Republic of the Philippines

Supreme Court
Manila

FIRST DIVISION

RENATO REAL, Petitioner,

G.R. No. 168757 Present: CORONA, C. J., Chairperson, VELASCO, JR., LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, DEL CASTILLO, and PEREZ, JJ. Promulgated: January 19, 2011

- versus-

SANGU PHILIPPINES, INC. and/ or KIICHI ABE, Respondents.

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DECISION

DEL CASTILLO, J.:

The perennial question of whether a complaint for illegal dismissal is intracorporate and thus beyond the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter is the core issue up for consideration in this case.

This Petition for Review on Certiorari assails the Decision1[1] dated June 28, 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP. No. 86017 which dismissed the petition for certiorari filed before it.

Factual Antecedents

Petitioner Renato Real was the Manager of respondent corporation Sangu Philippines, Inc., a corporation engaged in the business of providing manpower for general services, like janitors, janitresses and other maintenance personnel, to various clients. In 2001, petitioner, together with 29 others who were either janitors, janitresses, leadmen and maintenance men, all employed by respondent corporation, filed their respective Complaints2[2] for illegal dismissal against the latter and respondent Kiichi Abe, the corporation¶s Vice-President and General Manager. These complaints were later on consolidated.

With regard to petitioner, he was removed from his position as Manager through Board Resolution 2001-033[3] adopted by respondent corporation¶s Board of Directors. Petitioner complained that he was neither notified of the Board Meeting during which said board resolution was passed nor formally charged with any infraction. He just received from respondents a letter4[4] dated March 26, 2001 stating that he has been terminated from service effective March 25, 2001 for the following reasons: (1) continuous absences at his post at Ogino Philippines Inc. for several months which was detrimental to the corporation¶s operation; (2) loss of trust and confidence; and, (3) to cut down operational expenses to reduce further losses being experienced by respondent corporation.

Respondents, on the other hand, refuted petitioner¶s claim of illegal dismissal by alleging that after petitioner was appointed Manager, he committed gross acts of misconduct detrimental to the company since 2000. According to them, petitioner would almost always absent himself from work without informing the corporation of his whereabouts and that he would come to the office only to collect his salaries. As he was almost always absent, petitioner neglected to supervise the employees resulting in complaints from various clients about employees¶ performance. In one instance,

petitioner together with a few others, while apparently drunk, went to the premises of one of respondents¶ clients, Epson Precision (Phils.) Inc., and engaged in a heated argument with the employees therein. Because of this, respondent Abe allegedly received a complaint from Epson¶s Personnel Manager concerning petitioner¶s conduct. Respondents likewise averred that petitioner established a company engaged in the same

business as respondent corporation¶s and even submitted proposals for janitorial services to two of the latter¶s clients. Because of all these, the Board of Directors of respondent corporation met on March 24, 2001 and adopted Board Resolution No. 2001-03 removing petitioner as Manager. Petitioner was thereafter informed of his removal through a letter dated March 26, 2001 which he, however, refused to receive.

Further, in what respondents believed to be an act of retaliation, petitioner allegedly encouraged the employees who had been placed in the manpower pool to file a complaint for illegal dismissal against respondents. Worse, he later incited those

assigned in Epson Precision (Phils.) Inc., Ogino Philippines Corporation, Hitachi Cable Philippines Inc. and Philippine TRC Inc. to stage a strike on April 10 to 16, 2001. Not satisfied, petitioner together with other employees also barricaded the premises of respondent corporation. Such acts respondents posited constitute just cause for

petitioner¶s dismissal and that same was validly effected.

Rulings of the Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission

The Labor Arbiter in a Decision5[5] dated June 5, 2003 declared petitioner and his co-complainants as having been illegally dismissed and ordered respondents to reinstate complainants to their former positions without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to pay their full backwages from the time of their dismissal until actually reinstated and furthermore, to pay them attorney¶s fees. The Labor Arbiter found no convincing

Respondents claimed that petitioner is both a stockholder and a corporate officer of respondent corporation. Aside from petitioner¶s own admission in the pleadings that he is a stockholder and at the same time occupying a managerial position.proof of the causes for which petitioner was terminated and noted that there was complete absence of due process in the manner of his termination. The NLRC found such contention of respondents to be meritorious. the NLRC opined. 1999 listing petitioner as one of its stockholders. his action against respondent corporation is an intra-corporate controversy over which the Labor Arbiter has no jurisdiction. As to the other complainants. Respondents thus appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and raised therein as one of the issues the lack of jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter over petitioner¶s complaint. The NLRC however. consequently his termination had to be effected through a board resolution. his action against respondents is an intra-corporate controversy over which the Labor Arbiter has no jurisdiction. clearly established petitioner¶s status as a stockholder and as a corporate officer and hence. hence. the dispositive portion of which reads: . These. the NLRC ruled that there was no dismissal. 2004. modified the appealed decision of the Labor Arbiter in a Decision7[7] dated February 13. the NLRC also gave weight to the corporation¶s General Information Sheet6[6] (GIS) dated October 27.

He posited that his being a stockholder and his being a managerial employee do not ipso facto confer upon him the status of a corporate officer. While admitting that he is indeed a stockholder of respondent corporation. petitioner called the CA¶s attention to the same GIS relied upon by the NLRC when it declared him to be a corporate officer.WHEREFORE. he . He pointed out that although said information sheet clearly indicates that he is a stockholder of respondent corporation. To support this contention. the appealed Decision dated June 5. SO ORDERED. Still joined by his co-complainants. 2003 is hereby MODIFIED. they are hereby ordered to immediately report back to work but without the payment of backwages. As to the rest of the complainants. judgment is hereby rendered DISMISSING the complaint of Renato Real for lack of jurisdiction. petitioner imputed upon the NLRC grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in declaring him a corporate officer and in holding that his action against respondents is an intra-corporate controversy and thus beyond the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. Ruling of the Court of Appeals Before the CA. petitioner nevertheless disputed the declaration of the NLRC that he is a corporate officer thereof. petitioner brought the case to the CA by way of petition for certiorari. Accordingly. all foregoing premises considered. All other claims against respondents including attorney¶s fees are DISMISSED for lack of merit.

he insisted that his action for illegal dismissal is not an intra-corporate controversy as same stemmed from employee-employer relationship which is well within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. It cited Tabang v. Otherwise. Moreover. This can be deduced and is bolstered by the last paragraph of the termination letter sent to him by respondents stating that he is entitled to benefits under the Labor Code.8[8] (Emphasis supplied) In contrast.´ In view of this ruling and since petitioner is undisputedly a stockholder of the corporation.´ and that it is ³broad and covers all kinds of controversies between stockholders and corporations. nor any exemption whatsoever.´ that ³[t]here is no distinction. National Labor Relations Commission9[9] wherein this Court declared that ³an intra-corporate controversy is one which arises between a stockholder and the corporation. all that an employer has to do in order to avoid compliance with the requisites of a valid dismissal under the Labor Code is to dismiss a managerial employee through a board resolution.is not an officer thereof as shown by the entry ³N/A´ or ³not applicable´ opposite his name in the officer column. the entry ³N/A´. respondents stood firm that the action against them is an intracorporate controversy. to wit: In this connection (his dismissal) you are entitled to separation pay and other benefits provided for under the Labor Code of the Philippines. Petitioner further argued that the fact that his dismissal was effected through a board resolution does not likewise mean that he is a corporate officer. Said column requires that the particular position be indicated if the person is an officer and if not. respondents contended that the action instituted by petitioner against them is an intra-corporate controversy . qualification.

STANDS. Hence. petitioner is also a corporate officer thereof and consequently. Accordingly. the assailed decision and resolution of the public respondent National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC NCR CA No. Now alone but still undeterred. . his complaint is an intra-corporate controversy over which the labor arbiter has no jurisdiction. The dispositive portion of the CA Decision reads: WHEREFORE. Said court opined that if it was true that petitioner is a mere employee. the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED. To support its finding. the CA sided with respondents and affirmed the NLRC¶s finding that aside from being a stockholder of respondent corporation. the respondent corporation would not have called a board meeting to pass a resolution for petitioner¶s dismissal considering that it was very tedious for the Board of Directors to convene and to adopt a resolution every time they decide to dismiss their managerial employees. the NLRC correctly dismissed petitioner¶s complaint for lack of jurisdiction. 036128-03 NLRC SRAB-IV-05-6618-01-B/056619-02-B/05-6620-02-B/10-6637-01-B/10-6833-01-B. SO ORDERED.cognizable only by the appropriate regional trial court. petitioner elevated the case to us through this Petition for Review on Certiorari. the CA likewise affirmed the NLRC¶S finding that they were never dismissed from the service. In the assailed Decision10[10] dated June 28. the CA likewise cited Tabang. As to petitioner¶s cocomplainants. 2005.

petitioner maintains that he is not a corporate officer contrary to the findings of the NLRC and the CA. an action involving the status of a stockholder as such. He argues that a corporate officer is one who holds an elective position as provided in the Articles of Incorporation or one who is appointed to such other positions by the Board of Directors as specifically authorized by its By-Laws. as held in a long line of jurisprudence. Petitioner likewise contends that his complaint for illegal dismissal against respondents is not an intra-corporate controversy.The Parties¶ Arguments Petitioner continues to insist that he is not a corporate officer. . same must arise from intra-corporate relations. He believes that his action against the respondents does not arise from intra-corporate relations but rather from employer-employee relations. To the respondents.. i. the question of whether petitioner is a corporate officer is a question of fact which. For their part. according to him. And. respondents posit that what petitioner is essentially assailing before this Court is the finding of the NLRC and the CA that he is a corporate officer of respondent corporation.e. This. since he was neither elected nor is there any showing that he was appointed by the Board of Directors to his position as Manager. was even impliedly recognized by respondents as shown by the earlier quoted portion of the termination letter they sent to him. He avers that for an action or suit between a stockholder and a corporation to be considered an intra-corporate controversy.

(6) Petitioner has shown himself to be an incompetent manager.cannot be the subject of review under this Petition for Review on Certiorari. National Labor Relations Commission. (3) As stockholder. v. (4) His appointment as manager was by virtue of Section 1.E. respondents insist that petitioner who is undisputedly a stockholder of respondent corporation is likewise a corporate officer and that his action against them is an intracorporate dispute beyond the jurisdiction of the labor tribunals. with a par-value of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. Tabang v. National Labor Relations Commission. respondents enumerated the following facts and circumstances: (1) Petitioner was an incorporator.00). National Labor Relations Commission13[13] and again. Asia).800) common shares held by Filipino stockholders. stockholder and manager of respondent company. unable to properly supervise the employees and even causing friction with the . Article IV of respondent corporation¶s By-Laws. they cited several jurisprudence such as Pearson & George (S.12[12] Fortune Cement Corporation v. he had direct management and authority over all of respondent corporation¶s skilled employees. Leano.11[11] Philippine School of Business Administration v.000) of the Ten Thousand Eight Hundred (10. To support this. he has One Thousand (1. he was one of only seven incorporators of respondent corporation and one of only four Filipino members of the Board of Directors. (5) As manager. Inc. (2) As an incorporator. in an attempt to demolish petitioner¶s claim that the present controversy concerns employer-employee relations.000.14[14] Moreover. At any rate.

petitioner urged the employees under him to stage an unlawful strike by leading them to believe that they have been illegally dismissed from employment. They explain that the benefits provided under the Labor Code were merely made by respondent corporation as the basis in determining petitioner¶s compensation package and that same are merely part of the perquisites of petitioner¶s office as a director and manager.corporation¶s clients by engaging in unruly behavior while in client¶s premises. Finally. that is. . (9) After his removal. For this reason. he established another company engaged in the same line of business as respondent corporation. Hence. It does not and it cannot change the intra-corporate nature of the controversy. (7) As if his incompetence was not enough. in a blatant and palpable act of disloyalty.15[15] Apparently. respondents state that the fact that petitioner is being given benefits under the Labor Code as stated in his termination letter does not mean that they are recognizing the employer-employee relations between them. his utter failure to advance its interest and the prejudice caused by his acts of disloyalty. (8) Because of these acts of incompetence and disloyalty. respondents see the action against them not as a case between an employer and an employee as what petitioner alleges. but one by an officer and at same time a major stockholder seeking to be reinstated to his former office against the corporation that declared his position vacant. respondent corporation through a Resolution adopted by its Board of Directors was finally constrained to remove petitioner as Manager and declare his office vacant. respondents intended to show from this enumeration that petitioner¶s removal pertains to his relationship with respondent corporation. respondents pray that this petition be dismissed for lack of merit.

Our Ruling Two-tier test in determining the existence of intra-corporate controversy Respondents strongly rely on this Court¶s pronouncement in the 1997 case of Tabang v. There is no distinction. the core issue to be resolved in this case is whether petitioner¶s complaint for illegal dismissal constitutes an intra-corporate controversy and thus. beyond the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. to wit: [A]n intra-corporate controversy is one which arises between a stockholder and the corporation.Issues From the foregoing and as earlier mentioned. The provision is broad and covers all kinds of controversies between stockholders and corporations. National Labor Relations Commission.16[16] . qualification nor any exemption whatsoever.

In the absence of any one of these factors. the Court provided in Mainland Construction Co. the SEC will not have jurisdiction. it does not necessarily follow that every conflict between the corporation and its stockholders would involve such corporate matters as only SEC (now the Regional Trial Court20[20]) can resolve in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. Movilla17[17] a ³better policy´ in determining which between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Labor Arbiter has jurisdiction over termination disputes. whether they are intra-corporate or not. v. Furthermore. The better policy to be followed in determining jurisdiction over a case should be to consider concurrent factors such as the status or relationship of the parties or the nature of the question that is subject of their controversy. It is worthy to note. the present case still constitutes an intra-corporate controversy as petitioner is undisputedly a stockholder and a director of respondent corporation.In view of this. that before the promulgation of the Tabang case.. Inc. however.18[18] or similarly. viz: The fact that the parties involved in the controversy are all stockholders or that the parties involved are the stockholders and the corporation does not necessarily place the dispute within the ambit of the jurisdiction of the SEC (now the Regional Trial Court19[19]). respondents contend that even if petitioner challenges his being a corporate officer. (Emphasis ours) .

We declared in this case that it is not the mere existence of an intra-corporate relationship that gives rise to an intra-corporate controversy. Inc. We saw that there is no legal sense in disregarding or minimizing the value of the nature of the transactions which gives rise to the dispute. between the corporation. members or officers. Regional Trial Court of Makati. partnership or association and the public. Under the nature of the controversy test. partnership or association and the State as far as its franchise. permit or license to operate is concerned. The controversy must not only be rooted in the existence of an intra-corporate relationship. while Tabang was promulgated later than Mainland Construction Co. This is explained lengthily in Reyes v. This came to be known as the relationship test. officers. and among the stockholders. regardless of the subject matter of the dispute. Inc. partnership or association and its stockholders. or stockholders. the Court introduced the nature of the controversy test. Br. The types of relationships embraced under Section 5(b) x x x were as follows: a) b) c) d) between the corporation. to rely on the relationship test alone will divest the regular courts of their jurisdiction for the sole reason that the dispute involves a corporation. Esta del Sol Mountain Reserve. the main consideration in determining whether a dispute constitutes an intra-corporate controversy was limited to a consideration of the intra-corporate relationship existing between or among the parties.21[21] to wit: Intra-Corporate Controversy A review of relevant jurisprudence shows a development in the Court¶s approach in classifying what constitutes an intra-corporate controversy. The existence of any of the above intra-corporate relations was sufficient to confer jurisdiction to the SEC (now the RTC). If the relationship and its incidents are merely . partners. the incidents of that relationship must also be considered for the purpose of ascertaining whether the controversy itself is intracorporate. between the corporation. its directors. but must as well pertain to the enforcement of the parties¶ correlative rights and obligations under the Corporation Code and the internal and intra-corporate regulatory rules of the corporation. in the 1984 case of DMRC Enterprises v.. 142.. the ³better policy´ enunciated in the latter appears to have developed into a standard approach in classifying what constitutes an intra-corporate controversy. partners or associates themselves.. Initially. However.And.

and between such corporation. and is to be heard and decided by the branches of the RTC specifically designated by the Court to try and decide such cases. but also the nature of the question under controversy. The Court then combined the two tests and declared that jurisdiction should be determined by considering not only the status or relationship of the parties. or association and the State insofar as it concerns the individual franchises. members or associates. To reiterate. This two-tier test was adopted in the recent case of Speed Distribution Inc. If the nature of the controversy involves matters that are purely civil in character. partnership. The first element requires that the controversy must arise out of intracorporate or partnership relations between any or all of the parties and the corporation. partnership or association of which they are stockholders. or association of which they are not stockholders. respectively. There are other factors to consider in determining whether the dispute involves corporate matters as to consider them as intra-corporate controversies. Court of Appeals: µTo determine whether a case involves an intra-corporate controversy. not all conflicts between the stockholders and the corporation are classified as intra-corporate. partnership. members or associates.] Guided by this recent jurisprudence. . necessarily. v. and (2) the nature of the question that is the subject of their controversy.¶ [Citations omitted. two elements must concur: (a) the status or relationship of the parties. we thus find no merit in respondents¶ contention that the fact alone that petitioner is a stockholder and director of respondent corporation automatically classifies this case as an intra-corporate controversy. between any or all of them and the corporation. the case does not involve an intra-corporate controversy. The second element requires that the dispute among the parties be intrinsically connected with the regulation of the corporation. then no intra-corporate controversy exists.incidental to the controversy or if there will still be conflict even if the relationship does not exist.

it is necessary to determine if petitioner is a corporate officer of respondent corporation so as to establish the intra-corporate relationship between the parties. we shall nonetheless proceed to consider the same because such question is not the main issue to be resolved in this case but is merely collateral to the core issue earlier mentioned. And albeit respondents claim that the determination of whether petitioner is a corporate officer is a question of fact which this Court cannot pass upon in this petition for review on certiorari. but as an alleged corporate officer. What the parties disagree on is the finding of the NLRC and the CA that petitioner is a corporate officer.What then is the nature of petitioner¶s Complaint for Illegal Dismissal? Is it intracorporate and thus beyond the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter? We shall answer this question by using the standards set forth in the Reyes case. he was never elected to said . however. reveals that the root of the controversy is petitioner¶s dismissal as Manager of respondent corporation. petitioner is involved in this case not in his capacity as a stockholder or director. therefore. In applying the relationship test. Petitioner negates his status as a corporate officer by pointing out that although he was removed as Manager through a board resolution. Hence. a position which respondents claim to be a corporate office. An examination of the complaint for illegal dismissal. No intra-corporate relationship between the parties As earlier stated. petitioner¶s status as a stockholder and director of respondent corporation is not disputed.

These are the president. The number of corporate officers is thus limited by law and by the corporation¶s by-laws. he avers that respondents failed to present any board resolution that he was appointed pursuant to said By-Laws. petitioner claims to be a mere employee of respondent corporation rather than as a corporate officer. Article IV of respondent corporation¶s By-Laws which provides: . While the By-Laws of respondent corporation provides that the Board may from time to time appoint such officers as it may deem necessary or proper. For these reasons. secretary and the treasurer. auditor or general manager. There are three specific officers whom a corporation must have under Section 25 of the Corporation Code. cashier. He instead alleges that he was hired as Manager of respondent corporation solely by respondent Abe. ³µCorporate officers¶ in the context of Presidential Decree No.´22[22] Respondents claim that petitioner was appointed Manager by virtue of Section 1. the vice-president. The number of officers is not limited to these three.position nor was he appointed thereto by the Board of Directors. 902-A are those officers of the corporation who are given that character by the Corporation Code or by the corporation¶s by-laws. We find merit in petitioner¶s contention. but not limited to. A corporation may have such other officers as may be provided for by its by-laws like.

The Board. No copy of board resolution appointing petitioner as Manager or any other document showing that he was appointed to said position by action of the board was submitted by respondents. the Board of Directors shall formally organize by electing the President. ³The Court has stressed time and again that allegations must be proven by sufficient evidence because mere allegation is definitely not evidence.´25[25] . appoint such other officers as it may determine to be necessary or proper. x x x x23[23] (Emphasis ours) We have however examined the records of this case and we find nothing to prove that petitioner¶s appointment was made pursuant to the above-quoted provision of respondent corporation¶s By-Laws. may from time to time. What we found instead were mere allegations of respondents in their various pleadings24[24] that petitioner was appointed as Manager of respondent corporation and nothing more. the Secretary at said meeting. except that no one shall act as President and Treasurer or Secretary at the same time.ARTICLE IV OFFICER Section 1. Any two (2) or more positions may be held concurrently by the same person. Election/Appointment ± Immediately after their election. Vice-President.

000. Tsutomo Nogami requested Mr. It has been consistently held that ³[a]n µoffice¶ is created by the charter of the corporation . complainant-appellee Renato Real was hired as the manager of respondent-appellant Sangu. He had a problem with his family here in the Philippines which prompted him to surrender himself to Japan¶s Bureau of Immigration and was deported back to the Philippines. his position was reposed with full trust and confidence.It also does not escape our attention that respondents made the following conflicting allegations in their Memorandum on Appeal26[26] filed before the NLRC which cast doubt on petitioner¶s status as a corporate officer. the above-quoted inconsistencies in their allegations as to how petitioner was placed in said position. And so it was arranged that he would serve as respondentappellant Sangu¶s manager. receiving a salary of P25. one of respondent-appellant Sangu¶s Board of Directors. x x x (Emphasis ours) xxxx As earlier stated. at Mito-shi. He was staying in Japan as an illegal alien for the past eleven (11) years. he was tasked to oversee the operations of the company. coupled by the fact that they failed to produce any documentary evidence to prove that petitioner was appointed thereto by action or with approval of the board. Masahiko Shibata.00. Ibaraki-ken Japan. Co. 1998. His former employer. only leads this Court to believe otherwise. Priorly [sic]. As such. x x x While respondents repeatedly claim that petitioner was appointed as Manager pursuant to the corporation¶s By-Laws. Mr. to wit: xxxx 24. Complainant-appellee Renato Real was appointed as the manager of respondent-appellant Sangu on November 6. As such. he was working at Atlas Ltd. if complainant-appellee Renato Real could work as one of its employees here in the Philippines because he had been blacklisted at Japan¶s Immigration Office and could no longer go back to Japan.

. Hence. moral damages and attorney¶s fees. Present controversy does not relate to intracorporate dispute We now go to the nature of controversy test.and the officer is elected (or appointed) by the directors or stockholders. (3) to cut down operational expenses to reduce further losses being experienced by the corporation. For one. Having said this. and. we cannot subscribe to their claim that petitioner is a corporate officer. Thus. backwages. As earlier stated.´27[27] Clearly here. Inc. petitioner¶s continuous absences in his post in Ogino relates to his performance as Manager. petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and sought reinstatement. respondents¶ loss of trust and confidence in petitioner stemmed from his alleged acts of establishing a company engaged in the same line of business as respondent corporation¶s and submitting proposals to the latter¶s clients while he was still serving as its Manager. Second. we find that there is no intra-corporate relationship between the parties insofar as petitioner¶s complaint for illegal dismissal is concerned and that same does not satisfy the relationship test. respondents terminated the services of petitioner for the following reasons: (1) his continuous absences at his post at Ogino Philippines. respondents failed to prove that petitioner was appointed by the board of directors. From these. (2) respondents¶ loss of trust and confidence on petitioner. it is not difficult to see that the reasons given by respondents for dismissing petitioner have something to do with his being a Manager of respondent corporation and nothing with his being a director or stockholder.

when petitioner sought for reinstatement. we.28[28] It was only after respondents invoked the Labor Arbiter¶s lack of jurisdiction over petitioner¶s complaint in the Supplemental Memorandum of Appeal29[29] filed before the NLRC that respondents started considering said acts as such. he wanted to recover his position as Manager. earlier declared to be not a corporate position. respondents did not see such acts to be disloyal acts of a director and stockholder but rather. In sum. as constituting willful breach of the trust reposed upon petitioner as Manager. Certainly.While we note that respondents also claim these acts as constituting acts of disloyalty of petitioner as director and stockholder. a position which we have. we hold that petitioner¶s complaint likewise does not satisfy the nature of controversy test. what we have here is a case of termination of employment which is a labor controversy and not an intracorporate dispute. Thus. With the elements of intra-corporate controversy being absent in this case. He is not trying to recover a seat in the board of directors or to any appointive or elective corporate position which has been declared vacant by the board. however. think that same is a mere afterthought on their part to make it appear that the present case involves an element of intra-corporate controversy. Third. in saying that they were dismissing petitioner to cut operational expenses. we thus hold that petitioner¶s complaint for illegal dismissal against respondents is not intra- . respondents actually want to save on the salaries and other remunerations being given to petitioner as its Manager. This is because before the Labor Arbiter. however.

falls under the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter pursuant to Section 21730[30] of the Labor Code. Philippine School of Business Administration v. . National Labor Relations Commission33[33] both concern a complaint for illegal dismissal by corporate officers who were not re-elected to their respective corporate positions. Fortune Cement Corporation v. Leano32[32] and Pearson & George v. it is a termination dispute and. Rather. The Court declared all these cases as involving intracorporate controversies and thus affirmed the jurisdiction of the SEC (now the RTC)34[34] over them precisely because they all relate to corporate officers and their removal or non-reelection to their respective corporate positions. consequently. petitioner here is not a corporate officer. Said cases are by no means similar to the present case because as discussed earlier. We take note of the cases cited by respondents and find them inapplicable to the case at bar.corporate. National Labor Relations Commission31[31] involves a member of the board of directors and at the same time a corporate officer who claims he was illegally dismissed after he was stripped of his corporate position of Executive Vice-President because of loss of trust and confidence. On the other hand.

leaving no root or branch to bear the seeds of litigation. If.With the foregoing. and other evidence. respondents failed to produce any convincing proof to support the grounds for which they terminated petitioner. as correctly observed by the Labor Arbiter. we will do so to serve the ends of justice instead of remanding the case to the lower court for further proceedings.´35[35] ³It is already an accepted rule of procedure for us to strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding.´36[36] We have gone over the records before us and we are convinced that we can now altogether resolve the issue of the validity of petitioner¶s dismissal and hence. based on the records. we shall proceed to do so. the dispute can be resolved by us. the Court normally remands the case to the NLRC and directs it to properly dispose of the case on the merits. the Court may dispense with the time-consuming procedure of remand in order to prevent further delays in the disposition of the case. In cases such as this. it is clear that the CA erred in affirming the decision of the NLRC which dismissed petitioner¶s complaint for lack of jurisdiction. yet they failed to present any proof that petitioner was indeed absent for such a long time. the fact that petitioner was still able to collect . Also. ³However.´37[37] Here. Petitioner¶s dismissal not in accordance with law ³In an illegal dismissal case. when there is enough basis on which a proper evaluation of the merits of petitioner¶s case may be had. Respondents contend that petitioner has been absent for several months. the onus probandi rests on the employer to prove that [the] dismissal of an employee is for a valid cause. the pleadings.

there is no showing that an investigation on the matter was done and that disciplinary action was imposed upon petitioner. This procedure is mandatory and its absence taints the dismissal with illegality. The law requires the employer to furnish the employee sought to be dismissed with two written notices before termination of employment can be legally effected: (1) a written notice apprising the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought in order to afford him an opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of counsel. At any rate.38[38] Moreover. As to the charge of breach of trust allegedly committed by petitioner when he established a new company engaged in the same line of business as respondent corporation¶s and submitted proposals to two of the latter¶s clients while he was still a Manager. we again observe that these are mere allegations without sufficient proof. Respondents likewise allege that petitioner engaged in a heated argument with the employees of Epson. the abovementioned procedure was clearly . said charges are not sufficient bases for petitioner¶s termination.´39[39] Since in this case. But just like in the charge of absenteeism.his salaries after his alleged absences casts doubts on the truthfulness of such charge. one of respondents¶ clients. ³The twin requirements of notice and hearing constitute the essential elements of due process. we have reviewed the records of this case and we agree with the Labor Arbiter that under the circumstances. allegations must be proven by sufficient evidence because mere allegation is definitely not evidence. petitioner¶s dismissal was effected through a board resolution and all that petitioner received was a letter informing him of the board¶s decision to terminate him. if he desires. and (2) a subsequent notice informing the employee of the employer¶s decision to dismiss him. petitioner¶s dismissal was effected without due process of law. To reiterate.

Considering that petitioner has to secure the services of counsel to protect his interest and necessarily has to incur expenses. And. 2003 Decision of the Labor Arbiter with respect to petitioner Renato Real is AFFIRMED and this case is ordered REMANDED to the National Labor Relations Commission for the computation of petitioner¶s backwages and attorney¶s fees in accordance with this Decision. 2005 Decision of the Court of Appeals insofar as it affirmed the National Labor Relations Commission¶s dismissal of petitioner¶s complaint for lack of jurisdiction. as an illegally dismissed employee is entitled to the two reliefs of backwages and reinstatement. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice .not complied with. All told. The June 5.40[40] we affirm the Labor Arbiter¶s judgment ordering petitioner¶s reinstatement to his former position without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and awarding backwages from the time of his dismissal until actually reinstated. we agree with the findings of the Labor Arbiter that petitioner has been illegally dismissed. WHEREFORE. The assailed June 28. MARIANO C. we likewise affirm the award of attorney¶s fees which is equivalent to 10% of the total backwages that respondents must pay petitioner in accordance with this Decision. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the petition is hereby GRANTED. SO ORDERED.

Petitioner was to be deployed on board the "MSV Seaspread" which was scheduled to leave the port of Manila for Canada on 13 February 1998. 68404. 2007 PAUL V. INC. overtime pay and other benefits. Capt. respondent.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. sent a facsimile message to the captain of "MSV Seaspread. SANTIAGO. Nexus in Kita-kyushu. The following day or on 4 February 1998.00. Inc. DECISION TINGA. respondent¶s Vice President. J. A week before the scheduled date of departure. vs. who was prevented from leaving the port of Manila and refused deployment without valid reason but whose POEA-approved employment contract provides that the employeremployee relationship shall commence only upon the seafarer¶s actual departure from the port in the point of hire.. with the duration of nine (9) months.1 Petitioner had been working as a seafarer for Smith Bell Management. Pacifico Fernandez. . (respondent) for about five (5) years. on one hand. and the manning agent and the foreign principal. is this erstwhile unsettled legal quandary: whether the seafarer. He was assured of a monthly salary of US$515. Other callers who did not reveal their identity gave me some feedbacks that Paul Santiago this time if allowed to depart will jump ship in Canada like his brother Christopher Santiago. CF SHARP CREW MANAGEMENT. respectively. is entitled to relief? This treats of the petition for review filed by Paul V.2 On 3 February 1998." which reads: I received a phone call today from the wife of Paul Santiago in Masbate asking me not to send her husband to MSV Seaspread anymore. 1997. O/S who jumped ship from the C. the contract was approved by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).S. on the other. in CA-G.R. Japan last December.R. Santiago (petitioner) assailing the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated 16 October 2003 and 19 February 2004. petitioner. petitioner signed a new contract of employment with respondent. SP No. 162419 July 10.: At the heart of this case involving a contract between a seafarer. No.

but he was reassured that he might be considered for deployment at some future date.00 plus 10% attorney's fees. Please cancel plans for him to return to Seaspread. A/B. all amounting to US$7. damages.209. In the absence of an employer-employee relationship between the parties. Nexus in Japan. SO ORDERED.4 On 9 February 1998.7 On the other hand. causing petitioner to suffer actual damages representing lost salary income for nine (9) months and fixed overtime fee. the claims for illegal dismissal. Kindly advise. who ruled that the employment contract remained valid but had not commenced since petitioner was not deployed. petitioner was thus told that he would not be leaving for Canada anymore. and attorney¶s fees should be dismissed. respondent violated the rules and regulations governing overseas employment when it did not deploy petitioner.We do not want this to happen again and have the vessel penalized like the C. All the other claims are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. premises considered. The labor arbiter held respondent liable. If you agree with me then we will send his replacement.5 The case was raffled to Labor Arbiter Teresita Castillon-Lora. Cable and Wireless (Marine) Ltd. the NLRC found respondent¶s decision not to deploy petitioner to be a valid exercise of its management prerogative. The dispositive portion of her Decision dated 29 January 1999 reads: WHEREFORE. Petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.8 The NLRC disposed of the appeal in this wise: . respondent is hereby Ordered to pay complainant actual damages in the amount of US$7.6 On appeal by respondent. the employment contract shall commence upon actual departure of the seafarer from the airport or seaport at the point of hire and with a POEA-approved contract. payable in Philippine peso at the rate of exchange prevailing at the time of payment. Forewarned is forearmed like his brother when his brother when he was applying he behaved like a Saint but in his heart he was a serpent. and attorney's fees against respondent and its foreign principal.3 To this message the captain of "MSV Seaspread" replied: Many thanks for your advice concerning P. actual damages. the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) ruled that there is no employer-employee relationship between petitioner and respondent because under the Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers on Board Ocean Going Vessels (POEA Standard Contract). 209. According to her.S. Santiago.00.

12 According to the appellate court.10 He elevated the case to the Court of Appeals through a petition for certiorari.18 Petitioner adds that since the contract is deemed consummated. the assailed Decision dated January 29. in the light of the foregoing. and therefore he should be awarded actual damages.17 Petitioner maintains that respondent violated the Migrant Workers Act and the POEA Rules when it failed to deploy him within thirty (30) calendar days without a valid reason.15 Petitioner¶s subsequent motion for reconsideration was denied on 19 February 2004.16 The present petition is anchored on two grounds. The Honorable Court of Appeals committed a serious error of law when it ignored [S]ection 10 of Republic Act [R. it had unilaterally and arbitrarily prevented the consummation of the POEA.14 It added that since petitioner had not departed from the Port of Manila.] No. 8042 otherwise known as the Migrant Worker¶s Act of 1995 as well as Section 29 of the Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Vessels (which is deemed incorporated under the petitioner¶s POEA approved Employment Contract) that the claims or disputes of the Overseas Filipino Worker by virtue of a contract fall within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter of the NLRC. consisting of the stipulated salary and fixed overtime pay. The Honorable Court of Appeals committed a serious error when it disregarded the required quantum of proof in labor cases. the Court of Appeals noted that there is an ambiguity in the NLRC¶s Decision when it affirmed with modification the labor arbiter¶s Decision. which is substantial evidence. there is nothing more left in the labor arbiter¶s Decision to affirm.9 Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the NLRC¶s Decision but his motion was denied for lack of merit. In doing so. SO ORDERED. said deployment being a condition to the consummation of the POEA contract.13 It agreed with the NLRC¶s finding that petitioner¶s non-deployment was a valid exercise of respondent¶s management prerogative. to wit: A. he should be considered an .A.approved contract. Since it prevented his deployment without valid basis. 1999 is hereby AFFIRMED in so far as other claims are concerned and with MODIFICATION by VACATING the award of actual damages and attorney¶s fees as well as excluding Pacifico Fernandez as party respondent. petitioner is not entitled to actual damages because damages are not recoverable by a worker who was not deployed by his agency within the period prescribed in the POEA Rules. B. In its Decision11 dated 16 October 2003. because by the very modification introduced by the Commission (vacating the award of actual damages and attorney¶s fees). no employer-employee relationship between the parties arose and any claim for damages against the so-called employer could have no leg to stand on.WHEREFORE. the contract is deemed consummated. thus a total departure from established jurisprudence on the matter.

employee for all intents and purposes. contemporaneous with the perfection of the employment contract was the birth of certain rights and obligations. respondent failed to deploy petitioner from the port of Manila to Canada. The commencement of the employer-employee relationship. The controversy involves a breach of contractual obligations and as such is cognizable by civil courts. the breach of which may give rise to a cause of action against the erring party.25 There is some merit in the petition. Considering that petitioner was not able to depart from the airport or seaport in the point of hire. even before the start of any employer-employee relationship. as well as the rest of the terms and conditions therein. that is the seafarer failed or refused to be deployed as agreed upon. plus overtime pay.20 Petitioner submits that respondent had no valid and sufficient cause to abandon the employment contract. if the reverse had happened. The perfection of the contract. He points out that his wife had executed an affidavit21 strongly denying having called respondent. the employment contract did not commence. a distinction must be made between the perfection of the employment contract and the commencement of the employer-employee relationship. respondent claims that the second issue posed by petitioner involves a recalibration of facts which is outside the jurisdiction of this Court. the labor arbiter and/or the NLRC cannot entertain adjudication of petitioner¶s case much less award damages to him.00 per month for nine (9) months.26 However. having worked for five (5) years on board the same vessel owned by the same principal and manned by the same local agent. as the same was not based on substantial evidence.23 On the other hand. . respondent argues that the Labor Arbiter has no jurisdiction to award petitioner¶s monetary claims. it was error for the Court of Appeals to adopt the unfounded conclusion of the NLRC. Consequently. and no employer-employee relationship was created between the parties. There is no question that the parties entered into an employment contract on 3 February 1998. and that the other alleged callers did not even disclose their identities to respondent. which in this case coincided with the date of execution thereof. would have taken place had petitioner been actually deployed from the point of hire. and thus the labor arbiter and/or the NLRC has jurisdiction to take cognizance of his claims. as earlier discussed. he would be liable for damages. whereby petitioner was contracted by respondent to render services on board "MSV Seaspread" for the consideration of US$515.19 Petitioner additionally claims that he should be considered a regular employee. as it merely relied upon alleged phone calls from his wife and other unnamed callers in arriving at the conclusion that he would jump ship like his brother. Thus. His employment with respondent did not commence because his deployment was withheld for a valid reason.24 On another matter. occurred when petitioner and respondent agreed on the object and the cause. However. Thus. He argues that respondent¶s act of not deploying him was a scheme designed to prevent him from attaining the status of a regular employee.22 Thus.

entitled to overtime pay. The fact that the POEA Rules27 are silent as to the payment of damages to the affected seafarer does not mean that the seafarer is precluded from claiming the same. x x x [Emphasis supplied] Since the present petition involves the employment contract entered into by petitioner for overseas employment. While the contract indicated a fixed overtime pay. The amount of US$286. moral. provides that: Sec. Money Claims. while the POEA Standard Contract must be recognized and respected. No. Even though petitioner was "prevented without valid reason from rendering regular much less overtime service.Moreover. the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. it is not a guarantee that he would receive said amount regardless of whether or not he rendered overtime work. Respondent unilaterally and unreasonably reneged on its obligation to deploy petitioner and must therefore answer for the actual damages he suffered. neither the manning agent nor the employer can simply prevent a seafarer from being deployed without a valid reason.00 stipulated in the contract will be paid only if and when the employee rendered . The sanctions provided for non-deployment do not end with the suspension or cancellation of license or fine and the return of all documents at no cost to the worker. the claims arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment including claims for actual. which has jurisdiction over such matters. Section 10 of R. Respondent¶s act of preventing petitioner from departing the port of Manila and boarding "MSV Seaspread" constitutes a breach of contract. his claims are cognizable by the labor arbiters of the NLRC. Article 2199 of the Civil Code provides that one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved. but the NLRC. We take exception to the Court of Appeals¶ conclusion that damages are not recoverable by a worker who was not deployed by his agency. 10."28 the fact remains that there is no certainty that petitioner will perform overtime work had he been allowed to board the vessel. Respondent is thus liable to pay petitioner actual damages in the form of the loss of nine (9) months¶ worth of salary as provided in the contract. the Court rules that the NLRC has jurisdiction over petitioner¶s complaint. 8042 (Migrant Workers Act). Despite the absence of an employer-employee relationship between petitioner and respondent. giving rise to petitioner¶s cause of action. within ninety (90) calendar days after the filing of the complaint.A. He is not. They do not forfend a seafarer from instituting an action for damages against the employer or agency which has failed to deploy him. however. exemplary and other forms of damages. The jurisdiction of labor arbiters is not limited to claims arising from employer-employee relationships. It does not provide for damages and money claims recoverable by aggrieved employees because it is not the POEA. ± Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. The POEA Rules only provide sanctions which the POEA can impose on erring agencies.

National Labor Relations Commission29 where we discussed the matter in this light: The contract provision means that the fixed overtime pay of 30% would be the basis for computing the overtime pay if and when overtime work would be rendered. the contract provision guarantees the right to overtime pay but the entitlement to such benefit must first be established. Their employment is governed by the contracts they sign every time they are rehired and their employment is terminated when the contract expires. The Decision dated 16 October 2003 and the Resolution dated 19 February 2004 of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. a seaman. this Court has upheld management prerogatives so long as they are exercised in good faith for the advancement of the employer¶s interest and not for the purpose of defeating or circumventing the rights of the employees under special laws or under valid agreements. stays on board a ship or vessel beyond the regular eighthour work schedule. petition is GRANTED IN PART. Castillon-Lora dated 29 January 1999 is . The award of attorney¶s fees is thus warranted. a mere suspicion that is based on alleged phone calls of several persons whose identities were not even confirmed.33 the Court ruled that seafarers are considered contractual employees and cannot be considered as regular employees under the Labor Code.30 The Court also holds that petitioner is entitled to attorney¶s fees in the concept of damages and expenses of litigation. moral damages cannot be awarded in this case. Attorney's fees are recoverable when the defendant's act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to incur expenses to protect his interest. At most.34 WHEREFORE. In Millares v.).overtime work. regardless of his previous contracts of employment with respondent. In short.31 We note that respondent¶s basis for not deploying petitioner is the belief that he will jump ship just like his brother. While respondent¶s failure to deploy petitioner seems baseless and unreasonable. forcing petitioner to institute the suit below. v. However. The exigencies of their work necessitates that they be employed on a contractual basis. Realistically speaking. This has been the tenor of our rulings in the case of Stolt-Nielsen Marine Services (Phils. or done deliberately to defeat petitioner¶s rights. he still cannot be considered a regular employee. For the employer to give him overtime pay for the extra hours when he might be sleeping or attending to his personal chores or even just lulling away his time would be extremely unfair and unreasonable.32 Respondent¶s failure to deploy petitioner is unfounded and unreasonable. the rendition of overtime work and the submission of sufficient proof that said work was actually performed are conditions to be satisfied before a seaman could be entitled to overtime pay which should be computed on the basis of 30% of the basic monthly salary. National Labor Relations Commission. We likewise do not see respondent¶s failure to deploy petitioner as an act designed to prevent the latter from attaining the status of a regular employee. Inc. we cannot qualify such action as being tainted with bad faith. Time and again. respondent was being overzealous in protecting its interest when it became too hasty in making its conclusion that petitioner will jump ship like his brother. Simply stated. Even if petitioner was able to depart the port of Manila. by the very nature of his job. as to justify the award of moral damages. The Decision of Labor Arbiter Teresita D.

. 157376 Present: YNARES-SANTIAGO. Chairperson. is ordered to pay actual or compensatory damages in the amount of US$4. Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila THIRD DIVISION CORAZON C.00 representing salary for nine (9) months as stated in the contract. CHICO-NAZARIO. NO.REINSTATED with the MODIFICATION that respondent CF Sharp Crew Management.R. and attorney¶s fees at the reasonable rate of 10% of the recoverable amount.versus AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. Inc. SO ORDERED. SIM. Petitioner. G.635. J. . .

Promulgated: Respondents. European Head of PCIBank. Respondent denied any employer-employee relationship between them. 2007 x----------------------------------------------x DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.NACHURA.the Senior Officer. alleging that she was initially employed by Equitable PCI-Bank (respondent) in 1990 as Italian Remittance Marketing Consultant to the Frankfurt Representative Office. JJ. and sought the dismissal of the complaint. October 2. she was promoted to Manager position.informing her that she was being dismissed due to loss of trust and confidence based on alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and EQUITABLE PCI-BANK. Eventually. . and REYES. and Managing Director of PCIBEurope -. until September 1999. when she received a letter from Remegio David -. J.: Corazon Sim (petitioner) filed a case for illegal dismissal with the Labor Arbiter.

Since complainant was hired and assigned in a foreign land.41[1] According to the Labor Arbiter: It should be stressed at this juncture that the labor relations system in the Philippines has no extra-territorial jurisdiction. Hence. still. it follows that the law that govern their relationship is the law of the place where the employment was executed and her place of work or assignment. It is limited to the relationship between labor and capital within the Philippines. she held a position of trust. this case should be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. as General Manager is an employee whom the respondent company reposed its trust and confidence. the Italian law allegedly provides severance pay which was applied and extended to herein complainant (Annex ³P´.) xxx In this case. this Office is inclined to rule in favor of the respondent. As can be gleaned from the foregoing. respondent's position paper). On this premise. Assuming for the sake of argument that this Office has jurisdiction over this case. 286 SCRA 478. It is well-settled doctrine that the basic premise for dismissal on the ground of loss of confidence is that the employee concerned holds a position of trust and confidence. although by a Philippine Corporation. the Labor Arbiter rendered its Decision dismissing the case for want of jurisdiction and/or lack of merit. In other words. 2001.On September 3. Complainant. a further elucidation on the matter would be an exercise in futility. (National Sugar Refineries Corporation vs. the respondent company had strong reason to believe that the complainant was guilty of the offense charged against her.42[2] . NLRC.

the CA44[4] dismissed the petition due to petitioner's non-filing of a motion for reconsideration with the NLRC. II. the present recourse under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The Court of Appeals departed from the accepted and usual concepts of remedial law when it ruled that the petitioner should have first filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the National Labor Relations Commission.45[5] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was nonetheless denied by the CA per Resolution dated February 26. the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirmed the Labor Arbiter's Decision and dismissed petitioner's appeal for lack of merit. 2002. In a Resolution dated October 29. 2003.43[3] Without filing a motion for reconsideration with the NLRC.On appeal. Hence. The National Labor Relations Commission decided a question of jurisdiction heretofore not yet determined by the Court and decided the same in a manner not in accord with law when it . Petitioner alleges that: I. petitioner went to the Court of Appeals (CA) via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

to wit: (a) where the order is a patent nullity. (d) where. (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable.46[6] The pivotal question that needs to be resolved is whether or not a prior motion for reconsideration is indispensable for the filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with the CA. under the circumstances.47[7] A ³plain´ and ³adequate remedy´ is a motion for reconsideration of the assailed order or resolution. or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court. a motion for reconsideration would be useless. of course. (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court.ruled that it had no jurisdiction over a labor dispute between a Philippine corporation and its employee which it assigned to work for a foreign land. the remedy of filing a special civil action for certiorari is available only when there is no appeal. the filing of which is an indispensable condition to the filing of a special civil action for certiorari. . Under Rule 65. exceptions to the foregoing rule. as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction. (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief. speedy.49[9] There are. or any plain. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.48[8] This is to give the lower court the opportunity to correct itself.

the Court notes that the petition filed before the CA failed to allege any reason why a motion for reconsideration was dispensed with by petitioner. The issues raised in this case are mixed questions of fact and law. and valid reason for doing so. Court of Appeals: It must be emphasized that a writ of certiorari is a prerogative writ. the Court of Appeals correctly dismissed the petition. As stressed in Cervantes v. however. There is a question of fact when doubt or . In fact. failed to qualify her case as among the few exceptions. he who seeks a writ of certiorari must apply for it only in the manner and strictly in accordance with the provisions of the law and the Rules. compelling. Hence. never issued except in the exercise of judicial discretion. and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or public interest is involved. petitioner must show a concrete. in a criminal case.(f) where. Petitioner argues that filing a motion for reconsideration with the NLRC would be merely an exercise in futility and useless. an exception to the rule. It was only in her motion for reconsideration of the CA's resolution of dismissal and in the petition filed in this case that petitioner justified her non-filing of a motion for reconsideration. But it is not for petitioner to determine whether it is so.51[11] (Emphasis supplied) Petitioner also contends that the issue at bench is purely a question of law. A reading of the petition filed with the CA shows otherwise. To dispense with the requirement of filing a motion for reconsideration. Thus. hence. (h) where the proceeding was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object. Petitioner may not arrogate to himself the determination of whether a motion for reconsideration is necessary or not. which petitioner failed to do. never demandable as a matter of right. relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable.50[10] Petitioner. (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process.

committed a breach of trust and confidence justifying her dismissal. however.difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of the alleged facts.52[12] Petitioner. as affirmed by the NLRC. loss of trust and confidence is a valid ground for her dismissal. and.000. the radio program was already off the air. indeed. unless it is shown that grave abuse of discretion or lack or excess of jurisdiction has been committed by said quasi-judicial bodies. More so since petitioner failed to show any error on the part of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC in ruling that she was dismissed for cause. Respondent is a managerial employee. do not fall within the exception from the filing of a motion for reconsideration. countered that at the time she withdrew said amount. whether petitioner.53[13] The Court will not deviate from said doctrine without any clear showing that the findings of the Labor Arbiter. if in the affirmative.54[14] The . the CA was not in error when it dismissed the petition. Petitioner does not deny having withdrawn the amount of P3.00 lire from the bank's account. which was denied by respondent.000. The rule is that the Court is bound by the findings of facts of the Labor Arbiter or the NLRC. These are mixed questions of fact and law and. Respondent. aside from questioning the ruling of the NLRC sustaining the Labor Arbiter's view that it does not have any jurisdiction over the case. Thus. also questions the NLRC's ruling affirming the Labor Arbiter's conclusion that she was validly dismissed by respondent. The legality of petitioner's dismissal hinges on the question of whether there was an employeremployee relationship. are bereft of sufficient substantiation. Consequently. What petitioner submits is that she used said amount for the Radio Pilipinas sa Roma radio program of the company. and there is a question of law where the doubt or difference arises as to what the law is on a certain state of facts. as such.

Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission.: ART. within thirty (30) calendar days after the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension. . If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. Claims for actual. with regard to the issue on jurisdiction. Termination disputes. A company¶s resort to acts of selfdefense would be more easily justified. 3. Unfair labor practice cases.mere existence of a basis for believing that a managerial employee has breached the trust of the employer would suffice for his/her dismissal. which was affirmed by the NLRC.56[16] The Court notes. ± (a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. rates of pay. moral. hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment. however.´57[17] Article 217 of the Labor Code provides for the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission.55[15] [w]hen an employee accepts a promotion to a managerial position or to an office requiring full trust and confidence. 2. those cases that workers may file involving wage. It was wrong for the Labor Arbiter to rule that ³labor relations system in the Philippines has no extra-territorial jurisdiction. whether agricultural or non-agricultural: 1. she gives up some of the rigid guaranties available to ordinary workers. viz. the following cases involving all workers. 217. Infractions which if committed by others would be overlooked or condoned or penalties mitigated may be visited with more severe disciplinary action. 4. exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employer-employee relations. a palpable error in the Labor Arbiter's disposition of the case. even in the absence of stenographic notes.

and 6. Also. all other claims. moral. exemplary and other forms of damages. Section 62 of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing R.) No. arising from employer-employee relations. Money Claims. Under these provisions. moral. Medicare and maternity benefits. exemplary and other forms of damages.58[18] provides: SECTION 10. the claims arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment including claims for actual. (b) The commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters. or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.A. within ninety (90) calendar days after the filing of the complaint. including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts. including termination . the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. Section 10 of Republic Act (R. 804259[19] provides that the Labor Arbiters of the NLRC shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all claims arising out of employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment including claims for actual. No.A.000.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. Moreover. it is clear that labor arbiters have original and exclusive jurisdiction over claims arising from employer-employee relations. Social Security. subject to the rules and procedures of the NLRC. involving an amount of exceeding five thousand pesos (P5. Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code. ² Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. Except claims for Employees Compensation. 8042.5. including those of persons in domestic or household service.

WHEREFORE. and regulate the relations between workers and employers. ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex. race or creed. This pronouncement is in keeping with the basic public policy of the State to afford protection to labor. Article XIII. See also Section 18. all Filipino workers enjoy the protective mantle of Philippine labor and social legislation. security of tenure. contract stipulations to the contrary notwithstanding. or by determination or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. . 1987 Constitution]. the Court finds no compelling reason to relax the rule on the filing of a motion for reconsideration prior to the filing of a petition for certiorari. Article II and Section 3.60[20] In Philippine National Bank v. since the CA did not commit any error in dismissing the petition before it for failure to file a prior motion for reconsideration with the NLRC. collective bargaining. Cabansag.´61[21] (Emphasis supplied) In any event. For the State assures the basic rights of all workers to self-organization. and just and humane conditions of work [Article 3 of the Labor Code of the Philippines. and considering that the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC's factual findings as regards the validity of petitioner's dismissal are accorded great weight and respect and even finality when the same are supported by substantial evidence. public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated.disputes involving all workers. the petition is DENIED. promote full employment. the Court pronounced: x x x Whether employed locally or overseas. This ruling is likewise rendered imperative by Article 17 of the Civil Code which states that laws ³which have for their object public order. among whom are overseas Filipino workers.

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