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Philippine Association of Free Labor vs.

Emilio Salas
G.R. No. L-39084 February 23, 1988
Facts:
Petitioner filed a complaint for unfair labor practice with the then Court of Industrial Relations
(CIR) against the Northwest manufacturing Corporation and a certain Gan Hun. The CIR rendered a
Decision in favor of the petitioner and commenced levying the personal properties of the said Gan Hun,
particularly the properties found in his residential apartment. Private respondent Wong King Yuen
however, claims that Gan Hun is his boarder in the apartment unit mentioned earlier and that the
properties inside the apartment unit levied by the provincial sheriff belong to him and not to Gan Hun.
Thus, the private respondent filed a Complaint for damages with the then Court of First Instance
against the provincial sheriff. As sought by the private respondent, the CFI, with the herein respondent
Judge Emilio V. Salas presiding therein, issued an injunctive writ restraining the provincial sheriff from
proceeding with the sale of the properties in question. After having been allowed by the CFI to
intervene the petitioner labor organization sought to dismiss the Complaint on the ground that the said
court had no jurisdiction over the case filed by the private respondent. The petitioner argued that said
case relates to an existing labor dispute and as such the proper forum for the same is the industrial
court. Private respondent points out that the case is an ordinary civil action for damages against the
provincial sheriff and directed against the sheriffs bond required under Section 17, Rule 39 of the Rules
of Court. The private respondent adds that it is an entirely separate proceeding distinct from the labor
case filed with the CIR and that, accordingly, it is the Court of First Instance which has jurisdiction
over the same.
Issue: Whether or not the CFI has the jurisdiction to issue the injunctive relief questioned by the
petitioner.
Ruling:
Yes. The case is directed against the provincial sheriff and the recovery of damages is sought
against the bond provided for Section 17, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court governing execution and
satisfaction of judgments. Even if the act complained of by the private respondent arose from a labor
dispute between the petitioner and another party, the inevitable conclusion remains the same there is
no labor dispute between the petitioner and the private respondent. The case has no direct bearing with
the case flied with the industrial court. The civil case remains distinct from the labor dispute pending
with the CIR.
Under Commonwealth Act No. 103, the law creating the Court of Industrial Relations, the
jurisdiction of the industrial court is limited to labor disputes. i.e., problems and controversies
pertaining to the relationship between employer and employee. From the foregoing, it is clear that the
jurisdiction of the CIR can be invoked only when there is a dispute arising between or affecting
employers and employees, or when an employer-employee relationship exists between the parties.
There being no labor dispute between the petitioner and the private respondent, the Court of
First Instance has the jurisdiction to issue the injunctive relief sought by the private respondent. The
latter case can proceed independently of the case pending in the Court of Industrial Relations.

Alfredo Primero vs. Intermediate Appellate Court


G.R. No. 72644
December 14, 1987
Facts:
Petitioner Primero was discharged from his employment as bus driver of DM Transit
Corporation. Thus, he instituted proceedings against DM with the Labor Arbiters of the Department of
Labor, for illegal dismissal, and for recovery of back wages and reinstatement. After due investigation,
the Labor Arbiter rendered judgment ordering DM to pay complainant Primero's separation pay. This
was affirmed by the NLRC. Some three months later, Primero brought suit against DM in the Court of
First Instance seeking recovery of damages caused not only by the breach of his employment contract,
but also by the oppressive and inhuman, and consequently tortious, acts of his employer and its officers
antecedent and subsequent to his dismissal from employment without just cause. While this action was
pending in the CFI, the law governing the Labor Arbiters' jurisdiction was once again revised. The
amending act was PD 1691 eliminated the restrictive clause placed by PD 1367, that Regional
Directors shall not indorse and Labor Arbiters entertain claims for moral or other forms of damages..
Thus, it restored the principle that "exclusive and original jurisdiction for damages would once again be
vested in labor arbiters;" eliminated "the rather thorny question as to where in labor matters the
dividing line is to be drawn between the power lodged in an administrative body and a court;' " and, "in
the interest of greater promptness in the disposition of labor matters, ... spared (courts of) the often
onerous task of determining what essentially is a factual matter, namely, the damages that may be
incurred by either labor or management as a result of disputes or controversies arising from employeremployee relations." The Trial Court rendered judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground of lack
of jurisdiction, for the reason that at the time that the complaint was filed, the Labor Code conferred
exclusive, original jurisdiction over claims for moral or other damages, not on ordinary courts, but on
Labor Arbiters.
Issue: Whether or not, having recovered separation pay by judgment of the Labor Arbiter which
held that he had been fired by respondent DM Transit Corporation without just cause he may
subsequently recover moral damages by action in a regular court, upon the theory that the manner of
his dismissal from employment was tortious and therefore his cause of action was intrinsically civil in
nature.
Ruling:
Going by the literal terms of the law, it would seem clear that at the time that Primero filed his
complaints for illegal dismissal and recovery of backwages, etc. with the Labor Arbiter, the latter
possessed original and exclusive jurisdiction also over claims for moral and other forms of damages;
this, in virtue of Article 265 12 of PD 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code, effective from May 1,
1974. In other words, in the proceedings before the Labor Arbiter, Primero plainly had the right to
plead and prosecute a claim not only for the reliefs specified by the Labor Code itself for unlawful
termination of employment, but also for moral or other damages under the Civil Code arising from or
connected with that termination of employment. And this was the state of the law when he moved for
the dismissal of his claims before the Labor Arbiter, for reinstatement and recovery of back wages, so
that he might later file a damage suit "in a civil court which has exclusive jurisdiction over his
complaint ... founded on tortious acts, breach of employment contract ... and consequent effects
thereof."

Servando's Inc. vs. Secretary of Labor and Employment


G.R. No. 85840
April 26, 1990
Facts:
The Regional Director issued an order, requiring petitioner to pay its employees for the
deficiencies in wages and allowances of said employees after the Labor Standard and Welfare Office's
routine inspection. Petitioner was likewise ordered to clear the passageway of its warehouse of waste
materials, and to put up fire extinguishers in their proper places pursuant to the occupational safety and
health rules.
Issue: Whether or not the Regional Director has the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving
recovery of wages and other monetary claims and benefits of workers and employees.
Ruling:
The power then of the Regional Director (under the present state of the law) to adjudicate
employees' money claims is subject to the concurrence of all the requisites provided under Sec. 2 of RA
6715, to wit: (1) the claim is presented by an employee or person employed in domestic or household
service, or househelper; (2) the claim arises from employer-employee relations; (3) the claimant does
not seek reinstatement; and (4) the aggregate money claim of each employee or househelper does not
exceed P5,000.00.
Going over the records of this case, we note that the aggregate claims of each of the fifty four
(54) employees of herein petitioner are over and above the amount of P5,000.00. Under the
circumstances, the power to adjudicate such claims belongs to the Labor Arbiter who has the exclusive
jurisdiction over employees' claims where the aggregate amount of the claim for each employee
exceeds P5,000.00.

Singapore Airlines vs. Hon.Ernani Cruz-Pano


G.R. No. L-47739 June 22, 1983
Facts:
Private Respondent Carlos Cruz was offered employment by petitioner as Engineer Officer with
the opportunity to undergo a training course. Cruz signed the Agreement with his co-respondent
Villanueva, as surety. Claiming that Cruz had applied for "leave without pay" and had gone on leave
without approval of the application during the second year of the Period of five years, petitioner filed
suit for damages against Cruz and his surety, Villanueva, for violation of the terms and conditions of
the aforesaid Agreement. Petitioner sought the payment of the following sums. Cruz denied any breach
of contract contending that at no time had he been required by petitioner to agree to a straight service of
five years under Clause 4 of the Agreement and that he left the service on "valid compassionate
grounds stated to and accepted by the company so that no damages may be awarded against him.
Respondent Judge issued the assailed Order dismissing the complaint, counterclaim and crossclaim for lack of jurisdiction because the present case involved a money claim arising from an
employer-employee relation or at the very least a case arising from employer-employee relations,
which under Art. 216 of the Labor Code is vested exclusively with the Labor Arbiters of the National
Labor Relations Commission.
Issue: Whether or not the case is properly cognizable by Courts of justice.
Ruling:
Yes. While seemingly petitioner's claim for damages arises from employer-employee relations,
and the latest amendment to Article 217 of the Labor Code under PD No. 1691 and BP Blg. 130
provides that all other claims arising from employer-employee relationship are cognizable by Labor
Arbiters, in essence, petitioner's claim for damages is grounded on the "wanton failure and refusal"
without just cause of private respondent Cruz to report for duty despite repeated notices served upon
him of the disapproval of his application for leave of absence without pay. This, coupled with the
further averment that Cruz "maliciously and with bad faith" violated the terms and conditions of the
conversion training course agreement to the damage of petitioner removes the present controversy from
the coverage of the Labor Code and brings it within the purview of Civil Law.
The complaint was anchored not on the abandonment per se by private respondent Cruz of his
job as the latter was not required in the Complaint to report back to work but on the manner and
consequent effects of such abandonment of work translated in terms of the damages which petitioner
had to suffer.

FEM's Elegance Lodging House vs. Hon. Leon Murillo


G.R. Nos. 117442-43 January 11, 1995
Facts:
Private respondents, former employees of petitioners whose services were terminated, filed
against petitioner before the NLRC, seeking for unpaid benefits. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss for
failure of private respondents to file their position paper within the agreed period, and later on, a
Motion to Expunge private respondents' Position Paper from the records of the case. The Labor Arbiter
issued the order denying the motions filed by petitioners. He held that a fifteen-day delay in filing the
position paper was not unreasonable considering that the substantive rights of litigants should not be
sacrificed by technicality.
Issue: Whether or not technical rules of procedure are binding in labor cases.
Ruling:
No. Procedural lapses may be disregarded in the interest of substantial justice, particularly
where labor matters are concerned. The failure to submit a position paper on time is not on of the
grounds for the dismissal of a complaint in labor cases. It cannot therefore be invoked by petitioners to
declare private respondents as non-suited. This stance is in accord with Article 4 of the Labor Code of
the Philippines, which resolves that all doubts in the interpretation of the law and its implementing
rules and regulations shall be construed in favor of labor.
Petitioners cannot claim that they were denied due process inasmuch as they were able to file
their position paper. The proper party to invoke due process would have been private respondents, had
their position paper been expunged from the records for mere technicality.

Gelmart Industries (Phils.) Inc. vs. Hon. Vicente Leogardo


G.R. No. 70544
November 5, 1987
Facts:
Petitioner had a collective bargaining agreement with GATCORD which covered petitioner's
8,000 rank-and-file workers among whom is the private respondent Juanillo. GATCORD went on
strike. The Ministry of Labor gave a 48-hour deadline "or face the danger of losing employment
status. All workers complied except 334, including Juanillo. GELMART gave these workers notice
and applied for clearance to terminate their employment. Public respondent and Deputy Minister,
Vicente Leogardo sustained the preventive suspension imposed by GELMART but certified the case for
compulsory arbitration on the issue of termination. The decision granted clearance for dismissal, but
with specific provision to exclude those who did not participate in the strike because they were absent
before and during the same for justifiable causes such as illness or "validated absences."
Juanillo filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, praying for reinstatement with full backwages,
for damages in the amount of P10,000 and attorneys fees. The respondent, traversing Juanillo's
complaint, asserted that the subject of the complaint was barred by prior judgement. Estrella, the
Regional Director, ordered the reinstatement.
Issue: Whether or not respondent's complainant should be barred because of finality of judgement.
Ruling:
The compulsory arbitration precisely covered her case. All she needed to do was prove
"validated absences," during the proceeding and she would have been in the list of those to be
reinstated. But she did not choose to present her proof in the arbitration proceeding. Instead, she waited
seven months after the decision became final before bringing a separate case. If every member of a
striking union not satisfied with a decision in an arbitration case resolving the issues involved in a labor
dispute arising from the strike were to be accorded the right to bring a separate individual action on an
issue covered by that decision, there can be no end or solution to the controversy. The dismissal of
Juanillo was an incident of the GATCORD strike against GELMART. Her action is not distinct from
the issues dealt with in the compulsory arbitration case.

LABOR RELATIONS
Case Digests

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Philippine Association of Free Labor vs. Emilio Salas, G.R. No. L-39084, February 23, 1988
Alfredo Primero vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 72644, December 14, 1987
Servando's Inc. vs. Secretary of Labor and Employment, G.R. No. 85840, April 26, 1990
Singapore Airlines vs. Hon.Ernani Cruz-Pano, G.R. No. L-47739, June 22, 1983
FEM's Elegance Lodging House vs. Hon. Leon Murillo, G.R. Nos. 117442-43, January 11,
1995
6. Gelmart Industries (Phils.) Inc. vs. Hon. Vicente Leogardo, G.R. No. 70544, November 5, 1987

Submitted by: Celina May R. Tang, Block A


Professor: Atty Mila Raquid-Arroyo