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G.R. No.

173473, December 17, 2008


People of the Philippines
vs.
Beth Temporada

Facts:

Beth Temporada is an accused for the crime of Large Scale Illegal Recruitment in which
the prosecution alleged that the accused recruited and promised overseas employment, for
a fee, to complainants Rogelio Legaspi, Jr. as technician in Singapore, and Soledad Atle,
Luz Minkay, Evelyn Estacio and Dennis Dimaano as factory workers in Hongkong.
After collecting the alleged placement fees amounting to P282,160, it was also noted that
such placement fees are in excess of or greater than that specified in the scheduled of
allowable fees prescribed of the POEA and without reasons and without fault of the said
complainants, failed to actually deploy them and failed to reimburse them the expenses
they incurred in connection with the documentation and processing of their papers for
purposes of their deployment. The accused-apellant now contends that the prosecution
failed to establish all the elements of the offense that were charged to them.

Issue:

What constitutes the crime of Illegal Recruitment?

Held

Article 13(b) of the Labor Code defines recruitment and placement thusly:

ART. 13. Definitions. – x x x

(b) "Recruitment and placement" refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting,
transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract
services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit
or not: Provided, That any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a
fee, employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and
placement.

It was held that to constitute illegal recruitment in large scale, three (3) elements must
concur: (a) the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable him to
lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; (b) the offender undertakes any
of the activities within the meaning of "recruitment and placement" under Article 13(b) of
the Labor Code, or any of the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of the
said Code (now Section 6 of R.A. No. 8042); and, (c) the offender committed the same
against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group.

In the case at bar, all the elements were present thus the SC convicted the accused for the
crime of Large Scale Illegal Recruitment.
G.R. No. 172295, December 23, 2008
Lilia Labadan
vs.
Forest Hills Academy

Facts:

In this case the petitioner, Lilia Labadan was hired by private respondent, Forest Hills
Academy.

The petitioner, in light of the study of Labor Standards not only ask for her illegal
dismissal but also for the illegal deduction made by the academy in view of tithes given
to the Seventh Day Adventist church. The petitioner alleged that such deduction is
unlawful.

The defense contends that Seventh Day Adventist Church requires its members to pay
tithes equivalent to 10% of their salaries, and petitioner was hired on account of her being
a member thereof, and petitioner never questioned the deduction of the tithe from her
salary.

Issue:

Whether or not such deduction made by the academy is unlawful.

Held

It was held by the Supreme Court that such deduction was unlawful.

Article 113 of the Labor Code instructs:

No employer, in his own behalf or in behalf of any person, shall make any deduction
from the wages of his employees, except:

(a) In cases where the worker is insured with his consent by the employer, and the
deduction is to recompense the employer for the amount paid by him as premium on the
insurance;

(b) For union dues, in cases where the right of the worker or his union to check-off has
been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing by the individual worker
concerned; and

(c) In cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the
Secretary of Labor,

as does Rule VIII, Section 10 of the Rules Implementing Book III of the Labor Code
reading:
SEC. 10. Deductions from the wages of the employees may be made by the employer in
any of the following cases:

(a) When the deductions are authorized by law, including deductions for the insurance
premiums advanced by the employer in behalf of the employee as well as union dues
where the right to check-off has been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing
by the individual employee himself;

(b) When the deductions are with the written authorization of the employees for payment
to a third person and the employer agrees to do so, provided that the latter does not
receive any pecuniary benefit, directly or indirectly, from the transaction.

In the absence then of petitioner’s written conformity to the deduction of the 10% tithe
from her salary, the deduction made by Forest Hills was illegal.
G.R. No. 168537, December 11, 2008
Damian Aklan et al.
vs.
San Miguel Corporation, BMA Phil Asia Inc.

Facts:

This labor case the dichotomy between impermissible labor-only contracting and
legitimate job contracting.

Respondent BMA Philasia, Inc. (BMA) is a domestic corporation engaged in the business
of transporting and hauling of cargoes, goods, and commodities of all kinds.. Petitioners,
numbering forty-seven (47) in all, are the former employees of respondent BMA at
respondent San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) warehouse in Pasig City. They were hired
under fixed-term contracts.

On July 31, 2001, a number of petitioners went to the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) District Office to file a complaint against BMA and Eusebio for
underpayment of wages and non-payment of premium pay for rest day, 13th month pay,
and service incentive leave pay.

The Labor Arbiter and finds that the SMC and BMA are jointly and severally liable for
the non-payment of the said incentives.

Private respondent SMC maintained that it had no employer-employee relationship with


petitioners who were hired and supervised exclusively by BMA pursuant to a
warehousing and delivery agreement in consideration of a fixed monthly fee. SMC
argued that BMA is a legitimate and independent contractor, duly registered with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a separate and distinct corporation with
substantial capitalization, investment, equipment, and tools. It submitted documentary
evidence proving that BMA engaged the services of petitioners, paid for their wages and
benefits, and exercised exclusive control and supervision over them.

The NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter, CA reversed and set aside the
decisions of the NLRC hence this case.

Issue:

Whether or not SMC have an employee-employer relationship with the petitioners.

Held:

It was held by the Supreme Court that SMC showed that under their contract, BMA
provided delivery trucks, drivers, and helpers in the storage and distribution of SMC
products. On a day-to-day basis, after the routes were made by SMC salesmen, they
would book the orders they obtained. In turn, BMA’s Schedular Planner, detailed at the
Pasig Warehouse, downloaded these booked orders from the computer and processed the
necessary documents to be forwarded to the Warehouse Checker, also an employee of
BMA. SMC contended that petitioners were dismissed by BMA for staging a two-hour
strike without complying with the mandatory requirements for a valid strike. As a result,
BMA had to come up with ways and means in order to avoid the disruption of delivery
operations.

A finding that a contractor is a "labor-only" contractor, as opposed to permissible job


contracting, is equivalent to declaring that there is an employer-employee relationship
between the principal and the employees of the supposed contractor, and the "labor-only"
contractor is considered as a mere agent of the principal, the real employer.

Both the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC found that the employment contracts of petitioners
duly prove that an employer-employee relationship existed between petitioners and
BMA. SC hasten to add that the existence of an employer-employee relationship is
ultimately a question of fact and the findings by the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC on that
score shall be accorded not only respect but even finality when supported by ample
evidence.16

In its ruling, the NLRC considered the following elements to determine the existence of
an employer-employee relationship: (1) the selection and engagement of the workers; (2)
power of dismissal; (3) the payment of wages by whatever means; and (4) the power to
control the worker’s conduct.17 All four elements were found by the NLRC to be vested
in BMA.

Petitioners argue mainly that their employer is, in fact, respondent SMC, not respondent
BMA. They contend that BMA is a labor-only contractor and SMC, as their true
employer, should be held directly liable for their money claims, but the facts of the case
belies the contention of the petitioner thus the SC held that SMC should not be held liable
for the money claims of the petitioner.