE C. LI/ ALDRICH. LI
Respondent.

x------------------------------------x

POSITION PAPER

Respondents, TOYOTA COMMONWEALTH, INC., TOYOTA


FAIRVIEW, INC. (hereinafter referred to as “the Company”),
WILLIAM T. LI, EVELYN C. LI, AIMEE C. LI, ALDRICH. LI,
through counsel, most respectfully submits this Position Paper, for the
consideration and guidance of this Honorable Office, and in support
thereof, most respectfully aver:

THE PARTIES

Complainant was a former Human Resource Manager of


Respondent Company. She is a Filipino, of legal age, and a resident
of Block 10, Lot 11, Mirabela Bagumbong Caloocan City, NCR 1421.
Notices and other legal processes may be served upon complainant at
her above-given address.
Respondent Company is a corporation duly organized and
existing under Philippine laws and has its place of business at
Commonwealth Ave., Old Balara, Quezon City. Individual Respondents
are the officers of the Respondent Company. Notices and other legal
processes may be served upon them through their counsel, the Law
Firm of Alonso and Associates with address at Unit 2503, 25th Floor,
Philippine AXA Life Centre, 1286 Sen. Gil. Puyat Ave., Makati City.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This is a complaint for alleged illegal dismissal with prayer for


payment of:

1. Illegal Dismissal-Constructive;
2. Underpayment-Salary/Wages
3. Non-Payment-13th Month Pay
4. Illegal Deduction – Non-Payment of what was incorrectly
deducted from salaries
5. Moral and Exemplary Damages
6. Attorney’s Fees,
7. Other Causes of Action – Serious insult of being a solo
parent and Christian
8. Tax Refund

STATEMENT OF FACTS

1. Complainant was a former HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER of


Respondent Company. Complainant was on her Probationary period
when she decided to voluntarily resign from Respondent Company.

2. Respondent Company, on the other hand, is an authorized


dealer of Toyota Motor Philippines.

3. Complainant was hired on February 2, 2016, and she


voluntarily tendered her resignation on 14 July 2016, weeks before her
probationary period with Respondent Company expires. (Annex “1”).

4. Respondent Company then accepted Complainant’s


resignation letter.

5. A few months thereafter, Complainant filed a complaint


against Respondent Company and its officers.

6. Hence, this case.

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ARGUMENTS

I
COMPLAINANT’S CLAIM OF
ILLEGAL DISMISSAL IS BEREFT OF
MERIT AS HER SEPARATION FROM
THE COMPANY WAS ON HER OWN
FREE ACCORD BY VOLUNTARILY
TENDERING HER RESIGNATION
LETTER, WHICH WAS ACCEPTED
BY THE COMPANY.

II
CONSEQUENTLY, SHE IS NOT
ENTITLED TO ANY OF THE
RELIEFS PRAYED FOR.

III
WHETHER OR NOT INDIVIDUAL
RESPONDENTS ARE LIABLE FOR
THEIR OFFICIAL ACTS.

DISCUSSION

I. COMPLAINANT’S CLAIM OF
ILLEGAL DISMISSAL IS
BEREFT OF MERIT AS HER
SEPARATION FROM THE
COMPANY WAS ON HER OWN
FREE ACCORD BY
VOLUNTARILY TENDERING
HER RESIGNATION LETTER,
WHICH WAS ACCEPTED BY
THE COMPANY.
-------------------------------------------------------

1. From the attendant circumstances, Complainant cannot claim


that she was constructively dismissed nor was she illegally dismissed
by Respondent Company. As aforesaid, Complainant voluntarily
tendered her resignation.

2. Voluntary resignation is defined as the voluntary act of an


employee who finds himself in a situation where he believes that

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personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the
service so much so that he has no other choice but to dissociate himself
from his employment. It may be brought about by a number of
reasons. The same may be brought about by the fact that the
employee is having trouble performing his job plus his failure to see
eye-to-eye with his immediate superiors. Because of these difficulties,
it is quite reasonable for the employee to think of eventually
relinquishing his position voluntarily (Antonio Habana vs. National
Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 121486, November 16, 1998).
It is a voluntary act of the employee, which is beyond the control of
the employer (NAFLU vs. National Labor Relations Commission, 202
SCRA 346). IN OTHER WORDS, IN RESIGNATION, THE
EMPLOYER HAS NO HAND IN SEVERING THE EMPLOYER-
EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP. IF AT ALL, RESPONSIBILITY
MUST FALL ENTIRELY ON THE PART OF THE EMPLOYEE
BECAUSE IT IS A SETTLED DOCTRINE THAT THE
RESIGNATION OF AN EMPLOYEE IS PRESUMED VOLUNTARY,
UNLESS ESTABLISHED OTHERWISE (St. Michael Academy vs.
NLRC, G.R. No. 119512, July 13, 1998, 292 SCRA 478).

3. The facts in this case would clearly show the absence of any
element of constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal has been
defined as quitting because continued employment is rendered
impossible, unreasonable and unlikely, usually in the form of demotion
in rank or diminution in pay (Philippine Japan Active Carbon
Corporation vs. National Labor Relations Commission, 171 SCRA 164).
Constructive dismissal is present where the employer purposely
creates an unbearable situation, thus, giving the employee no other
option but to resign. In short, it is indirect dismissal. It should not be
the case where it is the employee who obviously has felt stubborn
disdain against Management.

4. Not every pressure brought about by work may be equated


with constructive dismissal. Employees have to continuously contend
between the ever-clashing options of attending to one’s personal
needs and preferences and the needs of the service. This clash puts
a lot of pressure upon the employee. These pressures may either be
peculiar to the job itself or be attributable to the fact of working, per
se. All these pressures may place the employee in a very difficult
position. And when it creates a situation unbearable to the employee,
the law gives him the option to resign. This becomes his personal
choice, unattended by influence or duress from management.

5. What are the circumstances that would dispel any claim of


constructive dismissal?

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6. As an HR manager, she is presumed to be knowledgeable of
her rights provided for by law. Complainant is not an ordinary rank-
and-file personnel of the Company who could be cowed into doing
something against her will and be forced by her employer to quit, or
who may not fully understand the consequences of her acts. As a
managerial employee, she is certainly more than competent enough to
know that her act constituted voluntary resignation. To sustain her
allegation of constructive after she has voluntarily tendered her
resignation is to make a mockery of justice.

7. While Complainant was not dismissed on account of the


foregoing, however, said circumstances would all the more negate her
claim that her working environment was made miserable. The problem
does not lie with either her working environment or her superiors;
lamentably and inarguably, the problem lies with her.

8. Hence, to reiterate, the facts obtaining in this case would most


certainly negate any claim of constructive dismissal. Respondent
Company never made her working environment unbearable. While
Complainant declined to perform her functions, none of her colleagues
complained about the work being assigned to them; they simply
worked. In her mind, she was all-knowing and would shun anyone who
would correct her work.

9. Where there is no showing that Complainant was coerced into


resigning from the Company and that, on the contrary, she resigned
without any element of coercion attending her option, this is clearly a
case of voluntary resignation. To allow Complainant to repudiate the
same will be to countenance unjust enrichment on her part (Admiral
Realty Company vs. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
112043, May 18, 1999).

10. The law, in protecting the rights of the employees authorizes


neither oppression nor self-destruction of the employer. It should
made clear that when the law tilts the scales of justice in favor of labor,
it is but a recognition of the inherent economic inequality between
labor and management. The intent is to balance the scale of justice;
to put the two parties on relatively equal positions. There may be
cases where the circumstances warrant favoring labor over the
interests of management but never should the scale be so tilted if the
result is an injustice to the employer. Justitia nemini neganda est
(Justice to be denied no none). (Justice Teodoro R. Padilla, Philippine
Geothermal, Inc. vs. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 106370, September 1994).

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11. Verily, Complainant’s claim of constructive dismissal, must
perforce, fail.

II. CONSEQUENTLY, SHE IS


NOT ENTITLED TO ANY OF THE
RELIEFS PRAYED FOR.
-----------------------------------
-------------------

1. Preliminarily, Complainant is not entitled to reinstatement


because this relief is granted to an employee, only if his dismissal was
tainted with illegality. In this case however, there is no illegal dismissal
to speak of. Complainant in this case, voluntarily tendered her
resignation letter even if nobody forced Complainant to resign.

2. With regard to her claim for backwages, the same must also
fail, for backwages represent compensation that should have been
earned by the employee but was lost because of the unjust or illegal
dismissal (General Textile, Inc. et. al. vs. NLRC, et. al., G.R. No.
102969, April 4, 1995; Lim vs. NLRC, et. al., 171 SCRA 328 [1989]).
Since Complainant was not dismissed, more so, illegally, there could
not have been any period wherein she was denied or deprived of any
compensation due her. Backwages are awarded to those who have
been unjustly dismissed and not to those who have caused their
predicament upon them. In view of these circumstances, her claim for
backwages must be denied.

3. She further alleged that that there were unknown deductions


to her salary and that there were “Underpayment-Salary/Wages, Non-
Payment-13th Month Pay, Illegal Deduction – Non-Payment of what
was incorrectly deducted from salaries”.

4. Contrary to Complainant’s allegations, Respondent never


withheld any amount that was due to Complainant. Everything that
was deducted to her salary were all allowable deductions prescribed
by law, and Complainant was informed thereof. Salary was paid to her
as agreed upon, as well as her pro-rated 13th month pay. Attached
hereto are the pay slips and other documentations showing that
Complainant was paid what was due her, and no illegal deduction were
made therefrom (Annex “2” and series).

5. Truth is, During the SENA Conferences with Complainant last


August 31, 2017 and September 5, 2017, she was informed that her
last pay was already ready for release, yet, she refused to accept the
same. Below are the details of the checks covering the last pay of
Complainant: (1) Check No. 0001494998 Php 28,438.16 last pay

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check - TFV (with date September 4, 2017) (2) Check No.
0001494361 Php 42,027.21 last pay check - TCM (with date August
11, 2017)

6. Anent Complainant’s claim for moral and exemplary damages,


the same must likewise fail, for the payment of damages proceeds
from the premise that the employee was illegally dismissed. However,
such assumption has no leg to stand on considering that damages in
labor cases could only be awarded, if there is a finding that the
dismissal is illegal and that it was done anti-socially or oppressively
(Hilario vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 119583, 29 January 1996). But this is not
the prevailing circumstance in the case at bar, because the
discontinuance of Complainant’s employment was never tainted with
illegality. Complainant cannot give the impression that she suffered so
much because of the turn of events. There is simply no room for such
mental anguish, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings and social
humiliation, for the Company has done Complainant no wrong, except
to accept her resignation letter. With this, her claim for moral and
exemplary damages must necessarily fail.

7. With regard to attorney’s fees, Complainant is neither entitled


to such, because an award thereof is justified only if she was compelled
to litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect her
interests by reason of the unjustified act of the party against whom it
is sought (Lopez vs. NLRC, Letran College-Manila, et al., G.R. No.
124548, October 8, 1998). Here, considering that her claim for illegal
dismissal was baseless, then with more reason that she should not be
awarded attorney’s fees.

III. INDIVIDUAL RESPONDENTS ARE NOT


LIABLE FOR THEIR OFFICIAL ACTS

---------------------------------

1. Individual Respondents must not be held personally liable for


Complainant’s dismissal. It is settled doctrine that a corporate officer
acting in his official capacity, cannot be held liable for the monetary
claims of the employees. In the case of Sunio vs. NLRC, 127 SCRA
391, it was clearly held that a stockholder or officer of a corporation
cannot be personally held liable for damages, on account of the
termination of the services of an employee, especially if the separation
from the Company was for a valid cause. This is so because the
personality of the respondent corporation was recognized to be
separate and distinct from that of the officers. Likewise, in the case

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of Mindanao Lines, Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, 6 SCRA 710,
the Supreme Court categorically ruled:

“It is a well known principle of law that


an agent who acts in behalf of a disclosed
principal within the scope of his authority
cannot be held liable to third persons (citing
Article 1897, New Civil Code; Banque Generale
Belge, et al. vs. Walter Bull & Co., Inc., et al.”,
O.G. 138; Zialcit-Yuseco vs. Simmons, L- 7912,
30 August 1955).”

2. Emphasis must be given to the principle that “as a legal


entity, a corporation has a personality distinct and separate from its
individual stockholders or members and from that of its officers who
manage and run its affairs.” (Malonso v. Principe, A.C. No. 6289
[2004]; Boyer-Roxas v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 100866 [1992];
Equitable Banking Corporation v. NLRC, 339 SCRA 541 [1997], Santos
v. NLRC, 254 SCRA 673 [1996]). In the case of Malayang Samahan
ng mga Manggagawa sa M. Greenfield (MSMG_UWP), et al., vs.
Ramos, et al., (G.R. No. 113907, 28 February 2000), the Supreme
Court laid down the following ruling:

Lastly, the Court is of the opinion, and so


holds, that respondent company officials
cannot be held personally liable for damages
on account of the employees’ dismissal
because the employer corporation has a
personality separate and distinct from its
officers who merely acted as its agents.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed of


this Honorable Office that the instant case be dismissed for utter lack
of merit.

Such other reliefs, just and equitable under the circumstances,


are likewise prayed for.

Makati City for Quezon City, 15 December 2017.

ALONSO AND ASSOCIATES


Unit 2503, 25th Flr., Phil. AXA Life Centre

8
Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue cor. Tindalo St.
Makati City

By:

JOSABETH V. ALONSO
PTR No. 5323598/Makati City/01-04-16
IBP No. 1016981/Quezon City/12-29-15
Roll No. 34994
MCLEComp.No.V-0011644
11 November 2015

VLADIMIR F. DEL ROSARIO


PTR No. 5323602/Makati City/01.04.16
IBP No. 1016980/KALMANA/12.29.15
Roll No. 54724
MCLE Compliance No. IV-0019003
12 April 2016

CHRISTOFFER ALLAN A. LIQUIGAN


PTR No. 5323600/Makati City/01.04.16
IBP No. 1016983/Makati City/12.29.15
Roll No. 63791
MCLEComp.No.V-0016759
02 March 2016

Copy furnished:

MARIE YVETTE QUEBRAL DELOS SANTOS


Complainant
Block 10, Lot 11, Mirabela Bagumbong
Caloocan City, NCR 1421

EXPLANATION

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Pursuant to Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, service of this pleading to the other parties is made by
registered mail. Personal service cannot be made due to the lack of
personnel to effect said service.

Christoffer Allan A. Liquigan

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