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Aquino vs.

National Labor Relations Commission


G.R. No. 98108. September 3, 1993.*

PETITION for certiorari to annul the resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission. QUIASON,J.: FACTS: It appears that petitioner filed before the Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal dismissal against private respondent. He alleged that he was removed from the payroll in January 1987 and was not paid his salary. Private respondent answered that petitioner had abandoned his work after he was held accountable for advances amounting to P48,921.94. On May 30, 1990, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision, finding petitioners dismissal as illegal. The counsel for private respondent received a copy of the decision. The counsel, however, filed the appeal two days

beyond the reglementary period. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the appeal and for the issuance of a writ of execution Finding that the Labor Arbiter did not abuse his discretion in rendering his decision and that private respondent failed to file a cash or surety bond to perfect its appeal, the NLRC dismissed the appeal in a Resolution. However, upon motion of private respondent, the NLRC set aside the aforementioned resolution. Petitioner, alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of NLRC, filed the instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court. The NLRC, aside from justifying its reversal of the February 18, Resolution, questioned the propriety of the filing of the petition for certiorari. ISSUE: Whether or not a memorandum on appeal due on a Saturday can be filed timely on the following Monday? HELD: wherein it held that when the reglementary period of ten calendar days prescribed by Article 223 of the Labor Code falls on a Saturday and the offices of the NLRC are closed, the appeal is seasonably filed on the following Monday, being the first day the appeal can be filed after the lapse of the reglementary period.

NIAConsult, Inc. vs. National Labor Relations Commission


G.R. No. 108278. January 2, 1997.*

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari. MENDOZA, J.: FACTS: Petitioner NIAConsult, Inc. a subsidiary of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), employed private respondent

Jesus C. Ocampo as Irrigators Development Chief-B. The Board of Directors of petitioner NIA-Consult, Inc. abolished private respondents position. Private respondent Jesus Ocampo filed a complaint alleging illegal dismissal by petitioners. A decision was rendered in his favor by the Labor Arbiter, who ruled that the abolition of private respondents

position had been done in bad faith. Accordingly, petitioners were ordered to reinstate private respondent and to pay him backwages and honoraria, as well as damages and attorneys fees. Petitioners appealed to the NLRC. It was alleged that counsel received the decision. Private respondent filed an answer to the memorandum of appeal, but later moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that, upon verification, he discovered that the registry return card showed the date of receipt to be March 1, 1991, and not March 4, 1991, as alleged by petitioners in their appeal memorandum. When private respondent went to the post office to verify the date of receipt of the decision, he discovered that it had actually been delivered to and received at the NIA Records Section earlier on February 25, 1991. This fact was certified by Marino B. London, Postmaster I at the NIA Post Office. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners appeal is filed beyond the reglementary period? HELD: The contention is untenable. To allow petitioners to compute the period for appealing in the manner outlined above would be to make the record of receipt of mail at the NIA completely dependent on the date the addressee signs the registry return card, even if the mail, as in this case, has actually been delivered to the NIA much earlier. The rule is

that service by registered mail is complete either upon actual receipt by the addressee or at the end of five (5) days, if he does not claim it within five (5) days from the first notice of the postmaster. (Rule 13 8) The purpose is to place the date of receipt of pleadings, judgments and processes beyond the power of the party being served to determine at his pleasure. This purpose would be negated if we were to sanction the procedure allegedly followed by NIA.

Garcia vs. National Labor Relations Commission


G.R. No. 110494. November 18, 1996 SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari. KAPUNAN, J.: FACTS: Rey O. Garcia was hired by private respondent Mahal Kong Pilipinas, Inc. (MKPI) to review and edit articles, news items, literary contributions, essays, manuscripts, and other features to be published in the Say Magazine and other publications owned by private respondent. Petitioners employment was terminated. At that time, he was allegedly receiving a monthly salary of Eight Thousand Pesos (P8,000.00). Consequently, petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against private respondent with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

Summons were thereafter duly served on private respondent to appear for a mandatory conference On the appointed date, private respondent, represented by Necy Avecilla, sought a postponement of the conference. The motion was granted and the date for the conference was reset Private respondent failed to appear prompting the Labor Arbiter to again reset the date of the conference with a warning that failure to appear and to submit its position paper on the said date will be deemed a waiver of its right to be heard and to present its evidence. Both parties appeared. Petitioner filed an amended complaint, a copy of which was served on private respondent in open court. By mutual agreement of the parties, the filing of their respective position papers as well as the next hearing was scheduled. On said date, private respondent again failed to attend. It, however, filed a letter requesting for the postponement of the hearing. Petitioner vigorously objected and instead moved that private respondent be declared in default and that he be allowed to present his evidence ex parte. Said motion was granted and petitioner was given one (1) week to submit his position paper and documentary evidence after which the case was to be considered submitted for decision. Private respondent, through a letter from Marilou L. Bocobo, requested Labor Arbiter Nieves V. de Castro for time to answer petitioners allegations. The letter-request, found to be merely dilatory, was denied.

Private respondent received a copy of the said decision. However, instead of filing an appeal therefrom, private respondent, through its company president Michael G. say, wrote yet another letter to the labor arbiter expressing surprise and disappointment over an allegedly erroneous decision ISSUE: Whether or not NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it disregard the rule mandating the strict and rigorous compliance with the reglementary period for appeals? HELD: We rule that it did. In blatant disregard for the rule mandating strict and rigorous compliance with the reglementary period for appeals, respondent NLRC took cognizance of a mere letter from private respondents president expressing disappointment over what was perceived to be an appalling judgment of Labor Arbiter de Castro and treated said letter as private respondents appeal from the said decision.

UERM-Memorial Medical Center vs. NLRC


G.R. No. 110419. March 3, 1997.*

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari. PUNO, J.: FACTS: The facts show that on 14 December 1987 Republic Act No. 6640 took effect which mandated a ten (P10.00) peso increase on the prevailing daily minimum wage of P54.00. In applying said law, the petitioners granted salary increases to their employees. There was a difference of P95.00 in the salaries of the two classes of employees. Private respondents who are rank and file employees demanded payment of the difference. Before the parties could settle their dispute, Republic Act

No. 6727 took effect on 1 July 1989 which again increased the daily minimum wage in the private sector (whether agricultural or non-agricultural) by P25.00. Again, there was a difference of P237.42 per month between the salaries of union members and non-union members. In September 1987, petitioners increased the hiring rate of the new employees to P188.00 per month. Private respondents once more demanded from the petitioners payment of the salary differential mandated by RA No. 6727 and correction of the wage distortion brought about by the increase in the hiring rate of new employees. Consequently, a complaint was filed by the private respondents, represented by the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), claiming salary differentials under Republic Act Nos. 6640 and 6727, correction of the wage distortion and the payment of salaries for Saturdays and Sundays under Policy Instruction No. 54. ISSUE: Whether or not in perfecting an appeal to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a property bond is excluded by the two forms of appeal bondcash or suretyas enumerated in Article 223 of the Labor Code? HELD: we ruled: x x x that while Article 223 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 6715, requiring a

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cash or surety bond in the amount equivalent to the monetary award in the judgment appealed from for the appeal to be perfected, may be considered a jurisdictional requirement, nevertheless, adhering to the principle that substantial justice is better served by allowing the appeal on the merits threshed out by the NLRC, the Court finds and so holds that the foregoing requirements of the law should be given a liberal interpretation.

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Fernandez vs. National Labor Relations Commission


G.R. No. 105892. January 28, 1998.*

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari. PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: Petitioners Fernandez, Adriano, Negapatan, Tomongha, Quianola, Campo, Villaceran, Talledo, and Gadiano further alleged that prior to and during early July 1990, they demanded from Margueritte Lhuillier an increase in their salaries since her business was making good and that she was evading payment of taxes by making false entries in her records of account; that Lhuillier became angry and threatened them that something would happen to their employment if they would report her to the BIR; that shortly thereafter, Lhuillier suspected them of stealing jewelry from the pawnshop; that on July 19, 1990, Lhuillier verbally informed them not to report for work as their employment had been terminated; that from July 20, 1990 they did not report for work; and on July 23, 1990, they filed the instant complaint (Rec., pp. 79-88).

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On their part, petitioners Lim and Canonigo alleged that, they demanded increases in their salaries since they noted that Lhuillier had a very lucrative business besides evading tax payments by making false entries in her records of account; that they also informed her that they intended to join the Associated Labor Union (ALU), which made Lhuillier angry, causing her to threaten them that should they report her to the BIR and join the ALU something would happen to their employment; that Lhuillier advised them to tender their resignations as they were reportedly responsible for some anomalies at the Agencia Cebuana-H Lhuillier; that Lhuillier assured them that they will be given separation pay; that they asked Lhuillier that they be allowed to confront the persons who reported to her about their supposed involvement in the alleged anomalies but she ignored it and told them to tender their respective resignations effective (for Lim) and; and that they were not given separation pay. [T]he failure of undersigned to appear on the date of hearing was for the reason that his car bogged down, as in fact he called up the Office of the Hearing Officer. While his absence may be considered a waiver to cross-examine the witness, it cannot be taken to mean forfeiture of the right to present admissible evidence against the complainant witness.

ISSUE:

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Whether or not

moral damages included in the computation of monetary award for purposes of determining the amount of

the appeal bond? HELD:

The implementing rule explicitly excludes moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees from the computation of the appeal bond.There is no conflict between the two provisions. Article 223 lays down the requirement that an appeal
bond should be filed. The implementing rule, on the other hand, explains how the appeal bond shall be computed. The rule explicitly excludes moral and e xemplary damages and attorneys fees from the computation of the appeal bond. This exclusion has been recognized by the Court in a number of cases. Hence, in Erectors vs. NLRC, the Court nullified an NLRC order requiring the posting of an appeal bond which , among others, even included in the computation the award of P400,000.00 for moral and exemplary damages. Indeed, the said implementing rule is a contemporaneous construction of Article 223 by the NLRC pursuant to the mandate of the Labor Code; hence, it is accorded great respect by this Court.

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Star Angel Handicraft vs. National Labor Relations Commission


G.R. No. 108914. September 20, 1994.* SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari. QUIASON, J.:

FACTS: Private respondents filed a complaint against the Star Angel Handicraft owned by Ildefonso and Estella Nuique, with the Regional Arbitration Branch, Region IV, of the NLRC, for illegal dismissal, underpayment of wages, overtime pay, premium pay for holidays, premium pay for rest day, service incentive leave pay and thirteenth-month pay. By agreement of the parties, private respondents were allowed to report back for work, leaving only the money claims for the determination of the Labor Arbiter. Private respondents filed their position paper, but petitioner failed to submit one despite several directives issued to it to do so. The case was set for hearing, but petitioners counsel failed to appear.

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Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the decision of the Labor Arbiter. After the denial of the motion for reconsideration, petitioner appealed to the NLRC with an Urgent Motion to Reduce Bond, alleging as grounds grave abuse of discretion committed by the Labor Arbiter in computing the award of the claims based on an erroneous applicable, dailyminimum wage for the handicraft establishment. Labor Arbiter Ambrosio B. Sison rendered a Decision in the instant case awarding complainants Helen and Jolito Fribaldos wage differentials in the total amount of P93,472.00. Respondents duly filed their Memorandum of Appeal and paid appeal fee. However, respondents filed an Urgent Motion to Reduce Bond on the grounds that the Labor Arbiter committed errors of judgment and that it cannot afford to post bond equivalent to the amount awarded.

ISSUE: Whether or not the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it refused to act on the motion to reduce the appeal bond and when it dismissed the appeal for failure of petitioner to post the appeal bond.

HELD:

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Inasmuch as in practice the NLRC allows the reduction of the appeal bond upon motion of appellant and on meritorious grounds, it follows that a motion to that effect may be filed within the reglementary period for appealing. Such motion may be filed in lieu of a bond which amount is being contested. In the meantime, the appeal is not deemed perfected and the Labor Arbiter retains jurisdiction over the case until the NLRC has acted on the motion and appellant has filed the bond as fixed by the NLRC.

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Calderon vs. Carale


G.R. No. 91636. April 23, 1992.*

PETITION for prohibition to review the constitutionality and legality of the appointments of the respondents. PADILLA, J.: FACTS: Sometime in March 1989, RA 6715 (Herrera-Veloso Law), amending the Labor Code (PD 442) was approved. It provides in Section 13 thereof as follows: x x x

The Chairman, the Division Presiding Commissioners and other Commissioners shall all be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Appointments to any vacancy shall come from the nominees
of the sector which nominated the predecessor. The Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters shall also be appointed

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by the President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Labor and Employment, and shall be subject to the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations.5 Pursuant to said law (RA 6715), President Aquino appointed the Chairman and Commissioners of the NLRC

representing the public, workers and employers sectors. The appointments stated that the appointees may qualify and enter upon the performance of the duties of the office. After said appointments, then Labor Secretary Franklin Drilon issued Administrative Order No. 161, series of 1989, designating the places of assignment of the newly appointed commissioners. Petitioner insists on a mandatory compliance with RA 6715 which has in its favor the presumption of validity. RA 6715 is not, according to petitioner, an encroachment on the appointing power of the executive contained in Section 16, Art. VII, of the Constitution, as Congress may, by law, require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of other officers appointed by the President additional to those mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16 of Article VII of the Constitution. Petitioner claims that the Mison and Bautista rulings are not decisive of the issue in this case for in the case at bar, the President issued permanent appointments to the respondents without submitting them to the CA for confirmation despite passage of a law (RA 6715) which requires the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of

such appointments.

ISSUE:

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Whether or not the chairman and members of the national labor relations commissions are among the officers mentioned in the first sentence of section 16 article VII whose appointments requires confirmation by the commission on appointments? HELD: Indubitably, the NLRC Chairman and Commissioners fall within the second sentence of Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, more specifically under the third groups of appointees referred to in Mison, i.e. those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint. Undeniably, the Chairman and Members of the NLRC are not among the officers mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16, Article VII whose appointments requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

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Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company vs. Martinez


No. L-58877. March 15, 1982.* PETITION for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to review the decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao. ESCOLIN, J.: FACTS: Respondent Abraham Tumala, Jr. filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Davao, against petitioners Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., Inc., its president Cosme de Aboitiz and other company officers. Under the first cause of action, the complaint averred inter alia that Tumala was a salesman of the company in Davao City; that in the annual Sumakwel contest conducted by the company, Tumala was declared winner of the Lapu-Lapu Award for his performance as top salesman of the year, an award which entitled him to a prize of a house and lot; and that petitioners, despite demands, have unjustly refused to deliver said prize. Under the second cause of action, it was alleged that, petitioners, in a manner oppressive to labor and without

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prior clearance from the Ministry of Labor, arbitrarily and ilegally terminated his employment. He prayed that petitioners be ordered, jointly and severally, to deliver his prize of house and lot or its cash equivalent, and to pay his back salaries and separation benefits, plus moral and exemplary damages, attorneys fees and litigation expenses. He did not ask for reinstatement. Petitioners Petitioners company Davao into moved to dismiss that him top the complaint was not on grounds to various of the lack of jurisdiction prize and and for cause having of action. the and trade

further

alleged

Tumala

e ntitled

Sumakwel

misled

declaring which

salesman consisted

through of

deceitful

fraudulent fictitious

manipulations collections of

machinations in the performance of his duties as salesman and depot in-charge of the bottling company in City, manipulations unremitted cash collections, accounts, fictitious loaned empties, fictitious product deals, uncollected loaned empties, advance sales confirmed by marketing outlets as undelivered, loaned empties confirmed as fictitious, and route shortages which resulted to the damage and prejudice of the bottling company in the amount of P381.851.76. The alleged commission of these fraudulent acts was also advanced by petitioners to justify T umalas dismissal. ISSUE:

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Whether or not NLRC has the jurisdiction over actions for recovery of unpaid salaries, separation benefits and damges? HELD: However, on May 1, 1980, Article 217, as amended by P.D. 1367, was amended anew by P.D. 1691. This last decree, which is a verbatim reproduction of the original text of Article 217 of the Labor Code, restored to the Labor Arbiters of the NLRC the exclusive jurisdiction over claims, money or otherwise, arising from employer-employee relations, except those expressly excluded therefrom.

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