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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No.

64948 September 27, 1994 MANILA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, INC., petitioner, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and FERMIN LLAMAR, respondents. Bito, Misa & Lozada for petitioner. Remberto Z. Evio for private respondent. NARVASA, C.J.: The question before the Court here is whether or not persons rendering caddying services for members of golf clubs and their guests in said clubs' courses or premises are the employees of such clubs and therefore within the compulsory coverage of the Social Security System (SSS). That question appears to have been involved, either directly or peripherally, in three separate proceedings, all initiated by or on behalf of herein private respondent and his fellow caddies. That which gave rise to the present petition for review was originally filed with the Social Security Commission (SSC) via petition of seventeen (17) persons who styled themselves "Caddies of Manila Golf and Country Club-PTCCEA" for coverage and availment of benefits under the Social Security Act as amended, "PTCCEA" being the acronym of a labor organization, the "Philippine Technical, Clerical, Commercial Employees Association," with which the petitioners claimed to be affiliated. The petition, docketed as SSC Case No. 5443, alleged in essence that although the petitioners were employees of the Manila Golf and Country Club, a domestic corporation, the latter had not registered them as such with the SSS. At about the same time, two other proceedings bearing on the same question were filed or were pending; these were: (1) a certification election case filed with the Labor Relations Division of the Ministry of Labor by the PTCCEA on behalf of the same caddies of the Manila Golf and Country Club, the case being titled "Philippine Technical, Clerical, Commercial Association vs. Manila Golf and Country Club" and docketed as Case No. R4-LRDX-M-10-504-78; it appears to have been resolved in favor of the petitioners therein by Med-Arbiter Orlando S. Rojo who was thereafter upheld by Director 1 Carmelo S. Noriel, denying the Club's motion for reconsideration; (2) a compulsory arbitration case initiated before the Arbitration Branch of the Ministry of Labor by the same labor organization, titled "Philippine Technical, Clerical, Commercial Employees Association (PTCCEA), Fermin Lamar and Raymundo Jomok vs. Manila Golf and Country Club, Inc., Miguel Celdran, Henry Lim and Geronimo Alejo;" it was dismissed for lack of merit by Labor Arbiter Cornelio T. Linsangan, a decision later affirmed on appeal by the National Labor Relations Commission on the ground that there was no employer-employee relationship 2 between the petitioning caddies and the respondent Club. In the case before the SSC, the respondent Club filed answer praying for the dismissal of the petition, alleging in substance that the petitioners, caddies by occupation, were allowed into the Club premises to render services as such to the individual members and guests playing the Club's golf course and who themselves paid for such services; that as such caddies, the petitioners were not subject to the direction and control of the Club as regards the manner in which they performed their work; and hence, they were not the Club's employees. Subsequently, all but two of the seventeen petitioners of their own accord withdrew their claim for social security coverage, avowedly coming to realize that indeed there was no employment relationship between them and the Club. The case continued, and was eventually adjudicated by the SSC after protracted proceedings only as regards the 3 two holdouts, Fermin Llamar and Raymundo Jomok. The Commission dismissed the petition for lack of merit, ruling: . . . that the caddy's fees were paid by the golf players themselves and not by respondent club. For instance, petitioner Raymundo Jomok averred that for their services as caddies a caddy's Claim Stub (Exh. "1-A") is issued by a player who will in turn hand over to management the other portion of the stub known as Caddy Ticket (Exh. "1") so that by this arrangement management will know how much a caddy will be paid (TSN, p. 80, July 23, 1980). Likewise, petitioner Fermin Llamar admitted that caddy works on his own in accordance with the rules and regulations (TSN, p. 24, February 26, 1980) but petitioner Jomok could not state any policy of respondent that directs the manner of caddying (TSN, pp. 76-77, July 23, 1980). While respondent club promulgates rules and regulations on the assignment, deportment and conduct of caddies (Exh. "C") the same are designed to impose personal discipline among the caddies but not to direct or conduct their actual work. In fact, a golf player is at liberty to choose a caddy of his preference regardless of the respondent club's group rotation system and has the discretion on whether or not to pay a caddy. As testified to by petitioner Llamar that their income depends on the number

of players engaging their services and liberality of the latter (TSN, pp. 10-11, Feb. 26, 1980). This lends credence to respondent's assertion that the caddies are never their employees in the absence of two elements, namely, (1) payment of wages and (2) control or supervision over them. In this connection, our Supreme Court ruled that in the determination of the existence of an employer-employee relationship, the "control test" shall be considered decisive (Philippine Manufacturing Co. vs. Geronimo and Garcia, 96 Phil. 276; Mansal vs. P.P. Coheco Lumber Co., 96 Phil. 941; Viana vs. Al-lagadan, et al., 99 Phil. 408; Vda, de Ang, et al. vs. The Manila Hotel Co., 101 Phil. 358, LVN Pictures Inc. vs. Phil. Musicians Guild, et al., L-12582, January 28, 1961, 1 SCRA 132. . . . (reference being made also to Investment Planning Corporation Phil. vs. SSS 21 SCRA 925). Records show the respondent club had reported for SS coverage Graciano Awit and Daniel Quijano, as bat unloader and helper, respectively, including their ground men, house and administrative personnel, a situation indicative of the latter's concern with the rights and welfare of its employees under the SS law, as amended. The unrebutted testimony of Col. Generoso A. Alejo (Ret.) that the ID cards issued to the caddies merely intended to identify the holders as accredited caddies of the club and privilege(d) to ply their trade or occupation within its premises which could be withdrawn anytime for loss of confidence. This gives us a reasonable ground to state that the defense posture of respondent that petitioners were never its employees is well 4 taken. From this Resolution appeal was taken to the Intermediate appellate Court by the union representing Llamar and 5 Jomok. After the appeal was docketed and some months before decision thereon was reached and promulgated, 6 Raymundo Jomok's appeal was dismissed at his instance, leaving Fermin Llamar the lone appellant. The appeal ascribed two errors to the SSC: (1) refusing to suspend the proceedings to await judgment by the Labor Relations Division of National Capital Regional Office in the certification election case (R-4-LRD-M-10-504-78) supra, on the precise issue of the existence of employer-employee relationship between the respondent club and the appellants, it being contended that said issue was "a function of the proper labor office"; and (2) adjudicating that self same issue a manner contrary to the ruling of the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, which "has not only become final but (has been) executed or (become) res 7 adjudicata." The Intermediate Appellate Court gave short shirt to the first assigned error, dismissing it as of the least importance. Nor, it would appear, did it find any greater merit in the second alleged error. Although said Court reserved the appealed SSC decision and declared Fermin Llamar an employee of the Manila Gold and Country Club, ordering 8 that he be reported as such for social security coverage and paid any corresponding benefits, it conspicuously ignored the issue of res adjudicata raised in said second assignment. Instead, it drew basis for the reversal from this 9 Court's ruling in Investment Planning Corporation of the Philippines vs. Social Security System,supra and declared that upon the evidence, the questioned employer-employee relationship between the Club and Fermin Llamar passed the so-called "control test," establishment in the case i.e., "whether the employer controls or has reserved the right to control the employee not only as to the result of the work to be done but also as to the means and methods by which the same is to be accomplished," the Club's control over the caddies encompassing: (a) the promulgation of no less than twenty-four (24) rules and regulations just about every aspect of the conduct that the caddy must observe, or avoid, when serving as such, any violation of any which could subject him to disciplinary action, which may include suspending or cutting off his access to the club premises; (b) the devising and enforcement of a group rotation system whereby a caddy is assigned a number which designates his turn to serve a player; (c) the club's "suggesting" the rate of fees payable to the caddies. Deemed of title or no moment by the Appellate Court was the fact that the caddies were paid by the players, not by the Club, that they observed no definite working hours and earned no fixed income. It quoted with approval from an 10 American decision to the effect that: "whether the club paid the caddies and afterward collected in the first instance, the caddies were still employees of the club." This, no matter that the case which produced this ruling had a slightly different factual cast, apparently having involved a claim for workmen's compensation made by a caddy who, about to leave the premises of the club where he worked, was hit and injured by an automobile then negotiating the club's private driveway. That same issue of res adjudicata, ignored by the IAC beyond bare mention thereof, as already pointed out, is now among the mainways of the private respondent's defenses to the petition for review. Considered in the perspective of the incidents just recounted, it illustrates as well as anything can, why the practice of forum-shopping justly merits censure and punitive sanction. Because the same question of employer-employee relationship has been dragged into three different fora, willy-nilly and in quick succession, it has birthed controversy as to which of the resulting

adjudications must now be recognized as decisive. On the one hand, there is the certification case [R4-LRDX-M-10504-78), where the decision of the Med-Arbiter found for the existence of employer-employee relationship between the parties, was affirmed by Director Carmelo S. Noriel, who ordered a certification election held, a disposition never thereafter appealed according to the private respondent; on the other, the compulsory arbitration case (NCR Case No. AB-4-1771-79), instituted by or for the same respondent at about the same time, which was dismissed for lack of merit by the Labor Arbiter, which was afterwards affirmed by the NLRC itself on the ground that there existed no such relationship between the Club and the private respondent. And, as if matters were not already complicated enough, the same respondent, with the support and assistance of the PTCCEA, saw fit, also contemporaneously, to initiate still a third proceeding for compulsory social security coverage with the Social Security Commission (SSC Case No. 5443), with the result already mentioned. Before this Court, the petitioner Club now contends that the decision of the Med-Arbiter in the certification case had never become final, being in fact the subject of three pending and unresolved motions for reconsideration, as well as 11 of a later motion for early resolution. Unfortunately, none of these motions is incorporated or reproduced in the record before the Court. And, for his part, the private respondent contends, not only that said decision had been appealed to and been affirmed by the Director of the BLR, but that a certification election had in fact been held, which resulted in the PTCCEA being recognized as the sole bargaining agent of the caddies of the Manila Golf and 12 Country Club with respect to wages, hours of work, terms of employment, etc. Whatever the truth about these opposing contentions, which the record before the Court does not adequately disclose, the more controlling consideration would seem to be that, however, final it may become, the decision in a certification case, by the very nature of that proceedings, is not such as to foreclose all further dispute between the parties as to the existence, or non-existence, of employer-employee relationship between them. It is well settled that for res adjudicata, or the principle of bar by prior judgment, to apply, the following essential requisites must concur: (1) there must be a final judgment or order; (2) said judgment or order must be on the merits; (3) the court rendering the same must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; and (4) there must be 13 between the two cases identity of parties, identity of subject matter and identity of cause of action. Clearly implicit in these requisites is that the action or proceedings in which is issued the "prior Judgment" that would operate in bar of a subsequent action between the same parties for the same cause, be adversarial, or contentious, "one having opposing parties; (is) contested, as distinguished from an ex parte hearing or proceeding. . . . of which the party seeking relief has given legal notice to the other party and afforded the latter an opportunity to contest 14 it" and a certification case is not such a proceeding, as this Court already ruled: A certification proceedings is not a "litigation" in the sense in which the term is commonly understood, but mere investigation of a non-adversary, fact-finding character, in which the investigating agency plays the part of a disinterested investigator seeking merely to ascertain the desires of the employees as to the matter of their representation. The court enjoys a wide discretion in determining the procedure necessary to insure the fair and free choice of bargaining 15 representatives by the employees. Indeed, if any ruling or judgment can be said to operate as res adjudicata on the contested issue of employeremployee relationship between present petitioner and the private respondent, it would logically be that rendered in the compulsory arbitration case (NCR Case No. AB-4-771-79, supra), petitioner having asserted, without dispute from the private respondent, that said issue was there squarely raised and litigated, resulting in a ruling of the Arbitration Branch (of the same Ministry of Labor) that such relationship did not exist, and which ruling was thereafter 16 affirmed by the National Labor Relations Commission in an appeal taken by said respondent. In any case, this Court is not inclined to allow private respondent the benefit of any doubt as to which of the conflicting ruling just adverted to should be accorded primacy, given the fact that it was he who actively sought them simultaneously, as it were, from separate fora, and even if the graver sanctions more lately imposed by the Court for forum-shopping may not be applied to him retroactively. Accordingly, the IAC is not to be faulted for ignoring private respondent's invocation of res adjudicata; on contrary, it acted correctly in doing so. Said Courts holding that upon the facts, there exists (or existed) a relationship of employer and employee between petitioner and private respondent is, however, another matter. The Court does not agree that said facts necessarily or logically point to such a relationship, and to the exclusion of any form of arrangements, other than of employment, that would make the respondent's services available to the members and guest of the petitioner. As long as it is, the list made in the appealed decision detailing the various matters of conduct, dress, language, etc. covered by the petitioner's regulations, does not, in the mind of the Court, so circumscribe the actions or judgment of the caddies concerned as to leave them little or no freedom of choice whatsoever in the manner of carrying out their services. In the very nature of things, caddies must submit to some supervision of their conduct while enjoying the privilege of pursuing their occupation within the premises and grounds of whatever club they do their work in. For all that is made to appear, they work for the club to which they attach themselves on sufference but, on the other hand, also without having to observe any working hours, free to leave anytime they please, to stay away for as long they like. It is not pretended that if found remiss in the observance of said rules, any discipline may be meted them beyond barring them from the premises which, it may be supposed, the Club may do in any case even absent any

breach of the rules, and without violating any right to work on their part. All these considerations clash frontally with the concept of employment. The IAC would point to the fact that the Club suggests the rate of fees payable by the players to the caddies as still another indication of the latter's status as employees. It seems to the Court, however, that the intendment of such fact is to the contrary, showing that the Club has not the measure of control over the incidents of the caddies' work and compensation that an employer would possess. The Court agrees with petitioner that the group rotation system so-called, is less a measure of employer control than an assurance that the work is fairly distributed, a caddy who is absent when his turn number is called simply losing 17 his turn to serve and being assigned instead the last number for the day. By and large, there appears nothing in the record to refute the petitioner's claim that: (Petitioner) has no means of compelling the presence of a caddy. A caddy is not required to exercise his occupation in the premises of petitioner. He may work with any other golf club or he may seek employment a caddy or otherwise with any entity or individual without restriction by petitioner. . . . . . . In the final analysis, petitioner has no was of compelling the presence of the caddies as they are not required to render a definite number of hours of work on a single day. Even the group rotation of caddies is not absolute because a player is at liberty to choose a caddy of his preference regardless of the caddy's order in the rotation. It can happen that a caddy who has rendered services to a player on one day may still find sufficient time to work elsewhere. Under such circumstances, he may then leave the premises of petitioner and go to such other place of work that he wishes (sic). Or a caddy who is on call for a particular day may deliberately absent himself if he has more profitable caddying, or another, engagement in some other place. These are things beyond petitioner's control and for which it 18 imposes no direct sanctions on the caddies. . . . WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Intermediate Appellant Court, review of which is sought, is reversed and set aside, it being hereby declared that the private respondent, Fermin Llamar, is not an employee of petitioner Manila Golf and Country Club and that petitioner is under no obligation to report him for compulsory coverage to the Social Security System. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. Regalado and Mendoza, JJ., concur. Padilla, J., is on leave. Puno, J., took no part.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 170087 August 31, 2006 ANGELINA FRANCISCO, Petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, KASEI CORPORATION, SEIICHIRO TAKAHASHI, TIMOTEO ACEDO, DELFIN LIZA, IRENE BALLESTEROS, TRINIDAD LIZA and RAMON ESCUETA, Respondents. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeks to annul and set aside the Decision 1 2 and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated October 29, 2004 and October 7, 2005, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 78515 dismissing the complaint for constructive dismissal filed by herein petitioner Angelina Francisco. The appellate court reversed and set aside the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) dated April 3 15, 2003, in NLRC NCR CA No. 032766-02 which affirmed with modification the decision of the Labor Arbiter dated 4 July 31, 2002, in NLRC-NCR Case No. 30-10-0-489-01, finding that private respondents were liable for constructive dismissal. In 1995, petitioner was hired by Kasei Corporation during its incorporation stage. She was designated as Accountant and Corporate Secretary and was assigned to handle all the accounting needs of the company. She was also designated as Liaison Officer to the City of Makati to secure business permits, construction permits and other 5 licenses for the initial operation of the company. Although she was designated as Corporate Secretary, she was not entrusted with the corporate documents; neither did she attend any board meeting nor required to do so. She never prepared any legal document and never represented the company as its Corporate Secretary. However, on some occasions, she was prevailed upon to sign 6 documentation for the company. In 1996, petitioner was designated Acting Manager. The corporation also hired Gerry Nino as accountant in lieu of petitioner. As Acting Manager, petitioner was assigned to handle recruitment of all employees and perform management administration functions; represent the company in all dealings with government agencies, especially with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS) and in the city government of Makati; and to administer all other matters pertaining to the operation of Kasei Restaurant which is owned and operated by Kasei 7 Corporation. For five years, petitioner performed the duties of Acting Manager. As of December 31, 2000 her salary was 8 P27,500.00 plus P3,000.00 housing allowance and a 10% share in the profit of Kasei Corporation. In January 2001, petitioner was replaced by Liza R. Fuentes as Manager. Petitioner alleged that she was required to sign a prepared resolution for her replacement but she was assured that she would still be connected with Kasei Corporation. Timoteo Acedo, the designated Treasurer, convened a meeting of all employees of Kasei Corporation and announced that nothing had changed and that petitioner was still connected with Kasei Corporation as Technical 9 Assistant to Seiji Kamura and in charge of all BIR matters. Thereafter, Kasei Corporation reduced her salary by P2,500.00 a month beginning January up to September 2001 for a total reduction of P22,500.00 as of September 2001. Petitioner was not paid her mid-year bonus allegedly because the company was not earning well. On October 2001, petitioner did not receive her salary from the company. She made repeated follow-ups with the company cashier but she was advised that the company was not 10 earning well. On October 15, 2001, petitioner asked for her salary from Acedo and the rest of the officers but she was informed 11 that she is no longer connected with the company. Since she was no longer paid her salary, petitioner did not report for work and filed an action for constructive dismissal before the labor arbiter. Private respondents averred that petitioner is not an employee of Kasei Corporation. They alleged that petitioner was hired in 1995 as one of its technical consultants on accounting matters and act concurrently as Corporate Secretary. As technical consultant, petitioner performed her work at her own discretion without control and supervision of Kasei Corporation. Petitioner had no daily time record and she came to the office any time she wanted. The company never interfered with her work except that from time to time, the management would ask her opinion on matters relating to her profession. Petitioner did not go through the usual procedure of selection of employees, but her services were engaged through a Board Resolution designating her as technical consultant. The money received by petitioner from the corporation was her professional fee subject to the 10% expanded withholding tax on 12 professionals, and that she was not one of those reported to the BIR or SSS as one of the companys employees. Petitioners designation as technical consultant depended solely upon the will of management. As such, her consultancy may be terminated any time considering that her services were only temporary in nature and dependent on the needs of the corporation.

To prove that petitioner was not an employee of the corporation, private respondents submitted a list of employees for the years 1999 and 2000 duly received by the BIR showing that petitioner was not among the employees reported to the BIR, as well as a list of payees subject to expanded withholding tax which included petitioner. SSS 13 records were also submitted showing that petitioners latest employer was Seiji Corporation. The Labor Arbiter found that petitioner was illegally dismissed, thus: WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. finding complainant an employee of respondent corporation; 2. declaring complainants dismissal as illegal; 3. ordering respondents to reinstate complainant to her former position without loss of seniority rights and jointly and severally pay complainant her money claims in accordance with the following computation: a. Backwages 10/2001 07/2002 275,000.00 (27,500 x 10 mos.) b. Salary Differentials (01/2001 09/2001) 22,500.00 c. Housing Allowance (01/2001 07/2002) 57,000.00 d. Midyear Bonus 2001 27,500.00 e. 13th Month Pay 27,500.00 f. 10% share in the profits of Kasei Corp. from 1996-2001 361,175.00 g. Moral and exemplary damages 100,000.00 h. 10% Attorneys fees 87,076.50 P957,742.50 If reinstatement is no longer feasible, respondents are ordered to pay complainant separation pay with additional backwages that would accrue up to actual payment of separation pay. 14 SO ORDERED. On April 15, 2003, the NLRC affirmed with modification the Decision of the Labor Arbiter, the dispositive portion of which reads: PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Decision of July 31, 2002 is hereby MODIFIED as follows: 1) Respondents are directed to pay complainant separation pay computed at one month per year of service in addition to full backwages from October 2001 to July 31, 2002; 2) The awards representing moral and exemplary damages and 10% share in profit in the respective accounts of P100,000.00 and P361,175.00 are deleted; 3) The award of 10% attorneys fees shall be based on salary differential award only; 4) The awards representing salary differentials, housing allowance, mid year bonus and 13th month pay are AFFIRMED. 15 SO ORDERED. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the NLRC decision, thus: WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. The decision of the National Labor Relations Commissions dated April 15, 2003 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is hereby rendered dismissing the complaint filed by private respondent against Kasei Corporation, et al. for constructive dismissal. 16 SO ORDERED. The appellate court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration, hence, the present recourse. The core issues to be resolved in this case are (1) whether there was an employer-employee relationship between petitioner and private respondent Kasei Corporation; and if in the affirmative, (2) whether petitioner was illegally dismissed. Considering the conflicting findings by the Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission on one hand, and the Court of Appeals on the other, there is a need to reexamine the records to determine which of the 17 propositions espoused by the contending parties is supported by substantial evidence. 18 We held in Sevilla v. Court of Appeals that in this jurisdiction, there has been no uniform test to determine the existence of an employer-employee relation. Generally, courts have relied on the so-called right of control test where the person for whom the services are performed reserves a right to control not only the end to be achieved but also the means to be used in reaching such end. In addition to the standard of right-of-control, the existing economic conditions prevailing between the parties, like the inclusion of the employee in the payrolls, can help in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship. However, in certain cases the control test is not sufficient to give a complete picture of the relationship between the parties, owing to the complexity of such a relationship where several positions have been held by the worker. There are instances when, aside from the employers power to control the employee with respect to the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished, economic realities of the employment relations help provide a comprehensive analysis of the true classification of the individual, whether as employee, independent contractor, corporate officer or some other capacity.

The better approach would therefore be to adopt a two-tiered test involving: (1) the putative employers power to control the employee with respect to the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished; and (2) the underlying economic realities of the activity or relationship. This two-tiered test would provide us with a framework of analysis, which would take into consideration the totality of circumstances surrounding the true nature of the relationship between the parties. This is especially appropriate in this case where there is no written agreement or terms of reference to base the relationship on; and due to the complexity of the relationship based on the various positions and responsibilities given to the worker over the period of the latters employment. 19 The control test initially found application in the case of Viaa v. Al-Lagadan and Piga, and lately in Leonardo v. 20 Court of Appeals, where we held that there is an employer-employee relationship when the person for whom the services are performed reserves the right to control not only the end achieved but also the manner and means used to achieve that end. 21 In Sevilla v. Court of Appeals, we observed the need to consider the existing economic conditions prevailing between the parties, in addition to the standard of right-of-control like the inclusion of the employee in the payrolls, to give a clearer picture in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship based on an analysis of the totality of economic circumstances of the worker. Thus, the determination of the relationship between employer and employee depends upon the circumstances of the 22 whole economic activity, such as: (1) the extent to which the services performed are an integral part of the employers business; (2) the extent of the workers investment in equipment and facilities; (3) the nature and degree of control exercised by the employer; (4) the workers opportunity for profit and loss; (5) the amount of initiative, skill, judgment or foresight required for the success of the claimed independent enterprise; (6) the permanency and duration of the relationship between the worker and the employer; and (7) the degree of dependency of the worker 23 upon the employer for his continued employment in that line of business. The proper standard of economic dependence is whether the worker is dependent on the alleged employer for his 24 continued employment in that line of business. In the United States, the touchstone of economic reality in 25 analyzing possible employment relationships for purposes of the Federal Labor Standards Act is dependency. By analogy, the benchmark of economic reality in analyzing possible employment relationships for purposes of the Labor Code ought to be the economic dependence of the worker on his employer. By applying the control test, there is no doubt that petitioner is an employee of Kasei Corporation because she was under the direct control and supervision of Seiji Kamura, the corporations Technical Consultant. She reported for work regularly and served in various capacities as Accountant, Liaison Officer, Technical Consultant, Acting Manager and Corporate Secretary, with substantially the same job functions, that is, rendering accounting and tax services to the company and performing functions necessary and desirable for the proper operation of the corporation such as securing business permits and other licenses over an indefinite period of engagement. Under the broader economic reality test, the petitioner can likewise be said to be an employee of respondent corporation because she had served the company for six years before her dismissal, receiving check vouchers indicating her salaries/wages, benefits, 13th month pay, bonuses and allowances, as well as deductions and Social 26 Security contributions from August 1, 1999 to December 18, 2000. When petitioner was designated General Manager, respondent corporation made a report to the SSS signed by Irene Ballesteros. Petitioners membership in the SSS as manifested by a copy of the SSS specimen signature card which was signed by the President of Kasei Corporation and the inclusion of her name in the on-line inquiry system of the SSS evinces the existence of an 27 employer-employee relationship between petitioner and respondent corporation. It is therefore apparent that petitioner is economically dependent on respondent corporation for her continued employment in the latters line of business. 28 In Domasig v. National Labor Relations Commission, we held that in a business establishment, an identification card is provided not only as a security measure but mainly to identify the holder thereof as a bona fide employee of the firm that issues it. Together with the cash vouchers covering petitioners salaries for the months stated therein, these matters constitute substantial evidence adequate to support a conclusion that petitioner was an employee of private respondent. 29 We likewise ruled in Flores v. Nuestro that a corporation who registers its workers with the SSS is proof that the latter were the formers employees. The coverage of Social Security Law is predicated on the existence of an employer-employee relationship. Furthermore, the affidavit of Seiji Kamura dated December 5, 2001 has clearly established that petitioner never acted as Corporate Secretary and that her designation as such was only for convenience. The actual nature of petitioners job was as Kamuras direct assistant with the duty of acting as Liaison Officer in representing the company to secure construction permits, license to operate and other requirements imposed by government agencies. Petitioner was never entrusted with corporate documents of the company, nor required to attend the meeting of the corporation. She was never privy to the preparation of any document for the corporation, although 30 once in a while she was required to sign prepared documentation for the company.

The second affidavit of Kamura dated March 7, 2002 which repudiated the December 5, 2001 affidavit has been 31 allegedly withdrawn by Kamura himself from the records of the case. Regardless of this fact, we are convinced that the allegations in the first affidavit are sufficient to establish that petitioner is an employee of Kasei Corporation. Granting arguendo, that the second affidavit validly repudiated the first one, courts do not generally look with favor on any retraction or recanted testimony, for it could have been secured by considerations other than to tell the truth and would make solemn trials a mockery and place the investigation of the truth at the mercy of unscrupulous 32 witnesses. A recantation does not necessarily cancel an earlier declaration, but like any other testimony the same 33 is subject to the test of credibility and should be received with caution. Based on the foregoing, there can be no other conclusion that petitioner is an employee of respondent Kasei Corporation. She was selected and engaged by the company for compensation, and is economically dependent upon respondent for her continued employment in that line of business. Her main job function involved accounting and tax services rendered to respondent corporation on a regular basis over an indefinite period of engagement. Respondent corporation hired and engaged petitioner for compensation, with the power to dismiss her for cause. More importantly, respondent corporation had the power to control petitioner with the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished. The corporation constructively dismissed petitioner when it reduced her salary by P2,500 a month from January to September 2001. This amounts to an illegal termination of employment, where the petitioner is entitled to full backwages. Since the position of petitioner as accountant is one of trust and confidence, and under the principle of 34 strained relations, petitioner is further entitled to separation pay, in lieu of reinstatement. A diminution of pay is prejudicial to the employee and amounts to constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal is an involuntary resignation resulting in cessation of work resorted to when continued employment becomes impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay; or when a clear discrimination, 35 insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to an employee. In Globe Telecom, Inc. v. Florendo36 Flores, we ruled that where an employee ceases to work due to a demotion of rank or a diminution of pay, an unreasonable situation arises which creates an adverse working environment rendering it impossible for such employee to continue working for her employer. Hence, her severance from the company was not of her own making and therefore amounted to an illegal termination of employment. In affording full protection to labor, this Court must ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed. Even as we, in every case, attempt to carefully balance the fragile relationship between employees and employers, we are mindful of the fact that the policy of the law is to apply the Labor Code to a greater number of employees. This would enable employees to avail of the benefits accorded to them by law, in line with the constitutional mandate giving maximum aid and protection to labor, promoting their welfare and reaffirming it as a primary social economic force in furtherance of social justice and national development. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated October 29, 2004 and October 7, 2005, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 78515 are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated April 15, 2003 in NLRC NCR CA No. 032766-02, isREINSTATED. The case is REMANDED to the Labor Arbiter for the recomputation of petitioner Angelina Franciscos full backwages from the time she was illegally terminated until the date of finality of this decision, and separation pay representing one-half month pay for every year of service, where a fraction of at least six months shall be considered as one whole year. SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 165881 April 19, 2006 OSCAR VILLAMARIA, JR. Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and JERRY V. BUSTAMANTE, Respondents DECISION CALLEJO, SR., J.: Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court assailing the 1 2 3 Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 78720 which set aside the Resolution of 4 the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NCR-30-08-03247-00, which in turn affirmed the Decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the complaint filed by respondent Jerry V. Bustamante. Petitioner Oscar Villamaria, Jr. was the owner of Villamaria Motors, a sole proprietorship engaged in assembling passenger jeepneys with a public utility franchise to operate along the Baclaran-Sucat route. By 1995, Villamaria stopped assembling jeepneys and retained only nine, four of which he operated by employing drivers on a "boundary basis." One of those drivers was respondent Bustamante who drove the jeepney with Plate No. PVU-660. Bustamante remitted P450.00 a day to Villamaria as boundary and kept the residue of his daily earnings as compensation for driving the vehicle. In August 1997, Villamaria verbally agreed to sell the jeepney to Bustamante under the "boundary-hulog scheme," where Bustamante would remit to Villarama P550.00 a day for a period of four years; Bustamante would then become the owner of the vehicle and continue to drive the same under Villamarias franchise. It was also agreed that Bustamante would make a downpayment of P10,000.00. On August 7, 1997, Villamaria executed a contract entitled "Kasunduan ng Bilihan ng Sasakyan sa Pamamagitan ng 5 Boundary-Hulog" over the passenger jeepney with Plate No. PVU-660, Chassis No. EVER95-38168-C and Motor No. SL-26647. The parties agreed that if Bustamante failed to pay the boundary-hulog for three days, Villamaria Motors would hold on to the vehicle until Bustamante paid his arrears, including a penalty of P50.00 a day; in case Bustamante failed to remit the daily boundary-hulog for a period of one week, the Kasunduan would cease to have legal effect and Bustamante would have to return the vehicle to Villamaria Motors. Under the Kasunduan, Bustamante was prohibited from driving the vehicle without prior authority from Villamaria Motors. Thus, Bustamante was authorized to operate the vehicle to transport passengers only and not for other purposes. He was also required to display an identification card in front of the windshield of the vehicle; in case of failure to do so, any fine that may be imposed by government authorities would be charged against his account. Bustamante further obliged himself to pay for the cost of replacing any parts of the vehicle that would be lost or damaged due to his negligence. In case the vehicle sustained serious damage, Bustamante was obliged to notify Villamaria Motors before commencing repairs. Bustamante was not allowed to wear slippers, short pants or undershirts while driving. He was required to be polite and respectful towards the passengers. He was also obliged to notify Villamaria Motors in case the vehicle was leased for two or more days and was required to attend any meetings which may be called from time to time. Aside from the boundary-hulog, Bustamante was also obliged to pay for the annual registration fees of the vehicle and the premium for the vehicles comprehensive insurance. Bustamante promised to strictly comply with the rules and regulations imposed by Villamaria for the upkeep and maintenance of the jeepney. Bustamante continued driving the jeepney under the supervision and control of Villamaria. As agreed upon, he made daily remittances of P550.00 in payment of the purchase price of the vehicle. Bustamante failed to pay for the annual registration fees of the vehicle, but Villamaria allowed him to continue driving the jeepney. In 1999, Bustamante and other drivers who also had the same arrangement with Villamaria Motors failed to pay their 6 respective boundary-hulog. This prompted Villamaria to serve a "Paalala," reminding them that under the Kasunduan, failure to pay the daily boundary-hulog for one week, would mean their respective jeepneys would be returned to him without any complaints. He warned the drivers that the Kasunduan would henceforth be strictly enforced and urged them to comply with their obligation to avoid litigation. On July 24, 2000, Villamaria took back the jeepney driven by Bustamante and barred the latter from driving the vehicle. 7 On August 15, 2000, Bustamante filed a Complaint for Illegal Dismissal against Villamaria and his wife Teresita. In 8 his Position Paper, Bustamante alleged that he was employed by Villamaria in July 1996 under the boundary system, where he was required to remit P450.00 a day. After one year of continuously working for them, the spouses Villamaria presented the Kasunduan for his signature, with the assurance that he (Bustamante) would own the jeepney by March 2001 after paying P550.00 in daily installments and that he would thereafter continue driving the vehicle along the same route under the same franchise. He further narrated that in July 2000, he informed the Villamaria spouses that the surplus engine of the jeepney needed to be replaced, and was assured that it would be done. However, he was later arrested and his drivers license was confiscated because apparently, the replacement

engine that was installed was taken from a stolen vehicle. Due to negotiations with the apprehending authorities, the jeepney was not impounded. The Villamaria spouses took the jeepney from him on July 24, 2000, and he was no longer allowed to drive the vehicle since then unless he paid them P70,000.00. Bustamante prayed that judgment be rendered in his favor, thus: WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, it is most respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered ordering the respondents, jointly and severally, the following: 1. Reinstate complainant to his former position without loss of seniority rights and execute a Deed of Sale in favor of the complainant relative to the PUJ with Plate No. PVU-660; 2. Ordering the respondents to pay backwages in the amount of P400.00 a day and other benefits computed from July 24, 2000 up to the time of his actual reinstatement; 3. Ordering respondents to return the amount of P10,000.00 and P180,000.00 for the expenses incurred by the complainant in the repair and maintenance of the subject jeep; 4. Ordering the respondents to refund the amount of One Hundred (P100.00) Pesos per day counted from August 7, 1997 up to June 2000 or a total of P91,200.00; 5. To pay moral and exemplary damages of not less than P200,000.00; 6. Attorneys fee[s] of not less than 10% of the monetary award. 9 Other just and equitable reliefs under the premises are also being prayed for. 10 In their Position Paper, the spouses Villamaria admitted the existence of the Kasunduan, but alleged that Bustamante failed to pay the P10,000.00 downpayment and the vehicles annual registration fees. They further alleged that Bustamante eventually failed to remit the requisite boundary-hulog of P550.00 a day, which prompted them to issue the Paalaala. Instead of complying with his obligations, Bustamante stopped making his remittances despite his daily trips and even brought the jeepney to the province without permission. Worse, the jeepney figured in an accident and its license plate was confiscated; Bustamante even abandoned the vehicle in a gasoline station in Sucat, Paraaque City for two weeks. When the security guard at the gasoline station requested that the vehicle be retrieved and Teresita Villamaria asked Bustamante for the keys, Bustamante told her: "Di kunin ninyo." When the vehicle was finally retrieved, the tires were worn, the alternator was gone, and the battery was no longer working. 11 Citing the cases of Cathedral School of Technology v. NLRC and Canlubang Security Agency Corporation v. 12 NLRC, the spouses Villamaria argued that Bustamante was not illegally dismissed since the Kasunduan executed on August 7, 1997 transformed the employer-employee relationship into that of vendor-vendee. Hence, the spouses concluded, there was no legal basis to hold them liable for illegal dismissal. They prayed that the case be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and patent lack of merit. 13 In his Reply, Bustamante claimed that Villamaria exercised control and supervision over the conduct of his 14 employment. He maintained that the rulings of the Court in National Labor Union v. Dinglasan, Magboo v. 15 16 Bernardo, and Citizen's League of Free Workers v. Abbas are germane to the issue as they define the nature of the owner/operator-driver relationship under the boundary system. He further reiterated that it was the Villamaria spouses who presented the Kasunduan to him and that he conformed thereto only upon their representation that he would own the vehicle after four years. Moreover, it appeared that the Paalala was duly received by him, as he, together with other drivers, was made to affix his signature on a blank piece of paper purporting to be an "attendance sheet." 17 On March 15, 2002, the Labor Arbiter rendered judgment in favor of the spouses Villamaria and ordered the complaint dismissed on the following ratiocination: Respondents presented the contract of Boundary-Hulog, as well as the PAALALA, to prove their claim that complainant violated the terms of their contract and afterwards abandoned the vehicle assigned to him. As against the foregoing, [the] complaints (sic) mere allegations to the contrary cannot prevail. 18 Not having been illegally dismissed, complainant is not entitled to damages and attorney's fees. 19 Bustamante appealed the decision to the NLRC, insisting that the Kasunduan did not extinguish the employeremployee relationship between him and Villamaria. While he did not receive fixed wages, he kept only the excess of the boundary-hulog which he was required to remit daily to Villamaria under the agreement. Bustamante maintained that he remained an employee because he was engaged to perform activities which were necessary or desirable to Villamarias trade or business. 20 The NLRC rendered judgment dismissing the appeal for lack of merit, thus: WHEREFORE, premises considered, complainant's appeal is hereby DISMISSED for reasons not stated in the Labor Arbiter's decision but mainly on a jurisdictional issue, there being none over the subject matter of the 21 controversy. The NLRC ruled that under the Kasunduan, the juridical relationship between Bustamante and Villamaria was that of vendor and vendee, hence, the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the complaint. Bustamante filed a Motion for 22 Reconsideration, which the NLRC resolved to deny on May 30, 2003. Bustamante elevated the matter to the CA via Petition for Certiorari, alleging that the NLRC erred I IN DISMISSING PETITIONERS APPEAL "FOR REASON NOT STATED IN THE LABOR ARBITERS DECISION, BUT MAINLY ON JURISDICTIONAL ISSUE;"

II IN DISREGARDING THE LAW AND PREVAILING JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT DECLARED THAT THE RELATIONSHIP WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED BETWEEN PETITIONER AND THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT WAS 23 DEFINITELY A MATTER WHICH IS BEYOND THE PROTECTIVE MANTLE OF OUR LABOR LAWS. Bustamante insisted that despite the Kasunduan, the relationship between him and Villamaria continued to be that of employer-employee and as such, the Labor Arbiter had jurisdiction over his complaint. He further alleged that it is common knowledge that operators of passenger jeepneys (including taxis) pay their drivers not on a regular monthly basis but on commission or boundary basis, or even the boundary-hulog system. Bustamante asserted that he was dismissed from employment without any lawful or just cause and without due notice. For his part, Villamaria averred that Bustamante failed to adduce proof of their employer-employee relationship. He further pointed out that the Dinglasan case pertains to the boundary system and not the boundary-hulog system, hence inapplicable in the instant case. He argued that upon the execution of the Kasunduan, the juridical tie between him and Bustamante was transformed into a vendor-vendee relationship. Noting that he was engaged in the manufacture and sale of jeepneys and not in the business of transporting passengers for consideration, Villamaria contended that the daily fees which Bustmante paid were actually periodic installments for the the vehicle and were not the same fees as understood in the boundary system. He added that the boundary-hulog plan was basically a scheme to help the driver-buyer earn money and eventually pay for the unit in full, and for the owner to profit not from the daily earnings of the driver-buyer but from the purchase price of the unit sold. Villamaria further asserted that the apparently restrictive conditions in the Kasunduan did not mean that the means and method of driver-buyers conduct was controlled, but were mere ways to preserve the vehicle for the benefit of both parties: Villamaria would be able to collect the agreed purchase price, while Bustamante would be assured that the vehicle would still be in good running condition even after four years. Moreover, the right of vendor to impose certain conditions on the buyer should be respected until full ownership of the property is vested on the latter. Villamaria insisted that the parallel 24 circumstances obtaining in Singer Sewing Machine Company v. Drilon has analogous application to the instant issue. 25 In its Decision dated August 30, 2004, the CA reversed and set aside the NLRC decision. The fallo of the decision reads: UPON THE VIEW WE TAKE IN THIS CASE, THUS, the impugned resolutions of the NLRC must be, as they are hereby are, REVERSED AND SET ASIDE, and judgment entered in favor of petitioner: 1. Sentencing private respondent Oscar Villamaria, Jr. to pay petitioner Jerry Bustamante separation pay computed from the time of his employment up to the time of termination based on the prevailing minimum wage at the time of termination; and, 2. Condemning private respondent Oscar Villamaria, Jr. to pay petitioner Jerry Bustamante back wages computed from the time of his dismissal up to March 2001 based on the prevailing minimum wage at the time of his dismissal. Without Costs. 26 SO ORDERED. The appellate court ruled that the Labor Arbiter had jurisdiction over Bustamantes complaint. Under the Kasunduan, the relationship between him and Villamaria was dual: that of vendor-vendee and employer-employee. The CA ratiocinated that Villamarias exercise of control over Bustamantes conduct in operating the jeepney is inconsistent with the formers claim that he was not engaged in the transportation business. There was no evidence that petitioner was allowed to let some other person drive the jeepney. The CA further held that, while the power to dismiss was not mentioned in the Kasunduan, it did not mean that Villamaria could not exercise it. It explained that the existence of an employment relationship did not depend on how the worker was paid but on the presence or absence of control over the means and method of the employees work. In this case, Villamarias directives (to drive carefully, wear an identification card, don decent attire, park the vehicle in his garage, and to inform him about provincial trips, etc.) was a means to control the way in which Bustamante was to go about his work. In view of Villamarias supervision and control as employer, the fact that the "boundary" represented installment payments of the purchase price on the jeepney did not remove the parties employeremployee relationship. While the appellate court recognized that a weeks default in paying the boundary-hulog constituted an additional cause for terminating Bustamantes employment, it held that the latter was illegally dismissed. According to the CA, assuming that Bustamante failed to make the required payments as claimed by Villamaria, the latter nevertheless failed to take steps to recover the unit and waited for Bustamante to abandon it. It also pointed out that Villamaria neither submitted any police report to support his claim that the vehicle figured in a mishap nor presented the affidavit of the gas station guard to substantiate the claim that Bustamante abandoned the unit. Villamaria received a copy of the decision on September 8, 2004, and filed, on September 17, 2004, a motion for 27 reconsideration thereof. The CA denied the motion in a Resolution dated November 2, 2004, and Villamaria received a copy thereof on November 8, 2004. Villamaria, now petitioner, seeks relief from this Court via petition for review on certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, alleging that the CA committed grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in

reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC. He claims that the CA erred in ruling that the juridical relationship between him and respondent under the Kasunduan was a combination of employer-employee and vendor-vendee relationships. The terms and conditions of the Kasunduan clearly state that he and respondent Bustamante had entered into a conditional deed of sale over the jeepney; as such, their employer-employee relationship had been transformed into that of vendor-vendee. Petitioner insists that he had the right to reserve his title on the jeepney until after the purchase price thereof had been paid in full. In his Comment on the petition, respondent avers that the appropriate remedy of petitioner was an appeal via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court and not a special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65. He argues that petitioner failed to establish that the CA committed grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in its decision, as the said ruling is in accord with law and the evidence on record. Respondent further asserts that the Kasunduan presented to him by petitioner which provides for a boundary-hulog scheme was a devious circumvention of the Labor Code of the Philippines. Respondent insists that his juridical relationship with petitioner is that of employer-employee because he was engaged to perform activities which were necessary or desirable in the usual business of petitioner, his employer. In his Reply, petitioner avers that the Rules of Procedure should be liberally construed in his favor; hence, it behooves the Court to resolve the merits of his petition. We agree with respondents contention that the remedy of petitioner from the CA decision was to file a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court and not the independent action of certiorari under Rule 65. Petitioner had 15 days from receipt of the CA resolution denying his motion for the reconsideration within which to file 28 the petition under Rule 45. But instead of doing so, he filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 on November 22, 2004, which did not, however, suspend the running of the 15-day reglementary period; consequently, the CA decision became final and executory upon the lapse of the reglementary period for appeal. Thus, on this procedural 29 lapse, the instant petition stands to be dismissed. It must be stressed that the recourse to a special civil action under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is proscribed by the remedy of appeal under Rule 45. As the Court elaborated in Tomas Claudio Memorial College, Inc. v. Court of 30 Appeals: We agree that the remedy of the aggrieved party from a decision or final resolution of the CA is to file a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, as amended, on questions of facts or issues of law within fifteen days from notice of the said resolution. Otherwise, the decision of the CA shall become final and executory. The remedy under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is a mode of appeal to this Court from the decision of the CA. It is a continuation of the appellate process over the original case. A review is not a matter of right but is a matter of judicial discretion. The aggrieved party may, however, assail the decision of the CA via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court within sixty days from notice of the decision of the CA or its resolution denying the motion for reconsideration of the same. This is based on the premise that in issuing the assailed decision and resolution, the CA acted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction and there is no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A remedy is considered plain, speedy and adequate if it will promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effect of the judgment and the acts of the lower court. The aggrieved party is proscribed from filing a petition for certiorari if appeal is available, for the remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive and not alternative or successive. The aggrieved party is, likewise, barred from filing a petition for certiorari if the remedy of appeal is lost through his negligence. A petition for certiorari is an original action and does not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding. A petition for certiorari must be based on jurisdictional grounds because, as long as the respondent court acted within its jurisdiction, any error committed by it will amount to nothing more than an error of judgment which may be corrected or reviewed only 31 by appeal. However, we have also ruled that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 may be considered as filed under Rule 45, conformably with the principle that rules of procedure are to be construed liberally, provided that the petition is filed within the reglementary period under Section 2, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, and where valid and compelling 32 circumstances warrant that the petition be resolved on its merits. In this case, the petition was filed within the reglementary period and petitioner has raised an issue of substance: whether the existence of a boundary-hulog agreement negates the employer-employee relationship between the vendor and vendee, and, as a corollary, whether the Labor Arbiter has jurisdiction over a complaint for illegal dismissal in such case. We resolve these issues in the affirmative. The rule is that, the nature of an action and the subject matter thereof, as well as, which court or agency of the government has jurisdiction over the same, are determined by the material allegations of the complaint in relation to the law involved and the character of the reliefs prayed for, whether or not the complainant/plaintiff is entitled to any 33 or all of such reliefs. A prayer or demand for relief is not part of the petition of the cause of action; nor does it 34 enlarge the cause of action stated or change the legal effect of what is alleged. In determining which body has jurisdiction over a case, the better policy is to consider not only the status or relationship of the parties but also the 35 nature of the action that is the subject of their controversy.

Article 217 of the Labor Code, as amended, vests on the Labor Arbiter exclusive original jurisdiction only over the following: x x x (a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code, the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide, within thirty (30) calendar days after the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension, even in the absence of stenographic notes, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural: 1. Unfair labor practice cases; 2. Termination disputes; 3. If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement, those cases that workers may file involving wage, rates of pay, hours of work, and other terms and conditions of employment; 4. Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employer-employee relations; 5. Cases arising from violation of Article 264 of this Code, including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts; and 6. Except claims for Employees Compensation, Social Security, Medicare and maternity benefits, all other claims, arising from employer-employee relationship, including those of persons in domestic or household service, involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. (b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters. (c) Cases arising from the interpretation or implementation of collective bargaining agreements, and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies shall be disposed of by the Labor Arbiter by referring the same to the grievance machinery and voluntary arbitration as may be provided in said agreements. 36 In the foregoing cases, an employer-employee relationship is an indispensable jurisdictional requisite. The jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the NLRC under Article 217 of the Labor Code is limited to disputes arising from an employer-employee relationship which can only be resolved by reference to the Labor Code, other labor statutes or 37 their collective bargaining agreement. Not every dispute between an employer and employee involves matters that only the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC can resolve in the exercise of their adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. Actions between employers and employees where the employer-employee relationship is merely incidental is within 38 the exclusive original jurisdiction of the regular courts. When the principal relief is to be granted under labor legislation or a collective bargaining agreement, the case falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter 39 and the NLRC even though a claim for damages might be asserted as an incident to such claim. We agree with the ruling of the CA that, under the boundary-hulog scheme incorporated in the Kasunduan, a dual juridical relationship was created between petitioner and respondent: that of employer-employee and vendor-vendee. The Kasunduan did not extinguish the employer-employee relationship of the parties extant before the execution of said deed. 40 As early as 1956, the Court ruled in National Labor Union v. Dinglasan that the jeepney owner/operator-driver relationship under the boundary system is that of employer-employee and not lessor-lessee. This doctrine was 41 42 affirmed, under similar factual settings, in Magboo v. Bernardo and Lantaco, Sr. v. Llamas, and was analogously 43 applied to govern the relationships between auto-calesa owner/operator and driver, bus owner/operator and 44 45 conductor, and taxi owner/operator and driver. The boundary system is a scheme by an owner/operator engaged in transporting passengers as a common carrier to primarily govern the compensation of the driver, that is, the latters daily earnings are remitted to the owner/operator less the excess of the boundary which represents the drivers compensation. Under this system, the owner/operator exercises control and supervision over the driver. It is unlike in lease of chattels where the lessor loses complete control over the chattel leased but the lessee is still ultimately responsible for the consequences of its use. The management of the business is still in the hands of the owner/operator, who, being the holder of the certificate of public convenience, must see to it that the driver follows the route prescribed by the franchising and regulatory authority, and the rules promulgated with regard to the business operations. The fact that the driver does not receive fixed wages but only the excess of the "boundary" given to the owner/operator is not sufficient to change the relationship between them. Indubitably, the driver performs activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the 46 usual business or trade of the owner/operator. Under the Kasunduan, respondent was required to remit P550.00 daily to petitioner, an amount which represented the boundary of petitioner as well as respondents partial payment (hulog) of the purchase price of the jeepney. Respondent was entitled to keep the excess of his daily earnings as his daily wage. Thus, the daily remittances also had a dual purpose: that of petitioners boundary and respondents partial payment (hulog) for the vehicle. This dual purpose was expressly stated in the Kasunduan. The well-settled rule is that an obligation is not novated by an instrument that expressly recognizes the old one, changes only the terms of payment, and adds other obligations not 47 incompatible with the old provisions or where the new contract merely supplements the previous one. The two obligations of the respondent to remit to petitioner the boundary-hulog can stand together.

In resolving an issue based on contract, this Court must first examine the contract itself, keeping in mind that when the terms of the agreement are clear and leave no doubt as to the intention of the contracting parties, the literal 48 meaning of its stipulations shall prevail. The intention of the contracting parties should be ascertained by looking at the words used to project their intention, that is, all the words, not just a particular word or two or more words standing alone. The various stipulations of a contract shall be interpreted together, attributing to the doubtful ones 49 that sense which may result from all of them taken jointly. The parts and clauses must be interpreted in relation to one another to give effect to the whole. The legal effect of a contract is to be determined from the whole read 50 together. Under the Kasunduan, petitioner retained supervision and control over the conduct of the respondent as driver of the jeepney, thus: Ang mga patakaran, kaugnay ng bilihang ito sa pamamagitan ng boundary hulog ay ang mga sumusunod: 1. Pangangalagaan at pag-iingatan ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang sasakyan ipinagkatiwala sa kanya ng TAUHAN NG UNANG PANIG. 2. Na ang sasakyan nabanggit ay gagamitin lamang ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG sa paghahanapbuhay bilang pampasada o pangangalakal sa malinis at maayos na pamamaraan. 3. Na ang sasakyan nabanggit ay hindi gagamitin ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG sa mga bagay na makapagdudulot ng kahihiyan, kasiraan o pananagutan sa TAUHAN NG UNANG PANIG. 4. Na hindi ito mamanehohin ng hindi awtorisado ng opisina ng UNANG PANIG. 5. Na ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay kinakailangang maglagay ng ID Card sa harap ng windshield upang sa pamamagitan nito ay madaliang malaman kung ang nagmamaneho ay awtorisado ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS o hindi. 6. Na sasagutin ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang [halaga ng] multa kung sakaling mahuli ang sasakyang ito na hindi nakakabit ang ID card sa wastong lugar o anuman kasalanan o kapabayaan. 7. Na sasagutin din ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang materyales o piyesa na papalitan ng nasira o nawala ito dahil sa kanyang kapabayaan. 8. Kailangan sa VILLAMARIA MOTORS pa rin ang garahe habang hinuhulugan pa rin ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang nasabing sasakyan. 9. Na kung magkaroon ng mabigat na kasiraan ang sasakyang ipinagkaloob ng TAUHAN NG UNANG PANIG, ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay obligadong itawag ito muna sa VILLAMARIA MOTORS bago ipagawa sa alin mang Motor Shop na awtorisado ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS. 10. Na hindi pahihintulutan ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG sa panahon ng pamamasada na ang nagmamaneho ay naka-tsinelas, naka short pants at nakasando lamang. Dapat ang nagmamaneho ay laging nasa maayos ang kasuotan upang igalang ng mga pasahero. 11. Na ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG o ang awtorisado niyang driver ay magpapakita ng magandang asal sa mga pasaheros at hindi dapat magsasalita ng masama kung sakali man may pasaherong pilosopo upang maiwasan ang anumang kaguluhan na maaaring kasangkutan. 12. Na kung sakaling hindi makapagbigay ng BOUNDARY HULOG ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG sa loob ng tatlong (3) araw ay ang opisina ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS ang may karapatang mangasiwa ng nasabing sasakyan hanggang matugunan ang lahat ng responsibilidad. Ang halagang dapat bayaran sa opisina ay may karagdagang multa ng P50.00 sa araw-araw na ito ay nasa pangangasiwa ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS. 13. Na kung ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay hindi makapagbigay ng BOUNDARY HULOG sa loob ng isang linggo ay nangangahulugan na ang kasunduang ito ay wala ng bisa at kusang ibabalik ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang nasabing sasakyan sa TAUHAN NG UNANG PANIG. 14. Sasagutin ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang bayad sa rehistro, comprehensive insurance taon-taon at kahit anong uri ng aksidente habang ito ay hinuhulugan pa sa TAUHAN NG UNANG PANIG. 15. Na ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay obligadong dumalo sa pangkalahatang pagpupulong ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS sa tuwing tatawag ang mga tagapangasiwa nito upang maipaabot ang anumang mungkahi sa ikasusulong ng samahan. 16. Na ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay makikiisa sa lahat ng mga patakaran na magkakaroon ng pagbabago o karagdagan sa mga darating na panahon at hindi magiging hadlang sa lahat ng mga balakin ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS sa lalo pang ipagtatagumpay at ikakatibay ng Samahan. 17. Na ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay hindi magiging buwaya sa pasahero upang hindi kainisan ng kapwa driver at maiwasan ang pagkakasangkot sa anumang gulo. 18. Ang nasabing sasakyan ay hindi kalilimutang siyasatin ang kalagayan lalo na sa umaga bago pumasada, at sa hapon o gabi naman ay sisikapin mapanatili ang kalinisan nito. 19. Na kung sakaling ang nasabing sasakyan ay maaarkila at aabutin ng dalawa o higit pang araw sa lalawigan ay dapat lamang na ipagbigay alam muna ito sa VILLAMARIA MOTORS upang maiwasan ang mga anumang suliranin. 20. Na ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay iiwasan ang pakikipag-unahan sa kaninumang sasakyan upang maiwasan ang aksidente.

21. Na kung ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay mayroon sasabihin sa VILLAMARIA MOTORS mabuti man or masama ay iparating agad ito sa kinauukulan at iwasan na iparating ito kung [kani-kanino] lamang upang maiwasan ang anumang usapin. Magsadya agad sa opisina ng VILLAMARIA MOTORS. 22. Ang mga nasasaad sa KASUNDUAN ito ay buong galang at puso kong sinasang-ayunan at buong sikap na pangangalagaan ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang nasabing sasakyan at gagamitin 51 lamang ito sa paghahanapbuhay at wala nang iba pa. The parties expressly agreed that petitioner, as vendor, and respondent, as vendee, entered into a contract to sell the jeepney on a daily installment basis of P550.00 payable in four years and that petitioner would thereafter become its owner. A contract is one of conditional sale, oftentimes referred to as contract to sell, if the ownership or title over the property sold is retained by the vendor, and is not passed to the vendee unless and until there is full payment of the purchase price and/or upon faithful compliance with the other terms and conditions that may lawfully be 52 stipulated. Such payment or satisfaction of other preconditions, as the case may be, is a positive suspensive condition, the failure of which is not a breach of contract, casual or serious, but simply an event that would prevent 53 the obligation of the vendor to convey title from acquiring binding force. Stated differently, the efficacy or obligatory force of the vendor's obligation to transfer title is subordinated to the happening of a future and uncertain event so that if the suspensive condition does not take place, the parties would stand as if the conditional obligation had never 54 existed. The vendor may extrajudicially terminate the operation of the contract, refuse conveyance, and retain the 55 sums or installments already received, where such rights are expressly provided for. Under the boundary-hulog scheme, petitioner retained ownership of the jeepney although its material possession was vested in respondent as its driver. In case respondent failed to make his P550.00 daily installment payment for a week, the agreement would be of no force and effect and respondent would have to return the jeepney to petitioner; the employer-employee relationship would likewise be terminated unless petitioner would allow respondent to continue driving the jeepney on a boundary basis of P550.00 daily despite the termination of their vendor-vendee relationship. The juridical relationship of employer-employee between petitioner and respondent was not negated by the foregoing stipulation in the Kasunduan, considering that petitioner retained control of respondents conduct as driver of the vehicle. As correctly ruled by the CA: The exercise of control by private respondent over petitioners conduct in operating the jeepney he was driving is inconsistent with private respondents claim that he is, or was, not engaged in the transportation business; that, even if petitioner was allowed to let some other person drive the unit, it was not shown that he did so; that the existence of an employment relation is not dependent on how the worker is paid but on the presence or absence of control over the means and method of the work; that the amount earned in excess of the "boundary hulog" is equivalent to wages; and that the fact that the power of dismissal was not mentioned in the Kasunduan did not mean that private respondent never exercised such power, or could not exercise such power. Moreover, requiring petitioner to drive the unit for commercial use, or to wear an identification card, or to don a decent attire, or to park the vehicle in Villamaria Motors garage, or to inform Villamaria Motors about the fact that the unit would be going out to the province for two days of more, or to drive the unit carefully, etc. necessarily related to control over the means by which the petitioner was to go about his work; that the ruling applicable here is not Singer Sewing Machine but National Labor Union since the latter case involved jeepney owners/operators and jeepney drivers, and that the fact that the "boundary" here represented installment payment of the purchase price on the jeepney did not withdraw the relationship from that of employer-employee, in view of the overt presence of 56 supervision and control by the employer. Neither is such juridical relationship negated by petitioners claim that the terms and conditions in the Kasunduan relative to respondents behavior and deportment as driver was for his and respondents benefit: to insure that respondent would be able to pay the requisite daily installment of P550.00, and that the vehicle would still be in good condition despite the lapse of four years. What is primordial is that petitioner retained control over the conduct of the respondent as driver of the jeepney. Indeed, petitioner, as the owner of the vehicle and the holder of the franchise, is entitled to exercise supervision and control over the respondent, by seeing to it that the route provided in his franchise, and the rules and regulations of the Land Transportation Regulatory Board are duly complied with. Moreover, in a business establishment, an identification card is usually provided not just as a security measure but to mainly identify the holder thereof as a 57 bona fide employee of the firm who issues it. As respondents employer, it was the burden of petitioner to prove that respondents termination from employment was for a lawful or just cause, or, at the very least, that respondent failed to make his daily remittances of P550.00 as boundary. However, petitioner failed to do so. As correctly ruled by the appellate court: It is basic of course that termination of employment must be effected in accordance with law. The just and authorized causes for termination of employment are enumerated under Articles 282, 283 and 284 of the Labor Code. Parenthetically, given the peculiarity of the situation of the parties here, the default in the remittance of the boundary hulog for one week or longer may be considered an additional cause for termination of employment. The reason is

because the Kasunduan would be of no force and effect in the event that the purchaser failed to remit the boundary hulog for one week. The Kasunduan in this case pertinently stipulates: 13. Na kung ang TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ay hindi makapagbigay ng BOUNDARY HULOG sa loob ng isang linggo ay NANGANGAHULUGAN na ang kasunduang ito ay wala ng bisa at kusang ibabalik ng TAUHAN NG IKALAWANG PANIG ang nasabing sasakyan sa TAUHAN NG UNANG PANIG na wala ng paghahabol pa. Moreover, well-settled is the rule that, the employer has the burden of proving that the dismissal of an employee is for a just cause. The failure of the employer to discharge this burden means that the dismissal is not justified and that the employee is entitled to reinstatement and back wages. In the case at bench, private respondent in his position paper before the Labor Arbiter, alleged that petitioner failed to pay the miscellaneous fee of P10,000.00 and the yearly registration of the unit; that petitioner also stopped remitting the "boundary hulog," prompting him (private respondent) to issue a "Paalala," which petitioner however ignored; that petitioner even brought the unit to his (petitioners) province without informing him (private respondent) about it; and that petitioner eventually abandoned the vehicle at a gasoline station after figuring in an accident. But private respondent failed to substantiate these allegations with solid, sufficient proof. Notably, private respondents allegation viz, that he retrieved the vehicle from the gas station, where petitioner abandoned it, contradicted his statement in the Paalala that he would enforce the provision (in the Kasunduan) to the effect that default in the remittance of the boundary hulog for one week would result in the forfeiture of the unit. The Paalala reads as follows: "Sa lahat ng mga kumukuha ng sasakyan "Sa pamamagitan ng BOUNDARY HULOG "Nais ko pong ipaalala sa inyo ang Kasunduan na inyong pinirmahan particular na ang paragrapo 13 na nagsasaad na kung hindi kayo makapagbigay ng Boundary Hulog sa loob ng isang linggo ay kusa ninyong ibabalik and nasabing sasakyan na inyong hinuhulugan ng wala ng paghahabol pa. "Mula po sa araw ng inyong pagkatanggap ng Paalala na ito ay akin na pong ipatutupad ang nasabing Kasunduan kayat aking pinaaalala sa inyong lahat na tuparin natin ang nakalagay sa kasunduan upang maiwasan natin ito. "Hinihiling ko na sumunod kayo sa hinihingi ng paalalang ito upang hindi na tayo makaabot pa sa korte kung sakaling hindi ninyo isasauli ang inyong sasakyan na hinuhulugan na ang mga magagastos ay kayo pa ang magbabayad sapagkat ang hindi ninyo pagtupad sa kasunduan ang naging dahilan ng pagsampa ng kaso. "Sumasainyo "Attendance: 8/27/99 "(The Signatures appearing herein include (sic) that of petitioners) (Sgd.) OSCAR VILLAMARIA, JR." If it were true that petitioner did not remit the boundary hulog for one week or more, why did private respondent not forthwith take steps to recover the unit, and why did he have to wait for petitioner to abandon it?1avvphil.net On another point, private respondent did not submit any police report to support his claim that petitioner really figured in a vehicular mishap. Neither did he present the affidavit of the guard from the gas station to substantiate his claim 58 that petitioner abandoned the unit there. Petitioners claim that he opted not to terminate the employment of respondent because of magnanimity is negated by his (petitioners) own evidence that he took the jeepney from the respondent only on July 24, 2000. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 78720 is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 142293 February 27, 2003 1 VICENTE SY, TRINIDAD PAULINO, 6BS TRUCKING CORPORATION, and SBT TRUCKING CORPORATION,petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and JAIME SAHOT, respondents. DECISION QUISUMBING, J.: 2 This petition for review seeks the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals dated February 29, 2000, in CA3 G.R. SP No. 52671, affirming with modification the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission promulgated on June 20, 1996 in NLRC NCR CA No. 010526-96. Petitioners also pray for the reinstatement of the 4 decision of the Labor Arbiter in NLRC NCR Case No. 00-09-06717-94. Culled from the records are the following facts of this case: 5 Sometime in 1958, private respondent Jaime Sahot started working as a truck helper for petitioners family-owned trucking business named Vicente Sy Trucking. In 1965, he became a truck driver of the same family business, renamed T. Paulino Trucking Service, later 6Bs Trucking Corporation in 1985, and thereafter known as SBT Trucking Corporation since 1994. Throughout all these changes in names and for 36 years, private respondent continuously served the trucking business of petitioners. In April 1994, Sahot was already 59 years old. He had been incurring absences as he was suffering from various ailments. Particularly causing him pain was his left thigh, which greatly affected the performance of his task as a driver. He inquired about his medical and retirement benefits with the Social Security System (SSS) on April 25, 1994, but discovered that his premium payments had not been remitted by his employer. Sahot had filed a week-long leave sometime in May 1994. On May 27th, he was medically examined and treated for 6 EOR, presleyopia, hypertensive retinopathy G II (Annexes "G-5" and "G-3", pp. 48, 104, respectively), HPM, UTI, 7 8 Osteoarthritis (Annex "G-4", p. 105), and heart enlargement (Annex G, p. 107). On said grounds, Belen Paulino of the SBT Trucking Service management told him to file a formal request for extension of his leave. At the end of his week-long absence, Sahot applied for extension of his leave for the whole month of June, 1994. It was at this time when petitioners allegedly threatened to terminate his employment should he refuse to go back to work. At this point, Sahot found himself in a dilemma. He was facing dismissal if he refused to work, But he could not retire on pension because petitioners never paid his correct SSS premiums. The fact remained he could no longer work as his left thigh hurt abominably. Petitioners ended his dilemma. They carried out their threat and dismissed him from work, effective June 30, 1994. He ended up sick, jobless and penniless. On September 13, 1994, Sahot filed with the NLRC NCR Arbitration Branch, a complaint for illegal dismissal, docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 00-09-06717-94. He prayed for the recovery of separation pay and attorneys fees against Vicente Sy and Trinidad Paulino-Sy, Belen Paulino, Vicente Sy Trucking, T. Paulino Trucking Service, 6Bs Trucking and SBT Trucking, herein petitioners. For their part, petitioners admitted they had a trucking business in the 1950s but denied employing helpers and drivers. They contend that private respondent was not illegally dismissed as a driver because he was in fact petitioners industrial partner. They add that it was not until the year 1994, when SBT Trucking Corporation was established, and only then did respondent Sahot become an employee of the company, with a monthly salary that reached P4,160.00 at the time of his separation. Petitioners further claimed that sometime prior to June 1, 1994, Sahot went on leave and was not able to report for work for almost seven days. On June 1, 1994, Sahot asked permission to extend his leave of absence until June 30, 1994. It appeared that from the expiration of his leave, private respondent never reported back to work nor did he file an extension of his leave. Instead, he filed the complaint for illegal dismissal against the trucking company and its owners. Petitioners add that due to Sahots refusal to work after the expiration of his authorized leave of absence, he should be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from his work. They contended that Sahot had all the time to extend his leave or at least inform petitioners of his health condition. Lastly, they cited NLRC Case No. RE-4997-76, entitled "Manuelito Jimenez et al. vs. T. Paulino Trucking Service," as a defense in view of the alleged similarity in the factual milieu and issues of said case to that of Sahots, hence they are in pari material and Sahots complaint ought also to be dismissed. The NLRC NCR Arbitration Branch, through Labor Arbiter Ariel Cadiente Santos, ruled that there was no illegal dismissal in Sahots case. Private respondent had failed to report to work. Moreover, said the Labor Arbiter, petitioners and private respondent were industrial partners before January 1994. The Labor Arbiter concluded by ordering petitioners to pay "financial assistance" of P15,000 to Sahot for having served the company as a regular employee since January 1994 only.

On appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission modified the judgment of the Labor Arbiter. It declared that private respondent was an employee, not an industrial partner, since the start. Private respondent Sahot did not 9 abandon his job but his employment was terminated on account of his illness, pursuant to Article 284 of the Labor Code. Accordingly, the NLRC ordered petitioners to pay private respondent separation pay in the amount of P60,320.00, at the rate of P2,080.00 per year for 29 years of service. Petitioners assailed the decision of the NLRC before the Court of Appeals. In its decision dated February 29, 2000, the appellate court affirmed with modification the judgment of the NLRC. It held that private respondent was indeed an employee of petitioners since 1958. It also increased the amount of separation pay awarded to private respondent to P74,880, computed at the rate of P2,080 per year for 36 years of service from 1958 to 1994. It decreed: WHEREFORE, the assailed decision is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. SB Trucking Corporation is hereby directed to pay complainant Jaime Sahot the sum of SEVENTY-FOUR THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTY 10 (P74,880.00) PESOS as and for his separation pay. Hence, the instant petition anchored on the following contentions: I RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS IN PROMULGATING THE QUESTION[ED] DECISION AFFIRMING WITH MODIFICATION THE DECISION OF NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION DECIDED NOT IN ACCORD 11 WITH LAW AND PUT AT NAUGHT ARTICLE 402 OF THE CIVIL CODE. II RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS VIOLATED SUPREME COURT RULING THAT THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION IS BOUND BY THE FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE LABOR ARBITER AS THE LATTER WAS IN A BETTER POSITION TO OBSERVE THE DEMEANOR AND DEPORTMENT OF THE WITNESSES IN THE CASE OF ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT UNIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES VERSUS NATIONAL CAPITAL 12 REGION (305 SCRA 233). III 13 PRIVATE RESPONDENT WAS NOT DISMISS[ED] BY RESPONDENT SBT TRUCKING CORPORATION. Three issues are to be resolved: (1) Whether or not an employer-employee relationship existed between petitioners and respondent Sahot; (2) Whether or not there was valid dismissal; and (3) Whether or not respondent Sahot is entitled to separation pay. Crucial to the resolution of this case is the determination of the first issue. Before a case for illegal dismissal can 14 prosper, an employer-employee relationship must first be established. Petitioners invoke the decision of the Labor Arbiter Ariel Cadiente Santos which found that respondent Sahot was 15 not an employee but was in fact, petitioners industrial partner. It is contended that it was the Labor Arbiter who heard the case and had the opportunity to observe the demeanor and deportment of the parties. The same 16 conclusion, aver petitioners, is supported by substantial evidence. Moreover, it is argued that the findings of fact of the Labor Arbiter was wrongly overturned by the NLRC when the latter made the following pronouncement: We agree with complainant that there was error committed by the Labor Arbiter when he concluded that complainant was an industrial partner prior to 1994. A computation of the age of complainant shows that he was only twenty-three (23) years when he started working with respondent as truck helper. How can we entertain in our mind that a twentythree (23) year old man, working as a truck helper, be considered an industrial partner. Hence we rule that complainant was only an employee, not a partner of respondents from the time complainant started working for 17 respondent. Because the Court of Appeals also found that an employer-employee relationship existed, petitioners aver that the appellate courts decision gives an "imprimatur" to the "illegal" finding and conclusion of the NLRC. Private respondent, for his part, denies that he was ever an industrial partner of petitioners. There was no written agreement, no proof that he received a share in petitioners profits, nor was there anything to show he had any 18 participation with respect to the running of the business. The elements to determine the existence of an employment relationship are: (a) the selection and engagement of the employee; (b) the payment of wages; (c) the power of dismissal; and (d) the employers power to control the employees conduct. The most important element is the employers control of the employees conduct, not only as to 19 the result of the work to be done, but also as to the means and methods to accomplish it. As found by the appellate court, petitioners owned and operated a trucking business since the 1950s and by their 20 own allegations, they determined private respondents wages and rest day. Records of the case show that private respondent actually engaged in work as an employee. During the entire course of his employment he did not have the freedom to determine where he would go, what he would do, and how he would do it. He merely followed instructions of petitioners and was content to do so, as long as he was paid his wages. Indeed, said the CA, private respondent had worked as a truck helper and driver of petitioners not for his own pleasure but under the latters control. 21 Article 1767 of the Civil Code states that in a contract of partnership two or more persons bind themselves to contribute money, property or industry to a common fund, with the intention of dividing the profits among 22 themselves. Not one of these circumstances is present in this case. No written agreement exists to prove the partnership between the parties. Private respondent did not contribute money, property or industry for the purpose of

engaging in the supposed business. There is no proof that he was receiving a share in the profits as a matter of course, during the period when the trucking business was under operation. Neither is there any proof that he had actively participated in the management, administration and adoption of policies of the business. Thus, the NLRC and the CA did not err in reversing the finding of the Labor Arbiter that private respondent was an industrial partner from 1958 to 1994. On this point, we affirm the findings of the appellate court and the NLRC. Private respondent Jaime Sahot was not an industrial partner but an employee of petitioners from 1958 to 1994. The existence of an employer-employee 23 relationship is ultimately a question of fact and the findings thereon by the NLRC, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, deserve not only respect but finality when supported by substantial evidence. Substantial evidence is such 24 amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. Time and again this Court has said that "if doubt exists between the evidence presented by the employer and the 25 employee, the scales of justice must be tilted in favor of the latter." Here, we entertain no doubt. Private respondent since the beginning was an employee of, not an industrial partner in, the trucking business. Coming now to the second issue, was private respondent validly dismissed by petitioners? Petitioners contend that it was private respondent who refused to go back to work. The decision of the Labor Arbiter pointed out that during the conciliation proceedings, petitioners requested respondent Sahot to report back for work. However, in the same proceedings, Sahot stated that he was no longer fit to continue working, and instead he demanded separation pay. Petitioners then retorted that if Sahot did not like to work as a driver anymore, then he could be given a job that was less strenuous, such as working as a checker. However, Sahot declined that suggestion. Based on the foregoing recitals, petitioners assert that it is clear that Sahot was not dismissed but it was of his own volition that he did not report for work anymore. In his decision, the Labor Arbiter concluded that: While it may be true that respondents insisted that complainant continue working with respondents despite his alleged illness, there is no direct evidence that will prove that complainants illness prevents or incapacitates him from performing the function of a driver. The fact remains that complainant suddenly stopped working due to boredom or otherwise when he refused to work as a checker which certainly is a much less strenuous job than a 26 driver. But dealing the Labor Arbiter a reversal on this score the NLRC, concurred in by the Court of Appeals, held that: While it was very obvious that complainant did not have any intention to report back to work due to his illness which incapacitated him to perform his job, such intention cannot be construed to be an abandonment. Instead, the same should have been considered as one of those falling under the just causes of terminating an employment. The insistence of respondent in making complainant work did not change the scenario. It is worthy to note that respondent is engaged in the trucking business where physical strength is of utmost requirement (sic). Complainant started working with respondent as truck helper at age twenty-three (23), then as truck driver since 1965. Complainant was already fifty-nine (59) when the complaint was filed and suffering from various illness triggered by his work and age. 27 xxx In termination cases, the burden is upon the employer to show by substantial evidence that the termination was for 28 lawful cause and validly made. Article 277(b) of the Labor Code puts the burden of proving that the dismissal of an employee was for a valid or authorized cause on the employer, without distinction whether the employer admits or 29 does not admit the dismissal. For an employees dismissal to be valid, (a) the dismissal must be for a valid cause 30 and (b) the employee must be afforded due process. Article 284 of the Labor Code authorizes an employer to terminate an employee on the ground of disease, viz: Art. 284. Disease as a ground for termination- An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health as well as the health of his co-employees: xxx However, in order to validly terminate employment on this ground, Book VI, Rule I, Section 8 of the Omnibus Implementing Rules of the Labor Code requires: Sec. 8. Disease as a ground for dismissal- Where the employee suffers from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees, the employer shall not terminate his employment unless there is a certification by competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six (6) months even with proper medical treatment. If the disease or ailment can be cured within the period, the employer shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave. The employer shall reinstate such employee to his former position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health. (Italics supplied). 31 As this Court stated in Triple Eight integrated Services, Inc. vs. NLRC, the requirement for a medical certificate under Article 284 of the Labor Code cannot be dispensed with; otherwise, it would sanction the unilateral and arbitrary determination by the employer of the gravity or extent of the employees illness and thus defeat the public policy in the protection of labor. In the case at bar, the employer clearly did not comply with the medical certificate requirement before Sahots dismissal was effected. In the same case of Sevillana vs. I.T. (International) Corp., we ruled:

Since the burden of proving the validity of the dismissal of the employee rests on the employer, the latter should likewise bear the burden of showing that the requisites for a valid dismissal due to a disease have been complied with. In the absence of the required certification by a competent public health authority, this Court has ruled against the validity of the employees dismissal. It is therefore incumbent upon the private respondents to prove by the quantum of evidence required by law that petitioner was not dismissed, or if dismissed, that the dismissal was not illegal; otherwise, the dismissal would be unjustified. This Court will not sanction a dismissal premised on mere conjectures and suspicions, the evidence must be substantial and not arbitrary and must be founded on clearly 32 established facts sufficient to warrant his separation from work. In addition, we must likewise determine if the procedural aspect of due process had been complied with by the employer. From the records, it clearly appears that procedural due process was not observed in the separation of private respondent by the management of the trucking company. The employer is required to furnish an employee with two written notices before the latter is dismissed: (1) the notice to apprise the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought, which is the equivalent of a charge; and (2) the notice informing the employee of his dismissal, to be issued after the employee has been given reasonable opportunity to answer and to 33 be heard on his defense. These, the petitioners failed to do, even only for record purposes. What management did was to threaten the employee with dismissal, then actually implement the threat when the occasion presented itself because of private respondents painful left thigh. All told, both the substantive and procedural aspects of due process were violated. Clearly, therefore, Sahots dismissal is tainted with invalidity. On the last issue, as held by the Court of Appeals, respondent Jaime Sahot is entitled to separation pay. The law is clear on the matter. An employee who is terminated because of disease is entitled to "separation pay equivalent to at 34 least one month salary or to one-half month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater xxx." Following the formula set in Art. 284 of the Labor Code, his separation pay was computed by the appellate court at P2,080 times 36 years (1958 to 1994) or P74,880. We agree with the computation, after noting that his last monthly salary was P4,160.00 so that one-half thereof is P2,080.00. Finding no reversible error nor grave abuse of discretion on the part of appellate court, we are constrained to sustain its decision. To avoid further delay in the payment due the separated worker, whose claim was filed way back in 1994, this decision is immediately executory. Otherwise, six percent (6%) interest per annum should be charged thereon, for any delay, pursuant to provisions of the Civil Code. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals dated February 29, 2000 is AFFIRMED. Petitioners must pay private respondent Jaime Sahot his separation pay for 36 years of service at the rate of one-half monthly pay for every year of service, amounting to P74,880.00, with interest of six per centum (6%) per annum from finality of this decision until fully paid. Costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. Nos. 83380-81 November 15, 1989 MAKATI HABERDASHERY, INC., JORGE LEDESMA and CECILIO G. INOCENCIO, petitioners, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, CEFERINA J. DIOSANA (Labor Arbiter, Department of Labor and Employment, National Capital Region), SANDIGAN NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (SANDIGAN)-TUCP and its members, JACINTO GARCIANO, ALFREDO C. BASCO, VICTORIO Y. LAURETO, ESTER NARVAEZ, EUGENIO L. ROBLES, BELEN N. VISTA, ALEJANDRO A. ESTRABO, VEVENCIO TIRO, CASIMIRO ZAPATA, GLORIA ESTRABO, LEONORA MENDOZA, MACARIA G. DIMPAS, MERILYN A. VIRAY, LILY OPINA, JANET SANGDANG, JOSEFINA ALCOCEBA and MARIA ANGELES, respondents. Ledesma, Saludo & Associates for petitioners. Pablo S. Bernardo for private respondents. FERNAN, C.J.: This petition for certiorari involving two separate cases filed by private respondents against herein petitioners assails the decision of respondent National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC CASE No. 7-2603-84 entitled "Sandigan Ng Manggagawang Pilipino (SANDIGAN)-TUCP etc., et al. v. Makati Haberdashery and/or Toppers Makati, et al." and NLRC CASE No. 2-428-85 entitled "Sandigan Ng Manggagawang Pilipino (SANDIGAN)-TUCP etc., et al. v. Toppers Makati, et al.", affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter who jointly heard and decided aforesaid cases, finding: (a) petitioners guilty of illegal dismissal and ordering them to reinstate the dismissed workers and (b) the existence of employer-employee relationship and granting respondent workers by reason thereof their various monetary claims. The undisputed facts are as follows: Individual complainants, private respondents herein, have been working for petitioner Makati Haberdashery, Inc. as tailors, seamstress, sewers, basters (manlililip) and "plantsadoras". They are paid on a piece-rate basis except Maria Angeles and Leonila Serafina who are paid on a monthly basis. In addition to their piece-rate, they are given a daily allowance of three (P 3.00) pesos provided they report for work before 9:30 a.m. everyday. Private respondents are required to work from or before 9:30 a.m. up to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and during peak periods even on Sundays and holidays. On July 20, 1984, the Sandigan ng Manggagawang Pilipino, a labor organization of the respondent workers, filed a complaint docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 7-2603-84 for (a) underpayment of the basic wage; (b) underpayment of living allowance; (c) non-payment of overtime work; (d) non-payment of holiday pay; (e) non-payment of service 1 incentive pay; (f) 13th month pay; and (g) benefits provided for under Wage Orders Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. During the pendency of NLRC NCR Case No. 7-2603-84, private respondent Dioscoro Pelobello left with Salvador Rivera, a salesman of petitioner Haberdashery, an open package which was discovered to contain a "jusi" barong tagalog. When confronted, Pelobello replied that the same was ordered by respondent Casimiro Zapata for his customer. Zapata allegedly admitted that he copied the design of petitioner Haberdashery. But in the afternoon, when again questioned about said barong, Pelobello and Zapata denied ownership of the same. Consequently a memorandum was issued to each of them to explain on or before February 4, 1985 why no action should be taken against them for accepting a job order which is prejudicial and in direct competition with the business of the 2 3 company. Both respondents allegedly did not submit their explanation and did not report for work. Hence, they were dismissed by petitioners on February 4, 1985. They countered by filing a complaint for illegal dismissal 4 docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 2-428-85 on February 5, 1985. On June 10, 1986, Labor Arbiter Ceferina J. Diosana rendered judgment, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in NLRC NCR Case No. 2-428-85 finding respondents guilty of illegal dismissal and ordering them to reinstate Dioscoro Pelobello and Casimiro Zapata to their respective or similar positions without loss of seniority rights, with full backwages from July 4, 1985 up to actual reinstatement. The charge of unfair labor practice is dismissed for lack of merit. In NLRC NCR Case No. 7-26030-84, the complainants' claims for underpayment re violation of the minimum wage law is hereby ordered dismissed for lack of merit. Respondents are hereby found to have violated the decrees on the cost of living allowance, service incentive leave pay and the 13th Month Pay. In view thereof, the economic analyst of the Commission is directed to compute the monetary awards due each complainant based on the available records of the respondents retroactive as of three years prior to the filing of the instant case. 5 SO ORDERED.

From the foregoing decision, petitioners appealed to the NLRC. The latter on March 30, 1988 affirmed said decision 6 but limited the backwages awarded the Dioscoro Pelobello and Casimiro Zapata to only one (1) year. After their motion for reconsideration was denied, petitioners filed the instant petition raising the following issues: I THE SUBJECT DECISIONS ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED THAT AN EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP EXISTS BETWEEN PETITIONER HABERDASHERY AND RESPONDENTS WORKERS. II THE SUBJECT DECISIONS ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED THAT RESPONDENTS WORKERS ARE ENTITLED TO MONETARY CLAIMS DESPITE THE FINDING THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO MINIMUM WAGE. III THE SUBJECT DECISIONS ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED THAT RESPONDENTS PELOBELLO AND ZAPATA 7 WERE ILLEGALLY DISMISSED. The first issue which is the pivotal issue in this case is resolved in favor of private respondents. We have repeatedly held in countless decisions that the test of employer-employee relationship is four-fold: (1) the selection and engagement of the employee; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal; and (4) the power to control the 8 employee's conduct. It is the so called "control test" that is the most important element. This simply means the determination of whether the employer controls or has reserved the right to control the employee not only as to the 9 result of the work but also as to the means and method by which the same is to be accomplished. The facts at bar indubitably reveal that the most important requisite of control is present. As gleaned from the operations of petitioner, when a customer enters into a contract with the haberdashery or its proprietor, the latter directs an employee who may be a tailor, pattern maker, sewer or "plantsadora" to take the customer's measurements, and to sew the pants, coat or shirt as specified by the customer. Supervision is actively manifested in all these aspects the manner and quality of cutting, sewing and ironing. Furthermore, the presence of control is immediately evident in this memorandum issued by Assistant Manager Cecilio B. Inocencio, Jr. dated May 30, 1981 addressed to Topper's Makati Tailors which reads in part: 4. Effective immediately, new procedures shall be followed: A. To follow instruction and orders from the undersigned Roger Valderama, Ruben Delos Reyes and Ofel Bautista. Other than this person (sic) must ask permission to the above mentioned before giving orders or instructions to the tailors. B. Before accepting the job orders tailors must check the materials, job orders, due dates and other things to maximize the efficiency of our production. The materials should be checked (sic) if it is matched (sic) with the sample, together with the number of the job order. C. Effective immediately all job orders must be finished one day before the due date. This can be done by proper scheduling of job order and if you will cooperate with your supervisors. If you have many due dates for certain day, advise Ruben or Ofel at once so that they can make necessary adjustment on due dates. D. Alteration-Before accepting alteration person attending on customs (sic) must ask first or must advise the tailors regarding the due dates so that we can eliminate what we call 'Bitin'. E. If there is any problem regarding supervisors or co-tailor inside our shop, consult with me at once settle the problem. Fighting inside the shop is strictly prohibited. Any tailor violating this memorandum will be subject to disciplinary action. 10 For strict compliance. From this memorandum alone, it is evident that petitioner has reserved the right to control its employees not only as to the result but also the means and methods by which the same are to be accomplished. That private respondents are regular employees is further proven by the fact that they have to report for work regularly from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. and are paid an additional allowance of P 3.00 daily if they report for work before 9:30 a.m. and which is 11 forfeited when they arrive at or after 9:30 a.m. Since private respondents are regular employees, necessarily the argument that they are independent contractors must fail. As established in the preceding paragraphs, private respondents did not exercise independence in their own methods, but on the contrary were subject to the control of petitioners from the beginning of their tasks to their completion. Unlike independent contractors who generally rely on their own resources, the equipment, tools, accessories, and paraphernalia used by private respondents are supplied and owned by petitioners. Private respondents are totally dependent on petitioners in all these aspects. Coming now to the second issue, there is no dispute that private respondents are entitled to the Minimum Wage as mandated by Section 2(g) of Letter of Instruction No. 829, Rules Implementing Presidential Decree No. 1614 and reiterated in Section 3(f), Rules Implementing Presidential Decree 1713 which explicitly states that, "All employees paid by the result shall receive not less than the applicable new minimum wage rates for eight (8) hours work a day, 12 except where a payment by result rate has been established by the Secretary of Labor. ..." No such rate has been established in this case. But all these notwithstanding, the question as to whether or not there is in fact an underpayment of minimum wages to private respondents has already been resolved in the decision of the Labor Arbiter where he stated: "Hence, for

lack of sufficient evidence to support the claims of the complainants for alleged violation of the minimum wage, their claims for underpayment re violation of the Minimum Wage Law under Wage Orders Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 must 13 perforce fall." The records show that private respondents did not appeal the above ruling of the Labor Arbiter to the NLRC; neither did they file any petition raising that issue in the Supreme Court. Accordingly, insofar as this case is concerned, that issue has been laid to rest. As to private respondents, the judgment may be said to have attained finality. For it is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that "an appellee who has not himself appealed cannot obtain from the appellate 14 court-, any affirmative relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below. " As a consequence of their status as regular employees of the petitioners, they can claim cost of living allowance. This is apparent from the provision defining the employees entitled to said allowance, thus: "... All workers in the private sector, regardless of their position, designation or status, and irrespective of the method by which their wages 15 are paid. " Private respondents are also entitled to claim their 13th Month Pay under Section 3(e) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing P.D. No. 851 which provides: Section 3. Employers covered. The Decree shall apply to all employers except to: xxx xxx xxx (e) Employers of those who are paid on purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and those who are paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work, irrespective of the time consumed in the performance thereof, except where the workers are paid on piece-rate basis in which case the employer shall be covered by this issuance insofar as such workers are concerned. (Emphasis supplied.) On the other hand, while private respondents are entitled to Minimum Wage, COLA and 13th Month Pay, they are not entitled to service incentive leave pay because as piece-rate workers being paid at a fixed amount for performing work irrespective of time consumed in the performance thereof, they fall under one of the exceptions stated in Section 1(d), Rule V, Implementing Regulations, Book III, Labor Code. For the same reason private respondents cannot also claim holiday pay (Section 1(e), Rule IV, Implementing Regulations, Book III, Labor Code). With respect to the last issue, it is apparent that public respondents have misread the evidence, for it does show that a violation of the employer's rules has been committed and the evidence of such transgression, the copied barong tagalog, was in the possession of Pelobello who pointed to Zapata as the owner. When required by their employer to explain in a memorandum issued to each of them, they not only failed to do so but instead went on AWOL (absence without official leave), waited for the period to explain to expire and for petitioner to dismiss them. They thereafter filed an action for illegal dismissal on the far-fetched ground that they were dismissed because of union activities. Assuming that such acts do not constitute abandonment of their jobs as insisted by private respondents, their blatant disregard of their employer's memorandum is undoubtedly an open defiance to the lawful orders of the latter, a justifiable ground for termination of employment by the employer expressly provided for in Article 283(a) of the Labor Code as well as a clear indication of guilt for the commission of acts inimical to the interests of the employer, another justifiable ground for dismissal under the same Article of the Labor Code, paragraph (c). Well established in our jurisprudence is the right of an employer to dismiss an employee whose continuance in the service is inimical to the 16 employer's interest. In fact the Labor Arbiter himself to whom the explanation of private respondents was submitted gave no credence to their version and found their excuses that said barong tagalog was the one they got from the embroiderer for the Assistant Manager who was investigating them, unbelievable. Under the circumstances, it is evident that there is no illegal dismissal of said employees. Thus, We have ruled that: No employer may rationally be expected to continue in employment a person whose lack of morals, respect and loyalty to his employer, regard for his employer's rules, and appreciation of the dignity and responsibility of his office, has so plainly and completely been bared. That there should be concern, sympathy, and solicitude for the rights and welfare of the working class, is meet and proper. That in controversies between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising from the evidence, or in the interpretation of agreements and writings should be resolved in the former's favor, is not an unreasonable or unfair rule. But that disregard of the employer's own rights and interests can be justified by that concern and solicitude is unjust and unacceptable. (Stanford Microsystems, Inc. v. NLRC, 157 SCRA 414-415 [1988] ). The law is protecting the rights of the laborer authorizes neither oppression nor self-destruction of the 17 employer. More importantly, while the Constitution is committed to the policy of social justice and the protection of 18 the working class, it should not be supposed that every labor dispute will automatically be decided in favor of labor. Finally, it has been established that the right to dismiss or otherwise impose discriplinary sanctions upon an employee for just and valid cause, pertains in the first place to the employer, as well as the authority to determine the 19 existence of said cause in accordance with the norms of due process. There is no evidence that the employer violated said norms. On the contrary, private respondents who vigorously insist on the existence of employer-employee relationship, because of the supervision and control of their employer over them, were the very ones who exhibited their lack of respect and regard for their employer's rules.

Under the foregoing facts, it is evident that petitioner Haberdashery had valid grounds to terminate the services of private respondents. WHEREFORE, the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated March 30, 1988 and that of the Labor Arbiter dated June 10, 1986 are hereby modified. The complaint filed by Pelobello and Zapata for illegal dismissal docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 2-428-85 is dismissed for lack of factual and legal bases. Award of service incentive leave pay to private respondents is deleted. SO ORDERED. Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. Nos. 83380-81 November 15, 1989 MAKATI HABERDASHERY, INC., JORGE LEDESMA and CECILIO G. INOCENCIO, petitioners, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, CEFERINA J. DIOSANA (Labor Arbiter, Department of Labor and Employment, National Capital Region), SANDIGAN NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (SANDIGAN)-TUCP and its members, JACINTO GARCIANO, ALFREDO C. BASCO, VICTORIO Y. LAURETO, ESTER NARVAEZ, EUGENIO L. ROBLES, BELEN N. VISTA, ALEJANDRO A. ESTRABO, VEVENCIO TIRO, CASIMIRO ZAPATA, GLORIA ESTRABO, LEONORA MENDOZA, MACARIA G. DIMPAS, MERILYN A. VIRAY, LILY OPINA, JANET SANGDANG, JOSEFINA ALCOCEBA and MARIA ANGELES, respondents. Ledesma, Saludo & Associates for petitioners. Pablo S. Bernardo for private respondents. FERNAN, C.J.: This petition for certiorari involving two separate cases filed by private respondents against herein petitioners assails the decision of respondent National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC CASE No. 7-2603-84 entitled "Sandigan Ng Manggagawang Pilipino (SANDIGAN)-TUCP etc., et al. v. Makati Haberdashery and/or Toppers Makati, et al." and NLRC CASE No. 2-428-85 entitled "Sandigan Ng Manggagawang Pilipino (SANDIGAN)-TUCP etc., et al. v. Toppers Makati, et al.", affirming the decision of the Labor Arbiter who jointly heard and decided aforesaid cases, finding: (a) petitioners guilty of illegal dismissal and ordering them to reinstate the dismissed workers and (b) the existence of employer-employee relationship and granting respondent workers by reason thereof their various monetary claims. The undisputed facts are as follows: Individual complainants, private respondents herein, have been working for petitioner Makati Haberdashery, Inc. as tailors, seamstress, sewers, basters (manlililip) and "plantsadoras". They are paid on a piece-rate basis except Maria Angeles and Leonila Serafina who are paid on a monthly basis. In addition to their piece-rate, they are given a daily allowance of three (P 3.00) pesos provided they report for work before 9:30 a.m. everyday. Private respondents are required to work from or before 9:30 a.m. up to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and during peak periods even on Sundays and holidays. On July 20, 1984, the Sandigan ng Manggagawang Pilipino, a labor organization of the respondent workers, filed a complaint docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 7-2603-84 for (a) underpayment of the basic wage; (b) underpayment of living allowance; (c) non-payment of overtime work; (d) non-payment of holiday pay; (e) non-payment of service 1 incentive pay; (f) 13th month pay; and (g) benefits provided for under Wage Orders Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. During the pendency of NLRC NCR Case No. 7-2603-84, private respondent Dioscoro Pelobello left with Salvador Rivera, a salesman of petitioner Haberdashery, an open package which was discovered to contain a "jusi" barong tagalog. When confronted, Pelobello replied that the same was ordered by respondent Casimiro Zapata for his customer. Zapata allegedly admitted that he copied the design of petitioner Haberdashery. But in the afternoon, when again questioned about said barong, Pelobello and Zapata denied ownership of the same. Consequently a memorandum was issued to each of them to explain on or before February 4, 1985 why no action should be taken against them for accepting a job order which is prejudicial and in direct competition with the business of the 2 3 company. Both respondents allegedly did not submit their explanation and did not report for work. Hence, they were dismissed by petitioners on February 4, 1985. They countered by filing a complaint for illegal dismissal 4 docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 2-428-85 on February 5, 1985. On June 10, 1986, Labor Arbiter Ceferina J. Diosana rendered judgment, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in NLRC NCR Case No. 2-428-85 finding respondents guilty of illegal dismissal and ordering them to reinstate Dioscoro Pelobello and Casimiro Zapata to their respective or similar positions without loss of seniority rights, with full backwages from July 4, 1985 up to actual reinstatement. The charge of unfair labor practice is dismissed for lack of merit. In NLRC NCR Case No. 7-26030-84, the complainants' claims for underpayment re violation of the minimum wage law is hereby ordered dismissed for lack of merit. Respondents are hereby found to have violated the decrees on the cost of living allowance, service incentive leave pay and the 13th Month Pay. In view thereof, the economic analyst of the Commission is directed to compute the monetary awards due each complainant based on the available records of the respondents retroactive as of three years prior to the filing of the instant case. 5 SO ORDERED.

From the foregoing decision, petitioners appealed to the NLRC. The latter on March 30, 1988 affirmed said decision 6 but limited the backwages awarded the Dioscoro Pelobello and Casimiro Zapata to only one (1) year. After their motion for reconsideration was denied, petitioners filed the instant petition raising the following issues: I THE SUBJECT DECISIONS ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED THAT AN EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP EXISTS BETWEEN PETITIONER HABERDASHERY AND RESPONDENTS WORKERS. II THE SUBJECT DECISIONS ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED THAT RESPONDENTS WORKERS ARE ENTITLED TO MONETARY CLAIMS DESPITE THE FINDING THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO MINIMUM WAGE. III THE SUBJECT DECISIONS ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED THAT RESPONDENTS PELOBELLO AND ZAPATA 7 WERE ILLEGALLY DISMISSED. The first issue which is the pivotal issue in this case is resolved in favor of private respondents. We have repeatedly held in countless decisions that the test of employer-employee relationship is four-fold: (1) the selection and engagement of the employee; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal; and (4) the power to control the 8 employee's conduct. It is the so called "control test" that is the most important element. This simply means the determination of whether the employer controls or has reserved the right to control the employee not only as to the 9 result of the work but also as to the means and method by which the same is to be accomplished. The facts at bar indubitably reveal that the most important requisite of control is present. As gleaned from the operations of petitioner, when a customer enters into a contract with the haberdashery or its proprietor, the latter directs an employee who may be a tailor, pattern maker, sewer or "plantsadora" to take the customer's measurements, and to sew the pants, coat or shirt as specified by the customer. Supervision is actively manifested in all these aspects the manner and quality of cutting, sewing and ironing. Furthermore, the presence of control is immediately evident in this memorandum issued by Assistant Manager Cecilio B. Inocencio, Jr. dated May 30, 1981 addressed to Topper's Makati Tailors which reads in part: 4. Effective immediately, new procedures shall be followed: A. To follow instruction and orders from the undersigned Roger Valderama, Ruben Delos Reyes and Ofel Bautista. Other than this person (sic) must ask permission to the above mentioned before giving orders or instructions to the tailors. B. Before accepting the job orders tailors must check the materials, job orders, due dates and other things to maximize the efficiency of our production. The materials should be checked (sic) if it is matched (sic) with the sample, together with the number of the job order. C. Effective immediately all job orders must be finished one day before the due date. This can be done by proper scheduling of job order and if you will cooperate with your supervisors. If you have many due dates for certain day, advise Ruben or Ofel at once so that they can make necessary adjustment on due dates. D. Alteration-Before accepting alteration person attending on customs (sic) must ask first or must advise the tailors regarding the due dates so that we can eliminate what we call 'Bitin'. E. If there is any problem regarding supervisors or co-tailor inside our shop, consult with me at once settle the problem. Fighting inside the shop is strictly prohibited. Any tailor violating this memorandum will be subject to disciplinary action. 10 For strict compliance. From this memorandum alone, it is evident that petitioner has reserved the right to control its employees not only as to the result but also the means and methods by which the same are to be accomplished. That private respondents are regular employees is further proven by the fact that they have to report for work regularly from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. and are paid an additional allowance of P 3.00 daily if they report for work before 9:30 a.m. and which is 11 forfeited when they arrive at or after 9:30 a.m. Since private respondents are regular employees, necessarily the argument that they are independent contractors must fail. As established in the preceding paragraphs, private respondents did not exercise independence in their own methods, but on the contrary were subject to the control of petitioners from the beginning of their tasks to their completion. Unlike independent contractors who generally rely on their own resources, the equipment, tools, accessories, and paraphernalia used by private respondents are supplied and owned by petitioners. Private respondents are totally dependent on petitioners in all these aspects. Coming now to the second issue, there is no dispute that private respondents are entitled to the Minimum Wage as mandated by Section 2(g) of Letter of Instruction No. 829, Rules Implementing Presidential Decree No. 1614 and reiterated in Section 3(f), Rules Implementing Presidential Decree 1713 which explicitly states that, "All employees paid by the result shall receive not less than the applicable new minimum wage rates for eight (8) hours work a day, 12 except where a payment by result rate has been established by the Secretary of Labor. ..." No such rate has been established in this case. But all these notwithstanding, the question as to whether or not there is in fact an underpayment of minimum wages to private respondents has already been resolved in the decision of the Labor Arbiter where he stated: "Hence, for

lack of sufficient evidence to support the claims of the complainants for alleged violation of the minimum wage, their claims for underpayment re violation of the Minimum Wage Law under Wage Orders Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 must 13 perforce fall." The records show that private respondents did not appeal the above ruling of the Labor Arbiter to the NLRC; neither did they file any petition raising that issue in the Supreme Court. Accordingly, insofar as this case is concerned, that issue has been laid to rest. As to private respondents, the judgment may be said to have attained finality. For it is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that "an appellee who has not himself appealed cannot obtain from the appellate 14 court-, any affirmative relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below. " As a consequence of their status as regular employees of the petitioners, they can claim cost of living allowance. This is apparent from the provision defining the employees entitled to said allowance, thus: "... All workers in the private sector, regardless of their position, designation or status, and irrespective of the method by which their wages 15 are paid. " Private respondents are also entitled to claim their 13th Month Pay under Section 3(e) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing P.D. No. 851 which provides: Section 3. Employers covered. The Decree shall apply to all employers except to: xxx xxx xxx (e) Employers of those who are paid on purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and those who are paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work, irrespective of the time consumed in the performance thereof, except where the workers are paid on piece-rate basis in which case the employer shall be covered by this issuance insofar as such workers are concerned. (Emphasis supplied.) On the other hand, while private respondents are entitled to Minimum Wage, COLA and 13th Month Pay, they are not entitled to service incentive leave pay because as piece-rate workers being paid at a fixed amount for performing work irrespective of time consumed in the performance thereof, they fall under one of the exceptions stated in Section 1(d), Rule V, Implementing Regulations, Book III, Labor Code. For the same reason private respondents cannot also claim holiday pay (Section 1(e), Rule IV, Implementing Regulations, Book III, Labor Code). With respect to the last issue, it is apparent that public respondents have misread the evidence, for it does show that a violation of the employer's rules has been committed and the evidence of such transgression, the copied barong tagalog, was in the possession of Pelobello who pointed to Zapata as the owner. When required by their employer to explain in a memorandum issued to each of them, they not only failed to do so but instead went on AWOL (absence without official leave), waited for the period to explain to expire and for petitioner to dismiss them. They thereafter filed an action for illegal dismissal on the far-fetched ground that they were dismissed because of union activities. Assuming that such acts do not constitute abandonment of their jobs as insisted by private respondents, their blatant disregard of their employer's memorandum is undoubtedly an open defiance to the lawful orders of the latter, a justifiable ground for termination of employment by the employer expressly provided for in Article 283(a) of the Labor Code as well as a clear indication of guilt for the commission of acts inimical to the interests of the employer, another justifiable ground for dismissal under the same Article of the Labor Code, paragraph (c). Well established in our jurisprudence is the right of an employer to dismiss an employee whose continuance in the service is inimical to the 16 employer's interest. In fact the Labor Arbiter himself to whom the explanation of private respondents was submitted gave no credence to their version and found their excuses that said barong tagalog was the one they got from the embroiderer for the Assistant Manager who was investigating them, unbelievable. Under the circumstances, it is evident that there is no illegal dismissal of said employees. Thus, We have ruled that: No employer may rationally be expected to continue in employment a person whose lack of morals, respect and loyalty to his employer, regard for his employer's rules, and appreciation of the dignity and responsibility of his office, has so plainly and completely been bared. That there should be concern, sympathy, and solicitude for the rights and welfare of the working class, is meet and proper. That in controversies between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising from the evidence, or in the interpretation of agreements and writings should be resolved in the former's favor, is not an unreasonable or unfair rule. But that disregard of the employer's own rights and interests can be justified by that concern and solicitude is unjust and unacceptable. (Stanford Microsystems, Inc. v. NLRC, 157 SCRA 414-415 [1988] ). The law is protecting the rights of the laborer authorizes neither oppression nor self-destruction of the 17 employer. More importantly, while the Constitution is committed to the policy of social justice and the protection of 18 the working class, it should not be supposed that every labor dispute will automatically be decided in favor of labor. Finally, it has been established that the right to dismiss or otherwise impose discriplinary sanctions upon an employee for just and valid cause, pertains in the first place to the employer, as well as the authority to determine the 19 existence of said cause in accordance with the norms of due process. There is no evidence that the employer violated said norms. On the contrary, private respondents who vigorously insist on the existence of employer-employee relationship, because of the supervision and control of their employer over them, were the very ones who exhibited their lack of respect and regard for their employer's rules.

Under the foregoing facts, it is evident that petitioner Haberdashery had valid grounds to terminate the services of private respondents. WHEREFORE, the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated March 30, 1988 and that of the Labor Arbiter dated June 10, 1986 are hereby modified. The complaint filed by Pelobello and Zapata for illegal dismissal docketed as NLRC NCR Case No. 2-428-85 is dismissed for lack of factual and legal bases. Award of service incentive leave pay to private respondents is deleted. SO ORDERED. Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

FIRST DIVISION CHARLITO PEARANDA, Petitioner, G.R. No. 159577 Present: Panganiban, CJ, Chairman, Ynares-Santiago, Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., and Chico-Nazario, JJ BAGANGA PLYWOOD CORPORATION and HUDSON CHUA, Respondents. Promulgated: May 3, 2006 x -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- x DECISION PANGANIBAN, CJ: M anagerial employees and members of the managerial staff are exempted from the provisions of the Labor Code on labor standards. Since petitioner belongs to this class of employees, he is not entitled to overtime pay and premium pay for working on rest days. The Case Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the January 27, [3] 2003 and July 4, 2003 Resolutions of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR SP No. 74358. The earlier Resolution disposed as follows:
[2] [1]

- versus -

Upon the other hand, respondent [BPC] is a domestic corporation duly organized and existing under Philippine laws and is represented herein by its General Manager HUDSON CHUA, [the] individual respondent. Respondents thru counsel allege that complainants separation from service was done pursuant to Art. 283 of the Labor Code. The respondent [BPC] was on temporary closure due to repair and general maintenance and it applied for clearance with the Department of Labor and Employment, Regional Office No. XI to shut down and to dismiss employees (par. 2 position paper). And due to the insistence of herein complainant he was paid his separation benefits (Annexes C and D, ibid). Consequently, when respondent [BPC] partially reopened in January 2001, [Pearanda] failed to reapply. Hence, he was not terminated from employment much less illegally. He opted to severe employment when he insisted payment of his separation benefits. Furthermore, being a managerial employee he is not entitled to overtime pay and if ever he rendered services beyond the normal hours of work, [there] was no office order/or authorization for him to do so. Finally, respondents allege that the claim for damages has no legal and factual basis and that the instant complaint must necessarily [10] fail for lack of merit.

The labor arbiter ruled that there was no illegal dismissal and that petitioners Complaint was premature [11] because he was still employed by BPC. The temporary closure of BPCs plant did not terminate his employment, hence, he need not reapply when the plant reopened. According to the labor arbiter, petitioners money claims for illegal dismissal was also weakened by his quitclaim and admissionduring the clarificatory conference that he accepted separation benefits, sick and vacation [12] leave conversions and thirteenth month pay. Nevertheless, the labor arbiter found petitioner entitled to overtime pay, premium pay for working on rest [13] days, and attorneys fees in the total amount of P21,257.98. Ruling of the NLRC Respondents filed an appeal to the NLRC, which deleted the award of overtime pay and premium pay for working on rest days. According to the Commission, petitioner was not entitled to these awards because he was a [14] managerial employee. Ruling of the Court of Appeals

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.

[4]

The latter Resolution denied reconsideration. On the other hand, the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) challenged in the CA disposed as follows: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision of the Labor Arbiter below awarding overtime pay and premium pay for rest day to complainant is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the complaint in the above-entitled case dismissed for [5] lack of merit. The Facts Sometime in June 1999, Petitioner Charlito Pearanda was hired as an employee of Baganga Plywood [6] Corporation (BPC) to take charge of the operations and maintenance of its steam plant boiler. In May 2001, Pearanda filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal with money claims against BPC and its general manager, Hudson [7] Chua, before the NLRC. After the parties failed to settle amicably, the labor arbiter directed the parties to file their position papers [9] and submit supporting documents. Their respective allegations are summarized by the labor arbiter as follows: [Pearanda] through counsel in his position paper alleges that he was employed by respondent [Baganga] on March 15, 1999 with a monthly salary of P5,000.00 as Foreman/Boiler Head/Shift Engineer until he was illegally terminated on December 19, 2000. Further, [he] alleges that his services [were] terminated without the benefit of due process and valid grounds in accordance with law. Furthermore, he was not paid his overtime pay, premium pay for working during holidays/rest days, night shift differentials and finally claims for payment of damages and attorneys fees having been forced to litigate the present complaint.
[8]

In its Resolution dated January 27, 2003, the CA dismissed Pearandas Petition for Certiorari. The appellate court held that he failed to: 1) attach copies of the pleadings submitted before the labor arbiter and NLRC; and 2) [15] explain why the filing and service of the Petition was not done by personal service. In its later Resolution dated July 4, 2003, the CA denied reconsideration on the ground that petitioner still [16] failed to submit the pleadings filed before the NLRC. Hence this Petition.
[17]

The Issues Petitioner states the issues in this wise: The [NLRC] committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction when it entertained the APPEAL of the respondent[s] despite the lapse of the mandatory period of TEN DAYS. The [NLRC] committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to an excess or lack of jurisdiction when it rendered the assailed RESOLUTIONS dated May 8, 2002 and AUGUST 16, 2002 REVERSING AND SETTING ASIDE the FACTUAL AND LEGAL FINDINGS of the [labor arbiter] with respect to the following: I. The finding of the [labor arbiter] that [Pearanda] is a regular, common employee entitled to monetary benefits under Art. 82 [of the Labor Code].

II.

The finding that [Pearanda] is entitled to the payment of OVERTIME PAY and [18] OTHER MONETARY BENEFITS. The Courts Ruling

(3) They have the authority to hire or fire other employees of lower rank; or their suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring and firing and as to the promotion or any [31] other change of status of other employees are given particular weight. The Court disagrees with the NLRCs finding that petitioner was a managerial employee. However, petitioner was a member of the managerial staff, which also takes him out of the coverage of labor standards. Like managerial employees, officers and members of the managerial staff are not entitled to the provisions of law on labor [32] standards. The Implementing Rules of the Labor Code define members of a managerial staff as those with the following duties and responsibilities: (1) The primary duty consists of the performance of work directly related to management policies of the employer; (2) Customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment; (3) (i) Regularly and directly assist a proprietor or a managerial employee whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which he is employed or subdivision thereof; or (ii) execute under general supervision work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge; or (iii) execute under general supervision special assignments and tasks; and (4) who do not devote more than 20 percent of their hours worked in a workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the work described in [33] paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) above. As shift engineer, petitioners duties and responsibilities were as follows: 1. To supply the required and continuous steam to all consuming units at minimum cost. 2. To supervise, check and monitor manpower workmanship as well as operation of boiler and accessories. 3. To evaluate performance of machinery and manpower. 4. To follow-up supply of waste and other materials for fuel. 5. To train new employees for effective and safety while working. 6. Recommend parts and supplies purchases. 7. To recommend personnel actions such as: promotion, or disciplinary action. 8. To check water from the boiler, feedwater and softener, regenerate softener if beyond hardness limit. 9. Implement Chemical Dosing. [34] 10. Perform other task as required by the superior from time to time. The foregoing enumeration, particularly items 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 illustrates that petitioner was a member of the managerial staff. His duties and responsibilities conform to the definition of a member of a managerial staff under the Implementing Rules. Petitioner supervised the engineering section of the steam plant boiler. His work involved overseeing the operation of the machines and the performance of the workers in the engineering section. This work necessarily required the use of discretion and independent judgment to ensure the proper functioning of the steam plant boiler. [35] As supervisor, petitioner is deemed a member of the managerial staff. Noteworthy, even petitioner admitted that he was a supervisor. In his Position Paper, he stated that he [36] The term foreman implies that he was the was the foreman responsible for the operation of the boiler. [37] representative of management over the workers and the operation of the department. Petitioners evidence also [38] His classification as supervisor is further evident from the showed that he was the supervisor of the steam plant. manner his salary was paid. He belonged to the 10% of respondents 354 employees who were paid on a monthly [39] basis; the others were paid only on a daily basis. On the basis of the foregoing, the Court finds no justification to award overtime pay and premium pay for rest days to petitioner. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.

The Petition is not meritorious Preliminary Issue: Resolution on the Merits The CA dismissed Pearandas Petition on purely technical grounds, particularly with regard to the failure to submit supporting documents. In Atillo v. Bombay, the Court held that the crucial issue is whether the documents accompanying the petition before the CA sufficiently supported the allegations therein. Citing this case, Piglas-Kamao v. [20] NLRC stayed the dismissal of an appeal in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction to order the adjudication on the merits. The Petition filed with the CA shows a prima facie case. Petitioner attached his evidence to challenge the [21] finding that he was a managerial employee. In his Motion for Reconsideration, petitioner also submitted the [22] Evidently, the CA could have ruled on pleadings before the labor arbiter in an attempt to comply with the CA rules. the Petition on the basis of these attachments. Petitioner should be deemed in substantial compliance with the procedural requirements. Under these extenuating circumstances, the Court does not hesitate to grant liberality in favor of petitioner and to tackle his substantive arguments in the present case. Rules of procedure must be adopted to help promote, [23] not frustrate, substantial justice. The Court frowns upon the practice of dismissing cases purely on procedural [24] [25] grounds. Considering that there was substantial compliance, a liberal interpretation of procedural rules in this [26] labor case is more in keeping with the constitutional mandate to secure social justice. First Issue: Timeliness of Appeal Under the Rules of Procedure of the NLRC, an appeal from the decision of the labor arbiter should be filed [27] within 10 days from receipt thereof. Petitioners claim that respondents filed their appeal beyond the required period is not substantiated. In the pleadings before us, petitioner fails to indicate when respondents received the Decision of the labor arbiter. Neither did the petitioner attach a copy of the challenged appeal. Thus, this Court has no means to determine from the records when the 10-day period commenced and terminated. Since petitioner utterly failed to support his claim that respondents appeal was filed out of time, we need not belabor that point. The parties alleging [28] have the burden of substantiating their allegations. Second Issue: Nature of Employment Petitioner claims that he was not a managerial employee, and therefore, entitled to the award granted by the labor arbiter. Article 82 of the Labor Code exempts managerial employees from the coverage of labor standards. Labor standards provide the working conditions of employees, including entitlement to overtime pay and premium pay for [29] working on rest days. Under this provision, managerial employees are those whose primary duty consists of the [30] management of the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or subdivision. The Implementing Rules of the Labor Code state that managerial employees are those who meet the following conditions: (1) Their primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or subdivision thereof; (2) They customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more employees therein;
[19]