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G.R. No. 172149 February 8, 2010

The private respondent filed against the petitioner a complaint for illegal
dismissal which was ruled favorably by the Labor Arbiter. The decision
awarded the private respondent backwages, separation pay in lieu of
reinstatement, indemnity, and attorneys fees. On appeal, NLRC affirmed
the labor arbiter’s decision. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before
the CA which was affirmed with modification by deleting the awards for a
proportionate 13th month pay and the award for indemnity. In the
execution of judgment, the Finance Analyst submitted an updated
computation of the monetary awards due the private respondent which
included additional backwages and separation pay due the private
respondent and proportionate amount of the private respondents 13th
month pay.

The petitioner objected to the re-computation for it inconsistent with the

dispositive portion of the labor arbiters. However NLRC affirmed the labor
arbiter’s decision. The petitioner argues that since the modified labor
arbiters decision did not provide in its dispositive portion for a computation
of the monetary award up to the finality of the judgment in the case, the
CA should have enforced the decision according to its express and literal

Whether a re-computation of the awards is legally proper and, whether
this violated the principle of immutability of final judgments.


SC ruled that under the terms of the decision under execution, no essential
change is made by a re-computation as this step is a necessary
consequence that flows from the nature of the illegality of dismissal
declared in that decision. A re-computation (or an original computation, if
no previous computation has been made) is a part of the law specifically,
Article 279 of the Labor Code and the established jurisprudence on this
provision that is read into the decision. By the nature of an illegal dismissal
case, the reliefs continue to add on until full satisfaction, as expressed
under Article 279 of the Labor Code. The re-computation of the
consequences of illegal dismissal upon execution of the decision does not
constitute an alteration or amendment of the final decision being
implemented. The illegal dismissal ruling stands; only the computation of
monetary consequences of this dismissal is affected and this is not a
violation of the principle of immutability of final judgments.
G.R. No. 185280 January 18, 2012

Petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal which was ruled favorably
by the Labor Arbiter. On appeal, NLRC modified the monetary award in the
petitioner’s favor by reducing the amount of his backwages. The NLRC
determined the petitioner’s backwages as limited to three (3) months of
his last monthly salary, considering that his employment with Royale was
only for a period for one (1) month and three (3) days. The petitioner
elevated the NLRC’s Decision to the CA by way of a Petition for
Certiorari.CA ruled against the petitioner. Petitioner filed petition for
review before the SC claiming that the backwages should be computed
from the time he was illegally dismissed until the finality of this decision,
that Royale security agency is a mere continuation of Sceptre; that CA
erred in its refusal to pierce Royale’s corporate mask; that since Royale is
no more than Sceptre’s alter ego, it should recognize and credit his length
of service with Sceptre. The respondents claim that the petitioner is barred
from questioning the manner by which his backwages and separation pay
were computed for the petitioner moved for the execution of the NLRC’s
Decision and the respondents paid him the full amount of the monetary
award thereunder shortly after the writ of execution was issued.

a. Whether Royale’s corporate fiction should be pierced for the purpose of
compelling it to recognize the petitioner’s length of service with Sceptre
an d for holding it liable for the benefits that have accrued to him arising
from his employment with Sceptre; and

b. Whether the petitioner’s backwages should be limited to his salary for

three (3) months.

a. Yes, evidence shows that Royale is a mere continuation or successor of
Sceptre and fraudulent objectives are behind Royale’s incorporation and
the petitioner’s subsequent employment therein. The petitioner cannot be
deemed to have changed employers as Royale and Sceptre are one and
the same. His separation pay should, thus, be computed from the date he
was hired by Sceptre in April 1976 until the finality of this decision.
“Separation pay, equivalent to one month's salary for every year of
service, is awarded as an alternative to reinstatement when the latter is
no longer an option. Separation pay is computed from the commencement
of employment up to the time of termination, including the imputed service
for which the employee is entitled to backwages, with the salary rate
prevailing at the end of the period of putative service being the basis for

b. No, the Court cannot subscribe to the view that it should be limited to
an amount equivalent to three (3) months of his salary. Backwages is a
remedy affording the employee a way to recover what he has lost by
reason of the unlawful dismissal. In awarding backwages, the primordial
consideration is the income that should have accrued to the employee from
the time that he was dismissed up to his reinstatement and the length of
service prior to his dismissal is definitely inconsequential. The Court holds
Royale liable to pay the petitioner backwages to be computed from his
dismissal until the finality of the decision.

Furthermore, the prevailing party’s receipt of the full amount of the

judgment award pursuant to a writ of execution issued by the labor
arbiter does not close or terminate the case if such receipt is qualified as
without prejudice to the outcome of the petition for certiorari pending
with the CA.