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G.R. No. 112965 January 30, 1997 PHILIPPINES TODAY, INC., BETTY GO-BELMONTE, MAXIMO V. SOLIVEN, ARTURO A. BORJAL, and ISAAC G. BELMONTE, petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and FELIX R. ALEGRE, JR., respondents.
PANGANIBAN, J.: May a "Memorandum for File" which did not mention the words "resign" and/or "resignation" nonetheless juridically constitute voluntary resignation? In answering this question, the Court took into account not merely the literal meaning of the words and phrases used but, more importantly, the peculiar circumstances attendant to its writing as well as antecedent, contemporaneous and subsequent actions, which were inconsistent with the desire for continued employment of the writer, an intelligent executive occupying a position of trust in the Philippine Star and gifted with an unusual writing ability. These circumstances and actions are explained by this Court in re-solving this petition for certiorari assailing the Decision 1 of the National Labor Relations Commission (Second Division) 2 in NLRC NCR CA 001863-91 entitled "Felix R. Alegre, Jr. vs. Philippines Today, Inc." promulgated on September 30, 1993, which reversed the decision of Labor Arbiter Pablo C. Espiritu, Jr., dated May 15, 1991. In a Resolution dated November 16, 1993, petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied. 3 The Facts The undisputed facts are as follows: Petitioner Philippines Today, Inc. (PTI) is the owner of the Philippine Star, a daily newspaper of national and international circulation, while the individual petitioners are officers and members of the board of directors of PTI, namely, Betty Go-Belmonte, chairman of the board; Arturo A. Borjal, president; Maximo V. Soliven, publisher and chairman, editorial board; and Isaac G. Belmonte, treasurer. Private Respondent Felix R. Alegre, Jr. was employed by PTI in July 1986 as a senior investigative reporter of the Philippine Star with a monthly salary of eight thousand pesos (P8,000.00). He later became chief investigative writer and then assistant to the publisher. His monthly compensation was correspondingly increased to ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00). On October 20, 1988, Respondent Alegre filed a request for a thirty-day leave of absence effective on the same date, citing the advice of his personal physician for him to undergo further medical consultations abroad. 4 Four days later, on October 24, 1988, he wrote a "Memorandum for File" 5 addressed to Petitioner Betty Go-Belmonte with copies furnished to members of the board of directors of PTI, the text of which is reproduced below: MEMORANDUM FOR FILE. FOR: BETTY GO-BELMONTE
Chairman & CEO, The STAR Group of Publications. FROM: FELIX R. ALEGRE, JR. DATE: 24 October 1988 SUBJECT: HAVING IT ALL
Truth like medicine hurts. But it cures. The nice little chat we had last Thursday was most revealing. And certainly disconcerting. What you had to tell me pained me, of course. But it has helped me just as much. It enabled me to see things clearly in their right perspectives. More importantly, it provided me with the answers to the questions that had long nagged me in my wakeful state. For quite a time, I got this sinking feeling of being treated like a pariah of sorts by most of the senior executives around here. The frustration at my inability to put a finger at such a feeling somehow enhanced the angst within me. Until our chat. Now all the demons of my anxiety have been exorcised. And I am left alone to lick the wounds of my betrayal. It isn't easy, I know. But I shall pull through. Your candor and demonstrated faith in my person have been most assuaging. And for that alone, I am most grateful. It has never occurred to me that, in my acceptance of the invitation from no less than the publisher himself, to join him at the Philippines Today, Inc., and the STAR Group of Publications, I was unwittingly signing my own death warrant as well. The insults he had later on hurled at my person, the malicious innuendoes he had spread around, casting doubts on my personal and professional integrity, had mercilessly torn at my soul, causing metaphysical death. My credentials as a working journalist, I'd like to believe, got me this job at the STAR in the first place. And my bylines in the series of articles in the STAR From Day One of my official affiliation with the Company, should establish that fact. I was an investigative reporter at the Manila Times when the publisher offered me to work with him at the STAR in 1986. I was given the assignment as senior investigative reporter, then chief investigative writer, until I was given a fancy title of assistant to the publisher. As a corporate guy assisting the publisher in his day-to-day official function — and this is where I feel very strongly about citing some specifics of the things I did in this area, to wit: . . . (omitted are said "specifics" of Respondent Alegre's accomplishments as assistant to the publisher deemed by this Court as not relevant to the appreciation of this memorandum in relation to the consideration of the petition.) As can be gleaned from this recital of some of the "things done" (despite my distaste for trumpeting one's deeds, but has to be said, to set the record straight, in this instance), one can see that I obviously don different hats at any one time, doing administration and operations functions, apart from my journalistic duties. That I work as a teamplayer, and trying hard to be good (sic) it, cannot be denied.
FOR DOING ALL THESE in the best spirit of corporate team-upmanship, what did I get in RETURN? 1. A pittance, salary/compensation-wise. 2. Being conveniently bypassed in promotions, pay hikes, and other perks. 3. Hindered from active participation in corporate affairs, by shooting at my ideas that otherwise would have been workable and profitable for the Company and its people (CF. Item 2 of my memo dtd 06 September 88 which had you interested in and supportive of). 4. Personally and professionally maligned, and accused of being an NPA (non-performing asshole, pardon my French). By and large, all that I got are the twin demons of a civilized, unconscionable society: ECONOMIC INJUSTICE and PROFESSIONAL SABOTAGE. When push comes to a shove . . . . . anything or everything comes crashing down. I'M HAVING IT ALL! Since I am on leave, I guess I won't be able to see you for a while. I wish to take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation and sincere thanks for your genuine concren (sic) and honest initiatives to do a good turn on my behalf. You have been most candid and forthright with me. I can't be any less. Thank you for everything. God bless. Very sincerely, Sgd.) FELIX R. ALEGRE, JR. copy furnished: Members of the Board, Phils. Today, Inc. Dr. Ronaldo G. Asuncion Mr. Antonio Roces On December 6, 1988, Respondent Alegre received from Petitioner Belmonte a letter, 6 as follows:Dear Jun, During our board meeting yesterday, we discussed your letter dated October 24, 1988, and the Board decided to accept your resignation and that it would take effect on November 22, 1988 upon expiration of your one-month leave. I would like to take this opportunity to say that we were happy to have had you with the STAR Group of Publications and that we would like to wish you the best of luck. God bless. Thank you. Very truly yours, BETTY GO BELMONTE Chairman of the Board The Philippine Star
xxx xxx xxx Complainant's subsequent overt acts particularly his failure to report to his job after the expiration of his leave of absence. things and belongings from his desk prior to his (complainant) knowledge or receipt of the letter accepting his resignation(. According to the NLRC. 1991. . He claimed that as a result. 8 reiterated that he never resigned. even remotely. We quote significant portions of said decision: This office has minutely disected (sic) the letter and while it be said that nothing therein mentions about resigning from his position as Assistant to the Publisher. a perusal of the letter as a whole shows that the intention of the complainant was to resign from his post. the memorandum was tantamount to a resignation even if Mr. 10 The labor arbiter dismissed said complaint in his decision of May 15. Respondent Alegre filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and damages against herein petitioners. to pay complainant the amount of THIRTY THOUSAND (P30. 1989. Adopting the definition in Black's Law Dictionary (5th Edition) of resignation as a "formal renouncement or relinquishment of an office. complainant need not write his letter of resignation in black and white. "he has not shown any specific fact or circumstance that would justify his claim.000." On May 17. He further wrote that he was not insisting to be taken back after being shown that he was no longer wanted in the company. the above decision was set aside by the NLRC. through counsel.) clearly indicates that complainant was not terminated from his job but rather he resigned from his job.This was followed by another letter on January 2. He accused petitioners of illegal dismissal as can be perceived allegedly from the discrimination against him in promotions. 11 On appeal by Alegre. He can do so in many other ways." Hence. He thus demanded indemnification for "the material and moral losses he has incurred". social humiliation. and ordering respondent. words and actions to show his real intention of leaving his job. petitioners' counsel said. his being gainfully employed with the Office of Senator Laurel (as Chief of Staff) and his act of clearing and removing his personal files. As a journalist and a writer. Counsel 9 for petitioners. premises considered. . The subject as — "Having it all" together with his frustrations and disappointment in the office coupled with his statement that "when push comes to a shove. xxx xxx xxx WHEREFORE. he suffered mental anguish. To them. judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the complaint for illegal dismissal and damages for lack of merit.. everything comes crushing (sic) down" and that: he is "having it all" and with his concluding sentence of "Thank you for everything" are (sic) clear indications that he was in fact resigning." it held that herein Respondent Alegre did not resign as there was no actual act of relinquishment to constitute complete and operative resignation. 1989. Inc. wherein Alegre. besmirched reputation and moral shock.1989. dismissing Respondents (sic) counterclaim for damages for lack of merit.00) PESOS by way of separation pay in the interest of compassionate labor justice and. "the Star cannot accede to the same. Such intent was bolstered by his filing of a request for an extension of his leave. 1988 informing him of the acceptance by the Board of his resignation. Alegre did not say so in so much words. when he received the letter of Petitioner Belmonte dated November 9. he immediately wrote a letter to Petitioner Belmonte. expressing in no uncertain terms that he ." With respect to his claim for damages. explained that the acceptance of Alegre's resignation was a collective decision of the board of directors since "nobody in his right mind would write a memorandum of the sort he wrote and still not resign. Philippines Today. the request for a leave of absence by Respondent Alegre meant that he intended to return after the period of his absence. benefits and the ploy to oust him by considering his memorandum as a resignation. in a reply on January 19. Further.
Private respondent. He further contends that petitioners' tenacious resistance in admitting their mistake bespeaks of bad faith and shows their real intention to end his services. moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. in finding them guilty of illegally dismissing Respondent Alegre. as it did not deduct the amounts earned by Respondent Alegre while he was admittedly employed in the office of Senator Sotero H. even assuming they were liable for illegal dismissal. vs. even assuming that Respondent Alegre was illegally dismissed. in contravening and disregarding this Court's ruling in Alex Ferrer. (3) his non-return to work after his original leave expired is explained by his subsequent request for an extension thereof due to medical reasons. . Laurel. the Solicitor General supported private respondent's position. separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. on the other hand. (2) the contents of his memorandum indicate an intention on his part not to return to his job even if he did not categorically mention resignation. petitioners contend that. Lastly. (4) and the letter of Petitioner Belmonte obviated any desire for him to return to his work since petitioners practically terminated his employment. 12 Issues Petitioners argue that the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion: 1. 2. he was merely lamenting the work environment at PTI and apprising Petitioner Belmonte of the situation. petitioners cannot be held liable for moral and exemplary damages because they believe their action was in accordance with law. Having been led to believe that Alegre wanted to resign and in honestly perceiving his memorandum as a resignation letter. contemporaneous and subsequent actions of private respondent. petitioners advance these arguments: (1) Respondent Alegre had spoken openly to Petitioner Belmonte of his desire to leave the Philippine Star. should have deducted the amount earned by Alegre from his subsequent employment. In construing it so. in granting backwages. which entitles him to moral and exemplary damages. et al. maintains that he had no intention of resigning from PTI. we hold that said memorandum juridically constituted a letter of resignation. 3. (3) he never returned to work after his authorized leave expired and even cleared his desk of his personal belongings. (4) he obtained employment as chief of staff of the office of Senator Sotero Laurel for which he was paid a higher salary. Pivotal Issue: Did the Memorandum for File Constitute Voluntary Resignation? After a thorough scrutiny of the Memorandum for File of Respondent Alegre and a careful deliberation on the peculiar circumstances attendant to its writing and the antecedent. (2) a resignation should be unequivocal in nature. NLRC (Second Division) 13 by erroneously computing backwages. The Court's Ruling The petition is meritorious.did not resign. and. in awarding Respondent Alegre moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees without any actual and legal basis. and. In representation of public respondent. the NLRC. He insists that: (1) in writing the memorandum. These circumstances led the NLRC to hold that Respondent Alegre was constructively dismissed without just cause and to order petitioners to pay him full backwages for three years from the time of dismissal. The pivotal question is whether the Memorandum for File of Respondent Alegre addressed to Petitioner Belmonte constitutes a letter of resignation.
the NLRC was too strict in its interpretation of what constitutes "resignation. much so an immediate superior. his immediate superior. I was unwittingly signing my own death warrant as well. had mercilessly torn at my soul. Now all the demons of my anxiety have been exorcised. His incendiary words and sarcastic remarks.We see merit in the findings and conclusions drawn by the labor arbiter. disappointments. . . The Court takes judicial notice of the Filipino values of pakikisama and paggalang which are not only prevalent among members of a family and community but within organizations as well. especially among high-ranking management officers. frustrations and heartaches against the company and its officers particularly Petitioner Soliven. with the insults and innuendoes stated in said memorandum. . in the exercise of their functions and in making decisions. The frustration at my inability to put a finger at such a feeling somehow enhanced the angst within me. His memorandum is too affrontive. An employee is expected to extend due respect to management. casting doubts on my personal and professional integrity. respondent Alegre was anything but respectful and polite. negate any desire to improve work relations with Petitioner Soliven and other PTI executives. No matter how the employee dislikes his employer professionally. A cordial or. the employer being the "proverbial hen that lays the golden egg. even when read by an objective reader. 15 If it were so. Any discerning mind can perceive that the letter is not simply a recitation of respondent Alegre's gripes. to join him . Seeking relief incompatible with writing offensive letter Any management officer. Soliven. would be offended. causing metaphysical death. . Here. Mr. common sense and sound judgment. . And I am left alone to lick the wounds of my betrayal. as postulated by the Solicitor General in his comment. . he cannot afford to be disrespectful and dare to talk with an unguarded tongue and/or with a bileful pen. and even if he is in a confrontational disposition. The labor arbiter correctly deduced from Alegre's memorandum and attendant actuations that he resigned. to quote some: For quite a time. Courts and quasijudicial bodies. They are more in accord with prudence. Incendiary words and sarcastic remarks negate alleged desire to improve relations Alegre's choice of words and way of expression betray his allegation that the memorandum was simply an "opportunity to open the eyes of (Petitioner) Belmonte to the work environment in petitioners' newspaper with the end in view of persuading (her) to take a hand at improving said environment. including work sites. . In contrast. An aggrieved employee who wants to unburden himself of his disappointments and frustrations in his job or relations with his immediate superior would normally approach said superior directly or otherwise ask some other officer possibly to mediate and discuss the problem with the end in view of settling their differences without causing ferocious conflicts. . combative and confrontational. The insults he had later on hurled at my person. . the malicious innuendoes he had spread around. I got this sinking feeling of being treated like a pariah of sorts by most of the senior executives around here." It adhered literally to the dictionary meaning of the word without relating it to the peculiarity of the factual circumstances surrounding the case. must not be too dogmatic as to restrict themselves to literal interpretations of words. phrases and sentences. civil attitude." 14 so to speak. A complete and wholistic view must be taken in order to render a just and equitable judgment. why was it not addressed directly to the person concerned? His memorandum clearly indicated that his problems involved. according due deference to one's superiors. offensive and disrespectful manner. It has never occurred to me that. more so because the memorandum was not directly addressed to him but to the chairman and CEO and copy furnished all other officers and members of the board of directors. is still observed. . at the very least." Apprising his employer (or top-level management) of his frustrations in his job and differences with his immediate superior is certainly not done in an abrasive. Such strongly worded letter constituted an act of "burning his bridges" with the officers of the company. or were supposedly caused by only one person. It certainly causes resentment. if not enraged. in my acceptance of the invitation from no less than the publisher himself.
On top of that. not to say. which was not by any means a simple way of seeking relief but well a way to get out of the company. PTI officers of uncommon intelligence and perception Furthermore. are themselves people of uncommon perception and intellect. as discussed earlier. in his very own words. at the very least. Corollarily. Maximo V. he should have used a more tempered language and a less confrontational tone. respondent Alegre is a highly confidential employee who holds his job at the pleasure of his employer or. knew how his letter would be perceived and received. Besides.But it was not even addressed to him! How can he expect amends in their relations if that was all he wanted? The Solicitor General was simply turning a blind eye to the obvious fact that said memorandum. The use of offensive language can only mean expression of disloyalty and disrespect. I'M HAVING IT ALL! Respondent Alegre. And there can be no way to interpret such letter other than as a withering of trust and confidence by the employee in his boss. . anything or everything comes crashing down. It is beyond human nature to expect two persons with underlying mistrust in each other to continue to work together effectively. Soliven and Arturo A. his immediate superior. Contemporaneous and Subsequent Actions Affirming Resignation . being a journalist himself and having worked with them for sometime. he held a position of evident responsibility requiring the utmost confidence of his immediate superior. What else could he have meant with these concluding remarks: By and large. Respondent Alegre a well-educated journalist It should not escape our attention that respondent Alegre is a professional journalist and persuasive writer. all that I got are the twin demons of a civilized. will definitely lose trust and confidence in the latter. unconscionable society: ECONOMIC INJUSTICE and PROFESSIONAL SABOTAGE. his memorandum was addressed to the chairman and chief executive officer of PTI and furnished all members of the board of directors. As assistant to the publisher doing. what a man sows. harmoniously. . was intended. for all intents and purposes. They will not miscomprehend the meaning and intent of Alegre's memorandum. . long-time and well-respected journalists acclaimed locally and internationally. Ordinary words are to be construed in their ordinary meaning. Indeed. Otherwise. Alegre is likewise a well-educated man of more than average intelligence. These officers which include the likes of the late Betty Go-Belmonte. The conclusion is inevitable that he had more than enough sense to anticipate the consequences and effects of his words and actions. wittingly or unwittingly. He must have known the drilling effect of his bitter and sarcastic remarks upon the petitioners and must have intended the same. Borjal. It renders the writer unworthy of the trust and confidence demanded by his position. ." it is apparent that Alegre was not employed simply for his writing skills. he reaps. for as long as he enjoys the trust and confidence of his employer. to end employment relations. apart from (my) journalistic duties. much more one occupying a managerial position at the same time. "administration and operations functions. he was a law graduate. Trust and confidence breached In addition. he likewise must repose trust and confidence in his employer or. But any superior hurled with invectives from a confidential employee. Antecedent. When push comes to a shove . Common sense dictates that Alegre meant to resign when he wrote the memorandum. Moreover. stated otherwise. Top management certainly reposed full trust and confidence in him and placed him in a position of considerable management influence.
respondent Alegre did not return to his job after his authorized leave of absence expired in November 1988. we cannot but give due credence to petitioners' contention that this was another operative evidence of Alegre's intent to resign. The obvious reason is that he had actually no intention of doing so. 1988. (1) Medical reasons for leave of absence not proved First. the Court notes some peculiar actions confirming Alegre's intention to terminate his employment with the Star. medical examination abroad. He claims that he received the notice dated November 9. These are not automatically granted upon filing. (2) Cleared desk of personal belongings Second. he had all chances to return to his work. Alegre voluntarily resigned through his memorandum albeit written in the guise of a grievance letter. We cannot but give due credit to the petitioners' contention that such act was expressive of his intent to resign. Nothing really backs up such claim except his bare statements which. 1990. Belmonte before the labor arbiter on January 13. it is necessary to prove "clear and deliberate intent" coupled with unjustified absence and overt acts unerringly pointing to the fact that the employee simply does not want to work anymore. for which he was supposed to seek relief abroad. he could have reported back to work. respondent Alegre cleared his desk of his personal belongings even before he knew of the acceptance of his resignation. evidentially. Although he sent another letter 17 requesting for an extension of his leave. The law and jurisprudence on abandonment have thus no application in the present case. But this means that for about two weeks after his leave expired. Respondent Alegre informed Petitioner Belmonte of his intention to resign from the Philippine Star. though. 18 In the case at bench. His non-return to work. BORRETA: . Yet he chose not to. as follows:." respondent Alegre has nor proven the emergency nature of the cause/s of his extended leave. are at best self-serving. the Court scoured the records but found nothing to show that he actually underwent any medical check-up. there is no showing on record that the same was approved by petitioners. For in the latter. he claims that his leave of absence was due to medical reasons. 16 Such act certainly bares his intent to leave his job. His contention that he was effectively deprived of any chance to return to his work because of the acceptance of his purported resignation cannot be sustained. Again. 1988 only on December 6.In addition to his memorandum and the circumstances attendant thereto which were just discussed. Much less. (3) Did not report back to work Third. Respondent Alegre has not refuted nor offered any sufficient explanation for this action. ATTY. is not equivalent to abandonment of work. if Respondent Alegre had really no intention to resign. Except to cite in his request "travel log (sic) coupled with advice of my physician. (4) Not deprived of chance to return to work Fourth. However. (5) Alegre expressly manifested intention to resign Prior to sending his memorandum. This is shown by the testimony (cross examination) of the late Mrs. It is standard office procedure that applications for leave of absence are subject to the approval of the employer.
the most telling of the actions undertaken by Respondent Alegre which evidently demonstrate his intent to resign was his immediate employment as chief of staff of the office of then Senator Sotero H. that he should talk to the Publisher first and I even advised him to patch up whatever differences he might have. Your Honor. he said something about leaving and he even said tome that when he leaves. In that conversation. He was telling me that he wanted to leave. Max Soliven. And I told him that that is not my prerogative and I am only Chairman of the Board. And I think I made a comment. We hold that he cannot do so. and that must be what he was referring to. with a much higher compensation at P14. Belmonte's letter on December 6. but your sons are very hardworking. Moreover. sir. In fact I said the Publisher. and he came upon the recommendation of our Publisher and he was at that time Assistant to the Publisher. Laurel. working in a newspaper which prides in its independence from partisan activities is incompatible with a concurrent political office held by respondent. . Maybe because of that he gave me the impression that he wanted to leave. 1989 that he was employed therein about a year before (the date of his testimony) or sometime in November 1988. Side Issue: May a Resignation Be Unilaterally Withdrawn? Having established that Respondent Alegre resigned. 20 The date coincided with the period of his leave of absence or immediately thereafter. told me that "sana you were as good as your sons" maybe that was his feeling.00 per month driver's allowance. This is particularly evident because both jobs required full-time work. 1988 is clearly inconsistent with any desire to remain in employment with PTI. he would ask his two (2) sons who were working with us to leave too. oh. has signed another job. Actually I remember he requested a conversation but he did not specify what the conversation was about. sir ATTY. BORRETA: And because of that you got the impression that he had the intention to resign? WITNESS: Yes.00 per month plus P2. That is my way of trying to tell him that your sons are very hardworking because he said when I leave I am going to ask them to leave too.1988? WITNESS: Yes. I said. ATTY. 19 (6) Assumed job in another office Finally. why then did he commence a new job in another office at about the same period? His assumption of a new job prior to receiving Mrs. If he had no intention of resigning and was on leave for medical reasons as he alleged. BORRETA: And this happened before he wrote this memo for file on October 24. meaning the Board acted on this Memo for File which you considered as his letter of resignation without consulting or talking with the complainant first? WITNESS: The complainant had also applied for leave of absence and he talked with me that he was leaving for the United States.000.And you took that action. He admitted in his testimony before the labor arbiter on November 6. we now tackle the corollary issue of whether he can unilaterally withdraw his resignation.600.
and he shall have the status of a stranger who cannot unilaterally demand an appointment. 22 If accepted by the employer. according to his own discretion and judgment. To say that an employee who has resigned is illegally dismissed. affirmed by the NLRC. consequently. To allow him to do so would be to deprive the employer of his basic right to choose whom to employ. Not having been given new work assignments and being in dire financial need. A resigned employee who desires to take his job back has to re-apply therefor." The master of the ship. He claimed that his request for relief was only for the sole purpose of enabling him to take care of a fellow member of the crew who was hospitalized in Greece. NLRC 26 In Molave. 23 The law. It has been held that an employer is free to regulate. impels neither the oppression nor self-destruction of the employer. found that the employee was merely forced and intimidated into resigning. Likewise in People's Security. the employee filed a complaint charging his employer with breach of employment contract and violation of the National Seamen Board rules and regulations. the reason no longer existed and. The instant case is unlike Molave Tours Corporation vs. there was a finding of involuntary resignation. The employees therein who were security guards were not given assignments by their employer after the latter's security services contract with Meralco expired. requested for relief due to "personal reasons. who had authority to "sign off" an employee requesting relief. The Court ruled against the employee. Egypt four days later. is to encroach upon the right of employers to hire persons who will be of service to them. vs.The case of Intertrod Maritime. this is a recognition of the contractual nature of employment which requires mutuality of consent between the parties. Three months later. an employee cannot backtrack on his resignation at his whim and without the conformity of the former. If the employer does not. NLRC 21 is in point. the employees submitted their resignation letters. in protecting the rights of the laborer. When the vessel was at Port Said. Notwithstanding his explanation and request for a confrontation with his accusers. may not be withdrawn without the consent of the employer. if the employee "finds himself in a situation where he believes that personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service. after he was disallowed from disembarking thereat. the consequent effect of resignation is severance of the contract of employment. all aspects of employment including hiring. It held that resignations. he filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. Inc. while at Port Pylus. In fairness to the employer. they filed money claims which were later amended to include illegal dismissal. Hence. He cannot arrogate unto himself the same position which he earlier decided to leave. The employer contended that the employees voluntarily severed their employment because they turned in . The labor arbiter. It thus ordered the employer to reinstate the employee and award backwages and other benefits due him since there was no effective resignation. approved his request but informed the employee that repatriation expenses were for his account and that he had to give thirty days notice in view of clause 5 of the employment contract. NLRC 25 and People's Security. he was illegally dismissed when he was forced to "sign off" in Egypt even as he signified his intention of continuing his work. Two months after. If the employer accepts the withdrawal. On his return to the Philippines. Hence. the employee retains his job. the employee was made to sign a resignation letter. Inc. The employees requested for loans to be deducted from their security bond deposits. Greece. The employee therein who was a ship engineer. An employment contract is consensual and voluntary. the employer required him to explain in writing said charges. Obviously. Such is tantamount to undue oppression of the employer. the master "signed him off" and paid him in cash all amounts due him less repatriation expenses. once accepted. the employee cannot claim illegal dismissal. vs. then he has no other choice but to disassociate himself from his employment". the resignation of respondent Alegre after its acceptance by petitioners can no longer be withdrawn without the consent of the latter. acting on reports that the employee was on several occasions found drunk within work premises. which requests were denied by the employer who insisted that they must turn in their resignations first before their security bond deposits could be released. 24 Consistent with our ruling in Intertrod. The Court reiterated that resignation must be voluntary on the part of the employee.
backwages and separation pay. In the instant case. They were also forced to accept jobs at another agency as a practical solution to their employment problems which were caused by the employer's refusal and failure to provide them with new assignments. In the case of Indophil vs. His employer claimed abandonment of work since he was required to report and to explain his unauthorized absences but did not. Epilogue Both the Constitution and the Labor Code mandate a bias in favor of labor. it is obvious to us that private respondent's memorandum could not have been intended merely to persuade management to improve the work environment at the Philippine Star. In holding that there was no dismissal. When the employees were told that they would not be granted loans unless they resigned. his verbal expression of his intent to resign. In deciding cases. and most notably. the Court chided him for not having inquired into its veracity and for simply relying on the bare statement of the guard. Necessarily. and particularly attendant circumstances and actions before. This intent becomes even more manifest when viewed in light of attendant acts of Alegre. laws are interpreted always in the context of the peculiar factual situation of each case. this Court . there can be no award of any moral or exemplary damages. NLRC. the incendiary words employed denote a clear intent to end the writer's association of trust and confidence with his superiors and employer. He sued for illegal dismissal." That it was addressed and given to persons of uncommon perception themselves takes the letter out of ordinary employer-employee communications. the Court regarded the employer's act of requiring the employee to report and explain his unauthorized absences as nonacceptance of the previous resignation of the employee. particularly his prolonged leave of absence. Rather. however. It said that the employee should be more vigilant of his rights. With respect to the latter's allegation that he was prevented by the company guard from entering the premises. In the first two cases. It is true that there was no direct mention of the word "resignation. The offensive language used by a well-educated man endowed with unusual writing skill could not have been intended merely for the "suggestion box. we will no longer pass upon the two other issues raised by petitioners which are mere consequences of the contrary finding made by the NLRC. Again. The circumstances of time. He contended though. Hence. event. Rather. leans backwards to protect labor and the working class against the machinations and incursions of their more financially entrenched employers. the resignation was voluntary and it was accepted by the employer. Thus. this Court does not matter-of-factly apply and interpret laws in a vacuum. Since we find no case of illegal dismissal. The above three cases are dissimilar to the case at bar. place. they had no choice since they desperately needed money to meet their respective families' needs. person. . his assumption of a higher paying job in a political office which was incompatible with his work at the Star. his failure to report back to work after the expiration of his approved leave. the employee voluntarily submitted a resignation letter but later tried to retrieve the same. the Court held that resignation is a voluntary act of the employee. our grant of the petition. that he was thereafter prevented by the company guard from entering the work premises because of his resignation. Thus." However. as a matter of judicial policy. General principles do not decide specific cases. Each case has its own flesh and blood and cannot be decided simply on the basis of isolated clinical classroom principles. there were involuntary resignations while in the third there was an unaccepted resignation. however. his clearing of his own desk of personal belongings. 27 on the other hand. the employer still considered him as its employee in spite of the filed resignation letter.their resignation letters and assumed jobs with another security agency. it was evidently a recitation of the facts and reasons why respondent Alegre could no longer continue working under what he believed were unbearable conditions in the work place. In the present case. during and after the operative fact should all be taken in their totality so that justice can be rationally and fairly dispensed.
INNODATA PHILIPPINES. and no such letter has ever been made from my end. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. Then I sent you a memorandum for file expressing my sentiments on certain things. Schemes which preclude acquisition of tenurial security should be condemned as contrary to public policy. And I am not just about to contest it. The following day.: Commodum ex injuria sua nemo habere debet. No member of the work force of this country should be allowed to be taken advantages of by the employer. The facts of the case are as follows: . No. petitioner. vs. SERVIDAD. SO ORDERED. . however implicit it may be. certainly. PURISIMA. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the NLRC are SET ASIDE. Now. 1999 JOAQUIN T. respondents. No costs. . no such move. I filed a leave of absence. when in truth and in fact. premises considered. 1 In this special civil action the Certiorari petitioner seeks to annul the decision 2 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) reversing the Labor Arbiter's disposition 3 that he was illegally dismissed. Yes. to make any appeal. if you read that memo to mean resignation. but simply to go on record that I did not resign. No one should obtain an advantage from his wrong. Respondent Alegre wrote Petitioner Belmonte expressing surprise over the acceptance of his "resignation" as stated in the above-quoted letter. candid statements that came to be (sic) expressed inspired by your candor and sincerity in little chat. And that was dully (sic) approved. that is your responsibility. His letter 7 partly stated: It certainly beats me to be told that my "'resignation" has been accepted.R. the petition is GRANTED. INC. xxx xxx xxx I am writing this letter not. The temporary restraining order issued by this Court is made PERMANENT. J./ INNODATA CORPORATION. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. 128682 March 18.WHEREFORE. . TODD SOLOMON.
at the end of his one year term agreed upon. 1994. 4 On November 9.5% given by the private respondent. This Contract shall be effective for a period of 1 years commencing on May 10. the Labor Arbiter disposed as follows: WHEREFORE. It declared that the contract between petitioner and private respondent was for a fixed term and therefore. 1996 is hereby. Such happening prompted petitioner to institute a case for illegal dismissal against the private respondent. 1994. WHEREFORE. the instant case is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. until May 10. 1994. 1994 by respondent INNODATA as a "Data Control Clerk". Such termination shall be immediate. or for a period of six (6) months. 2. 1995 unless sooner terminated pursuant to the provisions hereof. In another evaluation. the dismissal of petitioner Joaquin T. Respondent is ordered to pay complainant full backwages from the time of his dismissal till actual or payroll reinstatement. or after working for six (6) months. SO ORDERED. petitioner was dismissed from the service on the ground of alleged termination of contract of employment.Petitioner Joaquin T. reads: Sec. 1995. SO ORDERED. in the amount of P53. an extended three-month probationary employment good until May 9. petitioner received a rating of 98.826. 5 On July 7. In ruling for petitioner. the petitioner was given an overall rating of 100% and 98% in the work evaluations conducted by the company. Servidad. 6 On May 9. 8 . 1995. Should the EMPLOYEE continue his employment beyond November 10. 1994. he was made to sign a three-month probationary employment and later. If the EMPLOYEE failto demonstrate the ability to master his task during the first six months he can be placed on probation for another six (6) months after which he will be evaluated for promotion as a regular employee. under a contract of employment Section 2 of which. From May 10. The decretal portion of the decision of NLRC is to the following effect: All said the judgment dated August 20. Respondent is hereby further ordered to reinstate complainant to his former position or equivalent position without loss of seniority rights. as the EMPLOYER may determine. premises considered. 1994 to November 10. the NLRC reversed the aforesaid judgment of the Labor Arbiter. he shall become a regular employee upon demonstration of sufficient skill in the terms of his ability to meet the standards set by the EMPLOYER. REVERSED.50 (computed till promulgation only). or at whatever date within the six-month period. privileges and benefits as a regular employee immediately upon receipt of this decision. 7 On appeal thereto by INNODATA. 1995. Servidad was employed on May 9. was valid. premises considered judgment is hereby rendered finding Respondent guilty of illegal dismissal and concomitantly. the EMPLOYEE shall be contractual during which the EMPLOYER can terminate the EMPLOYEE's services by serving written notice to that effect.
The first period was for six months terminable at the option of private respondent. In both cases. the one-year period stipulated in subject contract was to enable petitioner to acquire the skill necessary for the job. Inc. vs. private respondent has two options. 9 According to the private respondent. If the nature of the job did actually necessitate at least one year for the employee to acquire the requisite training and experience. It was not brought to light that the petitioner was duly informed at the start of his employment. Zamora. favorable interpretation of the contract in the case under scrutiny should be for petitioner and not for the private respondent which caused the preparation of said contract. In effect. 12 In the case of Brent School. et al. still. It is worthy to note.Undaunted. 1377. If the contract was really for a fixed term. the private respondent should not have been given the discretion to dismiss the petitioner during the one year period of employment for reasons other than the just and authorized causes under the Labor Code. 11 The language of the contract in dispute is truly a double-bladed scheme to block the acquisition of the employee of tenurial security. In either case. what respondent employer theorized upon is that the one-year term of employment is probationary. The petition is impressed with merit. petitioner found his way to this Court via the present petition faulting NLRC for acting with grave abuse of discretion in adjudging subject contract of employment of petitioner to be for a definite or fixed period. The rudiments of due process demand that an employee should be apprised before hand of the conditions of his employment and the basis for his advancement. Thereunder. the private respondent did not specify the criteria for the termination or retention of the services of petitioner. which provides: Art. however. the same could not be a valid probationary employment as it falls short of the requirement of Article 281 10 of the Labor Code. of the reasonable standards under which he could qualify as a regular employee. or it may use "failure to meet work standards" as the ground for the employee's dismissal. the tenor of the contract jeopardizes the right of the worker to security of tenure guaranteed by the Constitution. Certainly. Such a wide leeway for the determination of the tenure of an employee during a one year period of employment is violate of the right of the employee against unwarranted dismissal. The issue posited centers on the validity and enforceability of the contract of employment entered into by the parties. the Court upheld the principle that where from the circumstances it is apparent that periods have been imposed to preclude acquisition of tenurial security by the employee. Settled is the rule that an employer can terminate the services of an employee only for valid and just causes which must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. At bar is just another scheme to defeat the constitutionally guaranteed right of employees to security of tenure. they should be disregarded for being contrary to public policy. The interpretation of obscure words or stipulations in a contract shall not favor the party who caused the obscurity. Decisively in point is Article 1377 of the Civil Code. It can terminate the employee by reason of expiration of contract. that the said contract provides for two periods. Such circumstance has been indubitably shown here to justify the application of the following conclusion: . 13. while the second period was also for six months but probationary in character. The NLRC found that the contract in question is for a fixed term.
no such specific designation is stipulated in the contract. . working conditions. the employment was expressly agreed upon as probationary. The decision at NLRC on the matter simply stated that the petitioner fell short of the expectations of the company without specifying factual basis therefor. Inc. vs. . 14 The agreement in the case under consideration has such an objective and consequently. Leogardo Jr. Similarly telling is the case of Pakistan Airlines Corporation vs. which provides: Art. 20 There. by reasonably extending the period of probation. 15 It is abundantly clear that the petitioner was hired as a regular employee. Hen. The law relating to labor and employment is clearly such an area and parties are not at liberty to insulate themselves and their relationships from the impact of labor laws and regulations by simply contracting with each other. . petitioner was anyway permitted to work beyond the first six-month period and under Article 281 17 an employee allowed to work beyond the probationary period is deemed a regular employee. under Article 280 16 of the Labor Code petitioner is considered a regular employee of private respondent. 1700. closed shops. Reliance by NLRC on the ruling in Mariwasa Manufacturing. The relation between capital and labor are not merely contractual. The utter disregard of public policy by the contract in question negates the ruling of NLRC that said contract is the law between the parties. and since the entire purpose behind the development of the legislation culminating in the present Article 280 of the Labor Code clearly appears to have been. even assuming that his original employment was probationary. 18 is misplaced. as already observed. Such being the scenario involved. 22 The public respondent overlooked the undisputed satisfactory ratings of the performance of petitioner in the . The private respondent sought to alternatively avail of probationary employment and employment for a fixed term so as to preclude the regularization of the status of petitioner. especially provisions relating to matters affected with public policy. is a complete nullity. His work was therefore necessary and important to the business of his employer. collective bargaining. wages. Pole. however. The Court finds nothing in the law which by any fair interpretation prohibits such waiver. He worked as a "Data Control Clerk". They are so impressed with public interest that labor contracts must yield to the common good. such contracts are subject to special laws on labor unions. . Put a little differently. 21 On the averment that NLRC gravely abused its discretion in finding that petitioner failed to meet the standards of the company. it was said: .. provisions of applicable law. at the outset. the governing principle is that the parties may not contract away applicable provisions of law especially peremptory provisions dealing with matters heavily impressed with public interest. . And no public policy protecting the employee and the security of tenure is served by proscribing voluntary agreements which. actually improve and further a probationary employee's prospects of demonstrating his fitness for regular employment. hours of labor and similar subjects. Here. His job was directly related to the data processing and data encoding business of Innodata. The private agreement of the parties cannot prevail over Article 1700 of the Civil Code. .Accordingly. . is not the same as what obtained in this case. strikes and lockouts. Pertinent portion of the disquisition therein was as follows: By voluntary agreeing to an extension of the probationary period. et al. In the Mariwasa case. 19 The above-described situation. At any rate. to prevent circumvention of the employee's right to be secure in his tenure. are deemed written into the contract. we find for petitioner. . the clause in said article indiscriminately and completely ruling out all written or oral agreements conflicting with the concept of regular employment as defined therein should be construed to refer to the substantive evil that the Code itself has singled out: agreements entered into precisely to circumvent security of tenure.. et al. et al. Dequila in effect waived any benefit attaching to the completion of said period if he still failed to make the grade during the period of extension. Therefore.
Presiding Judge of the Court of Industrial Relations and FEATI UNIVERSITY FACULTY CLUB-PAFLU." 23 Then too. the so called "end of contract" on 21 February 1995 amounted to a dismissal without any valid cause. but crude. vs. . still. therefore." was a devious. the petitioner. the case at bar is on all fours with the recent case of Villanueva vs. the petition is GRANTED. . 1994. without any deduction. et al. SO ORDERED. the NLRC gravely abused its discretion in construing the contract sued upon as one with a fixed term. the petitioner herein predicated his claim for such damages on mere allegations of sleepless nights. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. he shall become a regular employee upon demonstration of sufficient skill in the terms of his ability to meet the standards set by the EMPLOYER. dated August 20. 24 where the same standard form of employment contract prepared by INNODATA was at issue. 25 Hence. petitioner has become a regular employee of private respondent. the questioned decision of NLRC is SET ASIDE. On the matter of moral damages. 27 WHEREFORE. No. NLRC. Mere allegations of besmirched reputation. . who was permitted to work beyond six months could not be dismissed on the ground of failure to meet the standards of Innodata. Therein.R. To uphold such a finding would be to concede to the private respondent an advantage arising from its own mistake. the amount thereof should be computed from the time he was illegally dismissed to the time of his actual or payroll reinstatement. etc. 1966 FEATI UNIVERSITY.two job evaluations conducted by the respondent company. . attempt to circumvent petitioner's right to security of tenure as a regular employee guaranteed by Article 279 of the Labor Code. By the provisions of the very contract itself. .. HON. embarrassment. Should the EMPLOYEE continue employment beyond November 10. BAUTISTA. 1996. as well as the subsequent issuance on 13 March 1995 of a "new" contract for five months as "data encoder. JOSE S. petitioner. 26 However. the court ratiocinated: The termination of petitioner's employment contract on 21 February 1995. L-21278 December 27. respondents. that the contract litigated upon is valid. with the modification that the award of backwages be computed from the time of the dismissal of petitioner to his actual or payroll reinstatement. . Costs against the private respondent. Indeed. without detailing out what was responsible therefor or the cause thereof. embarrassment and sleepless nights are insufficient to warrant an award for moral damages. It must be shown that the proximate cause thereof was the unlawful act or omission of the private respondent. however. in NLRC-NCR-00-055-03471-95 REINSTATED. we rule for the private respondent. As regards the backwages to be granted to petitioner. In deciding that the said contract violated the employee's right to security of tenure. and the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Even granting. it is stipulated that: ".
to whom the demands were referred. and the parties were allowed to file only one brief for the three cases. L-21462 December 27. Cipriano Cid and Associates for respondents. No. No. the President of the Faculty Club sent another letter containing twenty-six demands that have connection with the employment of the members of the Faculty Club by the University. wrote a letter to the President of the Faculty Club demanding proof of its majority status and designation as a bargaining representative. petitioner-appellant. 1963. requesting that she be given at least thirty days to study thoroughly the different phases of the demands.R. 875. Despite further efforts of the officials from the Department of Labor to effect a settlement of the differences between the management of the University and the striking faculty members no satisfactory agreement was arrived at. The parties were called to conferences at the Conciliation Division of the Bureau of Labor but efforts to conciliate them failed. respondent-appellee. Meanwhile counsel for the University. ---------------------------------------G. CASE NO. 1963. The three cases now before this Court stemmed from those cases that were filed with the CIR. On January 22.R. respondent-appellee. and on the same day he filed a notice of strike with the Bureau of Labor alleging as reason therefor the refusal of the University to bargain collectively. G. by resolution. the President of the respondent Feati University Faculty Club-PAFLU — hereinafter referred to as Faculty Club — wrote a letter to Mrs.: This Court. Rafael Dinglasan for petitioner. 1966 FEATI UNIVERSITY. In connection with the dispute between the University and the Faculty Club and certain incidents related to said dispute. the members of the Faculty Club declared a strike and established picket lines in the premises of the University. On March 21. NO. The President of the University answered the two letters. ordered that these three cases be considered together. resulting in the disruption of classes in the University. FEATI UNIVERSITY FACULTY CLUB-PAFLU. The Faculty Club is composed of members who are professors and/or instructors of the University. various cases were filed with the Court of Industrial Relations — hereinafter referred to as CIR. On January 14. FEATI UNIVERSITY FACULTY CLUB-PAFLU. L-21278 . vs. petitioner-appellant. 1963. On February 18. Araneta. the President of the Philippines certified to the Court of Industrial Relations the dispute between the management of the University and the Faculty Club pursuant to the provisions of Section 10 of Republic Act No. the President of the Faculty Club again wrote the President of the University rejecting the latter's request for extension of time. and requesting an answer within ten days from receipt thereof. President of petitioner Feati University — hereinafter referred to as University — informing her of the organization of the Faculty Club into a registered labor union.---------------------------------------G. ZALDIVAR.R. vs. On February 1. 1963. Victoria L. J. 1966 FEATI UNIVERSITY. L-21500 December 27. 1963.
V-30. the University filed before this Court a "petition for certiorari and prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction". the respondent Judge. L-21278. and (2) the presidential certification is violative of Section 10 of the Industrial Peace Act. The University filed. the Judge endeavored to reconcile the part and it was agreed upon that the striking faculty members would return to work and the University would readmit them under a status quo arrangement. On March 30. until further order from this Court. they being independent contractors. because (1) the Industrial Peace Act is not applicable to the University.00. respondent Judge Bautista set the case for hearing on March 23. the matter regarding the actuations of the respondent Judge and the issues raised in the motion for reconsideration. 41-IPA. On the strength of the presidential certification. G. as the University is not an industrial establishment and there was no industrial dispute which could be certified to the CIR. Without the motion for reconsideration having been acted upon by the CIR en banc. This motion for cancellation of the hearing was denied. A brief statement of the three cases — CIR Cases 41-IPA. and at the same time asking that the motion for reconsideration be first heard by the CIR en banc. (3) that the orders dated March 30. During the hearing. In the same order. 41-IPA. relates to the case in connection with the strike staged by the members of the Faculty Club. L-21278. 41-IPA and 1183MC be annulled. (2) that the proceedings in Cases Nos. this Court ordered the injunction bond increased to P100. however. from dismissing any employee or laborer without previous authorization from the CIR. 1183-MC and V-30 of the CIR. the dispute between the University and the Faculty Club was certified on March 21. nor to the members of the Faculty Club. 1963. Before the above-mentioned order of March 30.00. alleging that the University refused to accept back to work the returning strikers. 41-IPA. thru counsel filed a motion to dismiss the case upon the ground that the CIR has no jurisdiction over the case. 1963 in Case 41-IPA is one of the orders sought to be annulled in the case. praying: (1) for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction enjoining respondent Judge Jose S. but on January 23. cancelled the scheduled hearing when counsel for the University manifested that he would take up before the Supreme Court."1 On December 4. the University.000. believing that the dispute could not be decided promptly. No. and V-30. 1183MC and V-30 of the Court of Industrial Relations).000.R. and the order dated April 29. 1183-MC. Bautista as Presiding Judge of the CIR. specially the issue relating to the jurisdiction of the CIR. On that very same day.00. respondent Judge set the case for hearing on the merits for May 8. The order of March 30. CIR Case No. on April 5. the Faculty Club filed with the CIR in Case 41-IPA a petition to declare in contempt of court certain parties. The University moved for the cancellation of said hearing upon the ground that the court en banc should first hear the motion for reconsideration and resolve the issues raised therein before the case is heard on the merits. 1963. ordered the strikers to return immediately to work and the University to take them back under the last terms and conditions existing before the dispute arose. 1963. 1183-MC and V-30 — involved in the Case G.R. however. 1963 and April 6. as per agreement had during the hearing on March 23.R. On May 10. upon a motion for reconsideration by the University. this Court reduced the bond to P50. 1963 was issued by respondent Judge. Bautista of the CIR to desist from proceeding in CIR Cases Nos. L-21278. The University filed on April 1. 1963 by the President of the Philippines to the CIR.On May 10. As we have stated. the order dated April 6. and likewise enjoined the University. in violation of the return-to-work order of March 30.000. 41-IPA. 1963. No. docketed as G. is here necessary. ordering respondent Judge Jose S. On April 1. this Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction. 1963 in Case No. 1963 in Case No. 41-IPA. and (4) that the respondent Judge be ordered to dismiss said cases Nos. pending adjudication of the case. The respondent Judge.1963. upon the University's filing a bond of P1. 1963 the respondent Judge issued an order denying the motion to dismiss and declaring that the Industrial Peace Act is applicable to both parties in the case and that the CIR had acquired jurisdiction over the case by virtue of the presidential certification. 1963 a motion for reconsideration of the order of March 30. "to desist and refrain from further proceeding in the premises (Cases Nos. 1963 by the CIR en banc. 1963. all be annulled. 1183-MC. 1963 in Case No. 1963. 1963. its . 1964. No. the University had employed professors and/or instructors to take the places of those professors and/or instructors who had struck. 1963. it being an educational institution. by a petition for certiorari.
a motion for reconsideration by the CIR en banc of the order of respondent Judge of April 6. Let it be noted that when the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction was filed on May 10. and teachers. there placing professors and/or instructors concerned filed. This case was assigned to Judge Baltazar Villanueva of the CIR. thru counsel. 1963. This order of April 6. respondent Judge Bautista issued on April 29. raising the very same issues raised in Case No. 1963 an order commanding any officer of the law to arrest the above named officials of the University so that they may be dealt with in accordance with law. The Faculty Club. that the Faculty Club is not a legitimate labor union. alleging that the issues raised in Case No. praying that it be certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all the employees of the University. the questioned order in CIR Cases Nos. 1963. 1963. claiming that the petition did not comply with the rules promulgated by the CIR. 1183-MC is one of the orders sought to be annulled in the case. and the same time fixed the bond for their release at P500. and in issuing the questioned orders in. charging President Victoria L. 1963 in Case No. 1183-MC relates to a petition for certification election filed by the Faculty Club on March 8. G. The University filed an opposition to the petition for certification election and at the same time a motion to dismiss said petition. 41-IPA. 1963 by the CIR en banc. issued an order granting the withdrawal. 41-IPA. that the questions of recognition and majority status in Case No. L-2l278. as officials of the University. 41-IPA. CIR Case No. who are members of the Faculty Club. a motion for reconsideration of that order of April 6. 41IPA. that the terms of the individual contracts of the professors. 41-IPA for alleged violation of the order dated March 30. Bautista acted without. or with grave abuse of discretion. that the members of the Faculty Club cannot unionize for collective bargaining purposes. V-30 relates to a complaint for indirect contempt of court filed against the administrative officials of the University. pending the final resolution of the same. This order of April 29.R. now before Us. on April 24.R. Executive Vice-President Rodolfo Maslog. not to disturb nor in any manner commit any act tending to disrupt the effectivity of the order of March 30. Based on the complaint thus filed by the Acting Chief Prosecutor of the CIR.00 each. 1963 is also one of the orders sought to be annulled in the case. with indirect contempt of court. now before Us. This order of April 6. 1963. No. On April 6. 1963 in this case. 41-IPA 1183-MC and V-30. through the Acting Chief Prosecutor of the CIR. reiterating the same charges filed in Case No. 1963 is one of the orders that are sought to be annulled in case G. The University prayed that the motion of the Faculty Club to withdraw the petition for certification election be denied. filed with the CIR a complaint docketed as Case No. 1183-MC were not absorbed by Case No. for the time being. 1963 which had not yet been acted upon by the CIR en banc. 1183-MC and V-30 were still pending action by the CIR en banc upon motions for reconsideration filed by the University. CIR Case No. the Faculty Club filed on April 3.R. 1963 a motion to withdraw the petition on the ground that the labor dispute (Case No. The University opposed the withdrawal. is that respondent Judge Jose S. The principal allegation of the University in its petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in Case G. the respondent Judge issued an order stating that "said replacements are hereby warned and cautioned."2 On April 8. G. instructors. 1963.opposition to the petition for contempt. No. on April 6.R. however. 41-IPA) had already been certified by the President to the CIR and the issues raised in Case No. and Assistant to the President Jose Segovia. 1963. Araneta. The University filed. . 1963 before the CIR. Judge Baltazar Villanueva. V-30. finding that the reasons stated by the Faculty Club in the motion to withdraw were well taken. 1963. and that its motion to dismiss the petition be heard. L-21278. denying the allegations of the Faculty Club and alleging by way of special defense that there was still the motion for reconsideration of the order of March 30. Dean Daniel Salcedo. or in excess of. 41-IPA.1963. jurisdiction. 1183-MC were separate and distinct from the issues raised in Case No. Before Judge Villanueva could act on the motion to dismiss. L-21278. No. and that the CIR could not exercise its power of compulsory arbitration unless the legal issue regarding the existence of employer-employee relationship was first resolved. 1183-MC were absorbed by Case No. and that the CIR has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petition because the Industrial Peace Act is not applicable to the members of the Faculty Club nor to the University. CIR Cases Nos. L-21278. in taking cognizance of. would expire on March 25 or 31. No.
no. 41-IPA. 1183MC relates to a petition for certification election filed by the Faculty Club as a labor union. 1963 in Case No. CASE G.R. 1963. 1963 was null and void because it was issued in violation of the writ of preliminary injunction issued in Case G. 1183-MC and V-30 and to issue the questioned orders in those two cases. the alleged status as a labor union. and (3) the lower court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the petition for certification election and that the same should have been dismissed instead of having been ordered withdrawn. As already stated Case No. L21278. and specially alleging that the lower court's order granting the withdrawal of the petition for certification election was in accordance with law.R. 1963. 1963 by the CIR en banc. until further order from this Court. by order April 6. 1183-MC. 1183-MC were absorbed by Case No. No. This petition was opposed by the University. and that the CIR be ordered to dismiss Case No. 1963. dated June 5. The University prayed that the proceedings in Case No. L-21278 because . L-21278 was filed on May 10. 1963. 41-IPA which was certified by the President of the Philippines. majority representation and designation as bargaining representative in an appropriate unit of the Faculty Club should have been resolved first in Case No. 1963 issued therein be annulled. involves also CIR Case No. No. 41-IPA and therefore the motion to withdraw the petition for certification election should not have been granted upon the ground that the issues in the first case have been absorbed in the second case.R.R. L-21462. admitting some. No. 1963 and the resolution of June 5.R. and (3) that the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction was prematurely filed because the orders of the CIR sought to be annulled were still the subjects of pending motions for reconsideration before the CIR en banc when said petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction was filed before this Court. That motion for reconsideration was pending action by the CIR en banc when the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in Case G. L-21278. so that the Court of Industrial Relations had jurisdiction to take cognizance of Cases Nos. admitting some allegations contained in the petition and denying others. 1183-MC prior to the determination of the issues in Case No.R. 1183-MC on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. and that the resolution of the court en banc on June 5. to desist and refrain from further proceeding in the premises (Cases Nos. and alleging special defenses which boil down to the contentions that (1) the CIR had acquired jurisdiction to take cognizance of Case No. (2) that the issues of employer-employee relationship. 1963. and denying other. L-21278. On June 5. that is. As earlier stated this Court. the University filed before this Court a petition for certiorari. (2) that the Industrial Peace Act (Republic Act 875) is applicable to the University as an employer and to the members of the Faculty Club as employees who are affiliated with a duly registered labor union.On June 10. Judge Baltazar Villanueva. 1183-MC. issued a writ of preliminary injunction on May 10. L-21462. 1963. 41-IPA by virtue of the presidential certification. the CIR en banc issued a resolution denying the motion for reconsideration of the order of April 6. No. The Faculty Club filed its answer. the Faculty Club filed its answer to the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. 1183-MC and V-30 of the Court of Industrial Relations). On July 8. ordering respondent Judge Bautista. praying that it be certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all employees of the University.R. 1183-MC. No. G. and at the same time it filed a motion to dismiss said petition. 1963 was not a violation of the writ of preliminary injunction issued in Case G. 1963 in Case No. No. after this Court has issued the writ of preliminary injunction in Case G. so that it had jurisdiction to issue the questioned orders in said Case No. 1963. allegations in the petition for certiorari.R. by way of an appeal from the resolution of the CIR en banc. the University alleges (1) that the resolution of the Court of Industrial Relations of June 5. in Case G. But before Judge Baltazar Villanueva could act on the petition for certification election and the motion to dismiss the same. This petition was docketed as G. NO. The University filed a motion for reconsideration of that order of April 6. In its petition for certiorari. 41-IPA. L-21462 This case. Faculty Club filed a motion to withdraw said petition upon the ground that the issue raised in Case No. 1183-MC and the order of April 6. denying the motion for reconsideration of the order of April 6. granted the motion to withdraw.
On September 10. As earlier stated. On July 2. but is violative thereof. L-21278. 41-IPA be annulled.R. to desist and refrain from further proceeding in the premises (Cases Nos. No.R. the University received a copy of the resolution of the CIR en banc. 1963. 1963 by the CIR en banc. 1963 be revoked. 1963 issued therein are null and void. 41-IPA.said writ of injunction was issued against Judge Jose S. In its petition for certiorari the University alleges (1) that the resolution of the CIR en banc. The petition prayed that the proceedings in Case No. Bautista. No. by resolution of September 26. L-21500. 1183-MC. 1963. L-21500 This case. 1963. (3) that the certification made by the President of the Philippines is not authorized by Section 10 of Republic Act 875. 1963. the University filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of March 30. through counsel.R. 1963 and the resolution dated May 7. and on March 30. 41-IPA and the order of March 30. until further order from this Court. much less against Judge Baltazar Villanueva who was the trial judge of Case No. had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of Case No. L-21278. 1963) denying the motion for reconsideration of the order of March 30. 1183-MC and V30 of the Court of Industrial Relations).R. (4) that the Faculty Club has no right to unionize or organize as a labor union for collective bargaining purposes and to be certified as a collective bargaining agent within the purview of the Industrial Peace Act. L-21500. in Case No. The University filed a motion to dismiss that case upon the ground that the CIR has no jurisdiction over the case. through its Presiding Judge. 1963 in Case No. involves also CIR Case No. filed a motion to dismiss the petition for certiorari on the ground that the petition being filed by way of an appeal from the orders of the Court of Industrial Relations denying the motion to dismiss in Case No. NO. is null and void because it was issued in violation of the writ of preliminary injunction issued by this Court in G. ordered that these three cases (G. Bautista and not against the Court of Industrial Relations. dated May 7. denying the motion for reconsideration of the order dated March 30. and that the lower court be ordered to dismiss Case 41-IPA on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.R. 1963 ordering respondent Judge Jose S. G. issued a writ of preliminary injunction on May 10. No.R. and (5) that the return-to-work order of March 30. L-21500 be taken up when the cases are decided on the merits after the hearing. 41-IPA. 41-IPA. On April 1. 41-IPA. L21462 and L-21500) be considered together and the motion to dismiss in Case G.R. 41-IPA. 1963. 1963. 41-IPA. this Court in said case G. No. the Faculty Club. 1963 (but actually received by said petitioner on July 2. and in that same order Judge Bautista ordered the strikers to return to work and the University to take them back under the last terms and conditions existing before the dispute arose. 1963 in Case No. the University filed before this Court a petition for certiorari. and enjoined the University from dismissing any employee or laborer without previous authority from the court. No. 1963 but actually received and stamped at the Office of the Clerk of the CIR on June 28. that the order dated March 30. Case No. This Court. (2) that the CIR. 41-IPA relates to the strike staged by the members of the Faculty Club and the dispute was certified by the President of the Philippines to the CIR. L-21278 was filed on May 10. 1963. the petition for certiorari is not proper because the orders appealed from are interlocutory in nature. . No. This petition was docketed as G. 1963. 1963 Judge Jose S. On July 23. 1963 is improper and illegal. by way of an appeal from the resolution of the Court of Industrial Relations en banc dated May 7.R. dated May 7. Bautista issued an order denying the motion to dismiss and declaring that the Industrial Peace Act is applicable to both parties in the case and that the CIR had acquired jurisdiction over the case by virtue of the presidential certification. That motion for reconsideration was pending action by the CIR en banc when the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in Case G. Nos. and consequently it has no right to strike and picket on the ground of petitioner's alleged refusal to bargain collectively where such duty does not exist in law and is not enforceable against an educational institution. 1963 but filed with the Clerk of the CIR on June 28. As we have already stated. CASE G. 1963 and the resolution dated May 7. L-21278.
R. vs. is not and cannot be a legitimate labor organization within the meaning of the laws creating the Court of Industrial Relations and defining its powers and functions. (Nov. CIR. the pivotal one being its claim that the Court of Industrial Relations has no jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter in CIR Cases 41IPA. Hospital Employees Association vs. Tomas University Hospital. L-12222. It is true that this Court has ruled that certain educational institutions. and also related cases subsequent thereto. April 8." It was organized not for profit or gain or division of the dividends among its stockholders. et al. La Consolacion College. 875. petitioner herein. and other juridical entities. University of San Agustin. The decision in the case of University of San Agustin vs. et al. vs." . is an educational institution conducted and managed by a "religious non-stock corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. No. 1955) 5636-5640). are beyond the purview of Republic Act No. Far Eastern University vs.. like the University of Santo Tomas. Juliana Araos.Brushing aside certain technical questions raised by the parties in their pleadings. May 28. upon the ground that Republic Act No. 51 O.S. et al.R. L-17620. G. therefore. It likewise appears that the Philippine Association of College and University Professors. and consequently. 1958. 1962. the University cites cases decided by this Court: Boy Scouts of the Philippines vs. like the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Manila Sanitarium. is very pertinent. University of the Philippines. is a non-stock association composed of professors and teachers in different colleges and universities and that since its organization two years ago. L-10091. CIR. not only on the parties but also over the subject matter of the complaint. but it is nonetheless true that the principal reason of this Court in ruling in those cases that those institutions are excluded from the operation of Republic Act 875 is that those entities are not organized. brought before it. We proceed to decide these three cases on the merits of the issues raised.T. We quote a portion of the decision: It appears that the University of San Agustin. Jan. We have reviewed these cases. and the Philippine Association of College and University Professors being composed of persons engaged in the teaching profession. L-13282. petitioner filed an answer wherein it disputed the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations over the controversy on the following grounds: "(a) That complainants therein being college and/or university professors were not "industrial" laborers or employees. alleged controversy between therein complainants and respondent is not an "industrial" dispute.R. 1960. 1959. 1183-MC and V-30. L-12015. et al. it is not an "industrial" enterprise and the members of its teaching staff are not engaged in "industrial" employment (U. G. is not an institution established for the purpose of gain or division of profits. 875 is not applicable to the University because it is an educational institution and not an industrial establishment and hence not an "employer" in contemplation of said Act. Court of Industrial Relations and National Labor Union. Sto. PLASLU. No. L-6988. maintained and operated for profit and do not declare dividends to stockholders. 29. and San Beda College vs. as a necessary consequence. La Consolacion College. not employees within the purview of the said Act. CIR. L-12222. 24 May 1954. 875 in the sense that the Court of Industrial Relations has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of charges of unfair labor practice filed against them. "(b) That the University of San Agustin.. April 22. August 31. "(c) That. and We find that they do not sustain the contention of the University. 1958. Philippine Land-Air-Sea Labor Union. G. the university has adopted a hostile attitude to its formation and has tried to discriminate. 875 applicable to the members of the Faculty Club because the latter are independent contractors and. 29 October 1955. CIR. L15416. and the Court of Industrial Relations has no jurisdiction. respondent therein. In support of the contention that being an educational institution it is beyond the scope of Republic Act No. 1960. The University has raised several issues in the present cases. University of San Agustin vs. but solely for religious and educational purposes. To the complaint of unfair labor practice. et al. respondent herein. April 22. harass and intimidate its members for which reason the association and the members affected filed the unfair labor practice complaint which initiated this proceeding. L-7649.G. Court of Industrial Relations. May 28. 1958. and neither is Republic Act No.. No. Cebu Chinese High School vs.
but for elevated and lofty purposes. all its income is used for the improvement and enlargement of the institution.R. this Court. but one established exclusively for educational purposes. the Court of Industrial Relations had no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the action or petition filed by respondent Araos." There being a close analogy between the relation and facts involved in the two cases. Baltazar Villanueva. etc.The issue now before us is: Since the University of San Agustin is not an institution established for profit or gain. "In conclusion. is included in the definition of "employer" contained in Republic Act 875. then the Industrial Court would have no jurisdiction at all. its definitions of employer and employee. would come under the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations. do the provisions of the Magna Carta on unfair labor practice apply to the relation between petitioner and members of respondent association? The issue is not new. the appealed decision and resolution of the CIR are hereby set aside. receive no material compensation for the time and sacrifice they render to the University and its students. G. we hereby set aside the order and resolution subject to the present petition. where this Court ruled that: In the present case. is an educational institution . operated and maintained not for profit or gain. answered the query in the negative in the following wise: "The main issue involved in the present case is whether or not a charitable institution or one organized not for profit but for more elevated purposes. does not apply to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. charitable..R. The University declares no dividend. nor an industrial enterprise. the encouragement and promotion of character. that portion thereof regarding labor disputes and unfair labor practice. G. and the members of the corporation who founded it. education and instruction. creating the Court of Industrial Relations. with costs against respondent association. which has long become final and consequently the settled law in the case. No. therefore. then any act which may be considered unfair labor practice. we find and hold that Republic Act No. et al. can it be said that its relation with its professors is one of employer and employee that comes under the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations? In other words. and whether the employees of said institution fall under the definition of "employee" also contained in the same Republic Act. L10091. such as. to the Industrial Peace Act. xxx xxx xxx "On the basis of the foregoing considerations. The Court of First Instance of Manila in its decision in Civil Case No. but if they do not fall within the scope of said Republic Act. No. humanitarian. patriotism and kindred virtues in youth of the nation. 103. The same doctrine was confirmed in the case of University of Santo Tomas v. charity. October 30. 314-MC) has averred that "the University of Santo Tomas.. 28870. within the meaning of said Republic Act. L-13748. particularly. Thus. Araos. in the case of Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. the record reveals that the petitioner University of Santo Tomas is not an industry organized for profit but an institution of learning devoted exclusively to the education of the youth. If they are included. like the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Wherefore. and consequently. The respondent union itself in a case before the Industrial Court (Case No. found as established by the evidence adduced by the parties therein (herein petitioner and respondent labor union) that while the University collects fees from its students. 1958. there is every reason to believe that our labor legislation from Commonwealth Act No. Hon. with costs against respondent. social service. promulgated on January 29. etc. was intended by the Legislature to apply only to industrial employment and to govern the relations between employers engaged in industry and occupations for purposes of profit and gain. Juliana V. and their industrial employees. we cannot but conclude that the Court of Industrial Relations has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint for unfair labor practice lodged by respondent association against petitioner and. Justice Montemayor. as ordained in its articles of incorporation. particularly. but not to organizations and entities which are organized. 1959. like the San Beda College. down through the Eight-Hour Labor Law. speaking thru Mr. hospital and medical service. 875.
It is apparent. It is noteworthy that the cases of the University of San Agustin. 2-x 3-x and 4-x)"4 Under this circumstance. April 22. CIR. including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof. guilty of unfair labor practice. Among the findings of fact in said case was that the Far Eastern University made profits from the school year 1952-1953 to 1958-1959. G. vs.R. the University of Sto. On the other hand. 875. and La Consolacion College. But the University claims that it is not an employer within the contemplation of Republic Act No. CIR. Juliana V. A and also 1 to 1-F. Does the University operate as an educational institution for profit? Does it declare dividends for its stockholders? If it does not. eleemosynary or non-profit organizations — which include educational institutions not operated for profit. August 31. in the Far Eastern University case this Court is unanimous in supporting the view that an educational institution that is operated for profit comes within the scope of the Industrial Peace Act. that the Industrial Peace Act is applicable to any organization or entity — whatever may be its purpose when it was created — that is operated for profit or gain. all involve charges of unfair labor practice under Republic Act No. the University of San Agustin.R.. L-10091. 1963 in CIR Case No. L-13282.3 The CIR in its order dated March 30. therefore. No. In the case of La Consolacion College. . and La Consolacion College.R. At most. nor capital . this Court was not unanimous in the view that the Industrial Peace Act (Republic Act No. which apparently is the case. No. 875) is not applicable to charitable. in the cases of Far Eastern University v. operated and maintained for profit. We consider it a settled doctrine of this Court. because it is not an industrial establishment. this Court upheld the decision of the Court of Industrial Relations finding the Far Eastern University. that on the face of the record the University of Santo Tomas is not a corporation created for profit but an educational institution and therefore not an industrial or business organization. the University of Santo Tomas. G. this Court repeated the same ruling when it said: The main issue in this appeal by petitioner is that the industry trial court committed an error in holding that it has jurisdiction to act in this case even if it involves unfair labor practice considering that the La Consolacion College is not a business enterprise but an educational institution not organized for profit. If the claim that petitioner is an educational institution not operated for profit is true. above cited. therefore. it must be declared beyond the purview of Republic Act No. and in consonance with the rulings in the decisions of this Court. also an educational institution. et al.operated not for profit but for the sole purpose of educating young men. 1958. et al.). L-17620. 875. Tomas." (See Annex "B" to petitioner's motion to dismiss. However. No. it says. 875 is applicable to herein petitioner Feati University. because the very court a quo found that it has no stockholder. In affirming the decision of the lower court. Republic Act No. but if it does. 1960. then we are of the opinion that the same does not come under the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations in view of the ruling in the case of Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. 1962. 41-IPA — which order was issued after evidence was heard — also found that the University is not for strictly educational purposes and that "It realizes profits and parts of such earning is distributed as dividends to private stockholders or individuals (Exh. it is only a lessee of the services of its . The University itself admits that it has declared dividends. .. There are members of this Court who hold the view that the Industrial Peace Act would apply also to nonprofit organizations or entities — the only exception being the Government. 875. Araos. G. and the uniform rulings of this Court are that the Court of Industrial Relations has no jurisdiction over the charges because said Act does not apply to educational institutions that are not operated or maintained for profit and do not declare dividends. in so far as governmental functions are concerned. cited above. this Court had thereby ratified the ruling of the Court of Industrial Relations which applied the Industrial Peace Act to educational institutions that are organized. 875 must apply to it. it is obvious that Republic Act No. It is also noteworthy that in the decisions in the cases of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. et al. decided on January 29.
more so when we consider that as legislative records show. G. namely: (1) a labor organization (otherwise than when acting as an employer). "company union" [Sec. This variation and distinction in terminology and phraseology cannot be presumed to have been the inconsequential product of an oversight. et al. We find no merit in this claim. A methodical variation in terminology is manifest. It will be noted that in defining the term "employer" the Act uses the word "includes". one who uses. defined the term employer as follows: . In using the word "includes" and not "means".5 As stated above. and (3) the Government and any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof insofar as the right to strike for the purpose of securing changes or modifications in the terms and conditions of employment is concerned (Section 11).. 1957. to hire. natural or juridical. and not the word "means" which the Act uses in defining the terms "court" [Sec." What is commonly meant by "employer"? The term "employer" has been given several acceptations. 2(i)]. 1960. 875 does not give a comprehensive but only a complementary definition of the term "employer". 2(l)] and "lock-out" [Sec.. it must have been the result of a deliberate and purposeful act. incorporated or not. Definitions. The Workmen's Compensation Act defines employer as including "every person or association of persons. 2 (d)]. to engage one's service. hence. which it also used in defining "employee". 2(f)]. who carries in the Philippines any trade. Republic Act No. they can be included in the term "employer". 2(a)]. 2(b)]. 1161. (2) anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization [Sec. "labor organization" [Sec. 875 had been meticulously and painstakingly drafted and deliberated upon. Congress did not intend to give a complete definition of "employer". 595). 2(c)]. Nos. and. 2(m)]. The lexical definition is "one who employs. for reason that there is an independent contractor in the same. et al. which cases involve unfair labor practices and hence within the purview of Republic Act No. Sec. 8[c]). 875. "unfair labor practice" [Sec. secondly. This Court.professors and/or instructors pursuant to a contract of services entered into between them. 875. the statutory definition includes not only "a principal employer but also a person acting in the interest of the employer". "supervisor" [Sec. rather. public or private. branches or instrumentalities. in the cases of the The Angat River Irrigation System. 2(e)]. [Sec. The Social Security Act defines employer as "any person. and the legal representative of the deceased employer" and "includes the owner or lessee of a factory or establishment or place of work or any other person who is virtually the owner or manager of the business carried on in the establishment or place of work but who. firstly. is not the direct employer of laborers employed there. 39(a) of Act No. or for any other reason. has ruled that those educational institutions that are not operated for profit are not within the purview of Republic Act No. Republic Act No. industry. L-10934 and L-10944. undertaking. Act No. Act No. "strike" [Sec. Among these statutory exemptions. p." (Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary. 3428." (Rep. Sec. business. 2(h)]. 2(g)]. Section 2(c) of said Act provides: Sec. including corporations owned or controlled by the Government. educational institutions are not included. but shall not include any labor organization (otherwise than when acting as an employer) or any one acting in the capacity or agent of such labor organization. the Act itself specifically enumerated those who are not included in the term "employer". except the Government and any of its political subdivisions. December 28. Angat River Workers' Union (PLUM). however. but rather that such definition should be complementary to what is commonly understood as employer. Congress intended the term to be understood in a broad meaning because. The term encompasses those that are in ordinary parlance "employers.R. 2(k)]. [Rep. vs." and "to employ" is "to provide work and pay for. directly or indirectly. or activity of any kind and uses the services of another person who is under his orders as regards the employment. and "representative" [Sec. 2. 2nd ed.] The Minimum Wage Law states that "employer includes any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of the employer in relation to an employee and shall include the Government and the government corporations"." [Sec. one who engages or keeps in service. Let us clarify who is an "employer" under the Act. "legitimate labor organization [Sec. domestic or foreign. 602. This Court.—As used in this Act — (c) The term employer include any person acting in the interest of an employer.
especially so if it is considered that every professor. The University engaged the services of the professors. 202). supra. p. An employer includes any person acting in the interest of an employer. "Running through the word `employ' is the thought that there has been an agreement on the part of one person to perform a certain service in return for compensation to be paid by an employer." (Words and Phrases. R. Section 8 which nullifies private contracts contravening employee's rights. Section 11 which prohibits strikes in the government. (See Dissenting Opinion of Justice Concepcion in Boy Scouts of the Philippines v.R. 557. But for the purposes of the Industrial Peace Act the University is an industrial establishment because it is operated for profit and it employs persons who work to earn a living. engaged in a profitable trade. The term "industry". compilation of collective bargaining contracts. Walker. This contention can not be sustained. Juliana Araos. Rep. in the case of Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. Under none of the above definitions may the University be excluded. This is patent inasmuch as several provisions of the Act are applicable to non-industrial workers. 2 (c) of Republic Act No. 560. 510). and Section 24 which enumerates the rights of labor organizations.Y. 19. Labor Law Sec. such as Sec. even the Act itself does not refer exclusively to industrial establishments and does not confine its application thereto. and paid them compensation or salary for their services. In the second place. Section 17 which treats of the rights and conditions of membership in labor organizations. Rep. cover labor conditions in any field of employment where the objective is earning a livelihood on the one side and gaining of a profit on the other. L. To bolster its claim of exception from the application of Republic Act No. G. Araos. instructor or teacher in the teaching staff of the University. for the purposes of the application of our labor laws should be given a broad meaning so as to cover all enterprises which are operated for profit and which engage the services of persons who work to earn a living. Vol. Section 12 which provides for the exclusive collective bargaining representation for labor organizations. Permanent Edition. Philippine ed. 700 et seq. occupation or industry". 122 S. has a contract with the latter for teaching services. the term "employer" encompasses all employers except those specifically excluded by the Act. 35 A. which deals with "employees' right to self-organization". McChesney. the thought that he is under agreement to perform some service or services for another is predominant and paramount. It cannot be denied that running a university engages time and attention. In the first place. 4th ed. one for whom employees work and who pays their wages or salaries (Black Law Dictionary. Section 9 which relates to injunctions in any case involving a labor dispute. on the contrary. citing Pinkerton National Detective Agency v. 27 N.. No. the University contends that it is not state that the employers included in the definition of 2 (c) of the Act. 21. or what is his employment. 2d 866. 868. The University is not an industrial establishment in the sense that an industrial establishment is one that is engaged in manufacture or trade where raw materials are changed or fashioned into finished products for use. Sections 4 and 5 which enumerate unfair labor practices. January 29. 875. 430. albeit for one semester only. provided them work. Sections 18. that it is an occupation or a business from which the one engaged in it may derive profit or gain.) This Court. had occasion to state that the Industrial Peace Act "refers only to organizations and entities created and operated for profits.E. Section 22 which empowers the Secretary of Labor to make a study of labor relations. 2-c." (Ballentine Law Dictionary. p.. advisory labormanagement relations. as per allegation of the University itself.S. Section 14 which deals with the procedure for collective bargaining. Act 875). Sec. 618). 20 and 21 which provide respectively for the establishment of conciliation service. 875 does not state that the employers included in the definition of the term "employer" are only and exclusively "industrial establishments". 3. 548. L-10091. 1960 edition p. 1958. still it is included in the term "employer". as stated above. Even if the University may be considered as a lessee of services under a contract between it and the members of its Faculty. 157 Ga. When you ask how a man is employed.An employer is one who employs the services of others. The word "industry" within State Labor Relations Act controlling labor relations in industry. . directly or indirectly (Sec. State Labor Relations Board vs.
pp.C. Church of St. Section 2 (d) of Republic Act No. considered university instructors as employees and declared Republic Act No. The term "employee". Andrew. v. supra. C. like the definition of the term "employer" [Sec. or in connection with a current labor dispute. 145 P. p. 806-807). has been regarded as limited to those performing physical labor. Ann Cas 1917 D 676. La. The professors and/or instructors of the University neither ceased to be employees when they struck. Lowe & Campbell Sporting Goods Co. 112. In support of its claim that the members of the Faculty Club are not employees of the University. App. 2(c)]. W. or in connection with. employees of the University. which is 31 Am. cited in Words and Phrases. 87 Wash 670. 3. that professors are compensated for their services by wages and salaries. therefore. it has been held to embrace stenographers and bookkeepers... This Court takes judicial notice that a university controls the work of the members of its faculty. et al.. 3. has defined the term "employer" as "one who employs the services of others. It embraces not only those who are usually and ordinarily considered employees. Vol. 15 So. They are. App 2. the latter cites as authority Francisco's Labor Laws. 62 Col. As already stated. et al. by the use of the term "include". v. Board of Education of City and County of San Francisco. 2nd ed. 100. but also those who have ceased as employees as a consequence of a labor dispute. Permanent ed. is likewise untenable. 14. rather than by profits. still there would be no employer-employee relationship between it and the striking members of the Faculty Club because the latter are not employees within the purview of Sec. That teachers are "employees' has been held in a number of cases (Aebli v. 875 applicable to them in their employment relations with their school. 7. Teachers are not included. furthermore. 2d 98. 195 Minn. that a university prescribes the courses or subjects that professors teach. supra. This Court in the Far Eastern University case. is not limited to those of a particular employer. "Correlatively. who works for salary or wages. v. that the professors' work is characterized by regularity and continuity for a fixed duration. who performs services for another. one for whom employees work and who pays their wages or salaries. It is evident from the above-quoted authority that "teachers" are not to be included among those who perform "physical labor". Tangipahoa Parish School Board.A. This definition is again. 875 but are independent contractors. for Section 2 of Rep. 523. This claim is untenable. It is admitted by the University that the striking professors and/or instructors are under contract to teach particular courses and that they are paid for their services. Angat River Workers' Union (PLUM). this Court in the cases of The Angat River Irrigation System. Jur. Tanner. Sec. and the latter cites Huntworth v. 2(d) of Republic Act No.. an employee must be one who is engaged in the service of another. Sister Odelia v. 2d 601. any current labor dispute or because of any unfair labor practice and who has not obtained any other substantially equivalent and regular employment. (Western Cartridge Co.. complementary. 263 N. p. 357. We have checked the source of the authority. 858). 139 F2d 855. 152 P. which states: While the term "workers" as used in a particular statute. Act 875 includes among employees any individual whose work has ceased as consequence of.d 706. 835. and when and where to teach. A reading of the last case confirms Our view. but it does not mean that they are not employees. 875 provides: (d) The term "employee" shall include any employee and shall not be limited to the employee of a particular employer unless the act explicitly states otherwise and shall include any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of. Striking employees maintain their status as employees of the employer. 111. The contention of the University that the professors and/or instructors are independent contractors. because the University does not exercise control over their work. NLRB. however. that the professors and/or instructors cannot .The University urges that even if it were an employer.
supra.E. as contrasted with employment to do a single act or a series of isolated acts. 875 is repealed. Act No. cit.) Independent contractors can employ others to work and accomplish contemplated result without consent of contractee. employees and not independent contractors. 82 Utah. it is Our considered view that the members of the faculty or teaching staff of private universities. 1949. In the case of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines v.A. 330331). p. while "employee" cannot substitute another in his place without consent of his employer. . 875) which provides as follows: Sec. cit. Employees' right to self-organization. in Words and Phrases. It was in the subsequent legislation — the Labor Management Relation Act (Taft-Harley Act) — that "independent contractors" together with agricultural laborers. . 56 F. Distributors Division. even if university professors are considered independent contractors. Travelers' Ins. 71 in Words and Phrases. in Words and Phrases. he is an employee. are usually characterized by regularity and continuity of work for a fixed period or one of indefinite duration. 133 N. 384. Employees are those who are compensated for their labor or services by wages rather than by profits. 576). quoted in Words and Phrases. Smoked Fish Workers Union Local No. Vol. 7 N.) Services of employee or servant. of the United States.. 23 P. though paid specified sum per square. p. (See Rothenberg on Labor Relations... 188. Where. which constitutes the test. . and this Act did not exclude "independent contractors" from the orbit of "employees". Harris & Co. v. Sup. college or school is run for profit or not. All these indicate that the university has control over their work. 3. 390. as distinguished from those of a contractor. 1963 which is sought to be set aside in the instant case. There are authorities in support of this view. Indeed. 14. . regardless of whether the university. 259. . it follows that they have a right to unionize in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Magna Carta of Labor (Republic Act No. Y. S. (Amalgamated Roofing Co. 576). therefore. v. and others were excluded. (Luker Sand & Gravel Co. loc. or the National Labor Relations Act. 187 in Words and Phrases. join or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid or protection. but the right to control. 875. (Underwood v.—Employees shall have the right to self-organization and to form. individuals in domestic service of the home. that the right of employees to self-organization is guaranteed by the Constitution. this Court observed that Republic Act No. under Employers' Liability Act. 20377. Hill. are included in the term . supervisors. . The principal consideration in determining whether a workman is an employee or an independent contractor is the right to control the manner of doing the work. It having been shown that the members of the Faculty Club are employees. 2d 67. . 261. (Heine v. C.) . cit. by compensation on a fixed salary rather than one regulated by value or amount of work. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. and that regardless of whether their employers are engaged in commerce or not. 2 La. colleges. that said right would exist even if Republic Act No. 14. in its order of March 30. Moreover. (People vs. p. 2d 225.substitute others to do their work without the consent of the university. still they would be covered by Rep. App. op. and that the professors can be laid off if their work is found not satisfactory. Co. We agree with the statement of the lower court. 875 was modelled after the Wagner Act. and not a contractor. 487. Permanent ed. Industrial Commission. 300 Ill. and professors are. 2d 185. loc. and it is not the actual exercise of the right by interfering with the work.C.. pp. Juliana Araos.. A was instructed when and where to work . 579. . Vol. and schools in the Philippines.
1963 another letter was sent. The University contends that under Section 10 of Republic Act No. 3666-ULP for unfair labor practice against the University. Hence. It having been shown that the University is an institution operated for profit."employees" as contemplated in Republic Act No. that is an employer. that on January 14. tenure or condition of employment" or "representation. 1963 the members of the Faculty Club went on strike and established picket lines in the premises of the University. Section 10 of Republic Act No. This contention has also no merit. and it having been shown that a labor dispute existed between the University and the Faculty Club. the contention of the University. 1963 the Faculty Club filed Case No.5a The other issue raised by the University is the validity of the Presidential certification. and that there is an employer-employee relationship. The contention of the University in the instant case that the members of the Faculty Club can not unionize and the Faculty Club can not exist as a valid labor organization is. in the instant case. that on March 1. professors. changing. that the certification made by the President is not only not authorized by Section 10 of Republic Act 875 but is violative thereof. tenure or conditions of employment. 875 and as such they may organize themselves pursuant to the above-quoted provision of Section 3 of said Act. 1963 after Case 41-IPA was certified to the CIR). between the University and the members of the Faculty Club. duly registered with the Bureau of Labor Relations. We have previously stated that the University is an establishment or enterprise that is included in the term "industry" and is covered by the provisions of Republic Act No. as contemplated by Republic Act No. instructors or teachers of private educational institutions who teach to earn a living are entitled to the protection of our labor laws — and one such law is Republic Act No. The record shows that the Faculty Club is a duly registered labor organization and this fact is admitted by counsel for the University. 875 defines a labor dispute as follows: The term "labor dispute" includes any controversy concerning terms. or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating. and asking the President of the University to answer within ten days from date of receipt thereof. is groundless. that on February 18. Case No. that the University questioned the right of the Faculty Club to be the exclusive representative of the majority of the employees and asked proof that the Faculty Club had been designated or selected as exclusive representative by the vote of the majority of said employees. fixing. was there a labor dispute between the University and the Faculty Club? Republic Act No. that again on January 22. or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment regardless of whether the disputants stand in proximate relation of employer and employees. 875 the power of the President of the Philippines to certify is subject to the following conditions." It is admitted by the University. was filed by the Faculty Club in the CIR. 875. 1963 the President of the Faculty Club wrote to the President of the University a letter informing the latter of the organization of the Faculty Club as a labor union. namely: (1) that here is a labor dispute. 1963 a petition for certification election.6 All these admitted facts show that the controversy between the University and the Faculty Club involved terms and conditions of employment. and (2) that said labor dispute exists in an industry that is vital to the national interest. that on February 1. The University maintains that those conditions do not obtain in the instant case. Now. therefore. Certainly. but which was later dismissed (on April 2. 875. 875. maintaining. and the question of representation. 1183-MC. there was a labor dispute between the University and the Faculty Club. without merit. to which was attached a list of demands consisting of 26 items. thereby disrupting the schedule of classes. 1963 the Faculty Club filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a notice of strike alleging as reason therefor the refusal of the University to bargain collectively with the representative of the faculty members. and that on March 7. The test of whether a controversy comes within the definition of "labor dispute" depends on whether the controversy involves or concerns "terms. 875 provides: .
When in the opinion of the President of the Philippines there exists a labor dispute in an industry indispensable to the national interest and when such labor dispute is certified by the President to the Court of Industrial Relations. and if no other solution to the dispute is found. The parties involved in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court from the order or orders thus issued by the CIR. et al. 1963). 1960). v. Once the jurisdiction is acquired pursuant to the presidential certification. (2) that the only power granted by Section 10 of Republic Act No. it may issue an order fixing the terms and conditions of employment. The jurisdiction of the CIR in a certified case is exclusive (Rizal Cement Co.7 and certified the dispute to the CIR. The third issue raised by the University refers to the question of the legality of the return-to-work order (of March 30. it is not for the CIR nor this Court to pass upon the correctness of the reasons of the President in certifying the labor dispute to the CIR. 875. . when the President took into consideration that the University "has some 18. before either contingency had become a fait accompli. And so. The contention of the University that Republic Act No. the Court may issue an order fixing the terms and conditions of employment. (Emphasis supplied) To certify a labor dispute to the CIR is the prerogative of the President under the law. v. 1963 in Case 41-IPA) and the order implementing the same (of April 6. however. 1961. et al. G. No. the exercise of that prerogative. This Court had occasion to rule on the application of the above-quoted provision of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 103 can . it was held: It thus appears that when in the opinion of the President a labor dispute exists in an industry indispensable to national interest and he certifies it to the Court of Industrial Relations the latter acquires jurisdiction to act thereon in the manner provided by law. is that because of the strike declared by the members of the minority unionwhich threatens a major industry the President deemed it wise to certify the controversy to the Court of Industrial Relations for adjudication. G. 1963 constituted impairment of the obligation of contracts. in the instant case. L-13178. 875. In the case of Pampanga Sugar Development Co. What matters is that by virtue of the certification made by the President the case was placed under the jurisdiction of said court. and that "the dispute affects the national interest". and (4) the CIR could not issue said order without having previously determined the legality or illegality of the strike. the CIR may exercise its broad powers as provided in Commonwealth Act 103. xxx xxx xxx . much less curtail..R. No. Rizal Cement Workers Union (FFW). Thus the court may take either of the following courses: it may issue an order forbidding the employees to strike or the employer to lockout its employees. as the case may be. All phases of the labor dispute and the employer-employee relationship may be threshed out before the CIR. July 30. 875 has withdrawn the power of the Court of Industrial Relations to issue a return-to-work order exercised by it under Commonwealth Act No. or. CIR. and the CIR may issue such order or orders as may be necessary to make effective the exercise of its jurisdiction. Inc. supplementing Commonwealth Act No. 875 to the CIR is to issue an order forbidding the employees to strike or forbidding the employer to lockout the employees. (3) that the taking in by the University of replacement professors was valid. The same is not the concern of the industrial court. L12747.R. This is the power that the law gives to the President the propriety of its exercise being a matter that only devolves upon him. 103. has withdrawn from the CIR the power to issue a return-to-work order. It can not throw the case out in the assumption that the certification was erroneous.. said Court may cause to be issued a restraining order forbidding the employees to strike or the employer to lockout the employees. It has no other alternative. and this Court will not interfere in. The fact. It alleges that the orders are illegal upon the grounds: (1) that Republic Act No.000 students and employed approximately 500 faculty members". that `the continued disruption in the operation of the University will necessarily prejudice the thousand of students".. and the return-to-work order of March 30. March 24. . failing in this.
vs. vs. G. 29. and the solution which the CIR has found under the authority of the presidential certification and conformable thereto cannot be questioned (Radio Operators Association of the Philippines vs. Untenable also is the claim of the University that the CIR cannot issue a return-to-work order after strike has been declared. 1963. 103. it being contended that under Section 10 of Republic Act No." (Emphasis supplied) Likewise untenable is the contention of the University that the taking in by it of replacements was valid and the return-to-work order would be an impairment of its contract with the replacements. There is nothing in the law to indicate that this practice is abolished. and the Court may exercise the broad powers and jurisdiction granted to it by said Act.. et al. 1957. The practice has been for the Court of Industrial Relations to order the strikers to work. 3218). have not abandoned their employment but. 875 empowers the Court of Industrial Relations to issue an order "fixing the terms of employment. Nos.G. 875 the CIR can only prevent a strike or a lockout — when either of this situation had not yet occurred. The evident intention of the law is to empower the Court of Industrial Relations to act in such cases. 1963 that the strikers would return to work under the status quo arrangement and the University would readmit them. Vachon et al. and Compañia Martima. The Court of Industrial Relations. 50 O. The employment of replacements was . 2518. 692). rather. CIR. et al. vs. L-10112. the CIR is granted authority to find a solution to the industrial dispute. this Court declared: There is no reason or ground for the contention that Presidential certification of labor dispute to the CIR is limited to the prevention of strikes and lockouts. Inc... The faculty members. and the return-to-work order was a confirmation of that agreement. but with the same broad powers and jurisdiction granted by that act. pending the determination of the union demands that impelled the strike. This Court. L13364. G. We agree with counsel for the Philippine Radio Officers' Association that upon certification by the President under Section 10 of Republic Act 875. et al. But in the case of Bisaya Land Transportation Co. the case comes under the operation of Commonwealth Act 103.R. it certainly can order the return of the workers with or without backpay as a term or condition of employment. 1960. Philippine Marine Radio Officers Association. If the Court of Industrial Relations is granted authority to find a solution to an industrial dispute and such solution consists in the ordering of employees to return back to work. Court of Industrial Relations. in the cases of the Philippine Marine Officers Association vs. it cannot be contended that the Court of Industrial Relations does not have the power or jurisdiction to carry that solution into effect. The foregoing ruling was reiterated by this Court in the case of Hind Sugar Co.G. et al. et al. 1957. October 31. 187 A. the President may certify the ease for that purpose. which enforces compulsory arbitration in cases of labor disputes in industries indispensable to the national interest when the President certifies the case to the Court of Industrial Relations. et al.. When a case is certified by the President to the Court of Industrial Relations. As stated by the CIR in its order of March 30... No." This clause is broad enough to authorize the Court to order the strikers to return to work and the employer to readmit them. L-10095 and L-10115. Nov.R. the case thereby comes under the operation of Commonwealth Act No. declared: We cannot subscribe to the above contention. 875. 138). Section 10 of Republic Act No. 54 O. by striking. No. CIR. No. because the declaration of a strike is not a renunciation of their employment and their employee relationship with the University (Rex Taxicab Co.. And of what use is its power of conciliation and arbitration if it does not have the power and jurisdiction to carry into effect the solution it has adopted? Lastly. This is a declaration of fact by the CIR which we cannot disregard. et al. if the said court has the power to fix the terms and conditions of employment.. Nov.G. not only in the manner prescribed under Commonwealth Act 103. 1957. 26. The striking faculty members have not lost their right to go back to their positions. L-10114.. July 26. Philippine Marine Radio Officers Association and CIR. Compania Maritima. 13. v.not be sustained. it was agreed before the hearing of Case 41-IPA on March 23. they have only ceased from their labor (Keith Theatre v. When a case is certified to the CIR by the President of the Philippines pursuant to Section 10 of Republic Act No. 40 O. Even after a strike has been declared where the President believes that public interest demands arbitration and conciliation.
as it might see fit. At most. refused the employees' offer and claimed the right to employ others to take the place of the strikers. that employees who took the place of strikers do not displace them as `employees. 2. The University. The company believing it had not committed any unfair labor practice. now in question." ' (National Labor Relations Board v. The employment of replacements by the University prior to the issuance of the order of March 30. Therefore. Striking employees maintained their status as employees of the employer (Western Castridge Co. 1963. The ruling in said case is not applicable to the case at bar. v. The University also maintains that there was no more basis for the claim of the members of the Faculty Club to return to their work. July 13. A.R. 1963. National Labor Relations Board. eighty-four in number. we read: On May 9. was a confirmation of an agreement between the University and the Faculty Club during a prehearing conference on March 23. This argument loses sight of the fact that when the professors and instructors struck on February 18. the facts and circumstances being very different. offered to the company to return to their employment. C. in that case. 2d 203. that was a temporary expedient resorted to by the University. they continued to be employees of the University for the purposes of the labor controversy notwithstanding the subsequent termination of their teaching contracts. as We have adverted to. and consequently. as the case may be." The question raised by the University was resolved in a similar case in the United States. 206. or in connection with. G. Court of Industrial Relations. the ruling in the Philippine Can case that the legality of the strike should be decided first before the issuance of the return-to-work order does not apply to the case at bar. v.C.A. Besides. 1963 did not vest in the replacements a permanent right to the positions they held. 2d 452. This contention is not well taken. 139 F. 1950. 1939 the striking employees. In the case of Rapid Roller Co. because the company was losing. for Section 2(d) of the Industrial Peace Act includes among employees "any individual whose work has ceased a consequence of. did not involve the national interest and it was not certified by the President. 1963. 1963. that the legality or illegality of the strike should have been decided first before the issuance of the return-to-work order. This was the reason of this Court in ruling. 858) . L-3021. in the case before Us. neither does it claim that it was imperative for it to lay off the striking professors and instructors because of impending bankruptcy. which was subject to the power of the CIR to allow to continue or not. When the employees went out on a strike because of the unfair labor practice of the company.) It is clear from what has been said that the return-to-work order cannot be considered as an impairment of the contract entered into by petitioner with the replacements. Besides. labor contracts must yield to the common good and such contracts are subject to the special laws on labor unions. In that case the company no longer needed the services of the strikers. Likewise unsustainable is the contention of the University that the Court of Industrial Relations could not issue the return-to-work order without having resolved previously the issue of the legality or illegality of the strike. collective bargaining. 140 F.not authorized by the CIR. any current labor dispute or of any unfair labor practice and who has not obtained any other substantially equivalent and regular employment. the return-to-work order of March 30.. 207. C. No. and it was imperative that it lay off such laborers as were not necessary for its operation in order to save the company from bankruptcy. it was imperative for the University to hire replacements for the strikers. On the contrary. as their individual contracts for teaching had expired on March 25 or 31. 2d 855. strikes and similar subjects (Article 1700. The Philippine Can Company case. Sartorius & Co. citing as authority therefor the case of Philippine Can Company v.C.A. nor did it need substitutes for the strikers. Civil Code). NLRB 126 F. does not claim that it no longer needs the services of professors and/or instructors. Neither could such temporary employment bind the University to retain permanently the replacements. This constituted discrimination in the hiring and tenure of the striking employees. their status as employees for the . unlike the instant case. there was also no basis for the return-to-work order of the CIR because the contractual relationships having ceased there were no positions to which the members of the Faculty Club could return to.
Necessarily the order of April 6. v. 133 A. or command of a court. 2 (3) of the Act.L. et al. 85. order or decision even if the award. 103 that award. Sec. 177. 845. it was due to circumstance beyond their control. We have already ruled that the CIR had jurisdiction to issue the order of March 30. 313 U. order or decision shall not stay the execution of said award. and the return-to-work provision of that order is valid and legal. 1939. 603) and this. may compel compliance or obedience of its award. order or decision. order or decision that is appealed is necessarily not final. v. The return-to-work order allegedly violated was within the court's jurisdiction to issue. that the status of the employees on strike became fixed under Sec. 1963 for their arrest were improper. the Court of Industrial Relations. Section 3 of Rule 71 enumerates the acts which would constitute indirect contempt. order. March 20. ed. National Labor Relations Board. Enriquez. 1963 was also valid and legal. Yet under Section 14 of Commonwealth Act No. process. This power of the Court of Industrial Relations to punish for contempt an act of non-compliance or disobedience of an award. irregular and illegal because (1) the officers of the University had complied in good faith with the return-towork order and in those cases that they did not. order . or from holding him in custody pending such proceedings. 1217. The company contended that they could not be their employees in any event since the "contract of their employment expired by its own terms on April 23.R. 61 S.S. V-30) as well as the order of April 29. 1954. L. (2) the return-to-work order and the order implementing the same were illegal. 1963 implementing that order of March 30. among which is "disobedience or resistance to lawful writ. even if not yet final. 103 empowers the Court of Industrial Relations of any Judge thereof to punish direct and indirect contempts as provided in Rule 64 (now Rule 71) of the Rules of Court. The contention of petitioner that the order of arrest is illegal is unwarranted. judgment. Any award. 2 (3) of the Act because of the unfair labor practice of the company which caused the strike. furthermore. claims that the information for indirect contempt filed against the officers of the University (Case No. L-7058. For the purpose of such controversy they remained employees of the company. in cases involving strikes and lockouts.purpose of any controversy growing out of that unfair labor practice was fixed. Phelps Dodge Corp. and (3) even assuming that the order was legal. In other words. 1963 in CIR Case 41-IPA.. The provision authorizes the judge to order the arrest of an alleged contemner (Francisco." and the person guilty thereof can be punished after a written charge has been filed and the accused has been given an opportunity to be heard. Section 6 of Commonwealth Act No. order or decision sought to be reviewed unless for special reason the court shall order that execution be stayed. under the same procedure and penalties provided therein. and it follows that any disobedience or non-compliance of the award. the same was not Yet final because there was a motion to reconsider it. 1271. apparently. 94 Phil. Ct. Section 14 of Commonwealth Act No. is the provision upon which respondent Judge Bautista relied when he issued the questioned order of arrest. order or decision is not yet final because it is appealed. order or decision would constitute contempt against the Court of Industrial Relations which the court may punish as provided in the Rules of Court. Again We find no merit in this claim of Petitioner." In this we think the company is mistaken for the reason we have just pointed out. 103 provides that in cases brought before the Court of Industrial Relations under Section 4 of the Act (referring to strikes and lockouts) the appeal to the Supreme Court from any award. is executory. The last paragraph of said section provides: But nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent the court from issuing process tobring the accused party into court. The University. and the stay of execution is discretionary with the Court of Industrial Relations.
award or decision that is executory. . or had abused its discretion. award. The University points to Section 6 of Commonwealth Act No. it is an implied condition that when any dispute between the employer and the employee or laborer has been submitted to the Court of Industrial Relations for settlement or arbitration pursuant to the provisions of this Act . conclusive and executory constitute contempt of court. L-21278 before this Court in a special civil action for certiorari. and also to the public — even if the solution may be temporary. . pending the final determination of the case. be promptly decided or settled. . Whether they are guilty of the charge or not is yet to be determined in a proper hearing. award or decision of the Court of Industrial Relations in cases involving strikes and lockouts are immediately executory. they were simply ordered arrested to be brought before the Judge to be dealt with according to law. By the provision of Section 14 an order. and if he has already done so.or decision. In other words. unless with the express authority of the Court. It will be noted that Section 6 speaks of order. 103 which provides that "Any violation of any order. or decision of the Court of Industrial Relations shall after such order. . . We believe that there is no inconsistency between the above-quoted provision of Section 6 and the provision of Section 14 of Commonwealth Act No. A violation by the employer or by the employee or laborer of such an order or the implied contractual condition set forth in this section shall constitute contempt of the Court of Industrial Relations and shall be punished by the Court itself in the same manner with the same penalties as in the case of contempt of a Court of First Instance. . and neither did it abuse its discretion when it issued that order. We hold that the CIR had jurisdiction to issue that order. so that a violation of that order would constitute an indirect contempt of court. 103. And there is reason for this special power of the industrial court because in the exercise of its jurisdiction over cases involving strikes and lockouts the court has to issue orders or make decisions that are necessary to effect a prompt solution of the labor dispute that caused the strike or the lockout. 1963 is also authorized under Section 19 of Commonwealth Act No. and if the employees or laborers fail to return to work. is a special one and is exercised only in cases involving strikes and lockouts. or to effect the prompt creation of a situation that would be most beneficial to the management and the employees.—In every contract of employment whether verbal or written. . and shall permit the continuation in the service of his employees or laborers under the last terms and conditions existing before the dispute arose. the employer shall refrain from accepting other employees or laborers. We believe that the action of the CIR in issuing the order of arrest of April 29. which shall be issued only after hearing when public interest so requires or when the dispute cannot. in its opinion. The University did not appeal from that order. even if not yet final. or decision of the industrial court in cases involving strikes and lockouts would be suspended pending appeal then it can happen that the coercive powers of the industrial court in the settlement of the labor disputes in those cases would be rendered useless and nugatory. is pending. the only question to be resolved in connection with that order in CIR Case V-30 is whether the CIR had jurisdiction. but. . or decision by the Court of such dispute . and pending award. We hold that the CIR acted within its jurisdiction when it ordered the arrest of the officers of the University upon a complaint for indirect contempt filed by the Acting Special Prosecutor of the CIR in CIR Case V30. upon order of the Court. that he shall forthwith return to it. award. 103 which provides as follows: SEC. the Court may authorize the employer to accept other employees or laborers. and that order was valid. Besides those ordered arrested were not yet being punished for contempt. award or decision has become final. 19. if the effectiveness of any order." and contends that only the disobedience of orders that are final (meaning one that is not appealed) may be the subject of contempt proceedings. having been charged. Let it be noted that the order of arrest dated April 29. No. A condition shall further be implied that while such dispute . . the employee or laborer shall not strike or walk out of his employment when so enjoined by the Court after hearing and when public interest so requires.R. . 1963 in CIR Case V-30 is being questioned in Case G. . . . Otherwise. Implied condition in every contract of employment. in issuing that order.
which is Case G. MARCELA PURIFICACION. J. No. and the withdrawal of the petition for certification election had in a way produced the situation desired by the University.R.R. We hold that the CIR did not commit any error when it granted the withdrawal of the petition for certification election in Case No. 1963. concur. therefore. After considering the arguments adduced by the University in support of its petition for certiorari by way of appeal in Case G.P. HERMINIA REYES.R. Dizon. Regala. 41-IPA. No. that the issues of employer-employee relationship between the University and the Faculty Club. . 1963. We believe that these contentions of the University in Case G.. in Cases Nos. The writ of preliminary injunction issued in Case G..L.J. petitioners. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. In Case G..R. L-21462. L-21462 and L-21500. No. L-21500 the University appealed from the order of the CIR of March 30. denying the motion to reconsider said order of April 6. and decided. hold that the CIR did not err in issuing that order of March 30. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. 1963) denying the motion to reconsider that order of March 30.R. dated April 6. the University wanted CIR Case 1183-MC dismissed. and from the resolution of the CIR en banc promulgated on June 28. the motion to withdraw the petition for certification election should not have been granted upon the ground that the issues in the first case were absorbed in the second case.. issued by Judge Bautista. 1963. 1990 SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION-PTGWO.In Case G. 1963. 41-IPA and all the questions relating to the labor disputes between the University and the Faculty Club may be threshed out. denying the motion for the reconsideration of that order of March 30. L-21278 is dissolved. L-21462 the University appealed from the order of Judge Villanueva of the CIR in Case No. C. are affirmed. 1183-MC. The University opposed the petition for withdrawal. granting the motion of the Faculty Club to withdraw its petition for certification election. in that case. ET AL. No. Sanchez and Castro. Makalintal. 1963 and in issuing the resolution promulgated on June 28. Bengzon.R. the alleged status of the Faculty Club as a labor union. therefore. the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in Case G. DANIEL S. JJ. The principal case before the CIR is Case No. concurs but reserves his vote on the teacher's right to strike. and We.R. and that order is valid. dated June 5.R. 1183-MC prior to the determination of the issues in Case No. and from the resolution of the CIR en banc. Concepcion. but at the same time it moved for the dismissal of the petition for certification election.R. 87700 June 13. No. 1963. L-21462 have been sufficiently covered by the discussion in this decision of the main issues raised in the principal case. The ground of the Faculty Club in asking for the withdrawal of that petition for certification election was because the issues involved in that petition were absorbed by the issues in Case 41-IPA. 1963. in G. BORBON II.. 41-IPA.B. No. No. The orders and resolutions appealed from.L.. It is contended by the University before this Court. in CIR Case No. 1963. and. 1963 (although dated May 7. its majority representation and designation as bargaining representative in an appropriate unit of the Faculty Club should have been resolved first in Case No. with costs in these three cases against the petitionerappellant Feati University. J. No. L-21278. We have already ruled that the CIR has jurisdiction to issue that order of March 30. L-21278 is dismissed and the writs prayed for therein are denied. J. 1183-MC. Reyes. L-21278. After all. 1963. It is so ordered.
SanMig entered into those contracts to maintain its competitive position and in keeping with the imperatives of efficiency. IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF BRANCH 166. PASIG. SanMig entered into contracts for merchandising services with Lipercon and D'Rite (Annexes K and I. BERSAMIRA. or contract employees and workers are excluded from the bargaining unit and. for its part. The Union alleged that this group of employees. . SMCEU-PTGWO. have been continuously working for SanMig for a period ranging from six (6) months to fifteen (15) years and that their work is neither casual nor seasonal as they are performing work or activities necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of SanMig. defends the Writ on the ground of absence of any employer-employee relationship between it and the contractual workers employed by the companies Lipercon Services. J. Thus. The Solicitor General agrees with the position of SanMig.vs. RTC." In a letter. outside the scope of this Agreement. it was contended that there exists a "labor-only" contracting situation. Sobrevinas. MELENCIO-HERRERA. These companies are independent contractors duly licensed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Private respondent San Miguel Corporation (SanMig. Lagman for petitioners. besides the fact that the Union is bereft of personality to represent said workers for purposes of collective bargaining. and SanMig on the other. Romeo C. therefore. dated 20 November 1988 (Annex C. on the one hand. while appearing to be contractual workers supposedly independent contractors. JESUS G. HON. (Lipercon) and D'Rite Service Enterprises (D'Rite). and SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION. It was then demanded that the employment status of these workers be regularized. Diaz. Inc. Petition). SanMig's Comment). Mayudini & Bodegon for respondents. probationary. Section 1 of their CBA specifically provides that "temporary. the Union advised SanMig that some Lipercon and D'Rite workers had signed up for union membership and sought the regularization of their employment with SMC. a labor dispute being involved. respectively). it was expressly understood and agreed that the workers employed by the contractors were to be paid by the latter and that none of them were to be deemed employees or agents of SanMig. The antecedents of the controversy reveal that: Sometime in 1983 and 1984. et als. business expansion and diversity of its operation. respondents. In said contracts. for short). SanMig's Comment. There was to be no employer-employee relation between the contractors and/or its workers. Jardeleza. Branch 166.: Respondent Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. for brevity) is the duly authorized representative of the monthly paid rank-and-file employees of SanMig with whom the latter executed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) effective 1 July 1986 to 30 June 1989 (Annex A. 57055 of his Court entitled "San Miguel Corporation vs." Petitioners' plea is that said Writ was issued without or in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion. is taken to task by petitioners in this special civil action for certiorari and Prohibition for having issued the challenged Writ of Preliminary Injunction on 29 March 1989 in Civil Case No. Petitioner San Miguel Corporation Employees Union-PTWGO (the Union.
using the employees or workers of LIPERCON AND D'RITE to man the strike area and/or picket lines and/or barricades which the defendants may set up at the plants and offices of plaintiff within the bargaining unit referred to in the CBA . and set the application for Injunction for hearing. c. d. blocking.. to compel plaintiff to hire the employees or workers of LIPERCON and D'RITE... . which motion was opposed by SanMig. on 13 March 1989. In the meantime. Subsequently. As in the first notice of strike... On 30 January 1989.. the work places within the bargaining unit referred to in the CBA . Petition) Respondent Court found the Complaint sufficient in form and substance and issued a Temporary Restraining Order for the purpose of maintaining the status quo. e. representing and/or acting for and in behalf of the employees of LIPERCON and/or D'RITE for the purposes of collective bargaining.. the two (2) notices of strike were consolidated and several conciliation conferences were held to settle the dispute before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) of DOLE (Annex G. the Union filed a Motion to Dismiss SanMig's Complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the case/nature of the action. the Union again filed a second notice of strike for unfair labor practice (Annex F.. inciting. to compel plaintiff to hire the employees or workers of LIPERCON and D'RITE. and union busting (Annex D. SMC filed a verified Complaint for Injunction and Damages before respondent Court to enjoin the Union from: a. f. . g. series of pickets were staged by Lipercon and D'Rite workers in various SMC plants and offices. preventing. preventing and/or disrupting the peaceful and normal operation of plaintiff at the work places within the bargaining unit referred to in the CBA.. the Union filed a notice of strike for unfair labor practice. and egress from.. h. staging a strike to compel plaintiff to hire the employees or workers of LIPERCON and D'RITE.On 12 January 1989 on the ground that it had failed to receive any favorable response from SanMig. Conciliatory meetings were held on the second notice. to compel plaintiff to hire the employees or workers of LIPERCON and D'RITE. as well as those persons lawfully transacting business with plaintiff at the work places within the bargaining unit referred to in the CBA. instigating and/or inducing the employees or workers of LIPERCON andD'RITE to demonstrate and/or picket at the plants and offices of plaintiff within the bargaining unit referred to in the CBA. (Annex H. Petition).. On 6 March 1989.. intimidating. prohibiting. That Motion was denied by respondent Judge in an Order dated 11 April 1989. obstructing and/or impeding the free ingress to. Petition). b. threatening with bodily harm and/or molesting the other employees and/or contract workers of plaintiff. to compel plaintiff to hire the employees or workers of LIPERCON and D'RITE. Annex 'C' hereof. CBA violations. Petition). calling for and holding a strike vote. Beginning 14 February 1989 until 2 March 1989.
this Court. 2. This. plaintiff would. (p. On 3 May 1989. or on 2 May 1989. and discussion on their other demands. is the matter of whether. Evidently. In the meantime. shall be recalled effective 8 May 1989 to their former jobs or equivalent positions under the same terms and conditions prior to "lay-off" (Annex 15. petitioners are now before us seeking nullification of the challenged Writ. where the parties presented both testimonial and documentary evidence on 25 March 1989. a writ of injunction does not necessarily expose defendants to irreparable damages. the presence or absence of a power of dismissal. the court must extensively consider and delve into the manner of selection and engagement of the putative employee. supra. No. the laid-off individuals . respondent Court rationalized: The absence of employer-employee relationship negates the existence of labor dispute. What could be discerned is that there is no employer-employee relationship between plaintiff and the contractual workers employed by Lipercon and D'Rite.R." which it superimposed on the Order and widely circulated to entice the Union membership to go on strike. the Union went on strike. Effected eventually was a Memorandum of Agreement between SanMig and the Union that "without prejudice to the outcome of G. on 12 October 1989. or relates to a . The Union stated that it would lift the strike if the thirty (30) Lipercon and D'Rite employees were recalled. the mode of payment of wages. Accordingly. 87700 (this case) and Civil Case No.000. The Union construed this to mean that "we can now strike. The application and contract for employment of the defendants' witnesses are either with Lipercon or D'Rite. or not the case at bar involves.00 to answer for whatever damages petitioners may sustain by reason thereof. 57055 (the case below). this court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of plaintiff's grievance. however. The strike adversely affected thirteen (13) of the latter's plants and offices. SanMig Comment). the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) called the parties to conciliation. were made.. This necessitates a full-blown trial. on 29 March 1989. respondent Court issued the questioned Order (Annex A. In issuing the Injunction. such as wage distortion and appointment of coordinators. plaintiff has established its right to the relief demanded. does not mean that a final determination regarding the question of the existence of employer-employee relationship has already been made. Petition) granting the application and enjoining the Union from Committing the acts complained of. The focal issue for determination is whether or not respondent Court correctly assumed jurisdiction over the present controversy and properly issued the Writ of Preliminary Injunction to the resolution of that question. we required the parties to "RESTORE the status quo ante declaration of strike" (p. If the acts complained of are not restrained. suffer irreparable damages. On 24 April 1989. we issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the implementation of the Injunction issued by respondent Court. Verily.After several hearings on SanMig's application for injunctive relief. however. Apparently. some of the contractual workers of Lipercon and D'Rite had been laid off. The evidence so far presented indicates that plaintiff has contracts for services with Lipercon and D'Rite. After an exchange of pleadings. the Union would immediately lift the pickets and return to work. In turn. or is in connection with. Upon being apprised thereof. and the Presence or absence of a power to control the putative employee's conduct. 21.62 Rollo). undoubtedly. Rollo) Anchored on grave abuse of discretion. in a Resolution of 24 May 1989. respondent Court issued the corresponding Writ of Preliminary Injunction after SanMig had posted the required bond of P100. gave due course to the Petition and required the parties to submit their memoranda simultaneously. Upon the other hand.. To finally resolve this dispute. the last of which was filed on 9 January 1990.
That the acts complained of (i. to hire strangers or workers outside the unit. The union leaders cannot instigate a strike to compel the employer. SanMig denies the existence of any employer-employee relationship and consequently of any labor dispute between itself and the Union. Further. A strike is a coercive economic weapon granted the bargaining representative only in the event of a deadlock in a labor dispute over 'wages." While it is SanMig's submission that no employer-employee relationship exists between itself. or arranging the terms and conditions of employment. C. That a labor dispute. and the contractual workers of Lipercon and D'Rite on the other. tenure and conditions of their employment and the arrangement of those terms are thus involved bringing the matter within the purview of a labor dispute. An affirmative answer would bring the case within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of labor tribunals to the exclusion of the regular Courts. among others.labor dispute. SanMig. is an abuse of right. and as defined by law. Rollo). supra) provided the controversy concerns. in the hope the latter will help re-elect them. for the purpose of . and is thus beyond the ambit of the public respondent's jurisdiction. Put differently. At bottom. B. what the Union seeks is to regularize the status of the employees contracted by Lipercon and D'Rite in effect. and therefore strangers to. the terms and conditions of employment or a "change" or "arrangement" thereof (ibid). in particular. does exist herein is evident. that "respondent Court is vested with jurisdiction and judicial competence to enjoin the specific type of strike staged by petitioner union and its officers herein complained of. that they be absorbed into the working unit of SanMig. Petitioners take the position that 'it is beyond dispute that the controversy in the court a quo involves or arose out of a labor dispute and is directly connected or interwoven with the cases pending with the NCMB-DOLE. fixing. the existence of a labor dispute is not negative by the fact that the plaintiffs and defendants do not stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee. who have signed up for Union membership. especially on the eve of certification elections. Obvious then is that representation and association. A "labor dispute" as defined in Article 212 (1) of the Labor Code includes "any controversy or matter concerning terms and conditions of employment or the association or representation of persons in negotiating. regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee. for the purpose of collective bargaining. (SanMig's Memorandum. changing." for the reasons that: A. under the governing collective bargaining agreement. on the one hand. hours of work and all other and of the employment' of the employees in the unit. resists that Union demand on the ground that there is no employer-employee relationship between it and those workers and because the demand violates the terms of their CBA. the Union also seeks to represent those workers. 6-7. a labor dispute can nevertheless exist "regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relationship of employer and employee" (Article 212 . the mass concerted action of picketing and the reliefs prayed for by the private respondent) are within the competence of labor tribunals. the bargaining unit. as excluded from. On the other hand. as defined by the law. Petitioners' Memo). pp. Civil courts have the jurisdiction to enjoin the above because this specie of strike does not arise out of a labor dispute. for its part. Labor Code. maintaining..e. The exclusive bargaining representative of an employer unit cannot strike to compel the employer to hire and thereby create an employment relationship with contractual workers. Terms. 475-476. SanMig submits. especially were the contractual workers were recognized by the union. This matter definitely dwells on the working relationship between said employees vis-a-vis SanMig. and violates the employer's constitutional liberty to hire or not to hire. is beyond question" (pp. We find the Petition of a meritorious character.
In fact. The claim of SanMig that the action below is for damages under Articles 19. and SanMig's cause's of action in the Court below are inextricably linked with those issues. 30 April 1965. de la Cruz (G. the injunction sought by SanMig was precisely also to prevent such representation. However. a regular employer-employee relationship may. — those are issues the resolution of which call for the application of labor laws. in fact. As the case is indisputably linked with a labor dispute.R. those that workers may file involving wages. The Writ of Prohibition is GRANTED and respondent Judge is enjoined from taking any further action in Civil Case No. 6715 on 21 March 1989. whether or not SanMig's contracts with Lipercon and D'Rite constitute "labor-only" contracting and. tenure or conditions. unfair labor practice cases. Hence. but that its members be hired as stevedores in the place of the members of a rival union. Hon. L-24984. on the basis of those facts unique to that case. L-29636. that such a demand could hardly be considered a labor dispute. The status quo ante declaration of strike ordered by the Court on 24 May 1989 shall be observed pending the proceedings in the National Conciliation Mediation Board-Department of Labor and Employment. That claim for damages is interwoven with a labor dispute existing between the parties and would have to be ventilated before the administrative machinery established for the expeditious settlement of those disputes. the matter of representation falls within the scope of a labor dispute. which petitioners wanted discharged notwithstanding the existing contract of the arrastre company with the latter union. since the suit below was instituted on 6 March 1989. As explicitly provided for in Article 217 of the Labor Code. To allow the action filed below to prosper would bring about "split jurisdiction" which is obnoxious to the orderly administration of justice (Philippine Communications. The precedent in Layno vs. . No costs. In that case. 2.A. WHEREFORE. whether or not the Union can lawfully represent the workers of Lipercon and D'Rite in their demands against SanMig in the light of the existing CBA. therefore.. collective bargaining and negotiations. Labor Arbiters have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases involving all workers including "1. 13 SCRA 738) relied upon by SanMig is not controlling as in that case there was no controversy over terms. We recognize the proprietary right of SanMig to exercise an inherent management prerogative and its best business judgment to determine whether it should contract out the performance of some of its work to independent contractors. Article XIII. . 24 SCRA 321).negotiating the conditions of employment are also involved. Whether or not the Union demands are valid. prior to its amendment by R. the ruling therein. . Again. be said to exist. whether or not the notice of strike was valid and the strike itself legal when it was allegedly instigated to compel the employer to hire strangers outside the working unit. including questions involving the legality of striker and lockouts. No. what the petitioning union demanded was not a change in working terms and conditions.021-89. cases arising from any violation of Article 265 of this Code. hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment. or the representation of the employees. 57055 except for the purpose of dismissing it. Electronics and Electricity Workers Federation vs. the rights of all workers to self-organization. including the right to strike in accordance with law (Section 3." Article 217 lays down the plain command of the law. of employment or the representation of employees that called for the application of labor laws. and peaceful concerted activities.. docketed as NCMB-NCR-NS-01-02189 and NCMB-NCR-NS-01-093-83. NCMB NCR NS01-093-83). the Writ of certiorari is GRANTED and the Orders of respondent Judge of 25 March 1989 and 29 March 1989 are SET ASIDE.. Those contending interests must be placed in proper perspective and equilibrium. 1987 Constitution) equally call for recognition and protection. 20 and 21 of the Civil Code would not suffice to keep the case within the jurisdictional boundaries of regular Courts. 29 July 1968. No. and 5.. Neither can it be denied that the controversy below is directly connected with the labor dispute already taken cognizance of by the NCMB-DOLE (NCMB-NCR. Nolasco.NS-01. jurisdiction belongs to the labor tribunals.
LIBERATO GOMEZ.. petitioner was to solicit advertisements for "The Manila Times. Paguio. pirating clients from his co-executives and failing to produce results.. petitioner.000.e. ARAGON. "13."3 Apart from vague allegations of misconduct on which he was not given the opportunity to defend himself. asking that his dismissal be declared unlawful and that his reinstatement. vs. 1992.1 Again. The commissions. The only rights and obligations between us are those set forth in this agreement. 147816 May 9. Apart from commissions. with entitlement to backwages without loss of seniority . respondents. "This is in accordance with our contract signed last July 1. petitioner was also entitled to a monthly allowance of P2. METROMEDIA TIMES CORPORATION. nor any responsibility for your operating expenses or for any liability you may incur. ROBINA Y. Paguio. VITUG. petitioner received the following notice from respondent firm "Dear Mr. This agreement cannot be amended or modified in any way except with the duly authorized consent in writing of both parties. were to be given to petitioner only after the clients would have paid for the advertisements. JR. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. was to receive compensation consisting of a 15% commission on direct advertisements less withholding tax and a 10% commission on agency advertisements based on gross revenues less agency commission and the corresponding withholding tax.000. Basically. 1992. thirty (30) days prior to effectivity of termination. No. appointing the latter to be an account executive of the firm.00 as long as he met the P30. for the fifth time. PAGUIO. Petitioner. viz: "12.SO ORDERED. You are not an employee of the Metromedia Times Corporation nor does the company have any obligations towards anyone you may employ. into an agreement with petitioner Efren P. GOKONGWEI. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. no definite cause for petitioner's termination was given.: On 22 June 1992."2 On 15 August 1992. FREDERICK D. barely two months after the renewal of his contract." a newspaper of general circulation. released every fifteen days of each month. Aggrieved. GO and ALDA IGLESIA.R. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time by giving written notice to the other. for his efforts. the contentious points raised by the parties had something to do with the following stipulations of the agreement. respondent Metromedia Times Corporation entered. J.00-monthly quota. petitioner filed a case before the labor arbiter. "Please be advised of our decision to terminate your services as Account Executive of Manila Times effective September 30. 2003 EFREN P. published by respondent company. i. YOLANDA E.
of the following factors . be held liable to petitioner for moral damages in the amount of P20. Petitioner also prayed that respondent company officials be held accountable for acts of unfair labor practice. The NLRC declared a fixed-term employment to be lawful as long as "it was agreed upon knowingly and voluntarily by the parties. a day certain being understood to be that which (would) necessarily come.8 The "control test" assumes primacy in the overall consideration. without loss of seniority rights."5 The finding of the NLRC was primarily hinged on the assumption that petitioner. although it (might) not be known when.000. "WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER IS ENTITLED TO BACKWAGES AND MORAL DAMAGES. Gomez.00. without any force. c) the presence or absence of the power of dismissal. for P500.was it or was it not one of regular employment? A "regular employment.9 . thirty days prior to the intended date of termination. general manager of respondent corporation. the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) reversed the ruling of the labor arbiter and declared the contractual relationship between the parties as being for a fixed-term employment. the day certain agreed upon by the parties for the commencement and termination of their employment relationship. duress or improper pressure being brought to bear upon the worker and absent any other circumstances vitiating his consent. and to pay him his commissions and other remuneration accruing from the date of dismissal on 15 August 1992 up until his reinstatement. In their defense."7 The crux of the matter would entail the determination of the nature of contractual relationship between petitioner and respondent company . was an unlikely victim of a lopsided contract. an employment relation obtains where work is performed or services are rendered under the control and supervision of the party contracting for the service. The arbiter ordered respondent Metromedia Times Corporation and its officers to reinstate petitioner to his former position. be ordered. and d) the presence or absence of the power to control the conduct of the putative employee or the power to control the employee with respect to the means or methods by which his work is to be accomplished. b) the mode of payment of wages. respondents pointed to the last provision thereof stating that both parties could opt to end the contract provided that either party would serve. Rejecting the assertion of petitioner that he was a regular employee.rights. Under this test. The labor arbiter found for petitioner and declared his dismissal illegal. the corresponding notice to the other. the NLRC held: "The decisive determinant would not be the activities that the employee (was) called upon to perform but rather. is aptly gauged from the concurrence. on account of his educated stature."6 Petitioner appealed the ruling of the NLRC before the Court of Appeals which upheld in toto the findings of the commission.000. In his petition for review on certiorari.000.00 moral damages and for P200. On appeal.4 Asserting their right to terminate the contract with petitioner. having indeed personally prepared his pleadings without the aid of counsel. respondent Metromedia Times Corporation asserted that it did not enter into any agreement with petitioner outside of the contract of services under Articles 1642 and 1644 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.a) the manner of selection and engagement of the putative employee.00 exemplary damages. or the nonconcurrence. "WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER'S DISMISSAL IS LEGAL. petitioner raised the following issues for resolution: "WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER'S CONTRACT WITH PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S COMPANY IS FOR A FIXED PERIOD. He likewise adjudged that Liberato I. not only as to the result of the work but also as to the manner and details of the performance desired." whether it is one or not.
but also on the basis of the nature of the work petitioner has been called upon to perform. Various solicitation letters would indeed show that Robina Gokongwei. A lawful dismissal must meet both substantive and procedural requirements. a regular employee is one who is engaged to perform activities which are necessary and desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer as against those which are undertaken for a specific project or are seasonal. Regular and Casual Employment. clearly necessary and desirable. respondent corporation recognized petitioner's invaluable contribution to the business when it renewed. "An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the proceeding paragraph: Provided. shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such activity exists. regardless of the nature of the activity performed or of whether it is continuous or intermittent. Even in these latter cases. where the scales generally tip against the employee. Petitioner was an account executive in soliciting advertisements. the advertising manager. does so. herself admitted that the income generated from paid advertisements was the lifeblood of the newspaper's existence. rightly taken into account by the labor arbiter. among other things. in Article 280 thereof. the advertising director. and that the same went on for more than a year. Robina Gokongwei. could hardly be denied. – The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties. 280. the dismissal must be for a just or authorized cause and must comply with the rudimentary due process of notice and hearing. The notice of termination recites no valid or just . whether such service is continuous or broken. for the survival and continued operation of the business of respondent corporation. any employee who has rendered at least one year of service. not necessarily or exclusively upon the terms of their written or oral contract. except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. in fine. That. was the reservation by respondent Metromedia Times Corporation not only of the right to control the results to be achieved but likewise the manner and the means used in reaching that end. provides: "ART. Implicitly. A stipulation in an agreement can be ignored as and when it is utilized to deprive the employee of his security of tenure. often scarcely provides him real and better options. not just once but five times." Thus defined. it not being indispensable that he be first issued a regular appointment or be formally declared as such before acquiring a regular status. directed and monitored the sales activities of petitioner. company president. in defining their contractual relationship. It is not shown that respondent company has fully bothered itself with either of these requirements in terminating the services of petitioner. where such person has rendered at least one year of service. its President. the employment is considered regular as long as the activity exists. The real question that should thus be posed is whether or not petitioner has been justly dismissed from service. to submit a daily sales activity report and also a monthly sales report as well. The law. The Labor Code.13 The sheer inequality that characterizes employer-employee relations. Respondent company cannot seek refuge under the terms of the agreement it has entered into with petitioner. its contract with petitioner.An indicum of regular employment.12 The law affords protection to an employee. and Frederick Go.11 That petitioner performed activities which were necessary and desirable to the business of the employer. and it will not countenance any attempt to subvert its spirit and intent. an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer.10 Metromedia Times Corporation exercised such control by requiring petitioner. Alda Iglesia.
99 by way of separation pay.A. annulling the resolutions of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and reinstating the ruling of the Labor Arbiter which found petitioner Rolando Tan guilty of illegally dismissing private respondent Leovigildo Lagrama and ordering him to pay the latter the amount of P136. Dili ko gusto nga mo-drawing ka pa. 63160.000. respondents. 2002 ROLANDO Y. petitioner.R. However. No. J. of the Court of Appeals in C.2 dated November 27. 1988 to October 17. private respondent Lagrama was summoned by Tan and upbraided: "Nangihi na naman ka sulod sa imong drawinganan. and the resolution. no more drawing. vs. SO ORDERED. Gomez.cause for the dismissal of petitioner nor does it appear that he has been given an opportunity to be heard in his defense. The evidence. The decision of the Court of Appeals in C.849. The following are the facts. the instant petition is GRANTED. however. 1998. Petitioner Rolando Tan is the president of Supreme Theater Corporation and the general manager of Crown and Empire Theaters in Butuan City. No. making ad billboards and murals for the motion pictures shown at the Empress. everytime he spoke.00 moral damages adjudged against respondent Liberato I. from September 1. 1998. and Crown Theaters for more than 10 years. TAN. leaving him with no other choice but to leave the premises.R. 151228 August 15. G.A. Private respondent Leovigildo Lagrama is a painter. Gawas. it was a minor infraction to warrant his dismissal. 2001. . found by the appellate court is wanting that would indicate bad faith or malice on the part of respondents. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. backwages. MENDOZA. wala nay drawing. SP. and damages. and the award of moral damages must thus be deleted. I don't want you to draw anymore.") Lagrama denied the charge against him. Guikan karon. 2001. On October 17." ("Don't say anything further.-G.1 dated May 31. Get out. Tan shouted "Gawas" ("Get out")." ("You again urinated inside your work area. He claimed that he was not the only one who entered the drawing area and that. SP No. Gomez which award is deleted. LEOVIGILDO LAGRAMA and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS.R.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision. Tan told him. From now on. even if the charge was true. Supreme. "Ayaw daghang estorya. particularly by respondent Liberato I.") When Lagrama asked what Tan was saying. WHEREFORE. 527773 and that of the National Labor Relations Commission are hereby SET ASIDE and that of the Labor Arbiter is REINSTATED except with respect to the P20.
3 Petitioner Rolando Tan appealed to the NLRC Fifth Division. He then filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Court of Appeals.849. 2000. 2001. X of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Butuan City. an amusement park owner. Respondent Lagrama filed a motion for reconsideration.200. salary differential. rendered a decision4 finding Lagrama to be an independent contractor. and those supervising the construction of a church to prove that the services of Lagrama were contracted by them.00 2. i. which. Although it found that Lagrama did work for other cinema owners.. but it was denied for lack of merit by the NLRC in a resolution of September 29. Declaring complainant's [Lagrama's] dismissal illegal and 2. on June 30. 949. On June 17. no pay" policy.Lagrama filed a complaint with the Sub-Regional Arbitration Branch No.00 - 17. Ordering respondents [Tan] to pay complainant the following: A. Cagayan de Oro City. the Court of Appeals rendered a decision. the appeals court held it to be a mere sideline insufficient to prove that he was not an employee of Tan. that he was paid for every painting turned out as ad billboard or mural for the pictures shown in the three theaters. He submitted the affidavits of other cinema owners. he rendered a decision. He asserted that Lagrama was an independent contractor who did his work according to his methods. He alleged that he had been illegally dismissed and sought reinvestigation and payment of 13th month pay. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. the dispositive portion of which reads: . Separation Pay B. Labor Arbiter Rogelio P. Backwages (from 17 October 1998 to 17 June 1999) C.00 47. Service Incentive Leave Pay (3 years) E. premises considered judgment is hereby ordered: 1.99 10. The Court of Appeals found that petitioner exercised control over Lagrama's work by dictating the time when Lagrama should submit his billboards and murals and setting rules on the use of the work area and rest room.e.00 [P136. and damages. As no amicable settlement had been reached. while he (petitioner) was only interested in the result thereof. Damages TOTAL P 59.700.000. Accordingly. service incentive leave pay. on May 31. on the basis of a "no mural/billboard drawn. The appeals court also found no evidence of any intention on the part of Lagrama to leave his job or sever his employment relationship with Tan. 2000. and for this reason reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter.000. 1999. 13th month pay (3 years) D. Legaspi directed the parties to file their position papers. He cited the admission of Lagrama during the conferences before the Labor Arbiter that he was paid on a fixed piece-work basis.99] Complainant's other claims are dismissed for lack of merit. Petitioner Tan denied that Lagrama was his employee. He denied having dismissed Lagrama and alleged that it was the latter who refused to paint for him after he was scolded for his habits.
No. We find the answers to these issues to be in the affirmative. the decision of respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G. III. Legaspi on June 17. The existence in this case of the first element is undisputed. The Decision of the Honorable Labor Arbiter Rogelio P. and whether petitioner is guilty of illegally dismissing private respondent. respondent Court of Appeals' opening statement in its decision as to "employment.. this petition for review on certiorari based on the following assignments of errors: I. respondent Court of Appeals' discourse on "freelance artists and painters" in the decision in question is misplaced or has no factual or legal basis in the record. the case of Lambo. I. v. NLRC. SP NO. 317 SCRA 420 [G. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration. 63160 is bereft of any finding that Public Respondent NLRC. With all due respect. and (4) whether the employee was paid wages. The Resolutions of the Public Respondent issued on June 30. V. It is the existence of the second element. or service on its own account and under its own responsibility according to its own manner and method. et al. (3) whether he has the power to dismiss. absent any positive finding on its part that the Resolution of 30 June 2000 of the NLRC is not supported by substantial evidence. 5th Division. With all due respect.8 Hence. 1999 is hereby REINSTATED. the "control test" is the most important. With all due respect. First. an independent contractor is one who carries on a distinct and independent business and undertakes to perform the job. had no jurisdiction or exceeded it or otherwise gravely abused its discretion in its Resolution of 30 June 2000 in NLRC CA-NO. from 8:00 o'clock in the morning up to 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon" as "facts" is not supported by the evidence on record. but the Court of Appeals found no reason to reverse its decision and so denied his motion for lack of merit. free from the control and direction of the principal in all matters connected with the performance of the work except as to the results thereof. M004950-99.00" and "work schedule from Monday to Saturday.R.R.6 The issues raised boil down to whether or not an employer-employee relationship existed between petitioner and private respondent. 111042 October 26. 2000 and September 29. 2000 are ANNULLED. It was petitioner who engaged the services of Lagrama without the intervention of a third party. With all due respect. we have applied a "four-fold test. work. (2) whether he has control of the employee with respect to the means and methods by which work is to be accomplished.475. IV. the power of control. respondent Court of Appeals.IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING." "monthly salary of P1. et al. Of the four elements of the employer-employee relationship. In determining whether there is an employer-employee relationship.7 These elements of the employer-employee relationship are present in this case.. while an independent contractor enjoys independence and freedom from the control and supervision of his . Compared to an employee." to wit: (1) whether the alleged employer has the power of selection and engagement of employees. II. 1999] relied upon by respondent Court of Appeals is not applicable to the peculiar circumstances of this case.5 Hence. is without authority to substitute its conclusion for that of said NLRC. With all due respect. that requires discussion here. the Petition is hereby GRANTED.
to fire him from his painting job upon discovery and his admission of such acts. as everybody else did and had he only wanted to.11 Even assuming this to be true. to go to the comfort rooms. not a basis for determining the existence or absence of employeremployee relationship. though thoroughly scolded. He was urinating right at the place where he was working when it was so easy for him. the fact that. whether fixed or ascertained on a time. the pertinent portions of which stated: Complainant did not know how to use the available comfort rooms or toilets in and about his work premises. Payment of wages is one of the four factors to be considered in determining the existence of employer-employee relation.principal.. That petitioner had the right to hire and fire was admitted by him in his position paper submitted to the NLRC.15 It is a method of computing compensation. petitioner in effect acknowledged Lagrama to be his employee. the respondents had every right. The rules included the observance of cleanliness and hygiene and a prohibition against urinating in the work area and any place other than the toilet or the rest rooms.10 Private respondent Lagrama claimed that he worked daily. Wages are defined as "remuneration or earnings. Payment by result is a method of compensation and does not define the essence of the relation. the complainant had to make a virtual urinal out of his work place! The place then stunk to high heavens. Third. It was he who stopped to paint for respondents. from 8 o'clock in the morning to 5 o'clock in the afternoon. unless satisfactorily explained. can bring about some disciplinary action on the part of the employer. or for services rendered or to be rendered. however designated. or commission basis. task. and may . he was not fired. Nonetheless. Second.. One may be paid on the basis of results or time expended on the work. as petitioner himself said. which is payable by an employer to an employee under a written or unwritten contract of employment for work done or to be done.12 By stating that he had the right to fire Lagrama. For the right to hire and fire is another important element of the employer-employee relationship. but also to the result of Lagrama's work. naturally. the evidence shows that the latter performed his work as painter under the supervision and control of petitioner. For only an employee can nurture such an expectancy.9 Petitioner's control over Lagrama's work extended not only to the use of the work area. for the use of which petitioner prescribed rules. but supplied as well the materials used for the paintings. Lagrama worked in a designated work area inside the Crown Theater of petitioner. Given such circumstances. albeit petitioner Tan claims that private respondent Lagrama was an independent contractor and never his employee.475. Petitioner disputed this allegation and maintained that he paid Lagrama P1. In the case at bar. because he admitted that he paid Lagrama only for the latter's services."14 That Lagrama worked for Tan on a fixed piece-work basis is of no moment. it would appear that petitioner not only provided the workplace. the frustration of which. or other method of calculating the same. and the manner and means by which the work was to be accomplished. piece. capable of being expressed in terms of money. Moreover. nay all the compelling reason. But no. to the consternation of respondents and everyone who could smell the malodor. he waited for Lagrama to report for work but the latter simply stopped reporting for work reinforces the conviction that Lagrama was indeed an employee of petitioner.13 Indeed. the fact that Lagrama worked for at least 3 to 4 days a week proves regularity in his employment by petitioner. an employee is subject to the employer's power to control the means and methods by which the employee's work is to be performed and accomplished.00 per week for the murals for the three theaters which the latter usually finished in 3 to 4 days in one week. .
therefore. by clear proof.25 Mere absence is not sufficient. of that activity to the business of his employer.26 In the case at bar. although with respect only to such activity. In order for abandonment to be a just and valid ground for dismissal.21 Otherwise. deductions made. the employment is also considered regular. — In cases of regular employment. petitioner did not present the payroll to support his claim that Lagrama was not his employee.16 The Rules Implementing the Labor Code require every employer to pay his employees by means of payroll. 279. . That he did so only during weekends has not been denied by petitioner. if not indispensability. and the amount actually paid to the employee. This Court has held that if the employee has been performing the job for at least one year.22 Neither does the fact that Lagrama painted for other persons affect or alter his employment relationship with petitioner. even if not continuously but intermittently. depending on whether the elements of an employer-employee relationship are present or not. Security of Tenure.24 It is claimed that Lagrama abandoned his work. and while such activity exists. he is deemed a regular employee and is thus entitled to security of tenure.or may not acquire an employment status. the repeated and continuing need for its performance is sufficient evidence of the necessity. the employer must show. There is no evidence to show this. there is such a connection between the job of Lagrama painting billboards and murals and the business of petitioner. the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this Title. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages. inclusive of allowances. 279 of Labor Code: ART. raising speculations whether his failure to do so proves that its presentation would be adverse to his case. the intention of the employee to abandon his job. What is more. Hence. admitted in a sworn statement that he was told by Lagrama that the latter worked for petitioner. Abandonment requires two elements: (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason. Samuel Villalba. To let the people know what movie was to be shown in a movie theater requires billboards.20 The fact that Lagrama was not reported as an employee to the SSS is not conclusive on the question of whether he was an employee of petitioner. as provided in Art. In the present recourse. the Court of Appeals correctly ruled: Neither do we agree that Petitioner abandoned his job. . and (2) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship. an employer would be rewarded for his failure or even neglect to perform his obligation. with the second element as the more determinative factor and being manifested by some overt acts. Under the law. In the case at bar. for whom Lagrama had rendered service. Petitioner in fact admits that the billboards are important to his business. .18 The primary standard for determining regular employment is the reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual trade or business of the employer.23 Lagrama had been employed by petitioner since 1988.17 The payroll should show among other things. the burden is on the employer to show a deliberate and unjustified refusal on the part of the employee to resume his employment without any intention of returning. the Private Respondent has not established clear proof of the intention of the Petitioner to abandon his job or to sever the employment relationship between him and the . and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement.19 In this case. the employee's rate of pay. On the other hand.
regardless of the time he spent in accomplishing such work. as pointed out in Makati Haberdashery v. SO ORDERED. This provision has two aspects: (1) the legality of the act of dismissal. as in this case. Urinating in a work place other than the one designated for the purpose by the employer constitutes violation of reasonable regulations intended to promote a healthy environment under Art. it was Private Respondent who told Petitioner that he did not want the latter to draw for him and thereafter refused to give him work to do or any mural or billboard to paint or draw on. in accordance with the ruling in Bustamante v.27 II. dismissal under the grounds provided for under Article 282 of the Labor Code and (2) the legality in the manner of dismissal. but the same must be shown by evidence. . However. after the repeated refusal of the Private Respondent to give Petitioner murals or billboards to work on. NLRC. that is.30 In this case. (1) those whose time and performance is supervised by the employer. Instead of ordering his reinstatement as provided in Art. such an employee is not entitled to service incentive leave pay since. petitioner made it plain that Lagrama was dismissed. a Complaint for "Illegal Dismissal and Money Claims. To begin. the petition is DENIED for lack of showing that the Court of Appeals committed any reversible error. 282(1) of the Labor Code for purposes of terminating employment. The Implementing Rules of the Labor Code29 provide that no worker shall be dismissed except for a just or authorized cause provided by law and after due process. Hence. The second issue is whether private respondent Lagrama was illegally dismissed. NLRC. and (2) those whose time and performance is unsupervised by the employer. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the backwages and other benefits awarded to private respondent Leovigildo Lagrama should be computed from the time of his dismissal up to the time of the finality of this decision.31 should be computed from the time of Lagrama's dismissal up to the time of the finality of this decision. . as the Supreme Court declared. Here there is no evidence that Lagrama did urinate in a place other than a rest room in the premises of his work. while the second does not. X of the National Labor Relations Commission. the service incentive leave pay awarded to him is DELETED. The parties do not dispute this finding. . The first involves an element of control and supervision over the manner the work is to be performed. based on the foregoing. the employer has the burden of proving the lawfulness of his employee's dismissal. The illegality of the act of dismissal constitutes discharge without just cause. The Bureau of Working Conditions32 classifies workers paid by results into two groups. If a piece worker is supervised." Such act has. negate any intention to sever employment relationship. WHEREFORE. This is of course in addition to the payment of backwages which. 279 of the Labor Code. the grant of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement is appropriate. The decision of the Court of Appeals. while illegality in the manner of dismissal is dismissal without due process. More. with the Sub-Regional Arbitration Branch No. there is an employer-employee relationship. the Petitioner filed. without any deduction or qualification. However. NLRC33 and Mark Roche International v. by his refusal to give Lagrama work to do and ordering Lagrama to get out of his sight as the latter tried to explain his side. without any deduction and qualification.34 he is paid a fixed amount for work done. reversing the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission and reinstating the decision of the Labor Arbiter.Private Respondent. namely.28 The validity of the charge must be clearly established in a manner consistent with due process. . On the contrary. the Labor Arbiter found that the relationship between the employer and the employee has been so strained that the latter's reinstatement would no longer serve any purpose.
1995 of the same public respondent. 1986. respondent union filed its position paper wherein it added as complainants 33 more of its members. INC. among others. and the Resolution dated August 22. their backwages and separation pay if their reinstatement is no longer feasible. On December 26.R. raising the number of complainants to 160. filed a complaint for unfair labor practice and/or illegal dismissal with damages against petitioner corporation. petitioners. No. .: In this special civil action for certiorari. petitioners assail the Decision dated May 31.nêt Petitioner Philippine Fruit and Vegetable Industries. 1990. On appeal. On September 23. PEDRO CASTILLO. 1999 PHILIPPINE FRUIT & VEGETABLE INDUSTRIES. 122122 July 20. set aside the appealed decision and remanded the case to the Arbitration Branch for further proceedings. 1988. Inc. MR. herein petitioners filed a motion to dismiss. 1988. and its President and General Manager. the third division of the NLRC. respondents. Private respondent alleged that many of its complaining members started working for San Carlos Fruits Corporation which later incorporated into PFVII in January or February 1983 until their dismissal on different dates in 1985. J. KAPUNAN. On November 21. respondent union filed a supplemental position paper alleging that there were actually 194 complainants. for and in behalf of 127 of its members. On September 5. On October 13. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. Mendoza finding that the members of respondent union were illegally dismissed and granting them. and Philippine Fruit and Vegetable Workers UnionTupas Local Chapter. Petitioner Pedro Castillo is the former President and General Manager of petitioner PFVII. They further alleged that the dismissals were due to complainants' involvement in union activities and were without just cause. for brevity) is a government-owned and controlled corporation engaged in the manufacture and processing of fruit and vegetable purees for export. 1995 of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which upheld with modification the decision of Labor Arbiter Quintin C. which denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the above decision. 1988. Respondent union attached thereto a list of their names and the amounts of their claims. 1988.1âwphi1. in its Resolution dated May 31. Labor Arbiter Ricardo Olairez rendered a decision holding petitioners liable for illegal dismissal.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. (PFVII. vs. 1988 herein private respondent Philippine Fruit and Vegetable Workers Union-Tupas Local Chapter. 1987 and 1988.
3 Hence. Petitioners further argue that PFVII operates on a seasonal basis and the complainants who are members of respondent union are seasonal workers because they work only during the period that the company is in operation. 13TH MONTH PAY AND SEPARATION PAY BENEFITS. attorney's fee representing ten percent (10%) of the total award is hereby granted. 1995. COMIA. Industries Corporation and or its President/General Manager Pedro Castillo to pay the aforementioned 190 complainants their full backwages and 13th month pay in the aforestated amounts. illegal dismissal.051. 1 On appeal. among others. Alejandro Villamil. Labor Arbiter Melquiades Sol D.37). respondent NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter "with modification that the award of attorneys fees shall be based only on the amounts corresponding to 13th month pay. this petition wherein petitioners raise the following issues: I THE QUESTIONED DECISION IS NOT SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE. depending on the availability of supply with the . (P6. MANALO and ASSOCIATES LAW OFFICES. Likewise. hence. Mendoza. its operation starts only in February with the processing of tomatoes into tomato paste and ceases by the end of the same month when the supply is consumed. aggregating six million one hundred forty two thousand fifty-one pesos and 37/100 centavos. plus separation pay of one-half month pay for every year of service including 1991. On July 28. It then resumes operations at the end of April or early May. the former having established its right and lien over the award.142. According to petitioners. Benjamin Alar. and counsel of record Atty. Labor Arbiter Quintin C. c/o Atty. del Rosario. received the evidence presented by both parties. 1992. II PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ARE SEASONAL EMPLOYEES WHOSE EMPLOYMENTS CEASED DURING THE OFF-SEASON DUE TO NO WORK AND NOT DUE TO ILLEGAL DISMISSAL. if reinstatement is no longer feasible. it was arbitrary on the part of public respondent to hold petitioners liable to the employees of San Carlos Fruits Corporation. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. and subsequently." 2 Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by respondent NLRC in a Resolution dated August 22. III THE LABOR ARBITER AND THE NLRC COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN ORDERING PETITIONER TO PAY 194 INDIVIDUALS BACKWAGES. APPLICABLE LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE. Labor Arbiter Mendoza rendered a decision finding petitioners liable for. the same to be shared proportionately between complainants former counsel ALAR. They allege that the aforementioned San Carlos Fruits Corporation is separate and distinct from herein petitioner PFVII. SO ORDERED. 4 Petitioners contend that the NLRC's findings of fact are incorrect and unsubstantiated. decision is hereby issued ordering the respondent Philippine Fruits and Vegetable.In the Arbitration Branch. at the option of respondent.
they cannot invoke any tenurial benefit. . operators. 1011). like the pay slips. sorters. pp. i. the best evidence should be some kind directly prepared or signed documents in the course of their normal relation indicating with clarity the days. 8 The above arguments boil down to the issue of whether or not complaining members of respondent union are regular employees of PFVII or are seasonal workers whose employment ceased during the offseason due to the non-availability of work. it was by virtue of this agreement that petitioners limited the rebuttal evidence (only to refute whatever may have been adduced by the said 78 union members). . This is contrary to the agreement of both parties that those who will not be able to testify and substantiate their respective claims for actual damages will be considered to have abandoned their complaints. Their employments on the other hand are spelled-out in complainants' Annexes "A" to "A-194" and in their individual affidavits and detailed at times for those who were called to testify in their direct testimony. . right. . . . Well-settled is the rule that findings of fact of the National Labor Relations Commission. and. apprentice agreements before their appointments. then mangoes up to August and guyabano and others like papayas and pineapples until November or end of the year. janitors. Finally. tomatoes from January to April. . . . This exhibit is visibly (sic) self-serving and not the best evidence to prove the insistence of respondents. 9 The questioned decision of the Labor Arbiter reads in part: . the NLRC's findings of fact are as follows: As culled from the records. Thus. 7 In fact. mechanics and office personnel. 5 The severance of complainants' employment from petitioner corporation was a necessary consequence of the nature of seasonal employment.processing of mangoes into purees and ceases operation in June. mangoes and calamansi from January to July. identification cards. and vegetable purees for export. their right to require their employees to under a medical examination is clearly legal. slicers. and since complainants are seasonal workers as defined by the Labor Code. it appears that herein 194 individual complainants are members of complainant union in respondent company which is engaged in the manufacture and processing of fruit . They have legal. to prescribe their own rules and regulations. . They were employed as seeders. affirming those of the Labor Arbiter are entitled to great weight and will not be disturbed if they are supported by substantial evidence. and these positive testimonies are bolstered by their common but separate individual evidence. or did not at all worked (sic) for respondents. . 6 Petitioners further claim that many of the complainants failed or refused to undergo the medical examination required by petitioners as a prerequisite to employment. testimonies and the messages of the Annexes. 13th month pay and separation pay benefits to the 194 respondents (union members) when only 78 of them were able to testify and substantiate their claims. 1991 hearing. petitioners allege that the Labor Arbiter and respondent NLRC erred in ordering them to pay backwages. (TNS [sic]. drivers. petitioners argue.e. according to petitioners. . and that respondent corporation operates for the whole year. . (T)he employment of most started in January (sic) or February 1983 with the processing of the fruits. . saving accounts and pass books . truck helpers. 10 On the other hand. hours and months actually worked and signed by the workers to rebut the positive assertion in their affidavits. we cannot give credence to the "Factory Workers Attendance Report" of respondent (Annex "2" marked as Exhibit "B") where it is represented in summary form or indicated that some of the complainants worked for one or several weeks or months only during some years they claimed to be employed. of April 11. Rather.
therefore. to our mind. — The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties. NLRC. mechanics and office personnel is without doubt necessary in the usual business of a food processing company like petitioner PFVII. we need not dwell on the question of whether or not they had rendered one year of service. entitled to security of tenure. all other employees who do not fall under the definition of the preceding paragraph. the services of herein complainants are. there is the office administrative functions. . Considering. . the work of complainants as seeders. any employee who has rendered at least one year of service whether such service is continuous or broken. .xxx xxx xxx By the very nature of things in a business enterprise like respondent company's. the other equally important aspects of its business. such as manufacturing and marketing are not seasonal. Sr. deems as . provided. We take note of the undisputed fact that the company did not confine itself just to the processing of tomatoes and mangoes. The fact is that large-scale food processing companies such as petitioner company continue to operate and do business throughout the year even if the availability of fruits and vegetables is seasonal. no circumstance that would warrant a reversal of their decisions. whether such service is continuous or broken. 11 The findings of both the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC are supported by substantial evidence. more than six (6) months a year. or b) has rendered at least one year of service. therefore. pineapple. drivers. The proviso. Besides. 280 of the Labor Code provides: Regular and Casual Employment. Having determined that private respondents are regular employees under the first paragraph. we hold that complainants are regular seasonal employees. with respect to the activity in which he is employed. While it may be true that some phases of petitioner company's processing operations is dependent on the supply of fruits for a particular season. slicers. vs. janitors. sorters. calamansi. cleaning and upkeeping of machines and other duties and tasks to keep up (sic) a big food processing corporation. 14 that: The second paragraph of Article 280 demarcates as "casual" employees. that under of (sic) Article 280 of the Labor Code "the provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and considering further that the tasks which complainants performed were usually necessary and desirable in the employer's usual business or trade. indeed. operators. 13 Neither is their employment seasonal in nature. that. This Court has clearly stated in Mercado. shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such actually exists. truck helpers. thus. papaya. in said second paragraph. an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employers. an employment shall be deemed regular where the employee: a) has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. etc. Art. It should be noted that complainants' employment has not been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of their appointment or hiring. An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceeding paragraph. 12 In the case at bar. except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project. It also processed guyabano. There is. Under the above provision.
we have to rule in the affirmative. Manuel Velasco59. 280. Cecilia Bautista72. Corazon Leocadio 14. 15 Hence. SO ORDERED. Rodolfo Soriano61. Rodolfo Rosario43. Francisca Bautista 19. Jose S. Priscilla Vinoya28. Mandapat37. Natividad P. Tamondong31. the Labor Arbiter erred in appreciating the evidence presented by the complaining union members in favor of the other 114 because the evidence is personal to each of them. Jr. Romulo Bautista48. 13th month pay and separation pay benefits to 194 members of respondent union. Malicdem58.1âwphi1. Jose D. Isabelita S. Francisco Cuison 21. Marietta A. Divina S. as correctly noted by the Solicitor General. Alex Bautista44. As correctly noted by the Office of the Solicitor General. Gerondio M. Melanda Albarida70.1âwphi1. Mandapat9. Mandapat30. de Guzman39. Marilou R. It is a basic rule in evidence that each party must prove his affirmative allegation — the plaintiff or complainant has to prove his affirmative allegations in the complaints and the defendant or respondent has to prove the affirmative allegations in his affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Julita V. Marino Cayabyab71. Whatever testimony or other proof of employment submitted by any of them proves only the status of his own employment and not that of any other complainant. but REVERSED with respect to the other 114 union members.regular employees those "casual" employees who have rendered at least one year of service regardless of the fact that such service may be continuous or broken. Saplan52. Douglas Dalisay76. Bienvenido Resuello69. Angeles34. Sabangan8. Myrna R. The other 114 members did not present any kind of evidence whatsoever. Antonio Cayabyab 2. Reynaldo C. de Vera 16 ACCORDINGLY. Thus. Alfonso Manzon66. Untalan60. Roberto Lomibao 23. Rosario53.nêt . Malicdem49. 13th month pay and separation pay. Fernandez57. Narcisa M. Hence. Tamondong10. Francisco Bautista67. Corazon Munoz35. Montilla40. Felicidad A. Elizabeth Valdez75. Lourdes Arenas64. Gaudencio Castro74. Eugenio A. pay slips. Montilla42. Rebecca C. Virginia Cayabyab79. Nicanor R. Jimmy D. Teresita Velasco77. Sabangan 6.nêt . Bulatao 11. Orlando Salangad 12. the proviso is applicable only to the employees who are deemed "casuals" but not to the "project" employees nor the regular employees treated in paragraph one of Art. Finally. Ramil de Guzman 22. identification cards and other relevant documents. Loreta Pidlaoan 20. Rolando Aquino24. Sison 5. Brigida de Guzman36. Lolita A. Lydia Clemente65. . Magat 17. Romeo Macam80. Fe Vilma S. Juliana M. Antonio Calixto 7. A careful examination of the records shows that only 80 of the 194 union members presented evidence to support and prove their claims in the form of affidavits and/or testimonies. Vistro 15. Jose Sabangan. Jaime T. Adoracion de Guzman25. Emma Macam38. Eligida D. Domingo Bautista46. Dionisio Gutie62. Romeo D. 280 of the Labor Code. Aquino78. Diaz55. private respondents in this case are deemed regular employees by virtue of the fact that they performed functions which are necessary and desirable in the usual business of PFVII as provided under the first paragraph of Art. . Betty Grace V. Fidel B. Virgilio M. Macaraeg54. Leonora Castro33. Elena N. Ricardo Malicdem 3. Pepito P. Roberto C. Remegio Alcantara45. who did not adduce evidence in support of their claims. on the issue of whether or not the NLRC committed manifest error in ordering petitioners to pay backwages. Gamboa32. Adelaida Ramirez68. Velasquez63. Silverio G. Lolarga56. Herminia Arizabal73. Romulo G. Violeta Antonio26. Turingan 16. Servillano Reyes 13. Romeo Macam41. Eleno Bulatao51. passbooks. Raymundo De Guzman 4. only those members of respondent union who were able to prove their claims are entitled to awards of backwages. They are as follows: 1. Julita Macaraeg29. Diaz27. Helen A. Gural47. 18. Diaz50. the questioned decision of the NLRC is hereby AFFIRMED insofar as the 80 union members who were able to prove their respective claims are concerned.
damages and attorney’s fees.R. petitioner was a project but not a regular employee. that he worked from 7:30 a. 2003 denying petitioner Bienvenido Goma’s motion for reconsideration.7 . vs. hotels and bars. Pardo and Ynarez-Santiago.’s petition for certiorari and its Resolution2 dated November 11. Petitioner. No.J. PAMPLONA PLANTATION INCORPORATED. DECISION NACHURA. SP No. The case was filed with the SubRegional Arbitration Branch No. Melo. petitioner. the manager of the hacienda at the time it was owned by Mr. respondent denied having hired the petitioner as its regular employee.m. and that he worked continuously until 1997 when he was not given any work assignment. GOMA.5 On the other hand. 160905 July 4."6 Respondent added that it was not obliged to absorb the employees of the former owner..Davide..R. C. It instead argued that petitioner was hired by a certain Antoy Cañaveral. service incentive leave pay. concur. daily with a salary rate of P90. Jr. In 1995. Petitioner claimed that he worked as a carpenter at the Hacienda Pamplona since 1995. he prayed for backwages.m. rendered service in the construction of the facilities of PPLC. petitioner alleged to have been illegally dismissed when the respondent refused without just cause to give him work assignment. Pamplona Plantation Leisure Corporation (PPLC) was created for the operation of tourist resorts. If at all..m. respondent. salary differential. J.: For review is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated August 27. Petitioner commenced3 the instant suit by filing a complaint for illegal dismissal. 74892. underpayment of wages. five (5) days incentive leave pay. VII of Dumaguete City. Inc. a jai-alai pelotari known as "Ybarra. Thus. 2008 BIENVENIDO D. JJ. non-payment of premium pay for holiday and rest day. to 5:00 p. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. damages and attorney’s fees. against the respondent. Bower and leased by Manuel Gonzales. in CAG. thus. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p. 2003 granting respondent Pamplona Plantation.00 a day paid weekly.4 On a claim that he was a regular employee.
he was a regular employee.00) in salary differentials. respondent instituted a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Court of Appeals which granted the same. Labor Arbiter Geoffrey P.00) to the complainant through the cashier of this Commission within ten (10) days from receipt hereof. GOMA to his former position immediately without loss of seniority rights and other privileges. Villahermosa dismissed the case for lack of merit. BIENVENIDO D. restaurants. bars. thus involving extensive carpentry work.9 On appeal to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). and 4) to pay attorney’s fee in the amount of ELEVEN THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TWO PESOS (P11.13 The NLRC likewise held that the respondent should have presented its employment records if only to show that petitioner was not included in its list of employees.00) which is equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total judgment award.On June 28. Pamplona Plantation Incorporated. ratiocinating that it was difficult to believe that a simple carpenter from far away Pamplona would go to Dumaguete City to hire a competent lawyer to help him secure justice if he did not believe that his right as a laborer had been violated.12 It added that the creation of the PPLC required the tremendous task of constructing hotels. and consequently annulled and set aside the NLRC decision.359. boutiques and service shops. the Decision of the Labor Arbiter is hereby SET ASIDE and a new one is hereby issued ORDERING the respondent.14 Considering that petitioner worked for the respondent for a period of two years.1avvphi1 The respondent is further ordered to pay the aggregate amount of ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN THOUSAND AND NINETEEN PESOS (P114. as follows: .11 The NLRC upheld the existence of an employer-employee relationship. the following: 1) to reinstate the complainant. its failure to do so was fatal. 2002.15 Aggrieved. The dispositive portion of the NLRC decision reads: WHEREFORE. Consequently. 1999. the possibility of petitioner’s employment was great. 3) to pay to the same complainant ONE HUNDRED ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SIXTY PESOS (P101.019. As an old carpentry hand in the old corporation. the petitioner obtained favorable judgment when the tribunal reversed and set aside the Labor Arbiter’s decision.660.402. 2) to pay the same complainant TWELVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE PESOS (P12. The CA disposed.10 Respondent’s motion for reconsideration was denied by the NLRC on September 9. SO ORDERED. hence.8 The Labor Arbiter concluded that petitioner was hired by the former owner. his money claims were denied. was not an employee of the respondent.00) in backwages to be updated until actual reinstatement. inns.
WHEREFORE. Both the Labor Arbiter and the CA concluded that there was no employer-employee relationship between the petitioner and respondent. on the other hand.21 . upheld petitioner’s claim of regular employment because of the respondent’s failure to present its employment records. therefore. Cebu City) RULING THAT THE "PETITIONER WAS NOT ILLEGALLY DISMISSED AS HE WAS NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF RESPONDENT". Thus. had the burden of proving the existence of an employer-employee relationship. the Court is constrained to probe into the attendant circumstances as appearing on record.16 Contrary to the NLRC’s finding. although the petitioner was an employee of the former owner of the hacienda. The respondent. 2003. 2002 in NLRC Case No. had no obligation to prove its negative averment. Nonetheless. The existence of an employer-employee relationship involves a question of fact which is well within the province of the CA to determine. RAB VII-0088-98-D are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. the instant petition is GRANTED. The complaint is ordered DISMISSED. the retention of a carpenter in its payroll was not necessary or desirable in the conduct of its usual business.18 Lastly. premises considered. REVERSING AND SETTING ASIDE THE NLRC (Fourth Division. The assailed decision of the NLRC dated October 24.20 The disposition of this petition rests on the resolution of the following questions: 1) Is the petitioner a regular employee of the respondent? 2) If so. was he illegally dismissed from employment? and 3) Is he entitled to his monetary claims? Petitioner insists that he was a regular employee of the respondent corporation. he was never an employee. IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE ON WHICH IT WAS BASED. the CA concluded that there was no employer-employee relationship. counters that it did not hire the petitioner. on the other hand. 2000. AND NOT IN CONSONANCE WITH THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD. the respondent was not required to absorb such employees because employment contracts are in personam and binding only between the parties. as well as the Resolution dated September 9. much less a regular one. given the reality that the CA’s findings are at odds with those of the NLRC. petitioner’s claim of employment could not be sustained. hence.19 Petitioner now comes before this Court raising the sole issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE DECISION OF [THE] COURT OF APPEALS DATED AUGUST 27. they rationalized that since the respondent was not obliged to absorb all the employees of the former owner. V-000882-99. The NLRC.17 The appellate court further held that while the respondent’s business required the performance of occasional repairs and carpentry work. SO ORDERED. They based their conclusion on the alleged admission of the petitioner that he was previously hired by the former owner of the hacienda. Respondent. The CA stressed that petitioner having raised a positive averment.
22 Thus. respondent categorically denied that it hired the petitioner. qualified such admission by claiming that it was PPLC that hired the petitioner and that the nature of his employment therein was that of a "project" and not "regular" employee.A thorough examination of the records compels this Court to reach a conclusion different from that of the CA.25 PPLC and the herein respondent. departing from its initial stand that it never hired petitioner. however. a denial pregnant with the admission of the substantial facts in the pleadings responded to which are not squarely denied. their employment was definitely "temporary" in character and not regular employment. and 2) the completion or termination of such project or undertaking has been determined at the time of engagement of the employee. Acosta24 had pierced the veil of corporate fiction and declared that the two corporations. By setting forth these defenses. he likewise alleged having been hired by the respondent as a carpenter in 1995 and having worked as such for two years until 1997. It. Such an allegation is in the nature of a negative pregnant. respondent made this admission: Private respondent [petitioner herein] cannot be considered a regular employee since the nature of his work is merely project in character in relation to the construction of the facilities of the Pamplona Plantation Leisure Corporation. are one and the same. at the outset. however. Article 280 of the Labor Code. respondent.26 The employment relationship having been established. albeit in a different capacity. Tinghil23 and Pamplona Plantation Company v. v. Yet. Inc. x x x. in its petition filed before the CA. Their employment was deemed terminated by operation of law the moment they had finished the job or activity under which they were employed. the respondent eventually admitted the existence of employer-employee relationship before the CA. the next question we must answer is: Is the petitioner a regular or project employee? We find the petitioner to be a regular employee. He is a project employee as he was hired – 1) for a specific project or undertaking. in effect. and amounts to an acknowledgment that petitioner was indeed employed by respondent. It is true that petitioner admitted having been employed by the former owner prior to 1993 or before the respondent took over the ownership and management of the plantation. Notably. as amended. this Court in Pamplona Plantation Company. Parenthetically. as regards those workers who worked in 1995 specifically in connection with the construction of the facilities of Pamplona Plantation Leisure Corporation. xxxx In other words. admitted that petitioner worked for it. provides: .
whether continuous or broken. Owing to his length of service.27 Simply stated. His services were needed for a period of two years until such time that the respondent decided not to give him work assignment anymore. an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. but merely as a project employee whose services were hired only with respect to a specific job and only while that specific job existed. The former refers to those employees who perform a particular activity which is necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. whether such service is continuous or broken. the law deems the repeated and continuing need for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity.The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties. and regular employees by years of service. shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such activity exists. petitioner became a regular employee. except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking. separate and identifiable from the usual or regular undertakings of the company. while the latter refers to those employees who have been performing the job. with respect to the activity in which they are employed. of that activity to the business. 280. etc. inns. the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. and (2) those who have rendered at least one year of service. is whether or not the employees were assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking.ART. any employee who has rendered at least one year of service. regular employees are classified into: regular employees by nature of work. even assuming that petitioner can be considered an employee. on the other hand. Petitioner. A project employee is assigned to a project which begins and ends at determined or determinable times. A project is a job or undertaking which is distinct. there are two kinds of regular employees. he cannot be classified as a regular employee. namely: (1) those who are engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. Respondent argues that.29 Respondent is engaged in the management of the Pamplona Plantation as well as in the operation of tourist resorts. restaurants. . hotels. An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceding paragraph: Provided. even if the performance is not continuous or merely intermittent. by operation of law. A project employee is assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking the duration and scope of which are specified at the time the employee is engaged in the project.28 If the employee has been performing the job for at least one year. for at least a year. REGULAR AND CASUAL EMPLOYMENT. That.30 The principal test used to determine whether employees are project employees as distinguished from regular employees. As can be gleaned from this provision. the duration or scope of which was specified at the time the employees . was engaged to perform carpentry work. regardless of their length of service. if not indispensability. regardless of the nature thereof.
including the length of time of its performance and its continued existence..34 28335 and 28436 of the Labor Code. 20) requires employers to submit a report of an employee’s termination to the nearest public employment office every time the employment is terminated due to a completion of a project. the burden is on the employer to prove that the dismissal was legal. in accordance with the guidelines outlined by this Court in Agabon v. Given the attendant circumstances in the case at bar.38 we declare that petitioner’s dismissal from employment is illegal. Section 2 (d) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. Most important of all. petitioner became a regular employee by operation of law. Apart from the requirement that the dismissal of an employee be based on any of the just or authorized causes. as amended.33 As to the question of whether petitioner was illegally dismissed. It is the character of the activities performed by the employer in relation to the particular trade or business of the employer. the requirement of substantive due process was not complied with. Respondent’s failure to file termination reports. was an indication that the petitioner was not a project but a regular employee. we answer in the affirmative. After working for the respondent for a period of two years. to which the worker oftentimes acquiesces.32 We stress herein that the law overrides such conditions which are prejudicial to the interest of the worker whose weak bargaining position necessitates the succor of the State. What determines whether a certain employment is regular or otherwise is not the will or word of the employer. based on the records.37 Failure to observe the rules is a violation of the employee’s right to procedural due process. the procedure laid down in Book VI. after notice and hearing. Rule I. Neither was it established that he was informed of the duration and scope of such project or undertaking at the time of his engagement. i. taking into account all the circumstances. apart from respondent’s bare allegation that petitioner was a project employee. In view of the non-observance of both substantive and procedural due process. particularly on the cessation of petitioner’s employment. National Labor Relations Commission. Neither is it the procedure of hiring the employee nor the manner of paying the salary or the actual time spent at work. respondent did not report the termination of petitioner’s supposed project employment to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Department Order No. petitioner’s dismissal was not based on any of the just or authorized causes enumerated under Articles 282.31 In this case.39 . 19 (as well as the old Policy Instructions No. In cases involving an employee’s dismissal. This burden was not amply discharged by the respondent in this case. Hence. Obviously. petitioner was shocked to find out that he was not given any work assignment anymore. it is obvious that one year after he was employed by the respondent. it had not shown that petitioner was informed that he would be assigned to a specific project or undertaking.were engaged for that project. must be followed.e. Well-established is the rule that regular employees enjoy security of tenure and they can only be dismissed for just cause and with due process.
Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. On petitioner’s entitlement to attorney’s fees. SP No. is ENTITLED to: 1) Salary Differential embodied in the NLRC decision dated October 24. the Court finds that he is entitled to attorney’s fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the monetary award. On these bases. No. and we find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the labor tribunal. V-000882-99. SO ORDERED. we now discuss the propriety of the monetary claims of the petitioner. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 27. we must take into account the fact that petitioner was illegally dismissed from his employment and that his wages and other benefits were withheld from him without any valid and legal basis. Petitioner is found to have been illegally dismissed from employment and thus. 2000 . Upon finality of this judgment. An illegally dismissed employee is entitled to: (1) either reinstatement.Having shown that petitioner is a regular employee and that his dismissal was illegal.R. 2000 in NLRC Case No. 74892 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. reckoned from his first day of employment up to finality of this decision. and our adoption of the NLRC’s findings. In light of our foregoing disquisition on the illegality of petitioner’s dismissal.R. he was compelled to file an action for the recovery of his lawful wages and other benefits and.40 In the instant case. in the process. Moreover. let the records of the case be remanded to the NLRC for the computation of the exact amounts due the petitioner. premises considered. 2) Separation Pay. or one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service.42 Lastly. incurred expenses. the protracted litigation may have seriously abraded the relationship of the parties so as to render reinstatement impractical. petitioner may be awarded separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. if viable.41 Petitioner’s separation pay is pegged at the amount equivalent to petitioner’s one (1) month pay. whichever is higher. 2003 and its Resolution dated November 11. Full backwages. we are prepared to concede the impossibility of the reinstatement of petitioner considering that his position or any equivalent position may no longer be available in view of the length of time that this case has been pending. suffice it to state that such issue is a question of fact. 2003 in CA-G. As a consequence. WHEREFORE. we affirm the NLRC’s award of salary differential. or separation pay if reinstatement is no longer viable. and 4) Attorney’s fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the monetary awards. 100518 January 24. the petition is GRANTED. 3) Backwages. should be computed from the date of his illegal dismissal until the finality of this decision. on the other hand. Accordingly. and (2) backwages.
petitioners. the Secretary of Labor and Employment reversed the Med-Arbiter's decision and ordered the immediate holding of a certification election. On appeal. Shortly thereafter. 2AIPD-C-10 Second Agusan Irrigation Project of NIA wherein some of the herein complainants were assigned was already 98% completed when complaints were filed. Julito Macabodbod (trailer helper).. Respondent company explained the circumstances surrounding the separation of the workers from the service as follows: (1) The Contract No. COMMISSIONERS OSCAR N. Meanwhile. Victorio Lunzaga (tanker driver). Pedro Roche (head welder). Lordito Tatad (painter helper). and Justiniano Sollano (carpenter).ASSOCIATION OF TRADE UNIONS (ATU). Remsy2 Asensi (machinist). respondent company terminated the employment of aforementioned workers owing to the completion of its projects or the expiration of workers' contracts. Respondent company opposed the petition on the ground that the workers were project employees and therefore not qualified to form part of the rank and file collective bargaining unit.: This special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assails the resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission promulgated on May 17. J. Roland Olivar (latheman). respondents. MUSIB N. ALGON ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION CORP. ALEX GONZALES and EDITHA YAP. QUISUMBING. LEON GONZAGA JR. From 1968 to 1989. the Med-Arbiter dismissed the petition for certification election. Valeriano Mijas4 (driver). Armand Acero (helper mechanic). . Not for long. the above-named workers joined petitioner union as members.1âwphi1. Respondent company is a domestic corporation engaged in road construction projects of the government. As said demand was unheeded. RODOLFO MONTECLARO and EDGAR JUESAN. Alfredo Jalet (batteryman). Gemudo3 Asejo (electrician). Teodoro Tabio (checker). the national president of petitioner union sent a demand letter to respondent company seeking the payment of wage differentials to some affected union members. Ramon Tabada (carpenter). it engaged the services of the following workers to work on various projects on different dates: Rodolfo Monteclaro (mechanic). Jose Noval (welder). petitioner union filed a petition for certification election with the regional office of the labor department. Felimon Lagbao (mechanic). the duration of their employment and their daily wage. petitioner union and the concerned workers filed a complaint for payment of wage differentials and other benefits before the Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment.nêt In February 1989. ABELLA. Their contracts indicate the particular project they are assigned. Accordingly.. 1991. HON. Edgar Juesan1 (painter). Rogelio Tantuan (painter). which modified the decision of the labor arbiter. vs. BUAT.
With the near completion of the contract, services of the following complainants were no longer needed: (a) Gerundio Asejo (b) Victorio Lunzaga (c) Ramon R. Tabada (d) Alfredo E. Julet (sic) (e) Julito C. Macabodbod (2) In the case of Contract No. 2AIPD-C-11-second Agusan Irrigation Project of NIA, the following complainants were terminated because of the 95% completion of the phase of the project and expiration of their contract of employment: (a) Remsy B. Asensi (b) Rolando G. Olivar (c) Edgar A. Juezan (d) Rodolfo G. Monteclaro (e) Valeriano S. Meyas (sic) (f) Jose F. Noval (g) Pedro M. Roche (3) In Contract Package R11 1/209, Davao del Norte, the contracts of employment of Armand T. Acero and Felimon J. Dagbao (sic) Jr. expired. (4) In the Widening and Improvement of Rafael Castillo St., Davao City Project, where complainant Teodoro Tabio was assigned, he was terminated because he went on absent without leave (AWOL) while Lordito Tatad's contract of employment expired.5 However, the affected workers claim that they were dismissed because of their union activities. In view of the alleged illegal dismissals and harassment by their employer, the workers staged a strike on May 17, 1989. Upon complaint of respondent company, Labor Arbiter Newton Sancho declared said strike illegal and decreed further that Victorio Lunzaga, Alfred Jalet, Julito Macabodbod, Ramon Tabada and Remsy Asensi, who had participated in the strike, were deemed to have lost their employment status.
On appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission affirmed said decision. Petitioner union then elevated the matter to this Court by way of petition for certiorari which was eventually dismissed.6 Meanwhile, the aggrieved workers filed with the Regional Arbitration Branch of the NLRC their individual complaints against private respondent company for illegal dismissal, unfair labor practice, underpayment of wages, 13th month pay, holiday pay and overtime pay. They also sought reinstatement with back wages. The cases were consolidated and assigned to Labor Arbiter Nicolas Sayon for arbitration. However, noting that a similar case had been filed before the regional office of the labor department, the labor arbiter refrained from resolving the issue of underpayment of monetary benefits. He also found the charge of unfair labor practice untenable. But, on the charge of illegal dismissal, he ruled on October 31, 1989, as follows: WHEREFORE in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered declaring the dismissal of the following complainants illegal; namely: 1. Victorio C. Lunzaga 2. Julito C. Macabodbod 3. Alfredo E. Jalet 4. Gerundio F. Asejo 5. Ramon R. Tabada
Respondent ALGON Engineering Construction Corporation and Alex Gonzales and Edith Yap, are hereby ordered to reinstate the above-named complainants to their former positions without loss of seniority rights plus six months backwages based on their latest salary rate at the time of their dismissal, which is P65.00 per day equivalent to monthly rate of P1,700.83, a total of P10,204.99 per complainant or in the total amount of P51,024.95. The case of illegal dismissal filed by Armand Acero, Lordito Tatad, Teodoro Tabio, Ramon Olivar, Valeriano Miyas, Jose Noval, Felimon Lagbao, Pedro Roche, Remsy Asensi, Rodolfo Monteclaro, Edgar Juesan and Justiniano Sollano are hereby ordered dismissed for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.7 Petitioners and private respondents separately appealed the Labor Arbiter's ruling to the National Labor Relations Commission. Pending appeal, Edgar Juesan, Lordito Tatad and Ramon Tabada filed their respective duly sworn affidavits of desistance and motions to withdraw their complaints and money claims against private respondents. Said motions were seasonably granted.
On May 17, 1991, the NLRC promulgated its resolution modifying the decision of Labor Arbiter Nicolas Sayon. It held that the labor arbiter erred in not resolving the issue of underpayment of wages because not all of the original complainants filed the same money claims with the labor department.8 Thus, it awarded monetary benefits to qualified workers. The NLRC disposed of the case as follows: Accordingly, the appealed decision is hereby modified as follows: 1. Respondent ALGON Engineering Construction Corporation is hereby ordered to pay the complainants hereinafter enumerated, the following sums: WAGE DIFFERENTIALS: 2. The complaints of Edgar Juezon (sic), Lordito Tadtad and Ramon Tabada are hereby dismissed as prayed for by said complainants. 3. The complainants for illegal dismissal filed by Victorio Lunzaga (Lonzaga) and Alfredo Jalet (Jalit) are hereby dismissed for having been rendered moot and academic by Our decision in Case No. RAB-11-05-00352-89. 4. The complaints of Macabodbod and Asejo for illegal dismissal are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. 5. The charge of unfair labor practice is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.9 As noted by the Solicitor General, private respondents filed their motion for reconsideration, which was denied.10 We find, however, that herein petitioners did not move for reconsideration, as the petition did not so indicate and none appears on the records before us. Filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 without first moving for reconsideration of the assailed resolution generally warrants the petition's outright dismissal. As we consistently held in numerous cases,11 a motion for reconsideration by a concerned party is indispensable for it affords the NLRC an opportunity to rectify errors or mistakes it might have committed before resort to the courts can be had. It is settled that certiorari will lie only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against acts of public respondents.12 Here, the plain and adequate remedy expressly provided by law was a motion for reconsideration of the impugned resolution, based on palpable or patent errors, to be made under oath and filed within ten (10) days from receipt of the questioned resolution of the NLRC, a procedure which is jurisdictional.13 Further, it should be stressed that without a motion for reconsideration seasonably filed within the ten-day reglementary period, the questioned order, resolution or decision of NLRC, becomes final and executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt
thereof. we find no cogent reason sufficient to justify a departure from public respondent's decision. an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which . having the power to determine the case."16 and not merely reversible error. this petition must fail. [III] THE HONORABLE COMMISSION SERIOUSLY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE LABOR ARBITER DISMISSING PETITIONER'S CHARGE OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE AGAINST THE RESPONDENT CORPORATION. RAB-05-00353-89. petitioners impute the following errors on the part of public respondent: [I] THAT THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE DISMISSAL OF FIVE COMPLAINANTS WERE JUSTIFIED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THEIR COMPLAINT HAVE BEEN RENDERED MOOT AND ACADEMIC BY ITS DECISION IN CASE NO. the point of inquiry here is whether petitioners are regular or project employees of respondent company. Nevertheless. as hereafter elucidated. whimsical. we assayed into the merits of the case. are the proper grounds for review. arbitrary or despotic manner. if only to cast aside all doubts for the benefit of the concerned workers. [II] THAT HONORABLE COMMISSION AGAIN ERRED IN DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT OF THE COMPLAINANTS MACABODBOD AND ASEJO FOR LACK OF MERIT. 280.17 Here. it may be noted that "want of jurisdiction" and "grave abuse of discretion.14 Moreover. even if procedural lapses were to be set aside. — The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties. oversteps his lawful authority. Regular and Casual Employment. petitioners neither assail the jurisdiction of public respondent nor attribute any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the labor tribunal. project and casual employees as follows: Art. There is excess of jurisdiction if the respondent. The respondent acts without jurisdiction if he does not have the legal authority to decide a case. in effect equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. [IV] QUESTION OF LAW.15 In petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The Labor Code defines regular. In this recourse. As properly stated by the Solicitor General. for lack of substantial requisites under Rule 65. Necessarily. And there is grave abuse of discretion where the respondent acts in a capricious.
20. any employee who has rendered at least one year of service. Besides. And employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceding paragraph: Provided. Project employees are not entitled to termination pay if they are terminated as a result of the completion of the project or any phase thereof in which they are employed. (Emphasis supplied.18 In contrast. the contracts of employment of the petitioners attest to the fact that they had been hired for specific projects. or where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. regular employees are those who have been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer even if the parties enter into an agreement stating otherwise.20 which was in force during the period of petitioners' employment. shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such activity exists. That. the company is not required to obtain clearance from the Secretary of Labor in connection with such termination. 20. What is required of the company is report to the nearest Public Employment Office for statistical purposes. and their employment was coterminous with the completion of the project for which they had been hired. except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. Said contracts expressly provide that the workers' tenure of employment would depend on the duration of any phase of the project or the completion of the awarded government construction projects in any of their planned phases. In the case at bar. Nonproject (regular) employees are those employed by a construction company without reference to any particular project. stated: Project employees are those employed in connection with a particular construction project. project employees are those whose employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee.are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. whether such service is continuous or broken. Moreover. Policy Instruction No. This compliance with the reportorial requirement confirms that petitioners were project employees. Further. public respondent noted that respondent company regularly submitted reports of termination of services of project workers to the regional office of the labor department as required under Policy Instruction No. regardless of the number of projects in which they have been employed by a particular construction company.) Thus.19 Furthermore. petitioners were informed in advance that said project or undertaking for which they were hired would end on a stated or determinable date. .
vs. SP No. and the assailed RESOLUTION of respondent NLRC dated May 17. and JOSEPHINE LERASAN. VII-10-1661-2001) which likewise affirmed.nêt No pronouncement as to costs.. The CA affirmed the Decision2 and Resolution3 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC Case No.: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. with modification. whose nature of employment they were fully informed about. whose operations revolve around . SR. Merlou Gerzon. The termination of their employment could not be regarded as illegal dismissal. MARLYN NAZARENO. petitioner. concur. at the time of their engagement. Bellosillo. JENNIFER DEIPARINE. is AFFIRMED. J.R. respondents. WHEREFORE. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. their employment legally ended upon completion of said project.. JJ.1âwphi1. related to a specific project. the decision of the Labor Arbiter declaring the respondents Marlyn Nazareno. No. 2006 ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION. Buena and De Leon. 76582 and the Resolution denying the motion for reconsideration thereof.. 1991. V-000762-2001 (RAB Case No. DECISION CALLEJO. SO ORDERED. MERLOU GERZON. The Antecedents Petitioner ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation (ABS-CBN) is engaged in the broadcasting business and owns a network of television and radio stations. work or undertaking. Jr.Considering that petitioners were project employees.R. the instant petition is DISMISSED. Jennifer Deiparine and Josephine Lerasan as regular employees. Mendoza. 164156 September 26.
.5 The PAs were under the control and supervision of Assistant Station Manager Dante J. arrange airing of commercial broadcasting based on the daily operations log and digicart of respondent ABS-CBN.-6:00 P. Gerzon. including Sundays and holidays.-8:00 A. e) Assist. It sells and deals in or otherwise utilizes the airtime it generates from its radio and television operations. It has a franchise as a broadcasting company. of Hours 1.M. 9 hrs.-12:00 noon 2.M. anchor program interview. and f) Record.M.-10:00 P. Jennifer Deiparine 4:30 A.M.M. They were assigned at the news and public affairs.M. 7 ½ 8:00 A.M.4 Their respective working hours were as follows: Name Time No. d) Facilitate. etc. for various radio programs in the Cebu Broadcasting Station. with a monthly compensation of P4. prepare and arrange airtime schedule for public service announcement and complaints.the broadcast.M.(Sunday) 9 hrs. Petitioner employed respondents Nazareno. They were issued ABS-CBN employees’ identification cards and were required to work for a minimum of eight hours a day. and was likewise issued a license and authority to operate by the National Telecommunications Commission. Merlou Gerzon 9:00 A. Marlene Nazareno 4:30 A. (WF) 9 hrs. Joy Sanchez 1:00 P. 9:00 A. transmission. 4. Deiparine. arrange personalities for air interviews.M.-12:00M. b) Coordinate. log clerical reports. They were made to perform the following tasks and duties: a) Prepare.-6:00 P. man based control radio. Luzon. and relay of telecommunication signals.N.000. and Lerasan as production assistants (PAs) on different dates. prepare schedule of reporters for scheduled news reporting and lead-in or incoming reports. (sic) 7 ½ 3. c) Coordinate.M. and News Manager Leo Lastimosa.
Respondents received a copy of the Order on May 16. On October 12. and 13th Month Pay with Damages against the petitioner before the NLRC. From 8:00 A. Upon respondents’ failure to file their position papers within the reglementary period. – 10:00 P. – Marlene Nazareno. – 12:00 MN – Jennifer Deiparine Sunday 5:00 A.M. Holiday Pay. Labor Arbiter Jose G. The Labor Arbiter directed the parties to submit their respective position papers. Miss Nazareno will then be assigned at the Research Dept.8 The Labor Arbiter granted this motion in an Order dated June 18. an Earnest Motion to Refile Complaint with Motion to Admit Position Paper and Motion to Submit Case For Resolution. dismissing the complaint without prejudice for lack of interest to pursue the case.M. . they would be assigned to non-drama programs. petitioner.M. 2000. through Dante Luzon. to 12:00 4:30 P. Thus. petitioner and the ABS-CBN Rank-and-File Employees executed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to be effective during the period from December 11. However. – Jennifer Deiparine 1:00 P. Sick Leave Pay. – 1:00 P. 1996 to December 11. 1999. – Joy Sanchez Respondent Gerzon was assigned as the full-time PA of the TV News Department reporting directly to Leo Lastimosa. 2001. 2001. since petitioner refused to recognize PAs as part of the bargaining unit. – 8:00 A.M. 2001.M. issued a Memorandum informing the PAs that effective August 1. 2001.M.6 On July 20.7 Instead of re-filing their complaint with the NLRC within 10 days from May 16. Underpayment of Overtime Pay. Service Incentive Pay. and that the DYAB studio operations would be handled by the studio technician. Respondents made the following allegations: 1. on June 11. 2000. 2001.M. respondents filed a Complaint for Recognition of Regular Employment Status. 2000. respondents were not included to the CBA.00) pesos beginning 1995 up until the filing of this complaint on November 20.000. they filed. 2000.On December 19. their revised schedule and other assignments would be as follows: Monday – Saturday 4:30 A. and forthwith admitted the position paper of the complainants. Premium Pay. Complainants were engaged by respondent ABS-CBN as regular and full-time employees for a continuous period of more than five (5) years with a monthly salary rate of Four Thousand (P4.M. 1996. Gutierrez issued an Order dated April 30.
1995 Length of service: 5 years & nine (9) months II. Jennifer Deiparine: Exhibit "A" . .00 Date employed: September 1. Exhibit "B-1" & 1999 to July 2000 at P4. Merlou Gerzon .ABS-CBN Employee’s Identification Card Exhibit "E" .00 Exhibit "B-2" Date employed: September 15. 1996 Length of service: 5 years and one (1) month .Machine copies of complainants’ ABS-CBN Employee’s Identification Card and salary vouchers are hereto attached as follows. Marlene Nazareno Exhibit "E" .ABS-CBN Salary Voucher from Nov.ABS-CBN Employee’s Identification Card Exhibit "C" Exhibit "D" Exhibit "D-1" & Exhibit "D-2" .ABS-CBN Employee’s Identification Card Exhibit "B".ABS-CBN Salary Voucher from March 1999 to January 2001 at P4.000. Exhibit "E-1" & 1999 to December 2000 Exhibit :E-2" Date employed: April 17.000. thus: I.ABS-CBN Salary Voucher from Nov. 1995 Length of service: 5 years & 10 months III.
One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. 3.Certification dated July 6. thus: WHEREFORE. . Holiday pay.IV. Exhibit "F-2" & 2000 to Jan.ABS-CBN Employee’s Identification Card Exhibit "F-1" . this Honorable Arbiter is most respectfully prayed.000. Sick leave. and one (1) month9 Respondents insisted that they belonged to a "work pool" from which petitioner chose persons to be given specific assignments at its discretion. premises considered. 4. 2000 Acknowledging regular status of Complainant Joy Sanchez Lerasan Signed by ABS-CBN Administrative Officer May Kima Hife Date employed: April 15. and were thus under its direct supervision and control regardless of nomenclature. 7. Joy Sanchez Lerasan Exhibit "F" . They prayed that judgment be rendered in their favor. 5.00) each and by way of moral damages. 1998 Length of service: 3 yrs. to issue an order compelling defendants to pay complainants the following: 1. 2001 Exhibit "F-3" Exhibit "F-4" . Thirteenth month pay differential.ABS-CBN Salary Voucher from Aug. 2. Minimum wage differential. Premium pay. Unpaid service incentive leave benefits. 6.
Night shift differential. Complainants pray for such other reliefs as are just and equitable under the premises. generally. Overtime pay. 9. they perform leg work for the anchors during a program or a particular production. and are thus made the basis to determine the programs to which they shall later be called on to assist. Complainant Deiparine assists in the programs: 1) Unzanith 2) Serbisyo de Arevalo 3) Arangkada (evening edition) 4) Balitang K (local version) 5) Abante Subu 6) Pangutana Lang . as distinguished from regular or station employees.8. petitioner alleged in its position paper that the respondents were PAs who basically assist in the conduct of a particular program ran by an anchor or talent. Complainant Nazareno assists in the programs: 1) Nagbagang Balita (early morning edition) 2) Infor Hayupan 3) Arangkada (morning edition) 4) Nagbagang Balita (mid-day edition) b. the complainants were issued talent information sheets which are updated from time to time. They are considered in the industry as "program employees" in that.10 For its part. The program assignments of complainants were as follows: a. Among their duties include monitoring and receiving incoming calls from listeners and field reporters and calls of news sources. they are basically engaged by the station for a particular or specific program broadcasted by the radio station. Petitioner asserted that as PAs. Complainants further pray of this Arbiter to declare them regular and permanent employees of respondent ABS-CBN as a condition precedent for their admission into the existing union and collective bargaining unit of respondent company where they may as such acquire or otherwise perform their obligations thereto or enjoy the benefits due therefrom.
As program employees. a PA may also be assigned to new .c. such as drama talents in other productions. reporters. anchors and talents occasionally "sideline" for other programs they produce. and may be extended/renewed provided that the program is on-going. Complainant Gerzon assists in the program: 1) On Mondays and Tuesdays: (a) Unzanith (b) Serbisyo de Arevalo (c) Arangkada (evening edition) (d) Balitang K (local version) (e) Abante Sugbu (f) Pangutana Lang 2) On Thursdays Nagbagang Balita 3) On Saturdays (a) Nagbagang Balita (b) Info Hayupan (c) Arangkada (morning edition) (d) Nagbagang Balita (mid-day edition) 4) On Sundays: (a) Siesta Serenata (b) Sunday Chismisan (c) Timbangan sa Hustisya (d) Sayri ang Lungsod (e) Haranahan11 Petitioner maintained that PAs. a PA’s engagement is coterminous with the completion of the program.
12 Petitioner also alleged that the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction to involve the CBA and interpret the same. On July 30. respondents were paid all salaries and benefits due them under the law. Rule V.Marlyn Nazareno 12.programs upon the cancellation of one program and the commencement of another. 2001.100. while respondents filed a partial appeal. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.00). and declared that they were regular employees of petitioner. 2001. As such program employees. especially since respondents were not covered by the bargaining unit. petitioner claimed. of the NLRC Rules of Procedure. Petitioner forthwith appealed the decision to the NLRC. as the same was within the jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator as provided in Article 261 of the Labor Code.Jennifer Deiparine 12. as such. Respondent Nazareno received her copy on August 27. 2001.13 However. the foregoing premises considered. At any rate. a fixed amount for performance services irrespective of the time consumed.Josephine Sanchez Lerazan 12. their compensation is computed on a program basis. The fallo of the decision reads: WHEREFORE.025. SO ORDERED. Sy is absolved from any liability. while the other respondents received theirs on September 8. conformably with Section 5. For its part.025. Gerzon P12.00 II . the Labor Arbiter rendered judgment in favor of the respondents. judgment is hereby rendered declaring the complainants regular employees of the respondent ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and directing the same respondent to pay complainants as follows: I .00 _________ P48.00 plus ten (10%) percent Attorney’s Fees or a TOTAL aggregate amount of PESOS: FIFTY TWO THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED TEN (P52. Respondent Veneranda C. .00 III . the Labor Arbiter did not award money benefits as provided in the CBA on his belief that he had no jurisdiction to interpret and apply the agreement. Respondents signed and filed their Appeal Memorandum on September 18.025.00 IV .Merlou A. Respondents’ counsel received a copy of the decision on August 29.910. 2001. they were awarded monetary benefits. which the Labor Arbiter denied and considered as an appeal.025. as the payroll will show. 2001.
716.75 Total . 2002. That the Labor Arbiter erred when he ruled that complainants are entitled to attorney’s fees.948. petitioner alleged the following: 1. the NLRC rendered judgment modifying the decision of the Labor Arbiter. premises considered. Marlyn . Merlou .In its appeal. Josephine Sanchez . Gerzon.716.948.561. Merlou . That the Labor Arbiter erred in depriving the respondent of its Constitutional right to due process of law. service incentive leave pay and salary differential.113. broken down as follows: a.607. 2. Gerzon. That the Labor Arbiter erred in denying respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration on an interlocutory order on the ground that the same is a prohibited pleading. 5.49 b. That the Labor Arbiter erred when he ruled that the complainants are regular employees of the respondent.413. the decision of Labor Arbiter Jose G. Sixty-One Thousand Nine Hundred Forty-Eight Pesos and 22/100 (P2. Jennifer . To pay complainants of their wage differentials and other benefits arising from the CBA as of 30 September 2002 in the aggregate amount of Two Million Five Hundred. Jennifer .113.113.49 c.14 On November 14. The fallo of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. Nazareno.49 d. and 6.60 Sacks b.P 716. broken down as follows: a.561. Deiparine. That the Labor Arbiter erred when he ruled that the complainants are entitled to 13th month pay. To deliver to the complainants Two Hundred Thirty-Three (233) sacks of rice as of 30 September 2002 representing their rice subsidy in the CBA.60 Sacks . as follows: 1. That the Labor Arbiter erred in reviving or re-opening this case which had long been dismissed without prejudice for more than thirty (30) calendar days. Lerazan.22). Gutierrez dated 30 July 2001 is SET ASIDE and VACATED and a new one is entered ORDERING respondent ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation.P 2. 4.22 2. Deiparine. 3.
(c) whether respondents were regular employees. The validity of respondents’ claim does not depend upon the interpretation of the CBA.53 Sacks Total 233 Sacks. the CA declared that respondents’ failure to submit their position paper on time is not a ground to strike out the paper from the records. National Labor Relations Commission. .16 Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. To grant to the complainants all the benefits of the CBA after 30 September 2002. as follows: (a) whether the NLRC acted without jurisdiction in admitting the appeal of respondents. Lerazan. The NLRC also ruled that the Labor Arbiter had jurisdiction over the complaint of respondents because they acted in their individual capacities and not as members of the union. Moreover. and 3. (b) whether the NLRC committed palpable error in scrutinizing the reopening and revival of the complaint of respondents with the Labor Arbiter upon due notice despite the lapse of 10 days from their receipt of the July 30. 2004. 2001 Order of the Labor Arbiter. The NLRC cited the ruling of this Court in New Pacific Timber & Supply Company v. SO ORDERED. the NLRC nevertheless granted and computed respondents’ monetary benefits based on the 1999 CBA. Marlyn . It held that the perfection of an appeal shall be upon the expiration of the last day to appeal by all parties. Although respondents were not parties to the CBA between petitioner and the ABS-CBN Rank-and-File Employees Union. much less dismiss a complaint. 2001). which was effective until September 2002. which the NLRC denied. should there be several parties to a case. raising both procedural and substantive issues. the CA rendered judgment dismissing the petition. and (e) whether the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it awarded monetary benefits to respondents under the CBA although they are not members of the appropriate bargaining unit. Their claim for monetary benefits was within the context of Article 217(6) of the Labor Code. On February 10.c. Josephine Sanchez . they had until September 18. The NLRC ruled that respondents were entitled to the benefits under the CBA because they were regular employees who contributed to the profits of petitioner through their labor.60 Sacks d. Nazareno. 2001 (except respondent Nazareno who received her copy of the decision on August 27. 2001 within which to file their Appeal Memorandum.15 The NLRC declared that the Labor Arbiter acted conformably with the Labor Code when it granted respondents’ motion to refile the complaint and admit their position paper. Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the CA. Since respondents received their copies of the decision on September 8. (d) whether the NLRC acted without jurisdiction in entertaining and resolving the claim of the respondents under the CBA instead of referring the same to the Voluntary Arbitrators as provided in the CBA.
2. the CA denied the same in a Resolution17 dated June 16. on the other hand. the award of benefits accorded to rank-and-file employees under the 1996-1999 CBA is a necessary consequence of the NLRC ruling that respondents. Respondents. are regular employees. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE RULING OF THE NLRC AWARDING CBA BENEFITS TO RESPONDENTS. notice to counsel is notice to party and not the other way around. they maintain that this is not a ground to strike it out from the records or dismiss the complaint. it may still be given due course in the interest of substantial justice as an exception to the general rule that the negligence of a counsel binds the client. Petitioner thus filed the instant petition for review on certiorari and raises the following assignments of error: 1. but regular employees who perform tasks necessary and desirable in the usual trade and business of petitioner and not just its project employees. as PAs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ACTED WITHOUT JURISDICTION AND GRAVELY ERRED IN UPHOLDING THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION NOTWITHSTANDING THE PATENT NULLITY OF THE LATTER’S DECISION AND RESOLUTION. Moreover. the appellate court stated that respondents are not mere project employees. such order of dismissal had already attained finality and can no longer be set aside. Finding no merit in petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. 2004. the CA added. They assert that although the appeal was filed 10 days late. Petitioner asserts that the appellate court committed palpable and serious error of law when it affirmed the rulings of the NLRC. 3. On the issue of the late filing of their position paper.Anent the substantive issues. Finally. that is. not from the time the party learns of the decision. Rule V of the NLRC Rules. . Petitioner likewise maintains that the 10-day period to appeal must be reckoned from receipt of a party’s counsel. We find no merit in the petition. allege that their late appeal is a non-issue because it was petitioner’s own timely appeal that empowered the NLRC to reopen the case. and entertained respondents’ appeal from the decision of the Labor Arbiter despite the admitted lapse of the reglementary period within which to perfect the same. petitioner argues that the reopening of a complaint which the Labor Arbiter has dismissed without prejudice is a clear violation of Section 1. the Court shall resolve them simultaneously. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE RULING OF THE NLRC FINDING RESPONDENTS REGULAR EMPLOYEES.18 Considering that the assignments of error are interrelated.
there is simply no truth to petitioner’s assertion that it was denied due process when the Labor Arbiter admitted respondents’ position paper without requiring it to file a comment before admitting said position paper. but also jurisdictional. Case law is that the party who failed to appeal from the decision of the Labor Arbiter to the NLRC can still participate in a separate appeal timely filed by the adverse party as the situation is considered to be of greater benefit to both parties. much less entertain the appeal. In fact. without technicalities of law or procedure.27 Petitioner had the right to file a motion for reconsideration of the Labor Arbiter’s admission of respondents’ position paper. much less for dismissing a complaint. Obviously. and since petitioner had filed a timely appeal. this Court has time and again ruled that in exceptional cases. the NLRC did not commit a grave abuse of its discretion in giving Article 22321 of the Labor Code a liberal application to prevent the miscarriage of justice.25 Indeed.28 We quote with approval the following pronouncement of the NLRC: . and even file a Reply thereto. respondents’ failure to submit a position paper on time is not a ground for striking out the paper from the records. all in the interest of due process.24 We find no merit in petitioner’s contention that the Labor Arbiter abused his discretion when he admitted respondents’ position paper which had been belatedly filed. Technicality should not be allowed to stand in the way of equitably and completely resolving the rights and obligations of the parties. as stressed by the appellate court. However.19 The Court resorted to this extraordinary measure even at the expense of sacrificing order and efficiency if only to serve the greater principles of substantial justice and equity. 2001. the NLRC acquired jurisdiction over the case to give due course to its appeal and render the decision of November 14.22 We have held in a catena of cases that technical rules are not binding in labor cases and are not to be applied strictly if the result would be detrimental to the workingman. failure to do so renders the assailed decision final and executory and deprives the appellate court or body of the legal authority to alter the final judgment.We agree with petitioner’s contention that the perfection of an appeal within the statutory or reglementary period is not only mandatory. a belated appeal may be given due course if greater injustice may occur if an appeal is not given due course than if the reglementary period to appeal were strictly followed. 2002.20 In the case at bar. petitioner filed its position paper on April 2. respondents failed to perfect their appeal from the decision of the Labor Arbiter within the reglementary period therefor. It must be stressed that Article 280 of the Labor Code was encoded in our statute books to hinder the circumvention by unscrupulous employers of the employees’ right to security of tenure by indiscriminately and absolutely ruling out all written and oral agreements inharmonious with the concept of regular employment defined therein.26 Likewise. The essence of due process in administrative proceedings is simply an opportunity to explain one’s side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. petitioner perfected its appeal within the period.23 Admittedly. However. It bears stressing that the Labor Arbiter is mandated by law to use every reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively. there is nothing in the records that would suggest that petitioner had absolute lack of opportunity to be heard.
In fact. The case can still be refiled because it has not yet prescribed." the same is not a serious flaw that had prejudiced the respondents’ right to due process. Anyway. contend that respondents assailed the Labor Arbiter’s order dated 18 June 2001 as violative of the NLRC Rules of Procedure and as such is violative of their right to procedural due process. his only remedy shall be to re-file the case in the arbitration branch of origin. otherwise. respondents impliedly submit that there is not any substantial damage or prejudice upon the refiling. Although the Labor Arbiter in his Order dated 18 June 2001 which revived and re-opened the dismissed case without prejudice beyond the ten (10) day reglementary period had inadvertently failed to follow Section 16. rather than promoting the early resolution of the case.The complainants. In fact. the Labor Arbiter acted within her discretion. even so. much less for dismissing a complaint in the case of the complainant. the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling and it is the spirit and intention of this Code that the Commission and its members and the Labor Arbiters shall use every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively and without regard to technicalities of law or procedure. NLRC. Article 221 of the Labor Code provides: "In any proceedings before the Commission or any of the Labor Arbiters. entailing additional time. the respondents had filed their position paper on 2 April 2001. respondents’ suggestion acknowledges complainants right to prosecute this case. betrays its notion of prolonging. That while suggesting that an Order be instead issued by the Labor Arbiter for complainants to refile this case. Respondent’s suggestion. all in the interest of due process. (University of Immaculate Conception vs. all in the interest of due process. 144702. the failure to submit a position paper on time is not a ground for striking out the paper from the records. she is enjoined by law to use every reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively. 2001). July 31." The admission by the Labor Arbiter of the complainants’ Position Paper and Supplemental Manifestation which were belatedly filed just only shows that he acted within his discretion as he is enjoined by law to use every reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively. on the other hand. G. albeit with the burden of repeating the same procedure. efforts. Rules Procedure of the NLRC which states: "A party may file a motion to revive or re-open a case dismissed without prejudice within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of notice of the order dismissing the same. "In admitting the respondents’ position paper albeit late. UIC Teaching and Non-Teaching Personnel Employees. 281 SCRA 53). litigation cost and precious time for the Arbiter to repeat the same process twice. Indeed. all in the interest of due process". . Rule V. The respondents were given by the Labor Arbiter the opportunity to submit position paper. without regard to technicalities of law or procedure. What is material in the compliance of due process is the fact that the parties are given the opportunities to submit position papers.R. No. (Panlilio vs. thus. without technicalities of law or procedure.
Hence. 205 SCRA 737).32 .30 The question of whether respondents are regular or project employees or independent contractors is essentially factual in nature. Also. The connection can be determined by considering the nature of work performed and its relation to the scheme of the particular business or trade in its entirety. the respondent was not deprived of its Constitutional right to due process of law.—The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties. Case law is that this Court has always accorded respect and finality to the findings of fact of the CA. the employment is considered regular. Article 280 of the Labor Code provides: ART. but only with respect to such activity and while such activity exists. if the employee has been performing the job for at least a year. petitioner’s contention that respondents are considered as its talents. regardless of the nature of the activity performed. Petitioner’s claim that the functions performed by the respondents are not at all necessary. or even vital to its trade or business is belied by the evidence on record. desirable. Catapang. particularly if they coincide with those of the Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission. 280. The test is whether the former is usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. the Court is constrained to resolve it due to its tremendous effects to the legions of production assistants working in the Philippine broadcasting industry. We agree with respondents’ contention that where a person has rendered at least one year of service. the reason being that a customary appointment is not indispensable before one may be formally declared as having attained regular status. In Universal Robina Corporation v. nonetheless. of determining regular employment is the reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual trade or business of the employer. the law deems repeated and continuing need for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity if not indispensability of that activity to the business. REGULAR AND CASUAL EMPLOYMENT.29 We reject.31 the Court reiterated the test in determining whether one is a regular employee: The primary standard. the employment is considered regular as long as the activity exists. not regular employees of the broadcasting company. as barren of factual basis. even if the performance is not continuous and merely intermittent. an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. Thus. or where the work is continuous or intermittent. hence. therefore. when supported by substantial evidence."Due process requirements are satisfied where the parties are given the opportunities to submit position papers". (Laurence vs. NLRC.
although the work to be performed is only for a specific project or seasonal." the completion or termination of which is more or less determinable at the time of employment. to which the worker oftentimes acquiesces. can hardly be doubted. It is the character of the activities performed in relation to the particular trade or business taking into account all the circumstances. Respondents cannot be considered "talents" because they are not actors or actresses or radio specialists or mere clerks or utility employees. the applicable test is the reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual business or trade of the employer. there are two kinds of regular employees under the law: (1) those engaged to perform activities which are necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. is whether the work undertaken is necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. such as those employed in connection with a particular construction project. National Organization of Working Men:33 Even while the language of law might have been more definitive. to ensure a "regular" worker’s security of tenure. The employment of such person is also then deemed to be regular with respect to such activity and while such activity exists. and "seasonal employees" whose employment by its nature is only desirable for a limited period of time." The fact that respondents received pre-agreed "talent fees" instead of salaries. Even then. and in some cases the length of time of its performance and its continued existence. a fact that can be assessed by looking into the nature of the services rendered and its relation to the general scheme under which the business or trade is pursued in the usual course. whether continuous or broken. whether continuous or intermittent.36 It is obvious that one . any employee who has rendered at least one year of service. supplied by the law itself. however. In determining whether an employment should be considered regular or non-regular. the clarity of its spirit and intent. What determines whether a certain employment is regular or otherwise is not the will or word of the employer. Thus.35 The law overrides such conditions which are prejudicial to the interest of the worker whose weak bargaining situation necessitates the succor of the State. with respect to the activities in which they are employed.e. It is of no moment that petitioner hired respondents as "talents. But. and that they were permitted to join other productions during their free time are not conclusive of the nature of their employment. They are regular employees who perform several different duties under the control and direction of ABS-CBN executives and supervisors. where a person thus engaged has been performing the job for at least one year. is deemed regular with respect to the activity performed and while such activity actually exists.. The standard. It is distinguished from a specific undertaking that is divorced from the normal activities required in carrying on the particular business or trade. i.As elaborated by this Court in Magsalin v. and (2) those casual employees who have rendered at least one year of service. the law deems the repeated and continuing need for its performance as being sufficient to indicate the necessity or desirability of that activity to the business or trade of the employer.34 Not considered regular employees are "project employees. much less the procedure of hiring the employee or the manner of paying the salary or the actual time spent at work. even if the performance is not continuous or is merely intermittent. that they did not observe the required office hours.
and in later pleadings.42 As gleaned from the records of this case.year after they were employed by petitioner.41 We note further that petitioner did not report the termination of respondents’ employment in the particular "project" to the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office having jurisdiction over the workplace within 30 days following the date of their separation from work. Program employees. independent contractors. using the prescribed form on employees’ termination/ dismissals/suspensions.37 Additionally. a project may refer to a particular job or undertaking that is within the regular or usual business of the employer. was an independent contractor and not a regular employee: A.38 The principal test is whether or not the project employees were assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking. the duration and scope of which were specified at the time the employees were engaged for that project. Such job or undertaking begins and ends at determined or determinable times. petitioner itself is not certain how to categorize respondents. SONZA contends that the "discretion used . but which is distinct and separate. it can be a strong factor to determine whether the employee was hired for a specific undertaking or in fact tasked to perform functions which are vital. and identifiable as such. Petitioner’s reliance on the ruling of this Court in Sonza v. the Court explained why Jose Sonza. In its earlier pleadings. Their assigned tasks are necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the petitioner. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation43 is misplaced. Under existing jurisprudence. Such a job or undertaking must also be identifiably separate and distinct from the ordinary or regular business operations of the employer. respondents became regular employees by operation of law. are different from independent contractors because in the case of the latter. Selection and Engagement of Employee ABS-CBN engaged SONZA’S services to co-host its television and radio programs because of SONZA’S peculiar skills. The persisting need for their services is sufficient evidence of the necessity and indispensability of such services to petitioner’s business or trade. a well-known television and radio personality. First. from the other undertakings of the company. The job or undertaking also begins and ends at determined or determinable times. Second. necessary and indispensable to the usual trade or business of the employer.40 While length of time may not be a sole controlling test for project employment. talent and celebrity status. it is undisputed that respondents had continuously performed the same activities for an average of five years. petitioner classified respondents as program employees. or project employees. respondents cannot be considered as project or program employees because no evidence was presented to show that the duration and scope of the project were determined or specified at the time of their engagement. no employer-employee relationship exists. In that case. project could refer to two distinguishable types of activities.39 In this case. the term project may also refer to a particular job or undertaking that is not within the regular business of the employer.
We must consider all the circumstances of the relationship. Whatever benefits SONZA enjoyed arose from contract and not because of an employer-employee relationship. is a circumstance indicative. with the control test being the most important element. . SONZA asserts that this mode of fee payment shows that he was an employee of ABSCBN. In any event. because of his unique skills. talent and celebrity status not possessed by ordinary employees. ABS-CBN would not have entered into the Agreement with SONZA but would have hired him through its personnel department just like any other employee. If SONZA did not possess such unique skills. B. The parties expressly agreed on such mode of payment. but not conclusive." All the talent fees and benefits paid to SONZA were the result of negotiations that led to the Agreement. expertise or talent to distinguish them from ordinary employees. to whom MJMDC would have to turn over any talent fee accruing under the Agreement.by respondent in specifically selecting and hiring complainant over other broadcasters of possibly similar experience and qualification as complainant belies respondent’s claim of independent contractorship. but not conclusive. The power to bargain talent fees way above the salary scales of ordinary employees is a circumstance indicative. the method of selecting and engaging SONZA does not conclusively determine his status. of an independent contractual relationship. If SONZA were ABS-CBN’s employee. The payment of talent fees directly to SONZA and not to MJMDC does not negate the status of SONZA as an independent contractor. Payment of Wages ABS-CBN directly paid SONZA his monthly talent fees with no part of his fees going to MJMDC. Obviously. of an independent contractual relationship.44 In the case at bar. amounting to P317. MJMDC is the AGENT of SONZA. are so huge and out of the ordinary that they indicate more an independent contractual relationship rather than an employer-employee relationship. talent and celebrity status not possessed by ordinary employees. x x x and 13th month pay which the law automatically incorporates into every employer-employee contract. The specific selection and hiring of SONZA. SONZA acting alone possessed enough bargaining power to demand and receive such huge talent fees for his services. the employer-employee relationship between petitioner and respondents has been proven." Independent contractors often present themselves to possess unique skills. SONZA also points out that ABS-CBN granted him benefits and privileges "which he would not have enjoyed if he were truly the subject of a valid job contract.000 monthly in the second and third year. Medicare. ABS-CBN agreed to pay SONZA such huge talent fees precisely because of SONZA’S unique skills. there would be no need for the parties to stipulate on benefits such as "SSS. however. Under the Agreement. SONZA’s talent fees. talent and celebrity status.
As earlier stated. The monetary award is not considered as claims involving the interpretation or implementation of the collective bargaining agreement. The presumption is that when the work done is an integral part of the regular business of the employer and when the worker. their exclusion from the said CBA on the misplaced belief of the parties to the said agreement that they are project employees. Respondents did not have the power to bargain for huge talent fees. relative to the employer.First. even the non-member employees are entitled to the . that the reason why production assistants were excluded from the CBA is precisely because they were erroneously classified and treated as project employees by petitioner: x x x The award in favor of private respondents of the benefits accorded to rank-and-file employees of ABS-CBN under the 1996-1999 CBA is a necessary consequence of public respondent’s ruling that private respondents as production assistants of petitioner are regular employees. a circumstance negating independent contractual relationship.47 We quote with approval the ruling of the appellate court. they must be accorded the benefits due under the said Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the selection and engagement of respondents. The degree of control and supervision exercised by petitioner over respondents through its supervisors negates the allegation that respondents are independent contractors. Considering that We have clearly found that private respondents are regular employees of petitioner. does not furnish an independent business or professional service. Finding said private respondents as regular employees and not as mere project employees. Third. The so-called "talent fees" of respondents correspond to wages given as a result of an employer-employee relationship. talent or celebrity status was required from them because they were merely hired through petitioner’s personnel department just like any ordinary employee. it is not the will or word of the employer which determines the nature of employment of an employee but the nature of the activities performed by such employee in relation to the particular business or trade of the employer. is therefore not proper. respondents are entitled to the benefits granted to all other regular employees of petitioner under the CBA. no peculiar or unique skill. Second. Fourth. However. Petitioner could always discharge respondents should it find their work unsatisfactory.46 It follows then that respondents are entitled to the benefits provided for in the existing CBA between petitioner and its rank-and-file employees. As regular employees. A collective bargaining agreement is a contract entered into by the union representing the employees and the employer. such work is a regular employment of such employee and not an independent contractor.45 The Court will peruse beyond any such agreement to examine the facts that typify the parties’ actual relationship. The reason why production assistants were excluded from the said agreement is precisely because they were classified and treated as project employees by petitioner. and respondents are highly dependent on the petitioner for continued work.
benefits of the contract. To accord its benefits only to members of the union without any valid reason would constitute undue discrimination against non-members. A collective bargaining agreement is binding on all employees of the company. Therefore, whatever benefits are given to the other employees of ABS-CBN must likewise be accorded to private respondents who were regular employees of petitioner.48 Besides, only talent-artists were excluded from the CBA and not production assistants who are regular employees of the respondents. Moreover, under Article 1702 of the New Civil Code: "In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living of the laborer." IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 76582 are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. Panganiban, C.J., Chairperson, Ynares-Santiago, Austria-Martinez, Chico-Nazario, J.J., concur. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. 167045 August 29, 2008
COCOMANGAS HOTEL BEACH RESORT and/or SUSAN MUNRO, petitioners, vs. FEDERICO F. VISCA, JOHNNY G. BAREDO, RONALD Q. TIBUS, RICHARD G. VISCA and RAFFIE G. VISCA, respondents. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the Decision1 dated July 30, 2004 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 78620 which reversed and set aside the Resolution dated February 27, 2003 of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC Case No. V-000714-2000; and the CA Resolution2 dated February 2, 2005 which denied petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration. The present controversy stemmed from five individual complaints3 for illegal dismissal filed on June 15, 1999 by Federico F. Visca (Visca), Johnny G. Barredo, Ronald Q. Tibus, Richard G. Visca and Raffie G. Visca (respondents) against Cocomangas Hotel Beach
Resort and/or its owner-manager, Susan Munro (petitioners) before Sub-Regional Arbitration Branch No. VI of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Kalibo, Aklan. In their consolidated Position Paper,4 respondents alleged that they were regular employees of petitioners, with designations and dates of employment as follows: Name Federico F. Visca Johnny G. Barredo Ronald Q. Tibus Richard G. Visca Raffie G. Visca Designation Foreman Carpenter Mason Carpenter Mason/Carpenter Date Employed October 1, 1987 April 23, 1993 November 9, 1996 April 1988 March 27, 1993
tasked with the maintenance and repair of the resort facilities; on May 8, 1999, Maria Nida Iñigo-Tañala, the Front Desk Officer/Sales Manager, informed them not to report for work since the ongoing constructions and repairs would be temporarily suspended because they caused irritation and annoyance to the resort's guests; as instructed, they did not report for work the succeeding days; John Munro, husband of petitioner Susan Munro, subsequently visited respondent foreman Visca and informed him that the work suspension was due to budgetary constraints; when respondent Visca later discovered that four new workers were hired to do respondents' tasks, he confronted petitioner Munro who explained that respondents' resumption of work was not possible due to budgetary constraints; when not less than ten workers were subsequently hired by petitioners to do repairs in two cottages of the resort and two workers were retained after the completion without respondents being allowed to resume work, they filed their individual complaints for illegal dismissal. In addition to reinstatement with payment of full backwages, respondents prayed for payment of premium pay for rest day, service incentive leave pay, 13th month pay, and cost-of-living allowance, plus moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. In their Position Paper,5 petitioners denied any employer-employee relationship with respondents and countered that respondent Visca was an independent contractor who was called upon from time to time when some repairs in the resort facilities were needed and the other respondents were selected and hired by him. On June 30, 2000, the Labor Arbiter (LA) rendered a Decision6 dismissing the complaint, holding that respondent Visca was an independent contractor and the other respondents were hired by him to help him with his contracted works at the resort; that there was no illegal dismissal but completion of projects; that respondents were project workers, not regular employees. On August 9, 2000, respondents filed a Memorandum of Appeal7 with the NLRC. No comment thereon was filed by the petitioners.
On August 29, 2002, the NLRC rendered a Decision,8 setting aside the Decision of the LA and ordering the payment to respondents of backwages computed from May 8, 1999 to July 31, 2002, 13th month pay and service incentive leave pay for three years, in addition to 10% attorney's fees. The dispositive portion of the NLRC Decision reads: WHEREFORE, the decision dated June 30, 2000 of the Labor Arbiter is VACATED and SET ASIDE and a new decision rendered declaring the Illegal Dismissal of the complainant (sic) and ordering respondent Susan Munro to pay the complainants the following: 1. Federico F. Visca 2. Johnny G. Barredo 3. Ronald Q. Tibus 4. Richard C. Visca 5. Raffie C. Visca 6. Attorney's fees (10%) Total Award P 288,816.53 P 211,058.47 P 175,774.00 P 200,977.85 P 211,058.47 P1,087,685.32 P 108,768.53 P1,196,453.859
Petitioners failed to convince the NLRC that respondent Visca was not an independent contractor and the other respondents were selected and hired by him. The NLRC held that respondents were regular employees of petitioners since all the factors determinative of employer-employee relationship were present and the work done by respondents was clearly related to petitioners' resort business. It took into account the following: (a) respondent Visca was reported by petitioners as an employee in the Quarterly Social Security System (SSS) report; (b) all of the respondents were certified to by petitioner Munro as workers and even commended for their satisfactory performance; (c) respondents were paid their holiday and overtime pay; and (d) respondents had been continuously in petitioners' employ from three to twelve years and were all paid by daily wage given weekly. On November 18, 2002, petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, arguing that respondents were project employees.10 Petitioners also filed a Supplemental to their Motion for Reconsideration.11 No opposition or answer to petitioners' motion for reconsideration and supplement was filed by respondents despite due notice.12 On February 27, 2003, the NLRC made a complete turnabout from its original decision and issued a Resolution13 dismissing the complaint, holding that respondents were not regular employees but project employees, hired for a short period of time to do some repair jobs in petitioners' resort business. Nonetheless, it ordered payment of P10,000.00 to each complainant as financial assistance. Respondents then filed a Petition for Certiorari14 with the CA raising three issues for resolution: (a) whether or not the respondents were project employees of petitioners; (b) whether or not the
at the least. On August 18. 2004. even once. Petitioners then filed the present petition19 on the following grounds: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN GIVING DUE COURSE TO THE SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION UNDER RULE 65 NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT RESPONDENTS HAVE FAILED TO PROVE THE GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION THAT WOULD ALLOW THE NULLIFICATION OF THE ASSAILED RESOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION.17 but it was denied by the CA in a Resolution18 dated February 2. petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration. 2005. the CA awarded respondents P50. in view of the foregoing. specific periods when the employment relationship would be terminated. that the repeated hiring of respondents established that the services rendered by them were necessary and desirable to petitioners' resort business. in that petitioners not only gave respondents the run-around but also blatantly hired others to take respondents' place despite their claim that the so-called temporary stoppage of work was due to budgetary constraints. the former failed to set. SO ORDERED. since their termination was attended by bad faith. II . REINSTATING the NLRC Decision dated August 29.15 the dispositve portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 2000 [sic]. (c) whether or not the NLRC had sufficient basis to overturn its own decision despite its overwhelming findings that respondents were illegally dismissed. respondents were regular seasonal employees. The instant case is hereby REMANDED to the 4th Division NLRC.16 The CA held respondents were regular employees. and ORDERING the private respondents to pay damages in the amount of P50. On July 30. 2004.00.respondents' dismissal from work was based on valid grounds. since in the years that petitioners repeatedly hired respondents' services. In addition to the amounts granted by the NLRC in its August 29.00 as damages.000. not project workers. 2003.000. hired depending on the tourist season and when the need arose in maintaining petitioners' resort for the benefit of guests. 2002 Decision. the CA rendered its assailed Decision. 2000 [sic]. Cebu City for the purpose of UPDATING the award promulgated in its Decision dated August 29. judgment is hereby rendered by us REVERSING and SETTING ASIDE the NLRC Resolution dated February 28.
It is thus incumbent upon petitioner to satisfactorily establish that respondent Commission or executive labor arbiter acted capriciously and whimsically in total disregard of evidence material to or even decisive of the controversy. which include the repairs of furniture. which is not proper in petitions for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. committed grave abuse of discretion by capriciously. cottages and windbreakers. in any case. motor boats. in its assailed decision or resolution. arbitrary and whimsical exercise of power.21 thus: The rule is settled that the original and exclusive jurisdiction of this Court to review a decision of respondent NLRC (or Executive Labor Arbiter as in this case) in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 does not normally include an inquiry into the correctness of its evaluation of the evidence.20 Petitioners argue that the CA erred in giving due course to respondents' petition. are not at all foreign to the business of maintaining a beach resort. not of jurisdiction. that the factual findings of the LA and the NLRC on the lack of employer-employee relationship between petitioners and respondents should be accorded not only respect but finality.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN REVERSING AND SETTING ASIDE THE RESOLUTION DATED FEBRUARY 27. since their jobs as carpenters. is described in Zarate. Errors of judgment. Jr.22 (Emphasis supplied) The CA. The appellate court needs to evaluate the materiality or significance of . the three issues raised by respondents in their petition before the CA required appreciation of the evidence presented below and are therefore errors of judgment. they argue that they have amply established that they are regular employees of petitioners. 2002 RENDERED BY THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. v. or arbitrarily disregarding evidence which is material to or decisive of the controversy. whimsically. The CA cannot make this determination without looking into the evidence presented by the parties. an allegation essentially required in a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. therefore. The petition is bereft of merit. can take cognizance of a petition for certiorari if it finds that the NLRC. since respondents failed to recite specifically how the NLRC abused its discretion. Olegario. as exercised previously by this Court and now by the CA. are not within the province of a special civil action for certiorari. For certiorari to lie. The extent of judicial review by certiorari of decisions or resolutions of the NLRC. 2003 AND REINSTATING THE DECISION DATED AUGUST 29. On the other hand. and it must be shown that the discretion was exercised arbitrarily or despotically. which is merely confined to issues of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. respondents contend that the issues raised by the petitioners call for reevaluation of the evidence presented by the parties. there must be capricious. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. in order that the extraordinary writ of certiorari will lie. the very antithesis of the judicial prerogative in accordance with centuries of both civil law and common law traditions. as distinguished from errors of jurisdiction.
the appellate court can grant a petition for certiorari when the factual findings complained of are not supported by the evidence on record. thus: [I]n Ong v. As a corollary. Hence. when it is necessary to prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial justice. Occasionally.23 In Garcia v. whimsically. we are to be guided by all the circumstances of each particular case "as the ends of justice may require. even if they are not assigned as errors in their appeal. in Gutib v. we further held: In the review of an NLRC decision through a special civil action for certiorari.25 (Emphasis supplied) Thus. resolution is confined only to issues of jurisdiction and grave abuse of discretion on the part of the labor tribunal. we ruled that certiorari can be properly resorted to where the factual findings complained of are not supported by the evidence on record. or arbitrarily disregarded by the NLRC. such as the NLRC. thus. And in another case of recent vintage. as in the instant case. People. we see no error on its part when it made anew a factual determination of the matters and on that basis reversed the ruling of the NLRC. In this instance. which is alleged to have been capriciously. the Court in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction may look into the records of the case and re-examine the questioned findings. the findings of the NLRC contradict those of the Labor Arbiter." So it is that the writ will be granted where necessary to prevent a substantial wrong or to do substantial justice. National Labor Relations Commission. and when necessary to arrive at a just decision of the case. we emphasized thus: [I]t has been said that a wide breadth of discretion is granted a court of justice in certiorari proceedings. the Court refrains from reviewing factual assessments of lower courts and agencies exercising adjudicative functions.26 . because to do so would be to destroy its comprehensiveness and usefulness.the evidence. So wide is the discretion of the court that authority is not wanting to show that certiorari is more discretionary than either prohibition or mandamus. The same principles are now necessarily adhered to and are applied by the Court of Appeals in its expanded jurisdiction over labor cases elevated through a petition for certiorari. this Court is clothed with ample authority to review matters. Earlier.24 the Court elucidated on when certiorari can be properly resorted to. when the findings of the NLRC contradict those of the LA. Court of Appeals. In the exercise of our superintending control over inferior courts. pursuant to Garcia. the Court is constrained to delve into factual matters where. if it finds that their consideration is necessary to arrive at a just decision of the case. The cases in which certiorari will issue cannot be defined. however. in relation to all other evidence on record.
The NLRC should not have considered the new theory offered by the petitioners in their Motion for Reconsideration. 2002 finding that respondents were regular employees.29 The petitioners were ambivalent in categorizing respondents. As the object of the pleadings is to draw the lines of battle. to its subsequent Resolution dated February 27. Generally.In the present case. The resolution of this issue principally hinges on the determination of the question whether respondents are regular or project employees. in that "it totally disregarded the evidence of the [respondents] and gave credence to the [petitioners'] asseverations which were in themselves insufficient to overturn duly established facts and conclusions. a . since respondents drew attention to the absence of substantial evidence to support the NLRC's complete turnabout from its original Decision dated August 29. respondents alleged in its petition with the CA that the NLRC’s conclusions had no basis in fact and in law. between the litigants and to indicate fairly the nature of the claims or defenses of both parties."34 Before an employee hired on a per-project basis can be dismissed. sang a different tune.33 At any rate. with his pleadings.28 However. A project employee is one whose "employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking. the NLRC and the CA. Further. the existence of an employer-employee relationship is a factual matter that will not be delved into by this Court. petitioners' position in their Motion for Reconsideration before the NLRC runs contrary to their earlier submission in their Position Paper before the LA. not project employees."27 Consequently. The case will be reviewed and decided on that theory and not approached and resolved from a different point of view. While initially advancing the absence of an employer-employee relationship. since only questions of law may be raised in petitions for review. In their Position Paper30 filed before the LA. necessitating a review of the evidence on record. or inconsistent. petitioners classified respondent Visca as an independent contractor and the other respondents as his employees. 2003. so to speak. while in their Motion for Reconsideration31 before the NLRC. To permit a party to change his theory on appeal will be unfair to the adverse party. the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. the CA was correct in giving due course to the Petition for Certiorari. a party cannot subsequently take a position contrary to.32 It is a matter of law that when a party adopts a particular theory and the case is tried and decided upon that theory in the court below. the Court is constrained to resolve the issue of whether respondents are regular or permanent employees due to the conflicting findings of fact of the LA. he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal. thus. the Court finds that the CA did not err in finding that respondents were regular employees. The next issue before the Court is whether the CA committed an error in reversing the NLRC Resolution dated February 27. essentially invoking the termination of the period of their employer-employee relationship. after a careful examination of the records. petitioners on appeal. 2003 classifying respondents as project employees. so to speak. petitioners treated respondents as project employees.
and windbreakers and other resort facilities. Article 27944 of the Labor Code. of the termination of the services of the workers every time completes a project. and their services may not be terminated except for causes provided by law. motor boats.35 In the present case. Petitioners' failure to file termination reports is an indication that the respondents were not project employees but regular employees. (b) the Service Record Certificates stating that respondents were employees of petitioners for periods ranging from three to twelve years and all have given "very satisfactory performance". 20. The repeated and continuing need for their services is sufficient evidence of the necessity. as amended. More importantly. There is likewise no evidence of the project employment contracts covering respondents' alleged periods of employment. as opposed to intermittently. then the employee must be deemed a regular employee. cottages. pursuant to Article 280 of the Labor Code and jurisprudence. They were tasked with the maintenance and repair of the furniture. there is no evidence that petitioners reported the termination of respondents' supposed project employment to the DOLE as project employees. Department Order No. rehired by the same employer for the same tasks or nature of tasks. and to his other benefits or . if not indispensability. Jr. pursuant to Policy Instruction No. v. 19.38 In Maraguinot. of their services to petitioners' resort business. they were entitled to security of tenure. provides that an illegally dismissed employee shall be entitled to reinstatement." they performed work other than carpentry or masonry. necessary and indispensable to the usual business or trade of the employer."40 That respondents were regular employees is further bolstered by the following evidence: (a) the SSS Quarterly Summary of Contribution Payments41 listing respondents as employees of petitioners. and (2) these tasks are vital." "carpenter" and "mason.42 (c) petty cash vouchers43 showing payment of respondents' salaries and holiday and overtime pays. While they had designations as "foreman. as well as the old Policy Instructions No. full backwages. Being regular employees.37 The Court is not persuaded by petitioners' submission that respondents' services are not necessary or desirable to the usual trade or business of the resort. requires employers to submit a report of an employee’s termination to the nearest public employment office every time his employment is terminated due to a completion of a project.36 This Court has held that an employment ceases to be coterminous with specific projects when the employee is continuously rehired due to the demands of employer’s business and re-engaged for many more projects without interruption. respondents cannot be classified as project employees. 20. inclusive of allowances. Thus. substantial evidence supported the CA finding that respondents were regular employees. National Labor Relations Commission.39 the Court ruled that "once a project or work pool employee has been: (1) continuously.report must be made to the nearest employment office. since they worked continuously for petitioners from three to twelve years without any mention of a "project" to which they were specifically assigned.
continues to accumulate. 2002 decision of the NLRC or that respondents themselves did not appeal the CA Decision on this matter. Chico-Nazario. 2004 and Resolution dated February 2. not otherwise assigned as errors on appeal. WHEREFORE. SP No. JJ.. While as a general rule. The Court notes that the NLRC. does not bar this Court from ordering its modification. 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Ynares-Santiago. The fact that the CA failed to consider this when it affirmed the August 29. Nachura.their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. SO ORDERED.R. . the petition is DENIED. if it finds that their consideration is necessary in arriving at a complete and just resolution of the case or to serve the interests of justice or to avoid dispensing piecemeal justice. its obligation to respondents.45 Besides. Reyes. It is evident that respondents’ backwages should not be limited to said period.46 The computation of the award for backwages from the time compensation was withheld up to the time of actual reinstatement is a mere legal consequence of the finding that respondents were illegally dismissed by petitioners. computed the award for backwages from May 8. substantive rights like the award of backwages resulting from illegal dismissal must not be prejudiced by a rigid and technical application of the rules. 2002 only. Double costs against petitioners. 1999 to July 31. The backwages due respondents must be computed from the time they were unjustly dismissed until actual reinstatement to their former positions. insofar as accrued backwages and other benefits are concerned. until petitioners implement the reinstatement aspect. 78620 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the award for backwages should be computed from the time compensation was withheld up to the time of actual reinstatement. this Court is imbued with sufficient authority and discretion to review matters. in its earlier Decision dated August 29. a party who has not appealed is not entitled to affirmative relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below. 2002 which was affirmed by the CA. Thus. concur. Chairperson. The assailed Decision dated July 30.
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