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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE

November-2015 Jurisprudence

G.R. No. 192955, November 09, 2015 - EDILBERTO P. ETOM, JR., Petitioner, v. AROMA LODGING HOUSE
THROUGH EDUARDO G. LEM, PROPRIETOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, Respondent.

G.R. No. 197458, November 11, 2015 - NICANOR PINLAC Y RESOLME, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

G.R. No. 197802, November 11, 2015 - ZUNECA PHARMACEUTICAL, AKRAM ARAIN AND/OR VENUS
ARAIN, M.D. DBA ZUNECA PHARMACEUTICAL, Petitioners, v. NATRAPHARM, INC., Respondent.

G.R. No. 179121, November 09, 2015 - MARGARITA M. BENEDICTO-MUÑOZ, Petitioner, v. MARIA
ANGELES CACHO-OLIVARES, EDGARDO P. OLIVARES, PETER C. OLIVARES, CARMELA Q. OLIVARES,
MICHAEL C. OLIVARES, ALEXANDRA B. OLIVARES, AND MELISSA C. OLIVARES, Respondents.; G.R. NO.
179128 - ABACUS SECURITIES CORPORATION AND JOEL CHUA CHIU, Petitioners, v. MARIA ANGELES
CACHO-OLIVARES, PETER C. OLIVARES, CARMELA Q. OLIVARES, MICHAEL Q. OLIVARES, ALEXANDRA B.
OLIVARES, [and] MELISSA C. OLIVARES, Respondents.; G.R. NO. 179129 SAPPHIRE SECURITIES, INC.,
Petitioner, v. MARIA ANGELES CACHO-OLIVARES, EDGARDO P. OLIVARES, PETER C. OLIVARES, CARMELA
Q. OLIVARES, MICHAEL C. OLIVARES, ALEXANDRA B. OLIVARES, MELISSA C. OLIVARES, AND THE HON.
COURT OF APPEALS, NINTH DIVISION, Respondents.

G.R. Nos. 217126-27, November 10, 2015 - CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE
OMBUDSMAN, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS (SIXTH DIVISION) AND JEJOMAR ERWIN S. BINAY, JR.,
Respondents.

A.M. No. P-15-3391, November 16, 2015 - RE: INCIDENT REPORT RELATIVE TO A CRIMINAL CASE FILED
AGAINST ROSEMARIE U. GARDUCE, CLERK III, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT (OCC), REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT (RTC), PARANAQUE CITY

G.R. No. 207041, November 09, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE OFFICE OF
THE CITY PROSECUTOR, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ROXAS CITY, Petitioner, v. JESUS A. ARROJADO,
Respondent.

G.R. No. 176908, November 11, 2015 - PURISIMO M. CABAOBAS, EXUPERIO C. MOLINA, GILBERTO V.
OPINION, VICENTE R. LAURON, RAMON M. DE PAZ, JR., ZACARIAS E. CARBO, JULITO G. ABARRACOSO,
DOMINGO B. GLORIA, AND FRANCISCO P. CUMPIO, Petitioners, v. PEPSI-COLA PRODUCTS, PHILIPPINES,
INC., Respondents.

G.R. No. 196083, November 11, 2015 - MILAGROS C. REYES, Petitioner, v. FELIX P. ASUNCION,
Respondent.

A.C. No. 10671, November 25, 2015 - JOSEPH C. CHUA, Complainant, v. ATTY. ARTURO M. DE CASTRO,
Respondent.

G.R. No. 199601, November 23, 2015 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK (NOW BDO
UNIBANK, INC., Petitioner, v. JOSEPHINE D. GOMEZ, Respondent.
G.R. No. 173864, November 23, 2015 - BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS, Petitioner, v. AGUSTIN LIBO-ON,
Respondent.

A.C. No. 10737, November 09, 2015 - ROLANDO TOLENTINO, Complainant, v. ATTY. RODIL L. MILLADO
AND ATTY. FRANCISCO B. SIBAYAN, Respondents.

G.R. No. 193158, November 11, 2015 - PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES HOSPITAL, Respondent.

G.R. No. 214502, November 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FRANCO
DARMO DE GUZMAN Y YANZON, A.K.A. DARMO YAZON Y CORTEZ, A.K.A. FRANCO DE GUZMAN Y
CORTEZ, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 202611, November 23, 2015 - ABNER MANGUBAT, Petitioner, v. BELEN MORGA-SEVA,
Respondent.

A.C. No. 7353, November 16, 2015 - NELSON P. VALDEZ, Petitioner, v. ATTY. ANTOLIN ALLYSON DABON,
JR., Respondent.

G.R. No. 197925, November 09, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDWIN
DALAWIS Y HIDALGO, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 213330, November 16, 2015 - ALELI C. ALMADOVAR, GENERAL MANAGER ISAWAD, ISABELA
CITY, BASILAN PROVINCE, Petitioner, v. CHAIRPERSON MA. GRACIA M. PULIDO-TAN, COMMISSION ON
AUDIT, Respondent.

G.R. No. 202859, November 11, 2015 - NEW FILIPINO MARITIME AGENCIES, INC., TAIYO NIPPON KISEN
CO., LTD., AND ANGELINA T, RIVERA, Petitioners, v. VINCENT H. D ATAYAN -HEIR OF SIMON VINCENT H.
DATAYAN III, Respondent.
A.M. No. MTJ-10-1760, November 16, 2015 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Petitioner, v.
RETIRED JUDGE FILEMON A. TANDINCO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES (MTCC), CALBAYOG CITY,
SAMAR AND RONALDO C. DIONEDA, CLERK OF COURT OF THE MTCC, CALBAYOG CITY, SAMAR,
Respondent.

G.R. No. 195654, November 25, 2015 - REYNALDO INUTAN, HELEN CARTE, NOEL AYSON, IVY CABARLE,
NOELJAMILI, MARITES HULAR, ROLITOAZUCENA, RAYMUNDO TUNOG, ROGER BERNAL, AGUSTEV ESTRE,
MARILOU SAGUN, AND ENRIQUE LEDESMA, JR., Petitioners, v. NAPAR CONTRACTING & ALLIED
SERVICES, NORMAN LACSAMANA, JONAS INTERNATIONAL, INC., AND PHILIP YOUNG, Respondent.

G.R. No. 179257, November 23, 2015 - UNITED ALLOY PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. UNITED
COCONUT PLANTERS BANK [UCPB] AND/OR PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION [PDIC],
JAKOB VAN DER SLUIS AND ROBERT T.CHUA, Respondent.

G.R. No. 187464, November 25, 2015 - CABIB ALONTO TANOG, Petitioner, v. HON. RASAD G.
BALINDONG, Acting Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, 12th Judicial Region, MARAWI CITY,
AND GAPO SIDIC, Respondent.

G.R. No. 205760, November 09, 2015 - FRANCISCO T. INOCENCIO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

G.R. No. 199087, November 11, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JERRY
PUNZALAN AND PATRICIA PUNZALAN, Accused-Appellants.

G.R. No. 203883, November 10, 2015 - HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION OF TALAYAN VILLAGE INC.,
Petitioner, v. J.M. TUASON & CO., INC., TALAYAN HOLDINGS, INC., QUEZON CITY MAYOR AND
EQUITABLE BANKING CORPORATION (NOW BANCO DE ORO BANKING CORPORATION), Respondents.;
G.R. NO. 203930 - J.M. TUASON & CO., AND TALAYAN HOLDINGS, INC., Petitioner, v. HOMEOWNERS
ASSOCIATION OF TALAYAN VILLAGE, INC. AND QUEZON CITY MAYOR, Respondent.

G.R. No. 217456, November 24, 2015 - MARILOU S. LAUDE AND MESEHILDA S. LAUDE, Petitioners, v.
HON. ROLINE M. GINEZ-JABALDE, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 74, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF THE CITY
OF OLONGAPO; HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY; HON. ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO,
SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS; HON. GEN. GREGORIO PIO P. CATAPANG, CHIEF
OF STAFF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES; HON. EMILIE FE DELOS SANTOS, CHIEF CITY
PROSECUTOR OF OLONGAPO CITY; AND L/CPL JOSEPH SCOTT PEMBERTON, Respondent.

G.R. No. 202664, November 20, 2015 - MANUEL LUIS C. GONZALES AND FRANCIS MARTIN D. GONZALES,
Petitioners, v. GJH LAND, INC. (FORMERLY KNOWN AS S.J. LAND, INC.), CHANG HWAN JANG A.K.A.
STEVE JANG, SANG RAK KIM, MARIECHU N. YAP, AND ATTY. ROBERTO P. MALLARI II, Respondent.

G.R. No. 193821, November 23, 2015 - PHIL-AIR CONDITIONING CENTER, Petitioner, v. RCJ LINES AND
ROLANDO ABADILLA, JR., Respondent.

A.C. No. 8507, November 10, 2015 - ELENA BIETE LEONES VDA. DE MILLER, Complainant, v. ATTY.
ROLANDO B. MIRANDA, Respondent.

G.R. No. 211056, November 10, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BIENVENIDO
REMEDIOS y SARAMOSING, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 205915, November 10, 2015 - ASSET POOL A (SPV-AMC), INC., Petitioner, v. CLARK
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent. - JUDGMENT [BASED ON COMPROMISE AGREEMENT]

G.R. No. 203087, November 23, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDGARDO
ZABALA y BALADA AND ROMEO ALBIUS JR. y BAUTISTA, Accused-Appellants.

G.R. No. 201830, November 10, 2015 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, REPRESENTED BY HON. CONCHITA
CARPIO MORALES, IN HER CAPACITY AS TANODBAYAN, AND HON. GERARD A. MOSQUERA, IN HIS
CAPACITY AS DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR LUZON, Petitioners, v. ROGER F. BORJA, Respondent.; G.R. NO.
201882 - LERMA S. PRUDENTE AND DAMASO T. AMBRAY, Petitioners, v. ROGER F. BORJA, Respondent.

G.R. No. 188372, November 25, 2015 - BEAMS PHILIPPINE EXPORT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v.
MARIANITA CASTILLO AND NIDA QUIRANTE, Respondents.
G.R. No. 195194, November 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. KAMAD
AKMAD Y ULIMPAIN @ "MHADS" AND BAINHOR AKMAD Y ULIMPAIN @ "BHADS,", Accused-Appellants.

G.R. No. 188118, November 23, 2015 - FEDERAL PHOENIX ASSURANCE CO., LTD., Petitioner, v. FORTUNE
SEA CARRIER, INC., Respondent.

G.R. No. 207105, November 10, 2015 - ARSENIO A. AGUSTIN, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
AND SALVADOR S. PILLOS, Respondent.

G.R. No. 210616, November 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDDIE SALIBAD
Y DILO, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 174115, November 09, 2015 - PUNONGBAYAN AND ARAULLO (P&A), BENJAMIN R.
PUNONGBAYAN., JOSE G. ARAULLO, GREGORIO S. NAVARRO, ALFREDO V. DAMIAN AND JESSIE C.
CARPIO, Petitioners, v. ROBERTO PONCE LEPON, Respondent.

G.R. No. 189229, November 23, 2015 - REYNALDO NOBLADO, JIMMY ARAGON, ARTURO MALAYO,
MARCIANO VICTORIA, ELINO DALANON, JOSE ESTRIL, DOMINGO MALUPENG, ALFREDIE RAYTA,
ROMULO RECOMES, ADRIAN VERCELES, RUEL MAD RON A, RUBEN MIRAFUENTES, ARNULFO MALAYO,
JAIME REMIAS, JELMER BEROLLA, EDIL CASTILLO, FELICIDAD ROSIMA, MITCHEL VICTORIA, DANIEL
MALUPENG, ZOSIMO RANAS, ROSIETA RAYTA, RAFAEL TUMIMBANG, FLORENCIO VICTORIA, ERNESTO
VICTORIA, CERIA ORTIZ, RAUL ADRA, AND VICENTE CUACHIN, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS LEGAL HEIRS,
NAMELY: LILIA LORENO CUACHIN, NILO L. CUACHIN, LEONARDO L. CUACHIN, JUDITH L. CUACHIN, VILMA
CUACHIN LLANZANA, ELVIE CUACHIN MANTES, CRISTINA CUACHIN SARCIA, LILIBETH CUACHIN BELORIA,
AIDA CUACHIN MIRANDILLA, JULIET CUACHIN AWA, Petitioners, v. PRTNCESITA K. ALFONSO,
Respondent.

G.R. No. 208842, November 10, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. REYNALDO
SIMBULAN ARCEO, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 162032, November 25, 2015 - RURAL BANK OF MALASIQUI, INC., Petitioner, v. ROMEO M.
CERALDE AND EDUARDO M. CERALDE, JR., Respondent.
G.R. No. 175378, November 11, 2015 - MULTI-INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DATA SYSTEM, INC.,
Petitioner, v. RUEL MARTINEZ, Respondent.

A.M. No. P-11-2992 (Formerly A.M. No. 11-8-156-RTC), November 09, 2015 - OFFICE OF THE COURT
ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. ROGER D. COREA, SHERIFF IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 39,
POLOMOLOK, SOUTH COTOBATO, Respondent.

G.R. No. 215471, November 23, 2015 - MARLOW NAVIGATION PHILIPPINES INC., MARLOW NAVIGATION
CO. LTD./ CYPRUS, LIGAYA C. DELA CRUZ AND ANTONIO GALVEZ, JR., Petitioners, v. BRAULIO A. OSIAS,
Respondent.

G.R. No. 210603, November 25, 2015 - EDITHA B. SAGUIN AND LANI D. GRADO, Petitioners, v. PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

G.R. No. 209284, November 10, 2015 - RENEE B. TANCHULING, AND THE HEIRS OF VICENTE N. Y.
TANCHULING, NAMELY REBECCA TANCHULING-TAN, RITA TANCHULING-MAPA, ROSEMARIE
TANCHULING-SALINAS, AND VINCENT RAYMOND B. TANCHULING, Petitioners, v. SOTERO C. CANTELA,
Respondent.

G.R. No. 206593, November 10, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RAMONITO B.
ASIGNAR, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 213679, November 25, 2015 - JAY H. LICAYAN, Petitioner, v. SEACREST MARITIME
MANAGEMENT, INC., CLIPPER FLEET MANAGEMENT, A/S AND/OR REDENTOR ANAYA, Respondent.

G.R. No. 192629, November 25, 2015 - FILINVEST LAND, INC., Petitioner, v. EDUARDO R. ADIA, LITO M.
ADIGUE, CANDIDO M. AMPARO, MARINO S. AMPARO, RODOLFO S. AMPARO, FLORDELIZA L. ARIAS,
BALBINO M. ATIENZA, PEDRO M. ATIENZA, DALMACIO C. AVANILLA, PASTOR M. AVANILLA, VENACIO P.
BAUTISTA, RODOLFO S. BERGADO, ENRIQUE R. BRABANTE, EMMA D. BUBAN, JUANITO A. CANDARE,
ROMEO O. CANDARE, ANTONIO M. CATAPANG, EDUARDO A. CATAPANG, GRACIANO C. CATAPANG,
HERMINIO V. CATAPANG, JUANA P. CATAPANG, REYNALDO P. CATAPANG, ROMEO A. CATAPANG,
RODOLFO A. CATAPANG, VICTORIANO A. CATAPANG, JUAN D. CENTOS, FERNANDO B. CERNETCHEZ,
EDUARDO C. CREENCIA, ARNEL N. M. CREMA, REYNALDO B. CRISTAL, MOISES CUBCUBIN, DELSO
POBLETO, SALVADOR M. DE LEON, MELQUIADES P. DESCALSO, GREGORIO P. DINO, ROBERTO L.
DOMINO, CELSO R. ESCALLAR, ARMAND P. ESCUADRO, ELISA C. FELICIANO, PASTOR C. FERRER, ERLINDO
M. FORMARAN, LEONARDO D. GARINO, RAFAEL R. GRANADO, ALMARIO IBANEZ, CASIMIRO P. IBANEZ,
CEFERINO P. IBANEZ, MIGUEL V. IBANEZ, MONTANO V. IBANEZ, CESAR N. JECIEL, ALFREDO B. LAURENTE,
EFIGENIA B. LAURENTE, CELSO C. MEDINA, EDUARDO A. PANGANIBAN, ROMEO C. PASCUA, DANILO L.
PAULMINO, LAURO A. PEGA, LEONARDO M. PEREZ, FELIPE V. PETATE, LEONARDO V. PETATE,
ESTANISLAO PORTO, MAXIMO D. PORTO, GREGORIO L. REYES, JOSE L. REYES, LEONARDO M.
SALINGYAGA, DEMETRIO A. SALONGA, MANOLITO G. SORILLA, HERMOGENES L. TORRES, JUANITO M.
TORRES, MARIANO B. TAGLE, MARIO D. TAGLE, AND SANCHO V. VILLA, Respondents.

G.R. No. 185058, November 09, 2015 - JOVITA S. MANALO, Petitioner, v. ATENEO DE NAGA UNIVERSITY,
FR. JOEL TABORA AND MR. EDWIN BERNAL, Respondent.

G.R. No. 217380, November 23, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDUARDO
CUESTA Y ASTORGA A.K.A BOYET CUBILLA Y QUINTANA, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. 189509, November 23, 2015 - METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY, Petitioner, v. G & P
BUILDERS, INCORPORATED, SPOUSES ELPIDIO AND ROSE VIOLET PARAS, SPOUSES JESUS AND MA.
CONSUELO PARAS AND VICTORIA PARAS, Respondents.

G.R. No. 208844, November 10, 2015 - F & S VELASCO COMPANY, INC., IRWIN J. SEVA, ROSINA B.
VELASCO-SCRIBNER, MERCEDEZ SUNICO, AND JOSE SATURNINO O. VELASCO, Petitioners, v. DR.
ROMMEL L. MADRID, PETER PAUL L. DANAO, MANUEL L. ARIMADO, AND MAUREEN R. LABALAN,
Respondents.

G.R. No. 170458, November 23, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY ASSET
PRIVATIZATION TRUST, NOW PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO), Petitioner, v. VIRGILIO
M. TATLONGHARI, DOMINGO P. UY, GUILLERMO P. UY, HINOSAN MOTORS CORPORATION, AND
WESTERN GUARANTY CORPORATION, Respondents.
Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2015 > November 2015 Decisions > G.R. No. 192955,
November 09, 2015 - EDILBERTO P. ETOM, JR., Petitioner, v. AROMA LODGING HOUSE THROUGH
EDUARDO G. LEM, PROPRIETOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, Respondent.:

G.R. No. 192955, November 09, 2015 - EDILBERTO P. ETOM, JR., Petitioner, v. AROMA LODGING HOUSE
THROUGH EDUARDO G. LEM, PROPRIETOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, Respondent.

G.R. No. 192955, November 09, 2015 - EDILBERTO P. ETOM, JR., Petitioner, v. AROMA LODGING
HOUSE THROUGH EDUARDO G. LEM, PROPRIETOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, Respondent.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 192955, November 09, 2015

EDILBERTO P. ETOM, JR., Petitioner, v. AROMA LODGING HOUSE THROUGH EDUARDO G. LEM,
PROPRIETOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, Respondent.

DECISION

DEL CASTILLO, J.:


Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari1 is the January 21, 2010 Decision2 of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 110901. The CA granted the Petition for Certiorari3 filed therewith and
set aside the April 30, 2009 Decision4 and June 30, 2009 Resolution5 of the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) in NLRC LAC No. 09-003303-08 which affirmed with modification the August 20,
2008 Decision6 of Labor Arbiter (LA) Eduardo G. Magno in NLRC NCR No. 04-05453-08 and found
Edilberto Etom (petitioner) entitled to unpaid wages, 13th month pay and holiday pay. Also assailed is
the July 2, 2010 CA Resolution7 which denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

Factual Antecedents

This case stemmed from a complaint8 dated April 15, 2008 filed by petitioner against Aroma Lodging
House (respondent) for illegal dismissal and money claims. Petitioner alleged that respondent, a
business engaged in providing affordable lodging,9 employed him as roomboy in 1997 with a monthly
salary of P2,500.00. He averred that his working hours were from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from Monday
to Saturday, including holidays. His tasks included cleaning the lodging house and washing towels and
bedsheets.10

Petitioner claimed that on February 4, 2008, respondent refused to allow him to report for work.
Petitioner argued that respondent did not inform him of any violation that would warrant his dismissal.
He also claimed that he was not given an opportunity to explain and answer any imputation against him
by his employer.11

On the other hand, respondent asserted that it employed petitioner as roomboy in 2000.12 He was paid
salary above the required minimum wage, holiday pay, 13th month pay and overtime pay. Respondent
also stated that it provided petitioner with free meals, allowed him to receive "tips" from customers,
and sell bottles left by customers in the lodge. It also gave him commission on certain occasions.13

Respondent averred that despite its beneficence, petitioner still showed an adverse attitude in work. In
particular, he created trouble within the workplace, stole items from customers and was even charged
with rape in 2003.14 Petitioner also figured in a fistfight with another roomboy, Reynaldo Baccus, whom
he tried to stab with a knife on September 2, 2006. He likewise had an altercation with Arnold Sansona
(Sansona), a checker in the lodge, who reprimanded him for watching television during working hours.
He also had a quarrel with another co-worker, Jess Abuca (Abuca). On separate occasions, while
purportedly armed with a knife, petitioner chased Sansona and Abuca.15
Respondent averred that it served upon petitioner a memorandum16 requiring him to explain why he
chased a co-employee with a knife. However, respondent refused to receive said memorandum. Taking
into consideration the safety of its employees and customers, it terminated petitioner for serious
misconduct.17

Ruling of the Labor Arbiter

On August 20, 2008, the LA rendered a Decision18 finding petitioner to have been legally dismissed. The
LA, however, ordered respondent to pay petitioner punitive damages amounting to P10,000.00 for non-
compliance with the termination notice requirement, salary differential computed at P199,482.80,
holiday pay amounting to P3,107.50 and 13th month pay of P7,150.00.

Respondent appealed to the NLRC arguing that petitioner was not underpaid.19 It stated that in a
"Sama-Samang Sinumpaang Salaysay"20 - which was submitted in another labor case, - petitioner and
another employee averred that they were regular employees of respondent since 2000 and that they
were receiving wages beyond the minimum required by law.21 Respondent also claimed that it
furnished petitioner with a copy of notice to explain and notice of termination but the latter refused to
receive them.22

Ruling of the National Labor Relations Commission

In its April 30, 2009 Decision,23 the NLRC affirmed the ruling of the LA but deleted the award of punitive
damages.

The NLRC concurred with the LA ruling that petitioner was underpaid considering that he was receiving
only P2,500.00 as monthly salary. It decreed that petitioner was entitled to receive salary differential
amounting to P166,080.38 for three years computed from February 20, 2005 to February 20, 2008 less
10% thereof for the facilities provided by respondent.

On June 30, 2009, the NLRC denied respondent's motion for reconsideration.24
Undaunted, respondent filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari insisting that petitioner was not
entitled to salary differential, 13th month pay and holiday pay because he admitted in an affidavit that
he had been receiving wages and other benefits in accordance with law.25 It also asseverated that it
was exempt from Minimum Wage Law since it had no more than 10 employees.26

For his part, petitioner argued that the Petition for Certiorari should not be entertained for late filing of
the motion for reconsideration of the NLRC Decision. He contended that respondent received the NLRC
Decision on May 13, 2009 but filed a motion for reconsideration only on May 26, 2009. Thus, he
maintained that such filing was three days late.27

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

On January 21, 2010, the CA rendered the assailed Decision28 granting the Petition for Certiorari, the
decretal portion of which reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

FOR THE STATED REASONS, the petition is GRANTED and the assailed decisions, dated April 30, 2009 and
June 30, 2009 of the National Labor Relations Commission (Second Division), awarding private
respondent Edilberto Etom of unpaid wages, 13th month pay and holiday pay are hereby REVERSED and
SETASIDE.xxx

SO ORDERED.29ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

The CA held that respondent timely filed a motion for reconsideration of the NLRC Decision. It added
that "if the motion for reconsideration was filed out of time, the NLRC would have dismissed it outright,
instead of resolving it on its merit."30

Moreover, the CA explained that for having executed an earlier notarized affidavit stating that he
received wages above the required minimum salary, petitioner could not subsequently claim that he
was underpaid by respondent.31 It also declared that there is no factual basis to support the grant of
13th month pay and holiday pay in favor of petitioner.32
On July 2, 2010, the CA denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.33

Hence, petitioner filed the instant Petition raising the following assignment of
errors:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A VERY GRAVE ERROR WHEN IT BASED ITS
CONCLUSION THAT HEREIN RESPONDENT'S] MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE DECISION OF THE
NLRC WAS NOT FILED OUT OF TIME, ON CONJECTURES [sic] DESPITE THE CATEGORICAL ADMISSION OF
HEREIN RESPONDENTS [sic] AND THE MACHINE RECEIVED COPY OF SAID MOTION.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A VERY GRAVE ERROR WHEN IT UPHELD THE JOINT-
AFFIDAVIT OF HEREIN PETITIONER AND HIS CO-EMPLOYEE AS ADMISSION AGAINST INTEREST DESPITE
THE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE THAT PETITIONER WAS NOT PAID HIS MINIMUM WAGE AND DESPITE
DECISIONS OF THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT ON QUITCLAIMS AND WAIVERS.

THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A VERY GRAVE ERROR WHEN HEREIN PETITIONER WAS NOT
GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO FILE A REPLY AND SUCH OTHER RESPONSIVE PLEADING TO THE PETITION
FOR CERTIORARI, PURSUANT TO SECTION 6 OF RULE 65, AND/OR MEMORANDUM PURSUANT TO
SECTION 8 THEREOF.34

Petitioner reiterates that respondent's motion for reconsideration of the NLRC Decision was filed
beyond the reglementary period.35 He also maintains that he was underpaid, and was not given 13th
month pay and holiday pay by respondent.36

In addition, petitioner alleges that his affidavit dated March 19, 2004 was executed during the pendency
of a criminal case against him. He contends that respondent pressured him to sign it.37 He likewise
avers that he is illiterate and does not understand the implication of said affidavit.38 He further explains
that he was unable to disclaim the voluntary execution and authenticity of the affidavit because he was
not given the chance to file a memorandum where he could have discussed all the issues in the Petition
for Certiorari.39

For its part, respondent reiterates the timely filing of its motion for reconsideration before the NLRC. It
also agrees with the CA ruling giving evidentiary value to petitioner's affidavit.40

Our Ruling
As a rule, the perfection of appeal within the period required by law is mandatory and jurisdictional.
Failure to appeal within such period results in the assailed decision becoming final and executory. As
regards a motion for reconsideration of a decision of the NLRC, the same must be filed within 10 days
from the receipt of the assailed decision. It must, nevertheless, be emphasized that the NLRC is not
bound by the technical rules of procedure. Thus, in deciding labor cases, the NLRC is allowed to liberally
apply its rules.41

In this case, petitioner alleges that the subject motion for reconsideration was filed beyond the 10-day
reglementary period. However, we note the explanation made by respondent for the seeming late filing
of its motion to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

x x x [I]t is public knowledge that May 23, 2009 happens to be a Saturday, hence, under established rules
and relevant jurisprudence, the filing of petitioners' (herein respondent) Motion for Reconsideration
should be on May 25, 2009, the next working day after May 23, 2009. On May 25, 2009, Petitioners filed
their Motion for Reconsideration before the public respondent, however, through a glitch in the docket
machine date and time puncher of the NLRC at that date and hour, the petitioners' Motion for
Reconsideration date of filing was erroneously marked and stamped as May 26, 2009 1:47 A.M.
Petitioners only managed to take notice of the mistake in the date and time of the docket of their
Motion for Reconsideration on the following day, May 26, 2009, the real May 26, 2009. Petitioners
thence quickly went to the NLRC Docket Section to report the mistake and x x x was [sic] told by the
Docket Section Personnel that they have already corrected the erroneous date and time of petitioners'
docketed Motion for Reconsideration to the x x x correct May 25, 2009, 1:47 P.M. and have forwarded
the Motion for Reconsideration of the [petitioners to the NLRC x x x Indeed, it would be plainly absurd
for a government office docket section like that of the public respondent NLRC to be open for business
at such unholy hour of 1:47 A.M. x x x42ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

Based on the foregoing explanation, we are convinced that respondent timely filed its motion for
reconsideration of the NLRC Decision. In fact, the NLRC took cognizance of it and decided the motion on
the merit.

In any event, we held in Opinaldo v. Ravina43 that the NLRC may liberally apply its rules and decide a
motion for reconsideration on the merits. We upheld the liberal application by the NLRC of its technical
rules to resolve the issues on the merits because "a full resolution of the case on the merits is the more
palpable explanation for the liberal application of its rules."44
Petitioner also argues that he failed to disclaim the voluntary execution of the affidavit - where he
admitted to have been paid wages beyond the minimum required by law - because he was not given the
opportunity to file a memorandum.

His contention is unmeritorious.

Section 6,45 Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that before the court gives due course to a petition
for certiorari, it may require the respondent to file a comment to the petition. Afterwards, the court
may require the filing of a reply and such pleadings as it may deem necessary. In turn, Section 846 of
Rule 65 states that after the comment or other pleadings are filed or the period for their filing has
expired, the court may require the parties to file memoranda.

It is thus clear that the filing of a reply and other subsequent pleading, as well as memoranda, is subject
to the sound judgment of the court. "The word 'may' when used in a statute is permissive only and
operates to confer discretion x x x."47 In this case, the CA, in the exercise of its judgment, may or may
not require the filing of any pleading and submit the case for resolution, after the petition and the
comment thereto had been filed.

Anent the substantive issue raised by petitioner, the power of the Court to review a CA Decision in labor
cases is limited. Specifically, in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the Court has to
resolve whether the CA properly determined the presence of grave abuse of discretion on the part of
the NLRC in rendering its Decision, and not whether the NLRC Decision on the merits was correct.
However, while the strict inquiry on the correctness of evaluation of evidence is not required in a
certiorari proceeding, it is still necessary to determine that the conclusions of labor tribunals were
supported by substantial evidence. This is because a decision unsupported by substantial evidence is a
judgment rendered with grave abuse of discretion.48

In addition, as a rule, once the employee has asserted with particularity in his position paper that his
employer failed to pay his benefits, it becomes incumbent upon the employer to prove payment of the
employee's money claims. In fine, the burden is on the employer to prove payment, rather than on the
employee to establish non-payment.49
Both the LA and the NLRC held that respondent did not pay petitioner the required minimum wage,
holiday pay and 13th month pay. The CA, however, overturned the factual findings of these labor
tribunals. Thus, we deem it necessary to review the facts on record.

While a notarized document is presumed to be regular such presumption is not absolute and may be
overcome by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. The fact that a document is notarized is not
a guarantee of the validity of its contents.50

Here, petitioner is an unlettered employee who may not have understood the full import of his
statements in the affidavit. Notably, petitioner, along with a co-worker did not state the specific amount
of what they referred as salary above the minimum required by law. Their statement only reads as
follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

Na kami ay namamasukan bilang mga 'roomboy' sa naturang Aroma Lodge magmula pa noong taong
2000 at bilang mga regular na mga empleyado nito, kami ay nakakatangap ng pasueldo na lagpas sa
'minimum wage' na takda ng batas, bukod pa sa libreng tirahan (stay-in), pagkain, [paggamit] ng ilaw at
tubig, at mga 'tips' at komisyon sa mga parokyano ng Aroma Lodge.51ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

As found by the LA, respondent did not present substantial evidence that it paid the required minimum
wage, 13th month pay and holiday pay in favor of petitioner.52 Respondent's mere reliance on the
foregoing affidavit is misplaced because the requirement of established jurisprudence is for the
employer to prove payment, and not merely deny the employee's accusation of non-payment on the
basis of the latter's own declaration.

In conclusion, we find that the CA erred in ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in
awarding salary differential, 13th month pay and holiday pay in favor of petitioner.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The January 21, 2010 Decision and July 2, 2010 Resolution of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 110901 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the April 30, 2009
Decision and June 30, 2009 Resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC LAC No. 09-
003303-08 are REINSTATED and AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Carpio,*(Chairperson), Brion, Perlas-Bernabe,** and Leonen, JJ., concur.


Endnotes:

* Designated Acting Chief Justice per Special Order No. 2265 dated November 2, 2015.

** Per Special Order No. 2271 dated November 9, 2015.

1Rollo, pp. 10-29.

2 CA rollo, pp. 352-363; penned by Associate Justice Mario V. Lopez and concurred in by Associate
Justices Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr.

3 Id. at 3-25.

4 Id. at 98-105; penned by Presiding Commissioner Raul T. Aquino and concurred in by Commissioner
Angelita A. Gacutan.

5 Id. at 112-114.

6 Id. at 26-29.

7 Id. at 411-415.

8Rollo, pp. 55-57.

9 Ch rollo, p. 115.
10 Id. at 222.

11 Id. at 223.

12 Id. at 229.

13 Id. at 116.

14 Id.

15 Id. at 117.

16 Id. at 142.

17 Id. at 117.

18 Id. at 26-29.

19 Id. at 30-37.

20 Id. at 95-96.

21 Id. at 34.

22 Id. 36.
23 Id. at 98-105.

24 Id. at 112-113.

25 Id. at 11.

26 Id. at 19.

27 Id. at 261.

28 Id. at 352-363.

29 Id. at 362.

30 Id. at 357.

31 Id. at 360.

32 Id. at 361.

33 Id. at 411-415.

34Rollo, pp. 12-13.


35 Id. at 18-20.

36 Id. at 20-22.

37 Id. at 23-24.

38 Id. at 25.

39 Id. at 24.

40 Id. at 73-75,

41Opinaldo v. Ravina, G.R. No. 196573, October 16, 2013, 707 SCRA 545, 558.

42 CA rollo, pp. 276-277.

43 Supra note 41 at 559.

44 Id. at 560.

45 Section 6. Order to Comment. — x x x

xxxx

In petitions for certiorari before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, the provisions of Section
2, Rule 56, shall be observed. Before giving due course thereto, the court may require the respondents
to file their comment to, and not a motion to dismiss, the petition. Thereafter, the court may require the
filing of a reply and such other responsive or other pleadings as it may deem necessary and proper. (6a)

46 Section 8. Proceedings After Comment is Filed. — After the comment or other pleadings required by
the court are filed, or the time for the filing thereof has expired, the court may hear the case or require
the parties to submit memoranda. If, after such hearing or filing of memoranda or the expiration of the
period for filing, the court finds that the allegations of the petition are true, it shall render judgment for
the relief prayed for to which the petitioner is entitled.

xxxx

47PCL Shipping Phils. Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, 502 Phil. 554, 561 (2005).

48Leus v. St. Scholastica's College Westgrove, G.R. No. 187226, January 28, 2015.

49Heirs of Manuel H. Ridad v. Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, G.R. No. 188659, February 13,
2013, 690 SCRA 575, 582.

50Lazaro v. Agustin, 632 Phil. 310, 323 (2010).

51 CA rollo, p. 95.

52 Id. at 29.

G.R. No. 192955, November 09, 2015 - EDILBERTO P. ETOM, JR., Petitioner, v. AROMA LODGING HOUSE
THROUGH EDUARDO G. LEM, PROPRIETOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, Respondent.

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