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Republic of the Philippines

Department of Labor and Employment


NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
National Capital Region
QUEZON CITY

JUANITO T. NARRAL,
Complainant,

-versus- NLRC NCR (L) 02 01136 14


L.A. Hon. Clarissa B. Lerios
CONCEPT PLACEMENT RESOURCES.,
INC. et al.
Respondents.
x----------------------------------------------x

REJOINDER
COMES NOW, COMPLAINANT by the undersigned counsel unto the Office of
the Honorable Labor Arbiter most respectfully states:

Our overseas workers belong to a disadvantaged class. Most of them


come from the poorest sector of our society. Their profile shows they live
in suffocating slums, trapped in an environment of crimes. Hardly literate
and in ill health, their only hope lies in jobs they find with difficulty in our
country. Their unfortunate circumstance makes them easy prey to
avaricious employers. They will climb mountains, cross the seas, endure
slave treatment in foreign lands just to survive. Out of despondence, they
will work under sub-human conditions and accept salaries below the
minimum. The least we can do is to protect them with our laws.
(Olarte v. Nayona, 461 Phil. 429, 431, 2003).

RE: ALLEGED QUITCLAIM

In their reply, respondents claimed that the complainant, an OVERSEAS


FOREIGN WORKER (OFW), allegedly signed a quitclaim in favor of his foreign
employer which is part of the document entitled “END OF SERVICE” (EOS) PAYMENT
(Annex 7 of respondents’ Position Paper).

It must be noted that the complainant is working for the BIN LADEN GROUP in
Saudi Arabia. At the time he signed the aforesaid EOS document on November 11,
2013, he was already told that he was to depart from Saudi Arabia on the 14 th of
November (moved to the 22nd). He personally complained about his underpaid overtime

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pay and end of service benefit to Mr. Masoud Khalouf as stated by the complainant in
his Affidavit dated April 8, 2014 (attached to complainant’s Reply). Masoud personally
told him that unless he signs the aforesaid document, he will NOT receive his end of
service benefit. As it was only days away where he is mandated to depart Saudi Arabia,
complainant had no other choice but to sign the EOS document. Thus, the complainant
was never given any other option but to sign the aforesaid document in spite of his
verbal objections thereto, akin to a HOBSON’S CHOICE (see SAN MIGUEL
CORPORATION vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 107693, July 23, 1998).

And as stated in the aforesaid EOS document, complainant was paid only
SR”1,001.00” when it should have been SR2,400.00 representing fifty percent (50%) of
the basic salary of the complainant.

This has been the legally established practice being enjoyed by all foreign
workers working in Saudi Arabia and is already deemed part of their contract of
employment. And under the principle of NON-DIMINUTION OF BENEFITS, respondents
can no longer validly reduce or diminish the aforesaid amount.

Accordingly, as stated in his COMPLAINT, complainant is entitled to the amount


of SR1,399.00 representing UNDERPAYMENT of his End of Service (EOS) Benefit.
Thus:

SR2,400.00 = legally mandated EOS benefits representing 50% of basic salary


SR1,001.00 = EOS benefit actually paid to complainant (see Annex 7 of
respondents’ Position Paper)
==================
SR1,399.00 = underpaid EOS benefit

RE: ALLEGED FAILURE TO SUBSTANTIATE CLAIM

In their reply, respondents claim that the complainant failed to substantiate his
claim for unpaid overtime and holiday pay. According to the respondents, “the originals
of the supposed documents should have been presented and not mere photocopies of
the same xxx.” (page 3 thereof).

Complainant hereby manifests that the attached annexes in the complainant’s


positions papers are all TRUE COPIES of the ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS in his
possession. In this connection, the complainant is more than willing to present the
originals thereof at any time at the convenience of the Honorable Office.

In their reply, the respondents likewise alleged that the “said documents must be
properly authenticated by the person executing and signing the same” (page 4 thereof.)
In this connection, it seems that the respondents want “to have their cake and eat it too.”
While LIKEWISE presenting PHOTOCOPIES and UNAUTHENTICATED documents

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(ANNEXES 1 TO 7) in their Position Paper, they want this Honorable Office to ACCEPT
their documents in evidence as they are and REJECT the documents presented by the
complainant.

Be that as it may, in cases involving OFWs, the rights and obligations among and
between the OFW, the local recruiter/agent, and the foreign employer/principal are
governed by the employment contract. A contract freely entered into is considered law
between the parties; and hence, should be respected. In formulating the contract, the
parties may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may
deem convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public
order, or public policy. (EDI-STAFFBUILDERS INTERNATIONAL, INC. vs. NLRC, G.R.
No. 145587, October 26, 2007)

The contract of employment (Annex A of the Position Paper) between the


complainant and his foreign employer clearly stated that:

Overtime pay:
For work over regular working hours 150%
For work on designated rest day and holiday 200%

As can be seen in the PAY SLIPS (“SALARY”) of the complainant (Annexes F to


GG) vis-à-vis his WORK SCHEDULE (Annexes B to E), respondents severely
UNDERPAID complainant’s overtime pay in complete violation and disregard of the
terms and conditions of his employment contract. The same is true with respect to his
Holiday Pay. The evidence speaks for itself.

It must be noted that “In carrying out and interpreting the Labor Code's provisions
and implementing regulations, the employee's welfare should be the primary and
paramount consideration. This kind of interpretation gives meaning and substance to
the liberal and compassionate spirit of the law as embodied in Article 4 of the Labor
Code (which provides that "[a]ll doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the
provisions of [the Labor Code], including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be
resolved in favor of labor") and Article 1702 of the Civil Code (which provides that "[i]n
case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of
the safety and decent living for the laborer”).” (PCL Shipping Philippines, Inc. v. National
Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 153031, December 14, 2006, 511 SCRA 44.)

In closing, the Supreme Court has declared that “Our overseas workers belong to
a disadvantaged class. Most of them come from the poorest sector of our society. Their
profile shows they live in suffocating slums, trapped in an environment of crimes. Hardly
literate and in ill health, their only hope lies in jobs they find with difficulty in our country.
Their unfortunate circumstance makes them easy prey to avaricious employers. They
will climb mountains, cross the seas, endure slave treatment in foreign lands just to
survive. Out of despondence, they will work under sub-human conditions and accept

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salaries below the minimum. The least we can do is to protect them with our laws.
(Olarte v. Nayona, 461 Phil. 429, 431, 2003).

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed that


respondents be solidarily ordered to pay the complainant as follows:

a. Underpayment of End of Service (EOS) Benefit amounting to


SR1,399.00
b. Underpayment of Overtime pay amounting to SR 16,910.00.
c. Unpaid Holiday pay equivalent to SR 4,200.00.
d. Attorney’s fees.

Other just and equitable remedies are likewise prayed for.

Quezon City, April 28, 2014.

ATTY. PEARLITO B. CAMPANILLA


Suite B 2nd Floor Overland Park Bldg.,
No. 245 Banawe St. cor. Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Roll 37522 / IBP Life 010564 2-3-12 Pasig
PTR 9019138 1-7-14 QC / MCLE IV - 0018064

COPY FURNISHED VIA REGISTERED MAIL IN VIEW OF


LACK OF MANPOWER TO EFFECT PERSONAL SERVICE TO:

ATTY. EMANUEL B. BIGORNIA


Counsel for respondents
Unit 5-O 20 Lansbergh Place Condominium,
170 Tomas Morato Ave., cor. Scout Castor St., Sacred Heart, Quezon City.