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L-7859; 22 Dec 1955] Friday, January 30, Labels: Case Digests, Political Law 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Facts: Walter Lutz, as the Judicial Administrator of the Intestate Estate of Antonio Jayme Ledesma, seeks to recover from J. Antonio Araneta, the Collector of Internal Revenue, the sum of money paid by the estate as taxes, pursuant to the Sugar Adjustment Act. Under Section 3 of said Act, taxes are levied on the owners or persons in control of the lands devoted to the cultivation of sugar cane. Furthermore, Section 6 states all the collections made under said Act shall be for aid and support of the sugar industry exclusively. Lutz contends that such purpose is not a matter of public concern hence making the tax levied for that cause unconstitutional and void. The Court of First Instance dismissed his petition, thus this appeal before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether or Not the tax levied under the Sugar Adjustment Act ( Commonwealth Act 567) is unconstitutional. Held: The tax levied under the Sugar Adjustment Act is constitutional. The tax under said Act is levied with a regulatory purpose, to provide means for the rehabilitation and stabilization of the threatened sugar industry. Since sugar production is one of the great industries of our nation, its promotion, protection, and advancement, therefore redounds greatly to the general welfare. Hence, said objectives of the Act is a public concern and is therefore constitutional. It follows that the Legislature may determine within reasonable bounds what is necessary for its protection and expedient for its promotion. If objectives and methods are alike constitutionally valid, no reason is seen why the state may not levy taxes to raise funds for their prosecution and attainment. Taxation may be made with the implement of the state’s police power. In addition, it is only rational that the taxes be obtained from those that will directly benefit from it. Therefore, the tax levied under the Sugar Adjustment Act is held to be constitutional. 2. Sison vs ancheta
Doctrines: Where the due process and equal protection clauses are invoked, considering that they are not fixed rules but rather broad standards, there is a need for of such persuasive character as would lead to such a conclusion. Thus, mere allegations of arbitrariness do not suffice. Where the assailed tax measure is beyond the jurisdiction of the state, or is not for a public purpose, or, in case of a retroactive statute is so harsh and unreasonable, it is subject to attack on due process grounds. At any rate, it is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select the subjects of taxation, and it has been repeatedly held that inequalities which result from a singling out of one particular class for taxation, or exemption infringe no constitutional limitation. The rule of uniformity does not call for perfect uniformity or perfect equality, because this is hardly attainable. The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable and natural classifications for purposes of taxation. In this regard, the Court constantly held that classification, if rational in character, is allowable. Facts: A suit for declaratory relief or prohibition was filed by petitioner Sison, challenging the constitutionality of Section I of Batas Pambansa Blg. 135, amending Section 21 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977, which provides for rates of tax on citizens or residents on (a) taxable compensation income, (b) taxable net income, (c) royalties, prizes, and other winnings, (d) interest from bank deposits and yield or any other monetary benefit from deposit substitutes and from trust fund and similar arrangements, (e) dividends and share of individual partner in the net profits of taxable partnership, (f) adjusted gross income. Petitioner as taxpayer alleges that by virtue of such provision, "he would be unduly discriminated against by the imposition of higher rates of tax upon his income arising from the exercise of his profession visa-vis those which are imposed upon fixed income or salaried individual taxpayers. He further contends that such law is arbitrary, amounting to class legislation, oppressive and capricious in character and that it transgresses both the equal and due process clauses of the Constitution as well as the rule requiring uniformity in taxation.
Issue: Whether or not Section 1 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 135 is constitutional. Held: A mere allegation of arbitrariness, as here, does not suffice. There must be a factual foundation of such unconstitutional taint This is merely to adhere to the authoritative doctrine that where the due process and equal protection clauses are invoked, considering that they are not fixed rules but rather broad standards, there is a need for of such persuasive character as would lead to such a conclusion. Absent such a showing, the presumption of validity must prevail. It is undoubted that the due process clause may be invoked where a taxing statute is so arbitrary that it finds no support in the Constitution. It has also been held that where the assailed tax measure is beyond the jurisdiction of the state, or is not for a public purpose, or, in case of a retroactive statute is so harsh and unreasonable, it is subject to attack on due process grounds. Now for equal protection. The applicable standard to avoid the charge that there is a denial of this constitutional mandate, whether the assailed act is in the exercise of the police power or the power of eminent domain, is to demonstrated that the governmental act assailed, far from being inspired by the attainment of the common weal was prompted by the spirit of hostility, or at the very least, discrimination that finds no support in reason. It suffices then that the laws operate equally and uniformly on all persons under similar circumstances or that all persons must be treated in the same manner, the conditions not being different, both in the privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. That same formulation applies as well to taxation measures. The Constitution does not require things which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same." Hence, the constant reiteration of the view that classification if rational in character is allowable. As a matter of fact, in a leading case of Lutz V. Araneta, this Court, through Justice J.B.L. Reyes, went so far as to hold "at any rate, it is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select the subjects of taxation, and it has been repeatedly held that ‘inequalities which result from a singling out of one particular class for taxation, or exemption infringe no constitutional limitation.'" Petitioner likewise invoked the kindred concept of uniformity. According to the Constitution: "The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable." This requirement is met according to Justice Laurel in Philippine Trust Company v. Yatco, decided in 1940, when the tax "operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject may be found. " He likewise added: "The rule of uniformity does not call for perfect uniformity or perfect equality, because this is hardly attainable." The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable and natural classifications for purposes of taxation. Apparently, what misled petitioner is his failure to take into consideration the distinction between a tax rate and a tax base. There is no legal objection to a broader tax base or taxable income by eliminating all deductible items and at the same time reducing the applicable tax rate. Taxpayers may be classified into different categories. To repeat, it is enough that the classification must rest upon substantial distinctions that make real differences. In the case of the gross income taxation embodied in Batas Pambansa Blg. 135, the discernible basis of classification is the susceptibility of the income to the application of generalized rules removing all deductible items for all taxpayers within the class and fixing a set of reduced tax rates to be applied to all of them. Taxpayers who are recipients of compensation income are set apart as a class. As there is practically no overhead expense, these taxpayers are not entitled to make deductions for income tax purposes because they are in the same situation more or less. On the other hand, in the case of professionals in the practice of their calling and businessmen, there is no uniformity in the costs or expenses necessary to produce their income. WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed. Costs against petitioner. 3. Lladoc vs commissioner of internal revenue Facts: Sometime in 1957, M.B. Estate Inc., of Bacolod City, donated 10,000.00 pesos in cash to Fr. Crispin Ruiz, the parish priest of Victorias, Negros Occidental, and predecessor of Fr. Lladoc, for the construction of a new Catholic church in the locality. The donated amount was spent for such purpose. On March 3, 1958, the donor M.B. Estate filed the donor's gift tax return. Under date of April 29, 1960. Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued an assessment for the donee's gift tax against the Catholic Parish of Victorias of which petitioner was the parish priest.
Issue: Whether or not the imposition of gift tax despite the fact the Fr. Lladoc was not the Parish priest at the time of donation, Catholic Parish priest of Victorias did not have juridical personality as the constitutional exemption for religious purpose is valid.
intelligence and other classified information.30.36. PCGG. petitioner filed a case for tax refund with the Court of Tax Appeals. 1435 is in the nature of a tax exemption. 1435.] 5. R. the Court cannot presume otherwise. 1435 may be based on higher rates which were non-existent at the time of its enactment. must pertain to definite propositions of the government. No. Considering the intent of the framers of the Constitution. to observe the same restrictions on disclosure of information in general -. Second Division--Quisumbing.R. Since the partial refund authorized under sec. but only to the extent of P 16. it must be construed stictissimi juris against the grantee.A. The head of the Diocese and not the parish priest is the real party in interest in the imposition of the donee's tax on the property donated to the church for religious purpose.492. A gift tax is not a property by way of gift inter vivos. A legislative lacuna cannot be filled by judicial fiat.A. For this reason. [Philex Mining Corporation vs. Since the grant of refund privileges must be strictly construed against the taxpayer.747.A. instead of the increased rates imposed by sec. representing 25% of the specific taxes actually paid.677. Such information. petitioner's claim for refund on the basis of the specific taxes it actually paid must expressly be granted in a statute stated in a language too clear to be mistaken. invoking his constitutional right to information and the correlative duty of the state to disclose publicly all its transactions involving the national interest. 142 and 145 of the National Internal Revenue Code. FACTS: Petitioner Philex Mining Corporation entered into a Mining License Agreement with the then Ministry of Natural Resources (now the Department of Environment and Natural Resources). though. 1 and 2 of R. From the period 1980 to 1981. demands that respondents make public any and all negotiations and agreements pertaining to PCGG’s task of recovering the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth. to disclose sufficient public information on any proposed settlement they have decided to take up with the ostensible owners and holders of ill-gotten wealth. its 25% refund must also be based on the increased rates.A. R. 299 SCRA 744 FACTS: Petitioner asks this Court to define the nature and the extent of the people’s constitutional right to information on matters of public concern.A. not necessarily to intra-agency or inter-agency recommendations or communications during the stage when common assertions are still in the process of being formulated or are in the “exploratory” stage. The CTA rendered its decision. refined and manufactured mineral oils. motor fuels and diesel fuel oils. 1435 is in the nature of a tax exemption. There is a need. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent court erred in basing the tax refund under sec. diplomatic or foreign relations. petitioner filed a claim for tax refund with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for P 623. 1 and 2 of R. of course. J. the latter law did not specifically provide for a refund based on the increased rates. pursuant to R. Philex mining vs commissioner of internal revenue TAXATION LAW TAX EXEMPTION. 4. 1435. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the CTA. Although Philex Mining corporation paid the taxes on their oil and fuel purchases based on the increased rates pursuant to the provisions of the NIRC. Since the partial refund authorized under sec. Petitioner.Held: Yes. 120324. Pending CIR action. The specific taxes passed on to the petitioner amounted to P 2. Chavez vs pcgg Chavez v. 1999. April 21. the basis for the refund remains to be the amounts deemed paid under sec. petitioner purchased from several oil companies. G. . under Section 22(3) Article VI of the Constitution contemplates exemption only from payment of taxes assessed on such properties as Property taxes contra distinguished from Excise taxes The imposition of the gift tax on the property used for religious purpose is not a violation of the Constitution. 5. ISSUE: Are the negotiations leading to a settlement on ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses within the scope of the constitutional guarantee of access to information? HELD: Yes.22. 5. When the law itself does not explicitly provide that a refund under R. Thereafter. HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. as well as other government representatives. Commissioner of Internal Revenue and CA. as amended. it must be construed stictissimi juris against the grantee.169. granting the petitioner's claim.such as on matters involving national security. imposition of the gift tax was valid. 1435. it is incumbent upon the PCGG and its officers. Petitioner now contends that since it paid the taxes based on the increased rates (under the NIRC).A.
The minutes of the 26 April 1996 meeting state that Ayson was informed that there were witnesses who could testify that he spread rumors about the personal life of William Go and his family. Ayson received a letter from Landtex dated 16 March 1996 which stated that Ayson committed acts contrary to company policies on 2 and 7 March 1996. The Fact Landtex. Atty. 50060. Ayson was an officer of Landtex Industries Workers Union – Federation of Free Workers (union) which had an existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Landtex. Ayson further explained that he merely replied in a loud voice to the company owner’s request because he was carrying textiles. Landtex informed Ayson that the omission of the details about the damaging rumors was intentional because other employees might be able to read the letter. They can take any action they want. The minutes of the 5 June 1996 meeting state that Ayson and a union officer accompanying him appeared but refused to sign the attendance sheet or to participate. Ayson (Ayson) separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. “Pls. Generosa Jacinto. Landtex sent Ayson another letter dated 2 April 1996 informing him of its receipt of his explanation.R. backwages. The letter required Ayson to explain in writing within 24 hours from receipt why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for spreading damaging rumors about the personal life of an unspecified person.6. and attorney’s fees. a sole proprietorship owned by Alex Go and managed by William Go. and for having an altercation with one of the company’s owners when he was asked to submit an ID picture. The first meeting between Ayson and Landtex’s counsel took place on 26 April 1996. Furthermore. but Ayson was unable to attend it and went home early because he allegedly needed to look after his child. Landtex vs Salvador ayson and federation of free workers The Case This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision dated 13 February 2001 and of the Resolution dated 16 October 2001 of the Court of Appeals (appellate court) in CA-G. Ayson then apologized for his actions. advise mgt. Ayson replied in writing that he could not defend himself from the charge of spreading damaging rumors because Landtex’s letter failed to state what rumors he was supposed to have spread. The Decision ordered petitioners Landtex Industries (Landtex) and William Go to award respondent Salvador M. Another meeting was scheduled for 5 May 1996. Landtex decided to conduct an investigation on 26 April 1996 in view of Ayson’s denials. SP No.” . Ayson denied that he spread rumors and requested for another meeting so that he could hear the alleged witnesses and defend himself. The second meeting between Ayson and Landtex’s counsel took place on 5 June 1996. Landtex’s counsel. 13 th month pay. is a business enterprise engaged in the manufacture of garments. service incentive leave pay. Ayson further requested that the next investigation be held at Landtex’s Mauban office because he and the union officers accompanying him suffer salary deductions for their attendance of investigations during office hours. made a note in the minutes which reads. Ayson worked in Landtex as a knitting operator from 19 May 1979 to 6 July 1996.
Ayson’s termination thus properly falls under the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter. judgment is hereby rendered ordering [Landtex Industries and William Go] to reinstate [Ayson] to his former position without loss of seniority rights with full backwages from the date his salary has been withheld until the actual date of reinstatement. stated that Ayson maliciously narrated spiteful stories about the personal life of William Go. Landtex also questioned the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter over Ayson’s case. of herein [Ayson] who had been employed with [Landtex] for seventeen years. A Landtex security guard. more or less.In a letter dated 19 June 1996. In a letter dated 8 July 1996. Despite this notice. Mere allegations will not suffice. [Landtex Industries and William Go] are further ordered to pay ten (10%) percent of [Ayson’s] total monetary award as attorney’s fees. Ayson asked whether his dismissal from employment has any just cause. arbiter’s decision read: Dismissal of a worker is no trifling matter. On the other hand. premises considered. The Ruling of the Labor Arbiter On 30 September 1997. Ayson still reported for work until 6 July 1996. The parties agreed to the idea of payment of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement but differed as to the amount. Ayson and the union. WHEREFORE. Landtex and the union agreed to refer the matter to a third party in accordance with the provisions of law and of the CBA. Ayson wanted to receive one month basic salary for every year of service while Landtex wanted to pay only one-half month basic salary for every year of service from date of hiring to termination of employment. . In his position paper. The labor arbiter declared that despite the union’s manifestation of its desire to refer Ayson’s case to “a third party in accordance with provisions of law and CBA. filed a complaint before the labor arbiter. Landtex terminated Ayson’s services effective 30 June 1996 because of Ayson’s lack of cooperation during the investigations. Landtex insisted that the labor arbiter should dismiss Ayson’s case and refer it to the NCMB for the selection of a voluntary arbitrator. the union president requested Landtex for a formal dialogue regarding Ayson’s case. The dismissal must be for a just cause. the labor arbiter ordered them to submit their position papers. and must be based on substantial evidence. however. hence. Landtex and William Go revealed in their position paper that Ayson was seen having a drinking session with other Landtex employees near the company premises. let alone with due process. The pertinent portions of the labor SO ORDERED. Ayson also asked whether Landtex complied with procedural due process when it terminated his employment. The parties were not able to settle. The labor arbiter conducted mandatory conferences for amicable settlement with the participation of all parties. Landtex reaffirmed its decision to terminate Ayson in meetings with the union held on 10 and 16 July 1996. the labor arbiter promulgated his decision which ruled in favor of Ayson. who was a part of the drinking session but whose identity was not revealed.” this manifestation did not affect Landtex’s termination of Ayson’s employment. Moreover. more so. Landtex expected Ayson to refer the issue to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) for the selection of a voluntary arbitrator. the labor arbiter did not find any evidence supporting Landtex’s allegations that Ayson spread malicious rumors about William Go or shouted at William Go’s wife.
00-07-04492-92 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 13th month pay. Furthermore. The appellate court awarded Ayson full backwages. and attorney’s fees. No pronouncement as to costs. to the MODIFICATION that separation pay shall be awarded to [Ayson] in lieu of reinstatement. The instant case is hereby referred to Voluntary Arbitration in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” Landtex’s allegations against Ayson failed to show that Ayson’s dismissal was for a just cause. The dispositive portion of the NLRC’s decision reads: WHEREFORE. Landtex and William Go filed a motion for reconsideration of the appellate court’s decision. The NLRC dismissed Ayson and the union’s motion for reconsideration on 11 September 1998. which was rendered on September 30. Moreover. SO ORDERED. however. premises considered. The Ruling of the Appellate Court In a decision promulgated on 13 February 2001. Landtex and William Go insisted that the labor arbiter had no jurisdiction over the parties and over the subject matter in the present case. 1997 is hereby REINSTATED—subject. the appellate court found that Ayson was illegally dismissed because his termination was characterized by “bad faith. The appellate court dismissed both motions in a resolution promulgated on 16 October 2001. The decision of the labor arbiter. the petition is GRANTED— and the decision (promulgated on July 20. The Ruling of the NLRC On 20 July 1998. The appellate court further stated that the records are “bereft of any showing that a grievance mediation had been undertaken so as to thresh out any disciplinary measure against [Ayson]. as provided in Article 261 of the Labor Code. the appellate court sustained the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter and modified the award in favor of Ayson. [and] wanton and reckless exercise of management prerogative. The dispositive portion of the decision of the appellate court reads: WHEREFORE. . Ayson and the union also contested the appellate court’s award of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. 1998) and the resolution (promulgated on September 11. a fraction of at least six months being considered as one whole year) in lieu of reinstatement. and thus were within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrators. the decision appealed from is hereby SET ASIDE on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. 1998) of the public respondent (National Labor Relations Commission) in NLRC NCR Case No. Landtex merely imposed a disciplinary measure when it terminated Ayson’s employment. Landtex and William Go posted a bond in the amount of the total award in the labor arbiter’s decision to perfect their appeal and to enjoin the execution of the decision. Ayson and the union then filed a petition for certiorari before the appellate court.Landtex and William Go appealed the labor arbiter’s decision to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). The NLRC declared that the disciplinary action meted out by Landtex to Ayson and the waiver of Ayson’s right to have his case heard were matters which require the interpretation of the CBA. the NLRC promulgated its decision which agreed with Landtex and William Go’s argument that Ayson’s case falls within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrators. service incentive leave pay. SO ORDERED. separation pay (equivalent to one month’s pay for every year of service.” The appellate court took Landtex and William Go to task because they took “the avenue of least resistance” and discussed the possibility of an amicable settlement instead of filing a motion to dismiss before the labor arbiter. the NLRC ruled that Ayson waived his right to have his case heard before any other forum when he did not undergo the grievance process mandated by his union’s CBA with Landtex.
The Issues Landtex and William Go raise the following issues before this Court: A. Grievance Procedure.Landtex and William Go then filed a petition for review before this Court on 11 December 2001. C. Emilia P. No. Landtex’s cutting and knitting departments temporarily closed in December 2002. Section 1 of Article XV. They further claim that the union’s request for a formal dialogue signified the initiation of the grievance procedure outlined in the CBA. Ayson and the union also filed a petition for review. they stated that Landtex started to suffer serious business reverses in the first quarter of 2001. The Ruling of the Court The petition has no merit. demand letters addressed to Alex Go. When Landtex and William Go filed their memorandum in the present case. he is barred from seeking relief from a forum other than that provided in the CBA. and 2. They allege that Ayson’s termination merely enforced Landtex’s personnel policy against misconduct. The parties have undergone the grievance machinery of the collective bargaining agreement. She attached Ayson’s death certificate and their marriage certificate to prove her allegations. Whether [Ayson] is entitled to backwages and separation pay. respondent Ayson’s wife. Whether the instant case concerns enforcement and implementation of company personnel policy and that the issue therein was timely raised. Whether there is a valid ground for termination of the employment of [Ayson]. Whether the NLRC correctly ruled that jurisdiction over the subject matter of the instant case pertains exclusively to the voluntary arbitrator considering that 1. E. Landtex’s balance sheets for the years 2000 to 2002. including disciplinary action imposed on any covered employee”. but this petition was withdrawn as Ayson no longer desired to question the resolution of the appellate court. B.R. D. Landtex and William Go even assert that because of Ayson’s failure to submit his claim before the NCMB. later made a manifestation that she would like to represent Ayson in the present case since her husband died on 28 August 2002. and unpaid utility bills in the name of Alex Go to prove their allegations. of the union’s CBA with Landtex reads: . notice of extra-judicial sale of the property of spouses Alex and Nancy Go. The existing CBA provides that “a grievance is one that arises from the interpretation or implementation of this agreement. 150392. Whether [the appellate court] committed grave and patent abuse of discretion and errors of law in setting aside the decision of the NLRC. Landtex and William Go attached Landtex’s notice of closure to the union dated 9 January 2003. docketed as G. Landtex’s profit and loss statements for the years 2000 to 2002. Ayson. and Landtex permanently ceased its operations in February 2003. The Labor Arbiter’s Jurisdiction Landtex and William Go insist that the matter subject of the present petition is covered by the CBA’s provision on voluntary arbitration and thus is excluded from the labor arbiter’s jurisdiction.
even in the absence of stenographic notes. Social Security. interpretation and application of the terms of this agreement. no settlement is reached within four (4) working days. Termination disputes. dispute. Step II Step III Step IV Where the grievance or complaint involves the UNION directly. under Step I. Any grievance. 217. If under Step III. whether agricultural or nonagricultural: 1. . moral. the grievance shall be taken up by the UNION representative with the General Manager. Articles 217. under Step II.Grievance Machinery. 5. If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. Steps I and II of the foregoing procedure shall be dispensed with and only Steps III and IV shall be followed. 261. (b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters. the Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. . 3. the grievance shall be referred by both parties to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) for submission to voluntary arbitration in accordance with NCMB’s rules within ten (10) days from the date of the last meeting of the Management-Employee Committee. and 6. dispute. within thirty (30) calendar days after the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension. 4. or (b) arising out of the employment relationship. Unfair labor practice cases. — For purposes of this Agreement. including those of persons in domestic or household service. no settlement is reached within four (4) working days from presentation. If. Claims for actual.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. or complaint in writing to the COMPANY’s Section Head/In Charge and to the UNION’s authorized representative. the following cases involving all workers. all other claims arising from employer-employee relations. including disciplinary action imposed on any covered employee. Jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters and the Commission.000. If. Except claims for Employees Compensation. shall be submitted to the grievance machinery in accordance with the following procedure: Step I The employee shall present his grievance. and thereupon the said Section Head and UNION representative shall endeavor to work out a settlement within four (4) working days from presentation. Medicare and maternity benefits. involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P5. 2. Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code. or complaint which a covered employee or UNION may have against the COMPANY: (a) relative to the meaning. those cases that workers may file involving wages. no settlement is reached within eight (8) working days. a grievance is one that arises from the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement. hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment. exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employeremployee relations. the grievance shall be referred by the parties to the Management-Employee Committee. (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.(a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code. including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts. rates of pay. and 262 of the Labor Code tackle the jurisdiction of labor arbiters and voluntary arbitration as follows: Art.
Existing law is an intrinsic part of a valid contract without need for the parties to expressly refer to it. termination disputes. a reading of Article 217 in conjunction with Article 262 shows that termination disputes fall under the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter unless the union and the company agree that termination disputes should be submitted to voluntary arbitration. On the other hand. the union effectively initiated the grievance procedure. as opposed to mere disciplinary actions. upon agreement of the parties. are covered by the CBA. When the union called for a meeting with Landtex. the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the labor arbiter over unfair labor practices.Art. We agree with Ayson and the union and affirm the rulings of the labor arbiter and the appellate court. grievances or matters under the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators and shall immediately dispose and refer the same to the Grievance Machinery or Voluntary Arbitration provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The minutes of the meeting read: . Thus. The manifestation of the union’s desire to “refer the matter to a third party in accordance with law and the CBA” does not deviate from the fact that Ayson was already dismissed. the appellate court. Article 261 of the Labor Code provides that voluntary arbitrators shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies. On the other hand. Thus. 261.The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies referred to in the immediately preceding article. The labor arbiter assumed jurisdiction and emphasized that when the union met with Landtex on 8 July 1996.” The CBA did not explicitly state that termination disputes should be submitted to the grievance machiner The CBA’s provisions on grievance directly involving the union state that the grievance shall be referred by the parties to the Management-Employee Committee. the CBA between Landtex and the union does not clearly state that termination disputes. Ayson was no longer an employee because Landtex terminated him effective 30 June 1996. its Regional Offices and the Regional Directors of the Department of Labor and Employment shall not entertain disputes. The labor arbiter. Such agreement should be clear and unequivocal. there were seven union members and two Landtex representatives in attendance. 262. The CBA defined a grievance as “one that arises from the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement. ART. except those which are gross in character. Ayson’s case should have been subjected to voluntary arbitration. the NLRC sustained Landtex and William Go’s position. . According to the minutes of the meeting prepared by Landtex’s counsel. violations of a Collective Bargaining Agreement. For purposes of this article. The Commission. and claims for damages cannot be arrogated into the powers of voluntary arbitrators in the absence of an express agreement between the union and the company. and the NLRC differed in their rulings on the matter of jurisdiction. when the union met with Landtex on 10 July 1996. .The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. The labor arbiter and the appellate court agreed with Ayson and the union’s position. The NLRC asserted that the determination of whether Ayson’s dismissal constitutes a “disciplinary action” within the scope of the CBA calls for an interpretation of the CBA. The Management-Employee Committee shall be composed of three representatives each from the union and Landtex. Jurisdiction of Voluntary Arbitrators or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. Accordingly. gross violations of Collective Bargaining Agreement shall mean flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions of such agreement. including disciplinary action imposed on any covered employee. In the present case. Jurisdiction over other labor disputes. shall also hear and decide all other labor disputes including unfair labor practices and bargaining deadlocks. shall no longer be treated as unfair labor practice and shall be resolved as grievances under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The meetings did not comply with the requisite number of participants. and (2) the opportunity to be heard and to defend oneself. The contents of Landtex’s first memorandum to Ayson. Ayson. Ayon sa isang saksi. Instead of filing a motion to dismiss. He was informed that there were witnesses who can testify on this. The union requested for time to study possibilities. Union will refer matter to third party in accordance with provision of law and CBA. Landtex and William Go assert that Ayson’s termination was for a just cause as defined in Article 282 of the Labor Code. signed by Landtex’s counsel. Ang hindi mo pagsunod ay nangangahulugan na maaari ng gumawa ng susunod na aksyong pang-disiplina and [sic] kompanya laban sa iyo. In the present case. Reset 16 July 96[. the labor arbiter would have determined the issue outright before proceeding with hearing the case. Landtex raised the issue of jurisdiction only after the labor arbiter required the parties to submit their position papers. The minutes of the 26 April 1996 meeting read: Mr. the appellate court is correct in stating that if Landtex really believed that the labor arbiter did not have jurisdiction over the present case. Rule V of The New Rules of Procedure of the NLRC. Landtex then summoned Ayson on 26 April 1996 to a meeting to investigate the 2 and 7 March 1996 incidents. the two-notice rule should be followed.” We find nothing in the records which shows that the meetings between the union and Landtex already constitute the grievance machinery as mandated by the CBA. Iyong nalalaman na ang ganitong gawain ay taliwas sa umiiral na patakaran ng kompanya. The union on the other hand opened discussion of other possibilities in lieu of reinstatement. Bukod pa dito nuong ika-7 ng Marso ng ikaw ay hingan ng iyong ID pictures bilang isa sa mga regulasyon ng kompanya. Go and his family. . there was nothing in the minutes that shows that the attendees constituted a Management-Employee Committee. then Landtex should have filed a motion to dismiss in accordance with Section 15. Bunga nito[.’s position is that it will no longer reconsider the termination of Mr. ikaw ay nagkakalat ng mga balitang nakakasira sa aming personal na buhay. The next meeting proceeded with the same number of representatives from both parties. will do likewise. The mgt. More importantly. The meetings happened only after the effectivity of Ayson’s termination.The mgt.] ikaw ay hinihingan ng nakasulat na paliwanag 24 oras mula sa pagkakatanggap ng liham na ito. hence. ikaw ay sumungaw sa harap pa mismo ng nagmamay-ari ng kompanya na naging dahilan upang magkasagutan kayo. The CBA mandated that there should be three representatives each from the union and Landtex but there were seven union members and two Landtex representatives who attended the meetings. Landtex participated in the proceedings before the labor arbiter. Had Landtex immediately filed a motion to dismiss. Ayson was apprised of the incident that happened on March 2 & 7 wherein it was alleged that he is spreading some rumors involving [the] personal life of Mr. Finally. read: Ipinagbigay-alam sa amin ng pamahalaang Landtex Industries and [sic] tungkol sa nangyaring insidente nuong ika-2 at 7 Marso 1996.] 5 pm at factory. The minutes of the meeting state that there was “[n]o settlement. Validity of Ayson’s Dismissal The requisites for a valid dismissal are (1) the dismissal must be for any of the causes expressed in Article 282 of the Labor Code.
Landtex more than complied with the two-notice rule. sadly. However. Ayson together with union officers requested that investigation be conducted instead at Mauban. and not necessarily that an actual hearing was conducted. In the present case. and Mrs. Mr. Accord. The employer must prove by substantial evidence the facts and incidents upon which the accusations are made. NLRC. accusations. we . Ayson could not adequately defend himself from Landtex’s and William Go’s accusations. union Sgt. Go and engaged Mr. The requirement of a hearing.Mr. The employer must furnish the employee two written notices before termination may be effected. Ayson however requested that another investigaton be conducted wherein the alleged witnesses be presented since he cannot answer whether what was reported was true or not. we cannot deduce any proof of Landtex and William Go’s accusations against Ayson. this Office finds no shred of evidence to show that indeed [Ayson] had been spreading “news and gossips” or that he ever shouted at Mr. However. they will consult FFW. Salvador Ayson appeared but refused to sign attendance or participate in [the] investigation. Moreover. stated that paragraphs (a) and (d) of Article 282 were applicable to Ayson. In the present case. the NLRC did not make any pronouncement as to whether Ayson was dismissed for a just cause. Landtex failed to understand the law’s purpose in requiring the opportunity to be heard. Ayson & union to be notified when another investigation [will] be scheduled. reads: Landtex and William Go. hence Ayson could not test the veracity of their claims. Go who had been the subject of [Ayson’s] alleged shouting has been presented if only to substantiate [Landtex and William Go’s] self-serving claims. Unsubstantiated suspicions. while the second notice informs the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him. We quote the labor arbiter’s factual findings with approval: We have painstakingly read the records of this case and. has the right to protect its interest by imposing the appropriate penalties on erring employees. upon reading the records of the case. The minutes of the meeting read: Mr. Quezon City since they are being deducted everytime they attend investigations like this during office hours. The appellate court and the labor arbiter were one in ruling that there was no just cause in Ayson’s dismissal. on the other hand. They added that the employer. exercising management prerogative. No affidavit of either the security guard who claimed to be one of the drinking group who heard the alleged malicious news or gossips or that of Mr. The letter. Mr. Procedural due process in the dismissal of employees requires notice and hearing. The next meeting was held on 5 June 1996. signed by Landtex’s counsel. The first notice apprises the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought. and conclusions of the employer are not sufficient to justify an employee’s dismissal. at Arms [and] Mr. is complied with as long as there was an opportunity to be heard. in their appeal before the NLRC. Go in a heated argument. He further denies allegations that he is spreading said rumors. Landtex scheduled meetings with Ayson but these meetings were not free from arbitrariness. In Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR) v. Ferdinand Samson. No witness was ever presented against Ayson. to them. Landtex informed Ayson of its decision to terminate his services in a letter dated 19 June 1996. Landtex scheduled three meetings before terminating Ayson.
ruled that the mere conduct of an investigation and the statements of the company’s security guard are not enough to establish the validity of the charge of wrongdoing against the dismissed employees.R. 1 as amended by RA 7659. unlawfully and criminally amass. CONNECTION. We AFFIRM the Decision dated 13 February 2001 and the Resolution dated 16 October 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Estrada vs sandiganbayan Facts: Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada. 1998 to January 2001.097. IT VIOLATES THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE FOR ITS VAGUENESS II. we rule that Landtex and William Go illegally dismissed Ayson. AND BY COLLECTING OR RECEIVING. according to him. 50060. Emilia P. OR INFLUENCE.057. (a) it suffers from the vice of vagueness. Ayson. is entitled to receive the amounts due Salvador M. 2 wishes to impress upon us that the assailed law is so defectively fashioned that it crosses that thin but distinct line which divides the valid from the constitutionally infirm. the highest-ranking official to be prosecuted under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder). The validity of the charge must be established in a manner consistent with due process. BY TAKING UNDUE ADVANTAGE OF HIS OFFICIAL POSITION. THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.00) MORE OR LESS. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Thus. we DENY the petition. by himself AND/OR in CONNIVANCE/CONSPIRACY with his co-accused.804. 7. That during the period from June.173. BY HIMSELF AND/OR IN CONNIVANCE WITH JOHN DOES JANE DOES.847. FROM THE BELLE CORPORATION WHICH BECAME PART OF THE DEPOSIT IN THE EQUITABLE BANK UNDER THE ACCOUNT NAME 'JOSE VELARDE' Issue: R. Ayson. SO ORDERED. all of which are purportedly clear violations of the fundamental rights of the accused to due process and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. IT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE ACCUSED TO KNOW THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE ACCUSATION AGAINST HIM . accused Joseph Ejercito Estrada. ill-gotten wealth in the aggregate amount or TOTAL VALUE of FOUR BILLION NINETY SEVEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED FOUR THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY THREE AND SEVENTEEN CENTAVOS (P4. WHO ARE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY.A. SUBORDINATES AND/OR OTHER PERSONS.700. COMMISSIONS OR PERCENTAGES BY REASON OF SAID PURCHASES OF SHARES OF STOCK IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY NINE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P189. Landtex and William Go failed to observe due process in terminating Ayson. in representation of Salvador M. He therefore makes a stringent call for this Court to subject the Plunder Law to the crucible of constitutionality mainly because. Costs against the petitioners.17). (c) it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under The Revised Penal Code. 7080 is unconstitutional on the following grounds: I.578. No. accumulate and acquire BY HIMSELF DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY. They likewise failed to establish that Ayson’s termination was for a just cause. (b) it dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal prosecutions. in the Philippines. A suspicion or belief no matter how sincerely felt cannot substitute for factual findings carefully established through an orderly procedure. and. RESPECTIVELY OR A TOTAL OF MORE OR LESS ONE BILLION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT THOUSAND FIFTY SEVEN PESOS AND FIFTY CENTAVOS (P1. SP No. WHEREFORE.50). Ayson. more or less. AUTHORITY. OR SIMILAR SCHEMES OR MEANS. It is not enough for an employer who wishes to dismiss an employee to charge him with wrongdoing. RELATIONSHIP. did then and there willfully. THEREBY UNJUSTLY ENRICHING HIMSELF OR THEMSELVES AT THE EXPENSE AND TO THE DAMAGE OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND THE REPUBLIC OF PHILIPPINES through ANY OR A combination OR A series of overt OR criminal acts. BUSINESS ASSOCIATES.000. DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY. RELATIVES BY AFFINITY OR CONSANGUINITY.
1 (d). It must be stressed. . 4 of the Plunder Law circumvents the immutable obligation of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the predicate acts constituting the crime of plunder when it requires only proof of a pattern of overt or criminal acts showing unlawful scheme or conspiracy. a 'pattern' consists of at least a combination or series of overt or criminal acts enumerated in subsections (1) to (6) of Sec. And thirdly. pursuant to Sec. untrained philologists and lexicographers — to use statutory phraseology in such a manner is always presumed. and its inability to so define the words employed in a statute will not necessarily result in the vagueness or ambiguity of the law so long as the legislative will is clear. As commonly understood. that the "vagueness" doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld — not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude. Consequently. 7 unless it is evident that the legislature intended a technical or special legal meaning to those words 8 The intention of the lawmakers — who are. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary contains the following commonly accepted definition of the words "combination" and "series:" Combination — the result or product of combining. SO ORDERED. the overt or criminal acts must form part of a conspiracy to attain a common goal. With more reason. the petition to declare the law unconstitutional is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Secondly. petitioner advances the highly stretched theory that Sec. had the legislature intended a technical or distinctive meaning for "combination" and "series. The test in determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common understanding and practice. the term 'overall unlawful scheme' indicates a 'general plan of action or method' which the principal accused and public officer and others conniving with him. the act or process of combining. but is most commonly stated to the effect that a statute establishing a criminal offense must define the offense with sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited by the statute. under Sec. Hence. 1. as petitioner seems to suggest. the doctrine cannot be invoked where the assailed statute is clear and free from ambiguity. Thus." it would have taken greater pains in specifically providing for it in the law." we agree with the observations of the Sandiganbayan 9 that this term is sufficiently defined in Sec. petitioner's reliance on the "void-for-vagueness" doctrine is manifestly misplaced. the pattern of overt or criminal acts is directed towards a common purpose or goal which is to enable the public officer to amass.III. Under the circumstances. in relation to Sec. and Sec. it is a well-settled principle of legal hermeneutics that words of a statute will be interpreted in their natural. there must either be an 'overall unlawful scheme' or 'conspiracy' to achieve said common goal. The running fault in this reasoning is obvious even to the simplistic . IN VIOLATION OF THE DUE PROCESS CONCEPT OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. To combine is to bring into such close relationship as to obscure individual characters. As for "pattern. which is distinctly expressed in the Plunder Law. ordinarily. 2 of the law. as in this case. Ratio: In view of vagueness and ambiguity Congress is not restricted in the form of expression of its will. Series — a number of things or events of the same class coming one after another in spatial and temporal succession. Moreover. 1 (d) of the law. however. plain and ordinary acceptation and signification. The doctrine has been formulated in various ways. as amended by RA 7659. or at least. In the alternative. par. follow to achieve the aforesaid common goal. it cannot plausibly be contended that the law does not give a fair warning and sufficient notice of what it seeks to penalize. IT VIOLATES THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE BY LOWERING THE QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE NECESSARY FOR PROVING THE COMPONENT ELEMENTS OF PLUNDER IV. if there is no such overall scheme or where the schemes or methods used by multiple accused vary. . IT IS BEYOND THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER OF THE LEGISLATURE TO DELIMIT THE REASONABLE DOUBT STANDARD AND TO ABOLISH THE ELEMENT OF MENS REA IN MALA IN SE CRIMES BY CONVERTING THESE TO MALA PROHIBITA. Verily. accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth. 4. is CONSTITUTIONAL. 2. this Court holds that RA 7080 otherwise known as the Plunder Law. can be gathered from the whole act. Held: PREMISES CONSIDERED. In view of due process On the second issue. (d).
the very survival of the people it governs over. The application of the law will depend on the facts and circumstances as adduced by evidence which will then be considered. Thus. [With the government] terribly lacking the money to provide even the most basic services to its people. and if possible. No. To clinch. To declare what the law shall be is a legislative power. the accused always has in his favor the presumption of innocence which is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.000. Indeed. no less heinous are the effect and repercussions of crimes like qualified bribery. . In view of presumption of innocence At all events. on constitutional grounds." Invariably.mind. by necessary effect. The fact that one of petitioner's counsels was a co-sponsor of the Plunder Law and petitioner himself voted for its passage when he was still a Senator would not in any put him in estoppel to question its constitutionality. Echegaray 38 to the archives of jurisprudential history. What the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt is only a number of acts sufficient to form a combination or series which would constitute a pattern and involving an amount of at least P50. in his Concurring Opinion — . destructive arson resulting in death. construe and apply the law as would give flesh and blood to the true meaning of legislative enactments. and unless the State succeeds in demonstrating by proof beyond reasonable doubt that culpability lies.00. employees or officers. any form of misappropriation or misapplication of government funds translates to an actual threat to the very existence of government. Precisely because the constitutive crimes are mala in se the element of mens rea must be proven in a prosecution for plunder. that their perpetrators must not be allowed to cause further destruction and damage to society." It thus alleges guilty knowledge on the part of petitioner. unlawfully and criminally. without regard to the inherent wrongness of the acts. the same having been eternally consigned by People v. and becomes. it would be absurd to treat prosecutions for plunder as though they are mere prosecutions for violations of the Bouncing Check Law (B. estoppel should be resorted to only as a means of preventing injustice. 22) or of an ordinance against jaywalking. the accused is entitled to an acquittal. but to all others who may be held liable under this statute. and drug offenses involving government official. not of law.000. In view of mens rea As regards the third issue. A construction should be rejected if it gives to the language used in a statute a meaning that does not accomplish the purpose for which the statute was enacted and that tends to defeat the ends that are sought to be attained by its enactment. it is the constitutionally mandated function of the courts to interpret. but to declare what the law is or has been is judicial.A. 7080. There is no need to prove each and every other act alleged in the Information to have been committed by the accused in furtherance of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy to amass. In a criminal prosecution for plunder. stopped permanently. . as in all other crimes. Indeed. he says. weighed and evaluated by the courts. the amendatory law of RA 7080. let me stress that the power to construe law is essentially judicial. again we agree with Justice Mendoza that plunder is a malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent. . It is noteworthy that the amended information alleges that the crime of plunder was committed "willfully. accumulate or acquire illgotten wealth. Suffice it to say however that it is now too late in the day for him to resurrect this long dead issue. "plunder involves not just plain thievery but economic depredation which affects not just private parties or personal interests but the nation as a whole.A. petitioner likewise assails the validity of RA 7659.P. Moreover. To hold that petitioner is estopped from questioning the validity of R. The declaration of this Court therein that RA 7659 is constitutionally valid stands as a declaration of the State. Viewed broadly. The rule on estoppel applies to questions of fact. No. Blg. Viewed in this context. 7080 because he had earlier voted for its passage would result in injustice not only to him." In view of estoppel Petitioner is not estopped from questioning the constitutionality of R. Statutes enacted by Congress cannot be expected to spell out with mathematical precision how the law should be interpreted under any and all given situations. and in turn. assimilated in the Constitution now as an integral part of it. The case at bar has been subject to controversy principally due to the personalities involved herein. plunder partakes of the nature of "a crime against national interest which must be stopped.
by clear and unmistakable terms. 40 To justify the nullification of the law. Harriss: The constitutional requirement of definiteness is violated by a criminal statute that fails to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated conduct is forbidden by the statute. 1970). any patent and glaring conflict with the Constitution. 91-452. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem effect resulting from their very existence. ."' "The constitutionality of laws is presumed. the State may well be prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. the doctrine is designed to ensure that individuals are properly warned ex ante of the criminal consequences of their conduct. managed merely to point out alleged ambiguities. In the area of criminal law. not a doubtful or argumentative implication. a law shall not be declared invalid unless the conflict with the Constitution is clear beyond a reasonable doubt. there must be a clear. The underlying principle is that no man shall be held criminally responsible for conduct which he could not reasonably understand to be proscribed. enacted October 15. 84 Stat. petitioner has. J. While the dictum that laws be clear and definite does not require Congress to spell out with mathematical certainty the standards to which an individual must conform his conduct. unequivocal breach of the Constitution. While its intended use was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime. the constitutional challenge to the Anti-Plunder law must fail. 7080 is . the standard of certainty is higher.C. A criminal statute should not be so vague and uncertain that "men of common intelligence must necessarily guess as to its meaning and differ as to its application. argumentative implication. First. § 1961–1968.L. RICO is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code. The Constitution guarantees both substantive and procedural due process as well as the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone. so must a law be accorded the presumption of constitutionality without the same requisite quantum of proof. in its breadth and entirety. This "fair notice" rationale was articulated in United States v. and. be discovered. There are three distinct considerations for the vagueness doctrine. To strike down the law.' In view of burden of proof (State) according to KAPUNAN. RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub. The theory is that "[w]hen statutes regulate or proscribe speech and no readily apparent construction suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a single prosecution." All told. . the transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected expression is deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad statutes with no requirement that the person making the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow specificity.A. Petitioner now concludes that the Anti-Plunder Law "eliminates proof of each and every component criminal act of plunder by the accused and limits itself to establishing just the pattern of over or criminal acts indicative of unlawful scheme or conspiracy. J.S. the law must be proven to be clearly and unequivocally repugnant to the Constitution before this Court may declare its unconstitutionality. To justify nullification of a law. there must be a clear showing that what the fundamental law prohibits. the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech. at best. its application has been more widespread. there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. To doubt is to sustain. The penalty imposable on the person found guilty of violating R. 'The presumption is always in favor of constitutionality . 922. Far from establishing. 18 U. it is necessary that statutes provide reasonable standards to guide prospective conduct. In sum. In view of burden of proof (accused) according to PANGANIBAN.What is RICO Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. In view of facial challenge A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech. 41 Of some terms in the law which are easily clarified by judicial construction. For just as the accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence in the absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt. the statute allows to be done. No. the above explanation is in consonance with what is often perceived to be the reality with respect to the crime of plunder — that "the actual extent of the crime may not.' This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. not a doubtful. And where a statute imposes criminal sanctions. by reason of the 'stealth and secrecy' in which it is committed and the involvement of 'so many persons here and abroad and [the fact that it] touches so many states and territorial units.
due process is violated. A statute is vague or overbroad. even if punished by a special law and accordingly. the criminal intent is an important element of the criminal acts. thus paying the way for the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death on the accused. Fr. an accused may not be sentenced to suffer the lethal injection or life imprisonment for an offense understood only after judicial construction takes over where Congress left off. must be sufficiently explicit to inform those who are subject to it what conduct on their part will render them liable to penalties. because the law requires merely . R. unreasonableness or ambiguity in any law which deprives a person of his life or liberty. But if the law itself is not reasonable legislation. and that "facial" or "on its face" challenges seek the total invalidation of a statute. No. 7080 are not clear. the standard of clarity and definiteness required of R. it is easier to convict for plunder and sentence the accused to death than to convict him for each of the component crimes otherwise punishable under the Revised Penal Code and other laws which are bailable offenses. in plain violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. where its language does not convey sufficiently definite warning to the average person as to the prohibited conduct. Bernas again: "How can you have a 'series' of criminal acts if the elements that are supposed to constitute the series are not proved to be criminal?" Because of this. 7080 would put on the balance the life and liberty of the accused against whom all the resources of the State are arrayed. It is an ancient maxim in law that in times of frenzy and excitement. 7080 is unarguably higher than that of other laws. must be definite to be valid. No. consonant alike with ordinary notions of fair play and the settled rules of law. It could be used as a tool against political enemies and a weapon of hate and revenge by whoever wields the levers of power. Substantive due process dictates that there should be no arbitrariness. violates the first essential of due process. especially one involving criminal prosecution. Under the Plunder Law. and does away with the rights of the accused insofar as the component crimes are concerned. and interpretation supplies its meaning. when the desire to do justice is tarnished by anger and vengeance. Substantive due process requires that a criminal statute should not be vague and uncertain. The resultant absurdity strikes at the very heart if the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.A. the law seeks to penalize the accused only on the basis of a proven scheme or conspiracy. The Constitution guarantees both substantive and procedural due process as well as the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. . in violation of the due process clause. . It has been incorrectly suggested that petitioner cannot mount a "facial challenge" to the Plunder Law. More explicitly — That the terms of a penal statute. To quote Fr. R. otherwise. And a statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. In view of due process according to YNARES-SANTIAGO. He posed the question: "How can you have a 'series' of criminal acts if the elements that are supposed to constitute the series are not proved to be criminal?" The meanings of "combination" and "series" as used in R. In its early formulation. J.A. Equally disagreeable is the provision of the Plunder Law which does away with the requirement that each and every component of the criminal act of plunder be proved and instead limits itself to proving only a pattern of overt acts indicative of the unlawful scheme or conspiracy. In other words. Given such penalty. Thus. No. the overbreadth doctrine states that a governmental purpose to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to regulation may not be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms.reclusion perpetua to death. It obfuscates the mind to ponder that such an ambiguous law as R. 7080 does not require the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the component acts constituting plunder and imposes a lesser burden of proof on the prosecution. it is enough that the acts are committed. By eliminating mens rea. Bernas.A. is a well-recognized requirement.A. a heinous crime. are patently mala in se. no crime is committed. 7080 circumvents the obligation of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt every fact necessary to constitute the crime of plunder. The trial and other procedures leading to conviction may be fair and proper. being inherently wrongful and immoral. The component acts constituting plunder. pointed to several problematical portions of the law that were left unclarified.A. No. 18 In effect. criminal intent must clearly be established together with the other elements of the crime. In malversation or bribery under the Revised Penal Code. for his part. A statute is unconstitutionally vague if people of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning. 9 A statute. there is always the danger that vital protections accorded an accused may be taken away.
rendered the enumerated "criminal acts" under Section 1 (d) merely as means and not as essential elements of plunder. the Justices need not be in full agreement. In short. For the result is the reduction of the burden of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. no matter how socially-relevant the purpose of a law is. The prosecution takes over the role of Congress. The rights guaranteed to him by the Constitution are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interest. not because I favor Mr. which need not be proved under the law. Not even the construction by the Sandiganbayan of a vague or ambiguous provision can supply the missing ingredients of the Plunder Law. Due to alleged shortage of leather. it must be nullified if it tramples upon the basic rights of the accused. It defines the term series as a "repetition" or pertaining to "two or more. all that R. The vagueness cannot be cured by judicial construction. As a basic premise.A." 33 But it can very well be interpreted as only one act repeated at least three times. NLU averred that Toribio’s act is not valid as it is not within the CBA. When Section 4 of R. Surely. I agree with petitioner's concern over the danger that the trial court may allow the specifications of details in an information to validate a statute inherently void for vagueness. The Special Prosecution Division Panel defines it as "at least three of the acts enumerated under Section 1(d) thereof. The State may not specify a lesser burden of proof for an element of a crime. Estrada. but R. the legislature. they could convict him of plunder. However.A. I can only stress that the one on trial here is not Mr. still. I vote to grant the petition. invoking the deliberations of the House of Representatives. it should not be allowed to go around the principle by characterizing an essential element of plunder merely as a "means" of committing the crime." As to which criminal acts constitute a combination or series.proof of a pattern of overt acts showing an unlawful scheme or conspiracy. the clarity and particularity required of an information should also be present in the law upon which the charges are based. but the constitutionality of the law. If the penal law is vague. . In fine. my duty is to see to it that the law conforms to the Constitution and no other. That there are two labor unions in Ang Tibay. fortify a law that is patently unconstitutional. As a matter of due process. in good conscience. ISSUE: Whether or not there has been a due process of law. J. In view of vagueness according to SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. Stated differently. That NWB is dominated by Toribio hence he favors it over NLU." A statute which is so vague as to permit the infliction of capital punishment on acts already punished with lesser penalties by clearly formulated law is unconstitutional. No. even if the Justices are not unified in their determination on what criminal acts were actually committed by the accused. Due Process – Admin Bodies – CIR TeodoroToribio owns and operates Ang Tibay a leather company which supplies the Philippine Army. any particularity in the information will come from the prosecutor. No. This is constitutionally infirmed and repugnant to the basic idea of justice and fair play. NLU and National Worker’s Brotherhood. 7080. liberty and property of anyone who may come under its unconstitutional provisions. the prosecution is required to prove beyond reasonable doubt every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which the defendant is charged. The right of an accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him is most often exemplified in the care with which a complaint or information should be drafted. The issue before this Court is not the guilt or innocence of the accused. 8 With more reason. As a member of this Court. in effect. 7080 mandates that it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove each and every criminal act done by the accused.A. Thus. No. Estrada. we have to accept that even a person accused of a crime possesses inviolable rights founded on the Constitution which even the welfare of the society as a whole cannot override. I simply cannot. An information cannot rise higher than the statute upon which it is based. contends differently. That NLU wishes for a new trial as they were able to come up with new evidence/documents that they were not able to obtain before as they were inaccessible and they were not able to present it before in the CIR. but because I look beyond today and I see that this law can pose a serious threat to the life. this would cover-up a wide disagreement among them about just what the accused actually did or did not do. And the Office of the Solicitor General. Toribio caused the lay off of members of National Labor Union Inc. 7080 requires is that each Justice must be convinced of the existence of a "combination or series.
FERNAN. that of having something to support its decision. they shall be forever barred.00. backwages. a complaint for illegal dismissal with claims for reinstatement. respondents. On July 5.: The issue raised in this petition for certiorari is whether or not an action for illegal dismissal prescribes in three  years pursuant to Articles 291 and 292 of the Labor Code which provide: Art. an application for clearance to terminate the employment of Virgilio Callanta on the alleged grounds of serious misconduct and misappropriation of company funds amounting to P12.” Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. of said clearance application. and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. The performance of this duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it. Money Claims. for brevity] in January 1974 as a salesman in the Agusan del Sur area. (6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges. 1986 VIRGILIO CALLANTA. Inc. vs. in all controversial questions. respondent Carnation filed with the Regional Office No. (5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing. (2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must consider the evidence presented. a place when directly attached. 291.. it does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded. No. 1979 by MOLE Regional Director Felizardo G.HELD: The SC ruled that there should be a new trial in favor of NLU.R. J. CARNATION PHILIPPINES. xxx xxx xxx Petitioner Virgilio Callanta was employed by private respondent Carnation Philippines. 1979.— Offenses penalized under this Code and the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto shall prescribe in three  years. 1979. The SC ruled that all administrative bodies cannot ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process. or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. and damages against respondent Carnation. 292. therefore. Callanta vs Carnation Corp G. They are. namely. (3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right. render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the vario issues involved. — All money claims arising from employer-employee relations accruing during the effectivity of this Code shall be filed within three  years from the time the cause of action accrued. [Carnation. X. petitioner. petitioner Virgilio Callanta's employment with Carnation was terminated effective June 1. Offenses. more or less. Regional Office No. INC. xxx xxx xxx Art. 1982. and NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION [NLRC]. Baterbonia. (4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion but the evidence must be “substantial. Danilo L. 8. Pilapil for petitioner. .000. Virgilio Callanta filed with the MOLE. otherwise. must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy. (7) The Court of Industrial Relations should. X of the Ministry of Labor and Employment [MOLE]. Five [51 years later or on June 1. 70615 October 28. Upon approval on June 26. and the reasons for the decisions rendered. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity. (1) The right to a hearing which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof.
and that considering the seriousness of the act committed by petitioner. barred by prescription. of the Labor Code. this petition.In its position paper dated October 5. WHEREFORE. Money claims.. It was likewise provided that failure on the part of respondent to comply with the decision shall entitle complainant to full backwages and all fringe benefits without loss of seniority rights. was filed beyond the three-year prescriptive period as provided under Articles 291 and 292 of the Labor Code. 1983. — Offenses penalized under this Code and the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto shall prescribe in three  years." Public respondent. hence. which We gave due course in the resolution dated September 18. respectively. respondent Carnation appealed to respondent National Labor Relations Commission [NLRC] which in a decision dated February 25. and that on 5 July 1982. backwages and damages. the complaint therefore having been filed beyond the three-year period from accrual date. Ramos rendered a decision finding the termination of Callanta's employment to be without valid cause. otherwise. 292. so that petitioner's complaint for illegal dismissal filed on July 5. the Decision appealed from is hereby SET ASIDE and another one entered. 291. We find for petitioner." have already prescribed. that while it is admittedly a more serious offense as it involves an employee's means of livelihood. one who is truly aggrieved would immediately seek the redress of his grievance. thus. Thus: Records show that Virgilio Callanta was dismissed from his employment with respondent company effective June 1. In its broad sense. Labor Arbiter Pedro C. counters with the arguments that a case for illegal dismissal falls under the general category of "offenses penalized under this Code and the rules and regulations pursuant thereto" provided under Article 291 or a money claim under Article 292. The provisions of the Labor Code applicable are: Art. the dismissal without just cause of an employee from his employment constitutes a violation of the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations. it should correspondingly have a prescriptive period longer than the three 13] years provided for in "money claims. Hence. Respondent Carnation was therefore ordered to reinstate Virgilio Callanta to his former position with backwages of one  year without qualification including all fringe benefits provided for by law and company policy. Such violation. 1985. but which by statute carries with it a penalty similar to those imposed by law for the punishment of a crime. With this finding. does not amount to an "offense" as understood under Article 291 of the Labor Code. 1979." as contemplated under Articles 291 and 292. there is no logic in assuming that it has a longer prescriptive period. 1982. Art. an offense is an illegal act which does not amount to a crime as defined in the penal law. therefore. 3 It is in this sense that a general penalty . 1983. the applicable law. — All money claims arising from employer-employee relations accruing during the effectivity of this Code shall be filed within three  years from the time the cause of action accrued. 1982. Verily. On April 18. there is no need to discuss the other issues raised in the appeal. one  month and five  days after his alleged dismissal on June 1. it is nevertheless beyond dispute that the said right has already lapsed into a stale demand. by way of supplement. 1985. It declared the complaint for illegal dismissal filed by Virgilio Callanta to have already prescribed. on the other hand. or three  years. SO ORDERED. On March 24. in view of the foregoing. the causes of action. 2 Petitioner contends that since the Labor Code is silent as to the prescriptive period of an action for illegal dismissal with claims for reinstatement. 1979. he filed the instant complaint against respondent for: Unlawful Dismissal with Backwages. within ten  days from receipt of the decision. 1 set aside the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Obviously. etc. Offenses. as naturally.e. is Article 1146 of the New Civil Code which provides a four -year prescriptive period for an action predicated upon "an injury to the rights of the plaintiff" considering that an action for illegal dismissal is neither a "penal offense" nor a mere "money claim. i. they shall be forever barred. dismissing the complaint. etc. Petitioner further claims that an action for illegal dismissal is a more serious violation of the rights of an employee as it deprives him of his means of livelihood. however. that assuming arguendo that the law does not provide for a prescriptive period for the enforcement of petitioner's right. "Unlawful Dismissal" and "Backwages. private respondent was justified in terminating the employment. respondent Carnation put in issue the timeliness of petitioner's complaint alleging that the same is barred by prescription for having been filed more than three  years after the date of Callanta's dismissal.
. The award thereof is not private compensation or damages 5 but is in furtherance and effectuation of the public objectives of the Labor Code. Court of Appeals. Backwages is merely one of the reliefs which an illegally dismissed employee prays the labor arbiter and the NLRC to render in his favor as a consequence of the unlawful act committed by the employer. backwages may be awarded without ordering reinstatement . in proper cases. termination of an employment without just or valid cause is not categorized as an unlawful practice. Fernando. when one is arbitrarily and unjustly deprived of his job or means of livelihood. Cebu Portland Cement. no penalty of fine nor improsonment is imposed on the employer upon a finding of illegality in the dismissal. is in the nature of a command upon the employer to make public reparation for his violation of the Labor Code.. undoubtedly. It is true that the "backwwages" sought by an illegally dismissed employee may be considered. Besides. the action instituted to contest the legality of one's dismissal from employment . In either case. but. It must be noted." Accordingly. must be brought within the period of three years from the time the cause of action accrued. People's Bank and Trust Co. said the Court in Almira vs. this Court ruled that petitioner Marciana Santos. is applicable in the instant case insofar as it concerns the issue of prescription of actions. trade or calling is a "property right. who sought reinstatement. B.000. By the very nature of the reliefs sought. Indeed there is.." [Emphasis supplied. The following actions must be instituted within four years. if any. hence. a 1959 case cited by petitioner. among others. rather. et al. 8 In Santos vs. and must be brought within four  years. merit in the contention of petitioner that the four -year prescriptive period under Article 1146 of the New Civil Code. petitioners should not be deprived of their means of livelihood. 1146. 96 SCRA 448 . profession. thru then Chief Justice Enrique M. therefore." and the wrongful interference therewith is an actionable wrong. otherwise. his job may possibly be his only possession or means of livelihood. 732. 7 The case of Valencia vs. to wit: Art. refers to and "is limited to money claims. the award of backwages is not inredness of a private right. 12 Clearly then. this Court had occasion to hold that an action for damages involving a plaintiff seperated from his employment for alleged unjustifiable causes is one for " injury to the rights of the plaintiff.. in case there is bad faith in his dismissal. 106 Phil. he should be protected against any arbitrary and unjust deprivation of his job. reinstatement may be ordered." However. The misery and pain attendant on the loss of jobs thus could be avoided if there be acceptance of the view that under all the circumstances of this case. 11 The right is considered to be property within the protection of a constitutional guaranty of due process of law. reinstatement is a concomitant of backwages. in the instant case. or imprisonment of not less than three  months nor more than three  years.  Upon an injury to the lights of the plaintiff.00]. the same is forever barred." It is a principle in American jurisprudence which. the reliefs principally sought by an employee who was illegally dismissed from his employment are reinstatement to his former position without loss of seniority rights and privileges. 10 brings "untold hardships and sorrows on those dependent on the wage earners. In said case. or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.00] nor more than Ten Thousand Pesos [10. applies by way of supplement. 6 even though the practical effect is the enrichment of the individual. xxx xxx xxx [Emphasis supplied] As this Court stated in Bondoc us. Unemployment. 249 and 250 and illegal recruitment activities under Article 38. which according to public respondent.clause is provided under Article 289 of the Labor Code which provides that ". any violation of the provisions of this code declared to be unlawful or penal in nature shall be punished with a fine of not less than One Thousand Pesos [P1. the two are not necessarily complements. it is not the principal cause of action in an illegal dismissal case but the unlawful deprivation of the one's employment committed by the employer in violation of the right of an employee. is well-recognized in this jurisdiction that one's employment. sustained the sand of the Solicitor General that the period of prescription mentioned under Article 281. now Article 292. by reason of its practical effect. an other cases of injury to rights of a workingman being governed by the Civil Code. While ordinarily. 4 And. which the Code itself declares to be unlawful.F.] The confusion arises over the use of the term "illegal dismissal" which creates the impression that termination of an employment without just cause constitutes an offense. Goodrich Philippines. had four  years within which to file her complaint for the injury to her rights as provided under Article 1146 of the Civil Code. with or without backwages. unfair labor practices under Article 248.000. an action for illegal dismissal cannot be generally categorized as an "offense" as used under Article 291 of the Labor Code. nor is the award of one a condition precedent to an award of the other. As an affirmative relief. backwages and damages. 9 when a person has no property. this Court. as a "money claim. however that unlike in cases of commission of any of the probihited activities during strikes or lockouts under Article 265. of the Labor Code.
Even on the assumption that an action for illegal dismissal falls under the category of "offenses" or "money claims" under Articles 291 and 292. Corsino. 1982. 1979 which is well within the four -year prescriptive period under Article 1146 of the New Civil Code. 1146 of the New Civil Code. Articles 291 and 292 go to matters of remedy and not to the destruction of fundamental rights. This decision is immediately executory.'s taking over the business of Carnation. a statute of limitation extinguishes the remedy only. in essence. The indecent haste of his dismissal from employment was. Branch V finally dismissed the same provisionally in an order dated February 21. which petitioner mentioned in his motion for early decision dated January 6. The threat to petitioner that he would be charged with estafa if he filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. justifies. Admittedly. who can stop the employer from filing all the charges in the books for the simple exercise of it. under the attendant circumstances. aggravated by the filing of the estafa charge against petitioner with the City Fiscal of Butuan City on June 22. respondent Carnation Philippines.L. SO ORDERED. 1986 18 that is. Nonetheless. 13 As a general rule. 1982. there is no law requiring that the purchasing corporation should absorb the employees of the selling corporation. 14 More so. one  month and five  days after the alleged effectivity date of his dismissal on June 1. 1981. . FILIPRO. Laches will not in that sense strengthen the cause of public respondent. the very concept of social justice dictates that petitioner shall be entitled to backwages of three  years. Besides. considering that the alleged shortage was explained to respondent's Auditor.L. 16 However. Inc. unless there is an express agreement on assumption of liabilities 19 by the purchasing corporation. loss of trust and confidence arising from the same alleged misconduct is sufficient ground for dismissing an employee from his employment despite the dismissal of the criminal case. and then hide behind the pretext of loss of confidence which can be proved by mere preponderance of evidence. has legally rendered the order of reinstatement difficult to enforce. that right may be enforced by some other available remedy which is not barred. X. Corsino. to resolve once and for all the issue of the legality of the dismissal. an action predicated "upon an injury to the rights of the plaintiff. The alleged shortage in his accountabilities should have been impartially investigated with all due regard for due process in view of the admitted enmity between petitioner and E. Labor Code. in accordance with respondent's accounting and auditing policies. it is deemed waived as it was never alleged before the Labor Arbiter nor the NLRC. 1986 for failure of the prosecution's principal witness to appear in court. which provide for a three-year prescriptive period. in fact. the Regional Trial Court of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City. Inc. Besides. We grant the petition and the decision of the NLRC is hereby reversed and set aside. the delayed filing of the action for illegal dismissal with the Regional Office No." as contemplated under Art. In the instant case. Public respondent dismissed the action for illegal dismissal on the sole issue of prescription of actions. 21 WHEREFORE. MOLE on July 5. 17 For. As a statutory provision on limitations of actions. which must be brought within four  years. It did not resolve the case of illegal dismissal on the merits. a supervening event. After the case had remained pending for five  years. 1981. Inc. the alleged shortage should not have been attended with such a drastic consequence as termination of the employment relationship.constitutes. still. the action for illegal dismissal was filed by petitioners on July 5. Although the remedy to enforce a right may be barred. it must not be indiscriminately used as a shield to dismiss an employee arbitrarily. We find that petitioner. No costs. 15 Absent such an impartial investigation. E. arbitrarily dismissed from his employment. or three  years. FILIPRO. is hereby ordered to pay petitioner Virgilio Callanta backwages for three  years without qualification and deduction. Outright dismissal was too severe a penalty for a first offense. respondent's auditor. who has continuously served respondent Carnation for five  years was. a strict application of said provisions will not destroy the enforcement of fundamental rights of the employees. Although We are strongly inclined to affirm that part of the decision of the Labor Arbiter ordering the reinstatement of petitioner to his former position without loss of seniority rights and privileges. or two  years after his questioned dismissal. in the instant case. 20 In any case. which private respondent did after all on June 22. where the delay in filing the case was with justifiable cause.
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