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LABOR RELATIONS

Digested Cases

SET II Arts.213-222
- NLRC, jurisdiction, due process, injunction

14. PNB vs FLORENCE CABANSAG


G.R. No. 157010 - 21 June 2005
FACTS:
After being recommended by Tobias,
the banks GM and VP in Singapore to
the President of PNB in the Phils.,
Florence Cabansag consequently was
offered a temporary position in 1998
which
she
accepted
while
her
employment contract was processed by
the Philippine Embassy in the same
country. In 1999 she was issued by
POEA
an
Overseas
Employment
Certificate, certifying that she was a
bona fide contract worker for Singapore.
Barely 3mos after submitting her initial
performance
report
which
was
commended by Tobias, she was
informed by her colleagues that they
were asked by Tobias to inform her that
she needs to resign. Perplexed at the
sudden turn of events, she talked to
Tobias to ask if what she was told was
true. He confirmed the veracity of the
information, with the explanation that
her resignation was imperative as a
cost-cutting measure as the PNB
Singapore Branch will be sold or
transformed into a remittance office.
Cabansag requesded that she be
furnished with a Formal Advice from
the PNB Head Office in Manila, which
Tobias flatly refused. She was even
threatened that unless she submitted
said letter, her employment record will
be blemished with the notation
DISMISSED. After the third time of
being asked of the letter which she did
not submit, she received a letter
terminating her employment with PNB.
LA Lustria in 2000 ruled against the
Respondents, ordering the reinstate of
Cabansag along with the payment of
her backwages and other monetary
benefits from the time of her
termination up to the time of the
promulgation of the Resolution.
PNB appealed to NLRC which affirmed
such Resolution, with a reduction on the
amount of damages rewarded. PNB filed
an MR but was denied. It thereafter
appealed to CA, which held that albeit
the procurement of employment pass
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from
the
Singapore
Ministry
of
Employment, Cabansag did not waive
Philippine labor laws, and that PNB
failed to establish a just cause for her
dismissal and failed to give her
sufficient notice and an opportunity to
be heard and to defend herself.
ISSUES:
1. WON NLRC has jurisdiction and is the
most convenient venue or forum to
hear and decide over the controversy;
and
2. WON the respondent was illegally
dismissed, and therefore, entitled to
recover backwages and other monetary
benefits
HELD:
1.
Jurisdiction:
As the petitioner
admitted that it is it is a Philippine
corporation doing business through a
branch office in Singapore, Cabansags
employment by the Singapore branch
office had to be approved by the PNB
President whose principal offices were
in Manila. This goes up against its
contention that Cabansag was locally
hired; and was totally governed by
and subject to the laws, common
practices and customs of Singapore,
not of the Philippines. Instead, with
more reason does this fact reinforce the
presumption that respondent falls under
the legal definition of migrant worker, in
this case one deployed in Singapore.
Hence, petitioner cannot escape the
application of Philippine laws or the
jurisdiction of the NLRC and the LA. (Art.
217, LC)
Proper Venue: Following Section 1(a)
of Rule IV of the NLRC Rules of
Procedure and under the Migrant
Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of
1995 (RA 8042), Cabansag is given two
choices for the venue of her Complaint
against PNB for illegal dismissal:
(a) at the Regional Arbitration
Branch (RAB)
where she resides or
(b) at the RAB where the principal
office of her
employer is situated.
Since her dismissal by petitioner,
respondent has returned to the
Philippines -- specifically to her
residence at Filinvest II, Quezon City.
Thus, in filing her Complaint before the
RAB office in Quezon City, she has
made a valid choice of proper venue.
2. Illegal Dismissal: CA was correct in
holding that respondent was already a
regular employee at the time of her
dismissal, because her three-month

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

probationary period of employment had


already ended. PNB even recognized
her as such at the time it dismissed her,
by giving her one months salary in lieu
of a one-month notice, consistent with
provision No. 6 of her employment
Contract.

respondent had its main office at


Corinthian Gardens in Quezon City.
Young, in reply, declared that such
address was not his principal place of
business, but actually his residence,
which he also used as a correspondent
office for his construction firm.

Recovery of Benefits: As a regular


employee, Cabansag was entitled to all
rights, benefits and privileges provided
under our labor laws. And as the
petitioner acted in a wanton, oppressive
or malevolent manner in terminating
her employment, it is therefore liable
for exemplary damages. Such serves as
protection to other employees of the
bank and by way of example or
correction for the public good so that
persons similarly minded would be
deterred from committing the same
acts.

Agreeing that petitioners workplace


when the cause of action accrued was
Cebu City, Canizares granted Youngs
motion and ordered the transmittal of
the case to the RAB. Petitioners
promptly appealed to NLRC, which
dismissed the same for lack of merit.

RATIO:
It is a basic policy that all Filipino
workers, whether employed locally or
overseas, enjoy the protective mantle
of
Philippine
labor
and
social
legislations. Our labor statutes may not
be rendered ineffective by laws or
judgments promulgated, or stipulations
agreed upon, in a foreign country.

15. WILLIAM DAYAG, ET AL vs HON.


POTENCIANO CANIZARES, NLRC
G.R. No. 124193 - 6 March
1998
FACTS:
Dayag, along with his peers were
employed as tower crane operators by
contractor Alfredo Young. When they
were from Manila to Cebu, they started
having issues with their employer like
being purportedly harassed by the
latter and for not being paid for certain
tools and equipment. For such reasons,
herein petitioners filed a case for
damages against Youngs Construction
with the NCRA branch of NLRC, which
was assigned to LA Canizares.
Instead of attending their initial
hearings, however, Young filed a motion
to transfer the case to the RAB, Region
7 of NLRC, claiming that the workplace
where
petitioners
were
regularly
assigned was in Cebu City, where the
case should have been filed.
Petitioners opposed the same, arguing
that they were, by that time, residents
of Metro Manila and that they could not
afford trips to Cebu City and stated that
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ISSUES:
1. WON LA Canizares erred in approving
the motion to transfer venue of the
controversy; and
2. WON LA Canizares and NLRC erred in
issuing the disputed judgment and
erred in concluding that the workplace
of the complainants is in Cebu City.
HELD:
1.
No. The Court held that the
resolution to move the venue to Cebu
City was valid as Young seasonably
made representations to transfer the
venue of the action in the proper
motion. Such acts are in consonance
with Section 1(d) of the New Rules of
Procedure of the NLRC which provides
that:
The venue of an action may be
changed or transferred to a different
Regional Arbitration Branch other than
where the complaint was filed by
written agreement of the parties or
when the Commission or Labor Arbiter
before whom the case is pending so
orders, upon motion by the proper
party in meritorious cases.
2. Yes. The Court ordered the case
remanded to the AB of origin, ruling
that the resolution specifying the
NCRAB as the venue of the present
action cannot be considered oppressive
to Young. His residence in Corinthian
Gardens
also
serves
as
his
correspondent office.
Certainly, the
filing of the suit in the National Capital
Region Arbitration Branch in Manila will
not cause him as much inconvenience
as it would the petitioners, who are now
residents of Metro Manila, if the same
was heard in Cebu. Hearing the case in
Manila
would
clearly
expedite
proceedings and bring about the
speedy resolution of case.
RATIO:

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

The worker, being the economicallydisadvantaged


partywhether
as
complainant/petitioner
or
as
respondent, as the case may be, the
nearest governmental machinery to
settle the dispute must be placed at his
immediate disposal, and the other party
is not to be given the choice of another
competent agency sitting in another
place as this will unduly burden the
former. In fact, even in cases where
venue has been stipulated by the
parties, the Court has not hesitated to
set aside the same if it would lead to a
situation so grossly inconvenient to one
party as to virtually negate his claim.

16. LORENZO DY, ET AL. vs. NLRC


AND LA ALBERTO DALMACION
G.R. No. L-68544 27 October
1986
FACTS:
Herein PR Vailoces, was a stockholder
and the manager of the Rural Bank of
Ayungon, Negros Oriental. Following his
relief as BM, he filed a complaint for
illegal dismissal and damages with the
Ministry of Labor and Employment
against the petitioners. The complaint
was later on amended, including
additional respondents and additional
causes of action for underpayment of
salary and non-payment of living
allowance.
In his complaint and position paper,
Vailoces asserted that the illegal
stockholders' meeting on July 2, 1983
resulting to his dismissal was motivated
by Lorenzo Dy's desire to take over the
management and control of the bank,
along with his ill feelings against
Vailoces on account of the latter's filing
of a complaint for violation of the
corporation code against him and
another complaint for compulsory
recognition of natural child with
damages against Zosimo Dy, Sr.
In their answer, the petitioners denied
the charge and pointed out that
Vailoces' position was an elective one,
and he was not re-elected as bank
manager because of the Board's loss of
confidence in him brought about by his
absenteeism and negligence in the
performance of his duties; and that the
Board's action was taken to protect the
interest of the bank and was "designed
as an internal control measure to secure
the check and balance of authority
within the organization."
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LA Dalmacion ruled in favor of Vailoces,


declaring
that
he
was
illegally
dismissed
and
ordered
his
reinstatement as well as the payment
of his backwages and other benefits.
The Petitioners appealed to NLRC,
assigning error to the decision of the
LA, and that the matter of his relief was
within the adjudicatory powers of SEC.
NLRC, however, bypassed the issues
raised and simply dismissed the appeal
for having been filed late hence, this
petition.
ISSUES:
1. WON the judgment of the LA is void
for lack of jurisdiction;
2. WON the decision of NLRC is void;
and
3. WON the Court can act on an appeal
over such decision of NLRC.
HELD:
1. Yes. The Court held that the
controversy is intra-corporate in nature
as it revolves around the election of
directors, officers or managers, the
relation between and among its
stockholders, and between them and
the corporation. Those, along with the
contention of Vailoces that his "ouster"
was a scheme to intimidate him into
selling his shares and to deprive him of
his just and fair return on his
investment as a stockholder received
through his salary and allowances as
EVP are matters that fall within the
jurisdiction of the SEC, as vested by PD
No. 902-A. It is well settled that the
decision of a tribunal not vested with
appropriate jurisdiction is null and void.
2. Yes. The decision of NLRC is void not
because of its unreasonable adherence
to procedural technicality but because it
was based from a decision which was
originally void, that of the LA. But that
is not a hindrance to the Court's
consideration of the appeal, which leads
to the third issue.
3. Yes. The invocation of Vailoces of
estoppel as against petitioners with
respect to their appeal on issue of
jurisdiction is unavailing. For one, the
petitioners, in their appeal to NLRC,
called attention to the LAs lack of
jurisdiction to rule on the validity of the
meeting of July 2, 1983. Albeit being a
matter that should have been raised
with SEC, the Court is not hindered from
taking cognizance over an appeal over
a void decision of NLRC. Estoppel
cannot be invoked to prevent the Court
from taking up the question of
jurisdiction, which has been apparent

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

on the face of the pleadings since the


start of litigation before the Labor
Arbiter.

status or relationship of the parties or


the nature of the question that is the
subject of their controversy.

Taking into consideration the issue of


lack of jurisdiction and in the exercise of
its judicial power, the Court dismissed
and set aside the judgment of the Labor
Arbiter and the resolution of the NLRC,
without
prejudice
to
private
respondent's seeking recourse in the
appropriate forum.

RATIO:
Claims for unpaid wages and separation
pay involve a labor dispute. It does not
involve an intra-corporate matter, even
when it is between a stockholder and a
corporation. It relates to an ER-EE
relationship which is distinct from the
corporate relationship of one with the
other.

17. MAINLAND CONSTRUCTION vs.


MILA
MOVILLA
G.R. No. 118088 23
November 1995
FACTS:
In 1991, the DOLE conducted a routine
inspection on Mainland Construction
and found that it committed some
irregularities in the conduct of its
business. On the basis of such findings,
it ordered Mainland to pay 13 of its
employees an amount representing
their salaries, holiday pay, service
incentive leave pay differentials, unpaid
wages and 13th month pay. All
employees listed by DOLE were paid
except Ernest Movilla, who was an
Administrative
Officer
and
a
stockholder. He thereafter filed a case
against petitioner with the DOLE based
in Davao City. Upon his death in 1992,
he was substituted by his heirs, the
herein PRs.
The Labor Arbiter dismissed the
complaint on the ground that the
controversy is intra-corporate in nature,
over which the SEC has proper
jurisdiction and not the Labor Arbiter.
On appeal, the NLRC reversed the
judgment of the Labor Arbiter and ruled
that the case was one which involved a
labor dispute, thus NLRC has jurisdiction
to resolve the same.
ISSUES:
WON the NLRC is has jurisdiction over
the controversy.

HELD:
Yes, NLRC has jurisdiction over the case.
The fact that the parties involved in the
controversy are a corporation and its
stockholders does not necessarily place
the dispute within the jurisdiction of
SEC. In order that the SEC can take
cognizance of a case, the controversy
must pertain to factors such as the
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18.
PEPSI-COLA
BOTTLING
COMPANY,
ET
AL.
vs.
JUDGE
MARTINEZ AND TUMALA, JR.
G.R. No. L-58877 15 March
1982
FACTS:
Tumala was a salesman of the company
in Davao City from 1977 to 1980. In
1979, after winning an award for his
performance as top salesman of the
year in an annual contest held by the
company, he wsa entitled to a prize of
house and lot. Following the unjust
refusal to deliver the said prize and the
its oppressive, unlawful and arbitrary
termination of his employment, he filed
a case against the company and its
officers in 1980. 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, attorney's fees and litigation
expenses
but
did
not
ask
for
reinstatement.
Petitioners moved to dismiss the
complaint on grounds of lack of
jurisdiction and cause of action, alleging
that Tumala was not entitled to the for
having misled the company into
declaring him top salesman for 1979
through
various
deceitful
and
fraudulent
manipulations
and
machinations in the performance of his
duties as salesman and depot in-charge
of the bottling company in Davao City,
which consisted of "unremitted cash
collections, fictitious collections of trade
accounts, fictitious loaned empties,
fictitious product deals, uncollected
loaned
empties,
advance
sales
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

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

to justify Tumala's dismissal. The court,


however, denied the MR.
ISSUE:
Which tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction
over an action filed by an employee
against his employer for recovery of
unpaid salaries, separation benefits and
damages the court of general
jurisdiction or the Labor Arbiter of
NLRC?
HELD:
The Court ruled that the Labor Arbiter
has exclusive jurisdiction over the case
and respondent judge is hereby
directed to dismiss the civil case filed
by Tumala without prejudice to his right
to refile the same with the Labor
Arbiter.
RATIO:
Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a
judicial proceeding is conferred by the
sovereign authority which organizes the
court; and it is given only by law. It is
never presumed and must be conferred
by law in words that do not admit of
doubt.
Since the jurisdiction of courts and
judicial tribunals is derived exclusively
from
statutes,
issues
regarding
jurisdiction should be resolved on the
basis of Sec1 Par(a) of Article 217 of the
LC, as amended by P.D. 1367, which
was amended anew by P.D. 1691
restoring to the Labor Arbiters their
exclusive jurisdiction
over money
claims, including those based on nonpayment or underpayment of wages,
overtime compensation, separation pay
and other benefits provided by law or
appropriate agreement, except claims
for employees' compensation, social
security,
Medicare
and
maternity
benefits.
Tumalas action for the action for
delivery of the house
and lot
unquestionably
arose
from
an
employer-employee relation therefore
his claim that it is a civil controversy
triable exclusively by the court of the
general jurisdiction is incorrect. To hold
that Tumala's claim for the prize should
be passed upon by the regular court of
justice, independently and separately
from his claim for back salaries,
retirement benefits and damages,
would be to sanction split juridiction
and multiplicity of suits which are
prejudicial to the orderly administration
of justice.
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19. SMC vs. NLRC AND RUSTICO


VEGA
G.R. No. 80774 31 May 1988
FACTS:
In line with an Innovation Program
sponsored by petitioner SMC, and under
which management undertook to grant
cash awards to employees who submit
to
the
Corporation
Ideas
and
suggestions found to be beneficial to
the Corporation, PR Rustico Vega
submitted on 23 September 1980 an
innovation proposal. SMC, however, did
not find his proposal acceptable and
consequently
refused
Vega's
subsequent demands for cash award
under the program.
Alleging that that his proposal been
accepted by the methods analyst and
implemented by the corporation a
month after his submission and that the
same solved the problem of SMC in
production, he claimed entitlement to a
cash prize of P60,000.00 (the maximum
award per proposal offered under the
Innovation Program) and attorney's
fees.
SMC countered that Vega had no cause
of action. It denied ever having
approved or adopted Vega's proposal as
part of the brewing procedure in the
production of San Miguel Beer Grande
and stated that his proposal was turned
down for lack of originality and that
even if implemented; the same could
not achieve the desired result. It further
alleged that the LA had no jurisdiction
as Vega have improperly bypassed the
grievance
machinery
procedure
prescribed under a then existing CBA
between management and employees,
and available administrative remedies
provided under the rules of the
Innovation Program. A counterclaim for
moral
and
exemplary
damages,
attorney's fees, and litigation expenses
closed out petitioner's pleading.
In 1986, LA noted that the money claim
of complainant Vega in this case is "not
a
necessary
incident
of
his
employment" and that said claim is not
among those mentioned in Article 217
of the LC, dismissed the complaint for
lack of jurisdiction and directed SMC to
pay Vega the sum of P2,000.00 as
financial assistance to which both
parties filed appeals with Vega assailing
the dismissal of his complaint for lack of
jurisdiction and SMC questioning the
propriety of the award of "financial
assistance" to him. Acting on the

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

appeals, NLRC ruled to set aside the


resolution of the LA and order the
respondent to pay the complainant the
amount of P60,000.00.
ISSUE:
WON the money claim of Vega falls
within the jurisdiction of LA and NLRC
HELD:
No. The Court held that the claim of
Vega is not under the jurisdiction of
NLRC as it stemmed out of an
enforceable contractual obligation on
the part of SMC. And whether or not it
was breached is a pre-eminently legal
question, which is not to be resolved by
referring to labor legislation for having
nothing to do with wages or other terms
and conditions of employment. Having
recourse to our law on contracts, the
protection Vega seeks is dealt with
under the civil laws and claims no
benefits under the Labor Code. The
decision of NLRC was set aside, without
prejudice to the right of Vega to file a
suit before the proper court.
RATIO:
The Innovation Program of SMC is an
employee incentive scheme offered and
open only to employees of petitioner
Corporation,
more
specifically
to
employees below the rank of manager.
Without the existing Er-Ee relationship
between the parties here, there would
have been no occasion to consider the
petitioner's Innovation Program or the
submission by Mr. Vega of his proposal
concerning beer grande; without that
relationship, private respondent Vega's
suit against petitioner Corporation
would never have arisen. The money
claim of private respondent Vega in this
case, therefore, arose out of or in
connection
with
his
employment
relationship with petitioner.
Although a controversy is between an
employer and an employee, the Labor
Arbiters have no jurisdiction if the Labor
Code is not involved. The money
claims of workers" referred to in
paragraph 3 of Article 217 as last
amended by B.P. Blg. 227 embraces
money claims which arise out of or in
connection with the employer-employee
relationship, or some aspect or incident
of such relationship. Such money claims
of workers which now fall within the
original and exclusive jurisdiction of LAs
are those money claims which have
some reasonable causal connection
with
the
employer-employee
relationship. While paragraph 3 refers
to "all money claims of workers," it is
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not necessary to suppose that the


entire universe of money claims that
might be asserted by workers against
their employers has been absorbed into
the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
Labor Arbiters.

20. LEONARDO SUARIO vs BPI


G.R. No. L-50459 25 August
1989
FACTS:
Leonardo D. Suario was the head of the
loan section of BPI in 1976. During his
employment, he pursued his studies of
law with the consent of the BPI.
Sometime in March 1976, Suario
verbally requested the then VP and BM
Mr. Guilatico of the bank for a 6-month
LOA without pay in order for him to take
the pre-bar review in Manila, for which
he was told that there would be no
problem.
Following instructions from Mr. Guilatico
who was then assigned in Head Office
as VP, new BM Mr. Casino, sent verbal
notice to Suario that the latter was
approved only a 30-day LOA, to which
he would need to go to Manila to avail
of. Suario did so but after 3 months,
received a letter ordering him to report
back for work and that failure to do so
would be a conclusive proof that he is
no longer interested in working for the
bank and would therefore be considered
resigned. Believing that his request
would soon be granted, he did not for
work and thereafter received another
letter with a Clearance to terminate on
the
ground
of
resignation/or
abandonment.
After failing to file his opposition,
Suario, in December 1976, went to BPI
where he was informed that he was
already dismissed. He then wrote a
letter to the bank requesting for a
written and formal advice as to his real
status and was replied that the matter
was still referred to the Personnel
Department. In response to his second
letter, he was finally informed that his
services were considered terminated.
He then filed a complaint for separation
pay, damages and attorneys fees
against the BPI on the ground of
illegally dismissal.
The LA rendered a decision ordering
payment
of
Suario's
claim
for
separation pay. His claim for damages
and attorneys fee were, however,

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

dismissed for lack of merit. On appeal,


NLRC affirmed the decision of the LA.
ISSUES:
1. WON NLRC has authority to entertain
claims for moral and other forms of
damages; and
2. WON Suario was entitled to his claim
for moral damages
HELD:
1. Yes. Re-enacting Article 217 of the
LC, P.D. 1691 nullified P.D. 1367 and
restored to the Labor Arbiters and the
NLRC their jurisdiction to award all kinds
of damages in cases arising from ER-EE
relationship.
2. No. Although it is settled that LAs are
allowed to award moral and other forms
of
damages
arising
from
ER-EE
relations, it is consistently ruled that in
the absence of a wrongful act or
omission or of fraud or bad faith, moral
damages cannot be awarded.
RATIO:
It is incumbent upon the petitioner to
prove that there was malice or bad
faith. The Court did not, however, find
any bad faith or fraud on the part of the
bank officials. He was merely given
personal assurances which could be
reconsidered in later developments.
There is no evidence that they meant to
deceive him. On the contrary, BPI acted
in accordance with law before effecting
the dismissal. He was informed of BPIs
application with the Ministry of Labor to
terminate his employment, of which he
was furnished a copy of and to which he
did not oppose nor did anything to
preserve his right. Therefore, the fact
that petitioners request was denied,
does not entitle him to damages.

21. ALFREDO PRIMERO vs. IAC AND


DM TRANSIT
G.R. No. 72644 - 14 December
1987
FACTS:
Alfredo Primero was discharged from his
employment as bus driver of DM in
August 1974 after being employed
therein for over 6years. Primero in his
complaint stated that prior to his
dismissal; he has not been assigned
any bus to drive for 23 days by DMs
bus dispatcher without any reason or
cause. He pleaded that he be allowed to
work as his family was in dire need of
money and at the same time inquired
as to why he was not allowed to work.
Apart from being humiliated and
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ridiculed, he was given a run-around by


some management personnel and
worse, on the 23rd day, he was finally
told by GM Briones to seek employment
with other bus companies because he
was already dismissed from his job.
He pleaded with the company President
for reinstatement and asked for
financial assistance but apart from
being mocked of not getting any single
centavo unless he goes to court and
win, DM in bad faith and with malice
persuaded
other
firms
(California
Transit, Pascual Lines, De Dios Transit,
Negrita Corporation, and MD Transit)
not to employ Primero in any capacity.
Primero thereafter filed a complaint
against DM with the LA for illegal
dismissal, who rendered judgment
ordering DM to pay complainant
Primero P2,000.00 as separation pay in
accordance with the Termination Pay
Law; which was affirmed by NLRC.
3 months after the conclusion of the
case, Primero instituted proceedings for
damages in the CFI of Rizal 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.
The
lower
court
dismissed
the
complaint on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction, for the reason that at the
time that the complaint was filed, the
Labor Code as amended by PD 1367,
conferred exclusive, original jurisdiction
over claims for moral or other damages,
not on ordinary courts, but on Labor
Arbiters. The judgment was affirmed by
IAC thus the present appeal.
ISSUES:
WON the petitioner is entitled to a
subsequent recovery of moral damages
by action in a regular court after having
recovered separation pay by judgment
of the LA.
HELD:
No. The Court dismissed the petition
and held that the jurisdiction vested in
LAs by Article 217 of the Labor Code is
sufficiently comprehensive to include
claims for moral and exemplary
damages sought to be recovered from
DM by Primero upon the theory of his
illegal dismissal.

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

RATIO:
The legislative intent appears clear to
allow recovery in proceedings before
Labor Arbiters of moral and other forms
of damages, in all cases or matters
arising
from
employer-employee
relations.
This
would
include,
particularly,
instances
where
an
employee
has
been
unlawfully
dismissed. In such a case the Labor
Arbiter has jurisdiction to award to the
dismissed employee not only the reliefs
specifically provided by labor laws, but
also moral and other forms of damages
governed by the Civil Code. When he
institutes proceedings before the Labor
Arbiter, he should make a claim for all
said reliefs. He cannot institute
proceedings separately two forums:
one, before the Labor Arbiter for
reinstatement and recovery of back
wages, or for separation pay, upon the
theory that his dismissal was illegal;
and two, before a court of justice for
recovery of moral and other damages,
upon the theory that the manner of his
dismissal was unduly injurious, or
tortuous. Such constitutes splitting
causes
of
action,
engendering
multiplicity of actions. It is against such
mischief
that
the
Labor
Code
amendments are evidently directed,
and it is such duplicity which the Rules
of Court regard as ground for
abatement or dismissal of actions,
constituting either litis pendentia (auter
action pendant) or res adjudicata, as
the case may be.

investigation. He was asked to explain


the said incident but SOCO did not
comply.
The same incident happened for the
second time, for which he was asked
again to explain but did not do so.
MERCO thereafter wrote FFW for a
grievance conference which was reset
as the latter needed time to notify Soco.
For his part, on the same day that
MERCO wrote FFW, Soco filed a
complaint for unfair labor practice
against the former, alleging that the
five (5) days suspension imposed on
him, was on account of his union
activities.
A day before the meeting, FFW
informed MERCO that the requested
grievance conference would not be held
because Soco finds it unnecessary to do
so. Thus, he was placed on preventive
suspension pending the approval of
MERCO's application for clearance to
terminate the services with the Ministry
of Labor. MERCO's application for
clearance to terminate was opposed by
Soco even as MERCO filed its Answer to
the complaint against it for unfair labor
practice.
The
two
cases
were
consolidated and tried jointly as agreed
to by the contending parties and in an
order, the Regional Director granted
MERCO's application to terminate the
employment of Soco. On appeal, the
Ministry of Labor affirmed the order of
the Regional Director.

22. DOMICIANO SOCO vs.


MERCANTILE CORP
G.R. No. s. L-53364-65 16
March 1987

ISSUES:
1. WON the RD has jurisdiction to hear
and decide the controversy; and
2. WON respondent Deputy Minister of
Labor erred in affirming the findings of
the RD and that such was violative of
the Constitution.

FACTS:
Domiciano Soco was a driver of
MERCO's delivery van and was at the
same time the President of the MERCO
Employees Labor Union (MELU), an
affiliate of the Federation of Free
Workers
(FFW).
Following
various
insSocos deviation on at one time from
his usual route and going to a different
place to speak with a co-employee who
was then off-duty and due to reports
that he was carrying on his unions
activities during his working hours for
the purpose of transferring his its
affiliation from FFW to the Southern
Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL)
for which purpose he utilizes the
company vehicle, the personnel officer
of MERCO in 1979 conducted an

HELD:
1. Yes, the Ministry of Labor has
jurisdiction over the case. The
contention of Soco that the case should
first be resolved by the LA and not the
RD was found to be undeserving of the
Court's favour. It ruled that as it was
agreed upon by the parties to
consolidate the two cases being
litigated considering that both concern
the same parties and the issues
involved are interrelated, Soco
obviously accepted the jurisdiction of
the RD by presenting his evidence. By
having asked for affirmative relief and
without challenging the RDs power to
hear and try his complaint for unfair
labor practice, he cannot rightfully
challenge the resolution made in said

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Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

cases by the same Director, based on


the latter's alleged lack of jurisdiction.

that the Assistant Director


jurisdiction over the case.

2. No. The affirmation of the Deputy


Minister of Labor of the RDs Order did
not defy the constitutional provision on
the security of tenure of employees as
it is the prerogative of an employer
company to prescribe reasonable rules
and regulations necessary for the
conduct of its business and to provide
certain disciplinary measures in order to
implement said rules and to assure that
the same would be complied with. The
Court dismissed the petition but taking
into consideration the length of time
that Soco worked for MERCO, the latter
was ordered to grant the former
separation pay.

ISSUE:
WON the Labor Regional Office has
jurisdiction over breach of construction
contracts?

RATIO:
A rule prohibiting employees from using
company vehicles for private purpose
without authority from management is
reasonable. This regulation cannot be
faulted by Soco because this is proper
and necessary even if only for an
orderly conduct of MERCO's business. To
cap off his infractions, petitioners
stubbornly declined even to satisfy
MERCO's request for an explanation or
to attend a grievance conference to
discuss violations. Certainly, to condone
petitioner's own conduct will erode the
discipline that an employer should
uniformly apply so that it can expect
compliance to the same rules and
regulations by its other employees.
Otherwise, the rules necessary and
proper for the operation of its business,
would
be
gradually
rendered
ineffectual, ignored, and eventually
become meaningless.

23. RONALD CABE vs. SOTERO


TUMANG
G.R. No. L-57682 18 March
1985
FACTS:
Herein private respondent Samuel
Tamayo
agreed
to
construct
a
residential house for the petitioners in
accordance with a plan prepared by an
architect and its specifications. Tamayo
started to work but was dispensed of
his services when he allegedly made
deviations from the said plan and the
construction was finished by another.
Tamayo instituted a case against the
Cabes in the Regional office of DOLE
which ruled in his favour. The spouses
assailed the decision by contending
9 |

has

no

HELD:
No. The Labor Regional Office and the
NLRC has no jurisdiction over Tamayos
claim as their jurisdiction is confined to
claims arising from Er-Ee relationship
which does not exist in this case.
Tamayo is an independent contractor,
not an employee of the petitioners. The
case is instead cognizable by the
regular courts of justice.

24. MOLAVE MOTOR SALES, INC. vs.


JUDGE
CRISPIN LARON and PERDRO
GEMINIANO
G.R. No. L-65377 25 March
1984
FACTS:
MMS, a corporation engaged in the sale
and repair of motor vehicles in Dagupan
City, filed a claim for Sum of Money and
Damages against its former Sales
Manager,
Pedro
Geminiano
for
outstanding accounts he incurred for
purchases and repair jobs for his
personal cars and cash advances. The
case was dismissed by the judge of the
lower court in favour of Geminianos
claim that as he was still an employee
when he incurred such accounts, the
regular court is not the proper venue for
the issue.
ISSUE:
WON the Labor Code has any relevance
to the reliefs sought by the petitioners.
HELD:
No. The court held that the accounts
incurred by Geminiano have no
relevance to the Labor Code as the
cause of action was one which is
addressed by the civil laws and does
not breach any provision of the Labor
Code or the contract of employment of
the respondent. Hence, it is the civil
courts, not the LAs or NLRC who has
jurisdiction.
RATIO:
The complaint filed by the plaintiff has
not alleged any unfair labor practice.
Theirs was a simple action for damages
for tortuous acts allegedly committed
by the defendant. Such being the case,

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

the governing statute is the Civil Code


and not the Labor Code.

25. ANG TIBAY, ET Al. vs. CIR, ET AL


G.R. No L-46496 27 February
1940
FACTS:
Toribio Teodoro owns and operates Ang
Tibay, a leather company which
supplies the Philippine Army. Due to
alleged shortage of leather, Teodoro
caused the layoff of a number of its
employees. Such employees who are
laid-off are members of the National
Labor Union Inc., which averred that
Teodoros act was not valid as it was not
within the CBA and was seemingly in
favour of the members of the other
union,
the
National
Workers
Brotherhood
(NWB);
which
was
dominated by Teodoro himself. NLU filed
a case before the CIR which elevated
the case to SC.
Alleging that the supposed lack of
material claimed by Teodoro was but a
scheme adopted to systematically
discharge all the members of the NLU
from work, NLU filed an motion with the
desire to prove its claim in a new trial
after having been able to come up with
new evidence that were previously
inaccessible, composed of records of
the Bureau of Customs and Books of
Accounts of native dealers in leather.
ISSUES:
1. WON the CIR observed due process
of law in its proceedings; and
2. WON the application for new trial
filed by NLU is meritorious.
HELD:
1. No. The Court held that the whole
transcript
taken
contains
what
transpired during the hearing which is
more of a record of contradictory and
conflicting statements of opposing
counsels, with sporadic conclusion
drawn to suit their own views. Such
statements and expressions of views of
the counsels having no evidentiary
value solidify the Courts majoritys
opinion that the lower court did not
properly observe due process of law
with its elevation of the case to SC.
2. Yes. Finding that the failure to grasp
the fundamental issue involved is not
entirely attributable to the parties, the
Court held that interest of justice would
be better served if the movant is given
opportunity to present at the hearing
the documents referred to in his motion
10 |

and such other evidence as may be


relevant to the main issue involved. It
ordered the case to be remanded to the
CIR, with instruction that it reopen the
case, receive all such evidence as may
be relevant and otherwise.
RATIO:
The Court of Industrial Relations is a
special court whose functions are more
an administrative than a part of the
integrated judicial system of the nation.
It has jurisdiction over the entire
Philippines, to consider, investigate,
decide and settle any question, matter,
controversy or dispute arising between
and/or
affecting
employers
and
employees or labourers and regulate
the relations between them, subject to,
and in
accordance
with,
the
provisions of CA No. 103. In fine, it
may appeal to voluntary arbitration in
the settlement of industrial disputes;
may employ mediation or conciliation
for that purpose, or recur to the more
effective
system
of
official
investigation
and
compulsory
arbitration in
order
to
determine
specific controversies between labor
and capital industry and in agriculture.
There is in reality here a mingling of
executive and judicial functions, which
is a departure from the rigid doctrine of
the separation of governmental powers.
The CIR, although not restricted to the
specific relief claimed or demands
made by the parties to industrial or
agricultural disputes, may include in the
award, order or decision any matter or
determination which may be deemed
necessary or expedient for the purpose
of settling the dispute or of preventing
further
industrial
or
agricultural
disputes.
However, the fact that the CIR is said to
be free from the rigidity of certain
procedural requirements does not mean
that it can, in justifiable cases before it,
entirely ignore
or disregard the
fundamental
and
essential
requirements of due process in trials
and investigations of an administrative
character. There are primary rights
which must be respected even in
proceedings
of
such
character:
(1) the right to a hearing, which
includes the
right to present one's cause
and submit
evidence in support thereof;
(2) the tribunal must consider the
evidence

Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3

presented;
(3) the decision must have
something to
support itself;
(4) the evidence must be
substantial;
(5) the decision must be based on
the
evidence presented at the
hearing; or at
least contained in the record
and
disclosed to the parties
affected;
(6) the tribunal or body or any of its
judges
must act on its own
independent
consideration of the law and
facts of the
controversy, and not simply
accept the
views of a subordinate; and
(7) the Board or body should, in all
controversial questions, render
its
decision in such manner that
the parties
to the proceeding can know the
various
Issue involved, and the reason
for the
decision rendered. The
performance of
this duty is inseparable from
the authority
conferred upon it.

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Labor Relations | Mondays, 5:30-8:30pm | Judge Fernandez | UPang


Venessa Lynn S. Barbiran, Year 3